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Almost "Live" Ms Zaandam 14-Day to Alaska (May 21 - Jun 4, 2018)

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I seem to recall MDR lunch menus were on daily menus on your web site at one point, but I don’t see them there now......was I imagining it?

 

Do you have any MDR breakfast menus?

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The most important tip in this thread is the secluded balconies accessed through the aft doors marked Emergency Exit on Decks 6 and 7. Lots of loungers and very few users.

 

 

 

I agree!

 

 

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Enjoyed all your posts. Thank you!

 

 

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The most important tip in this thread is the secluded balconies accessed through the aft doors marked Emergency Exit on Decks 6 and 7. Lots of loungers and very few users.

 

These areas are especially good for when it rains and for the Panama Canal cruises for shade from the sun.

 

Thank you, Roger, for an eminently readable, informative and addictive blog.

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This post starts my regular "live" thread where I will seek answers to posed questions, report on ship operations, discuss excursions, evaluate new changes to facilities, develop hints for subsequent Zaandam cruisers, give impressions of the dining venues, etc.

 

I plan to be at the terminal when the doors open to report on check-in process.

 

More to follow.

 

We will be on the Zaandam on June 18-July 2. Have enjoyed reading all of your posts. One question I have is, were you tendered into any of the ports? When I phoned and asked a Holland rep, she said we would be tendered to Icy Strait and Sitka but it doesn't show this on our itinerary.

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We will be on the Zaandam on June 18-July 2. Have enjoyed reading all of your posts. One question I have is, were you tendered into any of the ports? When I phoned and asked a Holland rep, she said we would be tendered to Icy Strait and Sitka but it doesn't show this on our itinerary.

 

No tendering at any port. I think that tendering would be better for Sitka as you will be tendered directly to downtown and not have to wait in line and ride 15 minutes into town. It must be noted that the Sitka port and buses could be shared by another cruise line which means waiting both at the port and then downtown for a ride back.

 

Tendering was typical for these two ports up to last year when new docks were put into operation so HAL rep may not have given you the right info.

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I was happy to see we were the only ship in port at Sitka but now not so much. LOL Ah well, not something that can be control so I will try to struggle through.

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Do you have links to MDR breakfast menu and lunch menu on your site? For the Zaandam 14 day Alaska.

Thanks.

 

Here is the link to both MDR and Lido Market menus by day:

 

http://www.rogerjett-photography.com/specialty-2/specifc-cruise-lido-and-mdr-menus/hal-alaska14-day-2018-menus/

 

Here is the link to the MDR/PG Breakfast menus (have not changed in many years:

 

http://www.rogerjett-photography.com/here/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/DRPG-Breakfast-Menu.pdf

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Here is the link to both MDR and Lido Market menus by day:

 

http://www.rogerjett-photography.com/specialty-2/specifc-cruise-lido-and-mdr-menus/hal-alaska14-day-2018-menus/

 

Here is the link to the MDR/PG Breakfast menus (have not changed in many years:

 

http://www.rogerjett-photography.com/here/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/DRPG-Breakfast-Menu.pdf

 

Thanks for the updates. It was nice meeting you.:cool:

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Here is the link to both MDR and Lido Market menus by day:

 

http://www.rogerjett-photography.com/specialty-2/specifc-cruise-lido-and-mdr-menus/hal-alaska14-day-2018-menus/

 

Here is the link to the MDR/PG Breakfast menus (have not changed in many years:

 

http://www.rogerjett-photography.com/here/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/DRPG-Breakfast-Menu.pdf

Thank you! 😀

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No tendering at any port. I think that tendering would be better for Sitka as you will be tendered directly to downtown and not have to wait in line and ride 15 minutes into town. It must be noted that the Sitka port and buses could be shared by another cruise line which means waiting both at the port and then downtown for a ride back.

 

Tendering was typical for these two ports up to last year when new docks were put into operation so HAL rep may not have given you the right info.

Thank you for that info. Getting anxious, never been to Alaska. I'm trying to figure out what clothes to pack--I guess I will go with layering.

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Thank you for that info. Getting anxious, never been to Alaska. I'm trying to figure out what clothes to pack--I guess I will go with layering.

 

Just back from this same cruise in May/June and I would err on bringing more warm layers than fewer ones - only need one good wind/rain/cold proof set and some washable under layers like silk or thermal. You can always take off the layers if you are too warm, but nothing helps when you don't have enough.

 

The wind-chill factor is as important as the temperature when you are out glacier viewing. Uniqlo is a good online source for their "heat tech" undergarment items, and they are having a end of season sale right now.

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My last 4 trips to Alaska have been in Aug/Sept and although it's cold by the glaciers, elsewhere it's around 60degrees. Lightweight raincoat and long sleeved shirt/sweater which you can stuff in your backpack works well.

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More staff officer’s names thanks to the repaired interactive screen in the Explorations Cafe:

Captain (corrected): Ane Jan Smit

Staff Captain: Andrew McDonald

Food/Beverage (corrected): Andreess Noemeyer

Chief Engineer: Wilco Otten

Guest Relations: Francis Tolentino

Cruise Director: Andy Knox

Executive Chef: Pedro Lontoc

Ocean Bar Piano Player: Alejendro

 

Bringing this to the top because someone asked me who the Cruise Director was and I had no clue. :)

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Bringing this to the top because someone asked me who the Cruise Director was and I had no clue. :)

 

CD Andy did a very good job with the Coffee with Staff Interviews and set a nice, sane tone in his introductions. Low point was when he was forced to read the prepared script during the "O" presentations on healthy eating choices. Awkward.

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Thank you for that info. Getting anxious, never been to Alaska. I'm trying to figure out what clothes to pack--I guess I will go with layering.

