What Is Different About Alaska Cruises

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Alaska cruises tend to be more expensive than the other cruise destinations (excluding Europe).  There are a few reasons for this:

  • Cruises are, in general, more expensive in Summer.
  • Disney only cruises to Alaska from late May to mid-September… so there is a limited number of cruises during the year.
  • The Disney Wonder is the only ship doing Alaskan Cruises and it is a smaller ship.
  • Alaskan excursions tend to be more expensive than the excursions at the other destinations.

Disney Cruises to Alaska are very port intensive, and most excursions are well over $150.00 per person.  For example, zip lining in St. Thomas is $142.00, but in Skagway it is $202.00 per person.  Not only are the excursions themselves more expensive,  you’ll likely want to do excursions are every port while if you’ve done several Caribbean/Bahamian cruises you might elect to use a port day as a less crowded pool day and stay on the ship.

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Alaska is such a unique state.  We recommend excursions where you have a chance of seeing wildlife you won’t see at home.  For example, whale watching in Juneau is a great option. This is an excursion we did in 2018 and are doing again in 2020.  The cost for this excursion is $194.00 per person.  Finally, in Ketchikan we love the bald eagle, so the Bering Sea Crab excursion is a no brainer.  In 2018 two of us did that tour while I did the totem pole tour.  I loved the totem poles, but when I saw the pictures from the Aleutian Ballad, I knew I had to do it next time.  The Totem Pole excursion was a cheaper one at $47.00 while the Bering sea crab tour is $239.00 per person.  We are doing this in June.  Alaska port excursions are expensive but in most cases worth every penny.  You can book your excursions outside of Disney and save money but remember:  if your excursion is not booked through Disney and for some reason you don’t make it back to the ship before the “all aboard”, Disney will leave without you. This year we booked Bering sea crab ourselves and saved $50.00 per person however on our two longer excursions we will book directly through Disney.

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Every Disney Alaskan Cruise has a ‘port’ day where you do not dock in a real port.  It is a slow ‘drive-by’ of a glacier.  There is a unique excursion where you will hop into a smaller boat and they’ll take you close to the glacier for pictures.

But it isn’t just the cost that makes an Alaskan cruise different from other cruises.  Most cruises are usually in sunny and warm places.  An Alaska cruise can be cold and raining.  The average summer temperature is 62 degrees. In 2018 we were lucky to have sunny warm days at our ports and rain on our sea days. Of course you can still swim in the heated pools but there will not be much sunbathing on this cruises.  Because Alaska is cooler you will most likely need sweaters, raincoats, gloves, hats and jeans.  These items fill a suitcase more than sundresses and shorts on Caribbean cruises.

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Finally, there are differences in what happens on an Alaska cruise versus a Caribbean/Bahamian cruise.  Alaska has no pirate night.  Instead there will be a Frozen night.  There are no fireworks in Alaska because of the animals.  In addition to the Frozen night there is also a free character meal that you must make reservations for ahead of time (when you do your port excursions).  This meal is a breakfast with the fab five.  Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Donald, Goofy and Pluto will each come to your table.  You will see glaciers instead of beaches, whales instead of snorkeling and jackets instead of swimsuits.

 You might think an Alaska cruise is not worth the differences, but that is not the truth at all.  We have cruised ten times to the Bahamas, Caribbean, Bermuda, Canada and Alaska.  Alaska is our overwhelming favorite.

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