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Live from the Maasdam-14 night Alaska

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Hello, everyone! I'm excited to bring you another live review. It's been a dream of mine to cruise to Alaska ever since I started cruising , and finally, it's coming true. I'll be on Holland America's Maasdam for a 14 night cruise, starting August 29.


The cool thing about this cruise is that it is not 2 seven night cruises, Northbound and Southbound, repeating ports, it is a bona fide 14 night cruise, visiting 9 different ports and featuring lots of scenic cruising, as well. This will be my second time on HAL, me and my Mom went to Hawaii on HAL for her 80th birthday, back in 2012. Here she is in Honolulu, on her birthday.




This cruise is round trip from Seattle, which enabled me to spend time with my niece and nephew there, as well. This also enabled me to stay at my niece's apartment (for free, score!) for 2 nights prior to the cruise, so, I could get acclimated to the time change and the weather. I had enough points with American Airlines to fly first class for free (also, score!) :D




As per my usual tomfoolery, I really didn't start to pack until the night before the cruise. Luckily for me, my suitcase seems to pack itself.




So, I went to sleep at 2am on Saturday, setting my alarm for 4am, to finish packing. As you can imagine, I sprang from the bed at 4, refreshed and reinvigorated. :p My flight from Lynchburg to Charlotte was uneventful. Thank Goodness, you really don't want your flights to be eventful, I would imagine. That flight was on a puddle jumper, so, it wasn't until my Charlotte to Seattle flight that I got to experience first class.


I was so close to the front, I could have flown the plane, if required to.





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The best thing about first class! An arm rest you can actually use!





The best thing about first class! A hot towel to wash your hands with!





The best thing about first class! Actual food! I had the Quiche Florentine with roasted red potatoes, fruit and an apple-raisin biscuit. It was delicious! Much better than a bag of pretzels.






The best thing about first class! Even the salt and pepper are fancy!




The best thing about first class! They give you a fork, a knife and a shoehorn to help you get dressed the next day. :D



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The best thing about first class! Free wine! Using the "it's 5 o'clock somewhere " mentality, I deduced that since it was 11am in Charlotte, it must be 5pm in Seattle. I'm pretty sure that's how it works. Anyway, that's my story and I'm sticking with it.




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How nice - a blog of the 14-day Alaska route, and on one of our favorite ships, which we will board in a few weeks!


I trust that by now you are well underway. I hope you had a great time in Seattle, which had good weather (for Seattle) recently!


We really enjoyed this itinerary, and I hope you do so, too. One of the highlights for us was Sitka, whereabouts we saw lots of whales and otters on a shore excursion.


I will be following your blog, to see what you encounter -- have a great time!



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The best thing about first class! Free wine! Using the "it's 5 o'clock somewhere " mentality, I deduced that since it was 11am in Charlotte, it must be 5pm in Seattle. I'm pretty sure that's how it works. Anyway, that's my story and I'm sticking with it.





Honey, it's called "day" wine and all the BEST people drink it :p

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Soon enough, I arrived in Seattle and these goofy creatures took me to Pike Place Market. They are two of my sister's children, Heather and Cody.





It was very colorful and interesting.





It even smelled great, with all the flowers and the food.


We went to Rachel's Ginger Beer, where I tried my first Moscow Mule, it was delicious.





We went to the place where they throw your fish, whose name escapes me right now.







We bought a salmon and got to pose with it before it went flying.



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So, just to add to the hilarity, my wireless moose, oops, hilarious Alaska related typo, I'm leaving it! just died. It did it at Heather's house and she rebooted my computer and it worked again. That's not working this time. Any thoughts?


We bought little donuts from this place and enjoyed many samples from several vendors.




A must see in Seattle is the famous gum wall.




And, here I am making my contribution to the aforementioned wall.




After all this excitement, and with one of us operating on only two hours sleep, a three hour jet lag, and a 26 year age difference, we went to Heather's apartment for a nap.




We had to be well rested because we had big plans for tonight- a Wine, Chocolate and Cheese Party on Cody's boat! That's right, a pre-cruise cruise. I don't know anything about boats, so, I don't know what his boat is, I think it's a 40 foot something? Anyway, this is it, the one with the blue stripe.





If anyone is interested, it's also for sale. I'm sure I can get you the Cruise Critic Friends and Family Discount.


Hey, my moose is working again!

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So, around 7pm, we headed out with about a dozen of their friends for a sunset cruise. It was wonderful, everybody brought something to eat or drink and I was happy to meet such great friends.


We went out on Lake Something or other, Lake Washington? and had a great view of the skyline.





Oops, sorry, I forgot every picture of the Seattle skyline must include the Space Needle.




After the cruise, the party moved to a little dive bar with great chicken wings, the Boxcar. I don't have any pictures from there because what happens at the Boxcar, stays at the Boxcar. :eek::eek:


We finally got back to Heather's at around 1:30, or 4:30 Lynchburg time. As you can well imagine, I was out as soon as my head hit the pillow.

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On Sunday, Cody had a volleyball tournament, so Heather and I headed to Hattie's Hat for brunch.







She had the Migas.




And, I had the Eggs Benedict and a Peach Mimosa.




We walked around the Ballard Community Market.







Everything looked so good.



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Side note, my moose died again. :mad:


There's a lot of truth in this sign.




We had reservations for a tour of Theo's Chocolates, we had a little time to kill, so, we went to see the troll under the bridge.




Pay no attention to that lady in the picture, she's not with us, although, it appears the troll has snapped her left leg into two pieces.


On our way to Theo's, we played Seattleites' favorite game- Find a Parking Spot.



Lucy and Ethel at the candy factory.




After the tour, I was starting to peter out, so, I suggested we get a mocha somewhere. Heather countered with the idea of getting some drinking chocolate. You know me, I hate to disappoint the children, so, off we went for a delicious dark chocolate drink at a place called Chocolate Vitale.

We took our chocolates and went to pick up Cody, then off for naps for everyone.

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I'll be following your blog with great interest. I am looking into doing this cruise in the near future.


So far you are doing a great job with the pictures and blog. You are really funny in what you write. Keep up the good work. :D


Traveling Dot:)

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Great review so far and wonderful pictures!! Thanks so much for sharing...the Maasdam was our first Hal ship and the 14 day itinerary is on my bucket list...Enjoy:):):)

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Delicious looking berries.

What is the white "stuff" with the Eggs Benedict?


Are you talking about the white "stuff" poking out from under the Hollandaise sauce - that's the cooked egg white of the poached egg. If you are talking about the white "stuff" on the side that's hash browns :D

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