I’m setting up my Trip Report a couple weeks in advance. I hope to provide information that will help other cruisers.
My mom (early 50s) and I (30 years old) are taking a Girls Trip on the Celebrity Eclipse out of Vancouver, BC for a 10-Night Ultimate Alaska cruise. This will be the Eclipse's inaugural Alaska season. If it wasn’t for this long itinerary (I think anything below 10-nights is too short!), we were going to do the 7-Night Northern Glacier cruise aboard the recently revolutionized Celebrity Millennium, plus add the Denali Express land tour. I wanted to bring my mom on this sailing as she doesn’t travel much, and I want to celebrate Mother’s Day onboard with her. Also, we don’t see each other that often, as she lives in South Carolina and I live in Miami, so this will be a great mother-daughter trip.
I booked this trip about 1.5 years ago and cannot believe that in 16 days, our trip of a lifetime will begin! Side note is that my mom wasn’t so eager to go on this cruise. She has been on two cruises, one with Princess and the other with NCL, both to the Caribbean. I told her that this trip will not even compare to the Caribbean and to give Celebrity a try. I am happy to say she is finally getting more excited with each day that we are nearing the cruise.
We decided to sail AquaClass and had a wonderful A1 mid-ship location on Deck 11. Just the other day, though, I was given the amazing opportunity to upgrade to a Sky Suite S1 category. For those that are not sure where these are located, they are the corner aft units. I cannot believe we scored one of these suites. I feel like any aft facing stateroom is one of the best to have onboard an Alaskan sailing, as you will have 180-degree views of the stunning scenery. My mom has no idea we have been upgraded from an A1 to a S1, and it is so hard to keep it a secret!
We will be traveling to Vancouver on May 7th, spending a full day in the city on May 8th, and embarking on May 9th. For those who have never been to Vancouver, I suggest you spend a few days here. It’s a gorgeous city! We scored an Airbnb condo near Stanley Park for 2 nights at a great price. I know some may be weary of staying in an Airbnb, but we made sure we rented the entire place and we are also used to these types of accommodations, as this will be our 5th Airbnb.
The following is our itinerary and what we plan on doing in each port:
Day 1: Embarkation Day in Vancouver!
Day 2: Cruising the Inside Passage!
Day 3: Ketchikan: We will be doing this port on our own. We will be heading out to Totem Bight State Historical Park and will also check out Southeast Alaska Discovery Center. Afterwards, we will be checking out Creek Street
Day 4: Sitka: This is the other port we are doing on our own. We are still deciding whether to walk or take a cab to the Raptor Center. Afterwards, we will take a bus/cab to Fortress of the Bears and then head over to Sitka National Historic Park. Depending on time, we may check out some Russian landmarks in town.
Day 5: Skagway: My mom and I will be splitting up in the morning to do our own excursions. My mom will be doing the “Sled Dog and Musher’s Camp” excursion, while I will be flying with TEMSCO to do the Dogsledding and Glacier tour. I couldn’t get my mom to fly in a heli, but this is a huge personal bucket list experience to check off. Later, we will meetup and explore Skagway together.
Day 6: Icy Strait Point: Another port where my mom and I will split up for a couple hours. I will be doing ZipRider (SUPER excited!) and my mom will be relaxing in town until I’m done. After the excursion, we will meetup and explore the town.
Day 7: Juneau: My mom and I have elected to do the “Ben Fogle’s Great Adventures: Alaska’s Whales, Glaciers and Rainforests” excursion with Gastineau Guiding. This is a 5-hour tour that must be arranged with the cruise line. Afterward, depending on weather, we plan on going to Mount Roberts Tramway.
Day 8: Endicott Arm and Dawes Glacier – Cruising!
Day 9: Sea Day
Day 10: Victoria, BC – We have a full day here! We booked via CVS Tours to take us to Butchart Gardens. While there, we will be going to The Dining Room to have afternoon tea. Both my mom and I love the Victoria era, so we thought this experience will be unique!
Day 11: Debarkation Day in Vancouver, BC 😞 Since our flights don’t leave until 10:30pm, we found a great tour with Landsea Tours and Adventures called Vancouver Delights. It is a 7-hour tour that visits all the main sightseeing spots in Vancouver and takes us to The Capilano Suspension Bridge. The awesome part of all this is that Landsea will store our luggage AND take us to the airport!
*If anyone has any other recommendations on places to see in these ports, please let me know!*
I am still researching the top restaurants and stores to check out in each port, and will add those to the trip report.