The Cruise - Seaward and onwards, quick pass the sea sick tablets!

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July 15th 2012
Published: July 23rd 2012
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View from our cabin
15-16th July ’12 The Cruise – Leaving Seaward and on towards Glacier Bay

We drove back into Seaward and before dropping the car off went up to the cruise dock to drop our rucksacks off. The two blokes at the luggage store just looked incredulous when we handed in our rucksacks and wanted to know where the rest of our bags were. I must say our little rucksacks looked a sorry sight on top of the sea of huge suitcases!

Once the car was returned we were given a lift back to the ship and after being photographed and scanned we were allowed to board.

As we had booked on a late deal and opted for the cabin with an obstructed view – with a note to say it had no view at all, but this was better than being claustrophobic in an inside room, so it was a great surprise when we got in the room to see you could actually see really well from one of the beds. The cabin is very nice, with luxurious sheets, robes and towels and of course free room service. The cabin attendant was shocked to see our rucksacks and kept
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asking where the rest of our luggage was, hmm I suspect this will reflect how we fit in on this cruise!

We had a quick read through the programme for the day’s events before heading off to get some lunch. At first sight all the food took our breath away, with lots of choices and types of food. For the first 48 hours it is all served to you to prevent any stomach problems – maybe that’s why the portions are tiny ha ha. However the standard of food could only be described as good, not great and the puddings left a lot to be desired!!

Following the grub we decided to explore the ship, with the aid of the map that was provided. This ship is HUGE, 10 floors! And really posh, with various pieces of artwork, replicas of Egyptian treasures – complete with a mummy, a giant pipe organ rising up through several floors and 3 guitars signed by the Rolling Stones, Queen and Iggy Pop (but that is as rock as things got!).

All the staff are super smiley, friendly and polite all the time – not all the passengers are however! Everywhere we
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went we were handed leaflets for various promotions or offers and found ourselves signed up for the art auction!! We had a guided tour of the spa and I had a go lying on the floating seaweed wrap bed, where I was parcelled up in tin foil and floated about in a gorgeous warm cocoon. If I wanted to actually have the treatment I could at an introductory offer of $278 for 1 hour!!!!!! I also had my feet ‘mapped’ for free and the girl was spot on about my back problems but Howard turned white when she offered me the magic insoles that would solve all my problems for the bargain, tax and duty free, once in a lifetime price of $198.95 complete with free Velcro dots so they could fit in all my shoes!!! By chance we came across the Pinnacle Grill – the height of fine dining on the ship and just as we had read prior to the cruise it was mega posh, but an internal restaurant with large rounded windows which anyone could peer in and watch the great and good feeding, very odd!

We then decided to go to the introduction to the
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Dip anyone?......there was also an indoor pool
cruise and ports talk in the main lounge, which was hosted by the Ship’s Entertainment Director Michael and the Travel Tour Guide Patrick, who kept up a non-stop spiel complete with little jokes and swapping between one and another to deliver the information. By then end we couldn’t keep our faces straight and had only learnt that the advice was to book on the excursions offered by the ship and to use the services of the on-board Shopping Advisor! Hmmmm…..

That night we took advantage of the fact that all dress codes were off for the first night and we ate in the main Rotterdam Dining Room. This was all crisp white linens and waiter service for your 5 course meal. We both chose the crab tower starter and tried desperately but failed to not laugh when it arrived – it was about 2cm high! And 2 seconds later it was gone! This was followed by the really nice beef and horse radish sauce incident. I decided to try the sauce first and ate a small bit, immediately my nose and sinuses were on fire, the burning sensation just kept on building, I was gulping water down and turned
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Just sailing along
bright red. This brought the waiter over who kept refilling my glass and eventually it eased off, not a good start when you are pretending that you do fit in!! When we got to the desserts and we spent ages choosing, when they arrived they were miniscule, what a let down!

We came to the conclusion it was probably just as well that we would never be let in that dining room again (due to the dress code) and went up to the Lido (casual dress) dining room where we had some ribs to fill us up!

After dinner there was a compulsory Lifeboat drill and if you refused to take part you wouldn’t be allowed to sail. I had no problems with this at all, I really wanted to know what you should do and where you should go to, let’s face it the days of Women and Children First are long gone and I knew we would be seeing icebergs! We all waited in our cabins until the emergency signal was sounded and then had to get to our muster stations asap. As our cabin was on the lifeboat deck it didn’t take us long and
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Our cabin
then we were in a large group of people standing by our assigned station. A roll call was taken and we were all present. They then demonstrated how to put on the life vests and we were told in the event of an emergency the crew would issue instructions and help us into the lifeboats, following that we were dismissed. I have to say that in a real emergency and or in the dark I doubt very much it would be as calm and organised so I resolved to leave my clothes at the end of the bed each night just in case!

There was a free bingo session later so we decided to give that a go, big mistake, we had to sit through May and the HAL Cats for 10 minutes first. May was obviously a huge fan of Tina Turner and sang and danced in the same style, which meant I had to smother my laughter and try not to look at her or at Howard who kept setting me off again! Free bingo was hosted by the Ship’s DJ Mark who was actually from England, but he kept slipping into an American accent, when he went through the countries to find out where people were from we were the only Brits, although there is supposed to be 21 of us on the ship. The bingo was one card and you only had to get 4 numbers in the shape of a cross in the middle to win and then that was it, the end. As May and co. were due back on we made a quick exit!

The ship left the dock and we were soon pitching and rolling and despite the sea sickness tablets I was feeling awful. By the time we went to bed I was reeling in every sense of the word. The first day left us both suffering from sensory overload!

16th July ’12 At sea.

Today was just spent sailing down towards Glacier Bay and we just lazed around. Having tried and failed to get in the computer session we then discovered the library, which is a gorgeous room lined with books and with big picture windows and comfy chairs to snuggle in and spent most of the day in there.

We shared a table with a family of 4 from Illinois at lunch. They were really curious about us and our travels, all we found out about them was that they owned a farm and liked the casino! They were really nice and it made a change to have people to talk to.

Tonight was the first formal night and we soon saw people in gowns and dark suits, laden with jewellery and looking immaculate – we skulked off to the Lido, where there were actually quite a few other people who looked ordinary and wore jeans.


24th July 2012

What ship were you on?
We did the Inside Passage in 2008 on the Celebrity Cruise Line. We ate in the formal dining room every meal as we liked quality over quantity, but only had to dress up two evenings. I didn't bring my black suit so skipped the really formal service brought me two lobster dinners! Anyway, I learned my lesson and will take my formal suit with me on the 19 day cruise from Honolulu to Sydney in September.
24th July 2012

We were on the Zaandam - Holland and America, when i can get the rest of the cruise blogs uploaded you will see more about what i thought of it. We have been travelling for nearly a year now and our 'luggage' is 2 small rucksacks and we dont possess any formal gear (and its just not our style), it was really a cheap means to get to see places in Alaska we would have struggled to get to by ourselves and it was great value for money!

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