Noordam Northbound to Alaska + Denali Almost Live

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746 Posts
Joined May 2016
Originally posted by Crew News
There were many Meal Plans but mine was offered for $349. The bus stopped for a free buffet lunch on the way from Seward to Denali. The breakfast buffet at the McKinley Lodge Karsten's House was $15.99 - 19.99. Box lunches available a few feet from the Lodge Main Lobby (ordered the night before needed) were $20 and were much less tasty than the free, provided box lunch (crackers, sausage sticks, cookies, nuts, and chips). Meals, including dessert, entree, and beverage at the Canyon Steak House ranged from $25 - 75. Although I tasted my dessert, I did not eat all of it and could have done without it. Meals at the Karsten House were cheaper. So three breakfasts, three dinners, and two lunches (one on the train) did not come close to $349. There is shuttle service, about every 10 minutes, up the steep hill from the chalets to the Main Lobby. More restaurants are just across the street from there.

I photographed the menus and will have to sort through several thousand images before I can post it/or prices on this thread.
Thanks for that info. I googled and found the menus for the two places you mentioned. Definitely sounds as though pay-as-you-go would be a better deal. One more question: did the meal plan you purchased include gratuities? Or was there an expectation that you'd tip? If grats were included with your meal plan, that would make the meal plan more competitive.



Originally posted by Crew News
I must preface by saying that as a Four Star Mariner, I get unlimited free laundry. The laundry form used, includes prices, allows same day "Express Service" if turned in before 9:00 AM for an additional 50% surcharge. Since I am not charged, I assume that the laundry is not able to add the surcharge which means I am not eligible for Express Service.

It must be noted there were only six passengers, other than Neptune Suite passengers, and the impact on the ship's laundry would be minimal. My comment on my survey form MAY get a response but I am not holding my breath.
I guess it makes sense if you have free laundry that they can't provide Express service, since that comes with an extra charge. Thanks for clearing that up.

One more question: are you going to post a link to this thread on the Alaska forum? I think people on that forum would be interested.
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Ontario, Canada
4,093 Posts
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Originally posted by VennDiagram
I guess it makes sense if you have free laundry that they can't provide Express service, since that comes with an extra charge. Thanks for clearing that up.
Never underestimate the power of a polite request
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Louis

January 2018 - 21-day Koningsdam - Southern Caribbean Seafarer / Wayfarer
March 2018 - 7-day Eurodam - Western Caribbean
September 2018 - 22-day Koningsdam - Iberian Adventures & Mediterranean Dream

HAL 18 cruises Princess 3 cruises NCL 2 cruises
New Mexico
4,591 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
Originally posted by VennDiagram
Thanks for that info. I googled and found the menus for the two places you mentioned. Definitely sounds as though pay-as-you-go would be a better deal. One more question: did the meal plan you purchased include gratuities? Or was there an expectation that you'd tip? If grats were included with your meal plan, that would make the meal plan more competitive.


I guess it makes sense if you have free laundry that they can't provide Express service, since that comes with an extra charge. Thanks for clearing that up.

One more question: are you going to post a link to this thread on the Alaska forum? I think people on that forum would be interested.
Tips were included.


Since I don't eat dessert at dinner, except for a few bites of something special, my huge piece of mud pie at the Canyon Steak House, berry tart on the train, etc. would be a cost savings to me.


I will try to post a link on the Alaska Forum.
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Oosterdam - Alaska - May 2008 (7 days)
Westerdam - Alaska - May 2009 (7 days)
Westerdam - Caribbean (Eastern & Southern) - Feb 2010 (14 days)
Nieuw Amsterdam - Caribbean (Western) - Nov 2010 (7 days)
Oosterdam - Mexican Riviera - April 2011 (7 days)
Zuiderdam - Alaska - Sep 2011 (B2B 14 days)
Noordam - Caribbean Seafarer - Mar 2012 (11 days)
Nieuw Amsterdam - Caribbean (Western) - Nov 2012 (7 days)
Westerdam - Caribbean (Southern) - Dec 2012 (7 days)
Zuiderdam - Alaska - May 2013 (B2B 14 days)
Zuiderdam - Panama Canal Sunfarer- Nov 2013 (10 days)
Westerdam - Alaska - Jul 2014 (B2B 4 days)
Nieuw Amsterdam - Dec 2014 Caribbean - (East-West 14 days)
Noordam - Pacific Coastal - May 2015 (5 days)
Noordam - Alaska - May 2015 (B2B 14 days)

