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Misty1Ridge

First time cruiser!

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Hi Everyone. I’m very nervous about my first upcoming cruise. I am leaving from Vancouver RT to Alaska the first week in May. I know no one can predict the weather but am nervous it will be rough sailing that time of year. Can anyone help me work through nerves? I have no idea what to except and have heard it can be very rough! 

Thank you for sharing your experience. 

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Seas can be rough anytime, anywhere. Every time you get on a cruise ship, no matter where you go, there could be rough seas. It is simply a fact of being on a ship at sea. You probably shouldn't be getting on a cruise ship with the expectation it will always be calm.

 

That being said, sailings out of Vancouver do more of the true "Inside Passage" which is generally calm. But if a storm blows in...

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7 minutes ago, Misty1Ridge said:

Hi Everyone. I’m very nervous about my first upcoming cruise. I am leaving from Vancouver RT to Alaska the first week in May. I know no one can predict the weather but am nervous it will be rough sailing that time of year. Can anyone help me work through nerves? I have no idea what to except and have heard it can be very rough! 

Thank you for sharing your experience. 

Anywhere can be rough or smooth, no real way to predict, other than perhaps avoiding Cycline, Hurricane season

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Welcome to Cruise Critic!

 

My mother-in-law refused to go on a cruise...she's one of those who easily gets seasick even in a car.  She finally took her first cruise (after we told her we'd pay for it...lol.) and was fine.  We did hit some rough seas in the Mediterranean...but she didn't get sick.

 

That said, we reassured my MIL that we'll bring some seasick medication along with some ginger candy in the event she gets sick.  Perhaps you could also check a week before and see what the extended forecast will be for your Vancouver/Alaska cruise.  Hoping that you have smooth sailing on your first cruise....Happy Sailing! :classic_smile:

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1 hour ago, Misty1Ridge said:

Hi Everyone. I’m very nervous about my first upcoming cruise. I am leaving from Vancouver RT to Alaska the first week in May. I know no one can predict the weather but am nervous it will be rough sailing that time of year. Can anyone help me work through nerves? I have no idea what to except and have heard it can be very rough! 

Thank you for sharing your experience. 

 

I have sailed that a few times, and have not experienced much roughness.  If you are doing Vcr Juneau Ketchikan Skagway Vcr much of the route is quite sheltered.  You will probably feel some motion.   Will you think that is rough?  I dunno 😉  I would like to know where you have heard "it can be very rough".  In other words, how reliable is your source for that information?

 

As an aside, I'm in the midst of a major anxiety attack ... maybe we can talk each other down 😉

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Nothing wrong with above posts, always a chance of some queasiness-inducing conditions, but in terms of weather you're actually in the least 'weathery' month for where you're going - May is (relatively!) dry and clear in SE Alaska. Modern cruise ships are big, have stabilizers, and since you're doing Vancouver RT not only is it up and down the Inside Passage with very little exposure to the open ocean but the distance is shorter and you have one less port than a Seattle RT (no need for Victoria to comply with PVSA) so odds are good that the ship will be cruising smoothly, not hustling to get somewhere.

 

All-in-all there's really nothing you could have done to in terms of date and route to reduce the chance of bad cruising weather more than you have - except taking a river cruise instead;-)

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On Alaska cruises the rough water is usually when you are in the Pacific Ocean - it could be going up to Alaska from Vancouver - maybe the first or second night.  Once you are in the inside passage or up in Alaska at the ports the water is generally not rough.  You can also encounter rough water coming back down from Alaska to Vancouver.  What we do is have the doctor prescribe Trans Derm Scops which we bring with us.  We take Meclazine with us which is usually enough to prevent seasickness and once onboard we talk to the crew and ask if it was rough coming back from Alaska on the previous cruise.  If it was, we use the Trans Derm Scops,  If it wasn't we use the Meclazine.  

 

Once you are up in Alaska in the inside passage and at the ports, baring a storm,  the water will be quite smooth.  The only other possible problem would be coming back down, so do listen to what the Captain says about the seas over the intercom.  If he says he is expecting high seas or rough water, put on the Trans Derm Scop.  It's really this simple.  Just be aware that Trans Derm Scops can cause dry mouth and blurred vision - but it is better than being seasick.  In addition choose a cabin that is midship.  If you become seasick, go lie down on your bed and put an ice cold bottle of water or can of soda. or bag of ice on your neck.  This should relieve the feeling of needing to vomit until such time as your seasickness medicine kicks in.  If that doesn't work, head on down to sick bay as the ship's doctor is an expert at treating seasickness and can give you a shot to get you feeling better.  Should you not have a midship cabin, go to any public lounge that is midship to relax during high seas.  I usually take my IPAD midship and read books or play games as usually entertainment has to be cancelled.

