Things you must buy, places you must eat at or shop at!

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#1
Minnesota
1,848 Posts
Joined Mar 2011
A long time ago, there was a thread on this that I can’t find...

What is the one “must have” souvenir from Alaska? Where are the key stores, restaurants you must visit? Is there an over-hyped place you can skip?

Thx! Looking forward to my first Alaskan cruise on Radiance in June


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2/2/19 - RCI Symphony OS - Eastern Carib (11th cruise, yay!)
6/15/18 - RCI Radiance OS - Alaska; 2/18/17 - RCI Harmony OS - E Carib; 2/13/16 RCI Adventure OS - S Carib; 10/18/15; RCI Independence OS- W Carib; 4/6/14 - RCI Allure OS - W Carib; '13 - NCL Dawn - W Caribbean; '08 - RCI Brilliance OS - Med; '04 - NCL Dream - W Carib; '01 - RCI Majesty OS - Bahamas; 6/21/98 - CCL Inspiration - S Carib
#2
102,132 Posts
Joined Jul 2000
We like to purchase one item per cruise that we will remember the trip from.

We want it to be something that is made in Alaska and not in Asia.

Basically something handcrafted or some type of art work.

We look for stores that carry local merchandise.

Keith
#4
102,132 Posts
Joined Jul 2000
Originally posted by AKStafford
When buying souvenirs, look for the official "Made In Alaska" logo to ensure you are getting something authentic.
Absolutely.

Keith
#5
177 Posts
Joined Apr 2016
The Red Dog Saloon in Juneau was fun! We had a snack and a craft beer there. Next door is their shop. I bought a sweatshirt/hoodie and my husband bought a baseball cap. I had something warm to wear (that I still love) and he still enjoys the cap. Somewhere on the trip I also purchased a coffee mug which is still a favourite when family comes over. I guess it depends on what you want, and how much you wish to spend. Our memories and photos are our greatest souvenir.
#6
Utah
1,849 Posts
Joined Sep 2006
I think my ULU knife I bought in Alaska is the best souvenir I got there. It is unique (though a hunter friend told me it's like a knife he uses) to me, and I use it several times a week in my kitchen.

My mom didn't get one when she was there, and asked me to pick one up for when we later went. My second trip I bought several for Christmas gifts after I found mine so useful. Again, look for one that is made in Alaska. I bought mine at our last stop, which now I don't remember which port was last.

We found that the last sea day of the cruise there were vendors on the ship selling them in the atrium area, but I don't know if they are made in Alaska, or cheap ones from China!
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Wendy

"I used to care, but, things have changed" Bob Dylan

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NCL Jewel Suite Caribbean Review http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1966071



NCL Dawn to Canada/New England 9/15
NCL Sun to Caribbean 11/14 SISTERS' CRUISE!
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#7
Southern Indiana
153 Posts
Joined Apr 2000
I collect Christmas Ornaments as we travel at different ports when we cruise. Does anyone know which store is best place to find them.
#8
United States
455 Posts
Joined Oct 2015
My favorite store was in Ketchikan on Creek Street: Fish Creek Company. It's a nicer store but they had some interesting things. My favorite item, I bought there. It's a puzzle made from thin plywood and the pieces are not like regular jigsaw puzzles - each piece is in the shape of things like a bear, eagle, cougar, man with rifle, etc. They had several different puzzles to pick from. I chose a bear puzzle. There aren't any straight edge pieces so it's kind of difficult starting out - I think it took me about 3 months of working on it off & on to finish. They are a little expensive (around $100) but it's unique. Here's an example:

Front



Back: (you can see the puzzle piece shapes)

#9
1,028 Posts
Joined Jan 2013
We were on the Radiance in May and loved it. To me it is the perfect size ship for Alaska. It offers enough food and entertainment options without being overwhelming or crowded.

We have been trying to de clutter and our souvenirs now are mainly pictures and memories. We will pick up a Christmas ornament, if it is unique and reminds us of the trip.

As far as over-hyped, it’s crab legs for me. I know many rave about them and certain places to get them, but the effort to get to a small amount of meat isn’t worth it for me. Of course everyone has different tastes in food and I am sure others would not prefer some of my food choices.