Oosterdam - Southern Caribbean - Nov 2015
(11 days)
Nieuw Amsterdam - Pacific Coastal - Apr 2016 (5 days)
Nieuw Amsterdam - Alaska Inside Passage - April 2016 (B2B 14 days)
Zuiderdam - Panama Canal - Nov 2016 (10 days)
Noordam - Alaska - Jun 2017 (Northbound includes Denali) (12 days)
Veendam - Caribbean - Dec 2017 (14 days)
Zaandam - Alaska - May 2017 (14 days)

Nieuw Statendam - Caribbean - Jan 2019 (14 days)





10 Posts
Joined Apr 2017
Originally posted by Crew News
This first sea day started with bright sun and blue skies while closing under thick clouds.

Early breakfast on this sea day had no waiting lines at 7:15 AM yet almost every table was occupied with the exception of a large community table. I was joined by three women traveling with a private tour group to Denali. From them, I learned that my itinerary was not like theirs although going to the same place.

I noted that the large Belgian waffles were replaced by much smaller ones and new fruit compotes are available.

When one of the women mentioned Cruise Critic, I asked if they were members. They were not members but an hour-long conversation added them and they benefited from my Alaska experience knowledge base. They now know which side of the White Pass train to ride, the truth about Tracy's Crab Shack's king crab legs, souvenirs at Tongass Trading Co., dog sledding, Alaska Fudge Company, etc. They kept asking if was a travel agent but I assured them that most of what I know came from CC.

The kitchen tour started with a line forming at the bathrooms as each tour member stood in line to wash their hands with soap an water. With our hands freshly cleaned, we were led to the Deck 2 dining room where we all completed a Health Certificate. Unlike other tours, the groups were quite large which meant we in the back could hear nothing. There were no demonstrations of baking prowess, explanation of the plating photo guides, or promotion of the PG (everyone was offered a small crostini with a tapenade. Other ships' tours included presentations by the leader of each kitchen section. I got some good pictures but was otherwise disappointed with the presentation.

The America's Test Kitchen salmon cooking demo was very professional which upheld the high standards of the show on PBS. The handouts were excellent and included a page with photographs on how to filet salmon.

At the 1:00 PM Denali briefing, I learned that most of the ship was headed for subsequent land tours 14 of which were going to Denali. With so many variations, few specifics were given but all were assured that itineraries would be distributed on a daily basis and not in one collective package. There is another Denali luggage briefing on Friday.

When I purchased my Future Cruise Deposits form the FCD team, I asked about the new ship. The FCD folks were on the first few months of the Konigsdam and assured me that the lessons learned will make the Nieuw Statendam a better entry-level ship. OBC is doubled if you book a cruise while on board.

Tonight was Gala Night but also the night for my promo PG dinner. Being a 5:30 PM diner, I am usually one of the very few in the PG. Instead, the PG was packed as most of the free PG dinners were booked at that time tonight. Prepared Caesar salads were delivered, already dressed, to the table rather than prepared table side because they were so busy (so I was told when I asked). My king crab legs were excellent and cracked n a manner that made removal of the meat very easy. Dinner took nearly two hours even though I was a single diner.

With only a lone movie each day at 4:00 PM in the Queen's Lounge and the BB King group occupying all of the other evening hours, I am suffering movie popcorn withdrawal.

The new Navigator webpage is amazing for providing information and menus, but it is very difficult to copy the information for saving.

For the smokers, the aft Lido smoking area is nearly empty from my previous cruises observations.

Somebody told me that there were nearly 100 kids on board but I can remember seeing only 10 so far. Club HAL must be doing a great job providing fun for all of them.

Tomorrow is Ketchikan and a flightseeing crab feast for me. More tomorrow.


So you have peaked my curiosity.... what's the truth about the crab legs at Tracy's Crab Shack?


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10 Posts
Joined Apr 2017
Originally posted by HeidiKeup
So you have peaked my curiosity.... what's the truth about the crab legs at Tracy's Crab Shack?


Sent from my iPad using Forums


Never mind.... just saw your answer above.


