I feel like an expert having just gotten back from an Alaskan and I want to share what I learned and help others avoid possible mistakes in planning their dream vacation. And an Alaskan cruise has the potential to be the best vacation you’ve taken!
Selecting Your Cruise Line and Itinerary
For us we wanted to leave and return to Vancouver and be on a ship that had more than 4 stars as a rating. That lead us to Celebrity and their ship the Infinity. We picked a cruise that went to Icy Strait, Hubbard Glacier, Juneau and Ketchikan with 2 full days at sea. I book through Vacations To Go – they never disappoint me with their knowledge and prices. My guy Johnston was fantastic so let me know if you want his details.
Veranda or No Veranda? Concierge Class or Regular?
It can be very overwhelming when trying to decide what type of room to book especially when the prices can start to get pretty steep. One thing that is a must for this cruise is a Veranda room – do not miss out on sitting on your veranda with a glass of wine looking at a humpback whale forage for herring with mountains as the backdrop. We went with the concierge class and were treated to upgraded sheets and pillows, priority getting off at ports, a bottle of bubbly in our room when we arrived and a concierge if we needed one.
How do I plan for Shore Excursions?
I learned an important lesson (or a few with this cruise). First, not all excursions are offered through the cruise line. There are hundreds but you might find something you want to do that is through a non-affiliated company so do your research. I found a kayaking trip I wanted to do two days before we left. Sadly for me I didn’t book it right away and that is lesson two. If there is something you really want to do, don’t delay. Some of these tours can only accommodate a half dozen people per outing and most days there were three ships in port. Next lesson is a bit contradictory to lesson one. You don’t have to book everything on the first day. I booked before getting on the ship then went to an advance session for Concierge Class travellers (another perk) that gave me a sneak peak and ran down to book before the mob. Unfortunately I didn’t pay attention to the deadlines and when we thought we might want to cancel we couldn’t get a refund. (It all worked out in the end though!)
Budget for More Spending On Board
We were lucky enough to get two bonus items on our package and we selected the booze package and gratuities with a $50 onboard credit. Well, we still managed to spend quite a bit with our excursions, a trip to the spa, onboard shopping, an upgrade to the classic beverage package and a bottle of Evian in our room (another learning there, get the water at the bar since the one in your room is not on your package!)
I’d love to hear your tips for cruising since I plan to do it again and if you have questions for me I’d be happy to help, if I can! More on my trip in the coming days and weeks.