Alaskan Cruise recap – Glaciers, train rides, sled dogs and more

Last week, my family returned from an Alaskan cruise. And when I say family, I mean my family of four, my parents and my brother. We all had a good time.

Carnival Legend in the Tracy Arm Fjord.

So let’s see…the cruise ship – The Carnival Legend – was nice. It is an older ship and could use some TLC. The room layout was the same as last time, and Lexie still enjoyed having the top bunk. We had a balcony which I had heard was a “must” on an Alaskan cruise. And I agree with that. The views were breathtaking.

We originally had four excursions planned. One for each of our stops and then a second one in Skagway since the ship was in port for such a long time. Then while listening to a lecture on Alaska, we heard about another excursion in the Tracy Arm Fjord. It sounded great, so we rushed to sign up – and it was well worth it.

Tracy Arm Fjord

Harbor Seals next to the glacier in the Tracy Arm Fjord.

So, after our first sea day, we passed through the Tracy Arm Fjord. In case, you don’t know what a fjord is, it is a long, narrow inlet of the sea between high cliffs. It is created by a glacier. The excursion we opted to do took us closer to two glaciers and a few waterfalls than if we had stayed on board the ship. It was a little rainy, but we were inside for most of the excursion, only going outside when there were pictures to be taken. Suprisingly, this was the only rain on our whole vacation.


White Pass caboose that we passed on our way up the mountain.

Our first stop was Skagway. We had two excursions booked for the day. The first was a train ride with my parents and brother. The White Summit Pass train goes up the mountain and then back down. So, while we were the last car on the train on our journey up, we were the first car on the train as we went back down. We saw waterfalls, old train cars and bridges and lots of beautiful views. The best thing is the train picked us up and dropped us off right next to our ship. That made it easy for us to go back to the ship for lunch before the next excursion.

Jase and Lexie at the dog sledding camp.

Lexie is a dog lover. We couldn’t go to Alaska without seeing a dog sled training camp and cuddle the puppies. We left the others and just my family of four went to see the sled dogs. It began with 18 dogs pulling us around on a six-seater metal cart. Though not as thrilling as sailing over the snow, it was pretty cool. We got to meet and pet our team afterwards.

Then, we went to the camp and held some three-week old puppies and petted some older puppies. Lexie was in heaven.


Mendenhall Glacier and a view of the rafts we took down the river.

The next stop was Juneau, the capitol of Alaska. Our excursion for the day was a river rafting expedition. We started out on a lake in front of Mendenhall Glacier. We then rafted down the river. Only a small portion had any rapids, but it was still fun.

And we still had some time for souvenir shopping afterwards. Jase always wants something to remember each stop. Here it was a stuffed black bear. The day before it was a stuffed husky.


Lumberjack climbing the pole at the Lumberjack show.

Our last stop was Ketchikan. There weren’t a lot of appealing excursions that the whole group could agree upon beside a lumberjack show. It was within walking distance of the ship. They divide the audience into two groups. Each group then had their own lumberjacks to cheer for and we were supposed to boo the other side. Jase was all for cheering but not so sure about booing anyone. Overall, it was a good show.

After the show, we hit a few shops on our way back to the ship. Jase picked up an Alaska baseball cap and a totem pole magnet as well as a post card to add to his collection of post cards he had already purchased on the ship.

Overall it was a great cruise, and I would definitely recommend an Alaskan cruise. Next week, I am going to talk about packing for an Alaskan cruise. I’ll let you know what I took and the changes I wished I had made.