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SC
347 Posts
Joined Feb 2013
Originally posted by Crew News
No popcorn for the Noordam because they do not have a movie theater, per my friend at the Front Desk.

We arrived back at the dock in Juneau from my Tracy Arm excursion at 5:45 PM and I walked past Glacier Smoothie at 5:55 PM,
We had popcorn this past week during movie time. They had lots of bags on the back counter as you walked into the Test kitchen.
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Shannon

____________________________________
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*August 2017-AmaWaterways AmaPrima-Rhine River (Basel-Amsterdam)
*July 2017-Carnival Fascination-40th birthday weekend (Bahamas)
*June 2017-HAL Noordam (Alaska with Denali)
*December 2016-Disney Wonder (Western Caribbean)
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*April 2015: NCL Getaway-2015 Spring Break Cruise (Eastern Caribbean)
*Feb. 2015: RCCL Adventure of the Seas-20th anniversary cruise (Southern Caribbean)
*June 2014: NCL Epic-Mediterranean Cruise (Barcelona-Barcelona)
*June 2013: NCL Sun (Alaska Cruise)
*March 2013: NCL Pearl- 2013 Spring Break (Western Caribbean)
*Oct 2011: Carvinal Fascination-(Bahamas)
Marshalltown, Iowa
286 Posts
Joined Jan 2016
We were in Vancouver that weekend and watched you sail away that night! We stayed at the Auberge which is in the Terminal City Club....837 Hastings Street. It's just around the corner from the Food Court (South) I believe we were at Mahoney's sitting outside during your sail away. We also ate outside on the harbor Friday night at Tap and Barrell....right by the Orca sculpture and Olympic Cauldron. Needed a good drink and meal after being herded through customs like cattle Friday afternoon June 2nd and standing in that looong line. Then waited in line for a taxi to downtown....luckily since it was just us 2, the wait wasn't too long. Will be following your cruise!
SC
347 Posts
Joined Feb 2013
Originally posted by Crew News
I was just as surprised as you are. With limited hotel facilities, I think it is a way to fill Denali every day. There were folks heading for the Nieuw Amsterdam in Skagway, as well as folks from the Noordam who spent the previous day touring Anchorage, on my excursion yesterday
Someone has to be very well organized to keep it all straightened out with so many people coming and going.

We started in Anchorage, went to Denali on train, did a day in Denali and came to Steward on the bus. We got off the ship on Sunday in Vancouver.
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Shannon

____________________________________
Future Cruises:
December 2017-MSC Seaside
April 2018-NCL Epic-Senior trip with friends

Past Cruises:

*August 2017-AmaWaterways AmaPrima-Rhine River (Basel-Amsterdam)
*July 2017-Carnival Fascination-40th birthday weekend (Bahamas)
*June 2017-HAL Noordam (Alaska with Denali)
*December 2016-Disney Wonder (Western Caribbean)
*July 2016-RCCL Oasis of the Seas (Eastern Caribbean)
*June 2016-Seaborun Odyssey-Mediterranean Cruise (Venice, Italy-Athens, Greece)
*June 2016-Emerald Sun-Danube Delights-First River Cruise (Budapest-Nuremberg)
*March 2016: NCL Getaway-2016 Spring Break last minute cruise thanks to Empress of the Seas cancellation.(Western Caribbean)
*December 2015: NCL Sky-Orange Bowl Bound Cruise (Bahamas)
*April 2015: NCL Getaway-2015 Spring Break Cruise (Eastern Caribbean)
*Feb. 2015: RCCL Adventure of the Seas-20th anniversary cruise (Southern Caribbean)
*June 2014: NCL Epic-Mediterranean Cruise (Barcelona-Barcelona)
*June 2013: NCL Sun (Alaska Cruise)
*March 2013: NCL Pearl- 2013 Spring Break (Western Caribbean)
*Oct 2011: Carvinal Fascination-(Bahamas)
New Mexico
4,591 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
Originally posted by ShannonSC2
We had popcorn this past week during movie time. They had lots of bags on the back counter as you walked into the Test kitchen.
So it seems that my visit to the Front Desk worked. Glad you had popcorn since a movie is definitely not the same without it.
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Oosterdam - Mexican Riviera - April 2011 (7 days)
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New Mexico
4,591 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
Originally posted by ShannonSC2
Someone has to be very well organized to keep it all straightened out with so many people coming and going.

