Live Blogging from Serenade of the Seas in Alaska – Preamble

Not only is my next live blog ready to go live, but I’ll be headed to Alaska for the first time since 2018.

After taking my first Alaska cruise in 2018, I instantly knew I wanted to return.  We had plans to do so in 2020 and 2021, but Covid and family obligations cancelled those.  Nonetheless, this is the year we’re headed back!

This is an opportunity to not only cruise to Alaska, but hopefully visit all the major ports in Alaska over the course of two weeks.

Why we chose this cruise

If you’ve never been to Alaska, you’ve probably heard others tell you how amazing and beautiful it is. And they’re absolutely right.

I wasn’t prepared for the splendor of Alaska my first time, so this time I’m even more excited to return and focus more on what Alaska has to offer.

Royal Caribbean has four ships sailing to Alaska in 2022, so I picked Serenade because I wanted to be able to get to more ports than Ovation or Quantum of the Seas could offer. Plus, Serenade’s prices were great and I like some of the upgrades Serenade received that Radiance did not (even though they are the same class of ship).

I think what sealed the deal for choosing Serenade is we were able to snag a rather special suite category, the 2 bedroom Panoramic oceanview suite. 

Read moreWhat are the different types of cabins on a cruise ship?

After a recent Serenade of the Seas drydock, the Concierge Lounge was moved to a higher deck and they converted this large space into a Family Oceanview Stateroom.

There is only one of these suites on this ship and unlike similar suites on other classes of ships, this one is midship, facing the port side instead at the front of the ship. 

Since there’s no balcony, but it has large panoramic windows, you can enjoy the Alaska scenery without dealing with the cold weather from the comfort of our bed.

My plans on shore

Our cruise is all about doing as much as we can in Alaska while in port.

There are two x-factors when it comes to seeing as much as possible in Alaska: the weather and my children.

My kids are old enough now to be able to handle a reasonably adventurous day, where we do a fair amount of walking. I’m not talking about strenuous hikes or going for miles, but I think they can handle more walking than when they would need to be carried at a younger age. Plus, they seem to enjoy walking trails based on other recent trips we took.

Of course, the weather can be so hit or miss in Alaska. I’m hoping the rain will be at a minimum so we can enjoy lots of outdoor time. June is one of the driest months in Alaska, so I’m hoping for the best while also packing lots of waterproof layering. 

Over the course of the two sailings, we are scheduled to visit Ketchikan, Juneau (x2), Sitka (x2), Haines, & Skagway. We’ve only been to Skagway and Juneau.

I’ve booked a few tours through Royal Caribbean, but some of our recent articles about what locals recommend doing in Alaska opened my eyes to how much you can do on your own without a cruise tour. 

Read moreLocal’s guide of what to do in Juneau, Alaska

Plus, I greatly prefer not doing group tours.

Plus, we sail out of Vancouver and that means my first time exploring Vancouver since I was a kid. We’re spending an extra day in Vancouver before the cruise, so we’ll check out some of the major landmarks the day before the sailing.

My plans onboard

Believe it or not, my kids have never been on a Radiance Class ship, so this will be an introduction for them into small ship cruising.

While they’ve been on Majesty and Rhapsody of the Seas many years ago, I think it’s been quite a while since they’ve sailed on something smaller than Voyager Class.

In terms of dining, we did not buy a dining package.  Since we are Diamond Plus, we get a BOGO deal with our benefits.  I think with the busy port schedule, we may end up just doing Windjammer a lot for dinner.

I’d also be remiss if I didn’t talk about the elevated cases of Covid onboard, based on various readers sharing their observations recently. I’d be lying if I said I’m more concerned about catching Covid this time around than on previous sailings.

I think we’re going to plan to wear our masks while indoors, even though they are not required. It’s not ideal, but since we’re traveling so far to see Alaska, I think taking extra precautions is prudent.

Nothing is risk free, and I’m not letting Covid stop my plans anymore.  But taking extra precautions is also not a bad idea. Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.

What’s next

On Friday, May 27th, we fly to Seattle from our home in Orlando. It’s a morning flight, so we should be on the west coast by lunch time.  The plan is to then rent a car and drive to Vancouver, which is roughly 143 miles on very scenic highways.

Once we arrive in Vancouver, we’ll be staying at the Pan Pacific Vancouver hotel because it was so highly recommended by others that have cruised out of Vancouver.

We board Serenade of the Seas on May 29th, and I will be sharing the details on the blog, as well as across my social media channels.  Be sure to follow me on FacebookYouTube, and Twitter for live updates throughout the day.

I invite you to share in this experience with me, by posting in the comments for any blog post questions and comments you may have.  I try to make these live blogs as interactive as I can, so I want everyone to feel welcome to share their thoughts.

Thanks for reading all of this and welcome aboard our next fun live blog experience!

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