Let’s Chat | Cruisin’

Mr. SP and I love to travel. Like really, really love to travel (read our {Trip Reports} here). In fact, saving for travel is the reason we DIY and stick to budgets. It’s why we drive older-model cars. It’s why our kids live on a diet of bread and water. #Imkiddingofcourse #theygetpeanutbuttertoo

We try to take a kid-free trip every year…sometimes it’s 10-days, others it’s a long weekend. It’s our time to reconnect, and be the people we were before life became so full of responsibilities. Basically, our annual marriage therapy!

We’ll go anywhere, and do just about anything, but the only thing we avoid are group tours. We like to carve our own path, and set our own schedule. Hence a reason we don’t consider ourselves ‘cruise people.’

So when Princess Cruises invited us to experience Alaska, I hesitated….but after a quick search on Pinterest turned up these glorious images…I decided we’d be the King and Queen of Cruise People!

We decided some places are better experienced from the water…with Alaska being one of them…so we leave in 11 days!!! #eeek

We’ll spend a night in Seattle, before setting out to these stops.


{Tracy Arm Fjord}



The final port is Victoria, British Columbia….which we visited on our own a few years ago. I have this thing with totem poles.

Alaska is somewhere we’ve always wanted to go, but knew it wasn’t a trip we
were likely to ever book on our own, so we’re jumping at the
opportunity. But that doesn’t mean I don’t have some anxiety and reservations.

Will we get seasick? Will we feel like lemmings being told where to go and what to eat? Can you truly relax and enjoy when you’re sharing the space with 100s or 1000s of other people? Will we get a feel for the local flavor at each stop?

The Ruby Princess looks pretty spectacular, so I’m telling myself it’s a floating high-end resort. I’m envisioning a Rose/Jack moment with Mr. SP…minus that whole sinking part.

Usually, creating our trip itineraries is like a full-time job for me (see my budget-friendly planning tips here), so surprisingly, it’s been kind of refreshing to not have to worry with
every single planning detail, from choosing hotels, researching best
restaurants and shops, and booking train tickets. The hardest decisions we’ve had to make thus far was our preferred dinner time, and whale-watching or dog-sledding?

So let’s chat…who’s a cruise person? What tips do you have for living a week on a ship? What do you wear on ‘at sea’ days, and to dinner? Have you been to Alaska…what are the must-see/must-do activities at each of our stops? What’s the weather like in May? More importantly, is the food really as good as they say?!

Thanks for any advice you can give us, and I can’t wait to report back to you on this experience! I’ve already started packing…starting with this dinner dress, and this too-cute-to-believe romper. I think it will be fun to dress up and down.

P.S…I’ve been stalking the Regal Princess Bridge Cam for a few weeks…how fun is this feature?!

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  1. How super exiting. My parents friends went and loved it.

    Posted 5.12.15 Reply
  2. Eek! So exciting- I LOVED our Alaksa cruise. My husband and I are visiting the states in ABC order- so Alaska was 2nd on the list! I didn't think I would like it because I hate the cold- but we had so so much fun!
    Here is my post on what to bring and what to expect: http://www.createbakecelebrate.com/2014/08/alaskan-cruise-what-to-bring-what-to.html

    And my take on excursions: http://www.createbakecelebrate.com/2014/08/alaskan-cruise-pt-2-excursions.html

    It is such a beautiful place and I would love love love to go back. You will have an amazing & adventurous time! Let me know if you have any specific questions!

    Posted 5.12.15 Reply
  3. Nadine wrote:

    Let me suggest cruisecritic.com. It will answer all your questions. We went to Alaska 2 years ago. Dress for everything is VERY casual (we were on Princess). I would bring only 2 dressier outfits and mix and match for dinner. Also you might be cold in that romper. We were wearing turtlenecks, raincoats and hiking shoes, with long pants. I brought 2 pair of shorts and never wore them. Find out what kind of weather year they are having before deciding what to pack. It was warmish until about 2 weeks before we left so all our packing completely changed for us. Have a great time. It's a place I want to visit again.