We started in Anchorage, went to Denali on train, did a day in Denali and came to Steward on the bus. We got off the ship on Sunday in Vancouver.
Just getting all of the different itineraries printed and stuffed with room keys for each passenger at each stop means HAL Land Journeys have their act together.
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Oosterdam - Alaska - May 2008 (7 days)
Westerdam - Alaska - May 2009 (7 days)
Westerdam - Caribbean (Eastern & Southern) - Feb 2010 (14 days)
Nieuw Amsterdam - Caribbean (Western) - Nov 2010 (7 days)
Oosterdam - Mexican Riviera - April 2011 (7 days)
Zuiderdam - Alaska - Sep 2011 (B2B 14 days)
Noordam - Caribbean Seafarer - Mar 2012 (11 days)
Nieuw Amsterdam - Caribbean (Western) - Nov 2012 (7 days)
Westerdam - Caribbean (Southern) - Dec 2012 (7 days)
Zuiderdam - Alaska - May 2013 (B2B 14 days)
Zuiderdam - Panama Canal Sunfarer- Nov 2013 (10 days)
Westerdam - Alaska - Jul 2014 (B2B 4 days)
Nieuw Amsterdam - Dec 2014 Caribbean - (East-West 14 days)
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Noordam - Alaska - May 2015 (B2B 14 days)

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Noordam - Alaska - Jun 2017 (Northbound includes Denali) (12 days)
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SC
347 Posts
Joined Feb 2013
Originally posted by Crew News
So it seems that my visit to the Front Desk worked. Glad you had popcorn since a movie is definitely not the same without it.
Yes thank you! I am glad they listened to you!
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Shannon

____________________________________
Future Cruises:
December 2017-MSC Seaside
April 2018-NCL Epic-Senior trip with friends

Past Cruises:

*August 2017-AmaWaterways AmaPrima-Rhine River (Basel-Amsterdam)
*July 2017-Carnival Fascination-40th birthday weekend (Bahamas)
*June 2017-HAL Noordam (Alaska with Denali)
*December 2016-Disney Wonder (Western Caribbean)
*July 2016-RCCL Oasis of the Seas (Eastern Caribbean)
*June 2016-Seaborun Odyssey-Mediterranean Cruise (Venice, Italy-Athens, Greece)
*June 2016-Emerald Sun-Danube Delights-First River Cruise (Budapest-Nuremberg)
*March 2016: NCL Getaway-2016 Spring Break last minute cruise thanks to Empress of the Seas cancellation.(Western Caribbean)
*December 2015: NCL Sky-Orange Bowl Bound Cruise (Bahamas)
*April 2015: NCL Getaway-2015 Spring Break Cruise (Eastern Caribbean)
*Feb. 2015: RCCL Adventure of the Seas-20th anniversary cruise (Southern Caribbean)
*June 2014: NCL Epic-Mediterranean Cruise (Barcelona-Barcelona)
*June 2013: NCL Sun (Alaska Cruise)
*March 2013: NCL Pearl- 2013 Spring Break (Western Caribbean)
*Oct 2011: Carvinal Fascination-(Bahamas)
New Mexico
4,591 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
Originally posted by DoubleMaidMarion
What's the best side to sit on for the dome train? We'll be there the week of July 3 as we are doing the land tour first.
To get the best view of Denali (if it is not enveloped in clouds) going northbound from Anchorage be seated on the left side. For southbound be seated on the right side.

BUT

The seats are assigned so your choice is immaterial. If you find yourself seated on the wrong side, there is a platform between the rail cars that would be the best place to get photographs.

For photography, shooting through the rail car windows produces some strange color bands in your pictures. As a Photoshop user, I can fix some of this with a LOT of time. A camera polarizing filter helps but the thickness of the window causes the banding.
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Oosterdam - Alaska - May 2008 (7 days)
Westerdam - Alaska - May 2009 (7 days)
Westerdam - Caribbean (Eastern & Southern) - Feb 2010 (14 days)
Nieuw Amsterdam - Caribbean (Western) - Nov 2010 (7 days)
Oosterdam - Mexican Riviera - April 2011 (7 days)
Zuiderdam - Alaska - Sep 2011 (B2B 14 days)
Noordam - Caribbean Seafarer - Mar 2012 (11 days)
Nieuw Amsterdam - Caribbean (Western) - Nov 2012 (7 days)
Westerdam - Caribbean (Southern) - Dec 2012 (7 days)
Zuiderdam - Alaska - May 2013 (B2B 14 days)
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Nieuw Amsterdam - Dec 2014 Caribbean - (East-West 14 days)
Noordam - Pacific Coastal - May 2015 (5 days)
Noordam - Alaska - May 2015 (B2B 14 days)

Oosterdam - Southern Caribbean - Nov 2015
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Nieuw Amsterdam - Pacific Coastal - Apr 2016 (5 days)
Nieuw Amsterdam - Alaska Inside Passage - April 2016 (B2B 14 days)
Zuiderdam - Panama Canal - Nov 2016 (10 days)
Noordam - Alaska - Jun 2017 (Northbound includes Denali) (12 days)
Veendam - Caribbean - Dec 2017 (14 days)
Zaandam - Alaska - May 2017 (14 days)

Nieuw Statendam - Caribbean - Jan 2019 (14 days)





38 Posts
Joined Jun 2017
Originally posted by Crew News
My day in Anchorage began at 5:00 AM as luggage needed to be placed just inside the hotel room door at 6:00 AM. Another day of bright sunshine.

Without a breakfast voucher for the HAL Meal Plan, I stopped by the Coffee Shop for a breakfast burrito.

A huge tour bus pulled up to the curb and my luggage was brought out to the curb by the HAL Rep. Only three of us on the bus seemed like overkill to me. The Anchorage airport is covered with hundreds of private planes. When I asked the driver, I was told that many takeoff from the nearby lake.

Having TSA Pre Check made me the only one in line after dropping off my luggage at Alaska Airlines. After not paying for luggage with Southwest for so many years, it was a new experience coughing up $50 for my two pieces of luggage.

Arriving in Albuquerque and meeting 83 degrees at 11:45 PM was quite a change from the 42 degrees in Anchorage just a few hours earlier.

Yesterday, I completed my HAL Cruise Survey and questioned the electrical adapter issues I experienced, poor waitstaff at the Karstens House in Denali, no Express laundry service, and my luggage issues. Appropriate kudos for the Denali Canyon Steak House, Denali Air, my HAL Room Steward, Edwin, Glenn at the Front Desk, and the Lido Manager, Rifke.

I lost my spare pair of glasses in Denali as well as one pound of weight in spite of eating lots of great food and desserts for 12 days. After experiencing the HAL Denali Meal Plan, I cannot recommend it. The box lunch in Denali was not very good, lunch on Day 2 was not included, breakfast in Anchorage was not included, and only some of the restaurants in the Captain Cook not accepted the Meal Plan vouchers.

In summary, I enjoyed the HAL experience and interaction with crew members I have known on previous cruises, interaction with my fellow passengers in the Lido Market, great excursions, good food (no Room Service this cruise), good weather, small Mariner Reception with all present getting a photo with the Captain, swift MDR service, Land Journey HAL staff efficiency, flying above the clouds in Denali, watching wolves enjoying lunch, bears with cubs, moose, Ketchikan Crab Feast, speedy embarkation, and the HAL hospitality.

Next cruise on the Veendam, Dec 2018.

I have completed updating my website with new Lido Market, MDR, Late Snack, Canaletto, Pinnacle Grill Dinner, PG and MDR Breakfast Menu, Room Service Breakfast Cards, and Bar Menus. In addition, new beverage packages, When & Where dailies, and Shops liquor prices are posted:

