Which Is the Best Side of a Cruise Ship to Be on in Alaska?
Alaska is a dream destination for many travelers, and one of the most popular ways to explore this breathtaking region is by taking a cruise. With its stunning landscapes, magnificent glaciers, and abundant wildlife, Alaska offers a unique and unforgettable experience. However, when planning your Alaskan cruise, one important question arises: which is the best side of a cruise ship to be on in Alaska? Let’s dive into this topic and discover the answers to some commonly asked questions.
1. Is it better to be on the port side or starboard side?
Both sides of the ship offer incredible views, but the answer can vary depending on your itinerary. If your cruise sails northbound or southbound along the Inside Passage, the port side (left side facing forward) may provide better views of the coastline. However, if your cruise ventures into Glacier Bay or College Fjord, the starboard side (right side facing forward) may offer closer views of glaciers and scenic landscapes.
2. Does the ship turn around, so everyone gets equal views?
Yes, most cruise ships will rotate at various points along their route, ensuring that passengers on both sides have an opportunity to enjoy the views.
3. Are balcony rooms worth the extra cost?
Balcony rooms provide a private outdoor space where you can enjoy the stunning Alaskan scenery without leaving your cabin. If you are willing to splurge, a balcony room can enhance your experience and provide a front-row seat to the majestic landscapes passing by.
4. Do all cabins have windows?
Not all cabins have windows, especially those located on the ship’s interior. If you prefer natural light or views, consider booking a cabin with a window or a balcony.
5. Are there any benefits to booking a cabin on a higher deck?
Booking a cabin on a higher deck can provide better views, especially in areas where the ship’s railing obstructs the view from lower decks. Additionally, being on a higher deck may offer more privacy as fewer passengers will be passing by your cabin.
6. Can you see wildlife from the ship?
Yes, wildlife sightings are common during an Alaskan cruise. Keep an eye out for whales, seals, sea lions, porpoises, and even bears along the shoreline. No matter which side of the ship you are on, wildlife can appear on either side, so be prepared to spot them at any moment.
7. Are there any disadvantages to booking a cabin on the bow or stern?
Cabins located on the bow (front) or stern (back) of the ship may experience more motion and vibrations during rough seas. If you are prone to seasickness, it might be wise to choose a cabin closer to the ship’s center.
8. Can I change my cabin assignment onboard?
It is possible to request a cabin change onboard, but it is subject to availability. It’s best to discuss any concerns or preferences with the ship’s staff as early as possible.
9. What should I consider when choosing a cabin location?
When choosing a cabin, consider factors such as proximity to elevators and public areas, noise levels, and potential obstructions. Researching the ship’s deck plans and reading reviews can help you make an informed decision.
10. How far in advance should I book my cabin?
Booking your cabin as early as possible is recommended, especially if you have specific preferences or need accommodations for a larger group. Popular sailings tend to fill up quickly, so it’s best to secure your spot well in advance.
11. Can I see the Northern Lights from an Alaskan cruise ship?
While it is possible to see the Northern Lights during an Alaskan cruise, it is not guaranteed. The best chances of witnessing this natural phenomenon occur during the late fall and winter months, away from light pollution, and on nights with clear skies.
12. Can I go on shore excursions from both sides of the ship?
Yes, shore excursions are usually available regardless of which side of the ship you are on. These excursions allow you to explore Alaska’s stunning landscapes up close and engage in various activities such as hiking, wildlife watching, and helicopter tours.
13. Are there any drawbacks to booking a cabin with obstructed views?
Cabins with obstructed views, such as lifeboats or other ship structures partially blocking the window, are usually offered at a lower cost. While you may not have a clear view, you can still enjoy natural light and glimpse the scenery from a different angle.
In conclusion, the best side of a cruise ship to be on in Alaska depends on your itinerary and personal preferences. Whether you choose the port or starboard side, a cabin with a balcony, or an obstructed view, an Alaskan cruise promises awe-inspiring experiences and memories that will last a lifetime. So, sit back, relax, and immerse yourself in the beauty of Alaska from whichever side of the ship you find yourself on.