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    New Mexico
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    Writing, cooking, photography, and travel
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    HAL
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Alaska
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  1. I plan on having a "live" thread on the Westerdam in two weeks on the HAL Forum and you can ask me questions while I am onboard. I will find the answers for you. Take advantage of the ship laundry every day ($49) covers all 7 days for as much as you want to submit. I pack for only three days and let the laundry keep my clothes clean. There is no need to dress to impress your fellow passengers that you will never see again. Dress conformtably and pack for layers that you can remove when the temps rise. Enjoy your cruise planning.
  2. Although I cannot predict the future, I have not see theme nights for many years. The Late Snack in the Lido Market buffet used to be themed but no longer. Entertainment may have theme nights of course.
  3. Welcome to Cruise Critic. I will be on the Westerdam the first week of June on my way to Denali. I would not rent a cabana in Alaska unless you just want to hang around the indoor pool. You can watch for whale much better from your balcony (bring binoculars). There should be no problem finding seats on the aft Lido Deck or around the pool on the sea days Here is my photo review of the ship from 2017: http://www.rogerjett-photography.com/photo-reviews/ms-westerdam-2 Here are the Main Dining Room menus for the cruise so you can plan your dining options: http://www.rogerjett-photography.com/photo-reviews/ms-westerdam-2 Make sure you join your Roll Call and feel free to ask lots of questions to be very informed before you board.
  4. In addition to the Vegetarian Menu mentioned above, there are vegetarian items on the daily MDR menus for the Alaska Oosterdam 2019 (provided by my friend Gordon who was just on board): http://www.rogerjett-photography.com/specialty-2/specifc-cruise-lido-and-mdr-menus/hal-7-day-alaska-2019-menus I enjoy the Specialty Restaurants and both the Pinnacle Grill and Canaletto have vegetarian offerings but value of food is in the palate of the diner; http://www.rogerjett-photography.com/specialty-2/hal-regular-and-specialty-restaurants/hal-specialty-restaurant-menus/pg-dinner-menu http://www.rogerjett-photography.com/here/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Canaletto.pdf
  5. Skagway has more than one pier so you need to up your passenger number to near 8000. The road to the Yukon is one lane each directions but during the warm months you will encounter road construction that will cut that to only one shared lane for both directions. Fortunately, there is very little traffic.
  6. Just a short walk from the ship pier to the souvenirs and excursions locations:
  7. When Holland America stops at the AJ Dock, there is a shuttle to the downtown Juneau Visitor Center and it runs about every 15 minutes. The walk to downtown Juneau is a bit uphill.
  8. At the Raptor Center they will bring an eagle out onto the stage after warning the audience to make so sounds or sudden moves. It will be your chance to get a good closeup of an eagle as it sits on the handlers arm.
  9. The best lenses for Alaska are those with high weather-resistant properties since Alaska is in a temperate rainforest. If your lenses are not, bring a poncho to keep them dry between shots during rain.
  10. Alaska wildlife will not be close so you have to have enough lens to grab them. With the amazing scenery, you need a wide angle to capture. I also bring a 1.X teleconvertor just in case.
  11. After more than 150 laundry loads, I have never had a loss or shrinkage as long as I write beside the item "cold wash and dry warm" with a note also in the comments section.. Packing for just three days is my normal packing plan. It is important to note that there is no need to impress your fellow passengers that you will never see again.
  12. I used Olympus OMD E-1 Mark 1 with 40-150 mm lens. Sitka Deer:
  13. You will see lots of otters. In my three times on this tour, I have always seen humpback whales but also sitka deer, gray whales feeding near the shore, and bald eagles.
  14. I have been bringing one of these on HAL ships for many years. This is not a power strip but a very low-voltage USB charger. After several naughty room visits, I have learned that if anything looks like power strip, Port Security MAY send your bag to the naughty room. I bring several European-US adapters in addition to the above charger to take advantage of many devices (tablets/phones/laptops) that are 110-220 Volts. In additon, I bring US-voltage multiport adapters to plug in devices that are not dual voltage.
  15. All of the HAL Beverage Menus are updating after a glitch with the new vendor being able to supply the new items I learned from the Konigsdam Beverage Manager last December. The new bar menus are now basically the same with only the first and last pages varying to show speciatly drinks at that bar. The Canaletto menu is changing this month and I will scan it while I am on the Westerdam in three weeks.
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