Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
Crew News

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

Recommended Posts

I was on this ship during the winter and leaving for Alaska June 4th

 

the "outdoor" area that used to be for teens is now for crew only.

 

 

 

That’s a shame!!! It looked so cool online. Hope they get some respite from me!!!

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The drop off and pickup point is the Eagan Center not far from the Visitor Center on 5th Street

 

How often does the shuttle bus run between Eagan Center and the ship?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I am really enjoying your journey, thanks for all your information posts and beautiful pictures. I have been interested in this itinerary for some time so following with great enthusiasm.

 

 

With regard to excursions, what is the price for excursions from Anchorage to Whittier or Seward? I thought I read one time there were tours available by train or bus to those places.

 

My excursion to Whittier cost $300 for the 11.5 hours.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thank you so much, especially for scanning the "on Location" daily schedule. We will be on this cruise 7/2/18 and I do like to plan for yoga, gala nights, Pinnacle, Cannaletto, etc. Last time when we were on this cruise, they brought a brewmaster on board from Alaskan Brewing and had several beer events. I saw one tasting listed but I was curious if you noticed any special beer pairing lunches in the Pinnacle? That was one of our favorite meals.

 

Thanks, Sandy

 

I have not noticed any beer pairings.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I’m enjoying all the posts from Crew News. Where does one access the photos? Thank you. Jan

 

All of the photos that I take are in Camera RAW format that require additional processing before others can open them. On board images should be on my website, "www.rogerjett-photography.com" within two weeks. Excursion pics will be a bit longer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Day 10 in Kodiak began with heavy overcast skies, rain, and temperatures in the 40’s. It got no better the rest of the day.

 

As a leftover item from Homer, I need to add that during my excursion HAL had a small boat following us and making a video with a drone. Our boat Captain reminded us that those married individuals who were traveling with someone other than their spouses, to remain inside for privacy.

 

When I turned on my cell phone this AM after its evening charging, it would not boot. Troubleshooting later in the day proved it to be unrepairable.

With an early excursion, I was at the Lido Market when it opened at 6:30 AM for breakfast and found no waiting for service or a table.

 

HAL provided a tent where those waiting to leave on excursions could wait out of the rain. Eight of us boarded our bus to the harbor for our “Guided Wildlife Excursion”. The ramp down to the moorings was very steep but it led to hundreds of active fishing boats, some being featured on, “Deadliest Catch” TV series. Our boat was a full-time fishing charter boat that does excursions only a few days each year. When we entered the small seating area, the two tables were covered with pastries, chips, fruit, donuts, fruit, and free beverages were in a cooler under one table. All of the latter were provided by the Captain at no charge. Our Naturalist had her PhD in Ocean Sciences and was the most informative in my HAL excursion experience.

 

As we moved through the harbor towards the exit, we noticed a huge sea lion lying on the dock beside one of the fishing boats. Since sea lions are a protected species, nothing can be done to scare the away. The harbor folks decided to build a special dock just for sea lions and as we passed by it, the 30 sea lions put on a snaring and growling show for us.

 

During our three-hours on board, we saw Kittiwakes, gulls, cormorants, eagles, lots of otters with riding babies, and puffins. We learned that puffin chicks don’t fly from their nest but are pushed off the side of their cliff nest into the water where they will live until it is time for them to breed/nest. Puffins are poor fliers and must flap their wings much more than other birds to gain the same distance/height. We passed the active cannery that processes all of the seafood for the boats in the harbor. Fish heads and tails are returned to the water to nourish the local water creatures. We passed a kelp farm and then pulled a long string of kelp on board for an interesting class on all of its uses in the food and cosmetics industries.

As we left the harbor to return to the ship, we noticed lots of boat repair businesses.

My afternoon was consumed with trying to fix my phone using the internet with its many disconnections. In my ordeal, I discovered that my Galaxy tablet had better internet connection speed than my laptop.

 

Some miscellaneous notes: The only cracker choices in the Lido Market are graham or saltines. Many meat and cheese choices are available to make your own lunch sandwiches. The Cruise Director does not make many announcements nor dies the Captain. Violin music is played in the MDR each evening. The Captain announced calm seas tonight.

 

Tomorrow is cruising Hubbard Glacier. Americas Test Kitchen is demoing Southern Snacking at 11:00 AM tomorrow.

 

More tomorrow.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
My excursion to Whittier cost $300 for the 11.5 hours.

 

Thanks much.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Was this the one? https://www.phillipscruises.com/cruises/26-glacier-cruise.php

 

Did this years ago, worth every penny:D

 

 

 

Does the ship have any lecturers or naturalists on board? How’s the mattress? Does the ship have the new flat screen tv’s in all staterooms? Multiple movie choices? We normally Cruise on Princess ships. Do they have anything similar to the International Cafe (24 hour cafe).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Does the ship have any lecturers or naturalists on board? How’s the mattress? Does the ship have the new flat screen tv’s in all staterooms? Multiple movie choices? We normally Cruise on Princess ships. Do they have anything similar to the International Cafe (24 hour cafe).

