The 49th State is My 49th State; V.V. Takes Alaska

The 49th State is My 49th State; <i>V.V.</i> Takes Alaska

My quest of conquering all of these great United States is nearing it’s end with state 49: Alaska!

This summer my sister and I will be boarding Ms. Oosterdam, one of Holland America‘s veg-friendly cruise ships, for southbound journey from Anchorage/Seward to Vancouver, British Columbia.

Cruises are not really my thing, but it makes perfect sense for this adventure. I did a lot of research before deciding on Holland America. To help others (and other vegans) who are interested in exploring Alaska via cruise, I compiled some helpful stuff here.

Why I choose Holland America:

1.) Holland America has a dedicated vegetarian menu with vegan options clearly labelled. Holland America cruise lines is pretty vegan friendly. And since food is a huge draw on a cruise, it didn’t make sense to spend a large chunk of money without being able to eat well. Vegetarian_Menu

Additionally, if you complete the special requirements form (sample below), the staff can prepare for your requirements. I will update this post after I have submitted this form to Holland and confirm how my listed specifications are considered. In general, staff wants your satisfaction as they depend on the customary gratuities at the end of the cruise. My satisfaction depends mostly on eating well! To be continued…HAL_VPXV8N_SR_EN

2.) There are only 5 cruise lines who are authorized to cruise in Alaska’s Glacier Bay: Princess, Holland America, Norwegian, Carnival, and Crystal Cruises. Carnival is the cheapest, which means you’re confined with lowest common denominator cruise-goers. Ones who likely believe that the Guy Fieri’s restaurant on board is fine dining. Does that sound snobby? I don’t care; it matters. You’re stuck with these folks morning, noon, and night, sharing all common areas of the boat. It might be interesting sociologically, however you don’t want to dread leaving your state room. On the other side of the spectrum, Crystal Cruises is a luxury cruise line and is way beyond our budget. Norwegian seemed to be geared towards families. I’d rather not be surrounded by children. Plus, with all of Norwegian’s advertising, I felt it’d be a popular choice for cruise goers. And, to me, popular = crappy. I’d rather pay more and not feel invaded socially. With great itineraries and great sales, Princess was the runner up. Both Princess and Holland had the goods we wanted: a cruise with tremendous scenic opportunities, great excursion options, and a lesser chance of being thrown together with white trash and screaming kids. But, in the end, the fact that Holland America had a dedicated vegetarian menu with vegan options labelled took the cake.

3.) Holland America is rated by Ethisphere, an independent and third party certifier of ethical business practices, as “World’s Most Ethical Company” under the leisure and hospitality.