Alaskan Cruise on Holland America: Boarding and First Day

Let me preface all cruise-talk by telling you that my husband has always been completely against cruises. Whenever I would mention that I thought it would be a fun thing to do, he would shoot it down. If any of our friends ever went on a cruise, he would tell me how stupid a vacation that would be and that he would never go. Ever. End of discussion. He really can be so stubborn sometimes.

Well, a few months ago my mom called me and told me that she and my dad were planning on going on an Alaskan cruise and she had found a really great deal and would we like to join her? Of course, I was all for it, but I was a little worried about what my husband would say, considering his anti-cruise platform. He was out of town at the time, but I called him and mentioned it to him. If it had been anywhere but Alaska, I’m pretty sure he would have said no way, but since he’s always wanted to see Alaska, this seemed like a pretty good way to do it.

We were planning a big trip of some sort this year since we’ll be celebrating our tenth wedding anniversary in June and this was the right price. I realize some people might think it’s weird to spend an anniversary trip with one’s parents, but my parents are super fun and we loved every minute of being with them.

I don’t know that we would have gone had we realized we would be moving across the country shortly after we returned, but I’m really glad we did it, even if the money might have been more practically used for moving expenses. It was wonderful, and guess who has been converted to cruising? That’s right. My husband has actually spent a few hours on the internet since we’ve been home researching different cruise lines and places to go. So, I again have hope that I will be able to go on cruises in my life.

Anyway, moving on with the actual cruise. On May 31, we flew up to Seattle and went straight to the dock and boarded the M/S Westerdam (Holland America Line). We boarded fairly early, so we had a lot of time to explore the ship, eat the best hamburger I’ve ever had in my life, and relax on the Lido deck while we waited for our rooms to be ready.

I didn’t take a ton of pictures on that first day. Just a few of Seattle as the ship started leaving the dock. I have a thing for skylines. I love them. And who can resist something so glorious as Mt. Rainier?

Seattle Skyline

Seattle Skyline

Mt. Ranier

Once our rooms were ready, we spent some time unpacking and doing more ship exploring. I checked out a book from the ship’s library and read on the deck until dinner. Our dinners were in the Vista Dining Room and our table was right by the window with a beautiful view of the ocean (obviously). I ordered salmon, and in case you were wondering, it was quite good.

After dinner, my mom and I went to the spa and got ourselves some facials, after which we just hung out with my husband and my dad. My husband was in heaven as soon as he found the ping-pong tables, so naturally, that’s what he spent most of his time doing.

That, and eating ice-cream.

Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

I think I am anti-cruise too because any time Luke mentions it, I cringe. Could have something to do with my fear of water though.

Glad you had a great time. Your photos are fabulous!


Probably the only way you could get me on a cruise as well! Can't wait to see more pictures.


I was sort of anti-cruise before I went on the "Amazing Cheney Crusie 2008" because I thought it was a sneaky way of touring. I thought I wouldn't be able to get much of the real thing, just a tourist's version. I was only half wrong.

But I thoroughly enjoyed the entire cruise experience (except the drinking and HORRIBLE entertainment). The food was great, the accommodations were great, and it was especially fun because three of my husband's brothers and their wives went too!

As soon as we got home, we started researching our next cruise!

Jake and Stephanie Perrin

i totally LOVE crusies!!! Im glad you have not convinced Joel about being on a cruise!! Cant wait to hear more about your trip and see more pictures!


I love the photos can't wait to see more.


Sounds (& looks) great. Matt and I went on a cruise, and it was ok, but I think it would have been more enjoyable if we'd had another couple there with us. Or, if we were into drinking, sunbathing or gambling. πŸ™‚


My family did an Alaskan cruise two years ago and we loved it. Glad you finally got to go on one!:)




How fun! You and Joel deserve it. You always give so much of yourselves.

You are such a talented photographer, Lara!

Amy G.

Josh is SO against cruises and I can't for the life of me figure out why! Maybe this will help him see the light.


So glad you had such a spectacular view of Rainier that day! (Great photos, by the way!) He's only visible 30% of the time, after all.