 

There is a naturalist on board that gives lectures. Best mattresses ever! The TVs are flat screen but not the new ones. We also DVD players and hundreds of movies can be checked out. There are also three movie channels available. The Explorations Cafe opens at 7:00 AM for coffee/ta purchases (free snacks) and the Lido Market has free coffee/tea 24/7. HAL Room Service is also free 24/7.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi. Long time reader, first time poster. I just want to say: I booked this sailing one week ago, and we sail in five weeks. Reading this thread has been invaluable. I won't get into why this is an important trip for us, but please know that I really, really appreciate the work you are doing here. Thank you! Our trip will be better planned for having read this. And I can't wait to see your 1200 whale photos!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi. Long time reader, first time poster. I just want to say: I booked this sailing one week ago, and we sail in five weeks. Reading this thread has been invaluable. I won't get into why this is an important trip for us, but please know that I really, really appreciate the work you are doing here. Thank you! Our trip will be better planned for having read this. And I can't wait to see your 1200 whale photos!

 

You might see 40+ of the best images.

 

Finding answers to posed questions by CC members helps my own cruise planning.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Day 11 of my cruise began in hazy sunshine and ended with sunny, bright blue skies

For one of the few days on this cruise, I could sleep late. When I arrived in the Lido Market, I learned that most of the ship had the same idea. Tables were hard to find and the lines lengthy.

I removed my cell phone from the two pillows surrounding it to muffle the ATT login tones that repeat every five minutes. Hopefully, Sitka will have an ATT Store to have repairs made and I can upload form menus and When & Wheres. The internet still disconnects every five minutes making the “streaming” package a waste of money.

 

My first foray into the Casino was a flop and I cashed out quickly. I purchased my first to sodas at the Explorations Café for $1.49 each with my Mariner discount.

The naturalist began speaking for the open decks at 1:00 PM and we arrived at Hubbard Glacier. The Captain noted that the glacier was growing and maneuvered as close as he could in the ice field. The ship did a slow circle to the starboard and then departed after spending nearly one hour at the glacier.

 

I received by invitation to the Mariner’s Reception in the Mainstage, Starboard side on Deck 4 at 12:30 on our last sea day. Sounds like there will be a Mariner luncheon in progress during the reception as our lunch will be after the reception.

FWIW staples have been replaced by small safety pins for laundry items without buttonholes/loops.

 

MDR dinner featured tomato bisque soup and slow-roasted oxtails.

Tomorrow is Sitka with the promise of another cloudy day. Americas Test Kitchen will be demoing “Chilies” tomorrow at 2:00 PM. All aboard is 3.30 PM.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hope you can get your phone fixed in Sitka.

Sitka is one place where I wish the ships would spend more time there. The first time we were on a Princess ship we arrived at 7 and stayed until 6.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
All of the photos that I take are in Camera RAW format that require additional processing before others can open them. On board images should be on my website, "www.rogerjett-photography.com" within two weeks. Excursion pics will be a bit longer.

Thanks, CrewNews. Really delightful to journey with you, and thus extend our upcoming cruise. I look forward to seeing your photos when ready to share. Best wishes to you for these last days on board, and for the journeys ahead.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You might see 40+ of the best images.

 

Finding answers to posed questions by CC members helps my own cruise planning.

 

I will be happy with 40+ whale images. ;-)

 

And yeah, I'm a blogger and I've found the same thing to be true--helping others helps me. Isn't it amazing how that works?

 

To that end here are some of my (not very important) questions:

 

In an earlier post, you mentioned that the shower water pressure isn't great. Has that been an issue? I fear 14 days without a well-functioning shower! Also, in the dry dock upgrades to the bathrooms, did they do glass shower doors? Or is it still a shower curtain? I ask only to mentally prepare myself. Thanks!

 

Also: how hard is it to find somewhere to sit with a view during at sea days or during cruising glacier non-ports? I'm also ok standing if need be, particularly during glacier viewing (I'm assuming I will be standing and taking photos). Basically: does the ship feel super crowded? We are on the lower promenade deck in an interior room (sad trombone--but we booked super late and ALL of the balcony rooms were sold out) right near the elevators and thus right near an exit to the wrap around exterior deck. I was hoping to be able to just walk out of my room and walk outside in the morning, and perhaps find a lounger or a bench on that deck--or at the very least, lean against the rail and enjoy the view (we are right near the aft elevators). Is this possible? Thanks!

