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Found 61 results

  1. Noordam will be at the CT dock from 1000-2200. Also in port are Golden Princess at the FKL dock from 0630-1700 and Star Princess at the AS dock from 1230-2215. Morning showers will turn into a cloudy afternoon. The high will be 62F/17C and the low 49F/9C. Sunrise is at 5:33 am and sunset at 8:27 pm. The PTZtv webcam can be found at https://www.juneauharborwebcam.com/. Next up: Westerdam on Thursday.
  2. Noordam will be at the CT dock from 0800-1800. There are only two other ships in port - Eclipse at the AS dock from 0730-2000 and Norwegian Jewel at the AJ dock from 1100-2100. Rain showers are predicted for the morning and overcast skies later on. The high will be 66F/19C and the low 51F/10C. Sunrise is at 5:20 am and sunset at 8:43 pm. The PTZtv webcam can be found at https://www.juneauharborwebcam.com/. Next up: Amsterdam and Volendam on Friday.
  3. Thanks to everyone on the cruise critic for answering my many questions prior to our cruise. I've been trying to get my husband to go on a cruise for many years and he finally agreed this year when I reassured him there would be veggie options and the cruise would take us to places in Alaska he'd otherwise have to fly too. We both loved it and I'm already planning on another cruise. Count me in as a convert. Cruise portion of the trip-7 days July 21st and July 22nd-We took a taxi to Canada Place in Vancouver from our B&B and began the Alaskan portion of our vacation. I was incredibly excited about taking both my first cruise and my first trip to Alaska. Despite reading about cruises and talking to friends who had taken them I was still filled with romantic ideas of what a cruise would be like. Although it was quite different from the trans Atlantic voyages depicted in old movies of the 30’s it was a joy. I never knew a trip could be so stress free and relaxing! The checking in process went smoothly and although there were lines, people were cheerful and the lines moved fast. The vacation atmosphere was infectious. We were able to board several hours earlier than our scheduled boarding time and had lunch on the ship. We sailed on Holland America’s Noordam. The state room was larger than I expected and our fully obstructed view actually was only partially obstructed-over half the window sported a clear view. At night I simply changed my position so that I lay with the clear view ahead of me 🙂. Next cruise I am treating us to a veranda. I loved how everything was arranged to maximize space. The rest of the day I explored the ship, found an exceptional history book in the library that I loved reading,wrapped up in a blanket on a chaise and watched the beautiful scenery pass by. My husband had lots of vegetarian options to choose from and there was an additional vegetarian menu as well from which he could order ahead. I loved how families played board games and put together puzzles in the library-reminded me of our earlier family life, we are now 64 and 71 with two grown daughters. I would love to take a family cruise sometime when my toddler grandson is older. Day two-Inside passage- we walked several miles on the promenade, watched the scenery pass by, spotted a few whales, enjoyed happy hour in the crows nest and listened to Lincoln Cente which really impressed me. We ended up listening to them every evening for the rest of the trip as well as seeing the BB King group and the comedians on several different nights. I loved the ease of it. There were plenty of quiet places to sit and interesting people to talk to when we felt sociable. One older couple after raising 11 children have been cruising around the world, including Antarctica. This is something (Antartica) that we are now considering a few years down the line but I understand from another post that HAL may no longer be sailing there then. July 23rd-Day 3-Ketchikan-We left the ship, hiked the Rainbow Trail which offered nice views, a walk through the rainforest and is an easy walk from port to the trailhead. Afterwards we strolled leisurely through town and visited the Totem Heritage Center which was wonderful and the salmon hatchery/ladder. We discovered happy hour where you could order the second drink for $2.00 and although we didn't always take advantage of it-I enjoyed our happy hours, especially in the Crows Nest or simply taking our drinks out to the promenade. July 24-Day 4-Juneau-As we had a 1:30 reservation with Harv and Marv for whale watching, we decided to do something close to the ship in the morning. We walked over to the newly remodeled Alaska State Museum and were very impressed. It is a beautiful museum and full of cleverly arranged exhibits mixing media, new and old artwork/items and presentations. We learned a lot about Alaskan history and also