I Took An Alaska Cruise And These Were The 6 Mistakes First-Timers Were Making

Alaska Cruise

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Are you planning an Alaska cruise this 12 months?

Cruises to Alaska are extraordinarily widespread proper now, and 2024 is predicted to be a record-breaking cruising season in keeping with Cruise Industry News.

Alaska is a unique and beautiful destination that’s well-suited for exploration through cruise.

Alaska Cruise

This is as a result of it is troublesome or unimaginable to journey between many locations in Alaska besides by boat or by air. It’s an enormous state (bigger than California, Texas, and Montana mixed) so a cruise is a good way to go to a number of locations in a restricted period of time.

I took my second Alaska cruise final May, and these are the frequent errors I noticed many vacationers make. Be positive to keep away from these errors to ensure you have an incredible Alaska cruise expertise!

Choosing The Wrong Cruise


One frequent mistake that many individuals make shouldn’t be contemplating the itinerary, dates, or cruise line for his or her Alaska cruise.

The Alaska cruise season runs from late April via early October, however July and August are the warmest and sunniest months for visiting Alaska.

If you wish to see numerous wildlife like whales and bears, the very best time to go is June via August. If you wish to go salmon fishing, that window of time can be your finest wager.

When it involves itinerary, you may must resolve if you wish to cruise the Inside Passage (often a week-long cruise beginning and ending in the identical port) or see extra on a Gulf of Alaska cruise (which often begins or ends in Anchorage.)

As for cruise traces, I went with Holland America, which I actually loved — it is extra of an grownup crowd (though nonetheless family-friendly) and focuses much more on the tradition, historical past, and nature of Alaska.

Holland America together with Princess Cruises are thought of the 2 finest cruise traces for Alaska cruises.

Packing Poorly

Female tourist in Alaska

Obviously, an Alaska cruise is nothing like a Caribbean cruise — you are going to a vacation spot that will get COLD, even throughout the summer season months.

While summer season is actually the warmest time to go to Alaska, it may nonetheless be very chilly.

The key to a profitable Alaska cruise is packing numerous layers. I usually began the day sporting a base layer, a light-weight jacket or sweater, after which my heavier winter coat. As it bought hotter, I was in a position to shed a layer as wanted.

One factor it’s best to not neglect? Lots of rain gear! I noticed so many individuals who weren’t ready for the frequent rain in Alaska.

Be positive to pack an umbrella, a rain poncho (this was a lifesaver!), moisture-wicking wool socks, and waterproof boots or sneakers on your Alaska cruise.

You also can go away many of the formalwear at residence. While your cruise may need one or two dressy nights for dinner, Alaska cruises are typically much more informal total.

Booking Same-Day Flights

Alaska Airlines Plane

A HUGE mistake that first-time cruisers make is reserving a same-day flight for arrival day.

You would possibly see that your cruise would not formally depart till late afternoon and suppose which you can get away with arriving on a flight early within the morning after which heading straight to the cruise port. Wrong!

If your flight is delayed or canceled for any cause, you may miss your entire cruise. It’s not definitely worth the threat. Arrive in your departure port metropolis a minimum of a day early.

For Alaska cruises, this may most certainly be Seattle or Vancouver.

You can guide your departure flight for a similar day as a result of you’ll most certainly need to be off the ship early within the morning on departure day. But for arrival day, do not even give it some thought!

Not Booking A Balcony Cabin

Woman on Alaska Cruise

The temptation to economize and guide an inside cabin or an exterior cabin with solely a window is perhaps sturdy, however I extremely suggest reserving a balcony cabin on your Alaska cruise should you can.

I usually do not thoughts simply having a window-view cabin on cruises, however I was extraordinarily glad to have a balcony on my Alaska cruise.

This is as a result of a LOT of what you do is scenic crusing. It’s not like your typical cruise the place the one view for miles on finish is the ocean.

On an Alaska cruise, there shall be many instances if you’re cruising previous jaw-dropping surroundings, like in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve. Yes, you possibly can watch this from the general public higher decks of the cruise ship, however it will get actually crowded since everybody has the identical concept.

It’s a lot nicer to have your personal balcony the place you possibly can chill out on lounge chairs and watch the surroundings glide by in consolation and privateness.

Waiting To Book Shore Excursions

four humpback whales all coming out of the water in alaska

One large mistake that many Alaska cruisers (together with myself) make is ready too lengthy to guide shore excursions.

I booked my Alaska cruise fairly final minute (about one month upfront) and many of the shore excursions via my cruise line have been already bought out.

While there are some cruise locations the place you possibly can wait to guide your shore excursions, Alaska shouldn’t be one in all them. There’s restricted stock and most of the hottest excursions promote out upfront.

This goes for excursions provided by your cruise line and third-party shore tour operators. So do not wait to guide excursions!

Overlooking DIY Excursions

Mendenhall Glacier

Okay, now that I’ve talked in regards to the significance of pre-booking your shore excursions, let’s speak about an alternative choice — DIY excursions.

Many cruisers do not understand that it is potential to go to many locations independently in Alaska, saving you some huge cash in comparison with reserving via your cruise line.

For instance, in Ketchikan, I knew I wished to go to Totem Bight State Historical Park. A guided tour booked via my cruise line would have price $60 per particular person, however to go to it independently, it was a easy 25-minute bus journey on the native bus for $2 per particular person and $5 per particular person for the entry charge.

Similarly, I paid $45 per particular person for the Glacier Express bus in Juneau to go to Mendenhall Glacier, which included a round-trip bus journey from the cruise port and the glacier entry charge — a giant financial savings in comparison with the $80 tour via my cruise line.

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This article initially appeared on TravelOffPath.com

Opinions expressed listed below are the creator’s alone, not these of any financial institution, bank card issuer, lodge, airline, or different entity. This content material has not been reviewed, permitted or in any other case endorsed by any of the entities included throughout the put up.

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