Does Anyone Swim On The Alaska Cruise
If you can dream it, you can do it.
wnissen said:It depends a lot on the time of year. We were the last cruise of the season , and temperatures, even in Seattle, were in the 60s. With the ship’s speed adding 20 knots to the wind, it was chilly even during the day. There were a number of kids in the pools but one afternoon the only other adult was a Mountie from Manitoba. In the evenings there was almost no one. We all jumped in a hot tub and then sprinted back inside, it felt really cold.It was nothing like we’ve seen on Caribbean cruises where there are dozens of kids during the day.
Club Hal: Kids Just Want To Have Fun
Our kids’ favourite part of any cruise is the kids club and yes, Holland America has one. Since school had started again and it was the last cruise of the season, our boat only had 5 children. However the cruise following ours from Vancouver to Seattle was booked with over 200 kids. A few of the Alaska cruises during the summer vacation period had up to 800 junior members.
The kids club ran on a pre-planned schedule, which was provided to us each evening prior. The staff mentioned when we first met that it was going to be harder to run a few of the games and activities because of the lack of children. Mia and Caius found themselves in Club HAL alone most of the time, which they loved anyway. They were given lots of attention, were able to dictate some of the more fun crafts, and of course did not have to share the computer games.
Our kids enjoyed all the activities and Club HAL staff were always friendly and looked like they enjoyed being there too. Facilities were pretty good and well maintained.
There were only two real snags we found with Club HAL.
The first there was no food or drinks allowed in the Club, and that extended to water. Our kids complained regularly about being thirsty in the kids club and were told there was no water. We ended up sending water bottles to the club with the kids because of dehydration concerns. Most cruise ships disallow refilling water bottles from water dispensers due to overzealous hygiene concerns.
How To Plan Your Own Alaskan Cruise
After soliciting feedback from a lot of people, there was no universal answer for everyone. Do you want to go during the perfect season? Do you want a smaller, more intimate ship? There are a lot of things to consider. Always start your cruise planning by asking yourself, What is important to me? Once you know that, you should be able to narrow down your options.
Recommended Reading: What Is The Best Cruise Line From Florida
Will Pools Be Open For May Alaskan Cruises Will They Be Crowded
We’re going on an Alaskan cruise in May and are concerned that they might close the pools because it will be “too cold”. . One of the things we’re looking forward too the most is using the pools. Can anyone confirm whether or not they will be open? If they are open, do you think they will be crowded? I’m not sure how many people consider “swimming” to be part of an Alaskan vacation.Thanks…
The Specialty Restaurants On The Celebrity Eclipse:
- Le Petit Chef At Qsine experience the fusion of entertainment and French cuisine.
- Sushi on Five modern luxury take on traditional Japanese fare.
- Tuscan Gille Italian ristorante and enoteca with a contemporary twist.
- Murano Classic French dishes with a contemporary twist.
- Blu inventive cuisine with an extensive list of sustainable and biodynamic wines.
We received one complimentary specialty dining experience.
Im not sure if this is the standard, though. We were offered this specialty dining experience for the last night on the ship.
We may have been offered this specialty dinner because our parents were celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary . Or, it may have been because the specialty restaurants had available seating that was unsold and they wanted to fill the room.
Im not sure why, but it was a nice gesture and we enjoyed the experience. It was a fun change of pace from the main dining restaurant.
Note we did not work with Celebrity Cruises, so this complimentary specialty dinner had nothing to do with our travel blog .
Recommended Reading: What Do You Need For An Alaskan Cruise
Expect To Spend More On An Alaskan Cruise
One of the big draws of cruising is that it can be a cheap vacation. Head to the Caribbean for a few days and you might find a fare as little as $200 per person. Thats not the case for Alaskan cruises. Expect to spent significantly more, although fares do seem to have tempered somewhat. Most trips for a week start at $500 per person for the cheapest rooms in the shoulder seasons. Peak times to sail see prices start at $800 for an interior cabin.
Have questions about sailing to Alaska? Let us know in the comments below.
Watch A Movie Under The Stars
Princess Cruises is known for its Movies Under the Stars. What could be better than cuddling up with your loved ones in the crisp Alaska air to enjoy a movie on the big screen? With comfy lounge chairs and provided blankets, this is a perfect low-key evening activity.
This movie theater features not only movies but also concerts from the likes of Michael Bublé, Lady Gaga, and more. So, no matter your style, you are sure to find something you will enjoy at the Movies Under the Stars.
Don’t Miss: Are World Cruises Worth It
Outdoor Grass Field On The Cruise Ship
One of the unique features on the Celebrity Eclipse is the grass field on the 15th floor observation deck. They call it the Lawn Club. Our boys loved running and rolling on this well groomed grass field.
