What To Wear On Nights At Sea
Many restaurants do have a no jeans or shorts policy in the evenings, although Im not sure how tightly enforced these are and most ships will have a more casual option. However, with the exception of the embarkation night, most people do dress a bit for dinner.
Expect to see a mix of dresses, dress pants, dress shirts, and blouses. Get as fancy as you would like, but to minimize your packing list, you can get away with just a couple of pairs of nice pants, a few nice tops/sweaters, and one pair of dress shoes that go with everything.
We found the restaurants to be chilly and it is a good idea to bring a sweater or wrap in the evenings. Keep in mind that the ship photographers are available to take family photos so you may want to coordinate one nice outfit for each.
Some cruises do have theme nights or themed dance parties. On our cruise, we werent aware of these in any of the pre-cruise information we received but those in the know on board came prepared.
There was a country and western night in the BBQ restaurant and bar one evening. I was surprised to see people decked out in cowboy boots, hats, and western gear. Even more surprised that they bothered to pack all of that just for one event. But if you love a good theme party, find out in advance what is happening during your sailing.
What to wear at night:
What To Wear On An Alaskan Cruise
Alaska tends to be wet and rainy in the summer and temperatures along the southern coast, home to many cruise ports, can range from the 40s to the 60s. All of these variants make it tricky to figure out what to wear on an Alaskan cruise. Particularly when you need to balance the chilly, wet outdoors with the climate-controlled ships interior.
My recommendations on what to wear on an Alaska cruise are based on our trip on the Norwegian Bliss in August. On our journey we stopped in ports in Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan, and Victoria, B.C.
Of course what you wear is also dependent on what excursions you choose. If you are visiting Alaska, Ill assume that you are doing more than just shopping in the cruise port or staying on the boat, and therefore need to be properly outfitted for excursions.
Alaska cruise excursions usually include activities such as hiking, kayaking, glacier hikes, visiting dog musher camps, and wildlife viewing. On our cruise we did a mix of activities on and off the boat including:
- Sea kayaking
- Running at the fitness center
- Soaking at the spa
Luckily, an Alaskan cruise is a bit more casual than other cruises. Our cruise on the Norwegian Bliss did not include a formal night, but Im pretty sure other ships like Princess Cruises and others do have at least an optional formal night.
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Spend The Extra Money On The Excursions
Excursions arent normally included with your cruise fare. Youll need to pay extra to experience them. We highly recommend spending the extra money. Excursions in Alaska are experiences you simply cant find anywhere else in the world. And while they may be pricey, the memories youll have from them will last a lifetime. If theres one time to splurge extra, its on an Alaskan cruise.
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Best Cruises For Extended Trips To Alaska
If you want to cruise Alaska but also see some of the interior and enjoy a stay in a lodge or hotel, go for a cruise-tour package from either Holland America or Princess Cruises. Both have fantastic itineraries that take passengers not only to the Inside Passage, but also Anchorage, Denali National Park, the Yukon, Kenai Peninsula, Talkeetna and Fairbanks. Princess even owns a handful of its own lodges.
Enjoy Food & Excursions On This 7
This 936-foot long cruise ship is packed with everything you need to have a good time while embarking on the adventure of a lifetime. You can enjoy regional cooking, spa and salon amenities, wine tastings, and a host of onboard activities. Some of the activities include a blues club, performance stage, a casino, and a kids activity hall.
Dining options that are included in ticket costs are Pinnacle Grill, Lido Market, and The Dining Room. There are also other dining options onboard including a cafe, sushi restaurant, and a pizzeria.
This week-long cruise follows the following itinerary:
- Day 1: Seattle & Puget Sound
- Day 2: Cruising
Grand Lounge. Photo courtesy of Oceana Cruises.
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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
Best For Families With Younger Kids
Carnival, Disney Cruise Line, Norwegian, Princess and Royal Caribbean all have extensive kids clubs aboard their ships. Disney kicks that up a notch with meet-and-greets with its beloved characters on board. You can hang with Dr. Seuss characters when sailing with Carnival and there are DreamWorks personas aboard Royal Caribbean ships.
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Kenai Fjords & Resurrection Bay View All
With emerald green fjords, rugged cliffs and coves, this is the route to choose if viewing wildlife is your priority. You’ll see a few glaciers, but have an excellent chance of spotting sea lions, harbor seals, and even bears or mountain goats along the shore. There’s also the greatest variety of tours here, some involving stopping for hiking, kayaking, or staying overnight in a lodge. The one downside: Tours that go past Resurrection Bay and into Kenai Fjords National Park can encounter choppy waters. Note: Seward is 2.5 hours south of Anchorage by car or 4 hours by rail.
