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  1. Eurodam will be at the AS dock from 1300-2300 and Nieuw Amsterdam at the CT dock from 1300-2200. Also in port are Ruby Princess at the FKL dock from 1100-2215 and Solstice at the AJ dock from 1330-2200. Monday is looking to be the nicest day of the week with a 0% chance of rain and a high of 63F/17C but a chilly low of 44F/7C. Sunrise is at 5:28 am and sunset at 8:33 pm. The PTZtv webcam can be found at https://www.juneauharborwebcam.com/. Next up: Oosterdam on Tuesday.
  2. Does the spa area have a thallosotherpy pool. If so how big is it? Is there an additional fee? Also is the spa included in the Neptune Suites and above? Any pictures would be helpful. Thanks
  3. Thinking about booking a connecting cabin on deck 6, ss category and would like to know if anyone can tell me where the connecting door is in the cabin? Thanks for your replies.
  4. Currently waitlisted for Early Dining (requested a table for 2) and I am not holding out much hope for getting early dining as booked this cruise very close to sailing date. Last time we sailed on the NA we had Anytime Dining and wanted a table for 2 and pretty much every night there was quite a long wait for seating. I guess we were “newbies” on HAL and didn’t know we should come at 5:50 😱 for dinner. So.... this time around I am trying to minimize the wait for dinner and was **considering** springing the $$ for Club Orange so that we could have dinner without a wait. Yes, I do understand that the NA does not have a dedicated restaurant like her larger sister ships and on the NA you just get a different menu for CO. But, I thought (????) if you purchased the CO deal, you would have preferred seating in the main dining room no matter what time you showed up such as between 6 and 7. When I spoke with my PCC he said that CO people have access to a concierge on board who would make these reservations for you. But I am not sure that is really the correct information that I have received. So, if there is anyone here on this board who has had experience on the NA with Club Orange, it would be great to hear from them regarding preferential or quick seating at the main dining room. Or their experience in general with Club Orange on the Niew Amsterdam. Of course, the other alternative for us is to just do specialty dining instead of CO. Anyway, just curious if there is someone who has experienced Club Orange on the Niew Amsterdam. Thanks in advance for any comments!
  5. Thinking about a Caribbean cruise on the Nieuw Amsterdam this Spring. Family of 3, including a 14 year old. We would prefer mid-ship, lower and a nice balcony. I've read about the possible view of the tops of the lifeboats, I don't think we'd care about that, but we would want a good balcony and a quiet cabin. Suggestions? Thanks.
  6. Eurodam will be at the AS dock from 1300-2300 and Nieuw Amsterdam will be at the CT dock from 1300-2200. Also in port are Ruby Princess at the FKL dock from 1100-2215 and Eclipse at the AJ dock from 1330-2200. The lovely weather we have seen recently is going to slowly go back to the usual Juneau weather. Monday is supposed to be sunny with a high of 75F/24C and a low of 52F/11C. Sunrise is at 5:13 am and sunset at 8:51 pm. The PTZtv webcam can be found at https://www.juneauharborwebcam.com/. Next up: Oosterdam on Tuesday.
  7. Just returned form a 1-week Alaska cruise on the Nieuw Amsterdam. As always, we enjoyed our cruise very much. The Alaska cruise was our 3rd time on the Nieuw Amsterdam (all Alaska cruises). The one thing that did bother me was the room smelled a little stuffy and the duvet had quite a few stains on it when I look at the bedding. Does anyone know if HAL will be modernizing the bedding some time in the near future?
  8. Eurodam will be at the AS dock from 1300-2300 and Nieuw Amsterdam will be at the CT dock from 1300-2200. Also in port are Ruby Princess at the FKL dock from 1100-2215 and Solstice at the AJ dock from 1330-2200. Lovely weather with highs in the 70s is predicted for the whole week. Monday will have partly cloudy skies with a high of 73F/23C and a low of 55F/13C. Sunrise is at 4:57 am and sunset at 9:07 pm. The PTZtv webcam can be found at https://www.juneauharborwebcam.com/. Next up: Oosterdam on Tuesday.
