Caribbean Cruises

Alaska cruise mistakes to avoid!





We had a fantastic first Royal Caribbean cruise to Alaska. So much so, it was the kind of cruise vacation that met and exceeded all of our expectations. As they say, hindsight is 20/20 and looking back on our first Royal Caribbean cruise to Alaska, here are six mistakes we made and three great choices during the cruise.

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46 comments

  1. Lol I live in Juneau, the nugget falls trail at mendenhall glacier is my daily walk!

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  2. A balcony isn't required, that's true. But it is oh so nice if you're just chilling in the room and watching the scenery go by. There were a number of occasions on my recent cruise where I was out on the balcony, tunes playing on the bluetooth speaker, drink in hand and taking in the scenery. I guess it comes done to how much you're willing to save/spend on the cabin. Honestly I think we spent more time on deck when there was scenery than we did in the room.

    Yes, spend time at Mendenhall. We had dinner reservations on the ship so we kind of had to rush through seeing that.

    It is definitely worth listening to at least some of the ranger presentations on the area. On our ship they simulcast the presentation on the ship TV.

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  3. Good advice regardless of cruise line.

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  4. watch our cruise experience https://youtu.be/Vpc9cpGZCUo

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  5. Don't know about the Alaska cruise details.I went on a cruise to Halifax Nova Scotia out of NYC.We got an aft balcony cabin through a company upgrade.These are easy to get because most passengers don't intentionally choose to walk from the very back of the ship.There are usually four aft balcony cabins,with the corner cabins having the best view and longer wrap around balconies.Just a tip…..

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  6. I would add laundry detergent (hand wash items) and most importantly dish washing liquid (to wash you reusable bottles, straws etc). Clorox wipes to wiper surfaces and shower shoes (germaphobes)

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  7. If you enjoy sleeping late, an interior room is Carl's bad caverns dark. The tv can be put on a channel that is connected to a camera outside so you know if you're missing something. I dont like spending a lot of time in the room so while balconies are nice, they arent everything.

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  8. Didn t know that I would pull the trigger on the cruise. Now I will

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  9. A balcony room is about so much more than just the view. When I'm getting ready, the cool burst of outside air makes a world of difference. And it's nice to be able to see the view while you're getting ready so you don't miss any great moments. We had an interior room the first cruise we took, but we have had balconies for the rest and always will. We are doing an Alaskan cruise next week with Holland America, so I can post updates when we get back. We got the balcony room for both of us for $1800. We already have a whale watching tour scheduled for Juneau, which I think will be better than just going to the park. As for food, we generally eat breakfast on the ship and then enjoy our site-seeing and come back and have dinner on the ship. I wish your video included better tips…you didn't recommend any excursions or places to eat. Also, what was with the video footage of Spokane? It's not anywhere near Seattle! But speaking of Seattle, we live in Washington state so we have done lots of stuff here and you're correct that there are tons of things to do outside of Seattle. But it comes down to how much time you have on your hands.

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  10. Thanks for the great advice! When is Royal Caribbean blog headed back to Alaska?

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  11. Some good info, but I totally disagree about the balcony. My wife and I went on an Alaskan cruise last year (September 2018). We did the interior thing for the first few days, Anchorage, Denali, Fairbanks. Then we cruised from Seward to Vancouver on Holland America (Westerdam – room 4180). We had a suite on the very back, port side, corner of the ship. We had a larger suite so our balcony was not only bigger than most, but it also wrapped around from the back to the side of the ship. It was worth EVERY penny. When the ship was doing the 360 circle thing in Glacier Bay, we stayed on our balcony and had our own private sanctuary with a view that was almost 270 degrees. So not only do I recommend the balcony, I recommend a suite on the aft, port side. Being on the port side, you’ll be able to see most of the towns when docked. Not a sermon, just a thought.

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  12. Balcony is not just about view, it's about more air and light and reading in fresh air with no other people around.

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  13. Balcony not a necessity? You are delusional.

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  14. I enjoyed a balcony. Only ever getting to Alaska once, so I could see a lot of scenery and not getting too cold.

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  15. Why is the video showing Spokane (5:20+)? It is 4.5 hours away from the Seattle area.

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  16. My mother really just wants to see the whales in Alaska and could care less about the cities. What would be best for whale watching, taking a cruise to Alaska or just fly there? Thanks!

