Has anyone NOT enjoyed their Alaska cruise?

mlayton14

DIS Veteran
Joined
Apr 9, 2006
Used to sailing the Bahamas and Caribbean, obvious differences here. Excited to be in a place that is very different but the price $15-20k is a bit scary for something so different from what we know we would enjoy. Luxury hotel on the sea with view of wilderness sounds good to me , but wife and daughters not sold on the chilly weather and small town ports. Anyone go on this cruise and say it wasn’t what you had hoped, and why ? Thank you
 

tvguy

Question anything the facts don't support.
Joined
Dec 15, 2003
Done two Alaska cruises, and while my wife prefers warm weather cruises, even she had a great time. They are different from most other cruises in that you are surrounded by wildlife.....as in animals, whales, etc, not parties on board LOL.
 

Geomom

DIS Veteran
Joined
May 17, 2010
Alaska was our first cruise. We loved it! Lol, we're a bit different in that we're not interested in the Bahamas/Caribbean cruises, and are looking for ports that interest us. You can save thousands of dollars by doing an oceanview room instead of a veranda on the Alaskan cruises--how much time do you spend in your room? Try to find things that interest your wife and daughters. Have them check out some of the port excursions to see the type of things they can do. You'll have new experiences on an Alaskan cruise. Characters dressed in Alaskan clothes, a Frozen deck party instead of Pirate night. (No fireworks due to environmental reasons.). They have nature talks as well (and special activities in the kids clubs.) Check out some old personal navigators on the DCL Blog website to see some of the activities that have been offered. Check out all the things to do in Vancouver pre-cruise as well.
 

iivye

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 22, 2013
When we sailed to Alaska a few years ago it was unseasonably warm. We brought clothing for cooler temps and were wishing we had packed more shorts. Yes, the ports are small but there are also a lot of really good excursions. We did a helicopter to a glacier, a speed boat nature trip, and some off road vehicles.
 

Iceman93

DIS Veteran
Joined
May 2, 2004
I do have to say I loved my Alaska cruise, but it wasn't on Disney (actually, DCL didn't exist then). You've already set expectations properly that it will be different scenery and culture than you get on a tropical islands cruise. The one thing I've heard some people say is that Disney isn't the best cruise line to do Alaska because it's so expensive and because most of the draw of an Alaska cruise is the natural beauty, not doing things inside the ship (shows, etc.).
 

  • EXCLUSIVE - Dreams Unlimited Travel Gift Basket!
    Book your Disney Cruise Line vacation through Dreams Unlimited Travel and receive an exclusive, complimentary Gift Basket. This Gift Basket is a result of client feedback as well as posts from DISboards.com; we call it our “What you didn't know you needed on a Disney Cruise Kit”.
    Click Here for Details

  • chamberlain

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 17, 2014
    We have an Alaskan cruise planned for August 2022 on Princess. I love our Disney cruises to the Bahamas and Caribbean so I am a little nervous to travel to a cooler climate. But I think I will just have to relax, bring warmer clothes and enjoy the beauty. We don't have to kayak, hike or do lots of outdoorsy things to have fun is what I have heard. My husband is excited to go so that will make it all worthwhile!
     

    bobbiwoz

    I'm happy to dance with you!
    Joined
    Aug 26, 2003
    We have done two Alaska cruises, and one land tour associated with one of the cruises. We have another Alaska cruise and land tour scheduled for August 2022.

    We last went in 2019, and the scenery was even better than we remembered which is why we’re going again!
     

    ninergrl6

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Apr 12, 2018
    I cruised to Alaska with Holland America years ago, and while I absolutely loved Alaska, I will never sail with Holland America again. It really made me appreciate the quality of DCL's service. You get what you pay for, and DCL provides a superior experience IMO.
     

    MomOTwins

    The Mommy Fairy
    Joined
    Mar 5, 2018
    My DH and I did our honeymoon on an Alaska cruise (non-DCL). We loved it but boy did we not pack right for cold/wet weather—had to do some serious shopping at the ship clothes store for heavy duty, waterproof items as we were freezing in regular sweaters. You may luck out and get warmer weather but the cold is no joke, and I could see how it would be a dealbreaker for some.

    We have been very on the fence about returning with kids though. As active 20-somethings when we married, we had a great time whitewater rafting, hiking, ziplining, horseback riding etc. But our kids are still pretty little and I’m not sure we’d like doing the excursions for their age range (things like the lumberjack show and white pass train). It also stinks that DCL does not have an indoor pool—we had that on our other cruise and the lack of one makes me question whether DCL is worth the price for Alaska. I know the pool is heated but stepping out of a pool into freezing weather is no fun.

    I think I’d like to wait until the kids are tweens/teens so they can fully enjoy the outdoors in Alaska like we did. Not sure how old OPs kids are but that for me is the main decider.
     
  • mlayton14

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 9, 2006
    My DH and I did our honeymoon on an Alaska cruise (non-DCL). We loved it but boy did we not pack right for cold/wet weather—had to do some serious shopping at the ship clothes store for heavy duty, waterproof items as we were freezing in regular sweaters. You may luck out and get warmer weather but the cold is no joke, and I could see how it would be a dealbreaker for some.

    We have been very on the fence about returning with kids though. As active 20-somethings when we married, we had a great time whitewater rafting, hiking, ziplining, horseback riding etc. But our kids are still pretty little and I’m not sure we’d like doing the excursions for their age range (things like the lumberjack show and white pass train). It also stinks that DCL does not have an indoor pool—we had that on our other cruise and the lack of one makes me question whether DCL is worth the price for Alaska. I know the pool is heated but stepping out of a pool into freezing weather is no fun.

