Alaska in May? Help needed!

Old Feb 2nd, 2019, 10:34 AM
  #21  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 66,685
You don't need a dress and 'dress shoes' but I would go a bit up the style chain from Khakis and a T-shirt. It is 'casual' but not khakis/t-shirt casual. You will see everything from 'business casual' to full on cocktail glitz approaching semi-formal. But dressing nice does not require a boatload of luggage/clothing. I took that cruise (north bound) and added 5 days in and around Anchorage and did it in a carry on. Just have a pair of dark slacks and a nice blouse or a floaty or sparkly top and flats (which could all be worn in SoCal)

I had no issues with smoke anywhere on board. YRMV

I don't reclal what the wifi package cost . . .
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Old Feb 2nd, 2019, 08:36 PM
  #22  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 18,535
[QUOTE=wendy236;16866726]MLGB,

Thanks for all of the info about the HAL Alaka cruise! I have a couple of questions. You indicate that Gala night dress is fairly casual. Would slacks (khakis or white pants - not jeans) with a nice t-shirt (sleeves and no big logos) be OK for women? We will need to pack for both Alaska and So California - I'm hoping to skip the dress & dress shoes...

Their website mentions a collared shirt.. but I suppose that means men primarily, for women, something that just doesn't look like a Hanes Tshirt in a different color will likely get you in.. or put a jacket or wrap over it. Remember it's sort of chilly when you go outside at night. Definitely don't need a dress. I usually wore a sweater or a dark long sleeved micro-merino top and dark pants, with a big wool shawl. I usually travel with microfiber pants rather than khakis since they dry more quickly. There are always people who go full formal but it isn't a requirement. I didn't have dress shoes, or "floaty-sparkly tops" either. Just black tops and black running shoes. Good to pack a second pair of shoes, since the ones you wear on excursion will likely get wet at some point. One of my favorite things about Noordam is the covered running/walking deck which is a fun thing to do on sea days . They do have laundry service if you're worried about packing too much, or clotheslines in the shower.

Also, a question about the Crows Nest area. Does the smoke from the Oak Room spill over into the Crows Nest area? Or into the nearby hallways? I'm trying to figure out if a nearby room would be a good idea - or a very bad idea.

I don't remember much smoke in the hallways times I went up to the Crow's Nest. I'm not even sure what happens in the Oak Room, so it must not have intruded into other spaces.

I probably wouldn't want to be on Deck 10, even if I don't remember any smoke but it seemed awkward to get to the Crow's Nest down those hallways, usually some poor guest was in the way (or I was in the way of someone trying to access their room) . Plus Club Hal (teen club I think) is on that floor. So there may be more families on that floor than others. But HAL doesn't really attract as many families as some of the other cruise lines.

Main Dining Rooms (which definitely have better food for dinner than Lido) are at the other end of the ship. Of course, if you're going to spend more time in the Spa and Gym, rather than eating, maybe that's good. I think I was on Rotterdam level at the Crow's Nest end and it became a little bit of a PITA to walk to the far other end of the ship, although probably helped with limiting weight gain. I was glad they assigned me Rotterdam (I took potluck) since it had rooms above and below, rather than public spaces.

BTW there is lots of interesting art displayed on each floor, fun to roam around and check it out. They also have a really fast tour of the kitchens, which is interesting if you've never been on a cruise ship before.

RE Internet, I found public connections or was able to use my data in all of the ports, it was only for the few sea days that I was out of touch, but you're not out of touch for more than a day, really, so I didn't buy any packages. Sometimes they have deals where you get internet free. If I had to decide between that and other offers, I'd take something else, but that's just me.

Last edited by mlgb; Feb 2nd, 2019 at 08:52 PM.
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Old Feb 3rd, 2019, 05:50 AM
  #23  
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Join Date: Nov 2008
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mlgb,

Thanks again for all the HAL boat info. I laughed at your "khaki's" advise. My "travel khakis" are actually a pair of off white hiking pants - easily washed out and some sort of quick dry wicking fabric. Paired with a nice T they look reasonably dressy. The real jeans and khakis never travel.

