Now that we've been home a couple days, I can reflect on the Alaska trip. As cruises go, it was a very good vacation. Alaska remains our favorite cruise destination.
The wildlife viewing was exceptional as always. Kodiak was a little disappointing - or we had overly high expectations. Seeing the pod of killer whales at Juneau so close to the excursion boat for about 20 minutes was outstanding and was a cruising highlight. I think I got my best-ever whale tail picture.
Entertainment onboard was just OK. Lorna Luft put on an unexpected, fabulous show - maybe one of the best we have seen on a cruise ship. However, much of the performances by the ship's show group was too obviously pre-recorded and blah.
Food in the dining room was generally good - as was the Lido Cafe. The Pinnacle Grill was outstanding. I admit that I ate a lot and gained 4 lbs. I don't usually have dessert after every lunch and dinner!
We, again, had very enjoyable dinner partners. And, we continue to prefer the "old style" assigned seating for dinner.
Scenery was awesome, as expected, and we confirmed that Hubbard Glacier is "the" glacier to see. Glacier Bay can't compare. Butchart Gardens remains an incomparable place to visit.
Travel to/from Seattle through Atlanta was grueling and we must only do a direct flight (and not so early) next time.
The ship, the HAL Amsterdam, was good. We did have glitches - like the toilet required 4 or 5 plumber visits. But, in general, it continues to be a nice ship after 10 years. The concierge at the Neptune Lounge (for suites only) was very friendly and helpful.
As always, I am very glad that we visited Alaska once again.