Saturday, August 20, 2022

Should I Go On An Alaskan Cruise

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In one short word amazing! Make sure you start your trip with loose fitting clothes because chances are they will be tight at the end of your trip!

The buffet is stocked full of food, too much for me to even mention. We seriously could have eaten every meal here, it was that good. Oh, and there are like a TON of desserts are every meal too.

The dining rooms are even better. We tried almost everything we could and each thing was better than the next. Everything in the main dining rooms is included and you can even order as much as you want. There were times we couldnt decide between the main dishes so our server encouraged us to get 2why not!

From the appetizers to soups and salads and the main course and all the way to the desserts, the dining was phenomenal.

Even the Room Service was great. and not to mention 24/7! Do you want a piece of chocolate cake at 2 am? Go ahead! And I highly recommend ordering breakfast to your room in the mornings. Theres no better way to start your day than to enjoy eggs and coffee while sitting on your balcony, watching whales swimming in the distance.

What Sights Should I Hold Out For

Most of the top scenic attractions on cruises are capacity limited. Glacier Bay National Park, the banner destination for scenic glacier cruising, cannot accommodate all the large cruise ships each season. So, if Glacier Bay is a must, be sure to select a cruise that features it.

That said, the limited number of Glacier Bay entrance passes means that cruise lines have started calling at Hubbard Glacier and Tracy Arm for scenic cruising, and port calls at gems like Sitka are growing in popularity after years of downturn.

Denali National Park is a major draw for many visitors, but its also worth exploring alternative options such as the Kenai Peninsula, Copper River Center or Katmai National Park .

Some Lines Are Tightening Onboard Restrictions

Cruise lines including Carnival Cruise Line, Norwegian Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean International have already made moves to tighten onboard restrictions.

Carnival Cruise Line updated its mask policy last week for sailings through Jan. 31 as omicron continues to spread.

Norwegian, too, added mask requirements for indoor areas.

Last month, Norwegian also extended its vaccination requirement for 100% of passengers indefinitely.

Similarly, Royal Caribbean told passengers in a note last week that it would tighten mask restrictions through Jan. 5.

And Holland America said in a statement to USA TODAY Sunday that “current operating procedures require all team members and guests to wear a mask in all indoor areas of the ship and all areas are frequently disinfected.”

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Five Reasons To Cruise Alaska With Small Children

The first in a series of posts about my recent Alaskan family cruise, Im sharing five reasons to cruise Alaska with small children.

Last month my family and I went on the trip of a lifetime: an Alaskan Cruise onboard the Ruby Princess! My second time partnering with Princess Cruises, this trip was particularly special because I got to bring along my husband and our two boys ages 3 and 5.

My husband has wanted to go to Alaska for as long as I can remember so when the occasion arose, I immediately said yes. Our eight-day Alaskan cruise began and ended in Seattle, Washington with stops in Juneau, Ketchikan, Skagway and Victoria, B.C. We also enjoyed two days at-sea including one very special sail through Glacier Bay National Park.

In the weeks to come, Ill be sharing all about our Alaskan cruise including our favorite excursions, the best eats and of course plenty of beautiful photography from this oh-so-scenic adventure.

To be honest, Alaska is so beautiful you really dont need more than the photographs to tell the story but I did receive quite a few questions about traveling with small kids, staying healthy on a cruise and specifics about the cities we visited that I hope to answer in the coming months.

Let me tell you: IT WAS INCREDIBLE! For the first time in almost six years, this was the first family vacation that actually felt like a vacation.

When Is The Best Time For Families To Visit Alaska

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Summer break, which is peak cruising season, is an ideal time for families to go on an Alaska cruise. Depending on your familys interests, youll want to decide whether to book earlier or later in the season, since there can be a difference in weather and activities between the end of June and mid-August.

Some of the shore excursions you can experience when going on an Alaska cruise with kids include hiking the Tongass forest, whale-watching tours, kayaking, and learning about Tlingit culture.

Aim for the week right after school ends or the week before school begins if youd like to get there just ahead of the most crowded part of peak season. A cruise to Alaska is an unforgettable summer family vacation experience your kids will cherish forever.

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Be Prepared For A Potentially Different Vacation If You Keep Your Cruise

While the cruise industry hasn’t stopped operations and lines haven’t canceled cruises themselves, a cruise vacation may look different as coronavirus begins to spread more rapidly.

Cruise attorney Michael Winkleman told USA TODAY he doesn’t think cruisers necessarily should cancel but “they should expect the unexpected and be ready to deal with itinerary changes.”

Spend Time With Animals

Denali

In addition to the whales and other creatures which you may spot from the deck of your cruise ship or your veranda, you can assure your animal-loving progeny close interactions with creatures on small boat excursions focused on whales, crab, and other marine animals. Get thrilling close-up views of bears ashore at designated safe viewing areas and animal rescue centers.

