Has anyone NOT enjoyed their Alaska cruise?

Cheburashka

DIS Veteran
Joined
Dec 25, 2020
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.
The Disney Wonder is not a luxury cruise ship, or anything approaching a true luxury hotel. It is very nice and we loved our Alaska cruise on the Wonder, but if you're expecting real luxury (a la Four Seasons), you're going to be disappointed.

There are many beautiful sights to see in Alaska. The point of visiting there is to appreciate nature, rather than to explore a big city (although home port Vancouver, Canada is a great big city to explore). The closer to the peak of summer (July) your cruise is, the warmer the weather will be. We cruised in early June and it was always too chilly to comfortably swim on deck, if that is any indication. But it wasn't bitter cold, and we even had a rare day of sunshine in Ketchikan.

Bottom line, if your family isn't enthusiastic about visiting the Alaskan ports or cruising without warm weather, then I don't think this cruise is a good fit for your family.
 
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mlayton14

DIS Veteran
Joined
Apr 9, 2006
The Disney Wonder is not a luxury cruise ship, or anything approaching a true luxury hotel. It is very nice and we loved our Alaska cruise on the Wonder, but if you're expecting real luxury (a la Four Seasons), you're going to be disappointed.

There are many beautiful sights to see in Alaska. The point of visiting there is to appreciate nature, rather than to explore a big city (although home port Vancouver, Canada is a great big city to explore). The closer to the peak of summer (July) your cruise is, the warmer the weather will be. We cruised in early June and it was always too chilly to comfortably swim on deck, if that is any indication. But it wasn't bitter cold, and we even had a rare day of sunshine in Ketchikan.

Bottom line, if your family isn't enthusiastic about visiting the Alaskan ports or cruising without warm weather, then I don't think this cruise is a good fit for your family.
thanks I’m leaning in that direction as well , and we don’t expect true luxury in the 4 seasons sense nor do I particularly desire it - good service , good food , chances to relax , built in entertainment and nostalgia that you get from Disney / already done 4 DCL cruises and know what to expect - the Med cruises would have been perfect with more exotic culture and interesting places , but now we are taliking $30k , for that money we do multiple Europe land trips - no interest in Royal a d NCL
 

MouseOfCards

Finally jumped in . . .
Joined
Feb 11, 2016
We have also done 2 Alaska cruises (one with DCL) and really enjoyed them. Sorry, not a negative.
 

DisMommyTX

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 7, 2015
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
That would be us! We have sailed 30+ times on many different lines, with and without kids, and Alaska was easily our least favorite cruise destination. We went on Princess bc they had access to Glacier Bay NP (or something like that). Nice balcony, decent weather, no complaints about the ship, but honestly we were just bored. Scenery was lovely, but after a couple days it was obvious we missed the beaches and snorkeling, sun and warm weather we love from our Caribbean and Bahamas cruises. We had an amazing whale watching trip and did several other excursions, it just somehow felt like a waste of a week long vacation to us. The highlight was sitting on our balcony watching ice melt, literally. Thank goodness the kids weren't with us, they would have been bored out of their minds.

The only other cooler weather cruise we have done is N. Europe with the kids on NCL, and we made sure to choose a ship with lots of onboard entertainment. Even with action-packed port days, the lack of desire to visit the pool and hot tub results in more open time for us to appreciate other on-board amenities.

Hope this helps!
 
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Cheburashka

DIS Veteran
Joined
Dec 25, 2020
Alaska was easily our least favorite cruise destination...Nice balcony, decent weather, no complaints about the ship, but honestly we were just bored. ...The highlight was sitting on our balcony watching ice melt, literally. Thank goodness the kids weren't with us, they would have been bored out of their minds.
This is why I'm glad we cruised to Alaska on DCL. There are 3 sea days (including the 1 glacier viewing day) and 3 port days on their standard Alaska cruise, and being on DCL meant that those 3 sea days offered plenty of onboard activities for my son and me so we never had to be bored.

