First Timer - Anniversary Cruise to Alaska - Help



My husband and I are planning to take our first cruise to Alaska to celebrate our 10-year anniversary. Based on the research that I have done so far I think we are leaning toward the Celebrity cruise line. Being a newbie to this whole process, I have several questions and would appreciate the help.

Do we need an outside/balcony cabin?
Is the land tour worth it?
Are there any "must do" excursions or any to avoid?
Is late May / early June too early?

I am sure there are a whole bunch of other questions that I could use the advise of more experienced cruisers but I cannot think of them at the moment. Thanks in advance for your help!!!


Well our first ever cruise was to Alaska in September 1999 and we had no intentions of doing any other ( We just wanted to see Alaska). We have been 'hooked' ever since :) We LOVE Alaska and have booked our 4th trip for next May all on Celebrity :grin

We personally like a balcony when cruising Alaska but this is just our choice. We like to sit on our balcony and watch the views and relax with a cup of tea ! :grin
(There are plenty of places on board the ship that you can see the wonderful views and relax though.)
We have been in May and September and enjoyed both 'seasons' which were differant. There was more ice and snowcaps in May, very pretty.

As for the land trip our first trip to Alaska was Vancouver to Seward and we hired a SUV in Anchorage for 3 days and we drove to Denali etc on our own and had a great time at half the price the cruise lines charge. We stayed at the same Princess Lodges the cruiseline stays. There are lot s of other places to stay at up there :)
( We haven't done the Dome Traim ride from Fairbanks .)
We have taken the Train ride from Anchorage to Seward and that was wonderful :)

As for excursions there are so many. Do you know what your itinerary is yet? Have you any thoughts on what you would like to see or do? :)
I know people here have done a variety of tours so I know you will get some good help and advice :)
Have a great cruise! :)

Laura E.

We took Royal Caribbean to Alaska in August 2002. It was also our first cruise but we are now hooked and have booked two more. We did the inside passage from Vancouver for 7 days. We booked a room with a balcony and we thought that it was well worth the extra money. There are good views from anywhere on the ship but we also liked to have the privacy of our balcony.

Our excursions included;
Juneau - Orca Point Lodge and Cruise. This was excellent. It combined a whale/wildlife watching tour with a salmon bake luncheon at the lodge. I can't vouch for other months, but in August there were so many whales, seals, sea lions and even a bald eagle nest to be seen. Just walking around the port area was enjoyable also.

Ketchikan - My husband and teenager did the Misty Fjords Seaplane Adventure and loved it. I walked around the port area with our youngest and loved the shops and the atmosphere.

Skagway - Whitepass Scenic Railway. This is a very popular excursion but we felt that it wasn't worth the price. The train follows the same route up to the summit as down and although the original sights were beautiful, it got boring very quickly. The passengers who took the motor coach to the summit came back with very good comments of their excursion. The town is small but quaint and has some nice shops.

I hope that this is of some help. Alaska was beautiful and we would go there again in a heartbeat. Have a great cruise. (Take double the amount of rolls of film that you think you will need. You will go through them all.)



My wife and I are taking our 3rd cruise to Alaska next year (04).

We always stay in inside cabins because we are never there other than to sleep.

Shore Excursions

Stay away from "All You Can Eat" Salmon Bakes. The food is delicious but not near worth the price you pay person, to go.

Three years ago we took our first Alaskan cruise in July and nearly froze to death the 1st 3 days of the cruise.

Two years ago, we took the same trip in May and wore t-shirts the entire week. Go figure.


If you are debating between spending the extra $$ on a balcony OR land excursions.. this is a no brainer... save ALL you can on the least expensive cabin, and use what you save for excursions! The inside cabins are small, but comfortable and romantic. With all of the open space on board a cruise ship, you will NOT be dissapointed that you didn't have a balcony.