Our 37th cruise but our first trip to Alaska.
How could it have been better? Uber dropped us off at the front door at 12:15, in our cabin at 12:35. Holland really knows how to get you on and off the ship. The ship was a little smaller than our last HAL cruise on the Koningsdam. Our room was so big that we could not see the TV to pick movies, had to use binoculars.
We like to sit outside a lot but did not on this cruise, the back of the ship on the starboard side allows smoking so we did not sit out there much. I do love the fact that this is our first cruise where they did not allow smoking in the Casino. Spent much more time there.
We asked for late seating at a large table. We went to our assigned table the first night and we dined alone so the next night we asked to be changed to the dine anytime and that worked out perfect and we met a lot of really nice people because we asked to be seated with someone each night. Only 1 night (gala) was there a 5 minute wait in the lounge. Food was good, service was spectacular.
We had most breakfasts in Lido which was great, had an Omelette almost every morning and the longest wait was 10 minutes because there were 3 people in front of me. They had 2 omelette stations and 2 servers making omelettes at each. We had room service at least 3 mornings and it was on time, hot and very good.
We spent a lot of time in the Crows Nest and listened to Morgan the onboard naturalist speak and that was really nice. We went to several of her outdoor morning briefings. Wife attended the Test Kitchen presentations and she enjoyed them all.
We visited the Billboard Onboard or BB King every night, great entertainment. We attended all of the shows. I believe we witnessed the funniest comedian ever (John Wang), this guy was hilarious and it was a clean act. Enjoyed the talk with the captain in the main stage.
The ship had a medical emergency during the day and a Coast Guard Helo had to take someone off the ship and we turned around for an hour to give the Helo more time over the ship. Captain said this happens about 2x per year and a lot goes into planning and making this work safely.
The ship was in great shape and the staff of Holland is by far the best that we have ever witnessed. They are the friendliest crew at sea.
I read reviews from our same week that said there is not enough entertainment and the shows were not good even though they did not attend any shows. Huh??? These are not Vegas productions but small scale shows on a moving ship so....... We now like Holland because there are NOT hairy chest contests and drinking contests onboard. Holland is a little older crowd but that is good, I did not hear or see any over served guests, nobody running up and down the halls at 4:00 am
Someone complained there was no big central atrium on the ship. I believe it was designed this way. Maybe they would be happier on the mega party ships.
I read where someone complained that you did not get a tray in Lido so it was slower. Yes, and that is a good thing, the servers give you your food after you tell them what you want. I love this, have you watched people getting food on other cruise lines and can you imagine that 1/2 or more do not wash their hands?
We were on a Holland 21 day Europe last year and we signed up for 17 night Hawaii next year and we are looking forward to the great experience.
I do expect to do Alaska again but might try Vancouver next time to see different ports. Seattle was easy, flew in a day early, Uber to the dock which was just at the edge of the city.
Great cabin on the top deck. We did not book a balcony cabin this trip because of the temperature. We loved the convenience of this inside cabin. Close to everything and did not have to wait on elevators very often unless going to deck 2.
Seattle has a real homeless problem and mostly in the tourist areas. They did not bother us but much different that our last visit.
Up close to the glacier. You could do it at your own pace. There was plenty of confusion about what time the last bus would take us back to the ship, We were told 6:00 pm and we did not get there until 5:55 pm so we had very little time there and caught a but back around 5:30View All 971 Mendenhall Glacier Reviews
Up close with the whales on a decent sized tour boat. The crew was really excited every time they saw a whale, they got us close to them.View All 906 Whale Watching Reviews
Nice little town, we had decided to shop there. I wish that we would have visited the hatchery. You had to take a shuttle into town from the ship
It was foggy and damp, ship did not get there until 6:00 pm, We stayed on the ship. They only stop there because of the Jones Act.