Your remarks re deck 10 are appreciated. It looked like a good choice for an inside room - easy access to the Crows Nest and to the outside deck. Last night I figured out that the mystery "HAL Club" was the kids club - with teens club attached. And also realized that anyone wanting to get outside had to go down the halls between the rooms - those "passageways" on the outside of the rooms are private patios. Oops! We obviously haven't been on a cruise boat.

FYI - The Oak Room is the smoking room - cigars et al allowed. Good to know that wasn't obvious when you were in the Crows Nest!
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Old Feb 3rd, 2019, 07:14 AM
  #24  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
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Alaska Seward to Vancouver June 2018 Noordam

My trip report. Apparently I was on Deck 6, aft end.

I also go inside cabin. For views, Library, deck 2 or 3, usually. There is also a small gym with views but often too busy and Crows Nest.

I prefer small tables since which means no window seat so ate B & L in Lido or one of the decks nearby.

Make table reservations in person at reception or by phone so never waited for a table.

Last edited by mlgb; Feb 3rd, 2019 at 07:19 AM.
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Old Feb 4th, 2019, 05:28 AM
  #25  
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mlgb,
Thanks for the additional tips. Question re Lido. No small tables near the windows. What type of seating is near the windows? You reserved a table for breakfast and lunch? I wouldn't have thought about doing that.

I had read your trip report! I'l be rereading it as I start planning what to do in port.

But first - I guess I have to deal with cruise travel agents. Arrgh. This is ALL new! I usually do the planning for our trips. From the outside it sort of sounds like dealing with car salesmen. Before the internet age.
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Old Feb 4th, 2019, 09:29 AM
  #26  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
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Question re Lido. No small tables near the windows. What type of seating is near the windows?

In Lido you can sit near the window, seat and serve yourself. It's the Main DR (table service) which reserves window seats for 6 or 8 tops..where you can opt to sit with others you don't know. For me it just takes too long for a 3 or 4 course table service.

You reserved a table for breakfast and lunch? I wouldn't have thought about doing that.

No just dinner. Specifically to avoid the big tables. Not sure if you can do reservations for other meals on the MDR.

I had read your trip report! I'l be rereading it as I start planning what to do in port.

But first - I guess I have to deal with cruise travel agents. Arrgh. This is ALL new! I usually do the planning for our trips. From the outside it sort of sounds like dealing with car salesmen. Before the internet age

Good luck. I actually like Vacations to Go cruise advisor.

Last edited by mlgb; Feb 4th, 2019 at 09:31 AM.
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Old Feb 6th, 2019, 08:52 AM
  #27  
 
Join Date: May 2007
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Hi, all, I'm bookmarking for all this good information. We're thinking of booking an Alaska trip sometime in the future. It sounds like the best weather usually begins in June - is that correct? And how late does it go? I guess I'm looking for the ideal months recommended to travel there?
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Old Feb 6th, 2019, 10:32 AM
  #28  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Originally Posted by volcanogirl View Post
Hi, all, I'm bookmarking for all this good information. We're thinking of booking an Alaska trip sometime in the future. It sounds like the best weather usually begins in June - is that correct? And how late does it go? I guess I'm looking for the ideal months recommended to travel there?
Alaska is enormous, and the weather depends entirely on where you are. The farther north you go, summer comes later and ends earlier; in other areas like Fairbanks it can be 90 above with forest fires all around in the high summer, since the sun barely sets. In Southeast Alaska June can be nice or it can be rainy; in July or August it can be sunny and warm one day, and socked in with mist and rain the next. Denali will be green and buggy in June, but by late August you'll have autumn color that will blow your mind. Do you feel lucky?

Here are some personal pictures just to illustrate:

Ketchikan, 4th of July parade -



Juneau, two days later -



Alaska State Fair, Palmer, Labor Day weekend -



Mirror Lake, just north of Anchorage, mid-September




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Old Feb 6th, 2019, 11:21 AM
  #29  
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 24,187
Great photos - just trying to avoid heavy snow really, Sounds like June, July, and August are best for that? How is September for most of the popular areas? We tend to travel then, but could move it up if heavy snow typically sets in by then.
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