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Old August 11th, 2002, 07:46 PM
lougee1043's Avatar
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Default just off the zaandam -- alaska



Went to Vancouver a day early and had beautiful weather there. Had dinner atop the empire landmark hotel at the revolving cloud 9 restaurant. We are always amazed how the skyline changes from visit to visit

At the ship check-in we were told that we had a cabin change from a mini to a FULL SUITE. There is an upgrade God.

Cabin accommodations were absolutely wonderful. And the perks that go with the cabin werenít bad either.
An invite to something special every day. The tea service is so civil and to take tea on ones balcony is so British

At the first reception we were talking with the couple behind us and it turned out that they were upgraded to the BIG ONE----THE PENTHOUSE. Needless to say we became great friends during the cruise.

We had high tea with them in their cabin with a valet standing by, also pre dinner cocktails and nibbles before dinner one night.

The 4 of us went to dinner one pm at the marco polo, and when peter signed the after dinner drink tab (we bought the wine) many of the staff came by the table and practically stood at attention while the all asked if the service was ok. The maitre d came by and he stood taller then the rest and wanted to know if we would be coming back to the marco polo and if so, to call him directly and he would make sure that we would have a table and time slot of our choosing.

He came by the kings room (where all the suite passengers can have breakfast and lunch) and inquired if we were going to the captains lunch and he assured us that the best table would be waiting for the 4 of us. And it was.-------for us the absolute best was that whenever he saw us he would come over, call us by name and ask if there was anything he could co to make our cruise a little better. He couldnít because everything was perfect.

Juneau was in the high 70s and sunny- a most beautiful day. We took the mendenhall glacier river raft ride.
They use the name mendanhall because we start out at the base of the glacier.
At first they didnít have enough wet suits and boots to go around and they tried to get us to go without them and itís a good thing I insisted that they get us the proper gear or we would have been soaked going down the short sections of #1 and #2 rapids. Interesting trip, would have liked more rapids. The oarsmen are all college kids and a lot of fun to talk to. Rest of the day was for walking around and taking in the local sites and shopping.

Skagway was a bit cloudy and cool but not enough to chill the bones. Our helicopter and dog sled ride was cancelled due to poor landing visibility on the glacier. Jan was devastated- this was to be the high point of her trip. (she did get a chance to spend a few minutes with an RCMP puppy in training to be a drug sniffer and apprehension dog at the Vancouver airport) the irony was that this same tour is available in Juneau, but after hearing the trip gets cancelled because of cloud cover in Juneau we elected to tour in skagway because of the better weather

Ketchikan cool and rainy- what did you expect in a town that that gets rain 270 days a year.
We took the Ketchikan duck tour (amphib vehicle Ėyou drive through town and then into the water for a harbor tour and then backómy personal opinion is pass on this one and try something else

Glacier bay- we were lucky enough to have a starboard cabin so we were able to see some of the glaciers from the comfort of our room with tea, hot chocolate and cookies to tide us over til the next meal. Again the fog and cloud cover didnít give us the clearness you would hope for. Oh well an excuse to go back again.

Back at the Vancouver harbor we saw the statendam that had to be towed back into port a few hours after it sailed due to as I understand a complete electrical outage which left the ship high and dry afloat.

We are now cruiseless til march 31, 2003 when we sail again to the sea of cortez on the statendam. I hope they get the electrical problem fined by then.

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Old August 12th, 2002, 02:58 AM
Kenny C.A.
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Default Re: just off the zaandam -- alaska

Hi Louis. I was just thinking about your trip tonight. I am glad you didn't book the Ryndam.
They cancelled a cruise due to the Norwalk virus on the same week-end you left, I think.

It sounds like you had a wonderful time. I am sorry you didn't get to go on the helicopter ride and dog sled ride. Next time.

I had heard that some ships didn't bother to go to Glacier Bay because of the fog.
We never ran into fog the both times I was in Alaska. It is really interesting how the weather can radically change from day to day.

Did you get a chance to visit The WEST END Guest House? What hotel did you stay at in Vancouver?

I am so happy you got a last minute upgrade.
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Old August 12th, 2002, 08:02 PM
NLK NLK is offline
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Default Re: just off the zaandam -- alaska

Can I ask how the upgrades work? Do these go to repeat cruisers, or is it just luck of the draw? We don't have a "guaranteed" cabin number for our cruise in two weeks because I had heard that there is a better chance of being upgraded if you don't have a specific cabin number requested. Is there any truth to this? Thanks.
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Old August 14th, 2002, 08:45 PM
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Default Re: just off the zaandam -- alaska

nlk
you can ask but if anyone knows the real answer they are not going to share it

kenny
we did visit the west end guest house on sunday for breakfast.
we would stay there the next time we go to vanc
we stayed at the empire landmark on robson-- the room was 134. cdn
nice place
we saw the statendam berthed while they worked on the electrical problem

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