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Norwegian Jewel ship

It’s been a crazy month, which has included going on a week-long cruise with my mom, moving to LA, and settling into a new job. I definitely don’t feel established yet, as the future always remains unclear, but it is definitely calmer now.

I wanted to share my cruise experiences with you guys, especially those that are thinking of going too. Basic tips:

1. I went on the last one of the season, in late September, so it was quite chilly. Definitely recommend a nice, thick jacket (not necessary to be a snow jacket, just something that can keep you warm) given that Alaska rains quite a bit and temperatures probably average in the 50s-60s.

2. Bring your basic vacation products, including swimsuit, sunscreen, formal wear, gym clothes, etc. I didn’t actually find much occasion to dress up, but you can definitely make occasions as the cruise ships have “free” fancy dining halls aside from the buffets.

3. Don’t buy the cruise wifi, which is horribly expensive (about $1/minute) unless you need to check email daily. We found that most of the stops we made (Juneau, Ketchikan) had a library with free wifi. So if you can hold out for a couple days at a time, do so. Also, Alaska is part of the nationwide service from AT&T, so you’re in luck if you’re with them.

4. Make sure to claim your free store visit items at each dock! All of the nice jewelry stores, like Diamonds International and Miner’s Gems do some sort of cruise promotion. Simply stop in and ask for the free charm or coin or whatnot. Some of these places require coupons, either from the daily newsletter handed out at each stop or from the advertisement shopping booklet they give out when you first board. See above for an example freebie (you get the chain, and get free charms to add on at each stop).

Chocolate-covered apple from the Chocolate dinner party!

5. Be prepared to eat A LOT from the minute you board. They start with a lunch buffet and bbq, and it just keeps going from there. There’s a 24 hr buffet (though it only has snacks outside of regular mealtimes) and two formal dining halls that are included in your cruise fee. There’s also restaurants that require a cover charge (like a steakhouse and sushi place) but we didn’t feel the need to go to those as the normal restaurants were plenty delish.

With that, here’s my pic spam of Ketchikan:

Totem poles everywhere, carved by the Native Americans

A scenic dock

Towns literally tucked in the mountains.

Wildlife pillow pets!

View from the ship

Gorgeous views everywhere!

Seriously though, I’m not a huge fan of natural scenery/the outdoors and all, but I thought everything we saw was breathtaking. Alaska is gorgeous and I highly recommend going to visit!