    Posted 5.12.15 Reply
  4. Lauren512 wrote:

    How exciting! I think you'll love it! I was unsure about the whole cruising thing as all 4 of my grandparents are experienced cruisers (seriously, that's a thing!) so I always assumed cruises were for old people. But, when my sister-in-law ended up landing a job as senior doctor on the Caribbean Princess a few years ago and offered us an all-expenses paid, all-access cruise around the carribean, who was I to say no?

    I can honestly say it was one of our best holidays (and we've planned some great ones ourselves. Like you, that's ourpreferred way to do it.) Once our girls are old enough we plan to visit other parts of the world this way. I think cruises are suited to some places, more than others. Carribean Islands and other small ports can be explored easily in a day. However, for European cities, for example, I think more time is needed.

    Princess cruises isn't as formal as some cruise lines, however we went ahead and really dressed up for "formal nights". Some do, some don't, but I think it adds to the occasion.

    We found the facilities on board to be really good. The food was excellent. I particularly liked Sabotinis, the Italian restaurant (you have to pay a supplement to eat there but it's worth it.) So yummy!

    The great thing about the cruise for us was that all the food, etc was paid in advance and all we had to pay for were our drinks (there was a cocktail opportunity at every turn!)

    Take advantage of the planned activities, like sail away parties and theme nights. The thought of such things made me shudder before our cruise but since you're there you might as well immerse yourself fully. Everyone is so friendly and it's great craic.

    Looking forward to hearing about your experience in Alaska. It's a part of the world I would love to visit. Also, Seattle is on my travel list too. I've heard mixed reports, but for some reason I feel drawn to visit. Weird as I'm usually trying to get away from rain, not move towards more of it!

    Enjoy your trip!

    Posted 5.12.15 Reply
  5. Anonymous wrote:

    I've been on three cruises, and they've all been great experiences. I have a weak stomach (I still get carsick) but I never felt seasick. Also one suggestion is to def take advantage of the photo sessions/booths the cruise sets up every night. They're really great. I still have mine, I bought the digital copy and printed to my leisure once I got home. On the cruises I've been, we had two "elegant/captain nights" so for those two night I dressed up with a fancy dress; other nights I dressed up like I would for a date night. Can't wait to see pics of your trip!

    Posted 5.12.15 Reply
  6. I've done the longer version of that cruise, and loved it! I'm not a cruise person, and I don't think I'd ever do one again, but I'm SOOOO glad I cruised Alaska!

    You can be as part of a group or as on-your-own as you want. I did a little of each.

    As far as packing, definitely check the weather, Alaska has had all kinds of crazy weather the last few years. Aside from that, layers are your friend! I remember wearing multiple jackets when I left the boat, then by the afternoon I had peeled down to my tank top. Also, raincoat! Always have a raincoat!! If you don't have a nice packable one, I suggest picking up a bunch of cheap "emergency rain ponchos" from Academy (they cost right around $1 each) and always have some with you. They're small enough they will easily fit in your purse/bag, and you won't regret having it in a spontaneous downpour. The ONE time I didn't have my rain coat, I did have my emergency poncho…and I was one of the few people who re-boarded the boat not soaked. They're a one-time use kind of thing, so grab 2-3 per person.

    If you go to the Taku Glacier Lodge, you will have the best salmon you've ever put in your mouth, and all other salmon will be ruined for the rest of your life.

    Have a blast! I can't wait for your write-up!

    Posted 5.12.15 Reply
  7. graywolff wrote:

    we were on Celebrity a few years ago to Alaska, in early September as I recall. The dress on board was sweaters and jeans. Currently I think it's only 60 or less in Seattle and in Alaska. We did GREAT side trips.. on the sea plane,, the helicopter to the glacier. It was GOGEOUS country.. I wanted to move there. My husband reminded me we were there during what was probably their ONLY sunny week.
    I think you have to LOOK for things to NOT like on a cruise ship. They cater to you.. want to make you happy.
    I'd LOVE to go back to Alaska and do Denali.

