• Marlene who was the bus person and water person in the dining room on the Columbia was excellent. She was personable, friendly, warm and helpful. She should be promoted and given more responsibility. We thoroughly enjoyed her company. On the other hand, the waitress, Kimberely was the exact opposite. She was disheveled, rude and rushed. She did not know anything about the menu (that they didn't have soup), she couldn't have been a worse waitress. We thought about walking out but stayed for the view and that was the best part of the entire dinner. She is horrible and I would caution anyone NOT to have her as their waitress.

  • Had given up on the Alaska ferry system back in 2006. Decided to give it a try again twelve years later. Decided to travel to Bellingham around March 15, 2018. Called to book travel to find you were making only two trips in March. At the beginning (3/6/18) and end of the month (3/27/18). Nothing during mid month. Nothing for 21 days. We had to leave ten days earlier than we wanted. To add to the poor schedule was the price: $4,600 and the driver went free. You can take a pretty nice cruise for that price. Once on the ship we could feel a stressed atmosphere among staff. If there were two or more in a group they were talking about something they were unhappy with. The moral was not good. You have the power to stop the crew from talking about grievances (Bad) or improve the crews moral (Good). As the day wore on we decided to have something to eat. A trip to the "Snack Bar" was a slap in the face. It was closed for the season unless you wanted a cellophane wrapped sandwich, green jello or wrapped salad. You should have told your customers booking passage that there was nothing being cooked in the Snack Bar. The main restaurant would no longer be serving the regular dinner but would serve the Snack Bar menu as supplies last. You should recommend they bring their own food for the three day trip. The Dinning room menu was only ten items long minus items they were out of for the first "meal". To add insult to injury our server (Renee) was the rudest person I have ever met. He obviously hated his job. My wife ask for the fish sandwich. She then ask Renee what was on the sandwich. Renee said in a VERY sarcastic way as he pushed the plastic card menu in front of my wife, "It's a FISH sandwich!!". We responded with, "I understand that but what else is on the sandwich like tomatoes, pickles, mayo..." Renee's response was, "IT'S A FISH SANDWICH!" We then said, "But what comes on the sandwich beside fish? Renee's response, "The REGULAR stuff!!!" People all around our table were by this time staring at Renee to see what was going on. It got worse when we ask for tartar sauce since there was NOTHING but fish on a dry bun. I WISH RENEE WORKED FOR ME SO I COULD FIRE HIM! On our return trip we brought all our food with us and life was better. We avoided Renee by never going into the dinning room. He certainly drove us away. We used the tables in the Snack Bar. Aside from the horrendously loud vibration sound in the Snack Bar when underway life was better. The sound was so loud talking was useless, yelling worked if you were within two feet and from what we found out the vibration has been present since 2016 when they removed some duct work above the Snack Bar and never put it ALL back. I checked it with my phones Decibel meter; it was in excess of 95Db (Chainsaw). It was sad for us to see how the Alaska Marine HWY has become what it is. It no longer meets the needs of SE Alaska. Its not that it needs more money thrown at it as much as it needs proper administrators. A happy crew would help. It used to be that way.

  • Add a share button on this website!

  • Be able to select your cabin online just like you select your seat on an airplane.

  • I have some suggestions: - free wi-fi on board ferries so people can do work - a mileage program similar to AK Air, including a club 49 option with discounts for Alaskans - remodel the ferries to be more modern and aesthetically pleasing - offer discounts for purchase of package deals (e.g. if you purchase stateroom, car, and fare together get a 10% discount) - offer tours with classes by experts on subjects such as writing, knitting, birding, etc. (the cruise ships do this...) - need to sell AMHS memorabilia on ferries and online - bring back the gift shops and bars! All of these things would increase ridership and reduce operating cost per rider.

  • Work a deal with community businesses to get product/merchandise onboard the ferry in Bellingham and Prince Rupert for them to sell their wares in their local communities. Prices should be comparable to freight rates or even a few pennies per pound cheaper. Fred Meyer for example could provide their own "Van" loaded with product in Bellingham, and AMHS could charge accordingly for that van to transport it to Juneau. Maybe this could be done seasonally only, October to May to compensate for the low passenger rates during the off season. Just a thought. Feel free to add to or subtract from as you see fit. Thanks for reading. Mike

  • Start charging for addition baggage/carry on. I recently watched a woman and her 6 children travel from Petersburg to Juneau on a Medicaid pass. While in Juneau she shopped at a local Fred Meyer and returned to Petersburg Several days later with no less than a dozen 50 pound boxes of groceries. The airlines didn't charge for luggage for years while fighting bankruptcy the entire time. They reformed themselves a number of years ago. Part of that reform was to start charging fees for luggage. Maybe give customers one bag for free then $50 for each additional bag? Just a thought. Add or delete information as you need to. Thanks for reading. Mike

  • I feel that a great income producing mechanism would be to legalize a casino (ON THE FERRY SYSTEM ONLY), (maybe something along the lines of slots only for example) on a small part of the ship. To be accessed only while ship is underway. (similar to the paddle boat casino's in Mississippi) The income generated is to ONLY be used inside the ferry system, completely independent of state funds. This could potentially add to the already high tourism currently a lifeline to many Alaska communities if rules were placed to force the patron off for X number of days. Example: Joe buys a ferry ticket in Bellingham, gambles on the boat to anywhere the ferry stops, then must exit the boat until that boat returns on its south bound trip). Joe not only contributes to the ferry system but for that 2-3 days he waits in Petersburg for example he contributes to the economy there as well. Its a win-win for Alaska! Just a thought, build on it anyway you please. Thanks for reading. Mike

  • Alaska state ferries have a great passenger safety record. The employees respect the passengers. I feel safe and welcome. I like that I am in Alaska when I board the boat. The security is good without being overwhelming or out of proportion like the airlines.They keep to a tight schedule.I can check on my pets or cargo while I travel.I liken my trips to a cruse.

  • I made some of these same suggestions to people involved with the AMHS in 2006 and they were rejected/disregarded then, and it's worse now! "AMHS Issues: Things to consider Cost the same to run the ferries empty as loaded. These costs are already paid by the residents of Alaska, so they shouldn’t have to pay excessive fares to be able to use the system. The fares could be reduced to 30 percent of the present rates (Jan. 06), and the overall revenue would rise, because the cost of use now is prohibitive to most of the residents. Commercial and non resident should continue to pay the full rate. I have been told of a program called “Elderhost” that allows persons to travel the system in the winter for free or a very small payment. They are provided staterooms and meals. These people are not even residents of Alaska, and sometimes not even residents of the USA! I ask, “why should we subsidize non-residents to use the system our own residents can’t afford to use”? I don’t know a lot about the particulars of this program, but this seems ridiculous! Any Alaskan resident should receive the same discount and benefits as the Elderhost program. Not only the cost of passenger fares reduced, but cost of vehicle fares and staterooms reduced to qualified residents. The present passenger fare, Ketchikan to Bellingham is $231 and takes about 39 hours. This doesn’t include meals, (5 or 6 meals) $50 minimum, or the cost of a stateroom to sleep, $220. This makes the total cost about $500. This cost is outrageous considering you can fly to Seattle in 2 hours for $435 full cost, and $230 supersaver with about 2 months notice."