Alaskan Cruise Tips??

posted 2 years ago in Honeymoons
Post # 2
Member
5005 posts
Bee Keeper

The only tip I have is do it.

Everyone I know has loved it, even people who eschew the stereotypical Caribbean cruise and would not ordinarily cruise if given the option of vacations.  All 15+ people I know who have been on one has raved.

No personal experience but on my list for the next couple of years.

Post # 3
Member
2625 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2016

We went last spring and LOVED it!! Go!!

We went with Princess and were really happy with them.  Our cruise started in Anchorage and ended in Vancouver.  We went to Anchorage a couple days early and rented a car to explore the area around there, and had a blast.  Also be sure to pick a cruise that goes to Glacier Bay National Park.  That was hands down one of the most amazing places I have ever seen.

 

Let me know if you have any specific questions!

Post # 4
Member
29 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: July 2017

Do it!!

We went for our honeymoon this past July and it was amazing. We did it through Princess Cruise and would totally recommend it (they were recommended to us by a friend who went years ago). We took the 10 day cruise/land tour option. We left out of Vancouver and sailed all the way up to Anchorage over 7 days, then took the train to Denali for a day or so and then a bus to Fairbanks for a day or so. 

I second what was said earlier about making sure you go on a cruiseline and itinerary that brings you in to Glacier Bay National Park. Its stunning. Also, we splurged for a balcony room and it was so worth it so you could still see all the scenery without having to be on the main decks.

Post # 5
Member
2314 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2019 - Chateau Lake Louise

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greenkate09 :  FHs whole family is going next July, so I’m curious about this too. Looks like most of the itineraries are for either Glacier Bay or Tracy Arm. You might want to do some research to decide which route is most appealing. 

The trips that leave from Seattle can be less annoying, because they don’t require you to deal with customs twice. 

Post # 7
Member
791 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2018

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greenkate09 :  We went on Celebrity and loved it.  We started in Vancouver and ended in Seward where we took a glass top train down to Anchorage.  Loved every second of it!!

Excursians are $$ but so worth it – Try to book the smallest whale watching boat you can find – if  you go later in the summer you will see more whales.

There is a web site you will like called cruise critic.com

Post # 8
Member
2314 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2019 - Chateau Lake Louise

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greenkate09 :  In our case, we live only a 2 hour drive south of Seattle, so we can actually get there pretty easily. If we went one way, we’d have to fly either to or from Alaksa. Looking at the one way trips, they are actually very close to the same price as the RT and we’d have to pay for airfare.

For people who have to fly either way to get to a port of call, I can completely understand doing the one way…

View original reply
BEEelegant :  Celebrity is our top choice. FHs sister has a friend who has gone a half dozen times, and really spoke highly of their experience with Celebrity as opposed to other cruise lines. Glad to hear more input on that!

Post # 10
Member
1487 posts
Bumble bee

We went with my FI’s family for their 40th wedding anniversary. I honestly wasn’t excited about it, but I LOVED it. I’m not a cruise person, and the cruise part was eh okay, but Alaska was amazing. We lucked out and got nice weather, but be prepared to layer and have a rain coat handy- even for the wind on the ship! We did Princess Ruby.

As excursions we did:

-Glacier Bay national park by ourselves, walked to the waterfall- so cool! We also ate at a restaurant right on the water that planes fly in to and dock.

Ketchikan we snorkeled. It was cool to do, but I wouldn’t do it again. Didn’t see much besides millions of jellies and starfish. 

Skagway was sooooo cute. We did the dog sledding tour. The ride over and back was long but beautiful. The dog sledding itself was a huge disappointment. 

Victoria- not enough time to do anything really. We walked to the fisherman’s warf and the house boats were SO cute.

Post # 11
Member
9467 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

We’ve been twice over the past 5 years or so — first time just DH and me, second time with his family.