I'm not normally a cruise person, either, but I think that for Alaska it'd be a great way to go. And I wonder if you were on the same ship as the Tailor's aunt and uncleβ€”they took an Alaska cruise at the same time! Looking forward to reading more about your trip (I love travelogues, by the way!).

Melanie Jacobson

We went on an Alaskan cruise last year and it was one of the most fun vacations we've ever taken. Even though it NEVER stopped raining.


So exciting for you. I love that you got to go.


Beautiful photos…I have wanted to go on a cruise for years and since I live 5 minutes from the beach, Alaska sounds so good and fun ! Don't worry about the travelogue style…just do what I do, post the photos and caption a few and you're done !


We have never been on a cruise, but my husband, also, is most interested in Alaska. Seattle is a fave also!


Beautiful beautiful pictures!! I've been on one cruise to Bermuda and it.was.awesome!

The Atomic Mom

Now you've got me singing the Love Boat theme!


Mike and I just love cruises. We are totally sold on them. You can't beat it, everything is taken care of for you, your food, lodging, entertainment. It is great. We have never been to Alaska though. Was it super hard to watch what you eat on the cruise, or did you not worry about it? I know the food is fabulous and that would be hard.


Lara!! those photos are postcard quality! Astounding shots! I love your camera! It is even better than in person, it must catch the colors so wonderfully!

Kristina P.

We were going to go on an Alaskan cruise last year, with my family, but my grandfather really went downhill, so we didn't go.

I want to go sometime. I've never been on a cruise!

Annette Lyon

I just love those pictures. They're breathtaking. And not in the Seinfeld sense.


Holland America is what we took when we did our Alaskan Cruise too! Loved it! What was the reason behind Joel's anti-cruise platform (I get the same questions with my anti-Walmart platform). Just wondering. Chris wasn't really interested in doing a cruise either, but since I was pregnant with Mikelle at the time, it would have been difficult with shots and all getting a passport, so other than Canada, we had to stay domestic for our big trip in 2000. But now, he's sold on cruises and wants to do one in the Mediterranean! Don't know when and how that's going to happen, but with him wanting to as well, we're one step closer. Wanna come with us? lol (sure you do, but the four of us would have to figure out a way to PAY for it, right ?)


You know I've never been on a cruise. Have always wanted to though. My parents went on an Alaskan cruise a couple of years ago and LOVED it. I think Tony is the same way as Joel WAS (aren't you glad you can say was now? πŸ™‚ I would have to talk him into it. I love Seattle too…it's one of my favorite places actually. The pics are just gorgeous!! And happy 10th- CONGRATS!


I was anti-cruise until I went on one, and now I'm pro-cruise. We went for our 10th anniversary, too, and had a wonderful time.


I would love to go on a cruise again. Mr. Man is so for it! Glad you all got to go and Joel, the former anti-cruise guy, is now "on board"! πŸ˜‰


How fun! I just was asked by Jeff why we aren't going on a cruise for our anniversary. I told him we will for our 10th. So I have a question for you- are spa treatments included or are they one of the extras?? Because that sounds like the very best thing to do and even better for being on a cruise.


You're KILLING me, Smalls! Can you believe I got to live in that glorious place (Seattle) for seven years??

And I only agreed to move to Vegas after Puerto Rico because my husband promised me that after four years we'd move to Anchorage.

Talk about your bait and switch. We've been in stupid Vegas nearly 8 years, and Alaska is pretty much off the table.

BTW, I hate to use this forum to comunicate personaly info, but I wanted you to know there will be no music camp this summer. πŸ™ I'll e-mail you the details, but I wanted you to be able to plan.

Glad you enjoyed your cruise! And your photos are breathtaking, Lara.


Mount Rainier. I love it. Sigh. Have you seen the picture in my house of Mt. Rainier? I am so glad you had a nice time. I look forward to reading more!


Facials & ice cream? Sounds like my kind of heaven! Post more details then you can!


Our tenth anniversary is on the 18th this month, we can't afford to do anything like that though πŸ™‚ Sounds like you had a lot of fun, and a library on the ship? I would be in heaven!