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Amsterdam Alaska 2011

Krazy Kruizers

Holland America Specialist
#1
This is going to take me several days to get everything posted -- in order words -- long.

[FONT=Comic Sans MS, Comic Sans, Sans-serif]Tuesday, June 7 - stayed at the Embassy Suites near the Pittsburgh International Airport for an early morning flight.[/FONT]

Wednesday, June 8 flew to Seattle via Phoenix --we arrived 1/2 hour early but our gate was not ready for us. (Breakfast was great on the flight -- French Toast with Blueberries, link sausage and a few potatoes - a nice bowl of fresh fruit and a flaky biscuit.) When the gate was finally ready we were now 10 minutes late. Thankfully the wheel chair was waiting for me as soon as we got off the plane in Phoenix to transport me to the other terminal -- great service - we got to the gate just as they were beginning to board. Arrived in Seattle on time, collected our luggage and called AlreadyThereTownCar to let them know we had arrived. Car was there in a couple of minutes. We have used them several times over the years. We arrived at the Marriott Bayside within minutes. Haven't stayed here in years -- won't go back there again. It's getting a bit run down.




Thursday, June 9 - walked over to Pike's Market and spent time roaming around - had lunch there. These are the steps and elevator beside our hotel to take us up to the road to walk over there:



There was a ship docked at the pier in front of our hotel -- sorry -- I don't know it's name -- they had some kind a ceramony and a special lunch in the Convention Center:

 

Krazy Kruizers

Holland America Specialist
#3
Friday, June 10 - AlreadyThereTownCar picked us up at 11 and took us to Pier 91. We quickly found a porter who took our luggage into the terminal. Went through security and proceeded upstairs to check-in -- which only took a couple of minutes. Then we had to get into one of 2 lines to go past the photographers. This is where I like Ft Lauderdale where we don't have to get in a line -- can't just walk behind them and get on the ship. When we got up to the photographers we just said "no thank you" and proceeded onto the ship. There were no Adagio Strings or champagne to greet us. We went directly to our cabin to drop off our carry-ons. Then it was time to go down to the dining room for lunch -- NOPE. The dining room wouldn't be open until about 12:30 or 1 PM because Marvin Hamlish and a group had the dining room tied up. So we decided not to join the crowds in the Lido and had a snack in the Neptune Lounge (sorry didn't get pictures of that area). When we entered the Neptune Lounge one of the concierges poured us a glass of champagne -- never had that before - nice touch. After that we went to the Canaletto and make reservations for the evening when the dining room was having the Master Chef's Dinner and the Pinnacle was closed because of Le Cirque. We also stopped by the Pinnacle and reconfirmed our reservations for there. Our luggage arrived at 1:25 -- never have we ever gotten luggage that early - not even when we have booked the Penthouse. We unpacked and Joe went to check out the gym. Lifeboat drill was at 4:15 -- no wearing of the life jackets. But unlike our Ryndam and Nieuw Amsterdam cruises -- attendance was taken. For those who didn't attend -- there was a make up drill the next morning at 10:30 at lifeboat 1. After that we changed for dinner and went to the Ocean Bar for pre-dinner cocktails. After dinner we went to the Crow's Nest for a liquor and to view the scenery. Love the idea that going north we do the Inside Passage.

One thing that we note -- we had only 6 pillows on our bed instead of the usual 8 -- only 2 were firm so had the cabin stewards bring us 2 more form ones.

Tonight's show was the usual "Let Us Entertain You" at 9:30 -- we didn't go.

Some pictures taken from the ship:







 

GloBug

Senior Flea Coller Tester
#4
I loved the Amsterdam! No strings!?!? That was my first impression of HAL and the Amsterdam, and it sold me! I have never hung out before in a ship library, but this ship has a great space for doing just that. The woman's bathroom on that same floor other side of the ship was amazing. Fun to go in there and stand at that full wall window and just stare at the passing scenery, especially the IP scenery. The piano bar was a must stop after dinner every evening, and we would always enjoy our time there. Have a wonderful trip, look forward to more pics.
 

Krazy Kruizers

Holland America Specialist
#7
Saturday, June 11 - Sea Day - Formal Night

The bow was open all day as we sailed the Inside Passage. The sun was out for the majority of the day.

Today we had our Suite cocktail party at noon in the Crow's Nest. Hardly anyone had a drink due to the fact that it was held at lunch time. We much prefer those parties on the first night of the cruise.

One thing we did notice -- all the pictures have been removed from the Art Gallery. The desk is now occupied by the

At 2 o'clock we went to the Wine Tasting held in the dining room. This was when we learned about the Cellar Master's Special Lunch and Cellar Master's Special Dinner (mentioned in the main HAL section).

Today was the first day of the Happy Hour specials. The Ocean Bar's was from 4 - 5; the Crow's Nest was from 7 - 8 and the Piano Bar was from 10 -11 each evening for the rest of the cruise. You could buy a drink and get the second for $1 -- must not cost more than $5.75 -- must be the same type of drink -- and the best part -- you can use your Beverage Cards during Happy Hour.

