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Susan Shane

Age: 59

Occupation:nurse

Number of Cruises: 6

Cruise Line: Holland America

Ship: Volendam

Sailing Date: 2013-09-4

Itinerary: Alaskan Cruise

This was our first cruise to Alaska which we boarded in Vancouver. It was awesome and fantastic. We were on the Volendam and I know that there last cruise on the Alaskan route is September 24th. Just make sure you take advantage of their shore excursions and all that the ship has to offer.

I took computer classes on photo organization and editing.....it was so informative...you had to get to class early! The food was wonderful, take advantage of the Pinnacle Grill which is a little extra but well worth every dollar! The spa was amazing...I actually got my hair cut and coming from Miami Beach...and being a fanatic about my hair...I normally wouldn't have allowed anyone to cut my hair but she was amazing...(I went ot get it blown out)...Marlene should be working in New York City or Miami Beach! She was trained in London and she was the best! The staff was wonderful and I am now recuperating from our 7 days in heaven: visiting Alaska with Holland America!

Food was good and many choices for those of us that like to watch what we eat! We took advantage of the Pinnacle Grill which was a little more but a very relaxing and romantic experience for my husband and I. Staff for excellent!

We upgraded to a suite and we loved it ! As this was my husbands dream trip, we afforded ourselves the luxury of a suite...and with it came free laundry and dry cleaning services and a concierge room. Less packing for me and we had personal service..everyone was very attentive! Plenty of space and a nice balcony. Extra bathroom space was the icing on the cake!

So much to do...computer classes, dancing lessons, lectures, cooking demonstrations, exercise classes and lectures....wow....the classes were wonderful. We took advantage of them all and sometimes we just read in the explorers Lounge...our needs were were totally fulfilled>

And the Spa..don't miss getting a massage and hair services. Marlene will surely be offered a job in a Paris or New York hair salon!

Don't miss the excursions. We took the Tracey Arm Excursion as our first one and it was beautiful. My first glacier, was seen here...and then we got to see Orca Whales (otherwise known as the Killer Whales I believe)..

We went Kayaking in Skagway with Packers Expedition....and I understand they also provide hiking tours...which would be great. White Pass train ride was a nice experience and then to Kayak on a glacier lake. And don't worry, they had all the clothing and although it was lightly raining, this was a fantastic adventure for us.

And then do some Salmon Fishing in Ketchikan. What a great way to finish our last shore excursion! We were able to send what we caught home. I normally don't like fishing at all but this was a wonderful time! Ask for Axel for your boat captain!

My husband had been talking about taking a trip to Alaska for many years. We even offered to take all our children around 5 years ago but just couldn't put it together with everyone's schedules. So we made the decision to go it alone, just the two of us. What a wonderful trip we had. We took the Volendam out of Vancouver. We arrived 2 days early and stayed at the Pan Pacific Hotel. What a gem and great location no only for getting on the cruise ship but for touring Vancouver. On sailing day you simply hit the elevator button and you are a few feet from the entrance of the entrance to embarkation of ship. Outside the door is the hop on and off buses which we found was a great way to see Vancouver!

Sailing day was a breeze, they were so organized and it was a mere 10 minute procedure. We took the inland passage route and it was beautiful every minute of the day. Even when it rained....

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