We left Vancouver at 11:30 am and finally arrived in Seattle at 6:00 pm! It was a long bus ride, but we saw some very nice scenery! If you have any clients that are going on a cruise leaving out of Vancouver, you might want to advise them of this bridge problem. People might want to take the train or if they drive or take a bus, might want to get up to Vancouver a day ahead of schedule. Also, upon returning to Seattle, people might want to take the train back (although you get into Seattle late - about 9 pm) and if they're flying out, spend the night in Seattle.
We had a really great cruise - the suite was perfect for 4 people! Room service was super fast! Of course, I called them about 5 am for coffee and not many people are up that early! We really enjoyed the Neptune Lounge! Our cabin steward was great! A wheelchair was waiting for Tammie and it worked out great and she was glad to have it to board the ship. The weather was really nice and a good time was had by all of us. One little "oops" was during our stop in Seattle. Apparently when the ship was shifting from port energy to it's own energy, something happened and we lost power! Thankfully they had back-up generators! They fixed the problem within a few hours (dinner was only delayed 45 minutes), but for some reason we didn't leave Seattle until after 9 pm! That was okay because we got to see the lights come on in the city and sail away in the dark - it was beautiful!
Just a couple of comments, not complaints, but as an agent I thought you'd want to know:
1. We were invited to the Mariner's lunch and because Tammie and Versal were staying in the same cabin with us, they were also invited. Unfortunately, we arrived at the dining room at 1:15 pm and were told that there was no room for us. I thought this was strange as we were told it was served until 2 pm and you would think they would know how many Mariners were on the ship. Oh well, we went to the Lido Deck. Food was very good - I had the best curry pumpkin soup, but they no longer provide trays which was difficult for Tammie as she was using her cane. She had soup and a sandwich, so I took her soup and beverage and found a table for us. It was very obvious that HAL has cut back on staff as the Lido Deck ran out of silverware and glasses; not just once but twice during the 4 days, and we also had to bus our own tables because there just weren't enough people working and they couldn't keep up.
2. The food in the dining room was also very good, however, the service was very slow. We would just be finishing our desert or coffee when they would walk through the dining room ringing a bell indicating that we needed to get out so that the next seating could move in. Once again it appeard that HAL was cutting back on the staff in the dining room also. Our waiter took our order, brought our food, cleared our plates - did everything! Usually there's a person to take our drink orders and another one to help serve and clear the tables, but not on this cruise. We talked to several people and they noticed it also. We heard from one very seasoned cruise couple that they were told that HAL was trying to save money and maybe the cut-back in staff was due to this. One thing really nice is that the portions are smaller - which is great because I was able to have an appetizer and salad with my entrée and not get overstuffed. They had cold soup every evening which my Mom was thrilled about.
3. Bar service was also slow because of the lack of employees. The bartender took our order, made the drinks and then brought them to us. He was so busy, I felt bad for him - but as usual, they always had a smile of their face!
4. Finally, other then the magician one night, the entertainment was horrible - and we weren't alone in this feeling. First night the Amsterdam singers/dancers performed a tribute to the British invasion. I think there were 5 singers and 2 dancers. No colorful or fancy costumes, just jeans and t-shirts that I think looked like the British flag. The only prop was black steps like we had in high school choir. The second performance was some type of tribute to songs for movies - it was heard to tell. Once again the only prop were those stupid black steps, however, they did change their costumes - this time they were black pants with black jackets. I think the dancers changed once into some type of white outfit. We were so disappointed - it certainly wasn't at all up to HAL standards.
We did have a really great time - the weather was perfect! Thanks again for all your work - I'm looking forward to our November cruise!