Sep 04

Alaskan Cruise: Exploring Land – Part 2

When you are in Skagway, Alaska one of the popular tours is the train ride around Skagway, Alaska. This is a great way to view the beauty and nature of Skagway.  When you board the train you will be riding through two tunnels to the White Pass Summit. This is a narrated tour, so you will have someone telling you about the mountains, historic sites, and many of the views you will see. You are also riding a train that is going across tracks that are over 110 years old. You will learn about the building of the railway and about the tale of the Klondike Gold rush. You can also take other tours around Skagway including:

  • Helicopter Rides
  • Horseback Riding
  • Jeep Rentals
  • Bike Tours
  • Glass Blowing
  • Eagle Preserve Rafting
  • Zip Lining, and more

Getting off the cruise ship entering into the Victoria, British Columbia you will experience beauty. They take pride in keeping everything clean and full of fresh flowers and beautiful scenery. Some of the highlights are checking out Victoria’s Chinatown, and the Butchart Gardens. The history of how the Butchart Gardens came to be is quite remarkable. The most beautiful attraction will be the Sunken Garden.   It is amazing to see how Mrs. Butchart turned her vision into such a beautiful reality. You will get a chance to view the:

  • Rose Garden
  • Sunken Garden
  • Japanese Garden
  • and the Italian Garden

The whole garden area is full of lovely flowers and beautiful art and architecture.

When you are in Victoria you should make sure to take plenty of pictures of The Empress Hotel. It is so beautiful on the outside, and you should go ahead and get a look on the inside too. They have pictures with descriptions of historic events that have happened in or around the hotel. There is also a restaurant that is located in the hotel that is open to the public. If you would like to have tea and pastries, you can do that at The Empress hotel. High tea time is one of Victoria’s finest English traditions. Victoria is one of those places that you could just walk around and enjoy all of its beauty. The great thing about walking around is that all of the shopping, and Chinatown, are all walking distance from the shuttles that take you to and from the ship. This is truly a place that you could enjoy without booking an excursion to keep you busy.

So being on the cruise ship is amazing, but experiencing the wonders of Alaska and Canada on land is even better. All of the beauty that is on land is great to explore. It’s even better if you can book an excursion and have someone tell you all of the history behind what you are enjoying. The great thing about booking an excursion is that the tour guides that are shuttling you around are locals. These are not people that work on the cruise boat. So you are able to enjoy and know that your facts are coming from people who live in and really know about the area. Take advantage of your cruise and enjoy all of the fun activities on land.


Aug 13

Alaskan Cruise: Exploring Land – Part 1

Being on the Royal Caribbean cruise ship sailing through Alaska is beautiful. The sights that you get to see on the boat are beyond amazing.  Though you can see wonderful sight cruising the ocean, being on Alaskan land is great. Royal Caribbean offers tons of excursions that you can purchase to experience Alaska, or you can just walk around yourself and take in all the beauty.
Royal Caribbean Alaska cruise makes three stops. Two will be in Alaska and one in Canada.

·         Juneau, Alaska
·         Skagway, Alaska
·         Victoria, British  Columbia

When you are in Juneau the biggest attraction to see will be the Mendenhall Glacier. Some of the things that you can do that involve the Mendenhall Glacier are:

·         Visiting Mendenhall Visitor Center
·         Helicopter Ride around the Glacier
·         Walking tour on the Glacier, and more

Taking a helicopter ride to Mendenhall Glacier is a must. The ride around the glacier is absolutely stunning. When you get to experience all the different shades of blue that makes up the beauty of the Mendenhall Glacier you will be blown away. After you get a full helicopter ride around to view the glacier, the helicopter will land and you will get a chance to walk around the glacier.  When you land and depart the helicopter there will be guides to take you on the tour of the glacier. Make sure you dress warm because it is extremely cold walking on the glacier. The guides that take you around the glacier are very knowledgeable about the history of the Mendenhall Glacier. On top of the glacier you learn so many things that have taken part of the making of a glacier. You might even catch a glimpse of a crevasse that has formed on the glacier. Not only that, but some guides might even let you get a taste of a little glacier water that has taken hundreds of years to get to the bottom of the glacier. Glacier water is the purest form of water that you can taste without any filtering. This tour is one of the most amazing tours to experience.

There is also so many other excursions to take part of the experience Juneau, Alaska. Another popular thing to do is visit the salmon hatchery. You will get a tour around the hatchery with knowledgeable guides letting you know the life cycle of the salmon. Don’t forget to make sure that you are able to hit a restaurant to taste their famous salmon. You can even take dog sledding tours. Walking tours around Juneau are also available. One site to visit has really nothing to do with the wonders of Alaska. Tracy’s King Crab Shack is the place to great wonderful sea food. They get a lot of their crab from the crab boats that are featured on the television show Deadliest Catch. The food is amazing and well worth any price that you pay for it, and you should definitely try the lobster bisque.


