My husband (Josh) and I absolutely love cruising, it’s our favorite way to vacation! This was my sixth cruise and Josh’s fifth. We have been fortunate to take a lot of warm cruises (Bahamas, Western and Eastern Caribbean, etc) so for this trip- we decided to switch things up. We have always wanted to go to Alaska and what better way to experience it than with a cruise!
Day 1: Seattle, WA
We live in Columbus, OH so the morning of our cruise, we had a 4am flight to make it to Seattle by noon. Our boat left the dock at 4pm and I have always wanted to visit the troll that lives under the bridge in Seattle- luckily our Uber driver was super cool and took us to see it before taking us to port
Once we made it through customs, check in, baggage scan, etc- we were on board! The first night on board is also super chill- we booked our spas and treatments for the week*, got unpacked and got our room organized, set up our wifi, met our cabin steward, and enjoyed a beautiful dinner with the most gorgeous view of the Pacific Ocean
*We like cruising Carnival because it is a more affordable cruise line which just allows us more flexibility with on board activities like spa treatments, room upgrades, more expensive excursions, etc. Carnival is a great line to cruise, the staff will learn your name on the first day, remember your orders for dinner, etc- it’s a great way to cruise and I would highly recommend them for any cruiser!
Day 2: Full Day at Sea
Typically on a warm cruise, a full day at sea is pretty boring. There’s nothing to look at except the ocean and finding 2 lounge chairs next to each other is a Hunger Games scenario (unless you volunteer someone from your group to go save chairs at 5am, it’s highly unlikely you will get to lay out next to one another). On this cruise- it was the complete opposite. There are less people on board but our ship had a ton of lounge huts on board in the adult only section of the deck. We also had something to look at on this cruise instead of just water. You are only about 100 miles off shore the entire cruise so you get to see snow capped mountains in the distance the entire time you are on the boat! We spent our second day in the huts and also getting some spa treatments done (we had a couples seaweed and hot stone massage and Josh had a men’s facial with a shave while I had my first teeth whitening procedure ever)!
The day at sea was also the first elegant night- which always means lobster at dinner! We prefer to do the “any time” dining and that allows us to not be confined by a reservation each night. We also sat in the same seat though right by the window with the same servers each night.
Day 3: Cruising Tracy Arm Fjord
Our third day on the ship was breathtaking. We went to the gym, each had a facial, enjoyed breakfast, and then got situated in our hut on the deck as we entered the Tracy Arm Fjord at around noon. We cruised about 1/4 mile off the coast and everyone had viewing on either side (this was a concern of mine going into this cruise that only 1/2 the boat would see coast and the other would see water but there was things to view the entire time of either side of the boat). We saw so many frozen waterfalls, snow capped mountains, glaciers with seals sun bathing, and the bluest water I have ever seen in my life. We cruised through the Fjord until about 8pm!
Day 4: Skagway, Alaska
We arrived in Skagway at 7am and had until 8pm to enjoy the city. Our first excursion of the day was a helicopter ride to a dog sled mushing camp. I can’t even put into words how magnificent the scenery was from a helicopter! The weather was also the best they have had all year and it was so clear we could see a mountain that was over 90 miles away! We landed in musher camp, got to ride on a sled with 8 dogs over 2 miles, we were able to pet the dogs and also play with the six week old puppies that were in camp.
I asked a ton of questions when we were there and learned so much about the sport while we were there. There were 240 dogs at camp. The camp was on top of a glacier so they sometimes have to move if the snow starts to melt (there’s usually 4 feet of snow on top of the glacier). The mushers use the summer camp as training for the dogs. When they run the Iditarod, they usually pull the sled, musher, and 100lbs of supplies. In camp- they pull the sled, musher, and 2-4 others (people like us). This is great strength training for the dogs and allows the mushers to generate income for the coming months of the race.
The front dogs are usually females as they are smarter and less distracted and the males are typically in the back for strength purposes. The puppies were also the cutest things in the entire world!!!
We arrived back at the helicopter base camp a little before 11pm and our zip-lining adventure didn’t start until 2pm so we had some time to explore the town of Skagway: we enjoyed locally brewed root beer, ate the freshest seafood lunch I’ve ever had, and explored the shops and sites that the tiny town has to offer.
We arrived to our zip-lining excursion and had the best time! We were in the world’s second largest rainforest and went down 11 lines (it took about 2 hours with a 35 minute drive to and from port). We also were able to enjoy fresh glacier water at the end of the excursion before heading back to town
Day 5: Juneau, Alaska
Day 6: Ketchikan, Alaska
Day 7: Victoria, Canada
Day 8: Seattle, WA
Companies/excursions we used (we paid for everything, this is not a promotion or ad for any company):
Dog sledding and helicopter ride: https://www.tripadvisor.com.au/Attraction_Review-g60877-d1171862-Reviews-TEMSCO_Helicopters_Skagway-Skagway_Alaska.html
PLEASE NOTE- ALL ACTIVITIES WERE BOOKED THROUGH OUR CRUISE AHEAD OF TIME. BOOKING THROUGH YUOR CRUISE LINE ENSURES YOU WILL BE BACK TO THE BOAT ON TIME AND ALSO IS THE SAFEST WAY TO BOOK ACTIVITIES.
Helpful what to pack website: https://help.carnival.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/3583/~/what-to-pack