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JasonShen

Balcony for Alaska cruise

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Posted (edited)
On 6/9/2019 at 12:29 PM, Gopherpharm said:

We spent a lot of time on our balcony and out on deck too in September...I’m imagining the weather to be similarly variable in May.

 

Hi gopherpharm!

 

Wife and I are going to Alaska mid-Sept this year (2019) on the Bliss in a mini-suite. Any advice/recommendations/etc you can give for that time of year would be very much appreciated!

 

Edited by Fastman

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3 hours ago, Fastman said:

 

Hi gopherpharm!

 

Wife and I are going to Alaska mid-Sept this year (2019) on the Bliss in a mini-suite. Any advice/recommendations/etc you can give for that time of year would be very much appreciated!

 

Is there anything specific you have questions on? What’s your itinerary? Here’s my general advice:

 

 We saw temps from 40 and drizzling to 75 and sunny. Definitely bring a lightweight raincoat that you can layer under, a hat and gloves, shoes that are good for walking and can handle moisture. We loved using our binoculars from the balcony and from the pool decks and promenade...lots to see! We didn’t bring true winter coats and instead opted for layering (at the coldest, long sleeve shirt + sweatshirt + fleece jacket). 

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1 hour ago, Gopherpharm said:

Is there anything specific you have questions on? What’s your itinerary? Here’s my general advice:

 

 We saw temps from 40 and drizzling to 75 and sunny. Definitely bring a lightweight raincoat that you can layer under, a hat and gloves, shoes that are good for walking and can handle moisture. We loved using our binoculars from the balcony and from the pool decks and promenade...lots to see! We didn’t bring true winter coats and instead opted for layering (at the coldest, long sleeve shirt + sweatshirt + fleece jacket). 

 

Thanks for the Sept weather info. Very helpful! Any mosquitoes in Sept?

 

Itinerary is Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan, and Victoria.  Any recommendations on shore excursions to do (or avoid) during Sept?

 

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7 hours ago, Fastman said:

 

Thanks for the Sept weather info. Very helpful! Any mosquitoes in Sept?

 

Itinerary is Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan, and Victoria.  Any recommendations on shore excursions to do (or avoid) during Sept?

 

 

 Any mosquitoes in Sept?

 

As long as there is warm succulent flesh around there will be mosquitos - but - mostly in the inner remote sections of

country.

Around the port cities - at sea - near the glaciers and windy areas you won't find them in force if at all.

Notably pre-post shore tour excursions around Mt. Denali you will find them in full force especially at dusk.

The later the season less and less.

Best unprotected defense seek out windy areas

Use caution if hiking with exposed flesh - dinner awaits.

The Alaskan mosquito is slightly larger than the no-seemums knats but the bite welt left behind is a scratchy devil.

This unlike mosquitos of Northern Minnesota which are B52 bomber type taking transfusion amounts of blood.

Being from Minnesota we know mosquitos - we have over 10000 birthing infestation incubation sites !

 

For the itinerary you have - not much to worry about - but as a precaution take a small tube of Cortizone 10 to

alleviate the itchy scratchiness if you do get bit. There are other home remedies that work just as well.

 

 

The number of shore excursions is overwhelming !

At Victoria B.C. the prime one is the Butchart Gardens and perhaps the most rewarding but it is time critical

with the short port time.

In most cases of the shore excursions -only- one can be taken at each city - choose wisely.

Still yet a short walking tour of the pier/port area gift shops etc. is possible - notably Ketchikan.

Skagway the White Pass & Yukon Railway is the prime attraction.

Juneau the Mendenhall glacier

Icy Strait Point - don't have recommendations although there is a Zip Line (highest longest fastest) and at the

pier an old salmon canning factory. ISP used to be a tender port now with a pier there is more time to visit.

 

Alaska is so big and large and has so much to see and do - it just can't be all seen in one cruise let alone a dozen.

And cruises aren't the only way to see it - only to create a bucket list of things to do on a return visit.   

 

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Posted (edited)

We sailed Joy May 18th sailing. We spent most of our Glacier Bay day out on our balcony. We just covered ourselves with the blankets they were giving out in the pool area and stayed nice and warm. Temp's ranged from the 60's-40's.

 

A Real balcony is so worth it. The sound, the smell , the views, that a virtual window can't replicate. If you don't already have some binoculars, I highly suggest you get a pair. Enhances the balcony experience tenfold. 

 

Views from our balcony of Dawes Glacier and Cruising the Endicott Arm.

IMG_20190521_183546.jpg

IMG_20190521_182244.jpg

IMG_20190521_182623.jpg

Edited by alexgtp

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Balcony for Alaska to us is a MUST do!!  We spent lots of time on balcony in September - aside from the 'sights' which are non-ending there was a "Naturalist" on board that talked and narrated the 'bays' and what we were seeing which was piped in over the ships PA system.....it was just incredible!  Additionally, we saw all kinds of 'sea life' (dolphins, Orcas) swimming and jumping in the water as we cruised the Inner Passage.....photo ops non stop and breathtaking scenery.  In Alaska, a balcony to us is a "must"....it is a huge part of the trip!

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10 hours ago, Fastman said:

 

Thanks for the Sept weather info. Very helpful! Any mosquitoes in Sept?

 

Itinerary is Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan, and Victoria.  Any recommendations on shore excursions to do (or avoid) during Sept?

 

We didn’t encounter any mosquitos. We did need sunscreen on our glacier bay day though!

 

We did whale watching and a short hike to the Mendenhall glacier in Juneau. The glacier is pretty far away. We saw this before Glacier Bay and College Fjord, so in retrospect we would have skipped it, but if you aren’t going to GB or another prime glacier viewing area you might want to see Mendenhall. 

 

Skagway we took the train up/bus back. Definitely recommend. When we returned to town we had some spare time and decided to take a plane ride over Glacier Bay...this was actually my favorite experience of the trip! We just walked to the airport and we joined some other tourists for our ride. The views are like nothing else!

 

ketchikan we did a rainforest hike. This and all our excursions were through shore trips and we had no issues. We like smaller groups - there were a total of 8 guests plus a guide on our hike. We saw banana slugs, ancient trees and a baby black bear. 

 

Didn’t stop in Victoria so I can’t offer anything there. Alaska is amazing and I’m sure you will love it!

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On 5/20/2019 at 8:40 PM, JasonShen said:

Our Alaska cruise is at the end of this month (May) and we have a balcony room. At this time of the year, do people use the balcony? I am asking because we have two kids so the balcony room seems to be a bit too tight for all four of us. I have been thinking to bid on a family room that is much larger but has only a virtual balcony. I figure if it's too cold to use the balcony at all, we might better off bid on the family room. Thanks.

I'm late to the game with my response, and I haven't ready what others have said.  My wife and I did our first Alaska cruise May 19-26 this  year...and we used the balcony every day.  In fact, we've never used it more on any of our previous 8 cruises.  The beauty of the surroundings is spectacular.  A virtual balcony does show you nice pictures, but it doesn't let you feel the brisk air, hear the sounds of whales spouting or even enjoy the excitement of fellow passengers also caught up in the spectacle.  We got to know our neighbors very well because we were all outside a lot and were constantly pointing things out to each other.  If it's chilly, that's why you bring a coat.  Yes, with 4 folks on the balcony, it's going to be tight...but not so tight as to prevent enjoyment.

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