This was my first cruise on Holland America but my ninth cruise overall. I’ve also cruised on Royal Caribbean and Carnival, but I’m a loyal customer of Norwegian. Or I should say I was loyal until I found a better price with Holland America. That coupled with recommendations from friends for the HAL Alaskan cruise caused me to “jump ship.”
As I explained in an earlier post, we upgraded our cabin to a suite which was sweet. We appreciated the increased square footage in the room and on the balcony, but the bathroom was really sweet with double sinks and a whirlpool tub that I used several times.
We typically spend very little time in our stateroom on a cruise but with a balcony, we actually spent more time than usual, especially once we got to the glaciers. But there’s so much more to do onboard than sit in your stateroom. When we were in port we were usually off the ship but we had plenty of time to explore the ship and experience the activities onboard.
An early experience included Jim as part of the show for the axe throwing competition. Instructed by a real Alaskan lumberjack on his way to a competition in Ketchikan, the two teams of four men each faced off. Jim was the first competitor and he buried his axe into the target on his first try. While Jim didn’t win the competition, the final winner was on his team.
We attended several cooking classes where we learned how to cook the halibut Jim caught on his fishing excursion and the salmon we purchased in Alaska.
And the wine tasting was one of my favorite activities.
I think we took in the entertainment every night while onboard and I was impressed by the quality of the stage shows. Photography isn’t allowed so, unfortunately, I can’t show you. But when we returned to our stateroom, our steward would often leave a little surprise when he turned down the cabin.
Later in this series of posts from our Alaskan adventure, I’ll likely post food pictures because the food was good and the presentation was definitely photo-worthy.
But all of this pales when compared to the scenery we saw both on and off the ship in the inside passage and in Alaska. Check back next time for scenes and stories from the inside passage and our first port at Ketchikan, Alaska.
Based on events in June 2015.