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Old April 6th, 2009, 07:28 PM
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Location: Seattle,WA
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Default Newbie needs advice

My 2 girlfriends and I want to take a cruise to Alaska for our 60th birthdays in 2010. Since I live in Seattle, closest to a departure port, I volunteered to be the the tour planner. None of us have been on a cruise! Help!

We want to take one of the 7 day Holland America trips because as far as we can tell it is the only line that goes to Sitka and also into Glacier Bay which we want to see. We also like the idea of a smaller ship with less onboard activities. No lively casino and formal nights for us! We want to see scenery, wildlife, glaciers and relax!

Which HAL ship is preferable for an Alaska trip-(Westerdam, Vaadam or Amsterdam)assuming they all will go there next year? We plan to share a suite with a balcony -so does one ship have nicer or roomier suites? Is one ship more "friendly" than they other?

Also how do most book their cruise first time--use a travel agent or book online? I am very comfortable using a pc. Thanks in advance for any input.
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Old April 6th, 2009, 09:31 PM
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Default choose the westerdam

Actually, I have only been on the Westerdam and going on Eurodam this Saturday. I do the Carribbean. But the Westerdam was absolutely beautiful. Friendly service, and such a rich environment. Leather sofas, cherry wood panels. Everything looked so elegant. I would highly recommend the westerdam.
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Old April 6th, 2009, 10:49 PM
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If you want a smaller ship, go with the Veendam (not Vaandam), if it is sailing from Seattle. We've been on the Westerdam and Eurodam and they are large ships, although very nice.

I think you would be best going to a travel agent, checking the itineraries, prices, etc., before you make your decision. I have no idea what ships are going to Sitka next year.

The Deluxe Suites are lovely and come with all kinds of amenities. I think it would be too crowded for 3 of you in a mini-suite (A or B category). If it's for your 60th, go for a Deluxe Suite, (SA, SB,SC) as it is so much bigger and you wouldn't be falling all over each other.

The Veendam is in dry dock right now having all kinds of upgrades made. Check out

http://www.hollandamericablog.com/

to see what they are doing to the ship.

We've been to Alaska 3 times and loved it. So much to see and do in the various ports and Glacier Bay is magnificent.

Any more questions, just ask and I am sure someone will be able to help you.
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Old April 20th, 2009, 02:00 PM
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DeeDee's advice is excellent. but generally speaking all H
AL ships are in very good shape. they are gorgeous ships and the service crews (Indonesian and Filipino) are all extremely friendly. Or my money, there is no better cruise experience afloat for the price.

Go to the Holland America official site and check out the deck plans as to the size of mini-suites vs the deluxe SA,SB category.
And I agree that talking to an experienced cruise travel agent in your circumstance would be a good idea.

I'm sure you will have a wonderful time Bon voyage
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Landlocked in Denver, but cruisin every chance we get.

Polynesia, Carib. '86
Cr. Odyssey, Scandinavia, '91, 30 Day S Pac. 2002
Crystal Harm, Aust., N.Z., '94
Royal Odyssey, AK,'96
Old Cr. Pr. Canal, '97
RCCL, Carib, 1998
Volendam, Car, 2000
Ryndam, 35 day S. Am., Antarctica, '03
Is. Pr., Canal, 2004
Statendam, 34 day China, Japan, AK '06
Cr.Pr., Carib. 08
Eurodam, Atlantic, Med. '10
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