5 Reasons to Take an Alaska Cruise
If you're a loyal reader, and we hope you are, then you'll know just how much we love to cruise. It's probably our favorite way to travel. We love it and talk about it so much that we should really get paid by the cruise companies (Hi Carnival, Norwegian and Disney! We love you! Consider it, k?).
While different cruise companies offer different experiences (which you can read about here and here), we recommend cruising in general because it is such an easy way to travel.
Some areas, we believe, are best visited via cruise ship, and Alaska is one of those places! We chose a balcony room on the Norwegian Pearl for our journey to Alaska, through Glacier Bay, and to Victoria, Canada, AND WE LOVED IT.
We wanted to share just why we believe you should visit Alaska on a cruise, and we have five GREAT reasons!
PHOTO: The gorgeous port at Ketchikan.
1. Cruising allows you to visit multiple ports in Alaska.
Visiting multiple towns in any state allows you to get a better appreciation for what it has to offer. See more sights, have more adventures and meet more people.
We learned how important it is to visit multiple areas when we visited Hawaii last year. Who wants to be stuck at one resort for a week when there's SO MUCH amazingness to see? Not us. At least not for a first visit.
READ MORE: The Best Souvenirs from Alaska
By exploring multiple locations, you can get a taste for what is available, and, then, if you love one area enough, you can go back and stay there for an extended amount of time at a later date.
Often, when you change location, the experiences change as well. By visiting multiple ports, we were able to mark so many items off our bucket list: Dog-sledding and glacier-hiking by helicopter in Juneau, riding the rails of the White Pass and Yukon Route and gold panning in Skagway, and seeing a lumberjack show and seals in the wild in Ketchikan.
Our ship also made a stop in Victoria, BC, so we got to experience a bit of Canada as well as explore Seattle, Washington, where our cruise began and ended.
2. Your hotel room moves with you.
When visiting multiple towns, nothing could be better than having your hotel room go with you.
This is definitely one of our favorite things about cruising. We can unpack once and be done for the week. Our toiletries can actually be put in place in the bathroom, clothes can be put away in drawers and hung in the closet. We know where everything is and feel like we have a home base.
Plus, the room stewards are fabulous at always taking care of us and often chatting with us about our day, greeting us by name and making us feel right at home. We always feel like the room stewards have become our friends by the end of a cruise (and we hope they feel the same way! I don't think we're TOO messy!).
PHOTO: A whale "waved" to us as our ship sailed past.
3. Nature-watch from your cabin or the ship's upper decks.
Speaking of cabins, we highly recommend getting a room with a balcony when visiting Alaska. Of course, if this is not in your budget, you can always visit the public decks and balconies on the upper levels of the ship.
We made it priority to get balcony rooms on both our Hawaiian and Alaskan cruises just because we knew the views would constantly be spectacular, and, I'm sure you've noticed, we love taking photos! By having our own balcony, we could rest in our room without worrying that we would also miss something wonderful outside.
Was it worth it in Alaska? Most definitely. The first day, we saw 13 whales from our balcony. You can't even imagine our excitement! It was a first for both of us to see whales in the wild. We also spotted bald eagles, otters, and seals.
Besides the wildlife, the scenery was absolutely breathtaking. We sailed by snow-covered mountains and gorgeous evergreens. The most exciting views (besides the whales!) were of the glaciers in Glacier Bay.
PHOTO: Cruising near the Lamplugh Glacier in Glacier Bay.
4. Cruise through Glacier Bay to see the glaciers up close.
Seeing the majesty that is Glacier Bay is one experience we will remember forever.
As we sat on our balcony, it felt as though we had our own private tour. National Park rangers came onboard that morning to speak about the area, the wildlife and all about the glaciers we'd be seeing. The rangers were broadcast on our cabin TV, so we just had to turn the volume up a bit.
While we were able to view multiple glaciers during our tour, the most exciting event happened at the Marjorie Glacier. As we viewed it, listening to the ranger on the television, we began to hear cracks and sounds like thunder. Major chunks of ice began to fall from the glacier, crashing into the water, and causing large waves.
This event is called calving and is amazing to witness in person. We were lucky that I was able to snap photos as it happened and we got video of it as well! Even if we hadn't documented the calving, I will never forget those sounds!
5. Food is all you can eat...and often includes local specialties!
If you've ever been on a cruise or even know anyone that has been on one, you'll know one thing is true: You can eat until you absolutely pop!
Note that we're not advocates of over-eating, but we do love to try new foods. By having tons of selections on buffets and waiters who encourage adventurous eating in the dining rooms, we can try any dish we'd like.
While we do try to eat locally at each of our destinations, it's nice to have the options back on the ship. We'll usually eat one meal out while adventuring and then one meal back onboard.
Often, the ship's buffets will offer dishes from whatever area the ship is currently visiting. While we didn't have this quite as much on our Alaskan cruise as we've had in, say, the Caribbean, we were offered various soups made with fresh seafood and even a salmon bake.
BONUS: Make new friends!
When cruising, there may be a ton of people on the ship with you, but I guarantee you will continue to run into the same few people again and again. And you know what happens? You become friends.
We have met some AMAZING people on our cruises and have at least one set of friends from each cruise that we still keep in touch with!
How do you feel about cruising? Where was your favorite cruise destination? Have you cruised to Alaska? Let us know in the comments below!
This story originally appeared on the Just Chasing Rabbits blog.
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