One of these messages one day is going to click with another single!
I've been on HAL cruises 20 x's, and am "on deposit" for the Ryndam for Mexico 12/7/03!
It wouldn't take much to twist my arm to go to Alaska again. I've been on three cruises to Alaska and have gone back to Anchorage and Juneau THREE times as I wanted more time to see the special sites, i.e. Salmon Hatchery in Juneau, Mendenahl Glacier, also. Anchorage has the 26 Glacier Catamarran out of Whittier, which is GREAT!
OH! I'm a SWM, 63, college grad, conservative, non-smoker, easy-going, done this before with three women in different cruises and it worked OK, as long as you set the "ground rules" prior to deciding to make the trip!
We're sailing on the Statedam on August 17, 2003 from Vancouver to Seward. Have a group of six...half are experienced cruisers, though this will be a first for all of us going to Alaska and a first for sailing on HAL. Will anyone on these boards be joining us?
Husband and I actually hoteled with HAL aboard the former Nieuw Amsterdam during the 2000 Olympics in Sydney. (Him for 3 wks; me for about 2.) Though we didn't sail anywhere, and most of the typical "cruise things" didn't take place (i.e., big shows, daily activities, casino, etc.), in all other aspects, we were treated as if we were on a cruise...the crew was just wonderful.
The experience also kind of spoiled us for other cruises....there were only about 200 people (plus crew) living on the ship. We had the whole place to ourselves....for me, it was kind of hard to leave to go out and explore Sydney. The last two nights aboard (the last of which was the Closing Ceremonies of the Olympic), the ship was full with people who bought some sort of package from the Sydney Olympic Committee. Needless to say, we felt completely invaded ;-) by these "strangers" to "our" ship....and they didn't know where anything was! <VBG>
BTW, we were the last "civilians" to stay on the ship under the HAL flag. After the Olympics, it set sail for Hawaii and for Oregon where it changed ownership and became the now former Patriot.
And we loved the design of the ship. We really enjoy knowing we're on a ship....not a floating hotel. So, in deciding which line to sail in Alaska, there was no question in our minds. I'm sure our up-coming experience will live up to our expectations.
All that being said (or written), we have yet to book any excursions. Any suggestions, Robert? Guess that's too broad of a request. We know we're not interested in anything that involves food or flying. Perhaps something active like bike riding and the like. Is there any port you would suggest just wandering around the town instead of doing something organized? (We're going to Ketchikan, Juneau, Haines (Skagway), and Sitka (in that order); then cruising Yakuta Bay and Hubbard Glacier.
We're planning on taking the CruiseTrain from Seward to Anchorage. Have you done this?
We've got a veranda cabin...164....looks to be mid-ship. Needless to say, we're excited!