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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, September 4, 2015 - Volume 43 Issue 36
Get cruisin': 1- and 3-Day cruises offered by Holland America are an affordable, convenient way to travel by ship
Arts & Entertainment
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Get cruisin': 1- and 3-Day cruises offered by Holland America are an affordable, convenient way to travel by ship

by Albert Rodriguez - SGN A&E Writer

Although a weeklong cruise around the Caribbean or through the Inside Passageway of Alaska does sound enticing, it might be a strain on the wallet, or you simply can't take the time off. Or, you've never been on a cruise before and not sure about embarking on a 7-day trip. Well, now you can enjoy all the fun and amenities of a regular cruise for one or three days at a fraction of the cost.

Holland America, based in Seattle, offers coastal cruises between Seattle and Vancouver on board the same size ship passengers would take for a standard voyage. The 1-Day Pacific Coastal cruise goes from Vancouver to Seattle with a 4 p.m. departure and 7 a.m. arrival with fares beginning at just $59 for an Interior Stateroom. Those wanting to splurge can reserve a Vista Suite that includes all of the stateroom amenities - luxurious bed with Sealy Premium Euro-top mattresses and finely woven cotton linens, flat-panel TVs with DVDs, fresh fruit plate upon request, private bath with shower, and Elemis Aromapure bath essentials - plus premium duvet and soft cotton bathrobes and slippers, binoculars to use during the voyage, complimentary DVD library, fresh flowers, oversized bath towels, and of course, a larger cabin (approximately 297 to 379 square feet).

The 3-Day Pacific Northwest cruise travels from Vancouver to Seattle to Victoria and then back to Vancouver. Cabin fares begin at $279 for an Interior Stateroom and go up to $499 for a Signature Suite. The latter comes with approximately 372 to 384 square feet of space and private verandah, in addition to all of the standard amenities and those included with a Vista Suite. The departure and arrival times are exactly the same as the 1-Day cruise, it just stretches over three days. For both cruise types, there are a range of accommodations and fares to fit everyone's budget; the Interior Stateroom, Vista Suite, and Signature Suite are just three of them.

Nearly all of the on-board amenities are included on each cruise, such as the Greenhouse Spa & Salon, Explorations Café, fitness center, pools, casino, retail shops, and a variety of restaurants and bars, from the buffet-style Lido Restaurant to the made-to-order burger/hot dog counter Dive-In to the Crow's Nest, an ample and sophisticated lounge on the Observation Deck (Deck 10) with the best views on the ship, in my humble opinion. Besides the amenities, a multitude of activities - many complimentary, some for a minimal fee - will be offered on the ship, like cooking demonstrations, live music, health and wellness seminars, wine tastings, and specifically for Gay travelers, a daily LGBT Social at one of the bars.

These cruises are perfect for honeymoons, anniversaries, birthdays, bachelor parties, or any kind of celebration. Couples, groups, and solo travelers are welcome, and though neither of the voyages is Gay-themed, from experience I can tell you that you'll meet some wonderful people during your trip, including the crew that will bend over backwards to assure a memorable adventure. The coastal cruises run for a limited time during the fall season, beginning this year on September 23.

For more information, or to book your coastal cruise, visit hollandamerica.com, or speak to a live agent at 1-877-932-4259.

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