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About oaktreerb

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  1. No question, I would choose the larger balcony on Deck 4. VA4129. Yes it has plexiglas for great viewing from the balcony. Have you looked at the halfacts.com website? Look at similar cabins nearby. I don’t know if the TV’s have been updated but I think they should have been updated in the last drydock.
  2. It seems to me that renting a car and staying in Healy would be a lot more strenuous than having someone handle your luggage at each location and having accommodations just outside the park entrance with shuttle transportation from your cabin to wherever you want to go on the property and to the national park visitor’s center. The tour group is certainly not a burden but it does facilitate your tour. No waiting to check in or out at the hotel. You are told where to meet for the TWT and go directly from the hotel out the park road. No change of bus once you get to the park. Have you ever taken a HAL cruisetour?
  3. HAL cruise tours are not terribly strenuous. Your luggage is handled for you. All you have to do is put it out for pickup. You will receive it in your hotel room shortly after you arrive. The Chalets at Denali is a huge property but shuttles run constantly from the cabins/lodge to the activity centers. Mostly you will be on the train, the bus, or a shuttle unless you choose an activity. So, as long as you can get on and off of these modes of transportation you will be fine. You will probably do more walking on the ship. The Yukon tours are a bit more strenuous and activity based. Princess usually offers the shorter Natural History Tour in Denali while HAL on almost all itineraries includes the longer Tundra Wilderness Tour which goes much further into the park for wildlife viewing. The park road usually opens in early June but there may be a delay in the road opening this year due to a landslide or late snow. You can look at road conditions on the Denali section of nps.gov. Check with your doctor.
  4. You must be looking at the 14 day Alaska itinerary. The Maasdam is a smaller and older ship, well maintained, but without some of the features of the newer ships (older TV’s, dvd player, no kids club). The 14 day itinerary is highly regarded and goes to some ports that the larger ships cannot. The food is good, the staterooms comfortable, the service outstanding as on all HAL ships. The lectures and entertainment should be focused on Alaska culture. It sails round trip from Vancouver in 2020 which means it will sail the smoother route inside Vancouver Island.
  5. Kenai Fjords is more scenic and you will see more wildlife. I’ve done both but the 26 Glacier day was rainy and crowded and while the captain of the ship did his best there was no comparison to the Kenai Fjords experience. Will your cruise ship be going into College Fjord?
  6. The possibilities are practically endless! When do you want to go? (May - September) How much vacation time do you have? What do you want to see and experience? How much can you afford to spend? How old are the travelers...any kids?
  7. FYI. An excellent half-hour children’s animated program “Molly of Denali” is being broadcast on PBS. It shows daily life in a small community in Alaska from a child’s perspective. The program also has included live footage of float plane flights, the outhouse race at Fur Rondy in downtown Anchorage, native cultural performances. If you love your Alaska cruises you will probably enjoy tuning in now and then.
  8. Ulu knife and bowl set from the Ulu Factory. Very useful in the kitchen. Be sure to get the set and if you go to the Ulu Factory in Anchorage you will be able to see a demo which will help you decide which size would be best for you. If you don’t get to Anchorage you can buy one made by the Ulu Factory in any port.
  9. How did the Seabourn experience compare to HAL in Alaska? We’ve been to Alaska many times on HAL and sailed once on Seabourn in the Caribbean for 12 days. I loved the Seabourn veranda stateroom. The drinks included was no big deal. HAL has better Bloody Marys. Seabourn bartender didn’t even put a celery stick in the drink even when I requested one! So, staterooms and drinks aside....how was Seabourn in Alaska?
  10. You don’t have to wear orange but a lot of people will. Lots of music and appetizers in the music venues. Rather than offering free drinks I would expect this is an opportunity for the bars to sell more drinks. Some readers on this site are too eager to dis anything new the cruise line tries to do. If you haven’t experienced the Orange Party you probably should not offer an opinion.
  11. The days are getting longer. It snowed overnight in Juneau. 31 degrees. Beautiful morning!
  12. The Captain Cook is a great location, a very nice hotel and perfectly located in the downtown tourist area. You might enjoy visiting the Anchorage Museum or take the free downtown trolley to the Ulu Factory. I agree with mapleleaves that a transfer that includes the Wildlife Conservation Center would be a good way to see more of the wildlife and beauty of Alaska. You probably already know that the Captain Cook is the hotel that Princess uses so their bus will probably drop you off at the hotel.
  13. Thanks for the info.
  14. Neptune Suites on Holland America are very nice. You can read about the amenities on HAL’s website. My favorites are the free laundry service and the use of the Neptune Lounge for coffee, tea, snacks etc... and a concierge to handle your special requests. If you have “anytime dining” you will also have expedited seating in the dining room as part of the new “Club Orange” program and an extra entree on the menu. Room service also has a special breakfast menu for Neptune Suites. Neptune Suite guests can have breakfast in the Pinnacle Grill on the Westerdam. The Westerdam is a great ship for Alaska cruising.
  15. go online to claalaska.com and look at the schedules for 2020. The schedule is preliminary but these are the ships that are permitted for Glacier Bay in 2020. Take a look at the Princess ships like the Coral.
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