1. Home
  2. Planning
  3. Cruise Industry Trends
  4. Photos from a Carnival Journeys Cruise to Alaska

Photos from a Carnival Journeys Cruise to Alaska

  • Carnival Cruise Line has long been known for its short, party-hearty sailings to warm-weather locales, with the Caribbean and Mexico getting the lion's share of the attention. While Carnival regulars weren't complaining, the line recognized that it needed to provide a bit more variety, and in 2015 came up with a new offering: Carnival Journeys.

    Ranging from 10 to 18 days, these sailings are designed to offer a more immersive destination experience, with both additional ports and extra sea days. But Carnival has stirred in some interesting features that make this more than just a longer cruise.

    Photo: David Swanson

  • 1

    On the 14-night Carnival Journeys round trip cruise to Alaska, Carnival Miracle departed out of Long Beach. Alaskan cruises out of Southern California on any line are rare, and this was a first for Carnival. (Carnival's usual seven-night Alaska cruises depart from Seattle.)

    Photo: holbox/Shutterstock

  • 2

    Instead of visiting Alaska's top three ports and a tidal glacier -- the usual agenda for Carnival Legend -- the Journeys cruise called on five Alaskan ports and spent a full day in Glacier Bay National Park. One of the ports -- Icy Strait -- was a first-ever call for Carnival. Plus, instead of a short, cursory evening visit to Victoria, cruisers had a full day to explore Vancouver, B.C. A total of six sea days rounded out the agenda.

    Photo: David Swanson

  • 3

    The Alaska Journeys sailing was a popular one, with cabins virtually sold out months ahead of departure. Journeys cruises attract a much higher-than-average number of high-status VIFP members. On our Alaska sailing, first-time Carnival cruisers (the ones carrying blue key cards) were a distinct minority. But Diamond-level members (the ones with 200-plus cruise days aboard Carnival), represented 178 guests -- more than 10 times the number on a typical sailing, we were told.

    Photo: David Swanson

  • 4

    It wasn't just the passengers who were excited to be aboard this longer Alaskan cruise. Crew members who'd been doing the same seven-night Mexico itinerary out of Long Beach week after week were giddy with excitement -- very few of them had previously traveled to the 49th state. So that was an unadvertised -- and welcome -- side benefit to a Journeys cruise: A crew that was genuinely engaged with the voyage, along with Carnival loyalists enjoying something different.

    Photo: David Swanson

  • 5

    On a Carnival Journeys cruise, the main dining room menu is diversified. Even over the course of 14 days, there were no menu repeats. Even better, the Journeys menu was expanded to include additional offerings keyed to the destination. Being Alaska, there was a heavy emphasis on seafood, such as a salmon bake with wild mushroom risotto and an Alaskan-style cioppino. To augment the ship's usual supply of frozen seafood, fresh fish was brought aboard at more than one Alaskan port.

    Photo: Anna Hoychuk/Shutterstock

  • 6

    Another perk of the destination immersion was a naturalist to deliver sessions about the ports and wildlife, daily for the length of the cruise. These went much deeper than the usual shopping and shore excursion pep talks, delivering rich background on a destination that is high on many cruisers' bucket lists. Carnival's senior cruise director and brand ambassador, John Heald, was also along for the ride.

    Photo: David Swanson

  • 7

    A highlight for many passengers had little to do with the destination, instead inviting cruisers to turn the clock back three decades, to relive cruise sea days from another era. The Throwback Sea Day offered retro pool and deck games -- like the Ping-Pong bathing suit challenge, AquaFrog racing and roll-the-dice horse racing.

    Photo: April Sumner

  • 8

    Inside, there were '80s-era trivia contests (Golden Girls, anyone?), a Thriller dance class and a white-glove formal captain's cocktail party. And, of course, the midnight buffet was brought back to life, complete with resplendent ice and fruit carvings.

    Photo: Sreekanth Menon (Carnival)

  • 9

    Even the line's Carnival Capers, a newsletter precursor to Carnivals' daily Fun Times, was distributed to rooms one night to stoke the nostalgia.

    Photo: David Swanson

Find a Cruise

Popular on Cruise Critic

How To Choose a Cruise Ship Cabin: What You Need to Know
Your room on a cruise ship is called a cabin (or stateroom) and is akin to a hotel room, but typically much smaller. Choosing a cruise ship cabin can be fun and challenging at the same time, and not just a little bit frustrating on occasion. Cabins fall into different types or "categories," and some cruise lines will present as many as 20 or more categories per ship. Before you get overwhelmed, it's helpful to remember that there are essentially only four types of cabins on any cruise vessel: Inside: the smallest-sized room, with no window to the outside Outside: a room with a window or porthole (a round window) with a view to the outside, often similarly sized to an inside cabin or a bit larger; also known as oceanview Balcony: a room featuring a verandah that allows you to step outside without going up to a public deck Suite: a larger cabin, often with separate living and sleeping areas, and a wide variety of extra amenities and perks It's the permutations (size, view, location, amenities and price, for example) of the four basic cabin types that can make choosing difficult. In addition to knowing your cabin options, you need to know yourself: Do you tend to get seasick? Do you prefer to nest peaceably on your balcony rather than hanging with the crowd around the pool area? Conversely, is your idea of a stateroom simply a place to flop into bed at 1 a.m. -- no fancy notions necessary? Are there certain amenities you are willing to splurge on, or can you simply not justify paying for unnecessary perks? The answers will help guide you toward selecting the best stateroom for your money. If you're feeling overwhelmed by choice, we'll help you get started with this guide to choosing the best cruise cabins for you and your travel party.
6 Cruise Ship Cabins to Avoid
You might expect loud noises, close quarters and crazy maneuvers in the dance club onboard your cruise ship -- but not in your cabin. Even if you don't plan to spend much time there, it should be a restful and private place so you can maintain that much-needed vacation stamina. To help you do so, we've compiled a list of cabins you'll want to avoid booking if closet-like dimensions or scraping chair sounds overhead aren't appealing to you. Heed our advice, and you might be feeling a bit less claustrophobic and a tad more refreshed come disembarkation.
8 Best Luxury Cruise Ships
The moment you step aboard a luxury cruise ship, a hostess is at your arm proffering a glass of bubbly while a capable room steward offers to heft your carry-on as he escorts you to what will be your home-away-from-home for the next few days. You stow your things (likely in a walk-in closet) and then emerge from your suite to get the lay of the ship. As you walk the decks, friendly crew members greet you ... by name. How can that be? You just set foot onboard! First-class, personalized service is just one of the hallmarks of luxury cruise lines. You can also expect exotic itineraries, varying degrees of inclusivity in pricing, fine wines and gourmet cuisine as well as universally high crew-to-passenger ratios. That being the case, you might think any old luxury cruise ship will do, but that's not quite true. Like people, cruise ships have their own unique personalities -- and some will be more suited to your vacation style than others. Lines like SeaDream might not offer the most spacious suites, but their intimate yachts can stealthily visit ports that large ships can't manage. Regent Seven Seas and Oceania Cruises are owned by the same parent company but Regent offers a completely inclusive vacation experience, while Oceania draws travelers with a more independent streak. Take a look at Cruise Critic's list of best luxury cruise lines and ships to see which one resonates with you.