  9. Eurodam will be at the AS dock from 1300-2300 and Nieuw Amsterdam will be at the CT dock from 1300-2200. Also in port are Ruby Princess at the FKL dock from 1100-2215, Regatta will be tendering from 1300-2100, and Solstice will be at the AJ dock from 1330-2200. The weather continues to be rainy but there is some sun predicted during the week. There is a 60% chance of rain throughout the day with a high of only 58F/14C and a low of 47F/8C. Sunrise is at 4:42 am and sunset at 9:25 pm. The PTZtv webcam can be found at https://www.juneauharborwebcam.com/. Next up: Oosterdam on Tuesday.
  10. Earlier today I decided to see if I could find a more recent picture to see what Our beloved Nieuw Amsterdam III looks like as she is being scrapped. Se was our firs HAL ship back in December, 1988. We were on board for her 12 day Christmas Cruise when we did the partial canal transit on Christmas day with the Rotterdam V. We have been at sea for the Holidays every year ever since. I am actually currently working on digitizing the pictures from that cruise by using a negative scanner to scan the negatives and then some photo editing software to clean them up as much as I can. Yes I still have the negatives for the cruises we have done till going digital in 2004. When I found this picture I was speechless and thought about all the memories from the time we cruised on her. Till this day we have more days on her than any of the other Dam Ships we have been on at a total of 107 days (9 cruises) but our days on Nieuw Amsterdam IV are #2 (96 days & 13 cruises) so the next time we can get on her will hopefully be enough to take over the top spot for us.
  11. We are traveling with carry-on luggage only. My suitcase is very lightweight nylon, with no structure to it. It is a carry over shoulder and convert to backback style (about 22 pounds). My question is: Can I carry it on? The bag would be squished if piled with other luggage on top of it. I have had my flatiron for my hair damaged before.
  12. The Signature Sisters will be making their weekly visit to Juneau with Eurodam at the AS dock from 1300-2300 and Nieuw Amsterdam at the CT dock from 1300-2200. Also in port are Seabourn Sojourn tendering from 0800-2000, Ruby Princess at the FKL dock from 1100-2215, and Solstice at the AJ dock from 1330-2200. Monday is shaping up to be the nicest of the next 5 days with only a 10% chance of rain and partly cloudy skies. The high will be 73F/23C (the highest for the week) and the low 55F/13C. Sunrise is at 4:28 am and sunset at 9:39 pm. The PTZtv webcam can be found at https://www.juneauharborwebcam.com/. Next up: Oosterdam on Tuesday.
  13. My wife and I have booked a Verandah cabin with Queen bed, which is designated as a quod cabin, for our Norwegian cruise on the Nieuw Statendam leaving on 2 June. I wonder if anyone who has occupied a quod verandah cabin on the NS can advise how the cabin is configured when only occupied by a couple? Does it present as a normal cabin with main bed and sofa? Is there any other bed or convertible arrangement which might cause any obstruction?
  14. We were on NA in April of 2017, and the casino was non-smoking after renovations to the piano bar area across the way... I had assumed it would remain non-smoking, but the HAL website - supposedly updated to June 2019 - does NOT list Nieuw Amsterdam as one of the completely non-smoking casinos. Can someone who has sailed recently tell me whether HAL has reverted to smoking in the NA casino? Our booking depends on the answer... Many thanks!
  15. Hello, Does HAL usually have any kind of Halloween night party or event on Nieuw Amsterdam? We will be sailing on 10/31/19 and am wondering if we should bring even the simplest of costumes to make it more festive. Thanks!
  16. Eurodam will be at the AS dock from 1300-2300 and Nieuw Amsterdam at the CT dock from 1300-2200. Also in port are Ruby Princess at the FKL dock from 1100-2215 and Solstice at the AJ dock from 1330-2200. Weather is back to normal in Juneau - rain is predicted for each day this week - there is even a flood warning for part of Monday. The high temperature will be 65F/18C and the low 54F/12C. Sunrise is at 4:15 am and sunset at 9:51 pm. The PTZtv webcam can be found at https://www.juneauharborwebcam.com/. Next up: Oosterdam on Tuesday.
