If you are anything like me, you are wondering what kinds of things Alaska is known for. This is super important when you are planning souvenir shopping for your Disney Cruise. I had absolutely no idea where to start. Luckily, the woman at the Port and Shopping Desk on the Wonder last summer, Alyssa, was incredible and she took the time to sit down with me and give me the low down on what to get and why. I thought some of you planning your budget for your Disney Alaska Cruise might be interested in these facts.
I’m going to start with the one thing that was HUGE at every single port. The one thing that I had absolutely no idea would be there on the level it was. Jewelry!!!!! When you get off at every single port, you will find that there are many jewelry stores and they all brag about their super discounted prices. If you have been on a Caribbean cruise, you will note the same thing in Alaska. I had no idea that they were there as well. When I asked Alyssa, she explained to me that the high season the cruise is in Alaska turns out to be the low season in the Caribbean. Therefore, the Caribbean counter parts ship their excess jewelry to Alaska during it’s busy season, hoping to make up the difference.
Diamonds, tanzanite, and gold quartz are huge! Amalite is huge in Alaska,as well, as it is unique to Alaska and therefore it is a popular souvenir of the jewelry persuasion. Watches are also a hot commodity with brands such as Chopard, Tag Hauer and Cartier. For these items, they say it is less expensive in Alaska and I will agree that some of it is. Not all of it is. You need to know what you are looking for and have comparison prices before you leave. if you don’t do this, you may end up finding something at home, down the road, that is cheaper.
What the stores don’t want you to know is that you can haggle. You MUST haggle. You can negotiate anywhere from 10-40% off. That’s no joke. When you are on the ship, you can receive a card that helps initiate a discount. If you take the time to talk to the port shopping expert and go to the Alaska Port & Shopping Show, you will have all the info you need to make sure you get the best deal you possibly can. I know on our cruise, Alyssa was incredible and helped many shoppers get amazing deals.
What if you aren’t in the market for jewelry? It’s cool, I wasn’t either. There are many other items that Alaska is known for and you will find many stores that carry these items. Uni knives were quite popular. I saw many people with these, stating that they were much cheaper in Alaska. They are something that you need to pack in your checked luggage, obviously. Any type of Native American artwork is also tremendously popular. I bought a hand carved totem pole in Ketchikan that I am in love with. Did you know Alaska is the number one location for totem poles?? Ketchikan is filled with beautiful ones that have beautiful stories. They range in price based on the intricacy and type of wood. I was able to haggle with one small store owner to the point where I walked out with BOTH of the ones I wanted for the price of one.
Alaska is obviously known for Salmon, as well, and it is everywhere. What you need to be careful of is bringing it back with you. It is a food item and customs isn’t a big fan of that. I did bring back some jelly from Skagway, that was made of a native flower, that was allowed. You just need to make sure that if you buy some of these items, you consume them before you come through customs.
I don’t know if this helps any of you but it certainly would have been something I would have liked to have known! I did not budget accordingly and this would have helped. There are a ton of amazing,exclusive items on the Disney Wonder, as well. Plush characters dressed in the attire you will only find on a Disney Cruise, scrapbooking items specific for Alaska and many clothing items with different Alaskan designs. I did my fair share of shopping on the cruise as well as in port… shockingly.
Are you going on a Disney Cruise to Alaska this summer? Have you been before? What did you shop for? Let us know in the comment box below!
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