Cruising statendam June 15 round trip Alaska

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#1
colorado
8 Posts
Joined Jan 2015
What is the dining like? Going with a group. Can we pick our preferred time... 14 day round trip. A little overwhelmed with the excursions. Do they sell out or can I wait and decide on the trip? How formal is formal... I dread too many formals... I'm a casual girl who loves nature


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#2
9,407 Posts
Joined Feb 2008
If there is an excursion you really want, book it. The popular ones usually sell out.

Last Alaska cruise, I took a little black dress for formal night. Next cruise I'm taking a black silk pantsuit and my trusty bag of jewelry. And fabulous shoes

Can you expand the question about "can we pick our preferred time"? Are you planning on doing Anytime dining, or do you want the same fixed time every night?
#3
colorado
8 Posts
Joined Jan 2015
I suppose I don't know the choices. I had a travel agent book our spot on the boat and don't know many details yet. All I have done is browse the ports itenerary and excursions. I like the choice of anytime dining! that way I can eat when I please. although since we are traveling with a group we might want to eat together at times.

black silk pantsuit sounds comfortable, fancy shoes do not... lol. I have a size 12 foot and terrible foot troubles. I will pick some nice jewelry to take away from my shoes!

how do we know what are the popular excursions? can you suggest any? I am not really thrilled about plane sightseeing. don't mind taking a plane to a magical destination. I love moderate hiking and beautiful settings. Really want to see the Kodiac Bears! maybe I should just rely more on my travel agent. Also out of all the ports and stops, what would be the best for a kayak excursion??

thanks for anyones input! and thank you for your quick reply Cowprincess.
#4
113,577 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
Welcome to Cruise Critic.

If you want the choice of going to dinner whenever you want, then you want Open Seating -- you need to have your TA request this. Anytime dining is not the proper word on HAL ships.

Yes -- some excursions do sell.

What ports will you be visiting?

Whale watching is a good choice for Juneau.
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#6
9,407 Posts
Joined Feb 2008
Originally posted by antsypants66
I suppose I don't know the choices. I had a travel agent book our spot on the boat and don't know many details yet. All I have done is browse the ports itenerary and excursions. I like the choice of anytime dining! that way I can eat when I please. although since we are traveling with a group we might want to eat together at times.

black silk pantsuit sounds comfortable, fancy shoes do not... lol. I have a size 12 foot and terrible foot troubles. I will pick some nice jewelry to take away from my shoes!

how do we know what are the popular excursions? can you suggest any? I am not really thrilled about plane sightseeing. don't mind taking a plane to a magical destination. I love moderate hiking and beautiful settings. Really want to see the Kodiac Bears! maybe I should just rely more on my travel agent. Also out of all the ports and stops, what would be the best for a kayak excursion??

thanks for anyones input! and thank you for your quick reply Cowprincess.
On the HAL site you can look at the shore excursion offerings for each port. This will be my 8th cruise to Alaska (which is completely amateur-hour compared to some ) but my first time on the 14 day itinerary.

So far we are likely doing the Hop On Hop Off bus in Sitka, which IIRC will get us to the state park for some easy walking, and to the Raptor Centre. If you want something through the ship, I heartily recommend the Sea Otter Quest ....

In Ketchikan we will just go to the Totem Heritage Center, one of my favorite places on earth Ketchikan is a good place to walk around, the Visitor Center offers a map for a self-guided walking tour. Last time there we took a cab to Cape Fox Lodge, had a nibble, walked down the Married Man's Trail, and my friends went shopping. I went to the Totem Center. There are also a couple of totem "parks" on the outskirts of Ketchikan. Search on the Alaska forum (previously posted the link) for directions on public transit, if you are so inclined.

So far I am considering public transit to Douglas Island to do a low to moderate hike around Treadwell/Sandy Beach in Juneau. If you like to hike, the Mendenhall Glacier trails get pretty good reviews.

Have not decided yet about ISP/Hoonah (very likely a whale watch, either thru the ship or independent, and I better get busy if we are using an independent vendor ), and Homer. I think we will do a boat tour in Anchorage, though DH may want to just "hang out" in Anchorage.

There is not enough money in Alaska to get me on a flightseeing plane, so have not considered any of those tours

This will be DH's second trip to Alaska. The first time he joined me I made the mistake of over-scheduling excursions, and his BEST memory of that Alaska trip was the time we spent in Skagway, talking to a dog and its people So this time we will do lower-key things most of the time, to give him a chance to get more of a "feel" for Alaska.

