Alaska & Glacier Bay itinerary. I've been on 7 cruises to Alaska, this was the first time for a good friend. I'm a 2 star Mariner on HAL, and like their no hassle approach, no hard up selling etc. Food was good in the MDR for the most part and excellent in the Tamarind and Pinnacle Grill. Great service from waiters and cabin steward. My one reservation with HAL nowadays is the lack of daytime activities and music on board. If you don't cook or enjoy classical music and jazz, your options are limited. A great shame, since the majority of baby boomer cruisers wanted rock and roll and oldies. This was evident by the folks wanting to dance to the Billboard Onboard piano duo that was unfortunately sub par. In the space between them and the casino, folks tried to dance & join in the singing, but we would have all preferred a venue that catered to original hits and the ability to have a dance party. During the day the options were few and unimaginative. "How to Decorate a Mug" was offered many times, as was making a metal picture. Seriously, we're over 50/60 but not dead yet! I was told by the entertainment host that all decisions on activities came from corporate these days. What a bad decision! Gone are the days of the cruise director having the flexibility to change.customize activities to the crowd. What ever happened to FUN at HAL? No music during the day either. The main stage shows were great though, however on the last night in Victoria, there was no show available. It was assumed all had gone ashore, even though the ship was late arriving & was only in port for a few hours. Loved the spa and thermal suite. Was the perfect place to watch the glaciers in the warm. Unfortunately, I may not sail HAL again until they offer more fun & activities at the appropriate time (music trivia at dinner time, when everyone is eating??) Come HAL, you have a unique mid-ship up advance that draws an upmarket crowd. Time to upgrade your thinking on what baby boomers want!! (Or do 20 somethings make the decisions & think we're too old to play?)
I was puzzled to find no drawer space in the cabin until we realized it's under the bed!! No one would know this unless/until you tried to put your suitcase under!
Loved the footstools on the veranda that made the chairs into loungers. Great cabin service.
However, there was significant judder from the engines several times, including under way at night which made sleeping difficult. Have never had an aft cabin before and will go back to forward cabins in future. I don't mind the roll, but not the judder!
Walked to Nugget Falls at Mendenhall Glacier, Juneau. Worth the trek.
Completed the Sitka Historic Park Trail through rainforest, saw four bald eagles and enjoyed beautiful scenery, fish spawning, river etc.
Don't miss Creek Street - up and away from the jewelry & tourist shop junk. Art galleries & local artists. River runs past and up to fish ladder. Beyond is the spaawning ground if you're going in September.