Husky Homestead, Denali

Plan to mingle with huskies and their very cute puppies. At dog-training camps, youll learn the history of dog sledding in Alaska and hear firsthand accounts of what it takes to compete in the arduous 1,000-mile Iditarod sled dog race. Your kids will thank you when they get to meet Iditarod champions, human and canine, and go for a dog-pulled ride.

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Taku Lodge With Salmon Bake

This long-running favorite tour combines a number of appealing activities into one trip: a scenic glacier flight with Wings Airways, a float plane landing, a visit to a remote lodge with a chance for a guided nature walk, and a barbecue of king salmon .

That remote lodge is the Taku Lodge, built in 1923 and located just across the river from the advancing Taku Glacier . Get out and enjoy the lodge and its wilderness ambience. Local guides offer a short nature walk on a wilderness trail, or you may choose to relax. Then enjoy a time-honored Alaskan traditionthe salmon bake. The succulent grilled salmon attracts bears, of course, and you may be lucky enough to spot one!

Visit A Sled Dog Camp

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Another popular shore excursion, Skagway and are home to some of the states most prestigious young learners: sled dog puppies. Come meet the dogs training to be future Iditarod champions and try out mushing yourself . And then of course meet and cuddle with the puppies, and try your hardest not to sneak them back on the ship with you.

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Enjoy Your Alaskan Cruise

Read more about my 7-day Alaskan cruise on the Ruby Princess HERE! And Dont forget to check out my other posts on the best things to do while in:

And dont forget to download my super amazing 5-page cruise planner. Its absolutely FREE And easy to download and print out. Itll make planning your cruise a whole lot easier.

It includes pages to keep track of all your airfare, pre-stay hotel, and embarkation information. As well as pages to keep track of all your excursions and port information.

There is a LOT to keep track of when going on a cruise and this fun Cruise Planner makes your whole vacation more organized and stress-free! So you can sit back and enjoy those cruise cocktails!

Are you looking for outfits that are functional AND cute for your Alaskan Cruise? Check out my updated post with Cute Outfits For Your Alaskan Cruise!

Have any questions about my Alaskan Cruise?Whether its about the ship, the excursions, what to wear on an Alaskan Cruise or even the foodId love to hear from you! Leave a comment below or email me at

Head over to my updated post for more of my Alaskan Cruise Packing List and to see MORE of what I wore on my Alaskan Cruise!

When Is The Best Time To See Alaskas Glaciers

Alaskas glaciers are magnificent, and Celebritys Alaska cruise itineraries take in two of the most accessible glaciers in Southeast Alaska: Hubbard Glacier and Endicott Arm and Dawes Glacier.

The height of the Alaska cruise season is the best time to cruise Alaska on these itineraries to ensure youll be able to see and enjoy the glaciers on each of the routes.

Cruising during peak season increases the probability that warmer temperatures have allowed more of the winter ice to melt, allowing for smooth sailing through the Inner Passage and the fjords, and the captains ability to get as close as possible to the glacier to give you the most spectacular experience possible.

When sailing the Hubbard Glacier itinerary, your ships captain will slowly turn the ship so that passengers on all sides will be able to enjoy the view and witness any calving that might occur while the ship is in the glaciers vicinity.

Sailing the Endicott Arm fjord toward Dawes Glacier is just as spectacular an itinerary, and this Alaskan glacier is just as magnificent.

For these peak season Alaska cruise routes, its advisable to book early so you get the best stateroom. Booking a veranda stateroom ensures that youll have your own private space to see glaciers during your cruise.

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What To Leave At Home

So with all that stuff that you have to bring, what can you leave at home on a cruise to Alaska?

  • Black tie attire double check with your ship but many Alaska cruise ships dont have a formal night and if they do, it is optional. So you can leave the cocktail dress, tuxedo, and heels at home, unless you want to get dressed up.
  • Shorts ok, maybe bring a couple of pairs of easy-to-pack exercise or hiking shorts in case it is warm, but unless you get lucky with a warm week, you probably wont need them. And if you are brave enough to jump into the hot tub out on the deck or use the pool and waterslides, you will probably want to cover up and duck inside as soon as you get out of the water.
  • Straightening iron / curling iron unless you really want to get dressed up for dinner, I would suggest leaving your straightening and curling iron at home. When you walk on deck, your hair is going to whip around in the wind. Also when you are outside, the rain or humidity will bring on the frizz. Plus you are likely going to have a hat on for part of the day. So do yourself a favor and just put your hair up and leave the products at home. If you really like to have your hair looking nice, go ahead and bring them or book an appointment at the salon, just be prepared to fight the mist, wind, and rain to keep your do looking fresh.

