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Sharon Elliott

Age: 40+

Occupation:not applicable

Number of Cruises: 6

Cruise Line: Holland America

Ship: Statendam

Sailing Date: 2010-06-16

Itinerary: Alaska

We combined the 7 day north bound cruise with a 6 day land tour (tour 21). The cruise was relaxing and less pushy than the land portion. The land was push-push-push for activities. Many nights on the land tour we got in around 11pm, and had to have bags out at 6am. We would do just land or land-then water next time.

The food was great, we tried breakfast in the Pinnacle grill, lido deck & Rotterdam dining rooms. Service could be slow in the dining room & grill but food presentation was the difference between all. Good variaety of food. Our table of 6 usually ended up with 4-5 different dishes each night. We passed things around for tasting.

We had a last minute upgrade to a 'Deluxe Verand' and highly enjoyed it. Lots of room, and the Neptune lounge concierge came in handy. He helped us alot with problems.

Lots of activities to choose from. Did bingo three times, several members went to the digital photo clases, and we participated in a cooking class. Highly recommend the cooking classes & demonstrations. The shore excursion talks were more pushing the (cruise company) owned shops than anything. Most cruises are not on board to shop for jewelry on the stops. Had the seaweed massage after my 4-mile hike and was not sore that night.

Ketchikan - saw our group go 3 different directions. Bera Creek zip line (very good), Lumberjack show (entertaining), and a fishing excursion (only caught rockfish).
Juneua - group split 2 directions. Guides Choice Hike (4 mile to mendenhall glacier - take mosquito repelent - highly recommended), and Helicopter glacier/dog sledding (another great choice).
Skagway - we just walked around relaxing.

Land tours excursions - Toe dip in the artic ocean at Prudhoe Bay, 2-days by bus coming down the gravel Dalton Hiughway (lots of animals and stops at the Artci Cricle), Fairbanks - went to Chena Hot Springs & Ice Museum (don't miss), and Denali - Tundra wilderness tour (guide told us she had never seen this many animals on a single tour) - extra's at Denali included (flight over Denali) & white water rafting **both recommended.

The overall trip was great, and I plan to go back to Alaska in 4 years hitting places missed on this trip.

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