Originally Posted by Christopher Hollahan
My wife and I, along with 30+ of my fellow co-workers and a dozen assorted wives, husbands and travelling companions just returned from a once-in-a-lifetime trip, and we all fervently hope that it is not just ‘once’ that we take a vacation like this.
We work at the Puffy Muffin bakery & restaurant in Brentwood, TN and the employees were all granted, by the generosity of our owner Lynda, the opportunity to take a week-long cruise to Alaska. Needless to say, we love Lynda!
It was a joyous, almost giddy, group of friends, family and co-workers that boarded the plane from Nashville to Seattle, caught a bus to the pier and boarded the Holland America ms Oosterdam. Many of us had never been on a cruise before (although the more tenured of us were treated to a Caribbean cruise in 1999). The ship not only met our expectations, it exceeded them in every way. The level of service provided by the crew of the ‘O’ was unrivaled by any vacation we have been on. Respectful, courteous and friendly, helpful in any way imaginable. Many of us felt spoiled on this vacation. The ship had everything we could want and more on board and the accomodations were better than I would have imagined.
If the man-made marvel that sailed us up towards southeast Alaska was jaw-dropping, the scenery outside the ship was breathtaking! Whoever called Alaska ‘God’s country’ had clearly been to the same parts that we went. Glacier Bay was indescribable. Our group took hundreds of photos. I have not seen one to do justice to the majesty of that part of the world. I felt simultaneously humbled and lifted up as I viewed the landscape and smooth, clear waters of this protected area. In Juneau, Alaska, my wife and I caught a helicopter ride over the ice-capped mountains and we landed on top of the Mendenhall Glacier (quite possibly the highlight of our trip), taking in the incredible expanse of mountains from above. Sitka and Ketchikan Alaska were also incredible. What they lose in close-up mountain viewing (although the ranges are always visible on the horizon) they more than make up for in lakes and forests and small-town charm. And to contrast the ‘wilderness’ of Alaska, our final stop in Victoria, British Columbia with all its English character was equally splendid to visit.
From the weather to the company, from ship to shore, from mountaintop to creekside, our Alaskan cruise was more than any of us could have dreamed. Thank you so much Lynda for the opportunity, and thanks as well to Tamyra Nash @ My Savvy Vacation for helping us organize this undertaking. Everyone who went has said they would go back in a heartbeat to Alaska.