What clothes to buy for a alaska cruise trip?

by admin on January 21, 2010

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TINKERTOY ..... the 1 & only January 21, 2010 at 5:17 am

I have been to Alaska twice, once in June and then on a cruise inside passage and land tour in May. What you need to pack is not that much different from any other cruise or trip. The weather in Alaska on land can be very pleasant; maybe in the 70′s during the day, in July. It will likely be rainy in a couple of your port stops like Juneau and Ketchkan. Not a downpour but like showers.

It will be pleasant on ship while you are in inside area but breezy and chilly on open decks. When you get near the icebergs and glaciers it will be cold. And I mean like hat, coat and gloves cold. But the way to dress is layer your clothes so you will be warm enough when its cold but not too hot when you are in warmer areas. Instead of a ski jacket, take a lighter one that you can wear comfortably over a sweater or hoodie. Take some long sleeved shirts and slacks. Take a cap or hat and even gloves. plan to dress in layers each day: underclothes, shirt, sweater, jacket.

It will probably be enough for you to buy a light jacket that is large enough for you to wear over a sweater, hooded sweat shirt (hoodie), or warmup suit.

Most ships that do the Alaska cruises have areas where you can see things without being outside. They also generally have a solarium, a glass covered pool and hot tub area. And of course the ship will have a gym. So you can take clothes and things to enjoy these activities on ship.

The dress on ship is casual all day until 6:00 PM and most people will be in jeans/slacks, sweat suits, shirts, sweaters, and/or a light jacket. They will wear these on the ship and off the ship for tours. So take:
-sneakers and clothes to workout in if you like to use the gym, good walking shoes, swim wear,
-a warmup suit or sweats to relax on ship in,
- a hoodie and a jacket that you can wear over it,
- a hat and gloves for when you get near the glaciers and ice fields,
- a rain poncho because it will likely rain in Ketchakan and/or Juneau,
-a book if you are a reader, your music player, your camera, extra batteries and/or your charger and binoculars,
-sun glasses and sun screen, lotions,
-other personal toiletries.

Your cabin will have towels and soap provided, including pool towels. It will also have a generic hair shampoo so you do not need to bring that unless you like a specific brand. They do not provide tooth paste, mouth wash or lotions. They DO provide a hair dryer.

After 6:00 PM they request that you wear "sports or resort casual" attire. That’s attire that you would expect a person to wear in a business office, (like a bank employee), shirt with a collar, slacks, skirt, blouse, etc. You can still wear shorts and swim wear in the pools and spas but not in public areas like dining rooms and restaurants, show rooms, bars, casino, etc. Don’t over pack , take clothes that you can mix and match tops and bottoms and plan to wear each piece twice.

Your cruise will have a formal night when you can wear your best stuff and get pictures taken, and maybe meet the ship’s Captain. The formal nights are REQUESTED not required attire. You will not be denied entry to the main dining room if you decide not to dress up, as long as you are at least sports casual. But most people do dress up; a suit or tux for men and a gown or party dress for women. Women should take a shawl or other wrap for the formal dress.

Some other packing tips:

- Its best to pack using soft-sided luggage because with space limited in your cabin it fits under the beds better if its not hard sided luggage.

-Take a small carry-on bag for the last night of the cruise. On the last evening you will be required to put your luggage outside your cabin by about 2:00 AM so that they can start taking it down to the lower deck for offloading the next morning. So you will need a small bag for your toiletries and your clothes that you sleep in.

- If you want to use the pool, hot tub, or gym as soon as you get on the ship, take clothes for these in your carry on bag because your checked luggage will likely not get to your room until much later in the afternoon, maybe by @ 6:00 PM.

- If you are taking your cell phone, MP3 player or other item that needs to be plugged in take an extension cord as the plugs in the cabin are generally not in the best places and there are usually only one or two.

- Take a small bottle of hand sanitizer and/or hand wipes. There are generally sanitizer dispensers at the entrances of restaurants, the buffets and dining room, but some times the are not there or not working. The sanitizer helps prevent the spread of the Norwalk Virus that sometimes occur on cruise ships.

- Take a can of air freshener for your cabin bathroom; it has no exhaust fan.
References :
experienced cruiser and been to Alaska twice

Time travler January 21, 2010 at 5:37 am

I do not bring a heavy jacket, but like a fleece jacket or an average jacket. Don’t bother bringing a big old parka or anything like that. Also bring a long underwear shirt and some long sleeve tops, plus good walking shoes and you will be fine. Oh, bring a pair of gloves and a warm hat too since they don’t take up much room in a suitcase. They come in handy while viewing glaciers and such. Also if you have a rain parka, that is good to bring too. It often rains in Ketichkan.
References :

Patches January 21, 2010 at 6:01 am

We just came back from a cruise to Alaska in May . Dressing in layers was the best for me , in fact I wore jogging suits all week and I was comfortable and yet neatly dressed too . Dinner time I wore dress pants and a dressy blouse , also comfortable but not over dressed either . Have a great time away and enjoy – I did !
References :

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