Guests are provided complimentary bocce balls to play on the grass field. Its not every day you get to play bocce ball on top of a cruise ship while it sails between icebergs and fjords.
Notice what were wearing in the above photo. Even though we took this Alaska cruise in the middle August, it can get quite chilly on the outdoor decks. Pack accordingly.
The grass field is also a great place to witness humpback whales breaching.
Different Cruise Lines Appeal To Different Passengers
While the cruise lines all sail similar routes and see similar things, but there is a difference between the cruise lines and what they offer passengers. Some passengers are simply looking for the cheapest fare while others want to highest-level of luxury. Still others want to sail the biggest and newest ships. Theres no doubt that different ships will have different experiences, so do your research before booking. Be sure to read our article on the best cruise lines to sail to Alaska.
Also Check: Are Regent Cruises Worth The Money
Try The Fun Ships Of Carnival
Carnival Cruise Line has seven-, eight- and 14-day itineraries, leaving from Los Angeles, California Seattle, Washington and Vancouver, British Columbia. Families love Carnivals laid-back vibe, cool waterslides and Camp Carnival, where the kids can have their own fun and the adults get some quiet time. Because youre surrounded by amazing natural beauty almost the entire cruise, splurging on a balcony room in a no-brainer. If you have a large family or older kids and need more than one room, however, it can get expensive quickly. Compromise by getting a balcony room for the adults with an interior room right across the hallway for the kids. You still get the amazing views, the kids get their own space, and youre saving money in the process.
You Need To Pack Layers
Packing for an Alaskan cruise is not an easy task. Given the fluctuations in temperature, which in our experience was up to 30 degrees in one day, you will need plenty of clothes in varying degrees of warmth. Layers that can be easily packed, and taken on and off during the day, are preferable. We really liked our Columbia 3 in 1 jackets. You will want to also set aside some separate outfits for those afternoons and evenings on the ship. This cruise will really test your true packing abilities dont plan on traveling with just a carry-on for this trip!
Also Check: What Cruise Line Does Inspiration Cruises Use
Fortune Casino On The Celebrity Eclipse
Like most mega-cruise ships, the Celerity Eclipse has a full casino on-board. Fortunes Casino has all of the standard games and tables one would expect, including craps, roulette, blackjack, poker and a lot of loud, bright slot machines.
Were not big gamblers but we did play some roulette one evening. It only took us about 20 minutes to burn through our $50 budget. The house always wins when we play!
Fortunes Casino hours of operation will vary. Generally, casinos open when the cruise ship enters international waters. The casino closes when the cruise ship is in port.
For Alaska cruises, the age limit to play in the casino is 21+ years old. Kids are not allowed in the casino but its fine to walk through the casino. You are not allowed to play games with kids sitting beside you.
Read the Celebrity Cruises Casino FAQs page here.
There are lots of slot machines at Fortunes Casino on the Celebrity Eclipse.
Youll Find The Cheapest Fares In May And September
The height of the Alaskan cruise season runs the summer, but most ships start sailing May and dont finish up the season until September. Those May and September trips when families that have kids in school cant sail are usually cheaper due to lower demand. You can find the same cabin on the same trip for hundreds of dollars less by sailing during one of these months versus the height of summer.
Also Check: When Can You Book Excursions On Disney Cruise
Menu For The Main Dining Restaurant
The menu for the main dining restaurant rotates every day. However, there are a few items that remain consistent see the timeless entrees on the sample menu above.
The menu has gluten free, vegetarian, no sugar added, and lactose free options.
Dining on the cruise ship is all inclusive, except for alcoholic beverages.
This means you can order whatever you want off the menu. Typically you would order one appetizer, entree and desert.
However, if youre having a hard time deciding, you can order multiple items. We typically ordered 2 or 3 appetizers each at dinner. And, if youre feeling bold, you can also order multiple entrees.
Scroll down to see photos of the food served in the main dining room. As youll see, the restaurant has a wide variety of cuisine, ranging from grilled salmon to prime rib to lobster, and everything in between.
We were impressed with the food in the main restaurant. Its not easy serving hundreds of people at the same the time, yet the food was consistently good.
Guests can also visit the main dining restaurant for breakfast and lunch.
Norwegian Sun Provides A Unique Alaska Cruise Opportunity
Norwegian Sun has 25 different Alaska cruise itineraries planned for 2020, ranging from seven to 15 days. These cruises offer an extraordinary opportunity to take in Alaska’s coastline, witness a wide variety of glaciers and provide ports of call where you can add shore excursions to explore a taste of Alaska’s amazing wilderness, teeming with wildlife and natural wonders.
