What Is The Alcohol Package All About
Alcohol is NOT included in the cruise price. The price per drink on the ship is not cheap . If you plan to have a few drinks in the afternoon and wine with dinner, you should consider purchasing an alcohol package.;
Basically, you pay one price to enjoy a variety of beverages on the cruise ship. Choices include wines-by-the-glass, beers, cocktails, spirits, premium coffees, bottled water, and soda. You can order beverages in the main dining restaurant, specialty restaurants, casual dining restaurants, and all bars and lounges.
Celebrity Cruises has a Standard Package, Classic Beverage Package or Premium Package.
We went with the Classic Package and felt it was good value for our needs. If you like top shelf liquor and/or wines, you may prefer the Premium Package.
Two Opinions On Choosing A Cabin For An Alaskan Cruise:
These are the two modes of thought from frequent cruisers to Alaska concerning choosing a cabin:
Ultimately, of course, it comes down to personal preference.;
Ill give you the advantages and disadvantages of each of the options to perhaps make the decision a little easier .; ;;
Cabin Fans Add Some Ventilation And White Noise
If youre the type of person who has to have white noise and/or some airflow to help you sleep, then you should know that cruise cabins dont have fans or vents. You can bring your own, however. You can pick up that wont take up too much space in your cabin. If you get warm or simply like having some airflow, its a great things to pack with you.
Saxman Totem Village With Lumberjack Tour
A visit to Southeast Alaska is not complete without an introduction to the areas original inhabitants. Their fascinating history and culture is one reason Ketchikan is such a special place to visit. Another important element of the town is the logging industry, which was one of the mainstays of the Ketchikan economy through the 1990s. This tour introduces you to both.
The Saxman Village tour offers a deep look at the culture overall, and particularly their totem poles. In fact, Saxman Totem park is one of the worlds largest collections of totem poles, and your guide will help explain the stories and symbolism behind them. The Lumberjack show is an entertaining look at the world of logging and the skills needed to survive in this dangerous industry. Lumberjacks compete in a dozen events including sawing, chopping, axe throwing, and log rolling.
See Bald Eagles On The Chilkat River
The Chilkat River near Haines is thought to be the largest gathering of bald eagles in the world. They flock to these warmer waters to feed on salmon while tourists, of course, flock to them. There are a number of kayak, jet boat, and rafting tours of this area. You’re almost guaranteed to see the majestic birds and you’re likely to come by moose and other wildlife, too.
Pros And Cons Of A One
Seasonal one-way cruises sail either southbound from Seward or Whittier in Alaska or northbound from Vancouver. The biggest benefit of starting or ending your cruise in Alaska is that you can plan a pre- or post-cruise trip or tour into the state’s interior, since cruising only shows you a small slice of America’s biggest state. One-way itineraries typically have two days of scenic cruising and tend to spend more time in Alaskan ports, often with no calls in Canada. Many lines also offer one-way repositioning cruises to Alaska, so if you don’t mind sailing early or late in the season, you can choose from longer itineraries or find one-ways from ships that normally only offer round trips.
Seattle Is The Perfect Alaskan Cruise Departure City
About half of the Alaska cruises we looked at left out of Seattle, Washington and the other half left out of British Columbia, Canada. We chose Seattle because one of my best friends families live there, which meant a free place to stay and unlimited pickle ball games. But even if we didnt have family there, I wouldve picked Seattle anyway because its one of my favorite towns ever.
There are also great shuttles from many of the Seattle hotels to the cruise port and a taxi ride from downtown Seattle to the cruise port is cheap. There are also quite a few hotels that offer a park and cruise offer thatll allow you to stay one night, leave your car while you cruise, and pick it up later. Perfect to avoid having to pay extra parking fees during your Alaskan cruise.
If you have a day or two in Seattle before your Alaska cruise, make sure to:
- Eat your way through;Pike Place market
- Make your own glass-blown bowl
- Take a boat out on Lake Bellevue or another one of the many lakes in Seattle
- Explore and shop downtown
Some Cruise Lines Impose Additional Weight/age Limits Beyond Those Of The Tour Company
This most often happens to families with small children. The family will go on Alaska shore excursions and leave the small ones behind because they didnt meet the age or weight limit.; Then they get there and find out that everyone could have participated because the operators limits are lower.
Some Alaska shore excursions, like the Chilkoot Horseback Adventure, are very strict, while others, like Grizzly Falls Zipline, are more lenient. If you have any doubts, you should contact the operator directly or speak with a tour specialist at Alaska Shore Tours.
Missing Your Boat Is Never A Problem
Most cruise lines will say, We cant guarantee that youll be back on time unless you book through us. But the people who book independently are on the same tour as those who book through the ship, so the timing remains the same. Everyone, from the dock reps to the bus drivers to the guides, has been trained and coached to keep their timing as consistent as possible no matter the day, week or month.
The tour departures for an Alaska excursion are built around the cruise ship schedule. This is especially the case in ports like Skagway and Ketchikan, where the majority of visitors arrive on a cruise. This means that it is almost impossible to miss your boat unless you purposefully try to.
With that said, if a tour operator says that a certain Alaska excursion departure time will not work for your boat, please believe them. As mentioned earlier, they know their timing better than anyone, and asking them to delay or rush through a tour is unfair to other guests who might be on the tour with you.
At Alaska Shore Tours, we offer a guarantee that you will return to your ship on tours that have been booked through us, so you can fully enjoy your once-in-a-lifetime adventures.
Mistake #3: Not Doing Any Excursions
We know we are kinda talking out of both sides of our mouth here. We want to cut costs, but sometimes you have to splurge. Do at least 1 excursion, you came all the way to Alaska you might as well experience it right!
- We trekked on the Mendenhall glacier during our stop in Juneau on our Alaskan cruise. A great Alaskan cruise excursion that should be on your bucket list
- White Pass Summit & Yukon Route Train Ride from Skagway, Alaska! A great Alaskan excursion to do on your Alaska cruise!
This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see the Last Frontier, so see it in a way that you will never forget. Our Mendenhall Glacier excursion with ABAK was our personal favorite!
Guide’s Choice Photography Discovery
Serious photographers are often frustrated when they find a nice spot, set up for a shot, and the guide yells, “Time to get back on the bus!” This tour is for photographers, so there’s ample time to get your shots just right. Better still, your professional photographer guide has the flexibility to take you where the “action” is, whether it’s a field of wildflowers by the Chilkat River, brown bears feeding on salmon near Chilkoot Lake, or a juvenile bald eagle exercising its wings for its first flight.
Haines Shore Excursions & Tours
Note:Some ships that dock in Haines offer tours to Skagway. Unless youre a serious history buff, we dont recommend it. Instead, take advantage of having the town of Haines to yourself. You can enjoy any of the four tours mentioned above: rafting, jetboat, kayaking, and nature tours are also offered from Skagway. Or try one of our recommended tours below.
Travelers to Alaska often wonder what its like to live in a small Alaskan town year-round. This tour is designed to show you. Your fun and informative local guide will take you to out-of-the-way places, like Svensons Extreme Dreams Art Studio. Youll also visit the Hammer Museumthe worlds only museum dedicated to mans first tool.
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.
Your Alaska Cruise Itinerary Can Determine What To Pack
Inside Passage:; The overwhelming majority of ships for seven-night round-trip cruises to Alaska depart from either Seattle or Vancouver, Canada.; A one-week Alaska cruise spends two days northbound and the same back plus three or four Alaska cruise ports, all in the Inside Passage.;
On any seven-night round-trip Inside Passage cruise from the Lower 48, you wont have the opportunity to spend a couple of days in Alaska before or after your cruise.
On the other hand, choose a small ship adventure cruise and your ship will probably embark and disembark in either Juneau or Sitka.; In this case, you can easily spend a couple of days on land before or after your cruise.
Cross-Gulf:; These Alaska cruises can also be seven nights with departures northbound from Vancouver and Seattle or southbound from Seward and Whittier, Alaska.; A cross-Gulf cruise will give you the time to spend in Alaskas interior before or after your cruise.
The clothes youll need can vary, too. Especially if you cruise early or late in the season in May or September.
My Alaska packing list covers everything youll need to pack for a 7-day Alaska cruise, like my Holland America Eurodam Inside Passage cruise. If your cruise is longer or youve chosen a cruise and tour, I also include how and what to pack.;
Basically, you would pack the same but plan on either sending out a load of laundry on the ship, doing a sink wash or hauling it into a town to a laundromat.; But theres more to know.;
Luggage And Bags For Your Alaska Cruise Packing List
How much luggage to bring is always a personal decision. Carry on? Checked?
First off, check with your cruise company to verify luggage restrictions, if any. When I travel, cruising or not, I always try to limit my packing to a carry-on bag, along with my personal bag.
