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Kim Bower

Age: 49

Occupation:claims examiner

Number of Cruises: 4

Cruise Line: Holland America

Ship: Oosterdam

Sailing Date: 2010-08-22

Itinerary: Alaska Inside Passage

Went with friends as we all were celebrating our 26th anniversaries. We had the most amazing weather every day. In fact, the captain of the ship and the captain of our whale watching excursion both said not to tell people about our incredible weather as it was very rare. We had an inside cabin and took advantage of our friend's balcony cabin. The cost difference was well worth it to us as there are many many good vantage points throughout the ship to see all there is to see. Cabin steward was pleasant and cabin always looked great. Several bars, most with a good variety of music every evening. Food in the dining room was good as was the staff serving us at the early seating at table 71. The food on the lido deck was also good and plentiful. The salmon/clam bake was a big hit as was the chocolate buffet. The comedian and illusionist were great, the cruise line singers and dancers were just okay, a bit on the hokey side. The crowd enjoyed cooking with the Captain, t he marriage game and the Liars Club game. New movies are shown in the screening room several times per day and we took advantage of this during the days at sea. High tea at 3 in the afternoons was my favorite. Activities during the day and evening are plentiful, but around midnight, there is not much, if anything going on. The crowd is definitely older, but there were people our age and several families with teenagers/younger children on board. Everyone we met, crew and passengers were pleasant. Enjoyed our ports of call, we did not book any excursions with the cruise line, but did take a 3 hour whale watching tour in Juneau with Harv and Marv's Outback Alaska and it was amazing. We had 5 humpbacks around our boat at one time, plus saw eagles, sea lions and otters. We walked away from the port area at the other stops and enjoyed Ketchikan, especially watching the salmon. Many people took the garden tour in Victoria, but we walked into town and it is lovely. Spent two days prior to the cruise in Vancouver and this is a truly beautiful city. Overall, had a great time with great friends.

Food was good with a good variety in the dining room and lido deck. Service at the early seating was a bit slow and the head waiter was generally coming around ringing the end of dinner bell and we were still waiting for dessert and coffee. I loved the 3pm high tea.

Nice, clean, interior room, didn't miss a window or balcony. Bathroom was fine - shower small, but we managed

There were more than we could ever do. We watched movies, live shows, had high tea daily, wine tasting, enjoyed walking around the deck. I had my hair cut. Because we had such great weather many people were enjoying the two pools and several hot tubs. Spa activities are expensive, but many classes are free.

We did not do any cruise line excursions. Enjoyed walking around the towns, especially away from the port area. We took a three hour whale watching tour with a local outfitter in Juneau and enjoyed this very much

Overall, it was great - weather could not have been better. Saw many whales, eagles, sea lions and sea otters. Coming out of Glacier Bay we saw two bears feasting on a beached whale carcass - the captain made an announcement over the loud speaker and slowed the ship so the view was really good. If you are into shipboard partying or late night activities, this is not the cruise for you. If you are looking for a nice inside passage cruise on a lovely ship with good food, numerous shipboard activities and four ports of call, plus glacier bay, this is a good choice.

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