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  17. We're cruising to Alaska this September (2019)! Thanks so much for these tips!

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  18. Balconies are excellent. Try to get one. If you can’t swing it at least get a window. Humans don’t naturally live in caves. 🤷🏽‍♀️

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  19. Balconies are for relaxation, not for "missing fantastic scenery."

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  20. We are going with our 4yo in 2020 and am considering getting the balcony room so that we can hang out there while she sleeps since she goes to bed at 8pm. Would you think that would cancel out your balcony "mistake"?

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  21. Another mistake is not visiting the rest of Alaska. I'm a local Alaskan and worked a summer for Princess at their Kenai (Keen-eye) Lodge in Copper Landing. It was wonderful! Many Cruise ships come into Seward, Homer, Anchorage, Valdez, Whitter, and Kodiak. All worth visiting, I've been to all at some time in my life. Many cruises send their guest all the way to Denali, Talkeetna, and Fairbanks. My current hometown is Palmer in the Mat-Su Valley. It has a wonderful Reindeer Farm that our lower 48 guests love to visit. I grew up on the Kenai Peninsula working my summers in fish canneries and also lived in Anchorage. Us locals use Yelp and Trip Advisor to find the best places to eat too and things to do too. I'm pretty sure The Moose's Tooth in Anchorage is number one on Yelp and it's number one for locals too.

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  22. When leaving Seattle in May or June are the waters rough?

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  23. I always get the cheapest room. Wish I can afford a suite, maybe one day. But I rather spend the extra money on sightseeing, like you said.

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  24. Enjoyed thoroughly! Good tips! Thank you

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  25. LOL “I consider getting the mail on par with Lewis and Clark surveying the Louisiana territory”

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  26. Nope.. always balcony for me..I guess I am spoiled.. sometimes you want to see the views while relaxing in your PJs

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  27. I got a inside stateroom

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  28. Going on my first cruise to Alaska in August on the Disney Wonder for 7 days so excited

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  29. Titanic ruined the frozen water boat tours for me 😂

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  30. I agree with the famous singer Debbie Gibson. She is ONLY IN MY DREAMS. A balcony is a must if u can afford it. If u cannot still take this cruise and you will not be disappointed with the incredible beauty of this great state. On the last day of my cruise a Bigfoot expert gave a lecture about the creatures connection to Alaska. Don’t miss that if offered and the best part was audience questions and answers at the end. Strangely not many women were in attendance. 😬

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  31. Interesting

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  32. If a balcony as some cruises say is so great for Alaska. Then why are more than half the guest on the top decks during the inside passage? I agree if you you don’t like the inside cabin then it’s not for you. We have been on many cruises and we prefer an inside cabin, save money for site seeing. Especially on an Alaska cruise you will pay almost twice as much for the balcony over the price of the inside. 😎🚢

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  33. The best advice I can give is to do your homework ahead of time. Look up each stop and find out the best places to go and the places to avoid. Read reviews, watch videos, look up maps, go to official tourist websites, etc. Get a solid plan for what you'll be doing when you're there. My wife and I were on a tight budget when we went to Alaska. We avoided paying for the overpriced guided tours and excursions by simply researching ahead of time and doing it by ourselves instead of paying someone else. Don't just wait until you get there to figure out what you're doing. It is tremendously helpful to have a basic itinerary to follow.

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  34. Bs. Balcony in alaska is worth it. I took your advice on the Mend park.ty

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  35. 5:19
    What city is this??

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  36. where is the town you show at 5:20 ?? with the rivers converging please and thank you

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  37. The biggest mistake would be to go on the Ovation. It is too big, cannot go inside passage because it is too big. You don’t get the scenery, just ocean. Same with Dawes Glacier. Could not get close enough to see the Glacier, just lots of ice in the water.

    Would highly recommend the combo shire trip out of Skagway: White Pass Railroad, dog sled puppies, and gold panning. (We averaged $15 each take home from the gold panning.)

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  38. We went with Celebrity for Alaska. Our trips on Royal Caribbean were a disappointment, because, unlike Celebrity, you cannot sit and watch the scenery from cafe. Unless it's changed, RC closes their cafes during non-meal hours. Celebrity's, again unless it's changed, only closes a portion of the cafe seating for cleaning. We spent many hours in the cafe, nice and warm, watching the scenery go by.

