Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Enroute to Victoria, Canada

Day seven aboard the Oosterdam
We spent the whole day at sea aboard the Oosterdam enroute to Victoria.  Circumstances leaving Ketchikan and fog caused the ship to have a later arrival into Victoria.  The scheduled arrival time is 7:00pm, but we arrived at about 8:30pm.  Tours were cancelled, but passengers were fully refunded and offered free shuttle service into town.  The day at sea prior to arrival into Victoria allows passengers to enjoy all the activities, entertainment, dining and spa treatments Oosterdam has to offer.  During this cruise I enjoyed a fabulous massage by a skilled therapist.  I get a lot of massages both on cruises and when I'm at home and I was truly impressed with the skills and the technique offered by the therapist in the Greenhouse Spa & Salon.  An absolute must when cruising aboard the Oosterdam is dining in the Pinnacle Grill, which is one of the specialty restaurant aboard the ship and like a steakhouse experience.  Vista Dining Room is the main restaurant on the ship and offers very refined service and quality, so if you choose the Pinnacle, Canalleto's Italian restaurant, Terrace Grill or the Lido area are all great choices depending on your mood.

I was impressed with the musicians onboard the Oosterdam.  The shows are great,  musicians in the Ocean Bar play your favorite dance tunes and are fun to listen to.  I saw numerous activities and lectures around the ship, like a sport and nutrition expert, there was a multi-media trivia contest that was clever.  Days at sea are so full of activities and fun things to do, but on an Alaska cruise the scenery and ports are fantastic!  I think there is a rise in families taking their kids to Alaska, because of the fun excursions involving such adventures such as seeing wales, bears, and other wildlife, as well as things like helicopter rides and dog sledding.

Day Eight
I did not go into Victoria because I had been there in the past, and it was getting late, so I spent some time packing, relaxing, and preparing for disembarkation early the next morning in Seattle.  I think Holland America Line did a great job coordinating disembarkation.  Of course passengers put their large luggage outside their stateroom the night before arrival into Seattle, which is then distributed shoreside and organized by colors and numbers on your luggage tags.  The Port of Seattle is also a very unique cruise port because you can check your bags from the ship to the airport and you can even have your flight boarding pass printed out to make the transition from ship to shore, to airport and home again as smooth as possible.  I went on a shore excursion after disembarkation in Seattle, a tour of Seattle by bus, and a boat trip through some locks from a lake, back into the Port of Seattle.  The tour ended by taking us all to the airport.  It was seamless and convenient.

You can visit this link at our Cruising Authority website HERE to see all of the multi-media content from this Alaska cruise aboard the Oosterdam.  There's video, audio, photo albums, and more articles about this ship at that link, however; I'm posting this link before I have edited the videos so mark the page and visit often within the next couple of weeks to see more and more content posted.