We live in a small town in Northwest Montana, and had always wanted to see Alaska. We chose Holland America Line's 14 day Alaska itinerary from Seattle and back because it provided an opportunity to visit a variety of ports. We thought this would give us a chance to sample a number of towns, and enable us to decide which places we might like to visit again.
Our experience on the Amsterdam was extremely pleasant. We chose the late dining time, and thoroughly enjoyed our dining mates. We were fortunate enough to have a table for six by a port side window, and were treated to a "whale" show more than once while dining.
In general we found the food, service, entertainment, and accommodations to be exceptional, and completely enjoyable. We enjoyed our Italian meal at the Canaletto, and some very relaxed times doing jigsaw puzzles in the Explorations Cafe.
The informational narrations provided by the naturalist while passing the glaciers in Glacier Bay were most interesting. Our experiences in Skagway, Anchorage, Juneau, and Victoria Island will long be remembered.
We also enjoyed Homer, Kodiak, and Sitka.
Note: some of the names of places that I mention may not be correct because I am writing this a year after our cruise, and I am relying on my failing memory.
We enjoyed our cruise so much that we are looking forward to sailing on HAL to visit more interesting places.
We were perfectly pleased with our cabin. We might not choose an 'attached' cabin again so that we can have a little more flexibility to sit.
Ketchikan is an interesting village that one can enjoy by taking a pleasant stroll.
Skagway is not as "commercialized" as some of the other ports, and the train ride up the White Pass is well worth the time. We road the train up, and took a small bus back down, stopping along the way to take photos.
Sitka provided an opportunity to learn about the Russian influence to the area. It is a friendly town.
In Anchorage we rented a car and drove along the Turn Again Arm in hopes of spotting a Beluga Whale. The wind was blowing so hard that the whitecaps on the water made it impossible to have seen any whales if there had been any. We found the quaint ski village of Girdwood and enjoyed lunch. We were very impressed by the size of the flowers displayed along the streets. We were reminded that the long days contributed to this.
Juneau was one of our favorite ports. We went to see the Mendenhall Glacier, and them rode the tram to the top of Mt. Roberts. We hiked back down to the main street and enjoyed a "Duck Fart", the traditional Alaskan drink, at the Red Dog Saloon.