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  39. I study crowds. When everybody is standing in line, I'm the guy that gets ahead by doing things in a different order. Because of this, I get to see and do more that most, with the same allotted time. Most important – The Inside Passage: Tracey Arm, Juneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay, Ketchikan and everything between – is far to beautiful to (Cheap Your Way Through). DO get a balcony room (away from busy hallway junctions, elevator landings, porter stations). Never settle for a partially obscured view (lifeboats). It will totally obscure your experience, you don't want to live on the deck like a refugee. You might get tired of assigned table partners, we did. There is nothing wrong with ordering room service and skipping the Captains Dinner – you're not missing anything ! Remember this is a fantastic trip – take advantage of the platform given and DON't get cheap on excursions. Yes, spend $600 in Skagway to ride in a Temsco helicopter to land and walk on Meade Glacier. I promise, you will feel like a honorary member of a scientific team for National Geographic. This is a huge photo/video opportunity. Take a dog sled ride and/or the White Pass Narrow Gauge Train. Skagway is probably your lengthiest port-of-call. Juneau – just enough time for great fishing and whale watching. Better to save and spend on NICE excursions that settle on low-cost craft shows and public park tours for the masses. Salmon is served aboard, but don't expect fresh King Crab from, "The Deadliest Catch", because those fisheries are 1200 miles away. Be inquisitive. Investigate. Plan. Bargain. Become a Cruise Maestro.

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  40. We did a cruise to Alaska early May this year (it was my first cruise). I 100% agree regarding the balcony room – an inside room would have been fine and would have cost a whole lot less, but my partner is a veteran cruiser and only gets balconies so that's why we got one. On the Tracy Arm day, you had to get out of the cabin and up on deck for best views.
    Cabins aside, my rookie mistake was over-booking excursions. I booked one small excursion for Ketchikan which was fine, because it allowed us time to wander around. But for Juneau and Skagway, we did tours that involved doing two activities and it was just exhausting. In Juneau we did Mendenhall Glacier and Whale Tour; in Skagway, we visited a summer musher camp and White Pass train tour. In hind site, I wish we just did one thing or just walked around each town. Out of all the activities, the White Pass train tour was the best.

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  41. I don't want to go to Seattle. Who wants to see homeless tents and needles.

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  42. The cabin, taxi and Seattle Pass ones were good tips, but the rest were really silly and stupid. You can research the ports yourself, no need to attend a lecture. And who the fuck cares that you didn't eat at the best restaurant? Did you go on this cruise to eat, or to see towns and landscape? And isn't there food on the cruise? This part made you sound like a real snob. We just walk around and whatever looks good, we eat. And not getting a Seattle Pass and renting a car should have been common sense ones.

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  43. In Ketchikan, I was hoping to find a diner in port for breakfast. Seeing none, I grabbed a pretty good pastrami Reuben at one of the dockside coffee places, It was only as I headed back to the ship a few hours later that I passed the neighborhood diner—AND they had homemade corned beef hash!! I was disappointed, cuz by that time I was still stuffed from my Reuben-/but when you visit a new place, you may not find exactly what you’re looking for.when you’re looking for it. That’s part of exploring!

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  44. I took the Holland America Oosterdam to Alaska May 5-12, 2019, with a very inexpensive upgrade to a balcony room. I didn’t end up using the balcony (HAL calls them verandahs) very much, but I don’t regret paying what little extra I did pay for the upgrade. Balcony rooms are larger overall, which gave me more places to store things. I had to buy a second suitcase at the airport. So I liked having the extra space. I liked standing out there and passing by islands, glaciers and huge chunks of ice. It was such a nice getaway. MY only complaint was that the places where we docked, including Juneau, have become chintzy tourist traps. But whale watching was amazing.

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  45. Dude, CHILL! You went to Alaska!! What does it matter that you didn’t eat in the BEST restaurants? How would you even know the quality level without trying them?? Not Everything is going to be perfect!! You saw another part of the country you had never seen before. Isn’t that good enough?

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  46. Thank you for sharing. Im going to book my Alaska cruise this week. What month did you go? Did you like Royal Caribbean?

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