I have booked the Zaandam for an Inside Passage Cruise next May and I have a couple of questions about the cruise port in Seattle.
There seem to be two possibilites in Seattle, which one does HAL use?
I will be flying into Seattle the day before sailing, is there a nice (inexpensive) hotel which has a shuttle to both the cruise port and airport?
Does HAL allow early boarding in Seattle as they do in Fort Lauderdale?
Good luck on finding a nice (inexpensive) hotel with those shuttle services. I think it's a lot to ask of inexpensive accommodations. I (traveling solo) stayed at the Vance Hotel the day before my cruise and it was a $10 cab fare (tip not included) to the terminal. I also stayed at the hotel the night after my cruise; the cab fare back to hotel was $12 due to heavy traffic. Not bad, I think.
early boarding: The Oosterdam was scheduled to depart at 4:00 pm. I checked out of my room at the Vance just before noon and went directly to pier. They were processing people to board when I got there. The passenger lines are what you'd expect, however, the processing went very smooth and quickly. ((As long as you have filled out the registration online form that HAL's site requested.) I didn't time the process as I was too thrilled about my first cruise and kept starring at the huge cruise ship. :-)
Keep in mind that if there is a snag in disembarking the passengers of the previous cruise (the cruises are back-to-back, right?) then embarkation process would be adjusted accordingly.
I noted that the passengers who arrived at the pier after 2:30 didn't have any wait time outside the terminal building since there were no lines at that point.