Jump to content

Is it easy to walk on and off the ship?


Recommended Posts

Posted (edited)

I have never cruised before and am taking the Konigsdam to Alaska next July.

 

When we stop in a place like Juneau, how easy is it to walk on and off the ship?  Is it as easy as walking into a hotel, or is it more difficult?

 

Thanks!

Edited by Petrocelli
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, Petrocelli said:

I have never cruised before and am taking the Konigsdam to Alaska next July.

 

When we stop in a place like Juneau, how easy is it to walk on and off the ship?  Is it as easy as walking into a hotel, or is it more difficult?

 

Thanks!

Answer - it depends!

At some ports, like Juneau and Ketchikan, the HAL ship NORMALLY docks in or near downtown, so you just walk down the gangway and you are right in the center of the action.  Some ports are tender only, so you have to take a shuttle boat (one of the lifeboats normally) from the ship to the pier.  Other ports are walk off, but are a distance from the center of town, so you need to take a shuttle bus or taxi to get there.

 

To add. you must have your cabin card to get on and off the ship (they will scan it).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just now, Gryphonette said:

IIRC there is a bit of a walk to get from the ship to Juneau, but eminently doable, seeing as how I — a tubby old woman — did it. 😆

This depends on which dock HAL is using that day.  Last trip to Juneau we exited right by the library in the center of town.

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The best advise I can give you, always be alert and realize that you're not in a hotel. The doors are heavier, there are steps to be taken, hold on to railings, ships move suddenly, if you concentrate on what you're doing than you will have a great cruise.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

22 minutes ago, Petrocelli said:

I have never cruised before and am taking the Konigsdam to Alaska next July.

 

When we stop in a place like Juneau, how easy is it to walk on and off the ship?  Is it as easy as walking into a hotel, or is it more difficult?

 

Thanks!

There are usually a lot of people getting off when the announcement is made that the gangway is open, lines in the stairwell and interior walkways.  If you wait awhile it’s easy.  Just have your key card in hand to have it scanned by staff and walk off.  Depending on the tides you may have to walk up or down an incline.  Same when you return to the ship, have your key card ready and you will have to go through a scanner like in the airport.  The ship needs to know who has gone ashore so they don’t leave anyone behind when it’s time to move on.  

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wouldn’t describe it as quite as easy as walking into a hotel. But since HAL operates in US waters, they are attuned to providing access as much as possible for people with disabilities.

 

If you or a traveling companion has concerns, for example if one of you uses a walker, just take your time, hold onto the handrails, and ask for assistance if the gangway is steep. (Also when you are getting onto/off of tenders.) The strong sailors are accustomed to assisting people of various mobility levels. Good advice to wait a while for the thundering herd to go ashore. 
 

Due to tidal changes, be aware that a slight incline of the gangway could be steeper when you return to the ship.

 

You may want to let HAL know if you may need assistance at times. Their access depart has always been very responsive to me (I travel with a service dog.) They provide tools like “accessible routes” deck plans like this one for Konigsdam which can be useful:
https://www.hollandamerica.com/content/dam/hal/marketing-assets/Accessibility/Holland-America-cruise_KO_ACCESS_EN.pdf

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 minutes ago, Horizon chaser 1957 said:

Is it easy to walk on and off the ship?

This often depends on the beverage package you purchased and how liberally you make use of it.😉

So true!  One time I almost fell into the water while boarding - too many margarittas!

 

  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

One important thing to remember when exiting the ship at a port is to ask the crew member that scans your card "What time do I have to be back aboard"?  Ship time and Port time can be different and you need to understand which is which and what time to be back. You'll have a great experience.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

24 minutes ago, Deep Blue Seas said:

One important thing to remember when exiting the ship at a port is to ask the crew member that scans your card "What time do I have to be back aboard"?  Ship time and Port time can be different and you need to understand which is which and what time to be back. You'll have a great experience.