  17. New to this both HAL, and cruising in general) and am unable to locate answers to a few questions on the HAL website. Hoping people here can help me out... We are booking a September Inside Passage cruise, roundtrip Vancouver. Does anyone know what time the HAL counter, for check-in, actually opens up (as opposed to the time it might state on the travel documents)? Have people had success with turning up much earlier and being able to get through before the crowds show up? We need to make arrangements far in advance for when to arrive at the port, so it'd be very helpful to know what the earliest time people have found they can check-in might be. The other question we have is whether or not we will be allowed to bring bottled water and cans of ginger ale with us, as either carry-on or checked baggage? Thanks!
  18. This picture was in my email today from Pinterest of former Nieuw Amsterdam in Alang. So sad to see her like this- I have many great memories on that ship. Anyone that posts about vibration on the current Nieuw Amsterdam should have sailed on her predecessor. She gave a new meaning to vibrating- in some places a drink would vibrate off of the table. One of the former CD's called her the "Magic Fingers ship" after the units motels used to have next to the beds. She was a beautiful ship with all of her flaws and lived through many challenges. She will be missed.
  19. Hi- my wife and I enjoy our balcony when we cruise & use it for breakfast, drinks & relaxing. We are looking at a cruise on the N. Statendam and looking at the deck plans the largest balconies are on deck 4 and there are angled balconies on the bump out parts. Any thoughts on the better cabins/balconies including the aft ones. Am also considering a Vista Duite but not sure if they are worth the extra cost. Thanks - Chris
  20. Here’s a link to my review of our President’s week Western Caribbean cruise on the Nieuw Amsterdam: http://click.email.cruisecritic.com/?qs=f0cf51dc77b0e9829b7afbfc0adfcb76d0a8bb5e9f2605b28a6393dd2e43fd3dae9a5fd61820deb2751e544dfc4da1b600581223c4a05de1 Two aspects that I forgot to mention in this review were the dress code and the population. Attire: There were two formal nights and I had brought some simple maxi dresses and gold accessories. I have to say that many of the ladies on this ship put me to shame with fancy cocktail dresses and beautiful wraps and jewelry. If you like evening wear, you don’t have to worry about being overdressed on the Nieuw Amsterdam. People put in the effort to look gorgeous. Only some of the men bothered with tuxes, but formal nights saw many suits and jackets. For ladies, if you don’t like getting dressed up, a simple black dress that’s been dressed up or black pants and a sequined top or otherwise embellished top will suffice, but I wouldn’t treat formal night in the dining room like any other night. Population: I know, I know...Holland America is the cruise line for seniors, except this week when it wasn’t. I’m not saying that there weren’t still a fair number of retirees on our sailing, but because it was President’s week, there were certainly many families with children. We met several younger families with small kids on our day at HMC. What I found more surprising was the number of 20-somethings that we saw drinking and dancing and generally enjoying themselves every night at BB King’s. These young ladies and their boyfriends were very well-dresssed and very enthusiastic about dancing to the BB King All-Stars. While I would not say that RCL or Carnival have to worry about HAL stealing this demographic from them, there were definitely more people under 30 than I have seen on past HAL cruises.
  21. I have been considering continuing the process from the last two weeks with a continuing discussion. So here it is! This morning I was on Nieuw Statendam as we arrived in Fort Lauderdale. This afternoon I am on Nieuw Amsterdam getting ready to head on on pretty much the same itinerary as last week. Why? Because I can and because I haven't been on Nieuw Amsterdam yet. Additionally, it just worked out. Nieuw Amsterdam was booked several months ago. Contrary to my recent history, this was booked as a guarantee cabin like I did to begin with. I received a cabin assignment about 10 days ago getting a reasonable ocean view cabin. Last Friday I received an email from HAL advising me that my cabin had changed. That is why I am now sitting in a Verandah Stateroom on the Nieuw Amsterdam. For the record it is cabin 5100, pictures already provided to HALfacts. Because of several factors, this is not going to be an "apples to apples" comparison. The biggest reason is solo cabin on NS to Verandah on NA. I have much more room this week and a good location. This cabin is right next to the outside glass elevators on deck 5. This makes it very convenient to the Lido for meals, and equally accessible to the MDR and Showroom. The cabin is very nice, the stewards have introduced themselves and it is almost time for the muster drill. Since these cruises are a week apart, it will be easy to compare entertainment. NA has had the upgrade to the Music Walk, so the offerings should be similar. As I did for the last two weeks, the dinner menus for tonight are attached. Feb24LIdodinner.pdf Feb24dinner.pdf
  22. A full house in Juneau with five cruise ships on Monday. Eurodam will be at the AS dock from 1300-2300 and Nieuw Amsterdam at the CT dock from 1300-2200. Also in port are Seabourn Sojourn tendering from 0700-2300, Ruby Princess at the FKL dock from 1100-2215, and Solstice at the AJ dock from 1330-2200. The first half of the week has nice weather forecast (the end of the week is looking rainy). Monday is supposed to be partly cloudy with a high of 78F/26C and a low of 58F/14C. Sunrise is at 4:05 am and sunset at 10:00 pm. The PTZtv webcam can be found at https://www.juneauharborwebcam.com/. Next up: Oosterdam on Tuesday.