Jun 27

Cruise Alaska – The Unconventional Way

Alaska is a great place to go, especially if it’s between May and September. During this time, there is wilderness beyond what the eyes can see that are as clear as day. You just never know what you’re going to get during this time of year.  While many people take a vacation here during that time on a cruise line, many people forget about the private cruises in the area.  Yes, there are thousands who take advantage of that. Private cruises allow tourists to go beyond the norm of the typical cruise in that they can see things in a more intimate light. Nothing beats going with a smaller group of people and possibly seeing things like grizzly bears and elk in their natural habitat off the coast.  Or getting up close to a glacier.  There are several things for tourists to do.

Deep Sea Fishing

For the more adventurous types there are also private cruises that send people deep into the Pacific to take their hand at swordfish fishing. This is what draws a lot of people to Alaska, believe it or not. The fishing here is amazing and abundant.  You catch it, you can eat it.  Or whatever you want to do with it. There are no restrictions on fishing here.

Glacier Climbing

Many cruise lines won’t allow their guests to do this, but it’s really no different than rock climbing. Certainly adventure lovers will get a thrill out of this one.  It is an exhilarating and fun. Experienced climbers should give this a shot. Many private cruises won’t allow novices to try for liability reasons. If that’s the case, you should get some practice time in before heading to the area.


The Northern Lights draws a lot of people in and of itself but there other wonderful sites here, too.  See native Alaskans tantalize you with their native rituals and see their dwellings up close. Learn to live like them and appreciate life in a different way.  It’s fun for the history and culture lovers of your group.

There are many specialized tour groups that absolutely love giving tourists a ride to see the amazing sites in Alaska.  Not only that, tourists see and take part in things that they can’t do or see while on a big cruise line. Now, there are advantages to both, but to truly see Alaska for what it really is, tourists should cruise Alaska on a private tour.


Nov 17

Alaskan Cruises

It is possible to cruise Alaska at any time of the year. However, the most popular time of the year is between May and September. Alaska typically doesn’t handle the amount of tourists the same way as other popular vacation destination spots.  Therefore availability can be limited at times and it’s important to book your trip as early as possible so that it doesn’t sell out.


There are many advantages to traveling to Alaska in May.  May is considered to be the early part of their tourist season.


1. The weather in May is considered to be the best time of the year in Alaska.
2.The wildflowers in Alaska are in full bloom in the spring.
3. May is also a good time to view the wildlife in Alaska. The snow has melted in the lower elevations causing the larger breeds of animals to start migrating, making them fairly easy for tourists to view.

There are also many reasons to visit Alaska in September.

1.The leaves on the trees in Alaska are in full bloom by Labor Day.
2.The ground will be dry in September, but there will be fresh snow on the mountain peaks. It’s a beautiful view.
3. Large breed animals are out and easy to view in lower elevations, they are in their feeding time as they try to gain weight for the winter months.

Picking a cruise line to fit your needs

You can have different vacation experiences cruising Alaska depending on which cruise line you pick. If you go with Holland America you will have the most traditional cruising experience. Formal dining rooms, assigned seating etc. If you are looking for a less traditional cruising experience then Norwegian Cruise Lines is the best option for you.

There are many cruise lines that make the trips to Alaska. People have numerous options available to them.

1.Carnival Cruise Line
2. Celebrity Cruises
3.Cruise West
4.Crystal Cruises
5. Holland America Line
6.Norwegian Cruise Line
7.Princess Cruises
8.Radisson Seven Seas Cruises
9. Royal Caribbean International

Another, slightly more expensive option, is a smaller boat that holds only 75-114 passengers. These smaller ships can be found within Cruise West Cruise Lines and they do have some advantages that the larger ships can’t offer. For example, closer sailing to glaciers with a very casual atmosphere onboard. For example, you can dine when and with whom you chose. Travelling on these smaller ships tend to cost more than the bigger cruises on the bigger ships.

The length of Alaskan cruises can vary from 6-30 days, depending of course on the amount of time you have and the amount of money you want to spend. Many people choose to extend their trip by also adding a land tour to their vacation. This can be done at the beginning or the end of their trips. The land tour allows tourists to see the interior parts of Alaska they wouldn’t have access to on the ships ports. For example, Mt. McKinley, Denali National Park and the city of Fairbanks. These land tours range in time between 3-16 days.

It is suggested that if you want to visit Alaska on a cruise ship that you spend a little more money and get a room with a balcony. When you cruise the Caribbean or the Bahamas the view stays the same throughout the trip. When you cruise Alaska the view is always changing. Depending on where you are cruising you could see glaciers, waterfront communities, mountains, whales, and even wildlife. Also, remember that because of the extended daylight hours of Alaska you can enjoy these views a lot longer than other places. A private balcony is also a great way to enjoy the views with some privacy. While up on the main decks you will be fighting the crowds to catch a glimpse of the view, while you could be enjoying the view in privacy.


Jul 16

Alaskan Royal Caribbean Cruise Staterooms

Alaskan Mountains

Royal Caribbean Alaskan Cruise Staterooms

One way to travel the world in luxury is on a cruise ship. You are on the sea, able to swim in a pool, and you have all the food you need. Not only that, but you also are able to have entertainment not far away from you at all times. Cruising is a way to relax and be able to see such beautiful sights without having to drive around and do all the work yourself. What better way to relax than taking an Alaskan cruise.

One of the ways to cruise Alaska is on the Royal Caribbean cruise line. They have cruise ships leaving from the following cities:

  • Seattle, Washington
  • Seward, Alaska
  • Vancouver, British Columbia

Once you have picked a port to leave from, and a date you would love to go, it is smooth sailing from there.  Royal Caribbean sets up the billing process very easily. You can pay for your cruise ticket, gratuities, and plane tickets in one easy payment.   When you board the boat you have nothing else to worry about when it comes to paying fees.


Not many people spend too much time in their room when they are cruising. Even if you don’t use your room much it is good to know your options. There are four categories of rooms that you are able to choose from. All rooms are equipped with a television, bathroom and shower, phone, vanity, and a hair dryer.

Interior Rooms

These rooms do not offer a view. They are located in the center of the boat. The interior rooms are the cheapest rooms you can buy. These rooms are great for people who know that they will spend the majority of their time outside of the room. The interior rooms are smaller than the others, but some ships have different sizes available. You can even get a interior room that has a window overlooking the Promenade.

Outside Rooms

If you want an ocean front view from your room but don’t want to pay too much, the outside rooms are great. You either have one big window or two smaller portholes. These rooms are a little bit more expensive than the interior rooms, but the view of the ocean is breathtaking.

Balcony Rooms

Do you love to sit and relax on deck with a drink in your hand and a beautiful view in front of you? Well, a room with the balcony is the best option for you. It allows you to be able to watch the ocean without the distractions of the other guests on the ship. The balcony rooms have two chairs and a table out on the balcony, so you can enjoy a meal overlooking the ocean.

Suites/Deluxe Rooms

These Suites are comparable to deluxe hotel rooms. The suite and deluxe rooms on the Royal Caribbean cruise line care available in a variety of styles. There are suites available with an extra sitting area, or suites that offer multiple rooms for the whole family. The higher end suites have mini bars and even offer personalized services. You are also able to upgrade your amenities for your cruise vacation. These rooms are the most expensive, but if you want the extra space, splurging on the suite will be well worth it.


Mar 17

Why Cruise to Alaska?

The idea of a cruise seemed really extravagant to me. It also seemed artificial. Like you don’t actually get to experience the culture – just hop off the boat for a little excursion and then run back with your tail between your legs.

I got smart when my travel assistant explained to me some of the virtues of taking a cruise. Most of the time you are completely cut off from the Internet. I said “That’s not a virtue! That is crazy! I haven’t, I can’t – there is no way!” Then it dawned on me – no work at all. What a strange idea. No calls from the office. No sneaking to log in to just do a little bit of work. No checking email. No strategic tweets. No networking. When you say it like that it sounds so scary – like a broad pit opening up before me with nothing but… Free time. What madness.

But it gets better – My Director of Business Travel let me in on a little secret. After a man passes the age of 8 he can never go on a vacation that someone else plans – that means your accountable for the whole family – if they aren’t having fun guess whose job it is to entertain them. If the hotel sucks guess who has to find another one who finds the restaurants attractions local fauna culture help! I’m gasping for breath as the waves of an anxiety attack spread through my body – “STOP IT!” I tell my cruise director, “You’re giving me vertigo!”

“That’s just it,’” he says “you go on a cruise and you don’t have to do any of that.”


Oh my god I’m in – where do I sign?


Jan 17

Embarking on a New Adventure

When we first decided to begin our Alaska adventure we didn’t know what we would be getting into. In fact, all we really knew about Alaska was what we learned in school. It was the largest state – totally bigger than Texas. It is really close to Russia. We bought it from Russia for 2 cents per acre (suckers!). It’s cold and there are all kinds of salmon.

Since this was such a new area for us, we decided to keep track of all of the things we learned about Alaska - from travel arrangements to attractions, amazing stories to trivia. We had an inside source too – our family who moved up to Alaska would help us and provide some insider information.