Common ports of call and destinations on Norwegian Alaska itineraries include , Skagway, Glacier Bay, Ketchikan, Icy Strait Point, and Sitka, as well as Victoria in British Columbia, Canada. Sitka is a port that is only available on Norwegian Sun’s Alaska itineraries. This island community offers wildlife sighting opportunities, such as brown bears, deer, sea otters, whales, and various birds. Take in the panoramic seaside views, with mountain backdrops, or enjoy fishing or visiting the historic sights in town.
These Alaska cruise itineraries will also give you plenty of opportunities to witness Alaska’s mighty glaciers, from locations such as Glacier Bay National Park, Tracy Arm Fjord, and the Juneau Icefields. You can even take a tour out to see the Mendenhall Glacier, which is located only 12 miles outside of town. If you are an angler, Ketchikan is the “Salmon Capital of the world,” and you won’t want to miss an opportunity to cast a line here. The city is located at the tip of the inside passage and is known as Alaska’s “first city” as a result.
Also Check: What Cruise Lines Go Out Of Los Angeles
Cute Outfits For An Alaskan Cruise
I had anticipated the towns in Alaska would be the coldest part of my trip but I was SO wrong. Your time on the ship is way colder. Being out at sea made for some very cold and windy days.
Fleece-lined leggings were my savior! I wore these as regualr leggins all around the ship. They worked great as a comfortable option that kept me warm .
The fleece-lined leggings were also thin enough to layer underneath a pair of jeans or jogger pants in case it got REALLY cold outside.
Youll also want to add a comfortable pair of shoes for just walking around the ship. These shoes are my go-to for any traveling I do. They are super comfy for airports and pretty much match with anything.
Fun Facts About Celebrity Cruises
Below are some stats from a typical 7 to 10 day cruise:
- Pounds of beef = 25,545
- Pounds of fresh vegetables = 58,659
- Bottles of wine = 18,450
- Chefs, Cooks and Cleaning staff = 250+ people
- Total Staff working in Dining and Food = 600+ people
- Average number of dishes served PER DAY = 16,000
We went on a kitchen tour of the Moonlight Sonata Restaurant and witnessed the well oiled machine that delivers over 2,800 meals between 6:00 PM and 10:00 PM every evening.
Think about that for a moment. 2,800 meals in 4 hours. Thats impressive.
Sample menu of the starters. The menu changes every day, except the Timeless Starters.
You May Like: Where To Stay In Miami Near Cruise Port
Traveling With A Family What Is There To Do On Board
If youre an older couple, then simply having a number of choices of restaurants and a spot to watch the scenery go by might be plenty for you. But if youre traveling with a family or youre active and always on the go then you want to see what all there is to do on the ship.
This is where newer and larger ships can be your best option. Newer ships built in the last decade have pushed hard to have more things for you to do while at sea. After all, youre going to be spending a week on the ship. You dont want the kids to get bored by the end of the second day. Stick to the newer ships which will have the most amenities.
Isnt Cruising For An Older Crowd
This ship in particular really appeals to familiesit had a strong multigenerational aspect with many grandparents, parents, and kids traveling together. During sea days, many families we spoke to broke into smaller groups and then joined up again at dinner. For traditional diningwhere passengers were assigned a table and had the same one at the same time for the duration of their cruisethe pre-set times were 5 p.m. and 7:15 p.m., which lent itself to the family atmosphere. The anytime dining was good for those families who wanted flexibility.
Some parents worry that their kids wont like the idea of cruising. CLIA notes that not only are cruises the preferred vacation choice for many families, but that kids are more involved in the decision-making process for cruises versus land-based trips.
Lastly, some picture cruises being stuffy, with everyone dressing formally each night for dinner. Thats not the case with Princess Cruises . The dress range was wide, and most people were on the more casual side. Even for formal night, many kids wore a polo shirt and khakis, but there were also kids in shorts and a stain-free top. When it comes to clothing choice, anything goes, which is a good thing when traveling with kids.
You May Like: What Cruise Lines Sail Out Of Baltimore
Enjoy A Fountain Show
A signature attraction on Princess Royal-Class ships is the Watercolor Fountain Fantasy show. Watch as the Alaskan sky lights up with an illuminating water show set to music. Be awed by the choreographed and brightly colored water fountains dancing up to 33 feet in the air.
During our sailing on Majestic Princess, there were various themed shows set to music of Michael Jackson, James Bond, Frank Sinatra, and more. These shows typically occurred at 9:45 pm each evening, with a second show at 6:45 pm on some evenings.