  23. It’s a very busy Sail Away day today. 8 ships in Port Everglades and 3 in Tampa. Should be lots of action for this one, for sure. We have 2 blue hulled beauties in Port Everglades - the Zuiderdam and the Nieuw Statendam. Zuiderdam is scheduled to be at pier 21 and will be doing the 10 day Panama Canal Seafarer: Fort Lauderdale, Florida (10 Mar d1700); Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (11 Mar 0800-1500); Oranjestad, Aruba (13 Mar 1300-2300); Willemstad, Curacao (14 Mar 0800-1600); Panama Canal (Cruising Canal) (16 Mar 0500-0500); Colon, Panama (16 Mar 1500-2000); Puerto Limon, Costa Rica (17 Mar 0630-1600); Fort Lauderdale, Florida (20 Mar a0700) Nieuw Statendam is scheduled to be at pier 26 & will be doing two different itineraries. The first is the 7 day Western Caribbean: Fort Lauderdale, Florida (10 Mar d1800); Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (11 Mar 0800-1600); Ocho Rios, Jamaica (13 Mar 0800-1700); George Town, Grand Cayman (14 Mar 0800-1600); Cozumel, Mexico (15 Mar 1100-2300); Fort Lauderdale, Florida (17 Mar a0700) And the second is the 14 day Western/Eastern Caribbean: Fort Lauderdale, Florida (10 Mar d1800); Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (11 Mar 0800-1600); Ocho Rios, Jamaica (13 Mar 0800-1700); George Town, Grand Cayman (14 Mar 0800-1600); Cozumel, Mexico (15 Mar 1100-2300); Fort Lauderdale, Florida (17 Mar 0700-1700); Amber Cove, Dominican Republic (19 Mar 1000-1800); San Juan, Puerto Rico (20 Mar 1300-2300); St Thomas, US Virgin Islands (21 Mar 0800-1700); Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (23 Mar 0800-1500); Fort Lauderdale, Florida (24 Mar a0700) Other ships in port with them are the Regal Princess (pier 02), Island Princess (pier 19), Harmony Of The Seas (pier 18), Celebrity Edge (pier 25), Carnival Conquest (pier 04) and Adventure Of The Seas (pier 29). The webcams are located at https://www.portevergladeswebcam.com & https://www.ftlauderdalewebcam.com Sailing our of Tampa we have the lovely HAL flagship, ms Rotterdam. She will be doing a 14 day Southern Caribbean: Tampa, Florida (10 Mar d1800); Key West, Florida (11 Mar 1100-1800); San Juan, Puerto Rico (14 Mar 1000-2300); St Thomas, US Virgin Islands (15 Mar 0800-1700); St Johns, Antigua (16 Mar 0800-1700); Castries, St Lucia (17 Mar 0800-1600); Willemstad, Curacao (19 Mar 0800-2300); Oranjestad, Aruba (20 Mar 0700-1600); George Town, Grand Cayman (22 Mar 0800-1500); Tampa, Florida (24 Mar a0700) As well as a 21 day Southern/Western Caribbean: Tampa, Florida (10 Mar d1800); Key West, Florida (11 Mar 1100-1800); San Juan, Puerto Rico (14 Mar 1000-2300); St Thomas, US Virgin Islands (15 Mar 0800-1700); St Johns, Antigua (16 Mar 0800-1700); Castries, St Lucia (17 Mar 0800-1600); Willemstad, Curacao (19 Mar 0800-2300); Oranjestad, Aruba (20 Mar 0700-1600); George Town, Grand Cayman (22 Mar 0800-1500); Tampa, Florida (24 Mar 0700-1600); Key West, Florida (25 Mar 1100-1800); Roatan, Honduras (27 Mar 0800-1700); Santo Tomas De Castilla, Guatemala (28 Mar 0700-1700); Costa Maya, Mexico (29 Mar 0800-1700); Tampa, Florida (31 Mar a0700) Other ships in Tampa port with the Rotterdam are the Carnival Miracle & Norwegian Pearl. The webcam is located at https://www.porttampawebcam.com For the Addicts: The Rotterdam is scheduled to in Key West on March 11th and the Zuiderdam should be in Aruba on March 13th. The webcams are located at https://www.keywestharborwebcam.com for Key West and https://www.portarubawebcam.com for Aruba. Next up is the Oosterdam on March 16th.
