Previous trip on HAL Westerdam was so nice that we made a special effort to get the same cabin on this trip. Partially obstructed view, but twofold panels of glass kept the room bright even on the cloudiest day (and we had about 5 of them).
Cheerful, gracious crew always seemed to be looking for a way to improve the experience. They were available without being intrusive. In various lounges and bars, if you declined a drink, they just leave a napkin there so that you won't be approached by every last server. Great idea.
As I said, 5 rainy, windy days across the north Pacific, and the crew were resolutely cheerful at all times. Captain Mark took us a bit out of the way to avoid the worst weather, which was so very thoughtful. We stopped at Kushiro in Japan, and the rain was blowing, but many us took the free shuttle to a kind of mall which gave us an insight into some of the Japanese culture.
Stops in Alaska were fortunately sunny, and Icy Straits is one of the most hauntingly beautiful place I've seen. We were sorry to leave, and we learned how difficult it had been to dock due to winds and nearby reefs. We saw a couple of whales, which for most of us was a first. Overall, a serenely beautiful cruise with the most amazingly gracious staff ever.
Once again, Denny and Theo, thanks for taking such good care of us.
Denny and Theo are terrific! The cabin was immaculate. I really should have stayed one morning to see how they can get a messy bed looking so good. They were in and out of there in a flash and yet everything was neat asa pin. Just amazing to see two people working so well together and quickly, but without missing any detail.
700 people live here year-round, and they are so friendly.. We saw whales right near the dock, and some of the biggest pine trees I have ever seen. Surprisingly good shopping at former fish cannery. People very much in commune with nature.
Nothing wrong with a visit here, but I was so chilly that I went back to the ship early. Be sure to go to the visitors' center - they have really made a special effort to be informative. This is where you can learn about bears. Unlike most visitor centers, this one wasn't constantly hawking things for you to buy,
Next time, I'll take an excursion because there's so much to see. Main St is almost interchangeable with St. Thomas with Tanzanite shops, diamond, watches. Away from main st, it turns out they have a totem center where I could have spent hours learning.
Absolutely want to go back.