What To Wear For Excursions
If you are doing anything too adventurous, check with the outfitter to see what gear they provide. For example, when we went sea kayaking it was raining pretty hard when we arrived and they provided everyone with rain boots, rain slickers, and a waterproof kayak skirt. Likewise, our hiking tour guides provided everyone with a hiking pole but rain gear was up to us.
Most importantly, you want to be prepared for cold weather and rain. Of course, the weather is fickle and you may end up warm so dress in layers that can be added or shredded as needed.
What to wear on excursions:
- Long sleeve t-shirt or thermal
- Flannel shirt or second layer
- Baseball hat or knit hat
- Day bag to fit your camera, water bottle, wallet, and other necessities
- Refillable water bottle
Got Questions About Alaska Cruises
If you have any questions about which Alaska cruise and itinerary would be best for you, get in touch with one of AAAs travel agents today.
Here at AAA, weve made it our mission to provide travelers with access to luxurious and fun cruise experiences. We look forward to providing you with the answers that you need in order to make the best decision for your upcoming trip.
Q& a: Is There An Alaska Cruise That Does Not Touch/stop
Question by Bharati: Is there an alaska cruise that does not touch/stop-in Canada?I want to take an Alaska cruise with my family, but if the ship stops at a Canadian port, I will need to get a visitor visa for Canada. I dont want to go through that hassle. Is there a 5-7 day Alaska cruise that does not stop at Canada/British Columbia?
Answer by TINKERTOY .. the 1 & onlyI do not understand why you need a Canadian visitor visa but heres the deal. All cruise ships using US ports MUST stop in a non-US port by direction of the Jones Act. This Federal Law prohibits travel between two contiguous U.S. ports. For example, you cannot board the ship in New Orleans and then debark in Tampa. Such travel would constitute point to point transportation between two U.S. ports, which is prohibited on foreign flagged ships.
These restrictions stem from a series of laws enacted in the 1920s commonly referred to as the Jones Act. Among other things the laws require that only American owned ships transport goods and people between American ports. These laws have continually been supported by Congress and U.S. Presidents.
Unfortunately, however, gone are the days where there were cruise ships owned by American companies and sailing under U.S. flags. For primarily tax benefits and cost savings reasons such as crew salaries, even cruise lines headquartered in the United States elect to flag their ships in foreign countries, such as Panama and Liberia.
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So When Is The Best Time To Visit Alaska
Considering everything stated above, we advise travelers that June 15 through August 15 is the best time to go to Alaska. But not everyone can schedule their trip during this time and as weve noted, each season has its benefits. If you plan your trip during the peak season, then plan ahead and book early as these are the dates that sell out first.
For more information on when to visit Alaska, view our How to Choose Your Alaska Cruise guide. If you are still looking for advice on the best time of year to visit Alaska, just give us a call, our experts are ready to help.
This guide on the best time to visit Alaska is amongAdventureSmithExplorations extensive collection of travel guides the content is regularly updated by our team for accuracy. Visit our Alaska Travel Guidesfor even more resources and inspiration in planning your Alaska trip.
Have a question about the best time to visit Alaska? Use the comments below and well answer ASAP.
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Be Ready To Pay To Park
Driving into Seattle for a cruise to Alaska? Be forewarned that parking during your trip is expensive. Rates are $26 per night to park at the ports. Given the location of the terminals there also arent many spots around for independent parking. You can stay at a hotel offering a parking package, but other than that there arent many ways to get around the parking fee if youve got to leave your car somewhere.
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Mosquito Repellent Is Your Friend
You might not realize it, but mosquitoes are as big a nuisance in Alaska during the summer as they are in the southern United States. The area receives a lot of rainfall, making it a playground for the insects. In other words, be sure you pack mosquito spray to keep your day from turning into an itchy nightmare.
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Awesome Cruises That Depart From Canadian Ports: Quebec City To The Bahamas
In October, Royal Caribbean , will pick up passengers in Quebec City and transport them from Canadian soil to the Bahamas. The 14-day experience has several stops that takes travellers from Quebec to PEI, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, then on to Maine, Massachusetts and Florida and finally further south to Nassau, Bahamas. The cruise finishes in Florida, so snowbirds that want to escape the falling temperatures back home can stay behind and soak up the sun.
On board, theres something for everyone, from fitness classes to rock climbing walls, a variety of swimming pools as well as nightly Broadway-inspired shows and numerous restaurants serving up everything from Italian to Japanese cuisine.
