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gambee

!!! HAL Amsterdam !!! To Alaska ^_^ The Ultimate Review and Complete Pictorial Guide!

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LOVING your review! I was on this cruise with you and I am certain I remember your Mom! So probably said hi to you too! :) It was my 65th Birthday cruise, and could not have been more glorious!! I have been on 14 Alaska cruises with HAL and always do the Polar Bear Plunge! This time for I just forgot and missed it. Later, Grant, the assistant cruise director told me that the guy who went in fully clothed was the same guy that won the Bingo jackpot and Grant was "punishing" him LOL! Usually it's all OVER once you jump into the warm pool, but Grant had other ideas apparently!!

 

I'm SO glad you got to see so many whales and that the weather was so great for your first Alaska adventure. Hubbard Glacier was indeed my reason for doing this itinerary, and like you, Amsterdam is my favorite ship!!!

 

 

 

***To the couple who are going on the two week Amsterdam Alaska cruise next summer with a teen, I actually think a C cabin will be a bit small for the three of you. Your granddaughter will have to sleep on the couch, which the steward will make up each night while you are at dinner. Not terrible, but if you can swing for a larger cabin you'll be glad you did. That said, do NOT just "upgrade" to a balcony cabin or what they now call some kind of "suite", but really isn't. Those tiny balconies do absolutely nothing to enhance your experience. As you saw from Gambee's review, there are so many amazing outdoor areas where you will WANT to be, you don't want to pay a lot for that postage stamp private balcony that just makes the room smaller. (IMO) SS category is perfect for 3 "adults", and there are some inside cabins that are over-sized. You can ask specifically about them and get good deals.

 

 

Now on to read the rest of Gambee's amazing review of OUR cruise!!!

Thank you again for all this, Gambee - especially the PHOTOS!! I'm a terrible photographer, (although my traveling companion is great)... and always appreciate looking back at how wonderful it was.

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Just caught up with the review. Loved reliving Sitka through your photos. DH and I also went to Fortress of the Bear and the Raptor Center on our trip [we went on our own without a tour so did not make it to the salmon hatchery] and loved both places. They do great work and whilst it is not the same level of excitement as seeing the animals in the wild by chance, at least we know we are supporting these organizations and they work they do to protect the birds and bears. I noticed that you didn't post pics of the black bears at Fortress; did you miss them or just omit the pics for the sake of time.

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LOVING your review! I was on this cruise with you and I am certain I remember your Mom! So probably said hi to you too! :) It was my 65th Birthday cruise, and could not have been more glorious!! I have been on 14 Alaska cruises with HAL and always do the Polar Bear Plunge! This time for I just forgot and missed it. Later, Grant, the assistant cruise director told me that the guy who went in fully clothed was the same guy that won the Bingo jackpot and Grant was "punishing" him LOL! Usually it's all OVER once you jump into the warm pool, but Grant had other ideas apparently!!

 

I'm SO glad you got to see so many whales and that the weather was so great for your first Alaska adventure. Hubbard Glacier was indeed my reason for doing this itinerary, and like you, Amsterdam is my favorite ship!!!

 

 

 

***To the couple who are going on the two week Amsterdam Alaska cruise next summer with a teen, I actually think a C cabin will be a bit small for the three of you. Your granddaughter will have to sleep on the couch, which the steward will make up each night while you are at dinner. Not terrible, but if you can swing for a larger cabin you'll be glad you did. That said, do NOT just "upgrade" to a balcony cabin or what they now call some kind of "suite", but really isn't. Those tiny balconies do absolutely nothing to enhance your experience. As you saw from Gambee's review, there are so many amazing outdoor areas where you will WANT to be, you don't want to pay a lot for that postage stamp private balcony that just makes the room smaller. (IMO) SS category is perfect for 3 "adults", and there are some inside cabins that are over-sized. You can ask specifically about them and get good deals.

 

 

Now on to read the rest of Gambee's amazing review of OUR cruise!!!

Thank you again for all this, Gambee - especially the PHOTOS!! I'm a terrible photographer, (although my traveling companion is great)... and always appreciate looking back at how wonderful it was.

 

First of all Happy belated Birthday =)

 

Agree, it was a wonderful cruise, and HAL made it so much better. I am really glad we went them vs other lines. I guess the only other line that I would had enjoyed doing it in would be Disney, but as we know they are incredibly expensive. Oh yeah, that's right they did mention that he won the jackpot the day before. They were saying he won a free cruise, but then they starting laughing, so not really sure if it was true or not.

 

I bet you saw mom, all you had to do was look for a lady that looked like a burrito in all those blankets, lol. And likely I was around her glued to my camera and the binoculars.

 

Thank you for the info on the cabin, I you know I am new to HAL and my knowledge is rather limited.

 

And about those whales, I hit the jackpot on the last day of the cruise ;)

 

Question, do you by any chance remember the name of the naturalist?

 

Just caught up with the review. Loved reliving Sitka through your photos. DH and I also went to Fortress of the Bear and the Raptor Center on our trip [we went on our own without a tour so did not make it to the salmon hatchery] and loved both places. They do great work and whilst it is not the same level of excitement as seeing the animals in the wild by chance, at least we know we are supporting these organizations and they work they do to protect the birds and bears. I noticed that you didn't post pics of the black bears at Fortress; did you miss them or just omit the pics for the sake of time.

 

Hello there, nice to see you again. We saw the black bear in the fortress, but as you know they were in the distance, and I guess I did not even try to get a picture of them. After seeing them in the wild, it sorta losses the enchantment, lol. But yeah, that is correct, I guess since I did not have pics of them, I completely forgot to write about them :(. The funny thing is that I actually find black bear much cuter than the brown ones, so it is odd that I did not at try to get one shot.