Tonight was our first formal dinner.

This evening's production show was Ultimate Broadway -- didn't go as we have already seen it. Show times were 8 and 9 PM.

Most evenings in the Crow's Nest at 7 PM there is either a Name That Tune or a Pub Trivia hosted by the DJ -- very cute and some bad questions and tunes!! But a lot of fun. This evening it was Name That Tune.
 

Krazy Kruizers

Holland America Specialist
#8
Sunday, June 12 - Ketchikan

It was quite rainy for awhile as we approached Ketchikan:











We had off and on rain showers most of the day. Two new docks were finished in time for the 2010 season. We just happened to get assigned to Birth #4 which is called Ketchikan Packing (I already knew this from this site: Welcome to Cruise Line Agencies of Alaska) which is the furthest one from town. We had a large group from Rotterdam -- many who did not speak English and they had trouble figuring out where their tours where to meet -- some at another dock. This problem was taken care of for all the other ports via the Guest Relations Manager who arranged for a couple of interpreters to help out. There are 2 free shuttle buses to take you into town. We took the small white one into town - it runs every 10 minutes. We did our usual walk up to Creek Street -- it was good to see that Dolly's House has been repaired -- the last time we were here -- it was in very bad shape. After walking around for awhile we decided to head back to the ship. This time we took the big multi-colored bus marked "downtown" back to the ship - it runs every 20 minutes. We got an extra bonus -- this bus also goes out to the Raptor Center and the Salmon Fish Hatchery.

Before we caught the bus back to the ship we took the tram (operates from Creek Street) up to the Cape Fox Hotel where we had a lovely lunch overlooking Ketchikan. A number of years ago when we took the tram up the hill -- the hotel had yet to open the dining room for lunch.

Note for those that interested - the Starboard side of the ship faced inland.

Also in port with us was the Carnival Spirit until 1 PM at Birth 1 - Salmon Landing -- down by the small mall and within a short walk to the Lumberjack Show. The Infinity had Birth 2 - Visitor's Bureau Tongass Store. And the Radiance of the Seas had the other new dock - Birth 3 called the City Float.

At 1 PM the Disney Wonder arrived and took the Birth that the Carnival Spirit had been in.

Cocktails at 4 PM for Happy Hour -- dinner in the dining room -- 7 PM - Happy Hour in the Crow's Nest for Pub trivia. At 8 was the main show for us -- Justin Miller -- we have seen his shows before -- great with all his guitars and mandolins -- the Adagio Strings joined him.

For anyone who has never been to Ketchikan I recommend Saxman Village, Totem Bight, a boat tour of the harbor (we didn't do the Duck Tour - it was a different boat -- they even served smoked salmon and cheese on crackers), the city tour, a walk to Creek Street -- the Salmon will be running starting the first of July. We have also done a flightseeing tour to the Misty Fjords. We have never done the Lumberjack Show -- some people like it -- some don't.
 

Krazy Kruizers

Holland America Specialist
#15
I loved the Amsterdam! No strings!?!? That was my first impression of HAL and the Amsterdam, and it sold me! I have never hung out before in a ship library, but this ship has a great space for doing just that. The woman's bathroom on that same floor other side of the ship was amazing. Fun to go in there and stand at that full wall window and just stare at the passing scenery, especially the IP scenery. The piano bar was a must stop after dinner every evening, and we would always enjoy our time there. Have a wonderful trip, look forward to more pics.
We have never had the Adagio Strings (or any other group) playing when we got on a ship. They mostly played in the Explorer's Lounge.
 

Krazy Kruizers

Holland America Specialist
#16
Monday, June 13 -- Tracy Arm

We really wanted to go to the Cellar Master's Special Lunch -- but since it was scheduled at noon -- we didn't sign up as that was the time that we would be starting into that area.

At 10:30 we went up to Crow's Nest for the view and Dutch Pea Soup -- it was also served in the Atrium and at the entrance to the bow on Deck 4 at that time.

At Lunch time there was a Dutch Buffet by the Lido Pool (11:30 - 2) -- really great -- we went to that knowing that we could eat quickly and be out on our verandah for the scenic viewing. The menu included:
Rolls and Butter
Garden Salad
Pasta Salad
Assorted Cold Cuts like Proscuitto and Cappicola
Pickled Beets & Cod
Dutch Pea Soup
Meatballs with gravy
Mashed potatoes with cabbage & butter sauce
Chicken Ragout
Apple Fritters
Bosche Boll
Olle Bollen
Poffertjes

There was a note in the Explorer Daily Program about no smoking anywhere on the ship while we began our journey into and from Tracy Arm -- not on the decks -- not in the cabins -- no where.

Once again we went to Happy Hour in the Ocean Bar -- then dinner -- then to the Crow's Nest for Happy Hour with Name That Tune.

This evenings production show was H2 Oh! -- have seen it a couple of times so did not go.

Since it is not that far between Tracy Arm and Juneau -- we spent most of the night drifting in the Gasteneau Channel.

Approach to Tracy Arm:



A couple of eagles on an iceberg: