SHIP: ms Amsterdam
SAIL DATE: 14 June 2010 – Monday, Seattle, Washington
At Sea (Formal), Ketchikan, AK, Sitka, AK, Skagway, AK, Glacier Bay, AK (Cruising – Formal)
At Sea, Anchorage, AK, Homer, AK, Kodiak, AK (Formal), Hubbard Glacier, AK (Cruising)
Juneau, AK (Formal), At Sea, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
RETURN DATE: 28 June 2010 – Seattle, Washington
Passengers known to be on-board: 1,442 (about 18 kids, thank God for Club HAL)
GLBT Get Together:
Out of the 14 day sailing there were only 3 GLBT programs listed. They were listed in the “Daily Program” as LGBT Gathering. The first night, so we were told by a staff member the next day, we did not get the first day’s Daily Program in our cabin. The Crows Nest Bar at 7:00pm (sorry, I eat at 8:00 pm on this trip) after our day in Ketchikan. The third gathering again in the Crows Nest Bar at 5:00 pm (just after happy hour), during a day at sea, this was another no show or they keep their life style a beautiful secret. After all, this was a main-stream cruise.
There is a “HAPPY HOUR” each day, both in the Crows Nest Bar (Deck 9) and the Ocean Bar (Deck 5), the times vary each day, so be sure to check the Daily Program to verify the hours. By the way, they are for 1 hour only – (2 for 1), so plan accordingly if you’re into that sort of thing.
Soda Cards – fountain drinks only, Wine Cards by the glass – House Brand), Cocktail Cards (Check to see if what you drink is available using the card), Coffee/Tea Cards. In the main Dining Room, Wine Packages are available, consisting of 3 to 7 bottles, varying prices, with a fairly nice selection of wine choices. And yes, you may have the same type of wine each night; any leftover will be stored and served the next evening. In the main dining room they have a premium wine listing if you are interested, but you need to ask for it. All of the cards carry an automatic 15% gratuity added to the cost of the card.
You may bring a reasonable amount of wine or champagne on-board, but there is a corkage fee for opening the bottle in the Dining Room, this trip, so I heard, it was $18.00.
My partner and I had a cabin with a partial obstructed view (see below *) forward of mid-ship.
The accommodations were very nice, the two beds were put together to make a queen size bed, but we had them separated to make more room in the cabin. Also, a two seat leather sofa (hide-a-bed) one small stand alone table and a mirrored vanity with limited storage, and a flat screen TV and separate DVD player. The cabin had 3.5 floor to ceiling closets, wall safe and adequate shelving for storing. The empty luggage stored beneath the beds. This particular cabin had a shower stall only, quite large I might add.
*Partial Obstructed View – happened to be just the thing since the sun set late each evening after 10:00 pm and sun rise was very earlier in the morning. We usually pack a set of pinching beach towel pins to use on the curtains to make sure the light from the outside does not shine into the cabin.
Overall the ship is in good shape, but is in need of a dry-docking; the interior is starting to show the 10 years of continuous service. I talked to one of the Staff people, who stated that it was due to be dry-docked for 30 days in November 2010. I don’t know if this is true or not.
There are eight different dining opportunities on board.
The Main Dining Room (La Fontaine, Decks 4 & 5) – breakfast, lunch, dinner, (Various Tea programs – as posted in the Daily Program) Open Seating – between 5:15 & 9:00pm, Early Seating 5:45pm, Main Seating 8:00pm
Pinnacle Grill (Deck 4) – Steaks & Seafood serving lunch and dinner (Extra charge – reservations required, lunch was pretty open on the day we ate there, dinner was another matter, thank goodness we had made reservations)
Canaletto (Lido Deck) – Italian Fare (Free – reservations required or walk- in accepted based on availability)
Terrace Grill (Lido Deck) – Hot Dogs, Hamburgers, Taco Bar, Pizza, Fries (Free, just get in line)
Lido Restaurant (Lido Deck) – breakfast, lunch, dinner, sandwiches, snacks, late-night snacks, ice cream, etc. Free
Explorations Café – (Deck 5) Coffee, Teas, variety of light delights (cookies/cake slices) changing though out the day. There is an extra charge for coffee or tea.
Culinary Arts Center (Deck 4) – Consisting of Free Daily Programs, hands-on cooking classes for extra fee.
Room Service – 24 hours a day, in-room dining. A menu selection is located in your cabin. Free, how about a tip for the delivery person?
We ate in each of the first five venues. Something to say about each, but it’s best to try it on your own, since tastes vary among individuals. I must confess I did bring on 1 bottle of wine purchased in Seattle.
When we dined in the Pinnacle Grill, the wine was on their wine list but at a much higher price (“Hello Mr. Markup”) than I paid in Seattle, so I brought the bottle I purchased in Seattle to dinner one night. They did not charge me a corkage fee, maybe they thought I had made the purchase in the Pinnacle Grill the prior night and brought the wine to the Main Dining Room.
SHIP ENTERTAINMENT & ACTIVIES
Just your normal run of the mill ship-board activates, if you have never cruised before, don’t try to do all of the actives on the same day, you will go mad trying to fit them all in! Pace yourself, as there is ample time to do some of the daily repeated actives. Do however; make time for the Shore Excursions if you have never been to any of the ports before. There were 11 pages of Shore Excursion selections for this particular 14 day cruise with varying price points (Adult/Children) for each excursion. There was a number of SOLD OUT or WAIT-LISTED tours or limited capacity tours.