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This was an extended family cruise+land tour of Alaska. My parents were celebrating their 60th anniversary and said the only place they had ever been that they wanted to return to was Alaska. Because we have all had great experiences with HAL in the past and my mom describes them as the "most elegant" and luxurious cruise she's taken, we only focused on them for our planning. Our group ranged in age from 3 years to 83 years old, so we had a lot of perspective. The Neptune suite I had booked for my family was upgraded to a Pinnacle so our accommodations on the ship were amazing. This VERY disappointing part of this arrangement was the upgrade did not extend to the land portion of our journey. Service in the Neptune lounge, Pinnacle Grill for breakfast, and main dining room was top notch, very attentive staff, really great meal choices. The entire cruise itenerary was fine with us. The ports were a great mix, the bus up to Denali was surprisingly enjoyable because of our driver/guide, and the train trip back to Anchorage was relaxing and breathtaking at the same time. Now...for the reason I'm rating this cruise only average -- the shipboard activities were dismal. My daughter is normally a real "joiner" on cruises we've taken. She was not at all attracted to the kid's program. She went one time for about an hour and a half and that was it. I've already mentioned what a wide range of ages we had. None of us really found anything appealing about the daytime activities on the sea days. Only one of the nighttime shows had any attraction for us -- we all went, we all got up early and left midway through the show. We really expected better entertainment on this cruise and this was one reason why we chose HAL. I tried to excuse this by saying that Alaska itself is the real attraction on this cruise, but we found lots of time to be bored and that was a first on any of the many cruises our family has taken. P.S. - Embarkation in Vancouver was a huge pain in the rear. Getting there, getting to the port, going up and down stairs over and over with 80+ year old travelers. The HAL check in part was quick and easy, all the rest was very NOT. I would do anything to avoid Vancouver in the future. We cruised out of Seattle last time. I would pick that or fly straight to Alaska next time.

Our most disappointing HAL cruise

Westerdam Cruise Review by andylen

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: June 2019
  • Destination: Alaska
  • Cabin Type: Pinnacle Penthouse Verandah Suite
This was an extended family cruise+land tour of Alaska. My parents were celebrating their 60th anniversary and said the only place they had ever been that they wanted to return to was Alaska. Because we have all had great experiences with HAL in the past and my mom describes them as the "most elegant" and luxurious cruise she's taken, we only focused on them for our planning. Our group ranged in age from 3 years to 83 years old, so we had a lot of perspective. The Neptune suite I had booked for my family was upgraded to a Pinnacle so our accommodations on the ship were amazing. This VERY disappointing part of this arrangement was the upgrade did not extend to the land portion of our journey. Service in the Neptune lounge, Pinnacle Grill for breakfast, and main dining room was top notch, very attentive staff, really great meal choices. The entire cruise itenerary was fine with us. The ports were a great mix, the bus up to Denali was surprisingly enjoyable because of our driver/guide, and the train trip back to Anchorage was relaxing and breathtaking at the same time.

Now...for the reason I'm rating this cruise only average -- the shipboard activities were dismal. My daughter is normally a real "joiner" on cruises we've taken. She was not at all attracted to the kid's program. She went one time for about an hour and a half and that was it. I've already mentioned what a wide range of ages we had. None of us really found anything appealing about the daytime activities on the sea days. Only one of the nighttime shows had any attraction for us -- we all went, we all got up early and left midway through the show. We really expected better entertainment on this cruise and this was one reason why we chose HAL. I tried to excuse this by saying that Alaska itself is the real attraction on this cruise, but we found lots of time to be bored and that was a first on any of the many cruises our family has taken.

P.S. - Embarkation in Vancouver was a huge pain in the rear. Getting there, getting to the port, going up and down stairs over and over with 80+ year old travelers. The HAL check in part was quick and easy, all the rest was very NOT. I would do anything to avoid Vancouver in the future. We cruised out of Seattle last time. I would pick that or fly straight to Alaska next time.
andylen’s Full Rating Summary
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Ages 10 to 12
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Cabin Review

Pinnacle Penthouse Verandah Suite
Cabin PS 7046
The height of luxury. Plenty of room for our large family to lounge, dine, sleep, everything. The only complaint was that the suite was so nice, nobody wanted to go anywhere else on the ship. Absolutely perfect for our sea day in Glacier National Park. We sat in our personal hot tub on the verandah and drank champagne!
Rotterdam Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins