They will work in Alaska and I recommend to purchase a special plan that will cover Alaska without roaming. If that isn't possible, I can tell you that in 1998 my cell phone bill from Alaska to Missouri, which was roaming, was about $100. Might even look into purchasing phone cards.
Cell phones do work in almost all ports of Alaska cruises: Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Seward and of course Anchorage. I have Verizon and with the Nationwide plan that I have the coverage was included. Check with your local provider.
One other thing to note: Once you get outside of the area you will lose service very quickly.
__________________ Cruisemates Community Leader/Moderator
"There is a great difference between being well traveled and just having been to many places." ~Me
I use Sprint cell phone service, and paid a one month charge of $5.00 (I think) to cover all roaming charges. Don't need this service at home, so I just cancelled it upon my return home. And yes it worked when in port, IF you could get a signal.
I just read that there is an internet card one can purchase for all ports in Alaska,(about $5 for 1 hour) which might be a good way to keep in touch...unless you were wanting the cell phone for emergency??? Of course stopping to "chat" online may waste too much time. Liked the advice from sprint!