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Marguerite Farber

Age: 68

Occupation:Retired

Number of Cruises: 1

Cruise Line: Holland America

Ship: Veendam

Sailing Date: 2009-08-23

Itinerary: Alaska Cruise Northbound

It was the first cruise for my husband, Henry and I. We always wanted to see Alaska. In spite of the bad weather we encountered on the voyage, it was a dream of a lifetime. Living on a ship for seven days was quite an experience. We learned to rock and roll with the ship and got our sea legs. Neither one of us got seasick. We took advantage of the shore excursions at every port. We learned a lot about the local areas we docked at and we received a small glimpse of what Alaska is all about. It is truly the last frontier. We could not have gotten better service from the crew had we asked for it personally. A little kindness from the passengers and crew goes a long way. I believe that showing the crew a little appreciation for what they do for you, will make them try harder to please you and other passengers in the future.

As for the food, Henry and I still tell our friends how wonderful it was. We could not have asked for better. I enjoyed the soups, and I wish I could duplicate the flavors in the soups here at home. The rolls were fresh everyday and I had them at all my meals on board the ship. It took a lot of will power to not over indulge ourselves. The one thing I didn't try was the Baked Alaska. I hope to have that chance on my next cruise.

Our stateroom was pleasant and the beds were comfortable. When we booked our cruise, we asked for separate beds, but when we saw our stateroom the beds were together. When our steward brought our luggage, we mentioned it to him and he reassured us that it would be taken care of as soon as possible. When we came back to our stateroom after the lifeboat drill, our beds was just the way we wanted them. We made sure we thanked the steward when we saw him later. Our stateroom was always clean and presentable. We loved those animal figures made out of towels, especially the lobster with little round chocolates for the eyes.

I think you had many good activities on-board the ship. I only regret that I did not participate in more of them. I did go to two of the shows and the Dessert Extravaganza. My husband Henry played ping-pong for the first three days aboard the ship. He played so much that he caught a cold and could not go out to see the glaciers in Glacier Bay. He also missed the entertainment on that Friday evening called "Encore!". I know he would have enjoyed it very much especially the ending of the show with Beethoven. I also plan to enjoy more of these activities on my next cruise.

I don't know if I followed the advice for excursions, but my travel agent gave me a booklet on all the tours and I picked one for each port. In Ketchikan, we took a tour of the Highlights of the City, which including the Tongass Historical Museum and the collection of the Totem Poles. Because it was raining that day, we went immediately to the ship after the tour. In Juneau, we took the Highlights of Juneau, an salmon hatchery and Mendenhall Glacier. I enjoyed this tour very much and have wonderful pictures to remind me of my experiences in Juneau. In Skagway, we took the train ride up to about 3,000 miles up to White Pass Summit. The view spectacular. You can choose to soak up the atmosphere on your own and take some of the excursions. You can also do both.

All in all, we enjoyed our cruise to Alaska. Before I took the cruise, my travel agent gave me a notebook and suggested that we write a journal of our experiences on our Alaska Cruise. He told us that we would remember our trip much easier, especially when we tell all our friends about it. With the journal and the pictures we took, the memories will stay with us for a lifetime. Even now, I can get a vivid picture of the cruise which I call it "An Incredible Journey". I will be taking another cruise. This time it will be a Western Caribbean Cruise from Tampa, Florida. Before the cruise, I will be visiting my brother and his wife for three days. I will continue to make a journal of this cruise so my memories that I will make will not fade away.

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