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2018 - Jewel of the Seas - Barbados / Dominica / Grenada / St Maarten / St Thomas
2018 - HAL Rotterdam - Key West / Roatan / Santo Tomas de Castillo / Costa Maya
2017 - Radiance of the Seas - Alaskan Cruise - Vancouver to Seward - Ketchikan / Sitka / Haines / Juneau / Skagway / Hubbard Glacier
2016 - Carnival Splendor - Roatan / Belize / Costa Maya / Cozumel / Grand Cayman
2016 - Carnival Valor - Nassau / Amber Cove / Grand Turk
2015 - Explorer of the Seas - Cocoa Cay / Cozumel
2014 - Jewel of the Seas - Southern Caribbean
2013 - Voyager of the Seas - Western Caribbean
2010 - Carnival Breeze - Eastern Caribbean
2008 - Norwegian - Exotic Western Caribbean
2007 - Princess - Alaskan Cruise
1995 - SeaBreeze - Eastern Caribbean
1992 - Mardi Gras - Bahamas
1991 - Fesitvale - Bahamas
1991 - MS Caribe 1 - Eastern Caribbean
1988 - Starship Oceanic - Bahamas
#10
Washington
3,385 Posts
Joined May 2009
Originally posted by Paula B
I collect Christmas Ornaments as we travel at different ports when we cruise. Does anyone know which store is best place to find them.
There was a shop right next to Berth 1 in Ketchikan that was full of Christmas related items. We had fun looking through it.
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Booked
NCL Jewel - June 2018 - Alaska Northbound Vancouver to Seward
NCL Bliss - November 2018 - Eastern Caribbean
NCL Dawn - June 2019 - Canada/New England

Past Cruises
NCL Star - December 2017 - Mexican Riviera
NCL Escape - June 2017 - Western Caribbean
NCL Pearl - September 2016 - Pacific Coastal
NCL Sun - June 2016 - Alaska Southbound Seward to Vancouver
NCL Jewel - May 2016 - Pacific Coastal
NCL Pearl - September 2015 - Pacific Coastal
NCL Star - November 2010 - Pacific Coastal
NCL Pearl - September 2009 - Pacific Coastal
NCL Star - June 2009 - Alaska - Seattle roundtrip
NCL Sun - July 2007 - Alaska - Vancouver roundtrip

Captain Impractical
#11
180 Posts
Joined Nov 2010
Originally posted by SuperCrewBear
My favorite store was in Ketchikan on Creek Street: Fish Creek Company. It's a nicer store but they had some interesting things. My favorite item, I bought there. It's a puzzle made from thin plywood and the pieces are not like regular jigsaw puzzles - each piece is in the shape of things like a bear, eagle, cougar, man with rifle, etc. They had several different puzzles to pick from. I chose a bear puzzle. There aren't any straight edge pieces so it's kind of difficult starting out - I think it took me about 3 months of working on it off & on to finish. They are a little expensive (around $100) but it's unique. Here's an example:

Front



Back: (you can see the puzzle piece shapes)

This puzzle is amazing! What amazing artwork. I'm adding this to my Ketchikan notes. Thanks for sharing it.
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Past sailings:
RCCL Radiance of the Seas - Northbound Alaska (Inside Passage) - August 2018

Celebrity Equinox - 10 day Southern Caribbean - March 2015
Carnival Dream - Western Caribbean - March 2011
Big Red Boat - 1993 - maybe
#12
CA
2,159 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
Originally posted by Paula B
I collect Christmas Ornaments as we travel at different ports when we cruise. Does anyone know which store is best place to find them.
That's what we do. If you're not particularly picky about what kind of ornament, then it's easy. It's a very popular souvenir item in Alaska.
#13
Florida
473 Posts
Joined Feb 2012
I'm also in the group of people who hate buying souvenirs made in China. I've found the best place to get actual made in Alaska souvenirs is at the Native Hospital in Anchorage. They have a gift shop and it's where I do most my shopping for people who want things from the 49th state.
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#14
Southern California by way of Kentucky
22,106 Posts
Joined Aug 2009
In Juneau...Tracy's Crab Shack .... Alaskan Fudge Company

