Friday, February 19, 2010

Have you or anyone you know ever been to Alaska?!

I ask this question because my family and I are planning a trip to Alaska for this summer! If you or anyone you know has been to Alaska, please comment with advice, pros, cons, suggestions, your experience, anything!

We have all been wanting to go to Alaska for the past few years on vacation and this ends up being the perfect summer for all of us to go. It will be myself, my parents and my brother. Because my brother is in highschool, we have to go during the summer months either in June or July and we are thinking June might be the best month. Based on reviews, May through September is the best time for vacationers to visit and it all depends on whether you are interested in seeing the snow-capped mountains or wildlife or whatever else interests you. At first we were just going to take an Alaskan cruise but we have now decided to go on an Alaskan cruisetour. For those of you who dont know what this is, you take a cruise around Alaska (however long you choose...usually around 7 nights) and then you actually get off the boat and stay in Alaska for the remainder of your vacation. You can choose to stay anywhere from 3 nights on land all the way up to 16 nights. From talking to people who have been to Alaska, they said there are way too many things you will miss if you don't get off the boat and explore inland.

Here are my questions for you :) If you have vacationed to Alaska, know someone how has been to Alaska or just know anything interesting or helpful for planning our vacation, I would love to hear about it!

When did you visit Alaska? How long did you stay? Did you just cruise or take a cruisetour? What route did you take to Alaska? What city did you fly into/cruise from? What cruise line did you use? What was your favorite city you visited there? What would you do again if you went back? What would you not do next time that you did the first visit?

Thank you sooo much for your input!! I appreciate it :)


  1. Never been, but that'll be fun. Maybe you'll see Russia.. ha

  2. Hi Kristen,

    Here's my comments on Alaska...I'll answer your questions first.

    I went to Alaska in 1999. (Sheesh...that seems so long ago now!) We did a three day trip before the cruise, a seven day cruise and a two day trip on the tale end. We flew up to Seattle and spent some time there before heading to Vancouver which is where the cruise left from. We used Princess and I totally recommend Princess! I loved Ketchikan. We went in Sept and were still able to see the salmon running. I also loved Juneau as I did a train ride trip into the interior and saw a lot of wildlife/countryside doing that. On the tale end we spent some time in Anchorage. I am planning to go back with my husband soon. We would definitely do Mount McKinley! I went with my mom, step-dad, grandmother, grandfather and two great aunts. We all regret not doing McKinley but did not have the time to do so. I was still in college and since it was Sept couldn't afford to miss that much school. And my mom and step-dad didn't want to take that much vacation. None of us realized what we were missing, though. I would love to revisit all the same cities/ports...but would choose different tours just to see more.

    We were looking at a package just yesterday that was on Holland-America, I believe. It was a pre-tour in Vancouver followed by the seven day cruise followed by a three day trip to McKinley and a four day trip further into the interior. I think we'd do that package, personally!

    If you go in July/August you will have crazy long days. I remember sitting with my grandmother, great aunts and mom in one of the bars on the ship with nothing but walls of windows. It was still daylight and then someone realized it was 2am and we needed to get to sleep so we'd be ready to sightsee the next day. It was pretty awesome! If you go towards the end of the summer you might have days where you can see glimpses of the northern lights. We did see them one night we were out...but that was Sept which doesn't sound like an option. I don't think I'd recommend May as the tourism aspect of Alaska shuts down for the winter and they'd just be starting up again. Definitely hit the middle of the summer if not the end.

    I hope this helps. Feel free to email me at if you have anymore questions or what anymore info.

  3. Hey! My uncle and his family live in Anchorage. I have never been, but I can get some information for you from him!

  4. I've never been to Alaska but have been bugging the hubby for us to go! You should stop by Seattle and see me on your way! :) Ha!

  5. We've been twice in 1995 & 1996 (about a week each time), and DH has been at least three other times. DH's siter/family lived in Anchorage for two years. We rented a large drive in RV (the guys went back another time and did a fishing/RV trip this way) and toured in it the first time and the second we took day trips out of Anchorage. The guys did lots of charter boat fishing and the girls/kids road the rail to Seward, took the boat out to see the glaciers from the water (much cooler from land IMO...nicer to be able to walk right up to a glacier and touch it, but it was cool to see the otters/sealions from boats). You will see MUCH more by land than the sea part, so get off the boat whenever you can. I would only go in the summertime and they really only have three months of good weather (and it wasn't warm enough for us to even wear shorts in the summer). You'll find there's not a lot to see or really even much charm in any of the cities/little towns (they look pretty dilapidated), the attractions are really the wildlife/scenery/glaciers you visit. I've got to run now, but if you want me to I can list some of our must-see's, don't know how long you'll have or what places be.

  6. I am so excited for you. Never been so I'm loving all the descriptions.

  7. That sounds like so much fun. My parents have done a cruise there and my sister travelled there to stay with her friend in June or July she loved it. She stayed witha local so if you want more info just let me know. I know she adored the food and lots of BBQ's

  8. Never been there but my hubby's parents went there for 14 days and LOVED every moment of it. I'd love for you to follow me too! Great blog!