Thursday, August 19, 2010

Lovely Alaska Cruse with Holland America

Hi Melissa,
Thank you for your e-mail and request for our comments regarding our recent trip to Alaska. First of all, I want to give a big "thank you" to
Lauren on your staff who was so helpful in answering all our concerns (this was our first cruise) and making sure that everything went smoothly for us and for Winston and Kathy. Lauren was wonderful. Writing for Arthur and myself, we would certainly ask McCoy Travel for any future world travel we plan in the future. I have been forwarding your many e-mails to a friend who wants to go someplace on tour.Here are a few comments regarding our trip. I hope that they are helpful.

1. Airline travel went very smoothly going and the delay on our return to San Francisco couldn't be helped because of the low visibility at the airport. We arrived at the airport around 9:00 a.m. and had to wait until our 3:45 p.m. flight to San Fancisco. Since we had all our luggage with us, we had no choice but to sit around the terminal for 6 hours. One thing we did not like at the airport. We were given luggage tags the evening before we left the ship to attach to our check-in luggage. The luggage tags were not numbered and when we went to claim our luggage at the airport, there was no security person checking that the rightful owner picked up their luggage. We felt this was poor security. We had to go directly from the bus to claim our luggage at the airport and could not tour Vancouver at all.

2. Holland America's tour guide, Peter Gaspar, did a outstanding job the 9 days he led our tour and handling any minor emergencies that came up.

3. The hotels during the land portion in Alaska and the Yukon were mostly adequate; however, the room at two of the properties were small and no air condioning so they were not very comfortable because it was very warm during our stay.

4. The prepaid dinners on board the Volendam were excellent and the service was also outstanding. We thought the Ledo deck's breakfast was always very good.

5. The tours included in our package was very good and the time-schedule our land portion had was well organized. We had some delays in Anchorage that couldn't be helped. Holland America does an excellent job of handing out informational literature at each stop. This was one of the most organized portion of our land tour.

6. I thank
Lauren for suggesting that we do the land tour first and complete our trip on board the cruise. The land portion of the trip was hard on someone who likes to sleep in, and this allowed them to sleep late on the ship if they wanted. For us, the four days on board was just long enough. I don't think I would like being on a ship for a longer length of time.

7. Our next trip will probably be in a year or two and we would like to go to Australia and New Zealand next. Is there a land tour and cruise package that can be arranged?

I tried to make fair comments regarding our tour. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this trip to our friends and we learned a lot about how to travel. One suggestion I would make. They sell pants that can be worn long or unzipped to make them into shorts. This would definitely be recommended for Alaska. Some parts were very warm and others were cold where a jacket was needed. We were lucky with the mosquitoes. They didn't bother us except in Fairbanks and Beaver Creek but sun screen and repellent are a must.

A. Fujikawa
Selma, CA

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