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Hi! First time on Hal! Very excited!


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Hi, I have done several ccl cruises and one ncl. We just booked Oosterdam for an Alaskan cruise in September for our Anniversary.  Im,very excited to try a new cruise line and Alaska. Any tips for us?  

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While I'm not loyal to any line and honestly love so many things about all of them and generally book based on price and itinerary, there is something extra special about HAL.  I jotted down 20 things that I think make the line unique: https://profcruise.com/20-things-i-love-about-holland-america/

 

I also live in downtown Seattle and cruise to Alaska often.  I have lots of Alaska stuff on my blog too if you want to check it out (just click on "ports" and "Alaska").  Enjoy your cruise!!!

 

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You've selected a marvelous itinerary.  If you've never been to Alaska, it is magical with awe-inspiring, jaw-dropping scenery.  Research online, especially for excursions, to see if there are any which match or beat the ship's in price/quality.  Several travel sites, like Trip Advisor, as well as information on these boards can help.  

 

Don't expect a HAL ship to have all the gimmicks, activities, and entertainment of other lines like Carnival.  Likewise, HAL doesn't subject you to a constant stream of announcements; in fact, you'll hear very few.  What you can anticipate is excellent service with an Old World ambiance, a multi-million $$ art collection, silver, china and linens on the tables, and a style of cruising that harkens back to the Golden Age when ships were ships, not floating theme parks.  On the Vista class ships, we especially enjoy the large wrap-around Promenade and the glass elevators with views of the ocean.

 

Although next September seems like a century away, the time clicks by more quickly than you can imagine.  Come back and let us know your impressions, whether good or bad.  Some of us realize that HAL's laid-back style may not suit every passenger.  If you have any questions, ask away.  Many of us have cruised multiple times on one or more of the "dam" ships in Alaska and will be happy to assist. 

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Thank you. I'm so looking forward to a more classier ship. I always liked carnival but I'm kinda over the party ship thing lol. I'm not knocking carnival its great. Just ready for different

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Also check out the Alaskan board.

 

We love Alaska -- beautiful scenery.

 

Pea Soup is available on the outer decks when viewing glaciers -- like Glacier National Park, or Hubbard Glacier or Tracy Arm.  Sometimes it is served in the Crow's Nest as well.  Check your daily program for the exact time it will be served (usually around 10 AM).

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2 minutes ago, Krazy Kruizers said:

Also check out the Alaskan board.

 

We love Alaska -- beautiful scenery.

 

Pea Soup is available on the outer decks when viewing glaciers -- like Glacier National Park, or Hubbard Glacier or Tracy Arm.  Sometimes it is served in the Crow's Nest as well.  Check your daily program for the exact time it will be served (usually around 10 AM).

If you don't like pea soup, try it at least.  I turned my nose up at it until I tried HAL's.  Yum!  It was delectable on the tongue and warmed the body too.

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25 minutes ago, sevenseasnomad said:

If you don't like pea soup, try it at least.  I turned my nose up at it until I tried HAL's.  Yum!  It was delectable on the tongue and warmed the body too.

 

Agree

 

My Mother used to make Pea Soup and I hated it.  But I tried HAL's "Dutch" pea soup and it is delicious.

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59 minutes ago, sevenseasnomad said:

If you don't like pea soup, try it at least.  I turned my nose up at it until I tried HAL's.  Yum!  It was delectable on the tongue and warmed the body too.

 

I never liked bread pudding until I tried HAL's. Must be magic in their recipes!

 

OP, September is a great time for Alaska. If Ketchikan is on your itinerary, go to Creek Street and watch the salmon swimming upstream. You may even see a seal that has followed them to get an easy meal. 

 

When we booked our first trip to Alaska, my aunt said, "The thing about Alaska is it's so BIG." I thought, well duh, it's our largest state. But when I went there, I got what she meant. There are vast expanses with no sign of human habitation. I hate to say it's emtpy, because there are all those trees and plants and wildlife, but that's the word that comes top mind. For someone like me, who lives in suburban sprawl, that "emptiness" is rare and precious. 