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Hi everyone! Thank you for taking the time to respond to my post! I do realize I’m asking a crystal ball question. The cruise I’m currently taking is this May and the Ports are Skagway, glacier bay, Juneau, and Ketchikan. There was some great tips and insight so thank you everyone for your generosity of time and experiences. And Venn yes this anxiety inducing so talking it through is great! Here for you. I love the river boat suggestion which I would have agreed to that first. There was another site that talked about stories of individuals who had 30 foot waves, being rolled out of their beds and being sick all day! I did read a lot of comments that leaving Vancouver is ok but the day at sea going up is bad and returning was the same. Several people every wanting to cruise again. So I was hoping to get a better idea of another side to this vacation. I don’t want to cancel the trip but it helps to get some insight and set real expectations. 

 

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We have sailed that route and found the inside passage to be lovely - no real motion.  When sailing from Seattle the ship goes out to the ocean and we did feel some motion the first night but not much after that.  You should be good with your Vancouver departure.

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Our first cruise was a round trip cruise from Vancouver to Alaska in May 2001.

For us, it was smooth sailing.  No rough seas. 

Hope you enjoy your cruise - the first of many.

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8 hours ago, Misty1Ridge said:

There was another site that talked about stories of individuals who had 30 foot waves, being rolled out of their beds and being sick all day! I did read a lot of comments that leaving Vancouver is ok but the day at sea going up is bad and returning was the same. Several people every wanting to cruise again. So I was hoping to get a better idea of another side to this vacation. I don’t want to cancel the trip but it helps to get some insight and set real expectations. 

 

 

I've done 9 or 10 cruises along the route you will take, most in early to mid May.  I have not experienced anything like those people describe.  That doesn't mean it can't happen, but it is a rare-ish occurrence  on that route.  (Maybe the people who had that trip were on from San Diego to Vancouver repositioning for the Alaska season.  That trip can get rough.)  But IMHO the odds are in your favour.

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i get car sick all the time - unless im sitting up front and even then - depends greatly on the driver and road conditions.  I have never gotten sick on a ship.  My best friend's husband gets sick all the time.  Like, he cannot look at water on the beach - he gets dizzy.  He was fine on a large vessel - you hardly feel the movement and dont have to look at water.

 

Of course everyone is different and so are the conditions... All you can do is be prepared with some medication and have a positive attitude.  

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It was super calm when I did it.

This might help a bit, I once balanced a penny on it's side on a cruise ship in the Pacific Ocean just to show how stable it was...

 

 

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Have worked on the coast for 35+ years, which included 2 seasons on cruise ships in Alaska.

 

For a number of reasons, May can be an excellent month to cruise Alaska. In my experience it is preferable to Sept/Oct. In May the days are longer and in general the weather is better than the end of the season. Both major storms I experienced in Alaska were in September. Nights and early morning can be cool, but the bonus is seeing more snow on the mountains.

 

From departure Vancouver, you will head up Georgia Strait, which is fairly open waters, to Campbell River. You will spend the first night in sheltered waters. On day 2 you will enter the open waters of Hecate Strait, where you can get some weather. I have experienced many weather issues in Hecate Strait, but the bad ones were in the winter months. The open water continues across Dixon entrance, until entering the sheltered waters of Alaska in late evening.

 

All your Alaska ports are sheltered waters.

 

Returning to Vancouver you will transit Dixon Entrance/Hecate Strait again, but normally at night.

 

If the ship is moving during the day, stay on lower decks and midships, as this has the least movement. Ship movement is magnified the further from the CoG.

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We just did an Alaska cruise in August and had a similar itinerary. I have been on other cruises -- Caribbean, Bermuda (Talk about rough!) which were much rougher than this one. We did have some motion on the way up but I don't remember much of it on the way back. It was more like unsteady to walk around than sickness inducing. We did have the patch that someone else mentioned (I won't cruise without some sort of medication for fear of getting sick, would I get sick? Who knows?) but Bonine works well, too. You will probably be fine, as others have said, it is generally a calm area but You might want to take preventative action and get something like the patch or over the counter pills anyway. You really should take the pills/put on the patch a few hours BEFORE you actually set sail for the best chance of it working. 

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