We booked our APT 22 Day Rockies Odyssey & Alaska cruise through Yvonne at Global Journeys and the whole experience was delightful and seamless. Yvonne is very professional, prompt, and helpful. I thought we had to cancel our trip due to my husbands medical condition and Yvonne was terrific... thank goodness were able to go and it was truly the trip of a lifetime.
The flights with Air Canada in premium economy were certainly the way to travel however the service was pretty ordinary. Once we met our APT tour guide Russel Burton (Russ), we knew we were in good hands and he managed our group beautifully as ages ranged from mid 40's to late 70's. Russ was very informative, enthusiastic and very caring and I would love to do another tour with him "at the helm". Norm Creighton was in charge of driving the coach and we were able to relax (snooze) knowing we were in very capable hands.
To the tour... OMG Lake Louise was breathtaking in her frozen elegance, the Banff Springs Hotel made us feel like royalty, the Rocky Mountaineer was fantastic from the minute we boarded. The meals and Freedom of Choice activities were all first class and we went on a helicopter over Banff, on a zodiac in Victoria, Float Plane in Whistler and the Ice Explorer on the Athabasca Glacier just to name a few activities. We were lucky enough to see one grizzly and 7 black bears in the wild. I would recommend going early in the season, beat the crowds and experience the frozen wonderland at its best.
We enjoyed the land content more than the Holland America Cruise. We found that Holland America need to provide more activities (trivia etc) and it is lacking live music in the day time around the ship. Having said that we enjoyed BBKings and Billboard each night where there are two pianists taking requests. The meals were smaller than other cruise ships I have been on, however the beds comfortable and the scenery at Glacier Bay stunning.
We all found the last day in Vancouver to be very taxing. We disembarked the ship at 08.00 and did not fly out of Vancouver until 11.50 pm. This was a very long day as it was cold and raining and whilst APT looked after our luggage they did not look after the tour group. Unless you had booked day use in a hotel (too late on the day) there was nowhere to go. The Fairmont said we could not sit in their lobby and some of the group sat in the food court in excess of 12 hours waiting to go to the airport. I feel that APT could make a meeting room available for travellers to use, buy their own meals etc but have somewhere to go. This left a bitter taste in many a mouth after what was previously a first class, every detail thought about, trip.