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Just finished a cruise on the O yesterday. Fabulous, highly recommend. Quick rundown on likes, dislikes, cabin, ports, etc:
Terrible check-in at Seattle. Must compete with Diamond Princess passengers to get to dock that both ships share. Long lines, short tempers. Recommend getting in a day early or hiring a taxi to get to the dock.
Check-in at the pier was also the pits. penthous and catagory S suite had express check-in. Cat SS suite (mine) had to wait in very, very long line with all of the other passengers. Recommend getting to Seattle a day early and check-in when gates are first opened.
Stayed in SS class cabin #6063 (the lesser of the the two suite catagories). Cabin was large with plenty of moving around room. Bathroom had double sink, whirlpool tub and a seperate shower. Highly recommend this class of cabin.
Oosterdam is beautiful on the inside, kinda ugly on the outside. Excellent food and service. Waiters were good but were not entertaining like on past NCL cruises.
Especially liked the Crow's nest.
Ports were well chosen. Juneau was excellent with free shuttle to/from town. Hubbard glacier was awesome! Captain got very close to it. Sitka was nice but spent too much time there. Spent too little time in Ketchikan and Victoria.
Did not do any of the excursions. Just walked around alot and enjoyed the sights. Sitka had the most bald eagles, perched in almost every tree!
Had rough seas (7.5 to 12') first night out of Seattle. Ship was rocking and rolling. Ceiling in our cabin made a very loud creaking, grinding type of noise which led to zero sleep that night. Reported it to front desk but nothing was ever done to fix it. I don't thik this ship does well in the open ocean 'cause even in calm seas, the ships movements can be felt.
Overall it was a very good cruise and would go again.
What time did you get to the pier to check in, and what time did you wind up actually setting foot on the ship? My hubby and I are in disagreement as to what time we should arrive at the pier, my thinking being about 11AM to try to avoid your reported long lines, but he thinks that's too much time sitting around on the ship. Oh, so we can spend more time just sitting around in SEATTLE? Where we've already lived most of our lives?!?!
Any input there would be appreciated (to put this argument to rest -- hopefully in MY favor!!!).
Boarding on HAL here in San Diego is a breeze. I too have an ss and this is disappointing that you have to wait in long lines. Our flight gets in next Saturday at around 9:30 and we are taking the Gray Line to the ship. We too will probably have to do the waiting game. I think this cruise is just about sold out so it should be pretty busy. I am seeing in the paper that the temp in Juneau is in the 80's! That is way warmer than here in San Diego. I guess I will leave my coat at home. Last two times we cruised Alaska was in September and it is pretty cold then.
Just got off the June 19th cruise on Oosterdam. Waited till 2 or 2:30 to board the shipl. Had an S cabin so our line was very short. My sister and her husband had a regular verandah cabin and there checkin didn't take more than about 30 minutes. I think that waiting till later in the afternoon will help you to avoid the long lines. As far as disembarkation, it was the fastest time yet. Cruise director told us we would clear customs around 8 Am and begin disembarkation at 8:30. At 7:30 they began calling numbers and we were off the ship by 8:15! We felt the embarkationg and disembarkations at Seattle were well done and efficients. Only complaint is the location of the terminal in the industrial (not the safest) part of town.
We had a TREMENDOUS experience - no long waits, great service, wonderful food, fun ports, PERFECT weather, awesome sites and experiences at Hubbard Glacier, kids LOVED Club Hal, Pinnacle was to die for, entertainment fun and for everyone, saw a whale LEAPING COMPLETELY out of the water one evening, saw a sub emerge.... I could go on. We will most definitely cruise again on HAL.
We did not have any problems taking our wine on board. We did not take any to the dining room and we had pre-ordered 6 bottles for that. We had a few bottles of champagne and Nana our room steward always made sure we had a bottle on ice.
We, too, just returned from Oo on 6/26. I'd do it again in a minute. This was our first cruise, but I thought the embarkation line, although long, went pretty fast. We got there about 2:30. Disembarkation went too fast. I could have stayed on board all day and not complained.
We sure had some wonderful weather. Sitka is beautiful...all those islands. My favorite port, for sure.