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Just back from Alaska aboard the Zaandam


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Wow what an amazing trip! This was my first cruise and definately not my last. Cruising is a blast and Alaska is just amazing. All the beautiful sights and views were awesome. We saw humpback and Orca whales, harbor seals, eagles, and dall porpoises all from the ship!


The Holland America experience was pretty good. Great food ... but at times nothing was open. Ham and cheese omelets for room service seemed to be missing cheese most times. Hot chocolate was great. Chocolate Volcano cake in Pinnancle Grill was awesome. Dinner at the Pinnancle grill was great too....had filet mignon.


Bruce Block was a comedian/magician that we really enjoyed!


Thanks to all for all of the advice before my trip.



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Welcome Back :) I'm leaving this Saturday for Zaandam..


If you don't mind I would like to a question about leaving out of Vancouver. Did you actually see your bags in Vancouver, or does HAL take them away before you go through Canadian customs. We are flying from Chicago to Vancouver via flights arranged by HAL.


My biggest fear is we will arrive at the ship and our luggage never will. Wondering if its possible to not use HALS tags until after customs then turn them over to HAL for transfer to the ship. At least that way I know the bags arrived with us.


Any Help Would Be Greatly Appreciated...

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I cruise next month using HAL's air(flying into Vancouver) and I am also curious about the procedure.Thanks.

Also, what time was your return flight?. Mine is 8:50pm and I plan on taking a post cruise tour through HAL...can you share about that if you have knowledge. Thank you.



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CockyGoffin and ExaltHim,


I flew from Cleveland to Chicago to Vancouver via HAL arrainged flights. I had a 2 1/2 hour lay over in Chicago on the way there and a 2 hour lay over in Chicago on the way home. I checked my bags in Cleveland and didn't see/touch them again until they arrived at my cabin aboard ship! That was wonderful. However coming home you place your checked luggage outside of your cabin on the last night and then you pick them up in the airport and have to take them yourselves to be checked in. But there are luggare carts that are free and very helpful. Hope that helps!


Krazy Kruizers,


When we got back on the ship after two of the port days there was nothing open to go and get food. We had to wait until the 11:00 pm Lido buffet. We were tired and hungry and just wanted to sit down and eat something right then and there but had to wait. Mind you it was worth the wait but I was under the impression that there was always food available.





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On thread posted by auj!fan they indicated baggage checked in Clevland to Vancouver they never saw their baggage again till it arrived in their cabin. This used to be the standard procedure prior to 9/11 but since then we had to pick up our baggage at the airport and hustle it to cab or their transportation. Has HA changed their procedure or was that just the case because of Canadian customs? Sure hope they changed!

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Sounds like you had a great time---did your entire group love it as much as you did? How was the anniversary celebration?


We just got home early, early this morning......long layover in San Francisco--

followed by a long flight delay---Spent about 7 plus hours in SF. :p

But even that can not dim the great memories and wonderful time that we had.


Talk to you soon!!! T

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So glad that you fell in love with Alaska. What an amazing destination. Please let us know what you thought of the ship. Did you like the decor? I'm such a music fan that the ship's decor just blew me away. Hope you loved it but we want to hear even if you didn't like something. Thanks.

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Glad your back and had a great time. Yes we all pretty much enjoyed the cruise. Everyone had some issues but that's to be expected with a group of 11. The anniversary celebration was great. They even gave us a special cake and champagne.


Sorry to hear about your long lay over. Our luggage was delayed coming home so that added an add'l 1/2 hour but that was ok. At least we got it and it was on the way home instead of going.


What was your favorite thing about the ship or trip?



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I too am a music fan and also a former alto sax player so yes I did enjoy the decorations. Sometimes it seemed a little drab but I liked the guitars and the different instruments that were displayed.



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