25 Expert Alaska Cruise Tips and Tricks | Alaska Cruise Hacks

If you have an Alaska cruise this year, our Alaska cruise tips and tricks will ensure your trip is smooth sailing! Our 25 tips for Alaska cruises are based on our several trips Way Up North! These tips will help with your Alaska cruise planning.

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0:00 Introduction
1:10 Book Your Cruise Early
1:50 Budget Appropriately for Your Cruise
3:00 Picking the Best Time to Cruise to Alaska
4:00 Cruise During Shoulder Seasons
4:18 Seeing the Northern Lights
4:48 Picking the Right Cruise Line
6:00 Compare Cruise Ships
6:45 Selecting a Cruise Itinerary
8:24 Consider a Cruise Tour
9:00 Use a Travel Advisor
9:40 Upgrade to a Balcony
10:55 Pack a Passport
11:32 Arrive to Embarkation Port Early
12:20 Budget Extra for Shore Excursions
13:15 Book Tours Early
14:24 Purchase Packages Pre-Cruise
15:23 Pack Layers
15:50 Bring a Packable Raincoat
16:20 Pack a Bathing Suit
16:40 Bring a Camera and Binoculars
17:35 Attend Talks and Enrichment
18:25 Skip the WiFi Package
19:08 Taste Some Local Cuisine
19:50 Get Some Rest
20:26 Learn Basic Nautical Terms

We are back with our list of expert tips for an Alaska cruise in 2023. These 25 Alaska cruise hacks will ensure your trip way up north will be truly unforgettable. We have several Alaska cruise tips and hacks for first time cruisers. But, even if you have take a cruise, a cruise to Alaska is completely different.

When taking an Alaska cruise, make sure to budget accordingly. Among our tips for Alaska cruises is to make sure you set aside more money for the cruise fare, shore excursions, and related travel. To make your Alaska cruise planning easy, you should arrive a day early to the departure point as well. For many, getting to the homeport will take some extend travel. Thus, you will want to make sure you have extra time if there are any flight delays.

Before your Alaska cruise, you will want to do research to ensure you pick the right ship and cruise line. Luckily, there are a variety of cruise ships in the region for all types of cruisers.

Among our Alaska cruise hacks is to find a ship with plenty of viewing areas, including observation decks and lounges. Also, another Alaska cruise tip is to ensure your cruise ship has an indoor pool.

When Alaska cruise planning, we suggest you consider cruising during the shoulder seasons. These are the first and last month of the cruise season in Alaska. This will help save money. Although, we do think it is worth upgrading to a balcony, especially for an Alaska cruise.

While there is no one perfect itinerary, our Alaska cruise tip is to pick a roundtrip cruise from Seattle, WA if this is your first visit to the Last Frontier. Plus, try to find an itinerary that visits Glacier Bay National Park as the views are amazing!

We have several Alaska cruise packing tips as well. Most important of these Alaska cruise tips is to bring plenty of layers. Don’t be surprised if you find temperature swings of 30 or 40 degrees in one day. Plus, it will rain in Alaska. So, have a lightweight, packable raincoat. You should also have a water resistant day pack so you can bring those extra clothes with you when going ashore.

Additionally, you shouldn’t forget your bathing suit either as there will be chances to use the hot tubs, pools, and ship’s thermal suite.

Another Alaska cruise hack is to attend the ship’s lectures and enrichment sessions, these are some of the highlights of the trip.

Finally, you should consider passing on the ship’s WiFi, but we do recommend splurging on some of the local cuisine. When else will you get to eat Alaskan King Crab?


Our Picks for Best Alaska Cruises in 2023:
10 Best NEW Cruise Ships for 2023:
Alaska Cruise Planning Guide:
Holland America Rotterdam Cruise Review:

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So you've decided to take your first Alaska 
cruise that's amazing because you'll truly have   An unforgettable vacation but even if you sail out 
to the Caribbean or the Bahamas before a cruise to   Alaska is quite different but don't worry we 
have you covered because we've put together   Our list of the 25 expert Alaska cruise tips and 
tricks every Cruiser needs to know in 2023 up next Thank you Welcome aboard Cruisers I'm Don B from 
eat sleep Cruise will help you see the   World one port at a time and one of 
our favorite destinations is Alaska   We've sailed there multiple times 
with several different Cruise Lines   Actually made an Alaska cruise tip video last 
year but several things have changed plus we have   Even more tips to ensure your cruise to Alaska 
is truly memorable of course if you still have   Questions after watching this video please leave 
them in the comment section below and we'll be   Happy to answer them so let's Dive In if you're 
watching this video in early 2023 and you plan   On cruising Alaska this year and haven't put 
your cruise yet well it better get planning   Most major Cruise Lines release itineraries up to 
two years in advance for the Alaska cruise season   And while anytime is great to book a cruise 
we always suggest looking as early as possible   The reason you should believe early is to cure the 
best price as specific sailings begin to fill up   Prices will also go up popular room categories 
and location to book up quickly as well looking   A cruise early you'll have a greater selection of 
cabins and you'll also get preferred dining times   Of course this will also give you more time to pay 
off the cruise and the plan aspects of your trip   Now when planning your Alaska cruise 
you do need to budget appropriately   You should know that Alaska Cruise vacations 
are a bit on the pricey side when compared to   Caribbean cruises so we don't want you to get 
sticker chopped Alaska cruise cause fluctuate   Considerably depending on a few factors those 
include the cruise line the itinerary and the   Time of year which all weigh heavily on 
pricing if you have flexible vacation   Time choosing the right time to cruise to 
Alaska may have a big impact on your budget   So when planning you do need to keep in mind 
that you'll be paying for things such as the   Cruise Fair airfare or transportation to 
and from the cruise port and then there   Are additional costs such as shore excursions but 
taking everything into consideration we have found   That a typical seven night Alaska cruise cost 
somewhere between two thousand to five thousand   Dollars per passenger when factoring in all the 
costs in the description down below we link to   Our complete guide that helps you budget free 
Alaska cruise that way you know the true cost   Now if you didn't already know this Alaska is 
a seasonal Cruise destination this means you're   Only able to Cruise Alaska during select months 
of the year which hopefully kind of makes sense   The Alaska crew season generally runs from late 
April early May through the end of September  

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June through August is considered the peak season 
while the April early May and September early   October are considered the shoulder season 
when determining the best time of year to   Cruise Alaska you'll need to consider things 
such as the weather Wildlife price and crowds   Mid-summer usually offers the best combination 
of average temperatures rainfall amounts hours   Of daylight and Wildlife siding wow mid-summer in 
Alaska might have the warmest temperatures and the   Most Wildlife sightings it also means increased 
crowds and definitely increase prices particularly   July and early August are the busiest times to 
visit Alaska this of course coincides with school   Breaks and summer vacations these months are 
usually the most expensive to cruise to Alaska   Thus one of our expert Alaska cruise tips and 
tricks is to cruise to the region during the   Shoulder season this will save you money and 
there'll be fewer crowds we've crucial region   Late in the season a few times now and still had a 
great Alaska cruise and saved a boatload of money   Another perk of sailing towards the end 
of the Alaska crew season is a chance   To see the Northern Lights the Aurora season is 
generally from the end of August until mid-april   Typically you have a better chance of seeing the 
Northern Lights further north in Alaska as cloudy   Skies are a common in Southeast Alaska still 
you could get lucky during the Alaska cruise   Season the sun sets the earliest in September 
where the skies are darkest making for the most   Ideal viewing conditions over a million Cruisers 
traveled to Alaska each year with that said more   And more cruise lines and ships are selling in 
the region from family friendly cruise lines   To a luxury high-end cruises this small Ship 
Adventure cruises there's truly no best single   Cruise line or a best ship in Alaska truthfully 
it all depends on your travel party's preferences   Brands like Norwegian Cruise Line and 
Royal Caribbean offer more diversity   For multi-generational families with some 
of the newest Amos Innovative ships in the   Fleet cruising this region these might be 
the best Alaska cruise picks for families   Carnival Cruise Line and Disney Cruise Line 
are also popular choices for family cruises to   Alaska couples might want to consider Princess 
Cruises on America line or Celebrity Cruises   In fact Princess Cruises and Holland America 
line have the most ships sailing in the region   There's also luxury cruise lines like Viking while 
this trip might cost more it does include a shark   Surgeon each Port of Call beer and wine at meals 
free Wi-Fi and no up charges or specialty dining   If you're Adventure traveler several small ship 
cruise lines like unquist adventures and American   Queen voyages also Cruise in Alaska with such a 
diversity of cruise ships sailing the region even   Within Brands themselves you should review the 
cruise ships amenities before you decide on one   Once you've narrowed down your search to a cruise 
line or two compare the ship's offerings to find   The one that's a good fit for you and your family 
while the flashy bells and whistles on new cruise   Ships might be important for some and Alaska 
cruise is really more about the destination  

One of our expert Alaska cruise tips is to look 
for ships with good viewing areas like indoor   Observation lounges also consider whether the 
ship has an indoor pool or indoor amenities for   Your kids while the weather is often warm 
enough to enjoy the outdoor attractions   That's not always the case and as you'll soon 
find out it does often rain in Southeast Alaska   The same is true about your Alaska cruise itiner 
there's no one perfect Alaska cruise itinerary   It does really depend on your travel party's 
preferences the most common Alaska cruises are   Seven days in length and our round-trip sailings 
that depart from either Seattle Washington or   Vancouver British Columbia there are also one-way 
sailings that generally cruise from Seward or   Whittier Alaska two Vancouver British Columbia 
or vice versa a Northbound and southbound roots   Regardless of the itinerary you choose Opera 
ports of call you'll probably visit include Juno   Ketchikan and Skagway as well as Victoria British 
Columbia some ships also visit Sitka Andes or icy   Street Point most ships also have at least one day 
of Scenic cruising where you'll sell past Majestic   Glaciers and fjords perhaps the two most popular 
Glacier cruising spots are the Hubbard Glacier   And Glacier Bay National Park you should know the 
difference before picking your cruise itinerary   And back on our blog we have a complete article 
that gives you a breakdown between these two of   The most popular Cruise itinerary if you're a 
first-time Cruiser to Alaska one of our expert   Tips is to stick to a traditional 7-Day round-trip 
Cruise if you can find one that cruises through   Glacier Bay National Park we highly recommend that 
as well the views are amazing your Alaska cruise   Will certainly be an unforgettable experience 
with several days in Port and Scenic cruising   With glaciers and fjords what could be better 
well more time to explore Alaska of course   If you have the vacation time and quite honestly 
the finances you should consider extending your   Alaska cruise with a cruise tour many Cruise 
Lines sailing the region offer add-on land package   These land portions and varying length and 
visit more interior locations beyond the   Typical Southeast Alaska ports of call with a 
cruise tour guests can enjoy a scenic train ride   Stay in a lodge and visit to places like 
Denali National Park Fairbanks or Anchorage   Now if all this is starting to feel a little 
overwhelming don't worry our next tip is really   Here to help even if you've cruised before we 
highly recommend using a travel advisor to book   Your Alaska cruise a good travel advisor can help 
you decide on some of the factors listed above   And don't worry we're not travel advisors so 
we're not here trying to sell you something but we   Always use one in booking our cruises a good trial 
advisor can help you save money on this pricey   Alaska cruise in addition to helping you find the 
best deal travel agents often offer additional   Pearls that can be combined with any promotion 
from the cruise line these add-ons can include   Things like free specialty dinner free gratuities 
onboard credit and more now this next tip might be   A bit controversial but we're sticking to our guns 
and recommending that you upgrade to a balcony  

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Once you've picked your perfect ship and 
itinerary you need to choose your cabin category   And we really believe that upgrading to a 
balcony in Alaska is worth it there are many   Reasons to book a balcony on any cruise but we 
find the Splurge the most beneficial in Alaska   Yes a balcony cabin will cost more than an inside 
stateroom or an Ocean View cabin though it's truly   Breathtaking to admire the natural landscapes from 
the Comforts of your balcony on an Alaska cruise   You can be sipping hot coffee or cocoa while 
sailing past fjords or be on the lookout for   Wildlife while getting ready in the morning 
sample a in hopes of spotting the Northern   Lights especially if you're cruising later in the 
season the possibilities are endless of course if   You decide not to upgrade to a balcony there 
are still plenty of viewing areas around the   Ship if you pick the right vessel for U.S citizens 
a passport is technically not required for closed   Loop cruises and those are cruises that begin and 
end in the same U.S port thus if you're cruising   To Alaska a round trip from Seattle Washington a 
birth certificate and government issued ID are the   Only forms of documentation required however just 
because you don't need a passport to go on the   Cruise doesn't mean that you might not need one to 
enter one or more ports of call during your trip   For instance you may need a passport for some 
Alaska cruise excursions short excursions that   Visit Canada like the White Pass Rail and 
Skagway do require a passport to participate   And of course if you're doing a one-way 
cruise that starts and ends in Canada you can   Ask what they are too so regardless of itinerary 
or the short surgeons you're thinking of doing one   Of our tips is the cruiser region with a passport 
depending on your embarkation Port you'll likely   Need to arrange airfare you should also consider 
booking a pre-cruise or a post Cruise Hotel stand   While we always recommend flying in a day early 
for a cruise it's even more important when   Cruising in 2023 given flight cancellations and 
delays plus Seattle and Vancouver are both great   Cities that deserve some time for exploration 
themselves you should check with the cruise   Line or your travel agent to see if there are any 
promotional airfare offer many cruise lines now   Offer packages that include airfare this option 
also offers some peace of mind in case of air   Delays as the ships will usually wait for you if 
you booked your flights through the cruise line   Now when it comes to budgeting-free cruise you've 
probably noticed already that an Alaska cruise is   Not cheap these cruises can run double 
or more compared to a Caribbean cruise   Likewise shore excursions and tours in 
Alaska can also cost you a pretty penny   This is especially true if you book some of the 
once in a lifetime tours during your trip when we   Think of one of our best Alaska cruise experiences 
it was a helicopter ride to the Mendenhall glacier   However tours like this can cost 500 or more per 
person the White Pass in Yukon root Railway and   Skagway is the number one elastic Cruise Excursion 
and that costs around 140 per person round trip   Other Alaska Shore Excursions include float 
plane rides for the fjords Wildlife tours zip  