 

Finally: which nights do you recommend booking specialty dining? Any thoughts on how people are dressing in the MDR? Thanks so much! Have an amazing time! I am continuing to follow this and again really appreciate all you are doing!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was on the Westerdam last month and also found the cruise lacking in things to do on sea days and also in the evening. I really missed dancing venues and other things to participate in other than BB Kings or the dueling piano's. It seemed that everything offered had a extra charge??

I did buy a future cruise credit so hoping that the newer, larger ships have more activities.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fabulous reading and preview of my cruise in August! Can you tell me if hair co ditioner is supplied in the bathroom as well as shampoo? I know, it's those little things.;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I will be happy with 40+ whale images. ;-)

 

And yeah, I'm a blogger and I've found the same thing to be true--helping others helps me. Isn't it amazing how that works?

To that end here are some of my (not very important) questions:

 

In an earlier post, you mentioned that the shower water pressure isn't great. Has that been an issue? I fear 14 days without a well-functioning shower! Also, in the dry dock upgrades to the bathrooms, did they do glass shower doors? Or is it still a shower curtain? I ask only to mentally prepare myself. Thanks!

 

Also: how hard is it to find somewhere to sit with a view during at sea days or during cruising glacier non-ports? I'm also ok standing if need be, particularly during glacier viewing (I'm assuming I will be standing and taking photos). Basically: does the ship feel super crowded? We are on the lower promenade deck in an interior room (sad trombone--but we booked super late and ALL of the balcony rooms were sold out) right near the elevators and thus right near an exit to the wrap around exterior deck. I was hoping to be able to just walk out of my room and walk outside in the morning, and perhaps find a lounger or a bench on that deck--or at the very least, lean against the rail and enjoy the view (we are right near the aft elevators). Is this possible? Thanks!

 

Finally: which nights do you recommend booking specialty dining? Any thoughts on how people are dressing in the MDR? Thanks so much! Have an amazing time! I am continuing to follow this and again really appreciate all you are doing!

 

Gravity makes the huge shower head nice but if you remove the shower head from its holder and try to spray water up, the stream is about 3-inches. No shower glass in my Vista stateroom.

 

Finding a window table in the Lido Market for just viewing is nearly impossible. A better solution was discovered on my second day. At the back of Deck 6, there is a door marked "Emergency Exit" but that is only its secondary purpose. It is the exit to a huge balcony that covers the back of the ship and it has lots of loungers. The most passengers that I have seen n this secluded balcony is five in Hubbard Glacier. There are stairs going up that will take you to the aft Lido Deck if you need a snack. There is a large hot air vent that comes in handy in cold temps while on the balcony. The wide view is great for photography. FWIW there is also a similar balcony on Deck 7 using the stairs at the back of the Lido Pool area or the Deck 7 "Emergency Exit" door at the back of the hallway.

 

I cannot recommend any day for Specialty Restaurants. In all of the days I have eaten in them, I have never seen them crowded, My website will soon have all of the daily menus posted so you can choose your "least favorite food" nights to skip the MDR.

 

I am posting this from the Explorations Cafe which has a stable internet connection unlike my stateroom (6217).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Fabulous reading and preview of my cruise in August! Can you tell me if hair co ditioner is supplied in the bathroom as well as shampoo? I know, it's those little things.;)

 

Both are made by Elmis and are provided in large dispensers in the shower. Hand lotion in small bottles and hand soap is also provided. There will be hair dryer in a cloth bag located in one of your desk drawers. The Shops also have toiletries and sundries for sale but at an elevated price.

 

Hope this helps in your planning.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I was on the Westerdam last month and also found the cruise lacking in things to do on sea days and also in the evening. I really missed dancing venues and other things to participate in other than BB Kings or the dueling piano's. It seemed that everything offered had a extra charge??

I did buy a future cruise credit so hoping that the newer, larger ships have more activities.

 

I , too, was on the Westerdam in April for four sea days in a row. The activities were varied but there was something to do every hour. Some of the things did not peak my interest so there was some "downtime" that I could use to watch a movie n the TV.

 

Alaska is very port intensive and involves awakening at 6:00 and being on the go all day which leads to early bedtimes for many. On my sea days the Lido Market was crowded near the end of Breakfast indicating most passengers "slept in" for a change.

 

The Explorations Cafe has a bulletin board to post your interests in card games, board games, puzzles, etc to attract other passengers with similar interests.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sitka

AT&T store

201 Katlian Street

I have no idea where that is.

 

 

I found the address online two days ago, The phone is not replaceable by ATT but must be returned to Samsung. New phone is being shipped "next" day and will arrive at my home in Albuquerque before I do. Fortunately, I have a tablet with all of my schedules to use and my phone was automatically backed up to my Samsung Account,

 

If I was addicted to my phone, I would be undergoing severe withdrawals.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...