  24. Y4L – Alaska, Yukon, Double Denali May 27 – June 8, 2019 Nieuw Amsterdam Ship May 26 - Anchorage Arrived in Anchorage a day before our trip began. It was around 7:00 when we arrived and the Westmark is an easy cab ride from the airport. We checked in and headed across the street to the Glacier Brewhouse for a beer and a small bite before turning in for the evening. May 27 - Anchorage We woke up early as we were still on east coast time. We walked a few blocks to the Snow City Café as we read they had great breakfast food. Arrived ahead of the crowd and had a delicious breakfast served by a very pleasant waitress. We came back to our hotel and walked over to the visitor center. The combination of early season plus Memorial Day meant that there was not an early shuttle to the Alaska Native Heritage Center. Instead, we walked a few blocks to the Anchorage Museum and waited for them to open. It was a great way to spend the morning. We learned about the native Alaskans at the Smithsonian exhibit – crafts, life stories, every day items, etc. The art gallery wing was also wonderful with some beautiful oils of Denali. In the afternoon we took the Flattop Mountain Shuttle from Downtown Bicycle Rental. Pete gave us a narrated tour of Anchorage as he drove us to the mountain. We had 3 hours to hike Flattop Mountain which is the most hiked trail in Alaska. Still some snow on parts of the trail and the last 20 feet at the steep summit. Wonderful views of the city and Chugach Mountains. Highly recommend even if you don’t go all the way to the top. Not too crowded in late May but still lots of people and dogs. After our hike we returned to our hotel to meet our Journey Host Kaylyn. She gave us packets with information for the next day, had us take care of some paperwork and we were on our own until the next morning. We left the hotel and took a short walk along the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail before dinner. Lots of bikes, walkers, skateboarders, families and leashed dogs. Pretty views and an easy way to get some exercise. Lots of bike rental shops in Anchorage if you prefer biking. A very nice meal at Orso which was across the street from the hotel. Same owners as Glacier Brewhouse. Recommend both. Had read some negative reviews about the hotel. A little old fashioned but the room was comfortable and clean. What more can you ask for? Tuesday May 28 - Anchorage to Denali Bags were out early and we met at 8:15 to transfer to the Alaska Railroad. Our trip to Denali was as pleasant as any 8 hour train trip could be. Comfortable seats, big windows, and the opportunity to move around. We had decided in advance that we would eat both breakfast and lunch on the train as it would give us an opportunity to leave our seats. Meal seating is in shifts in the bottom level and viewing and general travel in the top of the glass domed car. Both breakfast and lunch were quite good. The scenery in the beginning of the trip as we left Anchorage was interesting. In the middle hours there was not as much to see and the trip was starting to feel long BUT then we arrived at Hurricane Gulch and the views became more and more interesting and made the entire trip worthwhile. We were enchanted all the way to Denali. We were picked up at the Denali Train Depot and on the way to our hotel a moose decided to slowly cross the road in front of our bus and linger to munch grass at the side of the road. It was a prime picture taking opportunity and the perfect welcome to Denali. We checked in at our lodge and were out the door to grab a quick meal before heading out almost immediately to our shuttle to visit the Husky Homestead. As we got off the shuttle, we were handed two-week old puppies! Who on earth can resist such sweetness. We learned a lot about raising and training dogs, and preparing them to race. Jeff King was even more engaging then his staff and told us all about the Iditarod and his experiences with the dogs. It was a very interesting and fun evening. Denali was off to a great start! Wednesday May 29 - Denali TWT Wilderness Tour #9 with Glenn at approximately 8:30. Glenn was a wonderful engaging driver who shared lots of information about the park. We went to mile 53 at Toklat before turning around. Seven hours in the bus was plenty for us. We saw Denali from multiple locations and got some beautiful pictures. We also saw moose, bear, caribou and Dall sheep. As we started our tour, the driver realized the bus camera was not working, but it did not matter. The scenery in the park changes at every turn. It was just