enjoyed the cruisin the fossil coastline exhibit. Went back to the ship for lunch and got picked up right at our dock for the whale watching trip. The bus driver is a local who gave a great running commentary. The trip was fantastic. It was a small boat with six passengers and our captain gave us plenty of time to see whales and was clearly enthusiastic about her job. We saw whales bubbling and a mother and calf swam not far from our boat. Heartily recommend Harv and Mar. Hope that our fellow traveler on the boat sends us the pictures she took of the whales as my videos could make you sea sick. I evidently cannot record properly and watch whales at the same time-have wonderful memories though. July 25th-Day 5-Skagway-took out our hiking poles and hiked Lower Dewey, Reid falls and Sturgil’s Landing. Lower Dewey was pretty with a small flowering meadow by the lake. My husband who is very interested in tree and plant identification, got excited over something he saw and fell over a tree root. Unfortunately he hurt his wrist which luckily healed well over the next week. We made the mistake of taking an old trail back thinking it was a short cut (it wasn’t-instead it was a steep rock filled slippery adventure). It was then my turn to fall. Deciding that was it for the days hiking we went into town, got my husband a wrist brace, had lunch and explored the town, visiting shops and the local historical museum. It was a small town and there was no need to use the public bus. July 26th -Day 6-Glacier Bay. This was my husband’s favorite part of the trip. Both National park rangers and a cultural interpreter from the Hoonah Indian Association arrived on the ship and gave both formal presentations in the ship’s auditorium and commentary on the top deck. One of the Rangers gave a wonderful, informative running commentary as we cruised Margery glacier. We were really happy we brought a great pair of binoculars for our trip. The close ups of the glacier were beautiful. July 27th-Day 7 was a full day at sea and very relaxing. We slept late, walked the promenade, read and enjoyed ship activities. We never used the pool or hot tubs or even played shuffle board which we had joked about playing. Yet we absolutely loved it. We met lots of interesting people, had too much ice cream and appreciated the long port days so that we didn't feel rushed. The staff was wonderful and accomodating. Couldn't have asked for a better week.
  4. Hi everyone, I was wondering if anyone has an idea of the entertainment and activities for the Australia/New Zealand season this year. We will be sailing on November 23rd from Auckland Thanks in advance! Cheers
  5. Hi everyone, We are sailing on the Noordam next year on an Alaskan cruise. I read that she is going into dry dock next month. Does anyone have any specifics on what will be done? We are so excited about our first Alaskan cruise! Thanks
  6. Hey everyone, Before we set sail (HAL Noordam from Vancouver, BC to Seward, AK July 21, 2019 sailing), there were a lot of forum questions about laundry options and pricing. The Noordam DOES NOT have self-serve laundry, so this pricing may only apply to the ships that don't. Attached are 2 pictures of the laundry options. One is a letter explaining packages and the other is a per item price list as well as laundry package form. Our Experience: We did the $49 package and it was well worth it. The service was very fast, normally within 24 hours. You put your laundry in the blue bag, fill out the Laundry Form (image attached) and we just checked the unlimited laundry package. After the first time we used/signed up for the service, we checked the package on the form and noted that it was already purchased. We would mark how many of each thing we were sending on the form and include it with each bag. The forms are triplicate and they return your laundry with the pink copy of the form and you can check to make sure it's all there. Your steward collects and returns your laundry to your room. For us, this happened during housekeeping in the day and when they provided turn down service in the evening. Anything that can be hung (slacks, jeans, t-shirts, tank tops, leggings) is hung, and everything else is folded and delivered in a basket, all together in tissue-like a gift box with no lid. The laundry service attaches a sticker with your room number and other identifiers to the hem of each item. These stickers are very sticky, but the peel off when you find them with no issue and they don't poke you if you miss one. Everything came back in great shape. We used the service every morning and evening and nothing was lost or damaged. We didn't send anything that we wouldn't normally toss in the washer or dryer though as that is the service that you are buying with unlimited laundry or the $20 blue bag.