http://www.rogerjett-photography.com/
Looking at the bar prices. If Tanguery Gin is 7.95 does that mean a gin& tonic or is it more for the tonic? 😄
New Mexico
4,591 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
Originally posted by Ladyaruba
Looking at the bar prices. If Tanguery Gin is 7.95 does that mean a gin& tonic or is it more for the tonic? 😄
As a non-drinker, I cannot answer your question.
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Oosterdam - Alaska - May 2008 (7 days)
Westerdam - Alaska - May 2009 (7 days)
Westerdam - Caribbean (Eastern & Southern) - Feb 2010 (14 days)
Nieuw Amsterdam - Caribbean (Western) - Nov 2010 (7 days)
Oosterdam - Mexican Riviera - April 2011 (7 days)
Zuiderdam - Alaska - Sep 2011 (B2B 14 days)
Noordam - Caribbean Seafarer - Mar 2012 (11 days)
Nieuw Amsterdam - Caribbean (Western) - Nov 2012 (7 days)
Westerdam - Caribbean (Southern) - Dec 2012 (7 days)
Zuiderdam - Alaska - May 2013 (B2B 14 days)
Zuiderdam - Panama Canal Sunfarer- Nov 2013 (10 days)
Westerdam - Alaska - Jul 2014 (B2B 4 days)
Nieuw Amsterdam - Dec 2014 Caribbean - (East-West 14 days)
Noordam - Pacific Coastal - May 2015 (5 days)
Noordam - Alaska - May 2015 (B2B 14 days)

Oosterdam - Southern Caribbean - Nov 2015
(11 days)
Nieuw Amsterdam - Pacific Coastal - Apr 2016 (5 days)
Nieuw Amsterdam - Alaska Inside Passage - April 2016 (B2B 14 days)
Zuiderdam - Panama Canal - Nov 2016 (10 days)
Noordam - Alaska - Jun 2017 (Northbound includes Denali) (12 days)
Veendam - Caribbean - Dec 2017 (14 days)
Zaandam - Alaska - May 2017 (14 days)

Nieuw Statendam - Caribbean - Jan 2019 (14 days)





2,493 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
Originally posted by Ladyaruba
Looking at the bar prices. If Tanguery Gin is 7.95 does that mean a gin& tonic or is it more for the tonic? 😄
HAL bar prices all include a choice of mixer (tonic/soda/coke/sprite,juice, etc) with the spirit. So a Gin & Tonic would be the same price as a gin on the rocks, Gin with Juice, etc
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New Mexico
4,591 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
I have posted all of my photographs from this cruise to my website:

http://www.rogerjett-photography.com/

The Denali link has a link to McKinley Lodge where you can find the menus for the Karstens House and Canyon Steak House as well as interior pictures of the chalets.

There are plenty of new Tracy Arm pictures showing the huge ice flows coming from South Sawyer Glacier.

A previous website revision posted all of the menus that I collected during my cruise.

This Denali cruise was one of my favorites and I am now armed with the knowledge to make my next visit to Denali a better one.

My next "live" thread will be on board the Veendam in December 2017.
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Photo Reviews -OR--Menus, On Locations, and More

Oosterdam - Alaska - May 2008 (7 days)
Westerdam - Alaska - May 2009 (7 days)
Westerdam - Caribbean (Eastern & Southern) - Feb 2010 (14 days)
Nieuw Amsterdam - Caribbean (Western) - Nov 2010 (7 days)
Oosterdam - Mexican Riviera - April 2011 (7 days)
Zuiderdam - Alaska - Sep 2011 (B2B 14 days)
Noordam - Caribbean Seafarer - Mar 2012 (11 days)
Nieuw Amsterdam - Caribbean (Western) - Nov 2012 (7 days)
Westerdam - Caribbean (Southern) - Dec 2012 (7 days)
Zuiderdam - Alaska - May 2013 (B2B 14 days)
Zuiderdam - Panama Canal Sunfarer- Nov 2013 (10 days)
Westerdam - Alaska - Jul 2014 (B2B 4 days)
Nieuw Amsterdam - Dec 2014 Caribbean - (East-West 14 days)
Noordam - Pacific Coastal - May 2015 (5 days)
Noordam - Alaska - May 2015 (B2B 14 days)

Oosterdam - Southern Caribbean - Nov 2015
(11 days)
Nieuw Amsterdam - Pacific Coastal - Apr 2016 (5 days)
Nieuw Amsterdam - Alaska Inside Passage - April 2016 (B2B 14 days)
Zuiderdam - Panama Canal - Nov 2016 (10 days)
Noordam - Alaska - Jun 2017 (Northbound includes Denali) (12 days)
Veendam - Caribbean - Dec 2017 (14 days)
Zaandam - Alaska - May 2017 (14 days)

Nieuw Statendam - Caribbean - Jan 2019 (14 days)