In Ketchikan... KetchiCandies .... Burger Queen... Alaska Fish House

In Skagway... Skagway Brewing Company
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May 2018 Celebrity Eclipse: October 2017 RCI Anthem: March 2017 RCI Harmony: May 2016 RCI Adventure B2B: September 2015 RCI Radiance: March 2015 RCI Mariner: Oct 2014 RCI Jewel: May 2014 RCI Radiance: Oct 2013 RCI Oasis: May 2013 RCI Radiance: Feb 2012 PCL Sapphire: Aug 2011 RCI Liberty: Mar 2011 RCI Liberty: Aug 2010 RCI Jewel: Mar 2010 RCI Independance: May 2009 RCI Radiance: Jan 2009 RCI Independance: Oct 2007 RCI Vision: Oct 2006 RCI Vision: Oct 2005 RCI Vision: Oct 2004 RCI Vision: Aug 1997 RCI Viking Serenade: July 1995 RCI Viking Serenade: July 1994 RCI Viking Serenade: July 1985 Azure: June 1984 Azure:
#15
2,788 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
The only thing I ever buy in Alaska are tee shirts at Ray Troll's Coho Soho gallery in Ketchikan and books about Alaska or Alaska history. I am seldom tempted to spend a small fortune to eat off the ship, with the following exceptions: all you can eat fresh Dungeness crab at the St. George Lodge in Ketchikan (need to do it on a shore excursion), Sand Bar (halibut and chips) or Hanger in Juneau, and the brewery in Skagway for halibut and chips.

If you are in Whitter, the best seafood in Alaska is at the Swiftwater Seafood Café. You will probably see your captain or cruise director there... it's at the far end of town from the cruise ship dock.
#16
Central Valley, California
89 Posts
Joined Dec 2013
We too always get an ornament on every trip. Creek Street has the best variety but found some beautiful hand blown glass ones in Skagway.

Gifts for my Mom, sister, female friends and relatives--always go to the glacier soap store in Juneau! You can get bars of soap that contain glacier silt. My peeps always request them-- great smelling, good quality soap and locally made!


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#17
102,132 Posts
Joined Jul 2000
I know I posted earlier but just wanted to emphasize that we avoid all of those chain shops and we look for small stores operated by locals that sell locally made items.

Keith
#18
Minnesota
1,848 Posts
Joined Mar 2011
Thx for all of your tips! Am finally adding them to my cruise paperwork now


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2/2/19 - RCI Symphony OS - Eastern Carib (11th cruise, yay!)
6/15/18 - RCI Radiance OS - Alaska; 2/18/17 - RCI Harmony OS - E Carib; 2/13/16 RCI Adventure OS - S Carib; 10/18/15; RCI Independence OS- W Carib; 4/6/14 - RCI Allure OS - W Carib; '13 - NCL Dawn - W Caribbean; '08 - RCI Brilliance OS - Med; '04 - NCL Dream - W Carib; '01 - RCI Majesty OS - Bahamas; 6/21/98 - CCL Inspiration - S Carib
#19
Sacramento
511 Posts
Joined Feb 2016
The first cruise to Alaska, I had planned to buy a small totem to place on the mantle or somewhere else to display.

Good grief. I didn't want to mortgage the farm to do it. Alaskan art is pretty much out of my price range. Just as well because we're decluttering at home anyway.

Okay, here's a tip but not what you might expect for a meal in Alaska. In Skagway, if you're kicking around town and want to grab a bite to eat, try the Bonanza Bar and Grill. They make the best Buffalo Chicken Wraps ever! No lie, try one and get a specialty beer to wash it down with. You won't be sorry. Plus we liked the music.
#20
87 Posts
Joined Jul 2011
Originally posted by planma'am
I think my ULU knife I bought in Alaska is the best souvenir I got there. It is unique (though a hunter friend told me it's like a knife he uses) to me, and I use it several times a week in my kitchen.

My mom didn't get one when she was there, and asked me to pick one up for when we later went. My second trip I bought several for Christmas gifts after I found mine so useful. Again, look for one that is made in Alaska. I bought mine at our last stop, which now I don't remember which port was last.

We found that the last sea day of the cruise there were vendors on the ship selling them in the atrium area, but I don't know if they are made in Alaska, or cheap ones from China!
I bought one in Ketchikan on my last day Southbound. I gave it to a friend who uses it in her kitchen every day. She hasn’t even had to sharpen it yet after three years. I’m going to get myself one this year!