  7. Noordam will be at the CT dock from 1000-2200. Only two other ships in port - Golden Princess at the FKL dock from 0630-1700 and Star Princess at the AS dock from 1230-2215. Another beautiful day with mostly sunny skies and a high of 77F/25C. Low will be 57F/14C (which was the high 10 days ago). Sunrise is at 5:02 am and sunset at 9:04 pm. The PTZtv webcam can be found at https://www.juneauharborwebcam.com/. Next up: Westerdam on Thursday.
  8. It has been 6 years since our last HAL cruise on the NA and I found many things have improved and some have declined. Here are my first impressions: 1)We had a SS (6083)and fresh flowers and fruit was supplied in our cabin, didn't notice if they were at our tables in the MDR nor do I care, I am there to enjoy a good meal not to smell the flowers. 2) The Lincoln Center stage is in the absolute wrong location. You have to walk past it to get to the Anytime Dinning in the MDR and people would Shush us as we walked past and dared to talk with each other. 3)The show lounge is a joke, only 3 live shows the whole week. Two of them were the same comedian. He was very good but he only did a 30 minute show, spent more time getting there early for a seat than the actual show was. 4) MDR food was much better than I remember and no complaints. We arrived for anytime dining every night between 6:30 and 7pm and were immediately seated at a table. 5)Had one meal in the Italian Specialty restaurant and the food was excellent, much improved over the last HAL cruise, well worth the $15 upcharge we paid. 6) Happy hour in the Crows Nest bar at 5pm before dinner had a nice selection of complimentary very good hot and cold appetizers plus buy one drink and the second is $2. This is our favorite bar, but I guess this will go away after the Noordam refurb in October. 7)The lido food is 100% better that any HAL cruise I can remember and the Dive IN is fantastic. The Lido coffee is also much better, I think they now use Melita Coffee. The Noordam does need the scheduled refurbishment in October, she is a bit tired and in need of some TLC. But the condition of her had no effect on our enjoyment of the cruise. My only real complaint on this cruise was the Westmark Anchorage hotel for the start of our land tour, it was a total dump. I started another thread on this subject yesterday. Overall, it was a great cruise, service was exceptional and we will continue to use HAL, if the itinerary is one we want. We paid for a future cruise deposit while on the ship and are hopping they have the same itinerary in 2021 as they do next year in Europe.
  9. August!!!! What the heck happened to July? Noordam will be at the CT dock from 0800-1800. Also in port are Eclipse at the AS dock from 0730-2000, Norwegian Jewel at the AJ dock from 1100-2100, and Crystal Symphony at the FKL dock from 1200-2100. The nice weather continues (and the long range forecast shows it continuing through next week!) with partly cloudy skies and a high of 65F/18C and a low of 50F/10C. Sunrise is at 4:49 am and sunset at 9:18 pm. The PTZtv webcam can be found at https://www.juneauharborwebcam.com/. Next up: Amsterdam and Volendam on Friday. (Hoping Amsterdam docks starboard to this time so I can see "my deck".)