Lining Glacier exploring or dog sledding and 
depending on your appetite for adventure all   Of these should not be missed thus another 
one of our Alaska cruise ships is a budget   Quarterly for your Shore Excursion so you 
don't miss out on these amazing experiences   Likewise we always like having a game 
plan for each Port of Call this often   Means reserving shore excursions and tours well 
in advance this is especially true in Alaska   Since Alaska cruise for many is a once in a 
lifetime trip shore excursions do book up quickly   We never recommend you wait to onboard 
the ship to book your short search   And you certainly shouldn't wait until the 
actual Port of Call to book a tour the last   Thing you want to hear is that the Excursion 
you've been waiting for is already sold out   So we suggest booking your short excursions well 
in advance and of course you can always cancel if   Something pops up you can always check your cruise 
Line's online planner as most Cruise Lines will   Periodically run sales on items like sharks 
versions of course you can investigate local   Tour providers and third-party tour vendors 
as they often offer smaller group tours and   Cheaper prices of course you don't have to 
bookshore excursions in every port of call   Many of these Alaska cruise ports are walkable 
if you just want to explore the downtown area   Or the cruise lines often have shuttles into 
town as well but either way you should have   A game plan for each stop on your cruise board 
so you don't miss out on all the fun like your   Shore excursions we also highly recommend that you 
book onboard packages and make any reservations   Required on the ship before boarding this is one 
of the easiest ways to save money on a cruise   Some of these add-ons might include things 
like beverage packages specialty dining   Wi-Fi and other experiences not including your 
cruise fare like the Spa if you have a flexible   Dining option on your cruise many Cruise Lines 
let you make reservations Free Cruise as well   Of course if you plan to dine in specialty 
restaurants you want to pre-reserve those too   Prime Dining times do fill up quickly don't get 
stressed out about packing for your Alaska cruise   Even though it's all together different than what 
you would typically pack for a Caribbean cruise   The time of year you cruise to 
Alaska will dictate to some degree   What items you'll need to include 
on your Alaska cruise packing list   Type of shore excursions you book will 
also factor into what you need to bring   But regardless of when you Cruise or what you plan 
to do ashore the most important Alaska cruise tip   And layers given the fluctuations in temperature 
which in our experience can range from 25 to 30   Degrees in one day you'll need plenty of 
clothes and varying degrees warmth layers   That can be easily packed and taken on and 
off during the day are preferable it's also   A good idea to pack a water resistant day bag to 
easily store these extra layers when going Shore   And speaking of weather and packing make sure to 
also bring a packable raincoat and some waterproof  