    Posted 5.12.15 Reply
  8. Jill wrote:

    I think you will love Alaska – and the cruise. We mainly do independent travel – except for a few cruises – but we did Alaska on our own. Having said that, you can still be as "groupie" as you want on a cruise or totally independent. The cool thing is it's your choice. We did the Yukon-Whitehorse railroad in Skagway, glacier cruise in Tracy Arm Fjord, eagle float in Haines, kayaked in Sitka and just walked around Juneau. Really, really beautiful! But we went in August and it was 55 everyday – I wore a long sleeve t-shirt, with a fleece and raincoat over it every afternoon. Be prepared for rain in Ketchickan! Have fun! You'll love it!

    Posted 5.12.15 Reply
  9. Christy wrote:

    My hubby and I really love cruising – we went for the first time on our honeymoon and again for anniversaries 1, 3 and 5! The thing we love the most about it is that it's like the appetizer sampler platter of vacations – you get to experience snippets of different places (without the repeated packing/unpacking) and if you like one a lot you can plan a longer trip there another time. There's always something to do on board or in port, and you can really create how you want your days to look. Can't wait to read about your experience!

    Posted 5.12.15 Reply
  10. I just voted again! My main tip for cruising…take plenty of cardis and little jackets! They keep the dining rooms sooooooooooooo cold!

    Posted 5.12.15 Reply
  11. How fabulous!

    Alaska is definitely a great place to cruise. Have a blast!

    Posted 5.12.15 Reply
  12. Patricia wrote:

    You will not get seasick. You will, however, eat. And eat. And eat. We make it a rule to always take the stairs and go the long way around … which happens accidentally too… to burn as many calories as possible.

    Posted 5.12.15 Reply
  13. ali9570 wrote:

    I did an Alaskan cruise (with Princess as well) a few years ago, hands down it was my favorite cruise! Believe it or not, we even went snorkeling in Ketchikan and it was AMAZING!! We had a bald eagle sitting on a rock the entire time we were out there. Highly recommend http://snorkelalaska.com/ for the snorkeling – and this is not a paid endorsement, they just were really great and you do wear a wet suit so you aren't freezing. I also did the whale watching in Juneau and it was just fabulous! I have no desire to ever step foot in a commercial aquarium after seeing orcas in the wild, orcas and the other whales are truly majestic.

    Have fun!

    Posted 5.12.15 Reply
  14. Ninny wrote:

    Oh wow. We like cruising, and the Alaska cruise is high on my husband's bucket list! Congratulations and ENJOY!
    I am voting for you every day, because I get so much inspiration from your fashion posts, even though I am WAY older than you! I have to taylor it to my age, but seriously, most of it works for me and I thank you!
    I'd love to ask for the return favor….. we are in a contest which ends in 6 days and we need HELP! It is very easy to vote….. just click on this link and then LIKE our photo! Thanks so much to any that are willing to help us out. https://www.facebook.com/Bmetromagazine/photos/a.10150740753754945.1073741840.106520659944/10150740763364945/?type=1&theater

    Posted 5.12.15 Reply
  15. We took a cruise 4 years ago for our 10th anniversary. We absolutely LOVED it! There was so much to see and do on the ship, and we loved the little adventures that we got to take at each port. My parents are celebrating #40 next year, and they are taking all of the adult kids on an Alaskan Cruise! It's not a trip I would plan on my own, but I'm super excited about doing it with them. It's a trip my mom has wanted to take for many many years! Can't wait to see your trip and get all of your tips before we go!

    Posted 5.12.15 Reply
  16. I have cruised many times although not get to Canada. You WILL have to plan and make decisions though because there is just so much to do on a ship. I have cruised many times although not get to Canada. Don't worry about seasickness: ships today or so big and stable you will wonder if it's even moving at all. Be sure to check out several of the dining venues and don't limit yourself to the main dining room. The buffet for breakfast is always a good choice. You'd have to be a curmudgeon to not have fun on the cruise and since you and Mr. SP are the opposite of that you guys will have a fantast you'd have to be a cop curmudgeon to not have fun on the cruise and since you and Mr. SP are the opposite of that you guys will have a fantastic time. Get psyched! Oh and I agree with the comment to check Cruise Critic to find answers to your questions.