People are often so blown away by their port experiences on Alaskan cruises that their descriptions often make it sound like it's a cruise without sea days, but in reality, about half of the typical Alaskan cruise is sea days, and when swimming/lounging on deck isn't appealing due to the cold, it's important to have other activities to enjoy onboard.
 

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  • tvguy

    Question anything the facts don't support.
    Joined
    Dec 15, 2003
    . Scenery was lovely, but after a couple days it was obvious we missed the beaches and snorkeling, sun and warm weather we love from our Caribbean and Bahamas cruises.
    Yeah, I can see that because we are the opposite. Other than the warm weather, we are kind of beached and snorkeled out on cruises*. Although my wife managed to get sunburned on both our Alaska cruises. However, our first Alaska cruise we went during record heat.
    That is why I always advise folks to match their cruise to their likes and destinations they want to go to, then pick a cruise line.
    *Sort of like cruises that go to St. Thomas. We're not shoppers, so the St. Thomas port day is our day to sleep in, have a leisurely late breakfast in the dining room, and then maybe wander off the ship and just explore the area where the ship docks. We did Coral World with our kids, but it is really lacking compared to say the Monterey Bay Aquarium,.
     

    person

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 20, 2005
    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.
    At time the wind was blowing rather strongly, I seem to remember, but on the way back we did a bit of whale watching....

    I guess you went throught the Inside Passage?
     

    ofcabbagesandkings

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 16, 2014
    We took our kids on DCL to Alaska in 2019, when they were 3 and 7. They adored it, and still talk about it all the time. The kids clubs, shows in the main dining rooms, stage productions, and characters kept them busy when we were at sea, and they had a lot of fun during our shore excursions as well. But, I will wait until they are bigger to return to Alaska. I would like them to be able to manage some hiking without whining, so that we can trek out to see Mendenhall glacier in Juneau, for example. If we return, I would like to see Hubbard glacier too.
     

    Pooh93

    <font color=blue>Proud mom of 2 dd's<br><font colo
    Joined
    Sep 19, 2000
    We love the Caribbean. Have been on 7 DCL cruises. One was to Alaska. Hands down the best cruise we have taken. It was May 2016 and we still talk about it. My youngest daughter who wants to travel nurse would like to one day do a contract in Alaska. We love it that much.
     
  • belle032

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 6, 2011
    I can't compare Alaska (our NCL sailing was cancelled this year :(), but I can compare the British Isles on the Disney Magic. Similar situations in that we had cooler temps, very focused on the go-go-go port days, and then slower sea days. Our port days were amazing and jam packed, but I can honestly say that we got bored quite a bit for the first time EVER on a cruise ship during our sea days. And that's coming from people who love sea days! I think it was a combination of colder temps, a smaller & older ship, and maybe a slightly older crowd? Activities just seemed very limited to trivia and bingo. I imagine if had been on a larger ship with more activities and places to explore, we might have felt differently. Overall, we had a wonderful time and I would do the same itinerary again in a heartbeat...but probably on a larger ship.
     

    auntlynne

    Aunt Lynne
    Joined
    Sep 2, 2008
    We love the Caribbean. Have been on 7 DCL cruises. One was to Alaska. Hands down the best cruise we have taken. It was May 2016 and we still talk about it. My youngest daughter who wants to travel nurse would like to one day do a contract in Alaska. We love it that much.
    Totally off the cruising subject - Travel nursing is a great option to places with high costs for housing. I worked for 4 months in Honolulu and have had many happy returns there as a vacationer. Paying rent in Hawaii (and AK) can be steep; having the travel company arrange and pay for housing (and transportation to work city is wonderful.
     

    tvguy

    Question anything the facts don't support.
    Joined
    Dec 15, 2003
    I am reminded that you can't please everyone. On our Eastern Caribbean cruise on the Magic and there was a gentleman who clearly unhappy with his cruise experience. I suspect it was his first cruise and he had no idea what to expect. First, every night he attire was black sweatpants and a black sweat shirt. Then there was the night he looked at the menu and asked the server what Beef Wellington was, and reacting with "who puts pastry on beef?"
     

    jdb in AZ

    It could end up curdled
    Joined
    Feb 11, 2011
    Different strokes for different folks, but Alaska is by far our favorite destination. We're desert rats so we enjoy the chance to cool off. We've been six times on several different cruise lines, and have a 7th Alaska cruise booked for next year. The Caribbean is too sticky/humid for us -- we're just not beach bums.
     

    cardiacnurse_sk

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Apr 19, 2021
    This is why I'm glad we cruised to Alaska on DCL. There are 3 sea days (including the 1 glacier viewing day) and 3 port days on their standard Alaska cruise, and being on DCL meant that those 3 sea days offered plenty of onboard activities for my son and me so we never had to be bored.

    People are often so blown away by their port experiences on Alaskan cruises that their descriptions often make it sound like it's a cruise without sea days, but in reality, about half of the typical Alaskan cruise is sea days, and when swimming/lounging on deck isn't appealing due to the cold, it's important to have other activities to enjoy onboard.

    Do you think there are enough "adult-y" activities for these sea days? I am trying to convince DH we should book an Alaska cruise coming up but he's worried about being bored on those days
     

    Pooh93

    <font color=blue>Proud mom of 2 dd's<br><font colo
    Joined
    Sep 19, 2000
    Totally off the cruising subject - Travel nursing is a great option to places with high costs for housing. I worked for 4 months in Honolulu and have had many happy returns there as a vacationer. Paying rent in Hawaii (and AK) can be steep; having the travel company arrange and pay for housing (and transportation to work city is wonderful.
    Thank you for that tidbit. We know nothing. Lol She will start investigating agencies in the next year.
     

    Drfate102

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Dec 8, 2011
    It's kind of funny, we have an Alaska Cruise booked for next May(was suppose to be this May), to celebrate my Birthday, we have never cruised to Alaska, however, we have been to Alaska as my Sister-In-Law and her family live there (small island called Wrangell). While we were there, a small cruise ship came in and we ran into a bunch of passengers and they kept asking how we liked the cruise and they were all surprised that we were just visiting the island.

    But, my wife asked if we could meet them in one of the ports and she told her Mom that and now my Mother-In-Law and my Wife's Aunt will be joining us on the cruise as well. That should be an experience since my MIL has only done Princess Cruises and DCL will be a bit of a shock to her. Also kind of afraid that my Birthday is going to get hijacked as well.
     

    ngl

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jul 1, 2009
    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
    Our kids were 8 & 10 when we did a Tauck Bridges Alaska (land only) tour a few years ago. It was amazing. We went the first week of July and it was unseasonably warm - record breaking temps everyday with sunshine and 80 degrees. (We were Floridians so for us with low humidity it was great!) We joined the "3% club" as they call it being able to see the full Mt. Denali for the 2 days we were staying nearby and did a flightseeing trip over Denali that literally did not have one cloud in the sky. SO memorable. It also had a day cruise to Prince William Sound to see the glacier which was so neat. We toyed with with the DCL Alaskan Cruise before booking Tauck and came to the conclusion that for the things we wanted to see for our first trip to Alaska, the land tour made more sense. Denali was high on our list so that was also a benefit of the land tour. There were many kids my kids ages on the tour so it really worked out nicely. When we got back, having been on several DCL cruises in the Caribbean, we looked back on the idea of the Alaska cruise and felt that while we would love just watching the scenery go by as adults, the kids would need more. When we added the cost of the daily excursions plus the cruise we realized the cruise did not make sense at that time in our lives. With Tauck, or ABD, all of that is included (and your meals too of course). I I could see us doing the cruise of Alaska when our kids were later in the teens as you do see something different there than the land tours. As others have mentioned, the weather in Alaska I think can make or break the trip in the sense of scenery. Our guide told us that for tours for the full month before us they had to go to Plan B for everything bc the weather was bad. Some didn't get to do the flightseeing over Denali or if they did, they did not see much. I think this all goes back to what you and your family see as a "vacation" as everyone's definition is different. But at the end of the day, ANY vacation with all of your family is worth it!! Have fun!
     





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