What should I expect on cruise to Alaska – Holland America?

Question by 1st_time_cruiser: What should I expect on cruise to Alaska – Holland America?
We are 1st time cruisers. We are taking Holland America’s Alaska cruise from Seattle in mid-Sept. 2006 aboard its “Zaandam” ship. We are taking 2 senior citizen couples with us. Will they have things to do? What do the staterooms look like? We have 3 Oceanview rooms. What can you tell me about food options – we are all vegetarians? What is included in the price we paid? Are spa services and fitness center use included or is there separate charges? What should we take with us for clothing? Will I have motion sickness? How to prevent/treat that? Any advice/info you can give me will be really helpful.

Best answer:

Answer by SheBiggles
Ive not cruised to Alaska, but I’ve researched it. I recently did a world cruise (14 weeks) the ship was fab, food, entertainment, state rooms etc. Even better if you have an outside cabin with a balcony? By all acoubnts the Alaskan cruises are fabulous but cold, obviously. You will see whales and spectacularly haunting scenery….so don’t forget your camera!! Happy cruising!

Sorry….forgot the most important bit! All food is included, but not drinks. Wine with dinner is a rip off (so take a couple of bottles, then buy more and have a pre-dinner drink if you dont want to pay the prices) the gym is free to use for all and verty good, but if you want t apersonal trainer you have to pay. All entertainment is free. Take your currency with you as its expensive to change it onboard. Usually, if the ship is a largish one there will be a launderette so you can wash and iron your clothes…free. If you want to use the onboard dry cleaning service you have to pay. Don’t take too much luggage as you have to store all the cases in your state room and also there is not an awful lot of hanging space, remember it is better to get some washed or dry cleaned than to clutter your small room up. Ther entertainment programmes work in with the dinner sitings (1st or 2nd sitting) so you shouldn’t miss anything. I know you are going to Alaska so you need SOME warm clothing, but you can get really BADLY sunburnt at sea (the sun reflects off the water and you can get burnt in the SHADE) so take a hat and a good high factor sun screen. Hope this helps! Take motion sickness tabs as it can get rough at sea sometimes (they have a hospital and can give a shot but its unbelievably expensive!!) If you feel ill through motion sickness you MUST try to eat a little (dry crackers are good) if your stomach is completely empty you can feel worse. Hope its calm at sea for you. Enjoy!!

Know better? Leave your own answer in the comments!

This entry was posted in Alaska Tour and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to What should I expect on cruise to Alaska – Holland America?

  1. tinkertoy says:

    WE went on a cruise to ALaska a few years ago. We went on Princess Cruise Line but all cruise lines tend to have the same things. WEe have been on about 12 cruises on Princess, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and Norwegian.

    They are one of THE best vacations you can take. Once you are on ship the staff caters to you, its whatever you want. There is something to do all day every day. Some ships have free morning exercise programs, stretching and walking or you can pay for other things like Spinning in the gym. All cruise ships have gyms so you can go workout usually any time from about 6:00 AM to late at night. There is usually a walking/running track on one of the decks also. Some ships leave the gym open all night. They call the gyms Spa because they do promote getting pampering stuff like wraps and massages with aromatherapy. They will also generally have a beauty salon to do hair and nails..

    Ships have movie theaters, small but nice, and you can also see movies in your room. There are demonstrations on ship like ice carving, napkin folding and towel folding, cooking demonstrations. So offer tours of the galley (kitchen) and/or the bridge.

    Each day you will receive a “newsletter” listing the time, place and particulars of each event. You can schedule land tours and activities also during the day and evening when the ship is in port. There are generally shows every evening, one show for those with an early dinner seating and another (same show) for those who eat late. There is always food available. Usually there is a place in ship where you can go get something. Or, you can always just pick up the phone in your cabin and order from the room serviice menu (food is free). If you want, you can order breakfast room service.

    There are places on ships to play board games, a library, a place to get online (I don’t recommend this because its super expensive … wait until you get in port and look for a an internet cafe) and cocktail lounges that feature a variety of music. There is usually a disco that starts after 10:00 PM each night. There is music for all ages.

    Then there is always the pools. Some ships have more than one and the newer ships generally have an indoor pool as well as outdoor ones and all of these have hot hots.

    I suggest that you go to the web site for the cruise line you are going on and look at the features for the ship you will be on. I hope you have picked a balcony cabin, or a suite, they are more relaxing and fun.

    If you want a special diet just tell them in advance, or each day at dinner you can order the vegetables that you want that are available; they will gladly do that.

    The price you paid includes the cruise only which means your cabins and all of the food (except in specialty restaurants). All meals are included as well as the shows and entertainment on ship. Name brand soft drinks, like Coke or Pepsi, cost, but youy can have all of the coffee, tea, juice, milk, punch you want.
    The hidden costs on a cruise are your tab for drinks (alcoholic and sodas),tours, and gratuity. Many ships now add the recommended gratuity to your onboard tab. The gratuity is about $10 to $12 a day per person. You can give more if you want. Tours can add hundreds to your final bill, depending upon how many stop the ship makes and what you want to do. Study the tours carefully; some places you may want to just go on your own.

    The Alsaka crusie will be mostly in the Inside Passage which measn that the seas will not be high or rough. You are not likely to get sea sick because ships built these days have stabilizers toi keep them from rocking very much. If you do get sick, there is a doctor’s office on board and usually you can get sea sick meds at the pursers desk. If you think you will be sea sick from past experience, you can get pills from your Dr or get a wrist bracelet which is said to work great. They are sold in Boating stores.

    I hope this is enough; you and all will enjoy.

  2. imapoohbear2 says:

    Go the cruise-addicts.com it is great for first time cruisers. You can connect with people going on your cruise, are who just got off. You can ask them question about the ship and what entertainment they have onboard.

  3. KEJELJ says:

    You will probably stop in Juneau, Ketchikan, and Sitka and spend a day at Hubbard Glacier. On the way back you’ll stop in Victoria BC. Your food in included except the Pinnacle Grille Restaurant which is $20 per person (but you get a $100 meal). Visit the Pinnacle on the first night of your cruise and it’s half price, but make your reservation as soon as you get to your stateroom as more and more folks are learning this little secret.

    Spa services are also not included, but you have full use of the workout facilities, pools etc. Extras include hair and nail salon, massage, teeth whitening, facials etc.

    There’s a variety of entertainment at all hours including movies, music, bingo, a casino, a library, all kinds of classes like digital photography, art auction, shopping, contests, talent shows etc.

    For clothing, wear what you wear at home – it’s quite casual. There’s one formal night you’ll need formal attire for, but otherwise, you should be able to get by with just a few pairs of pants and tops and a light jacket (it does get a little windy on deck.) If you’re a good mix and matcher, you’ll be able to pack light.

    It is very unlikely that you will experience any motion sickness, but you can take Dramamine if you do – they even have a non-drowsy formula now. Some people get those behind the ear patches, but many complain that they make them drowsy, dry-mouthed, and blurred vision.

    This will be a fabulous trip, even if you don’t take any of the excursions offered at any of the destinations. There’s plenty to keep you busy right on the ship, or right downtown in each of the stops. Have a great time!