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 anticipated to be a record-breaking cruising season based on 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 unattainable 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 certain to keep away from these errors to ensure you have an awesome Alaska cruise expertise!

Choosing The Wrong Cruise


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

The Alaska cruise season runs from late April by way of 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 most effective time to go is June by way of August. If you wish to go salmon fishing, that window of time can also be your finest wager.

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

As for cruise strains, 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-about the 2 finest cruise strains 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 in the course of the summer time months.

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

The key to a profitable Alaska cruise is packing numerous layers. I usually began the day carrying a base layer, a lightweight 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 you need to not overlook? Lots of rain gear! I noticed so many individuals who weren’t ready for the frequent rain in Alaska.

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

You can even depart a lot of the formalwear at house. While your cruise might need one or two dressy nights for dinner, Alaska cruises are usually much more informal general.

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 assume that you would be able to 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 purpose, you will miss your entire cruise. It’s not well worth the threat. Arrive in your departure port metropolis a minimum of a day early.

For Alaska cruises, it will most probably be Seattle or Vancouver.

You can e book your departure flight for a similar day as a result of you’ll most probably 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 e book an inside cabin or an exterior cabin with solely a window could be sturdy, however I extremely suggest reserving a balcony cabin in your Alaska cruise in the event 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 will likely be many instances once you’re cruising previous jaw-dropping surroundings, like in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve. Yes, you’ll be able to watch this from the general public higher decks of the cruise ship, nevertheless it will get actually crowded since everybody has the identical thought.

It’s a lot nicer to have your personal balcony the place you’ll be able to 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 e book shore excursions.

I booked my Alaska cruise fairly final minute (about one month upfront) and a lot of the shore excursions by way of my cruise line had been already offered out.

While there are some cruise locations the place you’ll be able to wait to e book your shore excursions, Alaska isn’t certainly one of them. There’s restricted stock and lots of the hottest excursions promote out upfront.

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

Overlooking DIY Excursions

Mendenhall Glacier

Okay, now that I’ve talked concerning 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 by way of your cruise line.

For instance, in Ketchikan, I knew I needed to go to Totem Bight State Historical Park. A guided tour booked by way of my cruise line would have value $60 per individual, however to go to it independently, it was a easy 25-minute bus trip on the native bus for $2 per individual and $5 per individual for the entry payment.

Similarly, I paid $45 per individual for the Glacier Express bus in Juneau to go to Mendenhall Glacier, which included a round-trip bus trip from the cruise port and the glacier entry payment — an enormous financial savings in comparison with the $80 tour by way of my cruise line.

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This article initially appeared on TravelOffPath.com

Opinions expressed listed here are the creator’s alone, not these of any financial institution, bank card issuer, resort, 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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