 

One more tip. However much camera memory you usually use on a trip, plan on at least double!

 

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The pea soup is so so good!!!   I agree with even if you don’t like it..   try it!!  My next cruise will ask if someone could save me a bowl for the next day!!!

 Room service breakfast better on HA than most lines.  Lovely croissants!!   You can also order main dining room food from the daily menu for room service.  I think you may have to do that prior to 530.  (not sure about the time).  

  The cabin stewards and bartenders are wonderful!!

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4 hours ago, sam73 said:

Hi, I have done several ccl cruises and one ncl. We just booked Oosterdam for an Alaskan cruise in September for our Anniversary.  Im,very excited to try a new cruise line and Alaska. Any tips for us?  

 

Welcome to the HAL Forum.  Geneva has a warm spot in my heart as a many-time resident of Seneca Army Depot and admirer of the white-tailed deer.

 

As a many-time cruiser to Alaska, there are lots of photo opportunities and much to see.  Here is a link to the mostly free, 24/7 Room Service menu:

 

http://www.rogerjett-photography.com/here/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Room-Service-and-Breakfast-Card.pdf

 

Feel free to ask lots of questions to prepare for your cruise and join your roll call.

 

image.png.2edf3fa366ac4d404c89938b42fc931c.png

 

image.png.ba61291099d397c8ae30949a95518031.png

 

image.png.834b495d00b88b3be685a4b962a25476.png

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Caution: Dive In is free if you go and order at this spot on the Lido Deck.  If you order via room service, they charge $4.95 per item.  Order at the Dive In yourself.  If you want to eat that hamburger or hot dog on your balcony, take it back to your cabin.  You just saved $9.90.  

 

Enjoy HAL's room service.  It's the best at sea.  We usually tip the steward who brings our food, but they certainly don't stand around waiting for it as they do in a hotel.  In fact, if you don't have the cash ready when they appear at your door, you may miss tipping them entirely.  BTW, it isn't required that you tip them at all, although many passengers do.  It's at your discretion.

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6 hours ago, Crew News said:

 

Welcome to the HAL Forum.  Geneva has a warm spot in my heart as a many-time resident of Seneca Army Depot and admirer of the white-tailed deer.

 

As a many-time cruiser to Alaska, there are lots of photo opportunities and much to see.  Here is a link to the mostly free, 24/7 Room Service menu:

 

http://www.rogerjett-photography.com/here/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Room-Service-and-Breakfast-Card.pdf

 

Feel free to ask lots of questions to prepare for your cruise and join your roll call.

 

image.png.2edf3fa366ac4d404c89938b42fc931c.png

 

image.png.ba61291099d397c8ae30949a95518031.png

 

image.png.834b495d00b88b3be685a4b962a25476.png

These photos are great!  I really hope I see orcas in the wild. It's kind of dream for me. We may fly to Seattle a few days early and try to see the orcas around San jaun islands 

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11 hours ago, ProfCruise said:

While I'm not loyal to any line and honestly love so many things about all of them and generally book based on price and itinerary, there is something extra special about HAL.  I jotted down 20 things that I think make the line unique: https://profcruise.com/20-things-i-love-about-holland-america/

 

I also live in downtown Seattle and cruise to Alaska often.  I have lots of Alaska stuff on my blog too if you want to check it out (just click on "ports" and "Alaska").  Enjoy your cruise!!!

 

Great Article!!!!

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11 hours ago, ProfCruise said:

While I'm not loyal to any line and honestly love so many things about all of them and generally book based on price and itinerary, there is something extra special about HAL.  I jotted down 20 things that I think make the line unique: https://profcruise.com/20-things-i-love-about-holland-america/

 

I also live in downtown Seattle and cruise to Alaska often.  I have lots of Alaska stuff on my blog too if you want to check it out (just click on "ports" and "Alaska").  Enjoy your cruise!!!

 

I just booked my first cruise on HAL (Ive taken 30+ cruises on NCL) and just read your list. You're a great writer and I really enjoyed it!!!

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