First time: We took the very last cruise of the season on the Norwegian Jewel in September. We left Seattle and disembarked in Vancouver (9 days total). It was a bit chilly, but skies were clear the entire time and it was great because (1) there were very few kids and (2) when we sailed away from each port, locals would come out and wave to the ship and say, “See you next year!” It was so sweet. Zero complaints about Norwegian. Well ok, maybe the only complaint was that the shows were lame, but I think that’s par for the course for cruises.

Second time: Coral Princess, in July. We left Vancouver and disembarked in Anchorage (8 day cruise) and then we had another 5 days on land where we went to Denali/Fairbanks. It was overall warmer than the first cruise, but there were a few overcast/rainy days which was kinda a bummer. No complaints about Princess either. We skipped the shows lol.

Definitely think it was worth it both times. Especially at the prices we paid. We got great deals on both. The first one was dirt cheap, probably because it was the last cruise of the season and was $399 per person I think. The second one was more (maybe $799?) but that was also a longer trip during the peak season and had the land portion as well.

Post # 12
Member
2625 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2016

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greenkate09 :  We were really happy that we went in May.  The cruise season is May-September.  The quitest, and least likely to rain months are May and September.  Between those two, I chose May because the water is calmer so I was less likely to get seasick (which I’m very prone to).  In September though, I’ve heard you have a greater chance of seeing the northern lights.  As for the temperature, we actually had it in the high 60s or low 70s with sun everyday (which is very unusal)

 

Here’s what we did:

Anchorage- we rented a car before our trip and drove the Seward highway for a day.  Near Seward we went to Kenai Fjords National Park and to the Sea Life Center.  Driving to Seward was our favorite part of the trip- you see so many amazing views.  One thing to watch out for if you go in May though is to make sure things are open.   The National Park road had just opened the day we were there for the season. 
The following day in Anchorage we went to the zoo in the morning (really fun if you like zoos), and to the Anchorage Museum before we boarded our ship.  We also drove around a park for fun before the zoo opened and saw a couple wild moose.

 

Glacier Bay National Park – Here, everyone stays on the ship and they bring in some of the National Park Rangers.  We went to their talk in the moring and then went up to the top deck for the day to enjoy the views.

 

Skagway – In the morning we went on a bus tour organized by the ship.  The bus drove out to the Alaska-Canada line and saw some amazing scenes and a few waterfalls.  In the afternoon we went off by ourselves.  We explored the Klondike Gold Rush National Historic park and took a 1.5 mile walk out to a waterfall.  We were the only people there (people said it was actually too hot to walk that far that day!), which made for a great experience.

 

Juneau- In the morning we went on a whale watching tour organized by the ship.  That was probably our second favorite thing we did behind our Seward highway drive.  In the afternoon that day we went to the Alaskan Brewing Compay for a brief tour/tasting.  We were on our own for this (not through the ship) but I did buy us tickets ahead of time for a shuttle to bring us there and back.

 

Ketchikan- We didn’t do anything organized by the ship.  We went to a bunch of museum/educational cetenters.  We particlularly enjoyed the Totem Historical Center and the Southeast Alaska Discovery Center (about the Tongass National Forest).  We were easily able to walk to both from the ship.  After that, we had an hour or two before we had to be back on the ship that night so we got beers on the wharf at a bar.  It was very relaxing and a great view (and cheaper than drinks on the ship!)

 

I’m super happy with what we did, and looking back I don’t think I would change a thing.  We really loved our trip and want to go back.  (we were also super happy with the Princess cruise line, and plan to use them on any future cruises)

Post # 13
Member
668 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2019

I went about 6 years ago on Holland America. It was all old people we were the youngest on the boat. But everyone went to bed by 8 and we had any bar club to are selves wich ended up being slot of fun. The food was really good on that line but I remember seeing other ships that looked like they had more stuff. It’s very beautiful I recommend getting a balcony we spent a ton of time on it because there was always a view. The best thing we did was a private hummer tour and they took to area to see wildlife and even did some off roading and got to see a lot of amazing views. It is really beautiful would love to do it again.

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