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Alaskan Cruise: Holland America Line

The Oosterdam
I have always heard people love or hate cruising.  Well, this was my first cruise, and I LOVED it! I am one of those people that REALLY plans a trip.  I mean every detail, down to the minute.  Being on a ship forced me to take a break from all the exploring, unless you count exploring the ship, and just relax.  There are a few days when you have no other option.  You are on a boat in the water with no way to get off (except jumping, but don't be silly) so you just hang by the pool, see a movie, look at art or my favorite, eat! I took every advantage I could of the all you can eat food that is offered up, what seems like 24/7, and I paid the price for it.  I gained 7 pounds in 7 days! YIKES!
The dessert buffet on Holland America Alaskan Cruise
One of the many ways I put on my 7 pounds! This was a midnight desert buffet! Just what you need in the middle of the night, tons of endless calories! ;)
Vista dining room chefs
The main dining room presents the chefs!

It wasn't like I was eating just to be eating, the food was quite tasty, especially in the main dining room.  You do have to dress up for that, which makes it even better.  It really feels like an experience and not just supper time!  There is also The Pinnacle Grill for the night you want to have something extra special.  There is a fee for eating there and you have to make reservations because it is much more intimate than the main dining room. But they use Bvlgari china, Riedel stemware and Frette linens. Oh la la! And the food is fantastic, of course! I definitely suggest you try it at least once.  The great thing is that you can choose. Don't feel like dressing up for dinner? Then head to the Lido Restaurant for more casual table service. Don't even want to get out of your swimsuit? That's fine too! Just grab a burger at The Terrace Grill. Don't even want to get out of your pj's? There is 24 hour complimentary room service. Something for everyone!

The pool on the Oosterdam Holland America
They had a blast at the pool! There were these crazy waves that made it feel like they were swimming in the ocean.   We were all laughing so hard and I was just watching them! You can see there weren't a lot of people in the pool area.  It was too cold to really lay out, so mostly just parents with kids.  

The pool on the Oosterdam Holland America
The pool area is indoors, since it is an Alaskan cruise, but that didn't make it any less fun for the kids!

The kids in Alaska with the Oosterdam ship behind

We were sailing on the Oosterdam ship of the Holland America Line and we had a verandah stateroom.  There are a few of these that sleep four and that is what we had, along with a balcony, that saved our sanity.  If you are going to have four people in one room, it's nice to have a balcony to escape to.  It is doable without one, but even with two people, it improves the trip.  We spent as much time as we could soaking up the view out there.  We also took turns out there while others got ready.  It really freed up some floor space. Get the best room you can afford without worry! I think this is especially true on a cruise.

Our cruise ship cabin for four (verandah stateroom)
The bunk over the bed was put away during the day and mysteriously appeared when we came back to our room at night.  The kids took turns on it, because they thought it was cool.  My husband and I hit our heads on it many times during the trip.  We did not think it was cool!
Our deluxe verandah stateroom on Holland America
The other kids bed was the sofa that converted to a bed.  When all the beds were put to use, there wasn't much space left, but when they were all put "away", the room was plenty big. You can see how the balcony would be helpful!
the kids with their dutch hats on
  Dutch night in the main dining room.   Cute hats for the boys and girls to wear.  

The kids with an elephant towel animal
The room attendant made little towel animals for the kids!

Being our first cruise, I have no other cruises to compare it to, but I had a fantastic time on this trip! I had spent an entire summer in Alaska as a teen and loved it.  Most people don't have the time to do a trip like that, but they do have time for a week long cruise. Alaska is a beautiful place to see.  I didn't come away with a tan, but I came away with a lot of amazing family memories! :)


  1. So glad you enjoyed your first cruise! HAL is a great cruise line, but with your kids you might even find they love it more on Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, Carnival, or Disney. Can't wait to hear about your next cruise. Have you booked yet? We just got off our last one last week and we booked two while onboard! :)

    Marian -

    1. Yeah, I am with Marian! They would LOVE the cruise lines she mentioned! Of course, my vote is for NCL! GO E-P-I-C! :)

  2. Thanks for the information! We will have to try another cruise line at some point for sure. We actually did book another one for a Mediterranean cruise. Really looking forward to that! I also checked out your blog and started following. Can't wait to read about all your travel adventures! :)

  3. Thanks so much! We travel bloggers have to stick together! :)

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