When Dreaming of an Alaska Vacation you can
imagine the romantic essence of yourself in King Salmon, roaming the Alaskan desert taking wildlife photos or simply observing the inspiring beauty … but there's more.
Alaska remains one of the last frontiers of our
planet . Its harsh and extremely rugged environment can test any well-equipped adventurer. However, for the wise, you can get involved in an exciting Alaskan vacation, experience the rugged Alaskan surroundings, the inspiring beauty and partake in the adventurous Alaskan environment, whether or not.
as you wish. And you can do it all from the safety of your home away from home!
Your Alaska vacation scene, your home away from home, is
aboard one of the most spectacular modes of transport known today, a luxury cruise ship. True, these cruise ships are monstrous in their own right, diminished by mountain peaks and colossal glacier ice fields. However, you have the opportunity to experience some of Alaska's finest, from the luxury and comfort of your home away from home, a cruise ship. What
Romantic way to travel!
Advantages of living in the northwest …
For those living in the Pacific Northwest, you have the facility and
Advantage Of Spending A Wonderful Alaska Vacation Driving A Vehicle To Your Departure Port, Seattle, Astoria
or Vancouver, BC; making your Alaska vacation a lot more vacation.
You will experience the joys of NOT having to deal with the anxieties of a possible flight delay or cancellation and no additional pocketbook stress that requires additional money for flights or possible hotel stays.
If you are driving, ideally to find a friend or family
member to drop you off and pick you up. You do, however, have the option to park at Bell Street Garage, located across from Pier 66, Seattle's cruise terminal.
Fee: $ 12.00 per day.
25 places for the disabled.
There is no oversize parking or RV available in the garage. Vehicles must be less than 15 cm high.
Republic Parking operates the garage. Questions? Call the garage staff at (206) 783-4144.
Online reservations are available at Republic Parking.
Location: 9 Wall Street. Enter the corner of Alaskan Way and Wall Street.
The ability to leave home and drive to your cruise ship
It is truly remarkable. We took the opportunity to participate in an Alaska vacation with Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL) in the summer of 2004. Previously, we had explored Alaska by air; vehicle, foot and, more recently, the time has come to explore Alaska via a cruise ship.
The holidays were work …
In the past, our Alaska vacation required an immense amount of
planning, organizing and finally "work", generating very little time for true relaxation and quality time with loved ones. An NCL Alaska cruise allows you to really relax and spend time with loved ones. The cruise offers options. If you want to get involved in intense programming, you can. If you don't want the intensity, this is your option.
Cruise with NCL …
We chose to travel with NCL for several reasons:
they are very competitive in price, offer free-style cruising, have fabulous kids programs (we could spend some quality romantic time together while the kids were fully involved in kids programs), great entertainment, international crew entertainment and they went to first cruise line in Seattle. We had to see them … and we did!
Six of us, 2 adults and 4 children, set out to explore the
NCL qualities on an Alaska vacation. Our vessel, the "Norwegian Spirit", was docked in the port of Seattle at Terminal Pier 66. Our scheduled departure was a Saturday afternoon, allowing us a relaxing time to gather some last minute things. We were in no hurry. We could arrive at the ship between 13:00 and 16:00. How comforting it was for all family members.
Getting to the terminal was a bit confusing; It seemed that all the passengers got off at the same time. Amid the confusion, we met a courteous NCL employee who directed us to the appropriate check-in and ticketing lines. We were impressed with the speed and order of the lines.
flowed out. NCL did a fantastic job of passing through baggage check-in, ticketing and on board the ship.
Each passenger receives an identification card prior to boarding.
This ID card serves as a room key, boarding pass and credit card for any onboard purchase. It is imperative that you protect it as your credit card, do not leave it unattended. You will need it at ALL ports of call to depart and board the ship.
Before the ship leaves the Seattle dock, head for our Alaska
vacation we were exploring. The Spirit carries 1,996 passengers with a crew of 920. That's almost 1 crew member for every 2 passengers! And we have to say; the staff were there to serve us and make sure we had the best vacation in alaska. We appreciate all the nationalities represented in the Spirit. It is truly a ship of international talent.
Our kids, of course, loved the stern section of the ship,
the kids club. Incredible, a whole mini amusement park with tunnels, tubes and balls, a pool with slides, fountains and a fake pirate ship, producing gushing water guns that make up the top of the stern section. This is a child's paradise. When our children were tired of water games (which rarely
happened), the arcade was a few steps away.
The restaurants on board were numerous, from good restaurants to
Buffet and fast food are offered 24 hours a day. You will never starve. If you are dieting to lose weight, put the diet on hold during the cruise. You will want flexibility to enjoy all the fabulous meals.
Lots of options …
We especially liked the many options of simply watching
whales spout, the beautiful scenery passing us, catching a movie in the theater, eating dinner, playing cards, trying luck at the casino, listening to some live entertainment in one of the many bars, lounging on deck by one of the pools, pumping iron at the gym by shooting some hoops on the basketball court … the
list seems endless. This is the ultimate Alaska vacation; You can do everything, part or nothing.
Our family of six always had something to do, there was
never a moment of boring boredom. Each of us had the option to choose what we wanted to do. My wife, for example, read a book in the library while watching a movie at the movies, our oldest went out with some new friends she met, and the other three played on the slides. Our vacation in Alaska was unlike any other,
There was literally no way to sacrifice the wishes and tastes of other family members. And most of all, we didn't have to drive to any of these recreational activities!
One of our favorite functions was the live nights
High-quality professional entertainment in the Moulin Rouge's large showroom. It's the only one that Moulin Rouge uses two theater-style decks. You get a great view of all the seats, including the balcony seats! In our
In particular, cruise director Adrian Lewis did a fabulous job of organizing all the professional entertainment. The image shows a special attribute for the entire team that made our Alaska vacation an unforgettable experience.
Ports of call …
And of course there are the ports of call: Ketchikan, via Seattle's Inside Passage, Juneau, Skagway and Prince Rupert, peeking at the Sawyer Glacier . The doors are all amazing. You have the option of leaving the ship and venturing into Alaska or staying in your second home aboard the Spirit. It's Your Choice to Expand Your Alaska
vacation to meet your adventurous needs and desires.
On land, you can experience almost any level of emotion.
you want so much. Helicopter flights, fishing, rafting, guided tours, shopping expeditions or simply a self-guided walking tour are at your disposal. The ports of call on our Alaska vacation were relatively small. This allowed us to walk through the cities to capture the Alaskan lifestyle. Granted, our stay at each port was limited, but it yielded enough time to prove an Alaskan experience. The doors were shown, allowing us to see the highlights and if we wished we could return later.
Ketchikan It was our first port of call after crossing the majestic interior passage. Ketchikan is a
Buyers dream, an additional resource for experiencing the best Alaska vacation. The historic center and specialty shops are just minutes from the cruise ship docks. You'll find a wide selection of native art, jewelry, sporting goods and even Alaskan themed toys.
We especially enjoy walking around the city, watching
salmon runs through a brook in the city center and riding the
City bus to Saxman Village, a native village 3 km south of Ketchikan. The village is literally a totem park, revealing the native culture. Returning to the ship, we decided to travel the two miles along a fabulous waterfront passage that portrayed the beauty of this southeastern Alaska region.
Juneau It was the second port of call. We were surprised how much the city has changed in the last 10 years. The
The cruise ship industry has had a major effect on Alaska's coastal cities. Shops literally sprang up at night to accommodate the thousands of passengers descending over Juneau and the other coastal cities.
Juneau is the capital of Alaska, situated between
imposing mountains. The enormity of cruise ships provides an impressive sight as they sail between the mountain tops.
Juneau also houses the Mendenhall Glacier. This is a sight to behold, especially if you are not familiar with glaciers. We took the city bus to the Mendenhall valley and walked about a mile to reach the glacier. Of course, there are other options for getting to the glacier by helicopter or one of the many guided bus tours.
If you plan on visiting the glacier, take your
National Parks Pass. This will give you free entry to the visitor center.
Our third Port of Call was the infamous little town of
Skagway . Our route to Skagway took us to Tracy
Arm to Sawyer Glacier. We passed icebergs and gushing waterfalls. The captain approached the cruise ship to the spectacular flow of ice, a sight you must see. Our kids kept playing on the slides as we passed
the imposing pieces of ice, a truly amazing sight.
Skagway welcomed us with open arms. This is where
The 1898 Klondike Gold Rush began. It's hard to imagine over 30,000 gold hunters coming out of this little village. And now, Skagway is going through the second gold rush. About 5 cruise ships visit Skagway every day during the months of May through September, which is 10,000 visitors a day, bringing money to the community!
The city is very easy to get around; it's about 7 blocks
long wrapped in specialty stores. Prices are extremely competitive, producing some good quality products. When it comes to tours, you can always sign up for a trip aboard the ship; However, if you have not organized previous tours, you will still have many opportunities on land.
Skagway is known for the famous panoramic railway. It is a
3-hour trip from Skagway following the gold rush route to the Yukon. We decided not to take the train ride and embarked on a custom car ride with the Skaguay Tour Company. We like the advantage that a personalized tour offers. The tour consists of a historic city tour and a trip to the White Pass summit, essentially parallel to the train route, but only half the cost. We also had the opportunity to stop at various points of interest along the way, unlike the train. Before you go to Skagway, check out the Skagway Tour Company. Don't forget to bring your passport, you will cross to Canada and may need identification to return to the US.
Our last port of call, before returning to Seattle, was
Prince rupert . This cosmopolitan city encompasses
many cultures and is home to First Nations people for 10,000 years. Near the cruise dock there is a native museum with a variety of shops along the waterfront. Compared to other ports, we found the various gift items expensive, even with the good US dollar exchange rate.
There are tours in which you can participate; However, we
enjoyed the walk along the waterfront visiting the sunken gardens. It was a good walk; However, our children were eager to return to the ship and engage in many wonderful activities. That is the beauty; You have a home away from home, a comfortable place to re-create a relaxing and enjoyable Alaska vacation.
Seattle , our port of shipment, arrived very early. Neither of us was very eager to leave the ship; We were ready to cruise again, back to our Alaska vacation. But the reality, we had to land. NCL has made this process extremely easy.
Each passenger is given a color-coded luggage tag depending on their ground schedule. For example, if you had one morning
On a scheduled flight out of SeaTac Airport, its color-coded luggage tag indicated early disembarkation. You would simply hear your colorful label announced on the speaker system and proceed to get off the ship.
NCL makes it a relaxing experience even when the ship has reached its final destination. You can sit down
come back, relax and continue enjoying your Alaska vacation while having breakfast overlooking the Seattle skyline.
Above all, what we bring with us from any vacation is
the memories, the experiences. Therefore, it makes sense to have a memorable vacation. Unfortunately, there is a cost to it, every vacation or whatever we do in life costs somehow, whether it's money, time, material things, etc. A cruise costs money. If money is a concern for you, we can show you how to save money before buying your cruise tickets.
Alaska crosses the reserves quickly. We encourage you to make the most of your Alaska vacation by booking in advance. You will not be disappointed. And we will assist you in the booking process, your memories are a reminder; so book early.
We do not sell cruise tickets, airline tickets or tickets, we just reveal the Facts so you can make an informed decision and make the most of your hard-earned dollar .
Indulge in the exciting, adventurous and romantic wonders our planet has to offer … make your Alaska vacation an Alaskan cruise.
Some things to remember before leaving home:
NCL luggage tags on your bags
Craig Dahl – Senior Editor