magnificent. After our tour we asked to be dropped off at the Visitors Center where we picked up the trail to Mt. Healy. We were worried about making the last shuttle back to our hotel but no need to have worried. We were up and down the mountain in about 2:40 which left us plenty of time to get back to our cabin. Great views. Nice hike. We had dinner (and breakfast both days) at Karstens on the property. Food was good and reasonably priced. Our room at Denali was M106. It was a two-story townhouse. We were on the first floor. We had a small bedroom and sitting area. Nice bathroom. Only issue, and one we could live with, was foot noise from upstairs and the whosh of the flush but honestly, location, cleanliness, décor was all good. I note this because I’ve noticed lots of complaints about hotels on land. Nothing to complain about. Would stay here again. Thursday May 30 - Denali to Fairbanks Woke up and said goodbye to Denali. It would have been nice to have an extra day for another hike or two. Boarded the bus for the 3 hour ride to Fairbanks. We did have a rest stop with a gift shop on the way. This was our first bus ride. Our driver not only transported us safely, he gave us information about the places we passed and about Alaska in general. Little did we know that every bus ride would provide learning opportunities to find out about where we were and where we would go. Arrived in Fairbanks at noon. Most of our group took their hour to eat lunch but we walked to the Fairbanks Visitor Center. To our surprise, it had a little museum like area that was extremely interesting and we spent 45 minutes there. We learned our planned walk at Creamer Fields was about 2 miles from our hotel and found information on how to travel there. We met up with the group and were off to Gold Dredge 8. It was a planned group excursion and was much more fun than we expected. First, we had a view of, and short talk about the Alaska pipeline. Then we got on a small train that took us to the area where we would pan for gold. But first, as we traveled by train, we learned about how gold was mined in Fairbanks. My bag of dirt yielded $24 of gold and my husband got $6 in gold flakes. Yes, we succumbed and bought a charm to put the gold flakes in as a memento of our visit. Too much shopping time at the mine for us, although many of our companions did a fair amount of shopping and seemed to enjoy the stop before we headed to our hotel. We checked into the Westmark Room 632 which was a very nice clean, modern room with a kitchen area. We were off to visit a local art gallery a few blocks from the hotel and then found a local distillery where we had a vodka cocktail before heading back to the hotel. We were feeling lazy so we had dinner at the Red Lantern restaurant at the hotel. It was just ok but no complaints as we were ready to turn in early. Friday May 31 – Fairbanks to Dawson City Had time for a nice breakfast before heading on our bus to the airport and on to Dawson City on an 11:00 a.m. flight. The airport in Dawson recently had its runway paved which was big news. Smooth flight and we were at our hotel early afternoon. We were on our own. There were some sprinkles and it was cloudy so we changed our plans to hike the Midnight Dome and instead walked the 9th Avenue trail which went around the city and continued around the water. There are a number of other trails in this area. An easy walk and fun way to stretch our legs. We went to the Visitors Center as well to get maps, schedules, and walked around town peering visiting some of the shops. Dinner at the Drunken Goat Taverna. Food was excellent. Laid back place. Highly recommend. After dinner we caught the show at Diamond Tooth Gerties. Your $15 season pass is good all year. They have 3 shows an evening with singing and dancing. Shows were excellent. There is also food and gambling. A number of our group left after the first show and went to The Downtown Hotel and became members of the Sour Toe Cocktail Club by drinking a shot with a preserved toe that touched their lips. A good time was had by all. Then the partying group was back to Gerties for the remaining 2 shows and last call. Saturday June 1 – Dawson City Woke up and it was still a light rain but we weren’t going to let that get us down. We had breakfast at the hotel and were off to explore. We found out that the Robert Service cabin would not have a presentation that day as the town folk and visitors were invited to the Commissioner’s Tea from 2:00 – 4:00. This is an annual event that we did attend. Late morning, we went to the Jack