When Is The Best Time To Explore Alaskas Cities And Towns

Why You Should Cruise Alaska in the Spring

Theres no question that the best time for most cruisers to go to Alaska is during peak season, and alternately in shoulder season.

In addition to the spectacular scenery and rich native wildlife, youll also find the ports of call on your Alaska cruise to be welcoming and full of interesting things to see and do.

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What Should I Pack For An Alaska Cruise In June

A to Alaska is popular for two reasons: the long daylight hours and the low chance of rain. In June, daylight lasts between 18 to 20 hours and the average temperature varies from a high of 40 degrees to mid 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

Bring along at least one pair of polarized sunglasses and a good sleep mask .

Live The Life In The Haven

Want to swim while it is cold outside

If luxury is what you are looking for in a cruise, look no further. The Haven is an exclusive cruise option that unlocks the uppermost portion of the ship, granting access to the finest, most elite experience aboard. From 24/7 butler service and a private concierge to priority boarding, dining, and entertainment, The Haven provides an experience unlike any other.

The Haven includes private venues such as lounges, pools, open-air decks, and restaurants that are only accessible to Haven members. The restaurant is private and beautiful with the style of a modern vista and both indoor and outdoor dining. You will be able to dine here morning, noon, and night. Luxury awaits! It is truly the most incredible way to experience a Norwegian Cruise to Alaska.

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What To Pack For An Alaskan Cruise

I have a whole post about what to pack for Alaska, including if youre taking a cruise! Head over there for all the details, but the MOST important things to have and bring from home are an excellent rain jacket and waterproof comfortable walking shoesor boots!

If you are coming from a hot climate, make sure to bring plenty of warm clothes. Temperatures in Southeast Alaska and along the Inside Passage are generally in the 50s and 60s in the summer. It is possible to have much hotter days but definitely be ready for some chilly and damp days, even in the middle of summer!

Youll also want to make sure you have sunscreen because when the sun does come out its INTENSE during Alaskas long summer days. You can find sunscreen everywhere, but if you like a particular brand definitely bring it with you.

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5 things to do on an Alaskan cruise!

Alaska cruises and cruise tours are the ideal way to experience the legendary history of the 49th state. The historic charm and frontier spirit are felt in the Inside Passage and in picturesque ports of call, such as Ketchikan, Skagway, Juneau and Sitka. Alaska is also renowned for its magnificent wildlife, whale migrations, exceptional scenery, dramatic glaciers, and iconic natural wonders, such as Mount McKinley and Denali National Park. With departures and arrivals available from Seattle or Vancouver, youre sure to find an adventure that suits you.

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What To Pack For A Cruise To Alaska In July

July enjoys the warmest average temperatures of the summer , which is why its one of the best times to cruise to Alaska. Be sure to pack a mix of short and long-sleeved T-shirts and waterproof pants that can convert into shorts, in case you get extra sunny and warm days during your cruise.

Chances of rain also increase as the summer months go by, so dont forget to bring all of your rain-related gear, including a light roll-up waterproof jacket, when you cruise in July.

Think In Terms Of New Experiences

Denali

Kids want to learn, but they dont necessarily want to be aware they are learning. Fortunately, your Alaska cruise offers plenty of opportunities for subtle education, such as learning about geology while flightseeing over an icefield, or about Alaska Native culture during a story, song, and dance performance, with audience participation encouraged.

Its the perfect time to try activities like ziplining, traditional and otherwise. At Icy Strait Point, treat the kids to the ZipRider, where youll scream while zipping 1,320 feet down a mountain at speeds of up to 60 mph.

Fairbanks

Youll find all sorts of opportunities for the kind of hands-on experiences that keep kids enthralled. Look, for instance, for gold-panning, which is swirling dirt and water in a pan looking for gold .

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What To Wear On Days At Sea

During days at sea, you will spend time enjoying the ships facilities. Be prepared for the outside decks and balconies to be windy and chilly, unless you get lucky with a burst of sunshine.

Attire on board is pretty casual during the day: jeans or leggings, hiking pants, or exercise clothes are all appropriate. On top you probably want to dress in layers with a long-sleeve t-shirt topped with a sweater, light fleece, or down vest. I would still bring one or two short-sleeve t-shirts and a pair of shorts just in case it is warm enough to enjoy the sun deck or your balcony.

Since you dont want to have to pack too many shoes, stick with either sneakers, flip flops, hiking boots, or flats which can be interchanged between the gym, spa/pool, outdoors, and dinner.

Whether you are sitting outside or in the observation lounge, you will probably want to have something cozy to snuggle up in. If you have room to pack a thin blanket, you will enjoy having that to curl up in while you are relaxing outside

What to wear:

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