One of my bucket list items was to visit Alaska. Plus I have visited 49 of the U.S. State Capitol buildings as kind of a hobby, so Juneau was intriguing. My older sister (71, wheelchair bound amputee) suggested in fall of 2022 for myself, her, and our other brother and his wife to do an Alaska cruise. So I researched them and we were torn between going in Aug or Sep 2023. Aug is rainiest, and Sep quite cooler, so it was a toss-up. We gambled on Aug since it's warmer and we totally lucked out - every day of the weeklong cruise was sunny, with hardly any clouds during the day, and high in the 70s with overnight lows in the 50s. We chose Holland America since they seemed to have good selection plus reputation as the pioneer of the Alaska cruises. We embarked from and returned to Vancouver. We liked the food, the service, the staff, the rooms, the entertainment, the ports of call, just about everything. And with the weather to boot, we gave this cruise a solid 5. We gave ourselves a day buffer in Vancouver and visited the VanDusen Botanic Gardens and English Bay Beach before embarking. From some of the other reviews on this website, I anticipated a chaotic embarkment, however we got on smoothly and timely, maybe as a wheelchair companion we had some line-cutting but I did not think we were treated special. We got into our rooms smoothly and unpacked and promptly ate lunch at the Lido Market which is the main food outlet on Koningsdam. Besides that, I ate at the NY Deli and Pizzeria quite often since they have an express breakfast with all that I want, plus the pizza is good. I did not try the sub sandwiches. The Dive Inn hamburger place I really liked the beef and the brioche bun. We did dine one evening each at the Italian Canaletta and the seafood Rudi's and loved both.
I chose an inside stateroom because I felt while the veranda room provided wonderful personal viewing, I really wanted to get out and about and not stay in my room too much. Plus it was so dark when all the lights were turned out for peaceful sleeping!
I had a nasty blister on the sole of my right foot and the second day, the medical clinic lanced it and gave me antibiotics and dressings that made it a non-issue the rest of the cruise. I would have taken care of it prior to the cruise but my wife being a nurse had me soak it a few days to see if a splinter would work itself out, not to happen. Anyway the treatment did cost me $120 including the meds but I felt it was well worth it.
I am not familiar with the cabin category abbreviations so I selected I for Interior. Cabin was tight yet cozy, bathroom and bed were fine. Lighting, shower/sink/toilet, fine. Nothing special, and no complaints.
Words cannot describe - gotta go!
Alaska State Museum was a pleasant surprise for us history buffs.
Juneau has a shortage of cab drivers and rideshares so I recommend signing up for a tour to the Mendenhall Glacier, don't free-lance it.
The Klondike Gold story is quite an adventure, I can't imagine those prospectors trying to haul one year's worth of supplies up the golden ice steps! Check out the Soapy Smith Saloon - it only takes 20 minutes and is entertaining!
The shore excursions through the HAL cruise indicated not wheelchair friendly for the train up White Pass. This is NOT the case - at the ticket office they said it was absolutely disabled friendly.
Ketchikan is best for souvenirs and tourist stuff for sure. The totem pole heritage center is worthwhile as it's along the way of the salmon run creek. The lumberjack show is fun and only one hour, well worth it.