Saturday, May 18, 2024

When To Take An Alaskan Cruise

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Is It Worth Getting A Balcony On A Cruise Ship

What to expect on an Alaskan Cruise

On shorter sailings, where the amount of overall time you have on the cruise limited, you may find a balcony unnecessary since there is not much to enjoy it. However, if your cruise is 7-nights or longer, that provides significantly more time to relax and enjoy the private balcony area, especially on sea days.

No Marijuana Isnt Legal On The Ship

Sailing from Seattle to Alaska? One quirk is that recreational marijuana is legal in both states. However, its a bad idea to bring it on the ship and is against the rules. Cruise ships follow federal law, which says pot is illegal. Plus, the ship travels internationally, making it an even worse idea to bring marijuana or CBD oil. Instead, just enjoy in port if you want to partake and leave the rest on land.

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!

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Your Phone Might Work On The Ship

One issue with sailing on most cruises is that your phone doesnt work on the ship. If sailing to Alaska, there is at least a chance that youll have your normal cell service. Since Alaska is part of the United States, your cell service provider may also offer service in this area with any additional charges. Check with your provider for a current map, or see our article here.

Best Time Of Year For Your Alaska Cruise

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There are a lot of variables to consider when selecting the best time to take an Alaskan Cruise.

First off, the price. If you choose your Alaska cruise in July, know that it is the busy season and will be more expensive. Attractions will also be more crowded if you choose your Alaska cruise during the high season.

Secondly, the weather. While the shoulder seasons of early spring to late fall will offer the most affordable prices, the weather will undoubtedly be chillier.

If you refer to my Alaskan cruise packing list and suggestions, you will not have to worry about the weather!

Thirdly, your family and friends traveling with you will probably need to arrange time off work, and this is certainly a huge consideration in the early planning stages of an Alaskan cruise.

What is most important is that everyone is able to accompany you on your dream Alaskan cruise, so giving credence to others schedules is of paramount importance!

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Royal Caribbeans Serenade Of The Seas

  • Sailing Mondays July 19 to September 20, 2021
  • 7-night cruises visiting Juneau, Sitka, Ketchikan, Icy Strait Point and scenic cruising at Endicott Arm Fjord and Dawes Glacier
  • Requirements: Passengers 16 and older must be vaccinated against COVID-19 for all sailings; beginning August 1, all passengers 12 and older must be vaccinated. Underage passengers will be tested for COVID-19 prior to sailing.

Best Footwear To Pack

During an Alaskan cruise, where the decks and docks will often be slippery with wave spray and rain, the most important pair of shoes to pack should be nonslip and water-resistant. Check in outdoor specialty stores to find shoes designed for hiking, kayaking or boating. Bring a pair of shoes for formal events, and a second casual pair to wear indoors or when your outdoor shoes are wet or dirty. If your cruise ship has an indoor pool, consider bringing sandals or flip flops.


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When Is The Best Time To Visit Alaska To Avoid Crowds

Shoulder season is also the best time to go on an Alaska cruise if you prefer fewer crowds while exploring the historical and cultural aspects of Alaskan cities and towns.

Shore excursions are easier to book, so take full advantage of roomier whale-watching cruises and less crowded restaurants.

Schools are still in session in May and September, so fewer families are traveling. Also, many cruise passengers prefer to travel to Alaska in the warmer weather, so crowds on both sea and land tend to thin out.

Read: Alaska Cruise Tips to Make the Most of Your Vacation

Advantages Of Visiting Alaska In September

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  • Pack warm clothes and enjoy Septembers cool temperatures that vary between 35-55 degrees. If youre on an arctic tour, pack winter coats, as youll experience daytime temperatures of 28-33 degrees.
  • Looking for a bargain? September increases your odds of finding low-cost tours and other Alaska cruise deals.
  • Elk, caribou, bears, moose, and deer can be spotted across the wilderness. Above, raptors and gulls migrate south and bald eagles hunt for prey. Below, harbor seals and sea lions dot the beach, and pods of gray whales pass your cruise ship.

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Dont Forget Your Wine Or Champagne

Cruise lines dont let you bring beer or liquor on the ships. But they do allow you to bring a bottle or two of wine of champagne. If you drink these beverages, then take advantage of the perk. Consider that a moderate bottle of wine can cost $10-12. Meanwhile, a glass of wine on the ship can be $10-12. In other words, that bottle you bring can save you a small fortune compared to drinking on the ship.

