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My first HAL cruise, and I would think not my last. The Ryndam is an exquisite ship, with all of the fine little extra things that they do for you. As soon as I boarded I was impressed. After the life boat drill, I was able to explore the ship. I was getting more impressed as I headed to the Rotterdam Dining Room, every seat has a view of outside. The service along with the dining experience was very, very good. The dining at the Lido Dining area was good also, although I did have a problem of fried eggs being real oily, which was handled my the maitre d' promply. Aboard the ship all of the staff was very polite, helpful friendly. Everytime they seen you they greeted you promply with "Good Morning" or "Good Evening", I felt that because of their attitude it rub off on a lot of the passengers, because they were really friendly.
My cabin was larger than expected, I had an outside view cabin on the maindeck, I believe that it was bigger than the balcony cabin that I had on the Sapphire Princess. My cabin steward Al (I can't remember or even pronouce his last name) was always attentive to my needs and kept the cabin very clean and organized with a fresh fruit bowl always full.
Inside passage was a beautiful sun shining day with spotting of many whales at a distance. Returning was again clear and beautiful with dolphins doing their ballet for us.
Juneau or first port of call. Really nice although the weather was liqid sunshine, very beautiful and Mendenhall Glacier was awesome.
Skagway was next very small and nice lot's of liquid sunshine again, took the Whitepass Train Ride then the bus tour to Yukon and Lair'sville. Hopefully I will get to see this again someday without the liquid stuff.
Ketchikan was nice and cold lot's of rain and liquid stuff again. At the fish & chip stand on the pier, I had some of the best New England Clam Chowder I have ever had before. Then off to see the Totem Poles.
Glacier Bay...what can I say? This was the highlight of the whole cruise. The weather was cloudy and chilly but it was beautiful. They brought split pea soup and hot chocolate on deck for everyone, really good. I must have taken 4 rolls of film and used up my memory on my digital. I was having lunch at the Lido with a view of John Hopskin Glacier...IT WAS AWESOME.
Overall the whole trip was everything and more of what I expected. I would not hesitate to go again. After all it is Alaska. The scenery was outstanding and we have mountains here in Colorado, but Alaska has mountains. September is a nice time of year, but it does get cold.