  10. You might be wondering, Alaska Again??? Me too. I had previously booked a business trip to Anchorage on July 21-23, too bad it was before we booked the cruise, would have loved to spend a few more days in Anchorage! But due to some scheduling constraints, we were limited to sailing on a Saturday or Sunday. Otherwise, the Southbound Norwegian sailing on Gem would have been perfect. It departs on Wednesday, and has the advantage of visiting some ports on the weekend, when the other ships are preparing for another week. Check out my booking adventure HERE Pre-Cruise Earlier this evening, I arrived home from Anchorage. I was there Sunday-Tuesday on a work trip (landed at Sea-Tac earlier this evening). Hotel options were limited, and I chose the Courtyard Anchorage since it was conveniently located to visit my clients. Note, they are doing a large scale remodel of the hotel, so during the day it is LOUD. BEWARE! Currently, remodeling of the facade is taking place, and during the day the main entrance is unusable. The layout of the hotel lobby/bar area is not conducive to the crowds that frequent, however it is a transit hotel. Hopefully, it will be up to par with other, newer Courtyard properties. Staying at this hotel is fine for a night or two, but I doubled checked the rates for this weekend again, and I discovered I could select the Marriott Anchorage Downtown for only 10k additional points. Courtyard was 25k points per night, and the Marriott was only 35k. The Sheraton also showed point availability, but I am not a huge fan (dated, in my opinion). The cash rate for the Marriott Anchorage Downtown was $389 a night, while the Sheraton was $341. Seeing as there is much more to do in DT Anchoarge, this was a no-brainer. Preparation and Packing This is our first Alaska Cruise, and with the frequent weather swings in AK, I figured better be safe than sorry and pack a few extra things. I am a fan of packing cubes. Love ‘em! In the end, we (when I say we, I mean I..ha!) decided on: 2 roll-aboard carry-ons 2 medium sized checked bags 2 backpacks I also decided to bring the Patagonia Black Hole bag (90L model) and folded it up nice and small and zipped it up into the little pocket on the inside. It sort of "folds" into itself So much space, and hardly takes up any when it is folded! I usually use this as my travel ski bag in the winter. Highly recommend! In any case, that's all for now, more to come tomorrow. I am going to shoot for a LIVE review, stay tuned!
  11. Noordam will be at the CT dock from 1000-2200. Also in port are Golden Princess at the FKL dock from 0630-1700, Azamara Quest at the AJ dock from 0900-2230, and Star Princess at the AS dock from 1230-2215. Showers in the morning will change to a steady light rain in the afternoon with a high of 63F/17C and a low of 50F/10C. Sunrise is at 4:32 am and sunset at 9:35 pm. The PTZtv webcam can be found at https://www.juneauharborwebcam.com/. Next up: Westerdam on Thursday.
  12. Hi there - I am planning a 10-day land and cruise tour out of Vancouver through Inside Passage, ending in Fairbanks this August 2019. My travel agent has narrowed it down to either Holland America's Noordam or Princess's Coral Princess. Does anyone have experience of both and can comment on how the ships compare? And any comments on the Cruise and Land tour would be good too. Many thanks!
  13. Noordam will be at the CT dock from 0800-1800. Also in port are Eclipse at the AS dock from 0730-2000, Norwegian Jewel at the AJ dock from 1100-2100, and Grand Princess at the FKL dock from 1330-2200. More rain showers for Thursday with a high of 62F/17C and a low of 54F/12C. Sunrise is at 4:21 am and sunset at 9:46 pm. The PTZtv webcam can be found at https://www.juneauharborwebcam.com/. Next up: Amsterdam and Volendam on Friday.
  14. Has anyone heard what upgrades the Noordam will receive during her dry dock this fall? All I can find is that she is supposed to be in the dry dock from late September until the middle of October. Just not sure what they are going to be doing. Thanks.
  15. Never been on a cruise before - we are looking at booking a Vancouver roundtrip Inside Passage cruise this September - we can choose either the Noordam on Sept 15th or the Westerdam on the 22nd (this one is a bit better deal for pricing) ... any advice or recommendations (and feedback about weather!) is much appreciated.
  16. Can anyone tell me whether Club HAL (kids/teens) checks out xbox or wii for use in staterooms on Noordam? I believe I've seen it advertised on Koningsdam. Thanks!
  17. Noordam will be at the CT dock from 1000-2200. Also in port are Golden Princess at the FKL dock from 0630-1700, Viking Orion tendering from 0800-1730, Grand Princess at the AJ dock from 0900-2230, and Star Princess at the AS dock from 1230-2215. It looks like Wednesday will be the last of the nice (not rainy and/or cold) days in Juneau for at least the rest of the week. High is forecast to be 75F/24C and the low 57F/14C. Sunrise is at 4:07 am and sunset at 9:58 pm. The PTZtv webcam can be found at https://www.juneauharborwebcam.com/. Next up: Westerdam and Amsterdam on Thursday.