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Benefits Of Doing An Alaska Cruise From Seattle
Alaska cruises are great fun for cruisers of all ages. Some of the things we hear people praise the most about doing a cruise from Seattle to Alaska are:
- Alaska cruises are surprisingly cost-effective, especially during shoulder seasons.
- You can enjoy some of Mother Natures greatest artwork
- Alaska cruises offer a variety of different types of excursions to appeal to all guests.
- Taking an Alaskan cruise gives you the chance to make forever memories with your friends or family.
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.
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Top Cruises From Seattle To Alaska
In search of your next adventure? How would you feel about embarking on an Alaska cruise leaving from Seattle?
Joining an Alaskan cruise enables you to experience the dynamic energy of the Emerald City before boarding and heading into the wild, natural beauty of Americans Last Frontier.
If youre looking for the best Alaska cruises from Seattle, continue reading for AAAs top suggestions or contact us to speak directly with one of our knowledgeable travel agents about your upcoming trip.
Whether youre looking for short Alaska cruises from Seattle or ones that are over a week long, AAA has numerous cruise options for you to choose from each one capable of delivering memories that will last a lifetime.
Join a 7-Day Alaska Cruise From Seattle by Royal Caribbean International
Experience Glacier Bay On This 7-Day Cruise by Princess Cruises
Savor Delicious Food & Rugged Alaskan Coastline on This 8-Night Cruise by Carnival Cruise Line
Join an Exciting 7-Night Celebrity Cruise to Alaska From Seattle
Enjoy Food & Excursions On This 7-Night Cruise by Holland America Line
Relax on Decadent Alaska Cruises From Seattle by Oceania Cruises
Enjoy Roundtrip Alaska Cruises From Seattle by Norwegian Cruise Line
Benefits of Doing an Alaska Cruise From Seattle
Small Ship Alaska Cruises From Seattle
How Should I Dress On An Alaskan Cruise
So what should you wear on an Alaskan cruise? That was something I stressed about a lot when planning an Alaskan cruise. After all, if you forget something you are kind of out of luck, at least until you get to the first port. If you are having similar worries, hopefully this guide will help.
I have also created a and guide to what to pack for Alaska.
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Best For Teens And Adventure
If youve got active kids who have an interest in nature and the environment, an expedition voyage could be exactly what will keep them engaged and off their devices. Anyone else looking to really explore Alaska should also consider an expedition cruise where youll hop aboard skiffs for up-close looks at glaciers, go hiking in Tongass National Forest and kayak the calm waters of the Inside Passage. Look to UnCruise Adventures, Alaskan Dream Cruises, Hurtigruten, Lindblad Expeditions , Ponant or Silverseas expedition ships .
Small Ship Alaska Cruises From Seattle
At this time, AAA does not offer 3-day Alaska cruises from Seattle, small boutique cruises from Seattle to Alaska, or cruises from Seattle to Alaska one way.
Please contact one of our travel agents with any questions you may have about our Alaska cruises leaving from Seattle.
We hope to see you soon on one of our cruises!
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Big Ship Or Small Ship
One of the first things youll need to decide when looking at itineraries and best Alaska cruise ports is whether you are going to travel on a big ship or a small ship. This question is worth considering because they are very different experiences. Your budget is an important first consideration as small ship cruises are generally about triple the cost of big ship cruising. This varies based on the length of the trip and the choices you make as well as the specific cruise company you plan to travel with.
Seward Tours Shore Excursions Hotels
City Tours and Shore Excursions
Port Seward cruise ship schedule shows timetable calendars of all arrival and departure dates by month. The port’s schedule lists all ships with cruises going to or leaving from Seward, Alaska. To see the full itineraries and their lowest rates just follow the corresponding ship-link.
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Other Alaska Cruise Ports And Embarkation/disembarkation Ports
If youre traveling on a small ship, your ship may call at Wrangell, Petersburg or go ashore at Bartlett Cove in Glacier Bay National Park. These are all wonderful and intimate ports with lots to see and do. Learn more here about Wrangell, here about Petersburg and here about Glacier Bay.
Even though it isnt in Alaska, many cruises which start or end in Seattle stop in Victoria. If your ship calls at Victoria, read all about my suggestions for what to do in Victoria here.
If youre embarking or disembarking in Whittier or Seward, youll be flying in or out of Anchorage. If youre looking to spend a few extra days exploring, read more about all the wonderful things to do in Anchorage here.
Fun fact: my second favorite city in the world in Vancouver, BC! If youre adding some time before or after your cruise, check out my top recommendations for Vancouver here.