London cabin and were treated to an excellent hour-long presentation about Jack London that included his time in Alaska and Dawson City and how that time influenced his writing. Highly recommend. With the rain starting to come down harder, we went to the Dawson City Museum and learned more about the local gold rush and the city of Dawson before heading to tea. Our Klondike Spirit Cruise had been moved to 6:00 p.m. so we grabbed a delicious sandwich in the hotel pub before heading to the boat. The delayed start time for the boat worked in our favor as the skies cleared and we had beautiful weather for our ride. Once again, we learned more about Dawson City and the First Nation inhabitants of the Yukon so it was more than just a ride around the river. We found the Westmark in Dawson City to be charming. Rooms were clean and comfortable. Wifi only in the lobby and not in your room. We did not use our phones in the Yukon and I could live for 2 days without wifi. Sunday June 2 – Dawson City to Whitehorse This was a full day on the motor coach. We had a number of opportunities to stop and stretch our legs and see a few historic sites. Lunch was provided – the only land day this happened – in Minto. It was a simple and delicious lunch of soup, salad and homemade bread in a nice clean lodge. After lunch we were back on the bus to Whitehorse until our arrival at approximately 5:00 p.m. Our driver Trevor was amazing. No other word. For the entire trip he gave us Gold Rush History, and information about the glaciers and the valleys they formed. He told us about the white river ash from a long ago volcanic eruption and even recited some Robert Service poetry as he drove. The hours flew by. Scenery was beautiful. When we arrived in Whitehorse I told our Journey Host that it could be viewed in two ways. HAL could have you fly straight from Dawson to Whitehorse and get you to Skagway in a day. It took us 8 hours to travel the road but it made us better appreciate the journeys of the men (and women) that got themselves and their provisions over the Chilkoot Trail and then had to build a boat and ferry themselves down an unforgiving river to get to Dawson. I am glad I was able to experience that journey. The unspoiled landscape was pretty special too. After leaving our bags at the Westmark Whitehorse (the only hotel we felt was not satisfactory) we took a walk with some of our new friends on the Millenium Trail, a 5km paved trail that loops around the water in downtown Whitehorse. It was a very pleasant way to get some exercise before a fantastic dinner at Klondike Kate’s. Restaurant was across the street from our hotel so could not have been more convenient. Clearly popular and crowded so we put our name in ahead of our walk and our table was ready when we returned. Food and atmosphere were fantastic. Highly recommend if you stop in Whitehorse. Monday June 3 – Whitehorse to Skagway Breakfast at the hotel and then we were back on the bus with Trevor who showed us Miles Canyon, Emerald Lake, Carcross Desert and Carcross as we journeyed to Fraser to board the Whitepass Rail that would take us to Skagway. All interesting stops that we were grateful to see along the way. Our train journey was interesting as we thought about those that had braved the mountains by foot (before the train was constructed) as they dreamt of the gold waiting for them in Dawson City. The mountains had some sad tales to tell, but it was a lovely way to return to Alaska with some magnificent views along the way. Once we arrived at the train station, we went to our hotel and grabbed an extra jacket before heading off to hike Upper Dewey Lake at around 2:00p.m. There were excursions offered by HAL and a lovely town to walk around, but we wanted to hike. We passed the Lower Dewey Lake trail in favor of the 6 mile roundtrip steady climb – vertical rise was 3000 feet in 3 miles – to Upper Dewey Lake. We were not disappointed. The lake was beautiful and the views as we headed back down were spectacular as well. It was the perfect way to spend the afternoon. Trail information says roundtrip takes about 6 hours but we were able to do it in around 5. We were motivated to be down before it got to be too late! Dinner at the Skagway Brewing Company was adequate but I wish we had stuck with our plans to go to the Red Onion Saloon – a former brothel. We heard food was good and atmosphere was great. Our room in Skagway was clean and comfortable and right in the middle of everything. In the morning we had breakfast at the hotel and were able to shop before transferring to the