  18. Two HAL ships are celebrating the 4th in Juneau. Noordam will be at the CT dock from 0800-1800 and Amsterdam will be at the FKL dock from 1400-2300. Also in port are Eclipse at the AS dock from 0730-2000 and Norwegian Jewel at the AJ dock from 1100-2100. The weather is going all out for Independence Day with mostly sunny skies and a high of 82F/28C (low is 58F/14C). Sunrise is at 4:00 am and sunset at 10:04 pm. The PTZtv webcam can be found at https://www.juneauharborwebcam.com/. Next up: Volendam on Friday.
  19. Hello, I am wondering if anyone could tell me what will refurbishment will be done to the Noordam and does the ship have the retreat cabanas. Thank you for your replies. Cheers TP
  20. Curious if anyone knows the outputs on the TV’s on the Noordam???? Trying to find out if it has a standard headphone jack or RCA outs? Two reasons... first the hubby likes using his wireless headphones when watching TV and I’m sleeping Second and the real reason I want to know is we have a aft balcony so want to hear the broadcasts when in GlacierBay... thought is instead of his headphones we can pair to a Bluetooth speaker for that... So????? Any thoughts on the TV options???? Yes I know some just leave the balcony door open and say they can hear fine... others have commented about using baby monitors... I’m trying to use what we have that’s small and we own plus has multiple purposes
  21. Noordam will be at the CT dock from 1000-2200. Also in port are Golden Princess at the FKL dock from 0630-1700, Azamara Quest at the AJ dock from 0800-2300, and Star Princess at the AS dock from 1230-2215. Another beautiful day is forecast for Juneau with mostly sunny skies and a high of 76F/24C (!) and a low of 55F/13C. Sunrise is at 3:53 am and sunset at 10:08 pm. The PTZtv webcam can be found at https://www.juneauharborwebcam.com/. Next up: Westerdam on Thursday.
  22. I have tried to see the teak walking deck on Noordam, can't find which ship deck it is on? Have looked at several websites. I'm sure it is there.....
  23. Noordam will be at the CT dock from 0800-1800. Also in port are Star Legend at the FKL dock from 0700-1600, Eclipse at the AS dock from 0730-2000, and Norwegian Jewel at the AJ dock from 1100-2100. The weather continues to improve with only a 10% chance of rain and a forecast that calls for cloudy skies in the morning and mainly sunny skies in the afternoon. High will be 70F/21C and a low of 51F/10C. Sunrise is at 3:51 am and sunset at 10:08 pm. The PTZtv webcam can be found at https://www.juneauharborwebcam.com/. Next up: Amsterdam and Volendam on Friday.
  24. We recently took a Collector’s cruise that included a 14-day trip from Sydney around New Zealand and back to Sydney, and then a 22-day transit of the Pacific to Vancouver, BC. I took photos and scanned some paper things, and decided to do a review of the ports we visited and what we did there. At the end, I will post the daily When and Where files and the MDR dinner menus. (I think I might have figured out the new CC website enough to be able to post photos and things.) Here is a map of our cruise: Pre-cruise We live in the Seattle area, and asked our PCC to cost out some flight options for us. There are no direct flights to Sydney, but we could change in LA, San Francisco or Vancouver, BC. The flight from YVR was most convenient, and we decided to just book the one flight and make our own way to Vancouver. With the HAL Flightease program, our PCC was able to get us good fare, cheaper than we could have gotten on our own for the one-way flight. We booked the Amtrak Cascades from Seattle and spent a night in Vancouver before our flight. We stayed at the Delta Suites hotel, part of the Marriot family of hotels, and booked a night and a half-day (6 p.m. checkout) for the next day, which was good because our flight to Sydney was not due to depart until just before midnight. That allowed us to spend the morning in Stanley Park and rest in our room in the afternoon before checking out and getting a cab to YVR. We had paid for business class seats on Air Canada, and were able to lie flight and actually get several hours of sleep en route to Sydney. We arrived in the morning of April 3, were met by HAL reps and taken by limo to the HAL hotel – HAL has two they use in Sydney, one in the Circular Quay area and one near Darling Harbour. We had chosen the Hyatt Regency on Sussex Street, at/above Darling Harbour. We had stayed in the hotel on a 2016 trip, and really liked how easy it is to get to shopping on George and Pitt streets, and to Darling Harbour with its many restaurants. We had four nights, to allow us to adjust