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Shoes or boots yes it will rain during your 
Alaska cruise if you're lucky the rain will   Only pop up here and there but Ketchikan is one of 
the rainiest places in the United States after all   Even if the day starts off Sunny be prepared 
for some fog and Rain to eventually roll in   Don't let the damp weather impact your trip 
though just be prepared with the right gear   But while you're putting together that 
suitcase don't forget your bathing suit   While the weather is not exactly Beach friendly 
the Pools and Hot Tubs on the ship are still open   As is the spa in thermal Suite you might even get 
lucky enough with whether to enjoy the outdoor   Pools clothing is not the only gear you should 
pack for a cruise this trip is one you'll want   To remember forever while cameras on smartphones 
have come a long way in years they won't do the   Scenery and wildlife in Alaska any justice if 
you want great photos to last a lifetime we   Recommend bringing a digital camera with a zoom 
lens if you don't own one you can always rent one   We rented a zoom lens for our camera during 
our last trip to Alaska and I'm so glad we did   If you don't even own a digital camera anymore 
you can also even rent that as well too   Likewise you should invest in some binoculars 
for the trip they don't have to be expensive   And honestly you can also rent them as well but 
a pair of binoculars is crucial when scouting out   The area for wildlife now you do want to check 
with your cruise line because some premium and   Luxury Cruise Lines do provide binoculars in each 
cabin or on contemporary Cruise Lines some have   In categories include upgrades like binoculars 
when not docked at a Port of Call most Cruise   Lines offer a variety of on-board talks and 
lectures isn't that your typical Port shopping   Presentations but rather they're enrichment 
programs that provide valuable information about   The history culture and wildlife of the ports 
of call you'll be visiting in our experiences   These talks are informative fun and educational 
part of your cruise and should not be missed   The onboard naturalists and historians really make 
the crews that much more enjoyable plus if your   Ship is cruising through Glacier Bay National 
Park a park ranger will actually come on board   The cruise ship he or she will offer a narration 
about the history of the park as well as point out   That several glaciers while sailing and then later 
in the day often offers an informational session   That's worth attending as well onboard 
enrichment early morning Glacier viewing and   Long days in Port you might want to consider not 
purchasing a Wi-Fi package on your Alaska cruise   While internet on cruise ships is constantly 
improving the signal in Alaska is not always   The best it can be impacted by weather and 
interference from landscapes further most   Of your reports of call will be in the United 
States and likely covered in your cell service   Of course you'll want to check with the provider's 
coverage area prior to sailing if you do use your   Cell phone while in Port make sure to put it back 
in the airplane mode once you set sail you don't   Want to incur any expensive roaming charges while 
at Sea as your cruise ship will sail far enough  

Away from land that you will lose cell service 
now the food on the ship is always delicious   But when you're in Alaska you should probably 
try to eat some of the Latin cuisine on land   This might mean you indulge in 
the plentiful Seafood available   Salmon bakes and Alaskan king crab are some 
of the fresh local Specialties that should   Sample during your cruise of course you'll need 
some beverages to wash down the food as well   So you might want to try a locally brewed beer and 
there are some popular tourist stops that include   The Red Dog Saloon in Juneau Tracy's Crab Shack in 
Juneau and the Red Onion Saloon as Skagway there's   Also the popular Creek Street with shops and 
restaurants in Ketchikan of course you can always   Check the Facebook groups or other online forums 
for other recommendations for local eateries   These seven days will be packed so 
you need to make sure to get some rest   You are going to do and see a lot during Alaska 
cruise we want to make sure also get your sleep   They'll be early morning calls into port in 
Glacier sightings that will have you up at dawn   With the Sun out until 10 pm during peak 
season you'll also want to take in all   The views until late in the evening plus 
the potential to see Northern Lights these   Early mornings and late evenings mean you 
should make use of downtime to squeeze in a   Few extra hours of shut eye whenever you can 
this is one Adventure you don't want to miss   You don't have to be the captain but but you 
should probably learn some basic nautical terms   This is especially important for an Alaska cruise 
oftentimes announcements will be made for wildlife   Sightings and during Glacier viewing knowing 
starboard side versus Portside will ensure you   Don't miss out on anything Portside refers to the 
left side of the ship when facing forward an easy   Way to remember that is or has four letters as 
does left starboard is the right hand side of   The ship when facing the front and fortunately I 
don't have any good tips on how to remember that   But now when you hear there's been a whale 
spotted on the starboard side of the ship   You can just grab your gear and you know exactly 
where to go now of course if you're still need   Some more help planning your Alaska cruise 
we have you covered along with several Alaska   Cruise reviews for cruise lines like Norwegian 
Cruise Line princess and Hall America line here   On our Channel we also have our complete Alaska 
cruise planning guide there we give you more   Details on things such as how to pick the right 
chip how to pack free Alaska cruise as well as   Guidance on how to make the most of your time 
on board the ship and ashore our Alaska cruise   Planning guide video is the best next step 
to help you plan the perfect Alaska cruise