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I had the true pleasure of taking my daughter to Alaska for the first time in 2017 on Norwegian. In 2018, I took my teenager and my adult daughter on a cruise to Alaska on Royal Caribbean. In 2019, I’ll take 6 of us on a cruise to Alaska on Celebrity.
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My X-husband and I were married for 25 years. He talked about how he used to work on a cruise to Alaska and how amazing it was. He talked, and talked and talked about it. Yet for some reason, even though we were a family of cruiser’s, we never went.
Looking back on it now, it seems odd.
How To Dress On a Cruise To Alaska
Honestly, we were only very cold on the balcony. I’m a Vegas girl, so it doesn’t take much for us to get cold. My daughters and I brought several jackets.
1.) A Lightweight jacket or hoodie that can tie around the waist on excursions. When we were ziplining in Alaska, we found ourselves quite warm. Even in Juneau when we walked to the waterfall and viewed the glacier, the lighter jackets, or zip up hoodies were perfect. It’s known to rain a lot in Alaska, so if you have a hoodie, it’s helpful.
2.) A raincoat, possibly waterproof, might be advantageous. On our ship, they sold these great reversible rainjackets that were a sweatshirt on one side and a raincoat on the other. Genius!
Here’s the raincoat I chose for my trip.
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3.) A Heavy Coat. Some people don’t need one. I can’t imagine traveling without one. I spend a LOT of time on the balcony whale watching and I’m freezing. So I bundle up. Again, I’m a Vegas girl and we freeze when it’s under 60 degrees.
Also, when the boat is moving, it’s cold. And if I’m landing on an iceberg by helicopter (excursion), I want a heavy coat, hat, scarf, boots and gloves. My girls do the same.
I’ll have to report back at how my brother’s handle the cold.
4.) If you are committed to whale watching like me, you might want a face mask. My daughter and I tied tank tops around our face the first year because we were so cold out there after a while. (We spend hours out on the balcony, and early hours are colder too).
Space Saving Cruise Ship Room Ideas
The rooms are generally pretty small according to what we are used to at home. When 2 or more are sharing a room, there are some space saving ideas that might help.
1.) Use more pieces of smaller luggage rather than oversized pieces. Smaller luggage can fit under the beds. Also, soft cases will be easier to store. Think duffel bags and softer luggage like Travelpro offers.
2.) Many of the ship rooms are magnetic. There are truly magnetic areas all over. Magnet hooks are great for pinning schedules, children’s art, or hanging small hats and so forth.
3.) Shoe Rack. This one saved me! Get an over the door soft shoe rack or pantry organizer (or 2) with as many compartments as you can. Get one that is very soft and rolls or folds easily. You can store aspirin, umbrellas, bottles of water, shampoo – whatever!
4.) Avoid bringing too many things that plugin. The cruise ship always confiscates my long extension cords or power strips, so those are a no go. The plugs are usually on the vanity area and in the bathroom.
5.) Know your roaming charges. Prepare in advance. Your phone may work and you don’t realize roaming charges apply.
6.) Check about onboard wifi in advance. It’s gotten much more dependable and affordable over the years. Many cruise lines run promos in advance.
7.) While you can’t bring alcohol on board, many cruise lines will allow you to non alcoholic beverages like bottled water.
8.) Mosquito spray comes in handy on excursions.
9.) At Sea days spa bookings fill up fast. Book before you go or on day 1. Some offer better deals when you pay for more than 1 at a time. Warning, you will be sold and oversold products! Get out as fast as you can or you might leave with $1000 worth of eye cream (Well, I have!). Check the ages at the spa, some allow teenagers and others don’t.
10.) Dining at the same time, at the same table, with the same wait staff truly adds to the experience. My girls and I treasure dinner time where they remember us by name and treat us like royalty!
11.) Plan your excursions in advance because they book up. You’ll pay more through the cruise line though than you will off the ship directly, but the ship doesn’t guarantee waiting for you if the tour is late. Some days, you could actually book 2 excursions if you plan it right. Some leave early and some later. Beware of tours like zip lines where the only spot to “go” is a tree! (found out the hard way).
12.) Formal night is fun and some cruises offer more than one. It is a great opportunity to get formal pictures. Cruise ships now offer “all the images” on one drive for those that love the pics as we do. You can still enjoy the dining room on a formal night without dressing up as well.
13.) If you are an avid whale watcher like me, pay close attention as you pull into Fjord if you are taking that route. I was in the spa the first time and missed 8 whales as the ship turned into the Tracy Arm. We saw most humpbacks, breaching too in the Juneau area and Orca’s on our way into Canada. We could see them off our balcony. We invested in amazing anti-fog binoculars that are best this weather and were able to see the orcas up close and one whale that did a mating dance for 10 minutes!