Layering is the way to go. It could be 90 in Juneau or 50 at a glacier. I've both roasted and been frozen in Alaska. Also prepare for rain.

 

The good news is that Alaska is not formal LOL

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Thank you for that info. Getting anxious, never been to Alaska. I'm trying to figure out what clothes to pack--I guess I will go with layering.

 

It is important that you have somewhere to put any layer that you remove while on an excursion. This means a small backpack or your HAL shopping bag. I prefer the former so that your hands will be free for other things.

 

This also works in reverse if you will be on an excursion that extends into the evening when temps will be dropping.

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Classic Tea

 

Thank you so much for this very informative blog! Just booked a summer sailing and am excited about returning to Alaska. Your knowledge posted here will greatly assist my and others’ planning, thank you!

 

I wanted to ask about the “Classic Teas”. It’s been 2 1/2 years since I last sailed (HAL). I know in the past they designated special teas as Indonesian, Royal Dutch, English, etc. I see Tea is served daily, with Classic Teas on Gala Nights. Do they make any type of distinction for the Classic Teas, or were they all the same fare?

THANKS!

Edited by syesmar
spacing

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It is important that you have somewhere to put any layer that you remove while on an excursion. This means a small backpack or your HAL shopping bag. I prefer the former so that your hands will be free for other things.

 

This also works in reverse if you will be on an excursion that extends into the evening when temps will be dropping.

We're each bringing a light weight back pack just for this purpose. I agree, a backpack is easier than using a bag you have to carry in your hands.

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Layering is the way to go. It could be 90 in Juneau or 50 at a glacier. I've both roasted and been frozen in Alaska. Also prepare for rain.

 

The good news is that Alaska is not formal LOL

Hoping for 70's but I think I've got cold and hot covered now. Also am packing a lightweight rain jacket. Thanks

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Classic Tea

 

Thank you so much for this very informative blog! Just booked a summer sailing and am excited about returning to Alaska. Your knowledge posted here will greatly assist my and others’ planning, thank you!

 

I wanted to ask about the “Classic Teas”. It’s been 2 1/2 years since I last sailed (HAL). I know in the past they designated special teas as Indonesian, Royal Dutch, English, etc. I see Tea is served daily, with Classic Teas on Gala Nights. Do they make any type of distinction for the Classic Teas, or were they all the same fare?

THANKS!

 

With you, I remember the special teas. From discussion with other passengers on my cruise, the teas sessions were generic.

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It is $7 a day.....$98 for this 14 day cruise....,,or $49 for a 7 day cruise....

 

If you are cruising in Europe....it is $9 a day....

 

First, thanks for your amazing reports on this cruise! We leave in 5 days and I have enjoyed all of your posts!

I just saw that the self service laundry machines have been removed - and I have to admit- I am freaking out as I planned to do laundry at least once or twice in the 1 days...

I have never used ships laundry services.....

Can you please let me know, is it $98 ( 2 week cruise) for unlimited laundry for the entire cabin or per person?

Any other tips?

Again, thanks for your help and all of your insights!

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$49 per week is unlimited laundry for the stateroom. It's a great deal- last thing I want to do on a cruise is laundry.

 

Be aware that white socks may come back either gray or shade of blue- it does wash out at home with bleach. We take enough white socks to last the cruise. Have never had problem with white shirts- only socks.

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First, thanks for your amazing reports on this cruise! We leave in 5 days and I have enjoyed all of your posts!

I just saw that the self service laundry machines have been removed - and I have to admit- I am freaking out as I planned to do laundry at least once or twice in the 1 days...

I have never used ships laundry services.....

Can you please let me know, is it $98 ( 2 week cruise) for unlimited laundry for the entire cabin or per person?

Any other tips?

Again, thanks for your help and all of your insights!

 

$98 for the cruise for the stateroom, not per person, and you should have it returned on the same day if you give to your Room Steward (or hang it on your door handle) before 9:30 AM. If you want to also turn in laundry at night before your room is cleaned (while you are at dinner), ask your Room Steward for more bags. Of course you cannot turn in laundry the day before disembarkation.

 

Remember the balcony on Decks 6 and 7 that are reachable through the aft doors marked "Emergency Exit". You will be out of the wind, not crowded because of aforementioned markings, and have a great view that is not restricted by being on one side of the ship. Privacy and lots of loungers makes this secluded balcony a great place to eat a big plate of nachos, read, or just relax out of the wind and weather.

 

If you are on Deck 6, odd numbered stateroom, say "Hello" to July and Andrew (Room Stewards) for me.

 

Say "Hello" to the short, Canaletto Manager and one of the servers (female w/pony tail), Enggoan, in the Lido Market and Canaletto for me (Roger Jett). They are both good people.

 

Unless they have figured out Victoria docking, be prepared for arriving late and then every passenger will rush to get off the ship creating a bad situation. There is only one stairway down to A Deck to funnel every passenger. All of the excursions will wait for you if the ship is late so don't be in the middle of the surge.

 

If you are going to Butchart Gardens, there will be a stop at the Butterfly Farm. At the latter, leave your jacket on the bus as the temps and humidity inside are extremely high.

 

Keep your eyes glued to the water in Icy Strait Point as whales come very close to the pier. There are also two eagles that perch on the end of the pier (great photo op from the rear balcony).

 

Stop by Tongass Trading Co in Ketchikan for souvenirs. Note that if you go to the second floor where the locals shop you can buy warm clothing and cheaper ulu knives w/o "Alaska" logo.

 

Review/copy the menus and Where & When from my websites to be prepared for what to expect.

 

Hope this info gives you a head start on enjoying your cruise.

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