We are taking the 12 day cruise along with our 20 yr old daughter in May. We have booked a balcony cabin on the Panarama deck, Concierge Class (the travel agent made it sound sooo good!) Trying to decide which excursions to take - we are all nature lovers but not much into hiking. Also, as we are from Miami, we are concerned about the weather- will we freeze????
We appreciate any suggestions you may have for us...
We will be cruising Alaska for the 4th time in May. You won't freeze but you might be cool when outside the ship. Bring a windbreaker that sheds water & can wear layers under. Check the what to pack listing for the layering. Bring gloves & fleece head gear to wear while near glaciers & for walking on outside decks. The wind can be brisk. Since we've only done 7 day cruises others can let you know for land tour. But when in Sitka, Ketchikan, Juneau, & Skagway - we've been down to short sleeves from jacket & sweatshirts. Check the weather channel.com for those cities temps. Definitely take an excursion that involves White Pass train in Skagway, the salmon hatchery in Juneau, & you can walk anywhere in Ketchikan. You are just going to be in awe once there...
Zaandam July 2001 Alaska
Amsterdam July 2003 Alaska
Zaandam May 2004 Alaska
Volendam May 2006 Alaska
You definately need to bring layers, with a lightweight lined jacket, rain gear, 2 pair of walking shoes, knit hat, gloves. Turtle necks, and a sweatshirt will be needed during your glaicer viewing. Overall a wide range of attire will be used.
You need to look over a shore excursion and narrow down your interests. There are just too many excellent tours to consider. Budget fully, this is what makes your trip. Include fightseeing to really see the vastness.
You will have a great time in Alaska. There is so many items to do there will not be enough time. You will want to go back.
Skagway do the train on your own, some difference in price except you can pick a time convenient. The other excursion that is fun is the trolley, actually it is a yellow bus and gives history and some beautiful sites.
Sitka is easy to get around, the local bus for about a $1 per person will take you around the town. Michaels Cathedral is good, raptor center is very interesting.
Ketchikan is the rain city of Alaska, be prepared. If it is affordable a flight seeing tour. The city offers a great deal within walking distance.
Juneau has a lot. Helicopter to Mendahal Glacier, Mount Roberts Tramway (do this on your own and pick the time). Absolutely breath taking view from the top.
Dog sled ride with helicopter, amazing.
Hopefully you have a port stop in Victoria. Buchart gardens is gorgeous and May is a terrific time. Take the shuttle from the ship and it drops you off at the Empress Hotel, across the street is the visitor center where you can purchase tickets. The bus station is close to the hotel and the center will tell you the location. This way you can visit the gardens and not be rushed as the cruise line excursion. Another item is to do a horse drawn carriage, (not the horse drawn trolley) but the one that seats four and ask to be taken on the outskirts, not the city shopping main street.
If you are going to Seattle the Pikes Market is a lot of fun. Space needle is another or a city tour.
As for clothing do not over pack, layer. I bring a light rain jacket and a fleece vest and keep warm. The areas I need a parka is when the ship sails to the glaciers, very cold (Get a hot chocolate with Gran Marnier, very toasty feeling).
The other areas for a parka is the helicopter to the glacier or dog sledding.
You are in for a real treat to Alaska, enjoy. We will be returning for our third visit this coming September.
By the way, there are no shopping deals in May, opening season and everything is expensive. Guess bringing everything by dog sleds drive up the cost.
Take a serious look at the excursions Celebrity has to offer and research on your own.
__________________ Ready to Steer towards another cruise