ship. We liked the town but were ready to get on and stay on the boat by late morning. Hated to say goodbye to our Journey Host Kaylyn. She kept us organized, gave us tips on where to visit and eat. She went above and beyond every minute of every day and we are convinced that is one reason our trip was so wonderful. A Few Thoughts I felt compelled to comment on the hotels. With the exception of Whitehorse we had no complaints. They were all clean and the staff was helpful and cheerful wherever we were. So many negative comments on line that it made me wonder what to expect. If you are expecting the Westin downtown you may be disappointed, but the hotels were in character with their location. Perhaps if we had come off the ship we might have found the transition jarring but we would stay at any of the locations again. We chose to eat a number of meals – all but one breakfast and a few dinners on hotel property out of convenience. There were many choices in each location. We had a couple pricier dinners but found the food to be fairly priced (this is Alaska) and for the most part quite good. Our fellow travelers were all very nice and we got to know many of them on land and some even better on our sea days. Everyone was happy to be on the trip and the people we spent the most time with were also beyond impressed with our Journey Host. We all hated to say goodbye to her when we boarded the ship. Nieuw Amsterdam – June 4 to June 8 This was our first cruise. We had an opportunity to upgrade to a Signature Suite from a Veranda and glad we did. This put us in room 6072 in the middle of the ship. We had a larger bathroom and room to spread out. The veranda was a wonderful place to view the glaciers on our day in Glacier Bay. We ate at the Lido buffet for breakfast and lunch all days. It was easy to go at any time and there was a huge variety of food choices. I particularly liked the omelet station for breakfast. Easy to be healthy and easy to indulge for all meals. We had dinner at the Dining Room. We had open seating and for 3 of our 4 nights were seated with other people. Again, we found the food to be delicious with plenty of choices. One evening my husband asked for extra steak when he ordered and they were more than happy to oblige. We were there for a Gala Night and we dressed up and enjoyed a special dinner. Service was great. Entertainment on the boat was outstanding. We went to BB Kings every night, the Billboard pianists were fabulous, and we went to an afternoon performance at Lincoln Center Stage. Very talented musicians who worked hard to entertain the crowd. We did not see any of the stage shows in the evening. We were too busy enjoying the music! We also used the health club. Plenty of treadmills, bikes, ergs and machines. Some free weights too. It was not crowded and we were able to use the equipment we wanted. The treadmills were placed at the windows in the bow which my husband enjoyed. I liked working out without looking out to sea so something for everyone. Our third day on the boat we stopped at Ketchican. We planned to hike Deer Mountain at this stop and since the weather was good we stuck with our plan. We grabbed a cab when we came off the ship that took us to the trailhead. Glad we did. It was an uphill walk and the cab knew exactly where we were going. We walked back into town after the hike and had some time to poke into the shops before boarding the ship. By our last day we felt we knew our way around. There is a daily schedule of activities so always something going on if you were looking for something to do. A little sad to say goodbye but the four days on the ship were a great way to relax after the busier pace on land. It was an older crowd for the most part on land and on the ship. We had a couple on their honeymoon on the land tour and there were some young families on the ship. If you are looking for the big shows and non-stop entertainment this might not be your cruise/cruisetour but it was just perfect for us. Been back for 2 days and already thinking about going back to Alaska!
  25. After reading so many threads, I've now lost the thread where it discussed the hidden spots (gems) on Nieuw Amsterdam to lounge outside and inside as well as hidden gems of treats. For example, I remember reading a post about emergency exit doors that are not really emergency exit doors and take you to a quieter outdoor deck area. Or one that stated how to get to the Crows Nest. Also, any other hidden gems like the Tea Time (that too looked fun). Thanks!
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