Princess Cruises to Alaska ~ What to Know for a Great Trip

Updated: July 5th, 2019

We just got here back from an Alaskan cruise with Princess Cruises. After having among the best vacations ever, we needed to share what we discovered, supply ideas for packing, and reply some questions we had earlier than we went.

We went on the Ruby Princess Cruise to Alaska from Seattle. It was seven nights.

I knew my family would love being on the ship — who wouldn’t?! There’s a lot to do, even once the novelty of being on a cruise ship wears off. What’s not to love?

I additionally knew the meals decisions can be unimaginable. The food on the Ruby Princess method surpassed my high hopes and expectations.

As well as, the maybe once-in-a-lifetime probability to go to Alaska is unimaginable. I knew we might take pleasure in seeing the scenery and having fun recognizing marine life off the ship. It will be fun to explore the Alaskan ports.

Ruby Princess Cruise to Alaska Princess Cruises

We had a lot of questions once we booked our Alaska cruise. Then after we booked it, we had much more. What to do, what to pack for an Alaskan cruise, what time can we board the ship, and what is going to we do on the ship?

I additionally questioned if there was something we would wish to pay for as soon as on the ship. What is free and included if you go on a Princess cruise to Alaska? When is the primary meal on the ship?

We additionally questioned about what excursions to take and if there were other things to do within the cities. Would we’ve got to ebook an tour (aka spend money) in each port in order to have enjoyable?

When to go on an Alaskan cruise

For those who’ve been researching cruises to Alaska, you’ll have discovered it’s a brief season: mid April – September. We have been bringing our youngsters so we would have liked to work across the faculty calendar.

Is climate a factor?

We nervous less about chasing best weather and more concerning the worth and the week that labored greatest for us (proper after my youngsters acquired out of faculty earlier than their camps and sports began).

We knew the weather in Alaska won’t be the warmest; nevertheless, we all know sufficient about climate to know that something is feasible. So we took that out of the equation utterly.

Totally different months you’ll be able to see totally different wildlife

Additionally, depending on if you go, you will notice totally different wildlife. We additionally took this issue out of our determination. We might be proud of no matter wildlife we might give you the chance to see.

But when it’s necessary to you to give you the option to see humpback whales, seals, or salmon, then you must analysis to see which is the perfect time to improve your probabilities of seeing them. Nevertheless, like the climate, there isn’t a guarantee you’ll, so it will not be value it to plan your trip around it.

While it’s in all probability not one of the best plan, we booked our cruise with 32 days out. We went on-line by way of Costco Journey to analysis cruise strains, dates, ports, and prices. We chose a week in Might on Princess Cruises.

What cruise line is greatest for Seattle to Alaska

We hadn’t carried out any real analysis before reserving. I was going off of the constructive popularity Princess Cruises had.

Once we selected Princess Cruises, we didn’t know enough concerning the totally different ships to decide one over the other. Princess Cruise strains has many ships that go to Alaska.

It didn’t matter to us which ship we took as a result of we believed they might all be relatively the identical. They’re all supremely dedicated to the passengers, providing superb service, entertainment opportunities, and distinctive meals.

Ruby Princess viewStrolling alongside Ruby Princess, having fun with the view.

Once we booked, it also seemed the costs have been very comparable. It appeared to have to do with the date, how far out or how quickly you guide.

As soon as we began comparing the dates and the ships, we discovered seeing Glacier Bay National Park was an choice. Being not many cruise strains and ships have authority to cruise there, we selected the Ruby Princess cruise which did.

What to contemplate when booking a Princess cruise to Alaska

So finally, we selected our Princess cruise based mostly on:

  • Port it was leaving from: We needed to depart from Seattle.
  • Worth
  • Date
  • Glacier Bay Nationwide Park

However even when we didn’t see Glacier Bay National Park (GBNP), it still would have been fantastic.  If I had to do it once more, I wouldn’t have used that as criteria.

And again, so far as which Princess ship to go on, it didn’t matter to us. I hoped there can be a swimming pool and basketball courtroom but we didn’t analysis that until after we booked on the Ruby Princess. We have been completely happy to study the ship had both.

What sort of room to select when reserving a cruise?

On Princess Cruises, you’ll have four forms of rooms — cabins — to choose from.

For most individuals, it possible comes down to worth. We chose the Ocean View which is the second least costly room sort.

Once you guide the cruise, it is possible for you to to see a format of the rooms on the ship.

Taking a look at this diagram of the ship’s cabins didn’t tell us anything or assist us in any approach because we didn’t have a reference level. Now that we’ve been on the ship, we could have a better understanding for future cruises.

Given the prospect, you want to be toward the center of the ship. In this approach, there shall be less rocking and motion. Nevertheless, we have been near the front of the ship and only on one night time did we expertise any sort of turbulence.

Not figuring out what we have been doing, and booking final minute, nonetheless labored out perfectly advantageous for us. We have been proud of our rooms and the place they have been situated.

There have been 5 of us: grandma, mother, dad, two youngsters.

Grandma, mother and one baby shared a room with twin beds. Dad and one other baby shared a queen bed within the second room. We chose two Ocean View Staterooms.

Inside Stateroom

This will be the most cheap room. You gained’t have a window. Given I frightened about being seasick without being able to see the horizon, I didn’t need to select this room however it in all probability would have been wonderful.

Ocean View Stateroom on the Ruby Princess

We have been on the Emerald Deck which is Deck eight. We have been very proud of our cabins. They have been six rooms apart which made it fun and nonetheless convenient to travel.

These rooms exceeded my expectations in every approach. I anticipated them to be much smaller and more primary.