    Posted 5.12.15 Reply
  17. I am a HUGE cruise fan (I think I'm up to 9!) although I've never done Alaska. You either love cruises or hate them but I honestly think they are the best value to explore a ton of different places. We haven't regretted any yet 🙂 This sounds like an amazing opportunity and I am sure you guys will love it. I hope you have the best time! Shoot me an email if you have any questions – I can definitely help out.

    Posted 5.12.15 Reply
  18. whizdoms wrote:
    Posted 5.12.15 Reply
  19. I've been on one cruise and realized very quickly that I am a land lover. I prefer having more freedom than a cruise offers but I know a lot of people really enjoy them. You guys will have a blast and will see some beautiful scenery!

    Posted 5.12.15 Reply
  20. My husband and I are definitely "cruise people" – we have been on 11 together (and we are 30)! We have done Alaska twice.

    ~I second the person who recommended the snorkeling in Ketchikan – we did it and it was so awesome. Yeah, the water is cold, but you get over it in about 1 minute.

    ~Whale watching is kind of a staple but I would recommend going with a smaller company and not a cruise-sponsored excursion because they stuff way too many people on those boats and you will be fighting for a good spot – people are so rude.

    ~We have also kayaked and hiked – all amazing.

    ~For clothes – skip that romper for sure, you will freeze. Maxi dress and cardigan for dinners on the ship (dining rooms and theaters are so cold, on any cruise) Dressing in layers is key, and take a backpack not a totebag if you go hiking, etc. I wore wind pants, tennis shoes, a tight long sleeve tee, hoodie, and then a windbreaker over that (plus gloves and a beanie/headband) any time we went ashore and on the day you go down the fjord. It's very cold and windy near the water.

    ~Another recommendation – BUG SPRAY! I had no idea the mosquitos would be so bad, especially when we kayaked.

    I could go on and on, but I'm sure a lot will be covered in all the comments! Have so much fun! I cant wait to see your pics and read your recaps!

    Posted 5.12.15 Reply
    • Amber wrote:

      Hi! What smaller company did you go with for the whale watching?

      Posted 4.6.17 Reply
      • Cassie wrote:

        We booked directly through the Princess excursions desk…that way they’re responsible for you, and you don’t get left behind!! 🙂

        Posted 4.7.17 Reply
  21. um, wow. we went to alaska in 2013, it was a bucket list type thing. amazing that you are getting to do it via princess. we did a land tour for a week and then a cruise tour for a week, which was amazing and really lets you see "real" alaska. the day we were in glacier bay, i was bundled up in my heaviest clothes. this was in july. so you might need to layer for the fjord part if it's with surrounding glaciers. i will say the cruise ports were warmer than interior alaska. here's my alaska pics from the land part: http://thecapeonthecorner.blogspot.com/2013/07/anniversary-trip-to-alaska-interior.html and here's the cruise portion: http://thecapeonthecorner.blogspot.com/2014/08/alaska-trip-cruise-portion.html. can't wait to see your recap.

    Posted 5.12.15 Reply
  22. Leigh wrote:

    I am not a cruise person. I won a cruise on Holland America a couple years ago. While all our little stops were gorgeous, I was seasick the whole time I was on the ship. Dramamine is my friend since I do get motion sick, but I wasn't prepared for what it would be like out at sea. My husband also got sick (and he had never had motion sickness before) so I know we were in rough waters. We were on the 6th floor with a balcony (which was really nice) but I can't begin to imagine what it would've been like on a lower level.

    Posted 5.12.15 Reply
  23. one wardrobe suggestion… FLEECE! i wore fleece year round (even summer nights) when we lived in seattle. my sister took this cruise in july or august one year (much warmer than may temps) and was always bundled up. you can always remove clothes if too warm. have fun superplums!

    Posted 5.12.15 Reply
  24. I have only ever been on Caribbean cruises, but LOVE Alaska. My husband is from a small town outside of Anchorage, and we got engaged at a glacier there a few years back. Cruises are definitely a type of vacation, and you have to be aware of that and okay with it going into it. You will not get the same feel for the city as you would if you stayed for a week, but I think it's a great way to see a lot of places, and you can always go back to a certain port if you want more time there. I think your black and pink dresses that you always dress up or down would also be great for dinners. I would just jazz them up with accessories and shoes and they will be perfect! Also, here is a link to J's Everyday Fashion from her planning for an Alaska cruise.

    I'm sure you guys will have a great time! If you get a chance to visit a glacier, I highly recommend it…especially if they let you walk/hike on it. I guess it's not as common anymore since they are receding so quickly, but it's an amazing sight!

    Posted 5.12.15 Reply
  25. I have only ever been on Caribbean cruises, but LOVE Alaska. My husband is from a small town outside of Anchorage, and we got engaged at a glacier there a few years back. Cruises are definitely a type of vacation, and you have to be aware of that and okay with it going into it. You will not get the same feel for the city as you would if you stayed for a week, but I think it's a great way to see a lot of places, and you can always go back to a certain port if you want more time there. I think your black and pink dresses that you always dress up or down would also be great for dinners. I would just jazz them up with accessories and shoes and they will be perfect! Also, here is a link to J's Everyday Fashion from her planning for an Alaska cruise.

    I'm sure you guys will have a great time! If you get a chance to visit a glacier, I highly recommend it…especially if they let you walk/hike on it. I guess it's not as common anymore since they are receding so quickly, but it's an amazing sight!

    Posted 5.12.15 Reply
  26. Meghan G. wrote:

    I've never been on a cruise, so no advice there, but as someone who spent many summers working in Southeast Alaska (exactly where you'll be cruising), my best advice is be prepared for all weather! It may be 70 and sunny, it may be 45 and pouring down rain. Or both in 24 hours. 🙂

    Whatever the weather does though, I guarantee you that you will absolutely fall in love with Alaska. Normally I'm a warm weather beach girl, but there is something about Southeast Alaska that just grabs your soul. It's life changing… and so romantic. Have so much fun!

    Posted 5.12.15 Reply
  27. Just a few tips that my mother in law did when she organized our Alaskan cruise
    1. Eat at the restaurants, not the "mess hall" >> our ship had an extra choice where we paid a little extra money and got to eat at a different restaurant each night (3 courses plus dessert) plus attend a chefs table (it was a max of 10 people allowed!) it was a 7 course meal paired with wine 🙂 this is something my family still talks about (Oh and most of the time we were the only ones in the restaurant!)
    2. She called the cruise line and asked for suggestions of what to do.. we then did none of them! >> she figured that they tell everyone that so we avoided the crowds that way, she did research and found other options for us at each city. So smart!
    3.one stop we did not want to stay in town too much so they rented a car with a driver. This way we were ahead of the crowd and were able to see things that were farther than walking distance.
    4. bring stretchy clothes! So much good food is everywhere! Your will power will definitely be in full force all week!

    Posted 5.12.15 Reply
  28. Sherry Thompson wrote:

    I love cruises but have only been on Caribbean cruises. Take dramamine because you never know. If you drink lots of sodas, or alcohol, most cruise lines offer drink cards. It seems a little pricey, but It is worth it in the end. Most cruise lines have tons of info on their website. Dinner is usually dressy, no shorts and flip flops, and men must wear pants. Take outfits to layer. You will want a small crossbody purse to carry with you on the ship. It is great to keep room key and daily itinerary. Cruising days are usually low key. They will have different entertainment throughout the day. I'm jealous!! My husband and I need a 'marriage' trip. 🙂

    Posted 5.12.15 Reply
  29. Lora wrote:

    I've been on the same cruise you will be doing only ours was in July and it was cold. Leave the romper at home! I currently live in Seattle and our weather has been all over the place this spring…last week it was near 80 and today it's in the low 50s and raining. Pack layers with nothing too light, pack a jacket and an umbrella, and good walking shoes.

    Posted 5.12.15 Reply
  30. Ellen wrote:

    That cruise is fantastic! Ours was from Anchorage to Vancouver, also on Princess, with the same stops in Skagway, Juneau, and Ketchikan (my personal favorite…take the tour led by a local guide, he's fascinating and you learn so much! you'll have time afterwards to hit Creek Street and if you're up for a short walk/hike, the eagle sanctuary and salmon hatchery). Layers are a must. When you think you've packed enough warm clothes, add an extra sweater or jacket. It'll be colder than you think! We went in August and the temp never reached 60. You'll always be right on the water, so the added moisture and sea breeze will make you colder, too.

    The best thing on the ship…high tea! Look for it on the schedule from about 2-4pm in the dining room. We went after a day of (damp, windy, cold — but spectacular!) whale watching in Juneau and it was the perfect treat to warm us up…tray after tray of mini sandwiches, cookies, cakes, scones with clotted cream, and all the hot tea you can drink.

    I'm jealous! I'd do it over again in a heartbeat. Enjoy!

    Posted 5.12.15 Reply
  31. Anonymous wrote:

    I worked for Princess (actually another smaller line that Princess bought) for 3 years, as the ship's hostess. I know a lot has changed, because I went as a passenger about 8 years ago, however, some things don't change: crowds, food, and nonstop activity. My ship was "only" 900 passengers (compared to Ruby, which can take 3000!), so I would plan on competing for shore excursion tickets, just be flexible. Buy online, right now, and hope. At this late date…. anyway, I like the suggestion to just go ashore and hire your own driver, avoid the "herd" and ask locals. Alaska is considered a "bucket list" cruise, so your fellow passengers skew older, too. Sold out? Ask the crew, they can give you some advice.
    Food: The main dining rooms are now serving “freestyle” similar to buying a bucket from KFC and letting the family drift in and out of the house on their own schedule (boo!). I found that to be really lonely, and we moved to a smaller table (for two) adjoining others but not really “with” anyone. I agree with another poster who said reserve at the "specialty" dining rooms, usually $20 "cover charge" served in a normal restaurant-type room. If you ordered a wine package, they’ll find you. You will probably only see the maitre d' and sommelier on day 1 when you order all the wine you want during your trip, then they'll find you on the last day when it's time for tips. Gratuities are automatically added to your bill (gasp!) but you can ask that they not be, then have your envelopes prepared on the last day. It’s much less personal, even though they do make the cutest bath towel animals in your cabin, and remember your preferences (if you do go to the dining room). Do prepare for a surprise when your statement is delivered to your room the night before returning to port, most people cannot believe (or remember) they drank and spent as much as they did!
    Oh, and watch the food outside of dinner: it can sneak up on you. As crew/entertainment staff, we learned discipline. Eat at regular times, taste anything else you like and look the other way at 2am when the trash is collected (well, it has to go somewhere). The midnight buffet is a showcase but it's designed to wow you, not add another meal to your day. The soda card is a marvel of modern technology: you pay $20 (or more?) for a credit card that's swiped anywhere onboard for whatever soft drink you like. Very convenient. When I went as a passenger, I packed a bottle of rum (another time I "decanted" my island rum into an Evian bottle before returning from port to the ship) to bring on with me, then brought the Pepsi or Coke up to my room when I changed for dinner. I liked having a cocktail on my schedule. The elevators take time, always full, and some distance from your cabin.
    Organized fun is there for all ages, they’ve been doing this for years and I only ever had 2 passengers, over 3 years, come to me with a real complaint (apart from the man who had a heart attack and had to be airlifted…I digress). It’s a lot less personal, and harder to meet new people, but given an opportunity I can highly recommend cruising as a good way to get an alternative view of a new area, especially if you think you might want to return and spend more time in any one port (Puerto Rico, for example).
    The views from deck are pretty spectacular and, I know this will be hard to believe, but you will get the best service, and the quietest most relaxed atmosphere if you DON’T go ashore and instead enjoy the ship's services at a slower pace. Only the shopping and casino stop when in port. I loved the steamer lounge chairs, the creak of the wood deck, the waiter replenishing my bootleg rum and coke before I went dry, while 3,000 souls scrambled for space on the gangway to meet their taxi/bus/tram/guide/train. But that’s how I vacation! Enjoy your trip, it's nice to be pampered after all you guys have done to the old and now the new place!

    Posted 5.12.15 Reply
  32. Mel Heth wrote:

    So fun! My family and I took almost the same cruise on Princess last summer and had a great time. The ports are a little touristy, but I think if you do excursions, they're more fun. It was pretty chilly and rainy except in Ketchikan where it was hotter than blazes. But that town is so dang cute – it was my favorite stop. Have a wonderful trip!

    Posted 5.12.15 Reply
  33. Anonymous wrote:

    The great cruise debate is one I love – I can't wait to hear your opinion when you are back. My husband and I are in our 30s and have travelled a lot (including living in Europe), and I ultimately think cruises make a lot of sense in some places, and no sense in others. I've done one in the Caribbean, and I would much rather be under a palm tree on a beach with the ability to rent a car for a day. On the other hand, we did a European one that took us to St. Petersburg Russia for 3 days and it was a life-saver – navigating the Russian visa system would have been a nightmare, but with a cruise it is taken care of! And three days was plenty for St. Petersburg. I also just think they are one of the cheapest forms of travel there is. Last thought – great way to travel with extended family. No decisions to make, and everyone can get together for meals and excursions. Also, my tip is do not spend the extra for anything other than an inside cabin. Inside cabins give you the best night's sleep you will ever get.

    Posted 5.12.15 Reply
    • I completely agree it's the best way to travel with extended family! And we always get an inside cabin too – the best sleep I ever get is in those dark cabins under all that comfy fluffy cruise bedding. Just make sure you set an alarm, lol! On Alaska cruises, it's worth it to have a window or balcony because there is always something to see, however it's daylight for so much of the day (during the summer, of course) that it's hard to get a good sleep.

      Posted 5.13.15 Reply
  34. First of all, you will love, love Alaska. We went on a cruise in 2013 and loved it. Take several layer clothing. We hit it lucky at the end of May somedays it was in the 70's and the weekend before we got there they had 3 feet of snow so it was everywhere. We also hit all the sunny days. Not sure it will be sunny but the sights are breath-taking. I have a queezy stomach and one day we had some what rough waters and i got a little sea sick but they have these wonderful over-the-counter drugs now that don't knock you out and as long as you keep them in your system you will be fine. The food is OUTSTANDING. Our ship was very clean and they hand out hand sanitizers at every turn. Take at least 2 dressy outfits. Lots and lots of casual attire. You certainly know your clothing and are a very stylish dresser. You will shine. See everything you can and tell us all about it. The only thing we were a tiny bit disappointed with was the salmon bake we went to but other than that everything else exceeded our expectations. We are trying to work out another trip back. That's how much we loved it. Have a wonderful time and be safe…..Rebecca

    Posted 5.12.15 Reply
  35. diana wrote:

    Love love love cruising. We've never done Princess (Carnival) but in our experience you can set your schedule pretty much as you want. We always went to our assigned dining time in the fancy dining room because the food was great and we liked that our waiters knew us by the end and it just added to the experience but the cafeteria style dining room was always open if the time didn't work. Same with lunch and breakfast, we ate in the fancy dining room as much as possible but we had other options if we didn't want to tie down our schedule as much. We've done cruise excursions and not done them too. They were pricey and not worth it in Mexico but I imagine there is more I'd want to see in Alaska!
    Days at Sea were very relaxing, we never ran out of things we wanted to do but we also napped a lot and ate at least 4 meals a day (we preemptively dieted before our second one, we had learned). We tried to participate in a variety of events on the ship just for the experience and, besides cruising twice, we've never done a group vacation like that and aren't likely to do another anytime soon. But we were also in our early 20s for both cruises. I know you aren't. =) As far as clothes…I'd wear whatever I wanted! There are people who really dressed up and people more casual. It's really whatever you want. Hope you have a great time!!

    Posted 5.13.15 Reply
  36. Anonymous wrote:

    You should definitely visit Portugal, me and my boyfriend came to visit and now we're living here! It's amazing, google Algarve, Porto Santo, Sintra, Lisbon and Porto 🙂
    Have fun!

    Posted 5.13.15 Reply
  37. We leave on our cruise in a couple weeks, too!

    My tip: Bring the sea sick patches that you put behind your ear. They work like a charm!

    And we love cruises because you don't have to carry a wallet around everywhere! You're going to have so much fun!

    Posted 5.13.15 Reply
  38. Your post + all of these great comments makes me want to go on an Alaskian cruise!!!