Cruise Lines Navigate Complex Rules As Alaska Sailings Resume From Seattle

Its a sight Seattle hasnt seen in a while: lines of vacationers at Pier 91, many dressed in Hawaiian shirts, bucket hats and sunglasses, with suitcases and smiles. The Majestic Princess floats on their left, the Serenade of Seas to the right.

Under sunny skies, the first Alaska cruise of the season and the first since the onset of the pandemic weighed anchor Monday as Royal Caribbeans Serenade of the Seas set off on a seven-night voyage.

The long anticipated return of cruising in Seattle continues this month as six other cruise lines resume sailing, among them Seattle-based Holland America Line and Princess Cruises. Starting Friday, ships will leave Seattle almost daily for the rest of the month. In August, some days will see two departures.

Weve been waiting two years now to go to Alaska, said Peter Dorney, 52, one of the first people in line with his wife, Kathy, 51, waiting to board the Serenade on Monday morning. The Massachusetts couple is celebrating their 25th anniversary this year and Dorney said they have been on more than 20 cruises. Were frequent cruisers.

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Best Camera Gear To Pack For Your Alaska Cruise

Of course one of the top reasons to take an Alaska cruise is for the epic scenery! Those calving glaciers and wild animals you will encounter may be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. So you will want to be ready with your photography equipment.


This Sony Alpha 6400 mirrorless digital camera is a significant investment for sure. However, this configuration has all the necessary accessories that you would ever need or think of.

Go Pro

When packing for your Alaskan cruise, consider bringing along a waterproof action camera. It may be misty on some of your tours, and you may also get splashed.

So check out this GoPro Hero 9 Digital Camera with a Value Bundle Pack.Here you will have the latest technology in the Go Pro series with all the accessories you will need on your cruise to Alaska.

A wee bit less expensive but still chock full of accessories is the GoPro Hero 7 Digital Action Camera. This particular configuration includes a top value bundle kit too.

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Selfie Stick And Tripod

So sometimes it is just not feasible to ask others to snap a picture of us. This portable and very lightweight FugeTek Bluetooth tripod is certainly a consideration.; My daughter gifted me this exact tripod for my birthday and I absolutely LOVE it!

Extra SD Cards

This San Disk 32GB memory card would be great to add to your Alaska cruise packing list if you intend to bring along a GoPro.;

What To Pack For An Alaska Cruise Plus Packing List

What is the best time to cruise to Alaska?

Whether your Alaska cruise is on a small ship adventure cruise like Alaskan Dream Cruises or UnCruise Adventures or like most first-timers, on a larger cruise ship like Holland Americas Eurodam, heres what to; pack for an Alaska cruise.; At the end of the article youll find my Alaska cruise packing list ready to print.

This post contains affiliate links.; If you complete a purchase through the links, I may earn a small commission. Thank you!

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Picking Your Activities And Excursions

Perhaps the hardest part of the cruise is deciding which activities to take and making sure that you get the ones that you want. In your cabin you will find a detailed document with all the excursions available and there are a lot!

My suggestion is to go through the activity packet and star the ones you think appeal to you, and there are usually a few slightly different variations of each trip. For example, there will be whale watching, whale watching with lunch, and also whale watching with both a glacier trek and lunch, so its hard to know what to select. Read these carefully and choose the one that sounds best, keeping in mind the price and time of each excursion.

Once you have your general picks, head down to the activities desk and have a chat with one of the representatives. They usually have their favourites and will help you decide between the myriad of options available.

In Alaska, I suggest that you do the following activities on the port days:

Lets Talk Essentials For Your Alaska Cruise Packing List

Let us face it. Pickpocketing and identity theft happen all over the world. It is always better to be prepared than sorry.

A concealed travel pouch may be one of the most important items to add to your Alaska cruise packing list. This unisex RFID blocking concealed travel pouch is lightweight and available in several colors.

With lots of organization, you have peace of mind that everything has its own place. You will be able to carry most of your valuable documents safe and secure next to your body.

You may be like me and already own a travel pouch, and you do not need or want to buy a new one. If it does not come with RFID Protection then these color-coded RFID sleeves will be handy to prevent identity theft.

This is the exact configuration my family and I use. The color coding keeps things organized. And there are enough for everyone.

I tend to keep my luggage locked when I travel. Even my carryon I store in the overhead bin I keep locked. These TSA compatible durable luggage locks have easy to read numbers. They are easy to use and come in a variety of colors.

If you are planning on taking a lot of pictures with your phone, you will definitely want to consider an external charging battery. This Anker high-speed phone charging battery is the exact one I carry with me on all of my trips.

It can be used on a variety of phones, not just an iPhone like I have. And it is really fast to charge. I really like that it holds its charging capabilities for several uses.

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Do The Math Before Buying A Drink Packages

Drink packages make things extremely simple. You pay one price and get to drink pretty much anything on the ship for no additional charge. That said, they arent always the best deal, depending on how much youll drink. For instance, you have to purchase the drink package for every day of the cruise, even when you are in port and unlikely to use it that much. To make things simple we have a drink package calculator here that can give you a better idea of the package is worth it for you.

Touch Screen Compatible Gloves

Alaskan Cruise Tips – How to plan your trip to Alaska!

Gloves are a no-brainer on a cruise to Alaska, as it can be very chilly on the boat, especially at night. Choose your gloves carefully. The last thing that you want is to miss a picture-perfect opportunity because you had to take your gloves off first.

Touch-Screen compatible gloves will easily solve this problem, and allow you to snap a picture regardless of how cold your hands are.

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Advantages Of Visiting Alaska In July

  • Looking for warm weather? July is Alaskas hottest month, with daytime temperatures ranging between 50-70 degrees and 18-19 hours of daylight.
  • If youre planning an arctic cruise, prepare for cooler weather, as the temperature up north dips down to 33-45 degrees. Also pack an eye mask for sleeping, as arctic cruises enjoy nearly 24 hours of daylight.
  • Grizzlies, black bears, and mountain goats dot the landscape. In the sea, humpback whales and otters splash about, and overhead you can spot millions of migrating shorebirds.
  • For the anglers, July is spawning season for salmon, making it perfect for fishing trips.

Alaska State Fair. Photo by Matt Hage/State of Alaska.

Book A Seattle Hotel With A Shuttle To The Port

Many people fly into the area to take their cruise. That means transportation is always a big issue. While Uber, Lyft, and taxis are abundant in Seattle, there are a number of hotels that can also make things easier. To attract cruise customers, some hotels in Seattle have cruise shuttles that will take you to the port when its time to board. Simply stay a night and your transportation is taken care of for you.

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Bring The Right Clothing For Alaska

Its really important to remember that it is can be very chilly out on deck, especially at night. Then theres the cold wind off the water and glacier visits.; Brrr.;;

Even though your cruise ship will still have two formal nights, unless youre on a luxury cruise, typical formal isnt over the top on an Alaska cruise.; Think dressy-casual.;;

When Is The Best Time To Find Special Offers On An Alaska Cruise

5 Affordable Alaska Cruises to Take in 2020

If you have a flexible travel schedule and dont have a specific stateroom in mind, consider visiting Alaska during shoulder season.

Shoulder season for the Alaska cruise season includes the months of May and September. The weather is still cool or cooling down , and with school still in session or just beginning, special offers can be found during these months.

During May cruises to Alaska, its still on the cold side , so you may find the states wildlife just emerging. The weather may also play a role in your cruise ships route, as some areas may still be unpassable with ice. However, May is the states driest month, with little to no rainfall.

Look for reduced fares when booking a cruise to Alaska in late shoulder season with the same travel benefits of still fine but changing weather.

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Timing & Latitude In Alaska

While this Alaska by Month guide is a valuable resource for planning when to go, wildlife and weather can never be fully predicted, especially in a land as powerful as Alaska. Life in Alaska is greatly affected by latitude variances, as slight latitude shifts can result in big seasonal and light changes. The nature of small ship cruising is to be flexible and nimble, and this ethos should be applied to any trip in Alaska, by land or sea. After all, the surprise in what you experience while in Alaska is a big part of the fun.

The Best Outerwear For An Alaskan Cruise

Jackets! Start with a lightweight jacket. Youll want something lightweight that will also keep you warm. I love this North Face jacket and it was well worth the cost. Its water-resistant, insulated, and really thin which helped when you need to take it off to carry it around.

Youll also want a raincoat. Not only for rainy days in town but you get wet on the ship pretty easily too with spray from the ocean. ;I chose this really lightweight raincoat. It was thin so it could go over my lightweight jacket, and folded up to be the size of a wallet which made it easy to pack and carry with me around the towns.

And dont forget a good winter coat for your Alaskan cruise. Especially if you go on an excursion to a glacier! ;But surprisingly, I needed my warm down coat the most on the ship.

Being out at sea is COLD! Even just sitting on the balcony of my Alaskan cruise was freezing. ;I ended up wearing my warmest winter coat on the ship more than anywhere else.

This winter coat;was a lifesaver during those chilly days on the ship and is well worth the investment.

You will also want some basicsa good pair of gloves, a hat, and a scarf are always a good idea too!

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