Aboard Noordam: Post Script from Vancouver

ABOARD NOORDAM-I had planned to conclude my blog on the Alaska Noordam voyage when I returned return home Monday with a brief report on our post-cruise tour in Vancouver — but I was struck down by some kind of bug (I’m guessing flu) and haven’t been able to face up to the computer until today. The highlight of our post-cruise package from HAL (which included a night at the Four Seasons Hotel) was a Hop-on Hop-Off bus …

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Onboard Holland America’s Noordam in Alaska

ABOARD NOORDAM-We’re cruising today en route to Vancouver on the final leg of our 7-day Alaska voyage – so it’s time to wrap up my blog with some closing comments on our first-ever Holland America cruise. Yesterday’s call at Ketchikan – where it was raining as per usual – found us traveling by bus for more than 20 miles to remote George Inlet Lodge, a one-time dormitory for a defunct crab cannery that’s been renovated to serve …

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Onboard Holland America’s Noordam: Glacier Bay, AK

ABOARD NOORDAM-Sorry to report that thick clouds and showers pretty much spoiled our day of cruising in Glacier Bay.  It was so nasty that I didn’t even attempt any photos.  I can, however, tell you a bit about Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve – looking to convince you to come see it – hopefully on a nice sunny day — if you haven’t already done so.   Without question Glacier Bay is one of America’ s …

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Onboard Holland America’s Noordam: Visiting Juneau & Skagway

ABOARD NOORDAM-Shortly after docking in Juneau Monday afternoon, we set out on our glacier tour by helicopter.  Since I’d done a similar tour to Mendenhall Glacier some years ago, we switched to the “4 Glacier Adventure by Helicopter” excursion that featured a landing on Taku Glacier.  Like Mendenhall, Taku is part of the expansive 1,500-square-mile Juneau Icefield, although more remote and less visited.   Relatively clear skies and warm temperatures made for a near-perfect day of glacier …

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Onboard Holland America’s Noordam, Bound for Alaska

ABOARD NOORDAM-I’m finally onboard here following the usual travails involved in coast-to-coast travel – joined by my partner/assistant Melinda and brother Al and his friend Joy – bound for the Far North. We boarded Noordam Saturday afternoon in Vancouver, which gets my vote as North America’s most beautiful seaport. Just the sight of the city’s striking Canada Place cruise ship terminal – built to resemble a ship with its crest of five giant white sails – filled …

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Preparing to sail on Holland America’s Noordam in Alaska

Bags are packed and cameras cleaned and charged as I’m about to set off for the West Coast to join the May 30 sailing of Holland America Line’s Noordam for a 7-day Alaska voyage, departing from and returning to Vancouver, British Columbia. There’s nothing unique about the itinerary – it’s your standard Alaska run – starting out comfortably with a couple of days at sea, followed by port calls in Juneau and Skagway, a day spent cruising …

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A family affair: The challenges of cruising with adult children

For 20 years we traveled with another “couple.”  We rented beach houses together, took cruises and went on golf vacations.  But then they split up and moved away.  And now, after several years on their own, we’re planning a reunion vacation, actually, a family reunion.  The other “couple,” Amanda and Scott, are our children, and are now in their late 20’s. Oh course, it won’t be easy.  There are “Significant Others” (SOs) in the mix.  When we …

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A 10-day Mediterranean cruise aboard Holland America’s Noordam

We just returned from a 10 day Mediterranean cruise aboard Holland America’s Noordam with our adult children Scott (28) and Amanda (26) and her significant other Matt (26). I’m happy to report it was perfect.  A cruise is the way for a family to travel. With five people, it was absolutely essential to do some excursion planning well before we set sail or end up spending more money than necessary. After checking several websites, we found Trip …

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