    Posted 5.13.15 Reply
  39. Oh I am so excited for you! Alaska is on my list. My dad was stationed in Alaska during the Vietnam War and he and my mom did a trip back there (part cruise, part land) a few years ago. They said it was one of the most breathtaking places. Hope you LOVE every moment!

    Posted 5.13.15 Reply
  40. Julie wrote:

    We did that same cruise 5 years ago and while it was beautiful and amazing, it was also FREEZING! We went in July. I had to buy a parka on the ship that was ugly and cost a small fortune!! We sat by the pool wrapped up in jeans, sweaters and blankets. The weather was so rough that we did get seasick and we could DEFINITELY feel we were on a boat. So….. Be prepared for anything. It's amazing scenery, glaciers are unbelieveable. I hope you and the Mr have a wonderful time! And much better weather!

    Posted 5.13.15 Reply
  41. How exciting! The pictures looks amazing. I've never done a cruise but I get extremely motion sick so I'd love to hear how it goes for you!! My mom is doing that same cruise soon and she has been to Alaska a few times and says how gorgeous it is!

    Posted 5.13.15 Reply
  42. this sounds amazing!! xo jillian – cornflake dreams

    Posted 5.13.15 Reply
  43. We love cruising! I love waking up in a different location every morning. The rooms are small, so just prepare yourself for that. And the toilets sound like they are going to suck you in, so watch for that too. In my experience the ships are so big you can barely feel it moving, so I didn't get sick.

    Posted 5.13.15 Reply
  44. mwimp wrote:

    my parents LOVED their Alaskan cruise! I have a friend that let me know about a great discount website for their vacations (they do mostly cruises) if you're interested let me know and i'll send you the info. it's not a buy in or anything like that just really great prices!

    Posted 5.13.15 Reply
  45. Anonymous wrote:

    Have fun on the cruise. You should check out J's Everyday Fashion – she went on a couple of cruises and is also going to alaska soon, I think. http://jseverydayfashion.com/search?q=cruise
    Keep the color coming. Best from austria-J

    Posted 5.13.15 Reply
  46. Anonymous wrote:

    Went on the exact same cruise but did a land portion before. We loved it! Hope y'all have a great time =]

    Posted 5.13.15 Reply
  47. Cassie – what a great list of tips you've collected here! I went on my first cruise this year to the Eastern Caribbean and LOVED it! Here's a couple of things I thought particularly helpful:

    Buy an over the door shoe organizer for the bathroom door to keep your incidentals organized and easy to get to, like this one: http://www.amazon.com/Whitmor-6044-13-CTF-Crystal-Collection-Organizer/dp/B000HM5V0A/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1431619113&sr=8-2&keywords=over+the+door+shoe+organizer

    And take these for possible motion sickness: http://www.amazon.com/Sea-Band-Adult-Wristband-Color-1-Pair/dp/B001F731N0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1431619151&sr=8-1&keywords=sea+bands

    I get a little motion sick sometimes and our cruise was unusually rough, according to the crew, but these seemed to really help.

    Another alternative to Dramamine which gives me a hangover effect is Bonine, which has been highly recommended, http://www.amazon.com/Bonine-Motion-Sickness-Tablets-Raspberry-16-ct/dp/B000YA8NYQ/ref=sr_1_10?s=hpc&ie=UTF8&qid=1431619240&sr=1-10&keywords=Dramamine

    You will see lots of people with the Sea Bands and the stickers behind the ears.

    It's gonna be a great trip! You will love the convenience of not having to carry everything around the ship with you. Book your excursions now, get a drink card and have a wonderful time!!

    Posted 5.14.15 Reply
  48. Ok we did this EXACT cruise with EXACT stops a year ago. Hands down, best experience of the trip was dog sledding on top of a massive glacier (that we were transported to via HELLICOPTOR!!!) in Skagway. Seriously best money spent was that excursion. I don't have a blog anymore, but I'll shoot you an email if you want to ask any questions.

    Posted 5.16.15 Reply
  49. We're doing almost the same exact cruise in June! Only ours is 7 days, but the same stops. You'll love it! I've been to Hawaii twice and Alaska once, and I always say Alaska is more beautiful than Hawaii.

    Posted 5.17.15 Reply
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