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Anthony’s Alaska Adventure: Anchorage


Nothing helps you adjust to a four-hour time change like sunlight until 11:30 p.m. After nine hours of flying I arrived at Anchorage to the mid-afternoon sun and 40-degree temperatures. Anchorage is a bustling metropolitan city set amidst the backdrop of beautiful snow-capped mountains.

Just a quick ride from the airport, the Westmark Anchorage welcomes travelers with the look of a city hotel, but the attitude of a small, welcoming inn. The Westmark offers 14 stories of guest rooms, each with its own balcony. The Solstice Restaurant offers Alaskan-inspired cuisine in a contemporary setting.

After a day off to recover from the cross-continent trek, I was ready to jump right into my training. I am part of a team of three. Herb (a.k.a. Safety Herb), director of safety for Westmark, trains the staff on workplace safety issues; Pat, corporate executive housekeeper, trains the staff on proper housekeeping procedures, and I am responsible for the service training. I have chosen to roll out the FISH! philosophy to the Westmark team (more on FISH! later).

The FISH! committment poster.

The FISH! committment poster.

This trip will take us on a 3,000-mile road trip into the heart of the Great Land and the Yukon Territory. In season, Holland America Line guests board motorcoaches to tour the interior of Alaska where, clearly, our ships cannot take them. The luxury coaches zigzag all over the state and territory to provide our guests with the vacation of a lifetime. The Westmark Hotels are strategically located to allow our guests to maximize their time and enjoyment in Alaska.

The Anchorage team.

The Anchorage team.

The training sessions were a big success, with all of the staff getting involved and committing to be “world famous.” Next, it’s off to Tok, Alaska.

Stay Tuned.

Anthony Garofalo, a crew purser, is on a special assignment for Westmark Hotels, a Holland America Line company. Questions about Alaska, the Yukon or Westmark? You can e-mail Anthony at

1 Comment
  • Laurea

    Can imagine you are so much fun as a trainer. I was onboard the Zuiderdam this past Feb and you had the room laughing just getting us all out on our excursions.

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