What We Wish We Knew Before Our First Alaska Cruise

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We took our first Alaska cruise back in 2014 with Celebrity Cruises. After sailing the region multiple times since then with various other cruise lines, we have learned much about cruising way up north. To help those planning their first Alaska cruise, we have compiled this list of the 10 things we wish we had known before our first Alaska cruise!

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0:00 Introduction
0:58 Not All Alaska Itineraries Are Created Equal
2:22 Alaska Cruises are Expensive
3:57 The Days Are Very Long
4:56 What to Really Pack
7:05 When You Sail Can Save Thousands
8:25 Enrichment Programs Shouldn’t Be Missed
9:30 There is No One Best Alaska Cruise Line
10: 52 Upgrading Camera Gear Is Worth it
11:57 Upgrading to a Balcony is Worth it
13:18 Take Time to Explore on Your Own
14:08 Book As Early As Possible

Our first Alaska cruise was a roundtrip sailing from Seattle, WA back in 2014. Since then, we have cruised to Alaska 4 additional times (and a 5th coming soon). Based on those numerous other trips to this 49th state, we have learned quite a bit about what it is like cruising to Alaska.

First, cruisers going to Alaska need to know that not all itineraries are created the same. For those going to Alaska for the first time, we highly recommend booking a cruise that visits Glacier Bay National Park. It took several trips to the region before we picked a voyage sailing this fantastic area. Now, we are hooked!

Further, there are several different cruise lines and cruise ships sailing the region. Despite what the cruise lines claim, Alaska has no best cruise line. But, there is a perfect cruise line for you and your family. Whether you want a small intimate ship or a ship with waterslides, go-karts, and virtual reality experiences, there are options for all types of travelers.

We splurged on our first Alaska cruise spending significantly more than a typical Caribbean cruise. Now, we know that the general rule is that all Alaska cruises are more expensive than other cruises. So, you should make sure you budget accordingly. We quickly spend 8K or more for the two of us back in 2014. Now, we recommend cruisers budget between $2,000-5,000 per traveler, depending on room category, shore excursions, and other upgrades.

Although, if you want to save money and still cruise the region, WHEN you sail and when you book make a big difference. We didn’t know it then, but sailing during the shoulder season can save thousands. This is the beginning and end of the Alaska cruise season. Also, booking in advance can save money. For those who live in the region, a last-minute cruise deal might be a good option; however, you will need to ensure any cost savings are not eaten up by inflated airfare or other related costs.

Further, it took us a few sailings to realize it pays to upgrade. Purchasing or renting some new gear can make all the difference in capturing videos and photos. Companies like Borrow Lenses let cruisers use the equipment for a fraction of the cost of purchasing new cameras and equipment. This upgraded photography gear will ensure you capture the perfect photos of all the wildlife in Alaska.

For us, we feel that a balcony cabin is also worth the added costs. The flexibility to relax in your cabin while sailing through the fjords and glaciers is priceless.


What We Wish We Knew Before Taking our First Alaska Cruise

We Tested 9 of the Newest Cruise Ships: https://youtu.be/XdoagV5JtMw
Our Picks for Best Alaska Cruises in 2023: https://youtu.be/0zvGMdNfCmI
10 Best NEW Cruise Ships for 2023: https://youtu.be/hgh0yWQ_FwI
25 Expert Alaska Cruise Tips and Tricks: https://youtu.be/wsQggXltN90

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