Even with an obstructed view for one of the rooms, we nonetheless might see the ocean and had privateness.

After reserving, we online there were choices to choose how to configure our rooms. We opted for twin bed in the room with three of us and a queen bed within the different room.

Ruby Princess twin bed configurationTwo twin beds plus there are two fold-down twin beds above.

They set the room with 4 twin beds; two on prime, and two on the regular floor degree.

We didn’t hear noise from anyone within the corridor or next to us or above us. This was a massive shock. We just had the mild rocking of the ship to go to sleep to.

Balcony Stateroom

I’ve been convincing my in-laws to go on an Alaskan cruise and am encouraging them to get a cabin with a balcony. I’m positive they may love sitting out on their very own personal balcony. In case you have the extra cash to take pleasure in a balcony, do it.

Suite Stateroom

I can solely dream of how fantastic suites have to be!

Reserving a Princess cruise

Then we referred to as the agent to guide it. It was straightforward. We would have liked to give them our names, delivery dates, and different info. We paid for the fees — listed clearly so we knew what to anticipate. We additionally paid the gratuity payment.

What do you pay for prematurely?

While cruises general could seem expensive, you’ve to keep in mind you’re paying for all the things upfront. On traditional holidays, you tend to pay as you go. Oftentimes, you don’t understand how a lot you pay.

We paid for the cruise, authorities charges, and gratuity prematurely.

What’s included within the cruise worth?

With the cruise worth, you will take pleasure in loads of food, lodging, transportation on the ship to the ports, and recreation and leisure on the ship.

For almost all of the cruise, the free drinks we had on the ship have been on the Lido Deck, which is the 15th flooring. They  embrace:

Self-serve drinks:

  • Water
  • Espresso with sugar, milk, cream
  • Tea — scorching water; tea luggage
  • Iced tea

Table service in the cafe; server pours drinks:

  • Orange juice – noticed for breakfast
  • Lemonade – noticed for lunch and dinner

For those who choose to prepay for a drink package deal, you’ll have entry to soda, specialty coffees, and alcohol. In any other case, you possibly can order a drink and provides them your cabin number. You possibly can pay directly at the end of the cruise. (We didn’t do this and fortunately drank water, espresso, and tea. One night time we ordered wine.)

Youngsters can even get a drink package deal which includes gentle drinks and lemonade. (Our youngsters drank water and didn’t do that.)

Government fees per individual

There’s an add-on charge as nicely. This shall be said clearly before you e-book. That is a payment which covers government charges, taxes and port bills.

This is a per individual payment.

Even should you get a good last-minute deal on the cruise worth, this worth gained’t change.


It might look like a lot that you’re paying a specific amount per day, per individual, for gratuities. Nevertheless, the fantastic factor is that like with the meals, you’ve got already paid, so you don’t have to worry about it.

As soon as you’re on board the ship for a couple of days and see all of the service employees serving to you, you will understand this was a small worth to pay.

The service we had on the Ruby Princess was superb. There have been all the time staff around making an attempt to guarantee you might have what you need.

The gratuity payment is predicated on your room. For instance, our room with the Ocean View Stateroom, it was $15 per day, per individual. It’s much less for the Inside Stateroom (no window) and extra for the Balcony Stateroom and Suite Stateroom.

It’s simply a few dollars more per individual in gratuity charges for the “better” rooms.

Observe if there are extras you pay for, such because the spa, you will have to tip.

Getting to the ship and back house again

You’ll have to get from your own home to the ship. Additionally, you will need to discover a means to get from the ship again to your house.

We drove to the airport from our house and left our automotive within the airport parking zone.

As soon as in Seattle, there are alternatives. You possibly can take a $29 per individual shuttle from the Seattle Tacoma Worldwide Airport to the cruise ship.

Because there were 5 of us, it made more sense for us to take a Lyft from the airport.

In case you are staying at a lodge in Seattle, ensure to ebook one that has a shuttle to the port to get monetary savings and problem.

When our cruise (sadly) was over, we ordered one other Lyft to get again to the airport. We did hear someone promoting rides for $15 per individual but we had already referred to as for a automotive.

Optionally available issues to pay for on the cruise

Know that when you’ve booked your cruise, paid for the cruise worth, the federal government charges, and the gratuity expenses, every thing else becomes versatile.

After that, there isn’t something you HAVE to pay for as soon as you’re on the cruise to Alaska.

Will probably be your selection to spend money elsewhere.

Specialty restaurants and menu gadgets

Once on the ship, it’s your selection to pay further for meals in a specialty restaurant or from the primary menu.

We have been thrilled with all the “free food” on the ship and couldn’t think about what more we might probably need to eat that may be value paying for.

As well as to the specialty eating places, there’s a small section on the menu in the “included” DaVinci and Michelangelo dining rooms that you would pay further for. Actually, we had so many decisions that have been free/included and fantastic, we didn’t even learn those choices. We definitely didn’t miss them.

Drink packages and drinks

See above the place we talk about the drinks which are “free” on the cruise. Whereas they offer totally different drink packages, should you don’t buy one, you possibly can nonetheless order specialty coffees, coffees, and alcoholic drinks and charge them to your cabin.


They have a spa on the Ruby Princess. We didn’t inquire about providers or prices but saw it. It appeared very nice.

On line casino, bingo, and so on.

They’ve a casino on the ship. There were additionally some Bingo and other games of probability on the schedule activities.

Artwork gallery

That they had a silent auction with work. You’ll be able to take pleasure in walking via the galleries to see the gorgeous pieces (for free).

Different purchases on the ship

They have a little shop on the ship. There’s additionally a jewellery store which ran a lot of promotions and events.

We did fairly advantageous not making purchases on the ship excluding shopping for the Princess Cookbook. As well as, one evening we had wine.

All the additional spending might be your selection.

Spending money in the Alaskan ports

Yes, it’s your decision to pay for excursions prematurely or in the Alaskan ports. It’s your decision to purchase souvenirs or go out to eat somewhere aside from in your cruise ship.

But all of these are extras and not obligatory. Whereas the excursions are very enjoyable and a smart way to expertise the Alaskan city, you’ll have tons to discover both method.

After booking Alaskan cruise ~ what to do

Keep in mind to consider the cruise as you’d an all-inclusive resort. You pay upfront as an alternative of as you go.

It’s nice to not all the time have to be paying for a meal and transportation like vacationers typically do with different kinds of holidays.

We have been excited for our round-trip cruise to Alaska from Seattle. It was 7 nights. We have been going to be cruising on the Ruby Princess Alaskan cruise.

That evening, we seemed for and booked flights to Seattle.

Flying in the day before the cruise

Most cruise specialists will say to fly in the day earlier than. This makes good sense due to the unpredictability with flights and weather.

Nevertheless, we didn’t do this. We have been making an attempt to get monetary savings and the effort of getting a lodge room the night time earlier than.

We also have been going with my mom who was flying in from one other state.

So, whereas we acquired lucky it worked out, it in all probability better to fly in the day before, get a lodge, and then make your method to the ship later that morning.

As an alternative, we flew from Tucson to Seattle on an early flight earlier than 7am. My mother flew in from Chicago on an early flight a properly. We met up simply on the baggage claim area within the Sea-Tac Airport and made our approach to the cruise terminal.

It labored out rather well for us but observe we took a massive probability doing this.

Boarding Princess Cruises the primary day

We did our check-in process on-line at residence. This made it straightforward to get by means of the cruise terminal as all we had to do was show our paperwork and identification.

Ensure to do that at house before your cruise.

Once we made it to the cruise terminal, we waited outdoors in line. We arrived round 11am. It was a little chilly and wet. We have been in a position to take out our waterproof jackets and hats to keep heat.

The road went shortly and soon we have been inside the terminal.

The employees within the cruise terminal have been very constructive and pleasant, making it a simple process to get by means of. They really helped to start our trip positively.

They may take your baggage from you and have it waiting for you outdoors your cabin. We have been in a position to take out a few gadgets we didn’t need to depart in our suitcases.

We have been on the ship inside 45 – 55 minutes from getting out of our Lyft.

Eating lunch the first day on the cruise

It was a nice shock that when boarding the cruise, we in a position to eat lunch. We went up to the Lido Deck on 15 to take pleasure in a buffet lunch.

Alaska cruise from Seattle

There was so much to select from, together with carving stations, fruit, greens, salads, fish, rolls, desserts, and extra. There’s something for everyone, and also you get to enjoy the lovely views of downtown Seattle, together with the Area Needle.

Our rooms have been ready around 1pm, and all of our luggage was outdoors the door. We rested a bit earlier than going to the Safety presentation.

The whole course of was seamless. A bonus was we have been in a position to take pleasure in more time on the ship that first day of what turned out to be a fantastic cruise trip.

What to do after reserving cruise and flights

We booked our cruise and our flights, now what?

While we didn’t do a large quantity of analysis before booking, we had some questions as we began getting excited about our cruise.

I questioned about packing for the cruise and in addition what excursions to do at the Alaskan ports.

What to pack for an Alaskan cruise

The 5 of us all introduced a carry-on suitcase and a backpack or duffel bag. Because we didn’t want to pay to examine luggage meant we had to pack sensible.

Packing for an Alaskan cruise is totally different than packing for a Caribbean cruise and more predictable climates.

Cold climate clothing takes up extra room. Also, for a warmer climate, ladies’s clothing is more versatile. You’ll be able to wear a sundress in the course of the day and gown it up for dinner.

I was additionally nervous about what to pack  a formal night time on the Alaskan cruise.

Packing layers for Alaskan cruise

Layers. That’s all I heard once I researched packing for an Alaskan cruise. I used to be sick of seeing that phrase. What does that imply in Alaska? How do I maximize my wardrobe with layers for the ship, including days at sea and for dinner?

I used to be uninterested in listening to about bringing layers. I needed to know what it mean within the context of this trip.

With a few key gadgets — these three under — I’m thrilled to say I completed dressing in layers AND packing mild:

Rain jacket with hood

I bought a Columbia waterproof jacket with adjustable hood. I bought an unlined one as a result of I stay in a scorching local weather and needed to find a way to get more put on out of it.

This jacket protected me from the wind. I might cinch the hood when it was windy. On the first day as we waited in line to get by means of the process to get on the ship, it was raining and cold. This jacket served it’s objective right off.

It was straightforward to match my puffy vest underneath. I wore a long sleeve shirt underneath it. These pieces made it straightforward to shed layers as it received warmer throughout the day.

Then at night time, it was straightforward to begin placing them again on.

Puffy vest

I already owned a packable zippered vest. I made positive the long sleeve shirts I brought matched the vest. It was versatile to wear with my denims, leggings, athletic pants and even my black skirt. I had a scarf that also made it extra versatile and hotter.

It had a zippered detachable hood however I didn’t convey it.

Good strolling footwear

Something about sporting fitness center footwear with my denims and black stretch pants/leggings makes me feel like a slob. I discovered amazingly snug black Sketchers without laces. I wore them for all the journey.

They went with every little thing besides for formal night time. I wore them on the aircraft and packed my heels for the particular dinners.

I was so proud of how snug they have been and the way I used to be in a position to wear them around Alaska, together with climbing, and throughout the ship. They seemed good with jeans as nicely for dinner.

They have been versatile sufficient to slip on once I went between our two cabins. I was in a position to put on them for hours walking around Alaska — we walked a lot in Juneau, Skagway and Ketchikan — and was equally snug strolling round on the cruise ship, on the monitor, to play basketball with my youngsters, and so forth.

Packing for Alaska cruise

In Alaska through the day, all of us wore pants. At every port, I walked round in denims, black stretch pants or yoga pants and a brief sleeve shirt beneath a lengthy sleeve shirt and my rain jacket.

I took off my rain jacket as the days have been warm. Truly, I was wonderful in my brief sleeve shirt more often than not. It was useful to put the unneeded layers in my backpack.

Different things to deliver on cruise to Alaska

Sun shades

Having polarized sunglasses isn’t mandatory nevertheless it made every part sharper and clearer.

Good digital camera

Until you might have an updated cellular phone that takes fantastic footage, deliver a respectable digital camera. Deliver additional batteries, a charger, a further reminiscence card… whatever you may need so that you don’t feel yourself holding back from taking footage.

Beanie ski hat

At occasions will probably be windy and chilly. You don’t need to have to hold down your baseball cap and worry about it blowing away. Deliver a ski hat which can maintain your ears warm. You possibly can simply put it in your pocket as the day warms up.

Small purse

I noticed a lot of individuals walking round with their room key in a lanyard round their necks. We didn’t do this.

I carried a small black purse for dinner and across the ship to maintain my telephone, room key, ID, and digital camera. This additionally fit simply in my backpack once I was in Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan and Victoria.


We only had one pair at residence, and I’m glad my husband thought to convey them. I wish we had no less than yet one more pair.

Once we have been in Glacier Bay National Park (a day at sea) we spent hours searching on the scenery and searching for marine life. Typically occasions we shared the binoculars and missed seeing some exercise.

It will have been great to have each had a pair.

You want these to higher see the humpback whales, seals, sea otters, orca whales, and other wildlife within the distance.


I received a lot of wear and tear out of my skinny scarf. It labored as a trend piece with my long sleeve tee shirts, and altered up the look once I was sporting my puffy vest. It additionally stored me heat on our first day when it rained in Seattle.

Kindle or ebook

In case you are a quick reader or plan to learn and chill out once on the ship, you want to obtain multiple e-book. For us, we learn on the aircraft and for solely about 30 minutes on the ship.

We positive want we had more time to loosen up but there was a lot to do, plus we went with our youngsters and spent a lot of time exploring and enjoying cards, and so on. with them.

Alarm clock

I’m thrilled I brought my alarm clock. It’s very straightforward to get hooked on utilizing a cellphone for an alarm and to know the time.

Nevertheless, I didn’t want to worry about my telephone on the trip — especially because we gained an hour originally of the cruise after which moved the clock again once more toward the top. Would my telephone reset? I didn’t need to worry determining what time it was.

My alarm clock was good. It’s small and straightforward to pack. It’s battery operated. To see the time at midnight, I press a button. I like that it stays dark.

Small thermos

I saw a few individuals with slim Thermos-type bottles. There were signs within the beverage space to not refill you water bottle from the water spouts.

I did see individuals refill their small leak-proof coffee/tea holder — most people I saw do this used it for tea. I didn’t miss having this; nevertheless, my mom would have enjoyed the comfort of having the ability to carry round tea or espresso.

Reusable bag

Convey a nylon reusable bag that doesn’t take a lot of room. We used ours a lot on the ship. It’s straightforward to tuck into a backpack, jacket pocket, or purse. I used it a lot for carrying games and my youngsters sweatshirts across the ship.

Ketchitkan port Totem pole in Ketchikan

Small backpack

I carried a backpack to all the Alaskan ports and to Victoria, Canada.

It was a convenient method to deliver water bottles, sweatshirts, and so forth. It got here in useful every time, particularly as it acquired warmer throughout the day. I also packed the reusable bag within the backpack and used at once we shed more of our layers.

Sunscreen stick

We didn’t deliver a face sunscreen stick but would have used it if we did. The days we have been in Juneau, Skagway, and Ketchikan have been sunny and heat.


I purchased Dramamine earlier than we went on the cruise. Our rooms have been toward the entrance of the ship — recognized to be extra rocky than being within the middle.

Ensure to buy non-drowsy Dramamine.

My husband and I have been a little seasick strolling around the ship the first afternoon. Nevertheless, a lot of that in all probability had to do with being very tired. After we arrived on board, ate lunch, walked around a bit, we tried resting in our cabins for an hour and felt a lot better afterwards.

We would have liked lip balm while we have been in Skagway and found a nice IGA store.

They do have a store on-board the place you will get essential gadgets as properly. We didn’t see it until the middle of the week.


I brought stretchy gloves for all of us but we didn’t wear them. These have been small to pack, and I’m glad I introduced them and would once more just in case.

Telephone chargers

While I didn’t want to use my telephone on the trip, I did carry it with me to communicate with my teen and husband. We didn’t buy the internet package deal. At no cost, we have been in a position to use the messaging / texting to reach one another.

Alaskan cruise packing record

Apart from wishing we had multiple pair of binoculars and a small carafe for coffee, there wasn’t anything I wish I introduced.

The most effective factor I brought was my unlined waterproof jacket.

What to wear on formal night time on Princess cruise to Alaska

The Ruby Princess has two formal nights on the 7 night time cruise.

The gown code might be the identical for all the Princess Cruises to Alaska. We attended the two formal nights.

Our ship left on a Saturday and returned the following Saturday. The formal nights on our cruise have been Monday night time and Thursday night time.

After seeing what everybody wore to these gown up nights:

It seemed like you have been meant to make an effort.

What’s nice about that is that it may be totally different for everybody. It might rely upon what you have already got at house. An enormous issue for us was area in the suitcase. Do you have got room for formal apparel? Will you pack a garment bag with a go well with or formal gown?

Something “nicer” goes on formal night time. Simply making an effort will make you are feeling a part of the thrill.

Ladies dressing for formal night time on Alaskan cruise

As a result of we have been solely bringing carry-on luggage, we went more easy. I packed heels and a sleeveless sheath gown with a dressier necklace — not expensive/actual jewelry.

For the second night time, I had a fancier prime with the same necklace and a easy black skirt. I wore the sames heels both nights.

Ladies have been in a variety of outfits. Some have been in gowns, some in nice clothes, and different ladies paired blouses and sweaters with good pants or a skirt.

Men dressing for formal night time on Alaskan cruise

My husband decided not to pack gown clothing and wasn’t going to attend formal night time.

At that time, we thought there was just one formal night time on the cruise. We didn’t know there have been two formal nights.

So, had he recognized there were two — and that he would have gotten two “wears” out of his nicer shirt, pants, and footwear, he might have introduced them.

Several males have been in suits, many have been in collared, button-down shirts with ties, and others had nicer shirts. Again, it appeared everyone “made an effort” not directly.

Youngsters dressing for formal night time on the cruise

My sons wore good pants — dark twill pants — and polo shirts. They wore their tennis footwear.

They have been completely high quality and appeared good-looking.

Going to formal night time on Princess Cruises

You actually don’t want to miss formal night time. The wait employees clothes up; the meals is (even more) additional special; and there’s a featured dessert in addition to the opposite fantastic decisions.

For our first formal night time we enjoyed duck. On the second, we enjoyed lobster tail. As with all of the night meals in the Michelango and Da Vinci Eating Rooms, there’s a lot to select from on the menu.

Formal night time on Princess Cruises

For each of the formal nights, we arrived earlier, round 5 – 5:30pm. It was less crowded.

On the second formal night time, one of many waitstaff recognized my husband wasn’t there and asked about him. I stated how he didn’t deliver clothes for formal night time. He stated how he should have come anyway, that it might have been superb… everybody wears something. It was nice of him to take the time to observe my husband wasn’t there and appeared to feel badly my husband missed out.

My husband was effective however would have liked going to the formal nights and undoubtedly will should we now have this chance again. As an alternative, he loved consuming elsewhere, reading and enjoyable till met up afterward.

How many formal nights on Ruby Princess?

Our 7-night cruise had two formal nights. Go to each of them. You may be thrilled with the evening.

Whereas the dinners in the DaVinci Dining Room and Michelangelo Eating Room are unimaginable any day, on formal night time, the foods are even a step above. The waitstaff shall be even more dressed up. You’ll be able to anticipate the identical skilled, attentive and well mannered service as the opposite evenings.

The second formal night time on the Ruby Princess includes the waitstaff in a actually fun means. We liked it!

Packing ideas for Alaskan cruise

You by no means know the fascinating belongings you may find in the ports, so make sure to depart room for souvenirs. We packed some snacks for touring to and from the cruise ship so we had additional area in our backpacks for Alaskan souvenirs.

For those who need toiletry gadgets, the ship’s store in all probability has them. We didn’t go into the shop until later in the journey.

Packing for youngsters for Alaskan cruise

My youngsters introduced two pairs of athletic pants. Nevertheless, my youngsters both wore the identical pants most of the time. My older teen wore his darkish twill blue pants and my tween wore his skinny jeans (which is humorous because he by no means wore them at residence).

They brought one pair of pajama bottoms and slept in a dri-fit sort tee shirt. Every of them introduced a waterproof jacket and a sweatshirt. They brought two lengthy sleeve dri-fit sort shirts as properly for layering however didn’t put on them.

The ski caps they packed have been good. They wore their health club footwear on the aircraft and solely packed their slides. They wore their slides a lot on the ship (besides for dinner) and health club footwear to the ports.

Ruby Princess Alaskan cruise

We enjoyed family time, sightseeing, taking within the surroundings, wanting for marine life, and having enjoyable exploring all there was to do on the ship.

Electronics on Princess Cruises

We have been wanting forward to screen-free time on the cruise.

The one electronics we brought have been my older son had his telephone. This was useful for when he went down to the Teen Room in the Youngsters Membership. He has a good sense of course, so we let him have a little independence and meet us a few occasions.

Both youngsters brought their Kindles.

We arrange the Princess Cruises app which was free. It enabled us to send text messages for no cost. In addition, we have been in a position to pull up the day by day schedule of events, and so forth. on our telephones.

We walked previous an space with desktop computers and noticed a few individuals in there using them.

Will there be a lot of youngsters on the Alaskan cruise

We went on our Alaskan cruise from Saturday, Might 25th to Saturday, June 1st. Our youngsters received out of faculty on the Wednesday before Memorial Day, and we left that Saturday.

We hardly saw any youngsters the whole cruise. All through the cruise, we noticed a few toddlers. There were a few tweens and teenagers within the Youngsters Membership.

Nevertheless, around the ship, we might go a whole day and see only one or two youngsters.

Know that the earlier the season you go on an Alaskan cruise, the much less youngsters you will notice. Faculties are still in session in April and all through most of Might. Many don’t get out until June.

In addition, going toward the top of August and all via September will imply much less youngsters as properly. In america, most faculties are back in session right after Labor Day at the newest. So in the event you go after Labor Day, you’ll more than likely see less youngsters on the cruise

Is it crowded on the cruise ship?

The only day that seemed a bit crowded was the first day. Individuals have been all arriving and utilizing the elevators for lunch as soon as they boarded. There was a little little bit of a wait for the elevator.

Nevertheless, after that first afternoon, as soon as everyone’s rooms have been prepared and other people might go to their cabins, it wasn’t crowded in any respect.

Excluding seeing the service employees, we didn’t we see the same individuals time and again. Only as soon as do I keep in mind seeing the identical individual twice!

Most people will get off the ship to visit the ports, making the ship even emptier-feeling.

Alaska ports

Our ship stopped in Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan, Glacier Bay Nationwide Park, and Victoria, Canada. The Glacier Bay Nationwide Park was a day at sea; we didn’t get off the ship. We have been in a position to go 65 miles in to see the well-known glacier, enjoying the scenery there and again.

We weren’t far sufficient north to see the Northern Lights; nevertheless, the whole lot we saw was stellar and luxurious.

Days at sea on Ruby Princess

We liked our days at sea.

Before reserving our trip, we looked at totally different itineraries online. Some had more days at sea than others. Whereas I needed to see what we might in Alaska, I used to be especially excited to spend as many days at sea as attainable.

Princess cruise ships are enjoyable! There’s so much to do on a cruise — it’s a vacation itself on the ship — plus all the beautiful surroundings and in depth eating. I do know my youngsters and household can be enthralled with all of it.

And while I went in with excessive hopes and expectations, the Ruby Princess was even higher than I imagined.

We completely loved what Princess Cruises had to supply. We took advantage of so many issues: swimming swimming pools, scorching tubs, big theater, basketball courtroom, putt putt mini golf, spontaneous entertainment and deliberate entertainment, and so much more on the ship.

We sat in several areas and performed cards. There was even a Library on the Ruby Princess. You’ll be able to take a look at books and video games.

Time flies if you find yourself having enjoyable so make sure to think about what you need to do and be certain to match it in. We want we had another week to continue the cruise ship fun.

We might have liked extra time to loosen up on the lounge chairs to read, eat, and enjoy the scenery.

Plenty of scheduled activities on board Princess Cruises

Every day there’s a calendar of events. Each night, once we returned from our night of enjoyable — dinner, strolling around, enjoying playing cards, taking in a present, and so forth. — we might come again to our cabin. On the mattress is a listing of scheduled actions for the subsequent day.

You can even entry this from the Princess Cruises app.

You’ll be able to select to take part in something or not. Many occasions have been there overlapping issues we needed to do.


We occurred to be strolling by a Fruit Carving Demonstration in the Piazza and stayed to watch.

Later in the week, we noticed there was an Ice Carving Demonstration on the Lido Deck which we loved.

ice carving on Princess Cruises

In addition, we went to a Culinary Demonstration in the Princess Theater followed by a walk-through of the kitchen.

Plenty of things to do

My youngsters enjoyed the basketball shootout competition.

We frolicked at night time with a dance crowd to watch the balloon drop.

One other time, we walked previous a ping pong event towards a few of the cruise ship employees. As soon as we walked past passengers gathered around for a recreation present.

You simply show up! For those who go, take pleasure in! When you don’t and choose something else, that’s high quality too.

There was additionally a Household Night time at the Youth Middle and Teen Lounge. All the household is invited to hang out and play skee ball, air hockey, board games, video games, and so forth. It was a enjoyable approach to acquaint ourselves and our youngsters with the rooms.

Exhibits in the Princess Theater

While we want we had time to see more the performances in the Princess Theater, we have been glad we saw Libby Riddles present. She was the first lady to win the Iditarod.

In addition, we attended the speak from the Nationwide Park Service whereas we have been in Glacier Bay National Park.

We attended a culinary present with a cooking demonstration adopted by a kitchen tour.

Later that day, we attended the 50-minute finale of a singing competitors which had been happening all through the week with the passengers. It was tons of fun. My youngsters liked being able to vote for the winner. It was rather well executed.

Fitness and recreation on the Star Deck

On the 19th flooring — the top flooring — there’s a sports deck. There’s a lot to take pleasure in. My family went up there many occasions.

Princess Links mini golf

There’s a mini golf course with four holes. You need to use the putters and golf balls and return them when you’re finished.

Basketball and pickle ball courtroom

There’s a internet above the sports activities courtroom to hold the balls from going overboard. At occasions it was windy and chilly. We all the time brought our hats simply in case.

There’s a basketball courtroom with two nets. There have been four balls there to use.

As well as, the courtroom doubles as a pickle ball courtroom. There was a internet, paddles and balls there to use.

Is the sports courtroom crowded? No.

There was one time we went up to play basketball however adults have been enjoying pickle ball. We performed miniature golf as an alternative.

Another time, we have been enjoying basketball, and adults got here hoping to play pickle ball. They went to play putt putt till we finished.

A couple of occasions we shared the basketball courtroom and the putt putt course however everybody was respectful.

Verify the schedule as a result of typically Princess Cruises has a deliberate exercise on the courtroom you might want to do. My youngsters did the basketball shootout. Typically we noticed pickle ball on the schedule.


On flooring 19, there’s also a small monitor. Should you stroll 16 occasions round, you’ll have walked one mile. You may be lapping the putt putt area and enjoying searching at the water.

It’s also enjoyable to walk on decks 7 and eight (Promenade and Emerald decks) to benefit from the views. You’ll be able to walk around the ship 2.5 occasions, and you’ll have walked a mile.

Health middle

After we obtained house, my husband mentioned one thing about a health middle on the cruise. There was a lot to do and see, I didn’t even know there was one.

Swimming pools on Princess Cruises to Alaska

We questioned if the swimming pools have been inside or outdoors on Alaskan cruises.

The swimming swimming pools are outdoors on a Princess cruise. Should you luck out with the weather like we did, you will take pleasure in swimming within the sunshine, and you may overlook you’re in Alaska! It was lovely.

There are several swimming pools and scorching tubs on the ship. There are seashore towels nearby so you don’t have to fear about packing them.

I didn’t pack my swimsuit due to area in my luggage and because we’ve a pool. Nevertheless, my husband and youngsters enjoyed time within the pool at some point once we obtained again from a port. The sun was shining and since the ship was docked, it was that a lot warmer.

We noticed individuals having fun with the swimming pools and scorching tubs all through the week. There was the day we have been at sea once we have been in Glacier Bay Nationwide Park, and it was so warm and sunny. There were a lot of individuals enjoying the lounge chairs, scorching tubs and swimming swimming pools. However even then, it wasn’t crowded, and I noticed just three youngsters.

Alternatives to be lively on the Ruby Princess

Whether you take pleasure in swimming, exercising, walking, or being lively on the sports activities courtroom on the Sky Deck, you will be able to get exercise if you need to. At occasions, my youngsters and I took the steps as an alternative of the elevator to get more steps in.

Nightlife on Ruby Princess

There are a lot of restaurants and lounges on the Ruby Princess ship. You’ll be able to take pleasure in bands, singers, dancing, particular gatherings, and more.

Whereas we did partake in the balloon drop — which turned out to be a fun night time with an announcer, band, and singer, we spent a lot of the different evenings within the lounges, enjoying playing cards and hanging out.

balloon drop on Princess Cruisesballoon drop dance social gathering on Ruby Princess

You might order a drink or not. Oftentimes, they brought us water. There wasn’t any strain in any way to order to do something yet the employees was attentive in case you needed something.

There’s a on line casino and the Princess Theater for further entertainment.

Have in mind, you can do whatever you are feeling like doing. You possibly can go to one of many prime decks and sit on a lounge chair with coffee. You’ll be able to go get extra to eat. Go dancing if you’d like. It’s your vacation, and you may spend your days and evenings as you would like.

Outside films on the cruise

Take pleasure in a film on the lounge chair watching a movie on the large display.

We didn’t have time to benefit from this. We noticed the employees putting cushions and pillows on the lounge chairs for a cozy night film experience. They even had blankets you would use.

The subsequent time we go — if we could be so lucky as to go once more — we will certainly be watching a film!

Wanting for wildlife on Alaskan Cruise

The Ruby Princess cruise we took had a day at sea whereas we had the prospect to see Glacier Bay National Park. We spent a lot of time watching for marine life which was very fun.

Deliver binoculars and a respectable digital camera so you will get some good photographs.

Once more, we went Memorial Day week in Might. Throughout our cruise, we have been fortunate take pleasure in to see humpback whales, orca whales, sea otters, and seals. One seal got here right up to the ship. It all happens fast though so you want to be watching.

At occasions, there was an announcer who was recognizing the marine life making it actually helpful for passengers who have been enthusiastic about spotting them.

The binoculars make it even better.

Waking up early when in Glacier Bay Nationwide Park

Do ensure to wake up early some mornings. It’s necessary to wake up as early as you’ll be able to the day your cruise ship is in Glacier Bay Nationwide Park.

Whereas a lot of the time on the water will be the similar — we liked it! — the time you spend in Glacier Bay National Park or any area with the glaciers corresponding to Hubbard Glacier on other Princess Cruises to Alaska — will probably be unique.

At occasions you will notice ice floating in the water. We saw a lot of wildlife, including birds. You’ll be able to benefit from the views and should have a higher probability to see marine life. We saw a lot of whales, sea otters and seals.

Benefit from your time spent in these glacier areas. It’s a magical time.

Ruby Princess cruise assessment

Superb food

We didn’t want to spend any money as soon as we have been on the ship to eat nicely. The meals was outstanding. We ordered so many various meals, together with duck, salmon, surf & turf, crab legs, mussels, scallops, prawns, and shrimp cocktail. In case you don’t eat seafood, you’ll have so many other fantastic decisions.

We actually beloved we might eat so many various foods. And whilst we enjoyed a fabulous meal in the Michelangelo Dining Room for dinner, we knew there have been implausible foods in the Horizon Cafe on Deck 15, and in the International Cafe on Deck 5, as well as many different choices. It just went on and on.


The service was outstanding. Once we have been eating dinner in the Michelangelo Dining Room, I might easily see five waitstaff at any time.

The waitstaff was attentive, professional and polite. They made it an exceptional eating experience every time we have been there.

The Head Waiter, was absolutely incredible. He dealt with our son’s food allergic reactions so nicely.

It’s all the time demanding once we eat out and this man went ABOVE and BEYOND making it protected and particular for my son. When you’ve got a baby with meals points, you understand how much it means to have them included in — moderately than overlooked of — meals.

Enjoyable trip

So many occasions on trip, we’re worrying about the place to eat and driving here and there. We have now to verify into inns and depart once more to see something else. With a cruise, you show up and it’s finished! You possibly can truly take pleasure in your vacation in a protected and carefree approach.

Get to do something in your down time

On different holidays, we often spend the days sightseeing and the evenings in our lodge room. There’s nothing to do however watch television.

On a cruise, it’s utterly totally different. You’ll be able to spend the day exploring one of many Alaskan ports after which come back to take pleasure in dinner and proceed on with a whole evening of fun.

Eating dinner on the cruise

Anytime dining versus Conventional eating

Anytime dining

We selected Anytime dining. On the Ruby Princess, this meant we might eat within the Michelangelo Eating Room anytime after four:30pm.

Once we booked our cruise, we have been informed anytime after 5:30pm so we didn’t know we might have gone earlier until halfway by means of our cruise.

We favored going earlier — even 5:30pm was good — as a result of it enabled us to have more time with our unimaginable Head Waiter, who helped us immensely with our son’s meals allergic reactions.

Conventional dining

On the Ruby Princess, this meant you choose a dining time and have the identical table, similar waitstaff and similar table mates (individuals you then dine with all through the cruise) within the Da Vinci Dining Room on the 5th flooring.

If you need to dine alone, you possibly can. Be certain to state this once you e-book your cruise.

While the Da Vinci Dining Room is for passengers who chosen Traditional Dining, after 7:30pm, anyone can eat there.

Food allergic reactions on Princess Cruises

Once we booked our cruise by means of Costco, the agent asked us about meals allergic reactions. We advised them about my son. His is an unusual intolerance which makes it troublesome for him to have desserts in addition to meals with vegetable oil.

On our first night time at dinner in the Michelangelo Dining Room, we requested to converse with the Head Waiter. I gave him a record of all the elements my son couldn’t have. Most of them can be in breadings, French fries, and desserts.

The Head Waiter was exceptional. He took the time to study it and the ways he might work across the allergic reactions so my son might still attempt new meals and have desserts. Although the intolerance/allergy is rare, he took the time to examine on his own and was proactive about speaking with the chefs, studying components, and so on.

The chef made this cake protected for my son.

He gave my son the menu every night time for the subsequent day. My son pre-ordered his food. This was a lot of labor as a result of our Head Waiter had to work with the kitchen employees and cooks to positive every part was protected for him.

In addition to that, he went out of his approach to deliver uncooked vegetables as an appetizer for him. After that, he worked with the chefs to provide you with desserts he might have. This was superb as that they had to make these special for him.

Throughout the cruise, the Head Waiter made my son feel very special. He was skilled, knowledgeable and took satisfaction in his work. He is a big asset to Princess Cruises and my family shall be eternally grateful for the best way he cared for our son. We had among the best vacations ever not having to fear about food. My son tried new foods, had large desserts, and didn’t get sick in any respect.

Another superb and protected dessert they made.

I’m positive the Head Waiter had a long listing of special meals accommodations for other passengers. We all the time saw him working with employees and visitors, and regardless of his workload, all the time appeared calm and professional.

But, despite the quantity of obligations he had, he worked so arduous for us, he made us feel like we have been the one ones.

Princess Cruises employees on Ruby Princess cruise to Alaska

From our experience on the Ruby Princess, all the staff work very arduous to offer you each alternative to take pleasure in yourself in a carefree method.

The employees was service-focused, not just service-oriented. (There’s a difference!)

Every single worker we encountered was professional, well mannered, and (amazingly) all the time appeared pleased to be doing their jobs.

The service staff have been all the time doing one thing. They have been all the time working onerous whereas placing the client first.

None of us needed our trip to end. We might love to go back.

Princess Cruise Alaska

We liked our vacation. While the climate was good, even when it wasn’t, there’s so much to do on the ship, you’ll have a nice time. It’s a true trip — with out all of the planning, determining meals, driving and dealing with transportation, worrying about the place you’re and whether or not it’s protected, and so on.

Whether or not you’re taking an Alaska cruise from Seattle or from a port in Canada or Alaska, it’s a distinctive vacation in so many ways.

Ruby Princess Cruise Alaskan cruise assessment

We have been thrilled our selection of taking an Alaskan cruise. We didn’t “choose” the Ruby Princess — it’s the ship that worked greatest with our dates and worth. Nevertheless, we liked it and can advocate it repeatedly.

Know you gained’t have enough time to take pleasure in all the ship has to supply. When you’re again after exploring the ports, you can do as a lot or as little as you want.

So many occasions on holidays, we are stressed and have to achieve this a lot planning, driving, and worrying. On a cruise, all you’ve to do is do the preliminary work to get on the ship after which take pleasure in. It’s really a vacation.

You don’t have to worry about getting from Level A to Point B. It’s a very protected method to journey. It’s really a stress-free, “real” vacation.

And the food! Sometimes on holidays, there’s all the time discussion about the place to go, when to eat, and so on. You don’t have any of that with a Princess Cruise.

Cruise to Alaska

We will solely hope to cruise to Alaska once more or cruise to a totally different destination. I might go as typically as attainable and keep so long as potential. It’s such a simple trip to go on with youngsters. We weren’t glued to our telephones — we have been within the second, exploring, having fun with, and so forth.

There’s something for everybody on the Ruby Princess. That’s the wonderful thing about it. Options. There are many options for whatever you want to do, whether or not it comes to consuming, recreation, leisure, enjoyable, train, scenery/wildlife, learning, and so on.

We’ve many more footage and plenty of videos we might be including to this publish, so examine again. Have you traveled on a cruise to Alaska? What are your ideas? Please depart your Comments under.