Regarding how to tell a "popular excursion" -- I probably worded that incorrectly. If you see something you feel you really want to do, book it. Don't wait. Some excursions do sell out, and it would be a shame to miss doing something that you really want to do.
#7
colorado
8 Posts
Joined Jan 2015
Thanks for all the great replies! I will consider not to overbook... Never thought of that! How are Mosquitos mid to late June....


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#8
colorado
8 Posts
Joined Jan 2015
We are already booked for a flight seeing glacier excursion and dinner at taku lodge in Junea! Anyone ever go? Not thrilled about the plane ride but hopefully I can overcome it


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#9
Arizona
2,219 Posts
Joined Apr 2008
First welcome to cruise critic, you can get so much help here. Are you new to cruising or have you cruised before? How large is your group? We are on the same cruise.
Please come join our roll-call. To find the roll-call scroll down to Roll Calls, click on Holland America then scroll down and click on Statendam then scroll down and click on June 15, 2015 14 day alaska. Unfortunately I am not computer literate so I can't provide a link for you.
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#10
852 Posts
Joined Mar 2013
Originally posted by antsypants66
We are already booked for a flight seeing glacier excursion and dinner at taku lodge in Junea! Anyone ever go? Not thrilled about the plane ride but hopefully I can overcome it


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Did Taku Lodge last June. Best excursion ever. The Bears came right up to the grill after they were finished grilling the salmon. Just make sure to take bug spray. The Mosquitos were really bad.






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#11
Kent, OH
3,140 Posts
Joined May 2007
Originally posted by antsypants66
We are already booked for a flight seeing glacier excursion and dinner at taku lodge in Junea! Anyone ever go? Not thrilled about the plane ride but hopefully I can overcome it


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Friends of mine did that excursion and raved about it. I wanted to do it, but couldn't get my sister on that small of a plane for anything.

Deb
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Debbie
#12
Warwick, R.I. , USA
39,041 Posts
Joined Mar 2001
Originally posted by antsypants66
We are already booked for a flight seeing glacier excursion and dinner at taku lodge in Junea! Anyone ever go? Not thrilled about the plane ride but hopefully I can overcome it
I loved that excursion (and I don't even care for salmon)! The flight was great, with everyone in a window seat. We flew low, so the scenery was close. Seeing the glaciers from that point of view, with pools of the deep blue water, was amazing.
We landed on the lake, and walked up to the lodge, where we had time to explore before the meal. A black bear was sitting on a branch of the tree, maybe 10 feet away (?), waiting his turn at the grill. It was fantastic!

The meal was good, too.

Then another flight back with more, different, great scenery.

Worth every penny for that tour!
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#13
colorado
8 Posts
Joined Jan 2015
lazy one,

I am not sure the exact count. I am joing my Aunt and Uncle and traveling with my other Aunt and rooming in with her. I know there are a few more going.
#14
Okanagan Valley, B.C.
291 Posts
Joined May 2007
Hi there... Just popping in for a visit. We have been cruising to Alaska cep very summer for a few years now. Just love this cruise. Laid back, relaxing and BEAUTIFUL. Sitka is our favourite port. Love going to see the Kodiak bears and the dozens of wild eagles that hang around there ... Fish hatchery..... Raptor Rehab.... And this past summer we took a boat excursion to see wild life... And were more than rewarded. We saw hundreds of otters, sea lions, seals, eagles, a very friendly hump back whale... And the most spectacular demonstration of a transient orca pod hunting that I ever imagined possible.... Not for the faint of heart. A pack of killer whales tossing sea lions around through the air like badminton birdies. Very close up and personal.
This will be the second time we have taken this particular cruise. It was just wonderful first time and you see so much more than on the various 7 day cruises.
We look forward to meeting you. Janet and Bob... Aka .... Kelmont
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#15
4,560 Posts
Joined Dec 2014
Originally posted by antsypants66
How are Mosquitos mid to late June....
I went in August to the Panhandle.... only problem I had were the black flies in Liarsville. They were taking hunks of my skin.
#16
Poulsbo/ Seattle Area
1,789 Posts
Joined Mar 2009
Originally posted by xlxo
I went in August to the Panhandle.... only problem I had were the black flies in Liarsville. They were taking hunks of my skin.
I have been to Alaska every month except Sept/Oct... I have never had any
problem with mosquitos, and they do love me!!! never saw any flies either.
come over to the roll call, we are waiting for you!
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