Aging Expectations

Don’t Worry About Your Alaskan Cruise

alaskaSo, I’ve been talking endlessly about the Alaskan Cruise we took to celebrate my in-laws 50th wedding anniversary.

You may remember before I left, I was very worried, about all kinds of things!

I was very lucky to get a lot of advice from previous cruisers. I’d like to return the favor for any future cruisers.

Below are the worries I had and what I think now that I’ve returned.

Take a look and let me know what you think…

To start, we took a Norwegian Cruise which left in June from Vancouver and ended in Whittier. We stopped in Ketchikan, Juneau, and Skagway.

In Ketchikan, we did the Lumberjack show. In Juneau, we went on a helicopter ride to a glacier and then dog sledding. In Skagway, we took a train ride and visited a suspension bridge.

How cold is it going to be?
I think temperatures are 40-70 degrees. I love summer and it’s just starting. Am I going to be unhappy because it’s chilly?

It was chilly, breezy, a bit rainy but not freezing. It didn’t feel like summer to me but I wasn’t unhappy.

What clothes should I pack?
Okay, so no shorts, right? And, light jackets and sweaters, right?

I did not bring shorts and that was the right decision. It was too chilly for me for shorts. A light rain jacket was perfect with long sleeves underneath.

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Should I pack warmer stuff just in case?
I tend to the cold side. How stupid am I going to look with warm pants, my winter coat, gloves, and scarves?

I did bring hats, gloves, and scarves and was glad I did. When it was a bit chillier, I was able to stay on deck and be comfortable with these extras. My advice is to bring them. They don’t take up much room and you’ll be happier if you need them.

We will get sick of the food?
We tend to take short trips:

Quick Trip to Cancun
24 Hours in Phoenix
24 Hours in Baltimore
How to Spend 48 Hours in Nashville, TN
48 Hours in Barcelona

This is seven days on a ship! I might get sick of everything and everyone, especially the food!

The ship had quite a few dining options. I did though get sick of the buffet. Long lines and the food was okay, although they did add variety to it.

Should we have purchased the upgraded meal package?
You can purchase the upgraded meal package in order to eat in the speciality restaurants. So far, we decided not too because we’re not sure how often we’ll want to eat in those restaurants. Right decision?

We did not buy the upgraded meal package and I think it was the right decision. We did go to a few up-charge places but not every night. Also, had we purchased, we would have felt pressure to go. Without it, we were able to make decisions on the fly, like eating in port if we wanted.

Should we have purchased the beverage package?
Similar to the above question. We decided against the beverage package because we didn’t think we could drink THAT much EVERYday. Thoughts?

We didn’t buy the beverage package and that definitely worked for us. They had enough free juice, water, tea, coffee, etc to keep my family happy. Although we are not big soda drinkers and we couldn’t have drunk enough alcohol to make it worth it, especially when everyone in the cabin has to purchase it.

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How exciting will the glaciers actual be?
Seeing glaciers in Alaska is on my bucket list. Is it really all that? I’m expecting one of those awe-inspiring, life-changing moments. 

Exciting. Awe-inspiring. Life-changing. You’ll love it.

Will I or anyone on the trip get sea-sick?
I’m leaning toward no but I’m worried.

A few of us had a few moments of not feeling well but none of us got sick (there were 7 adults and 3 kids).

Should I prepare for getting sea-sick just in case?
Probably, right?

I did bring medicine and Seabands just in case. Nobody used the medicine but a few tried the Seabands. Not sure if that’s what worked in keeping the sickness at bay but I would recommend bringing the Seabands for sure.

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Will the excursions be worth it?
We booked the helicopter tour, which is very expensive but we decided it’s a once in a lifetime experience. 

Yes, yes, yes! It was super expensive but so worth it. If you can afford it, I would say do it! You will love it!

Will my in-laws really like the cruise?
This is supposed to be a great event for them. I’m worried they won’t have the best time.

I can’t answer for them but they seemed to have a good time.

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Will we all get along on a ship for seven days?
I’m hoping because it’s a big ship, we’ll all be able to fun individual things and still love each other by the end.

Yes, we all got along! We had our own cabins and we didn’t pressure each other to do EVERYTHING together, which I think helped. We were able to have our individual space, own family space and complete togetherness!

Will we have any problems boarding?
The paperwork we need and the stories we’ve heard about people being denied boarding makes me nervous. How horrible is the process?

No problems boarding. There were long lines but no issues boarding.

Am I going to pack the right stuff in my carry-on bag?
So, I guess because we have to give up our luggage at the start and end, we have to pack a carry-on to have some things while the luggage is away from us. What things should I consider packing?

I packed like I was going away for an overnight trip. Whatever we didn’t need for an overnight trip went into the luggage that was set out the night before. We each had a pretty big carry-on bag (backpacks and the like) but it worked. When we stopped in Anchorage for the day, we were able to leave those bags at a holding area so we didn’t have to lug them around the city with us, which was perfect. At the airport, we got our luggage back and took out whatever we didn’t need for the flight and loaded it back into the luggage. Looks weird at the airport but who cares, right?

Will we make our flight back once we disembark?
I’m worried the port will be far from the airport and with the “disembarking process” we’ll never make our flight.

We had plenty of time. No worries at all!

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Will the balcony be worth it?
We splurged on the balcony. Worth it? 

Yes, yes, yes (a thousand times yes). Please get the balcony. Be sure to get it on the right side though so you can see the scenery as you cruise!

Will I (we) be bored?
How much fun are we going to for seven days on a ship?

Totally not bored. It wasn’t crazy fun at every moment but there was always something to do because honestly just sitting in the viewing lounges with a drink and book was amazing.

Should I do a spa treatment?
Again, more money but…

I did not do a spa treatment. I didn’t think about it once though when we were on board.

How much weight am I going to gain on this trip?
Since January, I’ve been doing so good getting healthy. I’m hoping I can keep it up…

Okay, I probably gained a few pounds but not many. I was trying to be as good as I could though. And it helped that the food wasn’t over-the-top spectacular.

How early is too early to get a drink?
Like, right now?

Why was that even a question? It’s never to early for a drink!

 

If you’re going on an Alaska Cruise, I hope that helps! If you have other worries, please let me know. I’d love to be able to help in any way.

Here are links to all the stories about our cruise:

Alaska Cruise: It’s On…
Alaskan Cruise Port: Ketchikan
Alaskan Cruise Port: Juneau 
Alaskan Cruise Port: Skagway 
Alaskan Cruise: Glacier Bay
Final Days of Our Alaskan Cruise 

alaskan cruise

Finally, HAPPY ANNIVERSARY! Here’s to another 50 🙂

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