Edited by gambee

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Thinking tonight of last Friday in Sitka reading your review. I swear we ate our weight in fresh crab, corn cakes & slaw! Worth every cent. Halibut Point Crab & Brew, seasonal pop up right at the dock. Rushed hub's thru our brewery tasting & walk from brewery to the dock through Sitka National Park (gorgeous) and made it in time for late lunch. BEST and most memorable meal on our 14 day trip. (Zaadam 8.27.18)

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Sitka is one of our favorite ports.

That crab does look delicious. We both love crab.

As usual, great review and wonderful pictures.

 

It was real good crab, I can still remember it =)

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Another great gambee review!

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

 

Nice to see you again =), thank you for reading.

 

I'm really enjoying your review!

 

Glad you like it :)

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Thank you so much! You made my daughter very happy with the Crab Shack in Sitka information! Can't wait to try it!!!!

 

I am glad that I could help you with that information. I hope you enjoy the crab shack =)

 

Thinking tonight of last Friday in Sitka reading your review. I swear we ate our weight in fresh crab, corn cakes & slaw! Worth every cent. Halibut Point Crab & Brew, seasonal pop up right at the dock. Rushed hub's thru our brewery tasting & walk from brewery to the dock through Sitka National Park (gorgeous) and made it in time for late lunch. BEST and most memorable meal on our 14 day trip. (Zaadam 8.27.18)

 

Oh yeah, that national forest looked gorgeous, that must of been a really long walk! Till today I regret not getting more corn cakes, they were so tasty :)

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Gambee,

 

Your life is worth more than the $300 for an epipen, imagine the impact on your family should the worst happen.

 

Anaphylaxis is not something to play with. I remember recovering consciousness in a hospital emergency room, the doctor later telling me that had my wife taken one minute more to get me to the hospital I would not have made it, (lots of jokes later about my wife failing to collect the life insurance).

 

I don't know to this day what I ingested to cause it, allergy testing for everything that I had eaten, which included shellfish, did not reveal the cause. I now carry 2 epipens with me where ever I go. Your allergy can go from mild to fatal with no warning. Buy that epipen, please.

Edited by old mike
Grammer

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Gambee,

 

Your life is worth more than the $300 for an epipen, imagine the impact on your family should the worst happen.

 

Anaphylaxis is not something to play with. I remember recovering consciousness in a hospital emergency room, the doctor later telling me that had my wife taken one minute more to get me to the hospital I would not have made it, (lots of jokes later about my wife failing to collect the life insurance).

 

I don't know to this day what I ingested to cause it, allergy testing for everything that I had eaten, which included shellfish, did not reveal the cause. I now carry 2 epipens with me where ever I go. Your allergy can go from mild to fatal with no warning. Buy that epipen, please.

 

Even though my reactions have mostly been mild, I will take that into consideration. Thank you for sharing your experience :)

Edited by gambee

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Just read your section on Ketchikan and had to comment on the Lumberjack Show. We did that excursion on our trip and it was surprisingly loads of fun [with plenty of fit, handsome lumberjacks! HAHA]. I am not usually into that type of thing either but DH wanted to go so I obliged and really ended up enjoying it. Like you, we loved Creek Street; it's wonderful and has so much interesting history plus the small shops there are very cute.

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Just read your section on Ketchikan and had to comment on the Lumberjack Show. We did that excursion on our trip and it was surprisingly loads of fun [with plenty of fit, handsome lumberjacks! HAHA]. I am not usually into that type of thing either but DH wanted to go so I obliged and really ended up enjoying it. Like you, we loved Creek Street; it's wonderful and has so much interesting history plus the small shops there are very cute.

 

I heard the same thing from a couple of people onboard the ship. They said that it was a lot of fun, and very engaging. I just never been a show kind of person, as you can see from my many reviews, it is rare that I make it to shows. Not really sure, why. :confused:

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Love your photos and your writing thank you for posting

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

 

 

You're welcome, thank you for following along =)

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The last 2 chapters of the review, this time in Victoria, British Columbia. I am currently working on the closing statements and scoring, will post them most likely Tomorrow morning. Thank you for following along everyone, it was much appreciated ☺️

http://www.cruisewithgambee.com/holland-america-amsterdam-victoria-canada-chapter-24/

 

.

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I totally agree, Alaska is by far my favorite cruise. That's why we are doing our 6th next year. :D Victoria is so beautiful, your pictures were really lovely. I have a question, you mentioned a shuttle stop to go back to the ship. Where can I get more information about this? Last time we were there they didn't have these, or if they did I wasn't aware of them. By the time I'm ready to head back to the ship, I'm usually tired and my feet hurt, being able to take a shuttle back would be nice.

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I see you mentioned that you were unable to get an Uber in Victoria. I was there in July and found out that the city has banned them..your only choice would be a taxi. Glad you had a great time!

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I totally agree, Alaska is by far my favorite cruise. That's why we are doing our 6th next year. :D Victoria is so beautiful, your pictures were really lovely. I have a question, you mentioned a shuttle stop to go back to the ship. Where can I get more information about this? Last time we were there they didn't have these, or if they did I wasn't aware of them. By the time I'm ready to head back to the ship, I'm usually tired and my feet hurt, being able to take a shuttle back would be nice.

 

The shuttle bus service can be bought aboard the cruise, and they are round trip tickets. They drop you off in the same place as the pickup is. It’s really close to the marina, like two blocks into downtown. We found out through one of the announcements that they make, but mom and I just bought the ticket once we got off the ship. I almost sure it was the same price

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