Alaska Cruise: Cost and Reflections

I really enjoyed this cruise but I also think a substantial reason I enjoyed it was because I was traveling alone. It was glorious to only be responsible for myself and not to have to consider anyone else’s preferences. I’m really going to miss a lot of things such as taking a nap whenever I feel like it and food magically being ready whenever I want it without me having to think at all.

Costs (excludes shopping)
This cruise wasn’t cheap. If I had been sharing a room with someone else it would have been much cheaper, at least as an average, but when traveling alone you basically pay double for the base cost. People tend to be very vague about costs which makes it hard to predict how much one will end up spending. So, in case anyone stumbled across this and wants to know, here’s the breakdown of what I spent:

Base cost of cruise (for a solo traveler) – $1,662.00
Airfare/Hotel – $0 (since I departed and returned directly to Seattle)
Bus to Cruise Ship – $2.75
Lyft Ride Home – $23.85
Thermal Suite and Thalassotherapy Pool 7-Day pass – $139.00
“Premium” Internet – $111.99
Hotel Service Charge – $1401
Spa Pedicure/Manicure/Products/Tips – $311.68
Juneau Shuttle to Mendenhall Glacier + Tips – $62.25
Sealaska Heritage Museum – $5.00
Totem Center (Ketchikan) – $6.00
Southeast Alaska Discovery Center – $5.00
Total – $2,357.53

If I were to do it again, I’d probably skip all the spa stuff. The pedicure was probably worth it this time, because I definitely needed it and I’d never had one before, but this is something I could do much, much cheaper elsewhere. I also found interacting with the nail technician to be slightly stressful which was contrary to my goals in taking the cruise (nothing to do with the nail technician, this is a me thing). If you like drinks (not just alcohol but things like soda also), that would be extra and I believe the cruise tends to make a lot of money that way. I also didn’t go on any of the official excursions. For me, this was the right choice but others might enjoy some of the excursions. I only ate on the cruise ship and only in the included dining room/buffet. I might have eaten off the ship if I wasn’t a vegetarian but, as far as I knew, there weren’t any world class vegetarian options in the towns I visited so there wasn’t much point in eating off the ship.

What Went Well and/or Lessons Learned

  • In general, I preferred eating in the dining room. It was the one social thing I did and offered a social situation in a formal enough setting it didn’t cause much stress. In addition, the dining room offered a built-in portion control that the buffet didn’t (though, dessert was offered for every meal).
  • Liked hiking by myself
  • Skip shopping – it’s not for me, particularly with crowds
  • The therapy pool was lovely and, for me, was worth the extra cost.
  • Internet . . . I’d pay again but would know that I couldn’t rely on it.
  • Going alone was fantastic as I could completely focus on what I wanted to do without any guilt.
  • Skip the spa stuff
  • Liked taking the morning/evening deck walks
  • I took the right amount of luggage, even though it felt like I over-packed.
  • I really liked departing and returning to the city I live in. Flying would have added more stress to the adventure.
  • Alaska had a pretty good mix of sea days and shore days. However, I would have preferred longer on shore (the 1/2 day made it challenging to do anything other than the cruise excursions and shopping).
  1. $14.50 is charged automatically per day unless you specify otherwise.

2 thoughts on “Alaska Cruise: Cost and Reflections

  1. Mandy McWilliams

    Thank you for posting about your trip! I enjoyed reading it! I’ve been on a couple cruises and I’ve been to Alaska – but not an Alaska cruise and not alone. I was telling my husband about your trip and he asked if I was telling him because I wanted to do that. :-) I don’t want to go on a week long cruise by myself, but I am planning a weekend alone at a bed and breakfast about 90 minutes away in a little group of villages that I’ve always wanted to visit. I’m not sure if it’s a place my husband would like as much, so I’m looking forward to going alone, spending time alone, and doing the things I enjoy for the whole weekend. My husband will take the kids on a “boys trip” (even though it will include our daughter) that weekend and they will go dirt biking. I enjoy that as much as the rest of them, but am looking forward to my weekend alone instead. :-)

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