our body clocks, which takes longer as we get older, and to see a bit of Sydney. Our rooms were ready for us when we arrived – HAL guarantees the rooms will be available if you book through them; we found out from the desk staff it is because HAL books the night before as well. We thought it well worth it as we could drop our bags in the room right away and not have to hang about the lobby for hours with our luggage. During the four days, we did quite a lot, but still want to do more – we are thinking of going back to Australia and spending more time, two weeks or more exploring at least some of southeast Australia. But, this trip was enjoyable on its own. The first/arrival day was devoted to shopping for essentials like mouthwash and shampoo, which is easier to buy at your destination than to take on an airplane. We also bought Opal cards (for the Sydney transit system) and loaded them with some money. The next day, we went to Taronga Zoo, which we had missed in 2016. We walked about a mile to Circular Quay and took a ferry to the Zoo. We spent about 4 hours there, and it is an amazing place. The weather started partly sunny and then switched to mostly Seattle (showers and sunbreaks). Luckily, the main shower hit just after we got back to the zoo ferry wharf and ended just before we arrived back at Circular Quay. I took a couple of photos, below. One is a view back to Sydney from a viewpoint at the zoo, and the second is one of the two quokkas they have. We had to go to the Kid’s Trail and walk past the goats and chickens, and then the wallabies and a very friendly emu, who was walking about freely, before we got to the quokkas. But, they weren’t quite so lively as the ones I saw in photos online. In fact, we seemed to be the only people paying them any attention, and they were mostly interested in a nap, not us. The next day was also a bit Seattle-like, so we walked to Circular Quay to book a harbour sightseeing narrated tour of two hours. It was great with nice views of the extensive and amazing natural harbour. and all the tea/coffee and Anzac biscuits we wanted. The latter are basically dry oatmeal and dessicated coconut cookies that last a long time – they were invented when the women back home sent them to their soldiers in the Australia New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) during World War I. We each had four of them; they were surprisingly good. I forgot the camera, so I got no shots of the scenery or of some of the other tourists dropping their ANZAC biscuits when we hit heavy swells coming in from the sea at the entrance to Sydney Harbour. It was a very nice relaxing morning on the water. For late lunch/early dinner, we went to a spot on Darling Harbour/King Street Wharf waterfront near the hotel, and I finally was able to get some bugs. These were Moreton Bay Bugs, which are a type of slipper lobster. Quite tasty if you appreciate members of the sea cockroach family as much as I do. April 6 was our last full day before the cruise, and we had thought to visit the Australian Museum. But the forecast promised a spectacular sunny fall day with a high around 26C/80Fal degrees), and it actually came truo. So, we blew off the Australian Museum and did walkabout, back to Circular Quay for cappuccinos and then around the Opera House and through the Botanical Gardens where we had a sparkling water and carrot cake, and then passing Wooloomooloo (really, a section of central Sydney) before skirting Hyde Park back to our hotel. Attached are some shots I got. The first photo is of Sydney ferries. There are two smaller ones going to/from North Sydney, Taronga Zoo, etc., but the larger, huskier ferry is, of course, the Manly ferry. I also got a shot of the Opera House from the side, and then on the bank just inside the Botanical Gardens, I got a photo of the Aussie greeting to the tourists arriving by sea. Actually, this was advertising an exhibit in the Gardens of carnivorous plants. So, we spent several days in Sydney doing nothing much important but enjoying ourselves by walking a lot of miles, drinking coffee, beer and wine, and eating things like bugs. What a great time! More later, Dave
  25. Hello all, We’re trying to figure out which evening to skip dinner in the main dining room and eat at one of the specialty restaurants. Is there somewhere that lists current dinner menus so we have an idea what to expect? The plan is to pick the evening in which the menu sounds least appealing and then make dinner reservations that evening. This is for the Alaska Cruise departing on 6/23. Any help is appreciated!
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