Number of Cruises: n/a
Cruise Line: Holland America
Sailing Date: July 13th, 2001
Holland America stands up to all they promise!! We just returned from a cruise up the inside passage from Vancouver to Seward.
Scenery & Ports - We were very lucky in that we didn't have any rain the entire trip. It was overcast almost every day, but it didn't diminish the beautiful scenery or shopping. The best shopping and prices were in Ketchikan. Be sure to catch the talk given on shopping in the various ports and take advantage of the coupons offered from various shops. You'll find shops that sell salmon products in every port, and these prices are about the same everywhere. If you want to see sea life, take the wild life excursion in Juneau. It's the only one where you can see Orcas. Also, be sure to send back the form you'll receive to book excursions in the different ports. If you want to go on more than one in a port, Holland America will be able to accommodate you better. At Valdez, don't count on doing any shopping other than at the stands on the dock. There isn't anything to see or do in the town. It's a good port to take an excursion, or just relax on board the ship. A camera or camcorder is a must on this trip. Everywhere you look are mountains, glaciers, waterfalls, and wildlife. Hubbard Glacier was spectacular!! Captain Mercer guarantees to get the ship as close as is safely possible. He took us to within 1/4 mile of the glacier! They said it was the closest they had been able to get for 5 years! We talked to a couple on a Royal Caribbean ship that was following us, and they said their captain wouldn't go any closer than 4 miles away.
Staff & Crew Members : Outstanding is all I can say. We had a 3 hour bus ride from the Seattle airport to the dock in Vancouver, but it went quickly with the running commentary by our bus driver. Holland America knows how to pick them. On the ship, we were treated like royalty! From the Cruise director to our cabin steward, they went out of their way to make us comfortable and meet our needs. Our table steward knew our preferences after the first evening and anticipated our requests and made suggestions every evening. I do believe that our cabin steward was living in our closet! We would return to our cabin, and he had always been there to replenish soft drinks, ice, fruit, whatever was needed. One evening he apologized for several minutes that it took him 10 mins to refill our ice bucket. You won't find service like this anywhere else.
Entertainment : The shows were excellent. All very professionally done. The entertainment in the various lounges was excellent also. Everything from country and rock in the Crow's Nest to a quartet in the Ocean Bar.
Cabin - Very adequate. Bathroom had a full tub with shower, and a built-in hair dryer. There were three closets for hanging clothes, a closet that had shelves containing life jackets and a safe, with a couple of shelves for storage. The dresser/desk had six large drawers, and two nightstands had two drawers each. We had so much storage room, that we didn't use all the drawers. There is ample space under the bed to store suitcases. All in all, we were most satisfied with every aspect of our cruise, and would definitely sail with Holland America again.