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    HAL
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    Alaska
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  1. Crew News

    AYCE King Crab

    Not King crab but Dungeoness crab feast is memorable but skip the appetizers and concentrate on how many half-crabs you can eat:
  2. The Maasdam is coming up the California Coast as part of a 19-day cruise to Mexico. Part of that cruise is a stop in Seattle and then Vancouver. There is no boarding in Seattle but probably some will disembar there. I did a similar cruise up the Pacific Coast with a stop in Seattle with excursions but no new boarding that ended in Vancouver. Since there are no stops in Canada for this 14-day cruise, it has to depart from a Canadian port. If you are on this May 4th cruise please join our roll call. https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2606876-may-4-18-2020-maasdam-to-alaska-14-days-from-vancouver/
  3. August does have more kids than normal as school vacation time is family travel season. The only time you see kids will be on some excursions and during meal hours as the Club HAL programs, especially for teens, keeps them occupied. One of the teen hangouts on the Konigsdam is the NY Pizza (free) just above the Lido indoor pool where they can design their own pizza. Here is a link to a typical Alaska teen program: http://www.rogerjett-photography.com/here/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/AL-15-Kids-13-17.pdf The konigsdam has a number of live music venues. Enjoy your cruise planning.
  4. During the Konigsdam kitchen tour last December, we were told that every pastry, bread, cake, roll, etc. was baked in one of several bakeries on the ship.
  5. The salad bar is not self serve but prepared for you with the ingredients that you request. Pre-prepared salads (macaroni, pea, carrot, etc.) are located across from the aft Beverage Station.
  6. Ny experience is the whales in Icy Strait Point are much more active and tend to feed in groups whereas the whales in Auke Bay, Juneau are more solitary. ISP whales feeding:
  7. The last time I measured the minimbar temps with my infrared thermometer I found 43 degress for items stored at the back wall and 46 degrees for sodas stored in the door. Regular refrigerator temps are 34-42 degrees.
  8. The second muster drill may be waived by the Captain but you cannot count on it until you receive a letter in your stateroom.
  9. The Zaandam has no aft-facing staterooms on Decks 6 and 7. Instead, there are public balconies on both Decks 6 and 7 spanning the aft that are accessible through the doors marked "Emergency Exit" which is actually the secondary use of the doors.
  10. The one piece of luggage (not your small bus/train carry-on) that will be transported to Denali and on to Anchorage can be of any reasonable size (29" spinner is fine). The 4-inch measurement can probably be expanded to 6 inches without any issues. Note that roller bags are only allowed if carrying pre-authorized medical equipment. Here is a link that will anwer your questions: https://www.hollandamerica.com/content/dam/hal/marketing-assets/manage-my-cruise-already-booked/faqs/Tour_Tips.pdf
  11. As a menu collector, I know that for provisioning, menus are know well in advance too. HAL probably prefers to not make last minute changes and disappoint passengers that are expecting a particular show/meal.
  12. Cruising to Alaska is very port intensive for me. I arise two hours before docking to have breakfast and take photographs of the port during sail-in. Add long days on excursions and I become "early to bed and early to rise". Eating so close to bedtime is not good for my digestive system. As a photographer, I cannot capture those amazing Alaska sunsets while dining. Dining at 5:30 allows me to take advantage of all available entertainment, capture sunset photos, process my daily photographs, and be asleep around 11:00 PM with a calm tummy. Just as food is subjective, so is dining times.
  13. Worst-case weather would be rain while riding on a whale-watching craft at 20 knots with temps in the 40's. The above rain suit would be perfect as an outer layer. Since you already have a waterproof coat (hopefully with a hood) the above jacket would not be needed. Without the rain you may still need a second layer to protect from the wind chill. Rain pants could be that layer or be carried in an excursion backpack until needed. If you have two layers without the rain pants, a large Frogg Toggs poncho that covers down to your ankles could be carried in your excursion backpack just in case. Using a poncho in the rain will also keep your camera dry between photographs. Just my two cents.
  14. Beverage staff will also be walking through the Lido Market and will accept orders for any bar beverages.
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