Or, take a quick photo of the sign that says when to be back onboard. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

15 hours ago, Gryphonette said:

IIRC there is a bit of a walk to get from the ship to Juneau, but eminently doable, seeing as how I — a tubby old woman — did it. 😆

HAL docks right in downtown Juneau, right by the Red Dog Saloon. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 hours ago, Deep Blue Seas said:

One important thing to remember when exiting the ship at a port is to ask the crew member that scans your card "What time do I have to be back aboard"?  Ship time and Port time can be different and you need to understand which is which and what time to be back. You'll have a great experience.


There is a sign at the gangway that also tells you what time you have to be back onboard. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Be aware that even ports that aren't shown as using tenders may have to use them. 

We arrived in Juneau on Maasdam to find four ships already docked, so taking a tender was the order of the day. Not difficult, but not as easy as the gangway.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

17 hours ago, SilvertoGold said:

Or, take a quick photo of the sign that says when to be back onboard. 

I always do this. First, it’s a reference for the correct boarding time. Second, when you get home it neatly separates photos of one port from photos of the next, which can be very handy!

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 minutes ago, Horizon chaser 1957 said:

I always do this. First, it’s a reference for the correct boarding time. Second, when you get home it neatly separates photos of one port from photos of the next, which can be very handy!

Good idea! I usually take a pic of the day-of-the-week carpet in the elevator. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Horizon chaser 1957 said:

I always do this. First, it’s a reference for the correct boarding time. Second, when you get home it neatly separates photos of one port from photos of the next, which can be very handy!

 

What an EXCELLENT idea!  Thanks for posting this.

How are things in Chilliwack?  By the ocean we are cool and happy for it!

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Horizon chaser 1957 said:

I always do this. First, it’s a reference for the correct boarding time. Second, when you get home it neatly separates photos of one port from photos of the next, which can be very handy!

It took me a lot of trips to figure that out. 🤣 Now I do it every time!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

33 minutes ago, SilvertoGold said:

 

What an EXCELLENT idea!  Thanks for posting this.

How are things in Chilliwack?  By the ocean we are cool and happy for it!

I hints in Chilliwack have cooled down, and the air has cleared. Right now we’re on Salt Spring, and it’s been great so far. However, a forest fire near Ladysmith is sending smoke this way. This morning it is hazy and smells faintly smoky.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, kwb101 said:

Be aware that even ports that aren't shown as using tenders may have to use them. 

We arrived in Juneau on Maasdam to find four ships already docked, so taking a tender was the order of the day. Not difficult, but not as easy as the gangway.

That happened to us on the Noordam on one of the Greek Isles, IIRC Corfu. There were three ships and two docks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Horizon chaser 1957 said:

I hints in Chilliwack have cooled down, and the air has cleared. Right now we’re on Salt Spring, and it’s been great so far. However, a forest fire near Ladysmith is sending smoke this way. This morning it is hazy and smells faintly smoky.

 

Isn't Salt Spring lovely? My sister relocated form Vancouver and loves it!

 

Hope we both will be able to cruise soon.  Just have to get Bonnie onto it :)

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 8/20/2021 at 9:52 AM, Petrocelli said:

I have never cruised before and am taking the Konigsdam to Alaska next July.

 

When we stop in a place like Juneau, how easy is it to walk on and off the ship?  Is it as easy as walking into a hotel, or is it more difficult?

 

Thanks!

It isn't like walking into a hotel - the gangplank is most always slanted downward, sometimes more than others.  But, the gangplank has small metal strips that help you keep your balance, also hand rails on each side.  The crew will assist you if you are uncertain about your footing.  Using the tenders is a little more iffy, but the crew is stationed on each side of the tender door and will let you know exactly which foot to use & where to place it.  

  • Like 2
Link to comment
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
 Share

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Forum Assistance
      • ANNOUNCEMENT: PONANT Cruises & Expeditions
      • Cruise Critic Live Special Event: Q&A with American Queen Voyages
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • Canadian Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...