“That’s going to be the best cruise you’ll go on!” said a lot of people I interacted with. Not long ago, I just came back from what many claim to be the “best cruise”. Growing up in a family who loved taking cruises throughout the years, I have to say the Alaska cruise was indeed one of my favorite cruises I’ve ever been on, by far. (Specifically the Carnival Alaska cruise)
Alaska is the biggest state in the country of the United States. When you choose to go on an Alaska cruise, you will definitely see the immense size of the state from being on the ship alone. It’s almost too wondrous to believe it’s real.
Why cruise Alaska?
You can explore Alaska by flying to the state, so you’re wondering why would you cruise around the state if you can just do that? Well, as you may or may not know, 20% of Alaska is only accessible to roads and only has four Interstate highways. Majority of the way to explore Alaska is through planes or boats.
By choosing to cruise Alaska, you will see locations that are only accessible by boat. You will see so much untouched, unspoiled gorgeous natural world beauty of this state and wonder how many of these islands are only lived by the animals that reside there. The state is so incredible with some of the best natural wonders to witness from tall mountains, glaciers, to vast parks.
Cruises are definitely one of the most convenient ways to vacation for certain types of people. Most of them are also handicap-friendly (where they make it accessible for those with canes and wheelchairs, such as ports do offer shuttle services to get them around) so if you’re a physically disabled person, this may be a good way to see the beautiful state! You don’t need to be able to walk everywhere to just experience real-time travel.
The main reason to go on a cruise is if you desire sightseeing for your trip. You will see so many different sights and who doesn’t love the meditative views of the big wide ocean? It’s literally the prettiest thing to see!
The different itineraries and prices for Alaska Cruises
Carnival Cruise Line offers a few different itineraries of how you could cruise Alaska. They have a few different ships too that sail there. The ports they start off from is at Seattle, Washington (the one I did), San Francisco, California, and Los Angeles, California.
There are so many different itineraries to choose from if you go to Carnival’s official website page on Alaska Cruises right here. You’ll find the cruise packages to Alaska to be about 6 to 14 days long. The prices will range too depending on which cruise package you chose from $394 to $1244 per person on average. However, from my experience, cruises will always end up being more pricier than what is advertised. You have to consider the taxes, the gratuity tips for the workers, and other expenses you choose to spend on. (Including any booked excursions from the ship)
So you definitely want to figure out how long you want your trip to be and what cities you’re willing to stop at! I kind of wish, looking back, that I went for the 8 day one instead of a 7 day one because I missed out on going to one of the amazing cities of Alaska that many recommend to see! (Maybe next time?)
Choosing the type of cruise stateroom you want
There are a few options to choose from with what room you should stay in inside the cruise ship! I watched a few YouTube videos on how an Alaska cruise will be like and many will recommend getting a room with a balcony. We did not go with a balcony room, but I can definitely see how beneficial and a great choice that will be!
An Alaska cruise is one of those cruises that are really about its views outside the ship, so you will really get to take those views in outside of your room. There are a few options that Carnival ships offer: Interior, ocean view, balcony, suite, and then they have 3 specialty kinds.
If you choose to go with an interior, it won’t have any windows. We opted for the ocean view, which is basically like the interior but with a window. For a cruise like Alaska, I would highly go for one with at least a window and balcony.
Of course, if you’re on a specific budget, you can decide what kind of stateroom to go for. The least viewing experience you get and the smaller the room, the cheaper it will be.
Plan out your Alaska cruise according to your vacation goals
Outside of your cruise ship, you’re going to most likely need itineraries once you’re out of the docks. There will be excursions that you can book on the ship, which will most likely be pricier than if you were to book one outside of the ship. You’ll find there are many tour companies lined up right outside the docks, so you will have options to choose from.
However, you may be wondering “How do I plan my itinerary? It seems like there’s so much to do in Alaska!” You’re certainly right about there being a lot of things to do in Alaska.
You want to figure out what you’re most interested in seeing in the state. Do you just want to do sightseeing? Go for the food? Shopping? Hiking? Fishing? Dogsledding? Wildlife or whale watching? This is important to figure out as you plan out the excursions that target your desired reason to see Alaska.
As for shopping, I recommend you pick up the port guides that your shopping expert has curated for you because port guides will show you where are the best stores to shop from! You will also find out there are stores in some of the stops that offer complimentary gifts for cruise guests and those will be highlighted in your port guides.
It’s important to note and figure out the times you will get off the ship and when you have to get back on it, so you can plan how many hours you have in spending time on an excursion. Sadly, there won’t be much wifi or data service when you’re on the ship, unless you buy the packages, which means you won’t be able to do so much research on the city before…
My PRO TIP on this is before you get onboard, research on the Alaska cruise stops and what the recommended spots are! List out the trails you want to do, the food you want to eat, the prices, and anything you are seeking to reach your vacation goals using your “Notes” app on your phone or on a notebook. You could also use this time of research to look for legit and highly rated tour companies with the activities you want to join.
There are so many locations to see in Inside Passage!
The Inside Passage is the route that ships and boats take to get through Alaska and to pass through the many islands of the Pacific Northwest coast. It stretches 500 miles along the Pacific Ocean!
Basically, this is the way the cruise ship will be going to stop by all the Southeast Alaska cities including Juneau, Ketchikan, and more. I will be writing up a blog post on the stops you need to make in Southeast Alaska as well as recommended things to do there and it will be linked here once that’s done. 🙂
Entertainment and food are endless: Take advantage of them!
Cruises are usually known for its food and entertainment. When you take a Carnival Alaska cruise, you will always have the buffet open there for you through breakfast, lunch, and dinner times. The ship will also have restaurants with a variety of other dishes, some may require payments and some will be free from orders (such as the pizza and deli restaurants). It seems to be that their 24/7 ice cream machine is popular among their guests!
As for entertainment to find on the ship, there will be many activities that will be happening on the ship, while you’re on the sea or even when the ship has stopped. (For those who don’t plan to get off of it.) Some of the activities to find will include going to concert shows, musical performances in the lobby or bars, trivia, bingo games, game nights, promotion shows, and more.
Carnival has its own app called “Carnival Hub”. When you download it, it will list out the times of the stops and the many activities that will be happening around the ship every day including their times.
Watch me cruise Alaska on my vlog!
Still in the works! Meanwhile, you can subscribe to my Youtube channel to be notified when it’s up.
Did this review post make you excited to book that Carnival Alaska cruise? Do you think you’ll get to see Southeast Alaska going with the choice of a ship?