I have learned a few tricks on packing for extended trips using only a carry on wheeled aboard bag. You can read my tips and tricks abouthow to pack a carry on here.;
I never really liked packing cubes, until I tried them! Wow, they revolutionized my packing. I can say with certainty that they keep me much better organized
. These Bagail packing cubesare the exact ones I use now on every trip. I would not leave home without them!
If you decide a twenty-one or twenty-two-inch roll-on bag is the way to go for you, inquire with your cruise line if you are able to keep that bag with you once you embark on the ship, or if you must check it with all the larger pieces of luggage.
Here is a hardshell set of luggage that is lightweightand has TSA-approved locks. It comes in many configurations and colors to select from.
This spinner softshell set of luggage is very lightweight and comes in several colors to choose from.
Watching and listening intently to the glacier.
You will want a durable backpack or daypack on your Alaska cruise packing list.
This Columbia Backpack/Daypack is a great option for you as you venture off your ship.
It is available in super cute colors and is affordable.
Still Pack A Bathing Suit
While the weather is not exactly beach friendly, the pools and hot tubs on the ship are still open. If you are lucky, the weather may get;warm enough in the afternoon for you to take a dip in the pool. Or, you could unwind in one of the hot tubs onboard or relax in the spa. Think of how perfect it would be to enjoy the scenery at sail away while being gently massaged by these warm water jets. This is an experience that will make all your friends back home jealous.
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.
Yes You Need A Passport Or Birth Certificate To Cruise
If youre sailing from the United States and sailing to another state why do you need a passport or birth certificate to travel? Cruises stop in Canada for at least one port of call to satisfy requirements put on them by U.S. laws. That means you technically leave the U.S., sail to a foreign country, and then re-enter. Its best to have a passport, but if your cruise starts and ends in the same port you can travel with a government-issued birth certificate
Things Your Cruise Ship Wont Tell You About Shore Excursions
If youve already booked your Alaska cruise, its a pretty safe bet that youve also been bombarded by your cruise lines Alaska shore excursions emails. Cruise lines will offer you all kinds of reasons for booking your Alaska excursion with them, but there are some things they just cant or wont tell you since they dont profit from you booking Alaska shore excursions on your own!
As with doctors, its always good to get a second opinion. Ultimately, it may make the most sense to book Alaska shore excursions with your ship, but before you do, you should know all your options. Thats why weve put together this list of 8 Things Your Cruise Ship Wont Tell You About Shore Excursions.
Cruise Hack #1: Book Last Minute
Okay, maybe not literally last minute, but book it late. The cruise is required to report their passenger list at least 3 days before departure, so you wont be able to book it last minute literally, but you will be able to book after prices fall.
Cruises are a lot like hotels and airplanes. They want to make as much money as possible, and if they have unfilled spots they will lower the price until they are filled! They know that an empty spot is just a wasted opportunity for them.
So, if there is a ship that leaves in 2 weeks and still has unsold rooms, the price will come down! Now, there is a caveat to this. It wont come down everywhere you search. We searched for our cruise on Expedia, Priceline, LastMinuteCruises, the Princess website, and other places and got different prices everywhere.
- On board our Princess cruise through Alaska and the Inside Passage
- Alaskan cruise with Princess cruise line
- Alaskan cruise with Princess Cruise Line
- On board our Princess cruise through Alaska and the Inside Passage
The cheapest was Expedia, so we went with that, but for you perhaps the cheapest will be Priceline or Kayak! If you are comfortable with it, booking a cruise in the last week or two before departure can save you a TON of money! And once you are onboard, youll be treated the same as everyone, even if they paid twice as much!
Also, if you are flying in, then dont book your flight until you book your cruise. Otherwise you might be spending a week in Seattle !
The Perfect Alaska Cruise Packing List For Any Time Of Year
Are you scouring the internet for an Alaska cruise packing list?; Are you excited about your upcoming cruise to Alaska? Look no further because I love Alaska!
I visited there several times, and have put together a packing list for your cruise to Alaska. It is important to bring the proper clothes and shoes and extras in order to be prepared for all the unpredictable Alaskan weather.
Choosing what to put on your Alaska cruise packing list does not need to be difficult or overwhelming. You simply want an idea of what you need. And for your convenience, just about everything can be purchased online.
If this is your first visit to Alaska, or even if not, read aboutthe 9 things to know before traveling to Alaska!