In February 2016, Sandy and I found out that we were going to be parents. We were excited, nervous, happy, and anxious. Many times all at once! Prior to this, we had been planning on traveling to Mexico in the summer for a week. Now we needed to change those plans due to the harmful effects associated with Zika the further south towards the equator you go.
After doing some searching, an Alaskan cruise presented the best options. We could still get away for a relaxing trip, but we wouldn't have to worry about Zika.
Below you'll see a review of the trip that we took, along with some highlights about taking a Babymoon.
Selecting Our Cruise
When we decided on an Alaskan Cruise, there were a few big decisions we had to make. For those that don't know, there are a few main ports to sail in and out of: Seattle, Vancouver, Seward, or Whittier. You also need to decide if you want to do just a cruise, or a cruise with an optional land tour before or after it.
For us, the decision was easy. We didn't have the time to do the optional land tour. We only had one week to be away. Most land tours require you to be there for 10-14 days. On top of that, it would make the most sense to fly in and out of Seattle with direct flights from Milwaukee.
It came down to Norwegian or Princess. We decided to try Princess because the ship looked newer, and we hadn't sailed them before.
Checking with the Doctor
Something that many people don't know about is that cruise lines have specific rules regarding pregnant women and sailing. For Princess, you weren't allowed to cruise after 24 weeks pregnant. Sandy would actually be hitting the 24 week mark on Thursday of our cruise.
We spoke with the cruise line, and they requested that we ask our doctor for a note to clear us to be able to travel. At one of our monthly checkups we asked our doctor, and he provided a letter saying everything would be fine by him for us to travel. It was faxed to the corporate team at Princess Cruises, and they said it was fine to sail.
Flight and Seattle
We flew to Seattle on a Friday night and stayed at the Four Points Seattle Airport. It is important to always try and fly in a day early before a cruise. Even if you get in late at night. The reason is because if there are ever any delays, you will have an extra day to sort them out. If you schedule to fly into a city the day of your cruise, and there are problems with your flight, you won't have the extra day to try and make it.
We arrived in Seattle past 12am West Coast time, which was 2pm Central time that we were used to. The hotel still provided a shuttle which was great. As soon as we got to our room, we washed up, crawled into bed, and fell right to sleep.
Waking up the next day, the sun was out and when I pulled back the shade there was a spectacular view. We took our time and searched on Yelp for things to do in Seattle for a few hours before we needed to be at the port for embarkation. It looked like the port was right near the downtown area, which was great for finding stuff to do. We settled on seeing the Chihuly Garden and Glass. After catching a Lyft, we made it to the downtown area by about noon.
Seattle was right on the water, and had a great vibe and feeling walking around. It is hard to describe, but I could definitely see why so many people would want to live here. There was a great fountain shaped like a whale that we passed. We made it to the Chihuly museum, and were able to drop off our bags and purchase tickets for admission.
The museum was incredible. There were a ton of glass sculptures with incredibles colors and designs. I would highly recommend it. When we were done, we got in another Lyft, and made it to the port in under 10 minutes.
Embarkation was a breeze, and within a half hour we were sitting in one of the buffets eating prime rib for a late lunch! Debarkation after the cruise was easy. Again, it only took us about 30 minutes to get off the boat and we found a Lyft ride right away to the airport.
Ship Impressions and