Noordam. Well appointed, clean, well maintained. Hand sanitizers available everywhere, with overhead and live reminders to use or to wash hands. Great implementation! Excellent emergency training ... Read More
Noordam. Well appointed, clean, well maintained. Hand sanitizers available everywhere, with overhead and live reminders to use or to wash hands. Great implementation! Excellent emergency training pre-embarking. Captain Bos kept us informed on wildlife sightings and beautiful vistas as we approached.
Departed Seward, AK, and charming town. The Sea Life Aquarium was wonderful, showing sea life from both above and below the water. Ports: Haines - tiny town, not much to do; schedule excursion this stop. Juneau - take the Tram to the top of the mountain for exquisite views & eagle sightings. Open-air Crab Shack serve King Crab legs for lunch, which was ourstanding! Ketchikan - was last port. Juneau & Ketchikan as very commercialized and similar, as one might expect. Shops open when the cruise ships dock! Lots of junky souvenir shops and Tanzanite/Diamond stores. We found most eateries and gift/jewelry shops overpriced.
We'd recommend knowing which ports' attractions appeal to you most & select your cruise factoring in that.
It seemed to us that many of the vendors onboard making presentations promoting certain jewelry or other stores were likely being compensated by stores at the various ports.
Glacier Bay Cabana Rental: Reserve this as soon as you board, if your ship spends the day at Glacier Bay. $50 pp for private outdoor cabana with 2 chaises with wool blankets and 2 chairs with table. Irish coffee, Spanish coffee, and mulled wine served all day, and lunch was served.. While others were freezing on a lower deck, the cabanas broke the wind and protected us from the frigid air around the glaciers! Well worth it!
Stateroom 7142. We reserved a Neptune Suite on Rotterdam Deck (7th floor), with perks that enhanced our vacation experience...bottle of champagne; bottle of sparkling water; 2 large bottles of spring water; silver basket of fruit replenished daily; Elemis toiletries; separate tub & shower; access to the Neptune Lounge (with elegantly prepared hors d'oeuvres, chocolates, fruits, cookies, latte/cappuccino/coffee maker, tea, juices. Sodas & cocktails were extra); personal Concierge in lounge, and complimentary daily breakfast in their high end Pinnacle Grill. Additionally, our boarding, disembarkation and luggage handling were treated with priority as a suite guest. We were told to enter the Priority Entrance lane and passed about 500 other people waiting to board -- took us 15 minutes to check-in and be on the ship! If able, we would recommend traveling at this level. Regardless of room level, the staff were all friendly and eager to accommodate any request. Our room steward, Danang, besides being friendly and always with a smile, was a perfectionist and had our room looking crisp & fresh twice a day! A very polished, professional group of employees on ALL levels.
TV was 18-24" size with very few channels & poor reception in port especially.
***There are no outlets next to the bed, so if you must plug in a medical device, or entertainment device, you will need an extension cord; OR, check with HAL before departure to see if one is available onboard.
We ate breakfast in the Pinnacle Grill, except for an excursion day when we ordered room service. Pinnacle Grill is exquisite - both food & service. Lunch was good at the Lido. It had very crowded feel, but many varieties of food; this is a help yourself-type restaurant. We never tried the Pool/Lido Deck fast food bar. Dinner was mostly done in the Vista Restaurant, and the food was delicious and beautifully prepared. Service was impeccable, and the servers knew our names in public after Day 2!
Regarding dinner attire - Gala Night allowed dressy casual; we did not wear nor see formal wear.
We did not attend any of the shows or visit any of the bars/lounges, though some of them had beautiful decor.
Overall a great experience. We left with a very positive feeling about the Holland America Line. Read Less