First time on Holland America, most cruises were on Princess. We had a deluxe verandah room. The room was very nice, set up well. The bathrooms have showers in bathtubs which I could have done without the bathtub, it was more of a trip hazard getting in and out. The room was at the very back of the ship, it was wonderful. We sat out on the balcony and it wasn't windy or cold, even though it was September. The view was wonderful and really paid off when we visited the John Hopkins Glacier during scenic cruising. The buffet was set up nice and contained different kind of ethnic food. Favorite was the sandwiches and the make your own pasta. The theater was really nice though there are only 33 seats so you have to get there early. They had some free digital computer classes and that was great. The rest of the ship I didn't care for so much. On Princess you have a wide open area with a grand staircase, piano player, and see the shops. Holland America felt very closed in, the ceilings were low and I didn't care for it at all. We had the 8:30 seating, but the food was not that good. I never ate much there, had high hopes something would be good, but it wasn't. If you are interested in the art and auctions, this would not have been a good ship for you. The art gallery was very small and there never was a true auction. On Princess there is one set price and you can have all the soda's you can drink. I got a card for $25 and you got 20 GLASSES of soda, small glasses, no refills. Love the $30 with Princess and drink what you want. Casino was very small, not very many tables. One cruise on Holland America is enough for me.
Enjoyed the cabinet. Good closet space, great balcony. Loved the view from the back. Best balcony I have ever had. It was quiet and very little foot traffic.
Enjoyed Juneau. The best part was an excursion on a seaplane to look at five glaciers. It was beautiful and exciting. I recommend it highly.
Of all the ports, this is the most beautiful. Small islands in the bay, just beautiful. I would love to own a home there on the water. The Raptor Center is a nice walk, couple of miles. Interesting to see the Eagles, my favorite bird. The totem park was o.k. Between the walk to the Raptor Center and totem park there was a bridge that goes over a small river, lots of salmon. Climbed the stairs to the location where the Russians sold Alaska to the states. Beautiful view, worth the climb, there is also a ramp. Besides that, not a lot to do in Sitka, but it is gorgeous.
Ketchikan is nice. Not impressed with the Lumber jack show, it was all put on, not a true contest. Mostly just shops. There is a shop by the show that rents 4-5 person electric carts that you can rent for $40 an hour and worth it. We loved it. What I didn't like was that we were only in port from about 7 a.m. to noon. Didn't give us much time. Be on time getting back. Saw a couple that ran up late, the walkway had already been removed and we didn't go back. They were not amused.
What a ripoff. We were scheduled to dock at 6:00 p.m. and only going to be there until midnight. We arrived an hour late. They told us we would be leaving at 11:30 p.m. instead. They canceled the excursion to the Butchard Gardens because they said there wasn't enough time to get us there and back. It is about a 30 minute trip there and 30 minutes back. We still would have had a couple of hours there. Anyone that has been to Seattle knows that a trip on a ferry from Seattle to Victoria takes a couple of hours. We were not supposed to dock in Seattle until 7:00 a.m., what was the rush with us needing to leave.