    I think I’d like to wait until the kids are tweens/teens so they can fully enjoy the outdoors in Alaska like we did. Not sure how old OPs kids are but that for me is the main decider.
    kids would be 14, 13, and 10 , thank you
     

    CisforCookie991

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Mar 22, 2021
    I went on two cruises about 10 years ago, first to the Caribbean and the second to Alaska, both on Royal. As other commenters have said, very different experiences but we LOVED Alaska. It was much less of a party cruise, with a very different demographic, so it was very relaxing. Our stops were Juneau, Skagway, and Victoria. All three were a lot of fun in different ways. Juneau seemed tourist-y and catering to the ships, but we did a zipline tour and the nature was beautiful. Not sure where DCL ports relative to Royal, but there was a small restaurant and shop right near Royal's port where we had lunch and shipped salmon back home because it was so good. Skagway is tiny tiny and definitely a tourist town. We were able to walk around the whole town including visiting pretty much all the shops in under an hour, but it was really cute. Victoria is an actual city so there were plenty to do, also with beautiful gardens. So none of them are like hopping ports in the Caribbean, but still a lot to appreciate. And of course, the glaciers. The nature really is the highlight of the cruise and it's worth it to go just to see all of that, but also sad to see how much has vanished over time. If your kids are into the Instagram-able moments, there are plenty.

    I think your kids are a great age to go - that's more or less the target age that I'd like to take my kids. I think mine are a bit too young to really appreciate it right now. There's a lot of history and, yes, nature.

    The only things I would be aware of - (1) obviously, the weather. It can get really cold and rainy, but you can pack for that. We wore just sweatshirts on an early morning on deck for a couple of hours watching the glaciers and it was cold but not unbearably cold; (2) we went at the end of the season and it was super rocky one of the sea days - like to the point that they put barf bags all over the ship; (3) because of time zones, the time is changing every 1-2 days.
     

    MomOTwins

    The Mommy Fairy
    Joined
    Mar 5, 2018
    kids would be 14, 13, and 10 , thank you
    Well, that is pretty much exactly the right age range for qualifying for the more active/adventurous excursions so sounds like it could be the perfect time to do Alaska for your family.

    I note, meant to mention in my earlier post, we are also a family of 5 and have noticed the price is several thousand dollars lower on DCL if you split up into two connecting oceanview rooms instead of a single family-size verandah room. We had a verandah on our Alaska cruise because everyone says you "have to" have one, but we didn't use it much and instead often went up to the lido deck to see the glaciers and scenery because that way you don't just see one side of the ship and we could also enjoy a drink from the bar or some cocoa while taking in the views. I definitely think giving up the verandah can be a smart way to make it more affordable.
     

    dvcdisney

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 7, 2008
    We've only cruised twice to Alaska and both times were great!

    I think it would take at least 10 more Alaskan cruises to feel like we've experience what we should. There is just so much to do and we love it!
     

    KashasMom

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 28, 2012
    We've done 3 - a late April/early May repositioning from San Francisco on Royal Caribbean, a mid-August on Celebrity, and an end of August on NCL Bliss. We enjoyed them all - some awesome excursions including:

    Juneau - a pilots choice double glacier landing with Temsco Helicopters and Whale Watching
    Ketchikan - All 3 with Island Wings: Floatplane to Anan Creek (for bears), Floatplane to Misty Fjords, Floatplane to Traitors Cove (for bears)
    Skagway - Dogsledding with Temsco Helicopters, twice we rented a car and using Murray's Guide to the South Klondike Highway rode out to Emerald Lake with many stops along the way

    We're not beach people so we were fine with the cooler weather. For me, it's not a cruise I'd spend Disney $$ for unless Disney is a must for your family.
     

    tvguy

    Question anything the facts don't support.
    Joined
    Dec 15, 2003
    I cruised to Alaska with Holland America years ago, and while I absolutely loved Alaska, I will never sail with Holland America again. It really made me appreciate the quality of DCL's service. You get what you pay for, and DCL provides a superior experience IMO.
    As they say Your Mileage May Vary. We thought the food and service on HAL were a hair better than Disney. And HAL is THEE cruise line to take to Alaska since they have been doing it longer, have the best ports, and have such a strong naturalist program on board their Alaska cruises.
     

    Pens Fan

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 27, 2014
    We've done two Alaskan cruises, one on DCL and one on NCL. We loved them both and will probably do another one at some point. We've also done a land based Alaskan vacation and loved that as well.

    The scenery is incredible and there are so many fun things to do in port: whale watching, hiking, float plane tours, bear watching, etc., etc., etc ........

    We definitely prefer Alaska to the Bahamas / Caribbean though, and everyone is different.

    You mentioned the cost, so I'll throw this out there. An Alaskan cruise is more about Alaska than the cruise itself. Other cruise lines will be less expensive. Our NCL cruise to Alaska was our first time stepping away from DCL after 5 cruises and we didn't miss the Disney aspect at all. There was too much to see and do to even care that we were on a different ship. Also, Disney does not go (nor will they in the foreseeable future due to lack of a NPS permit) to Glacier Bay. Many other lines do, and it's pretty spectacular.
     





    Connect

    TODAY'S HEADLINES

    Book your Disney Cruise through Dreams Unlimited Travel and receive a Shipboard Credit and an Exclusive Gift Basket!



    Top