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Old 08-24-2014, 02:45 PM   #1
Stinkerbe11
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Packing for Alaska: What are my must-haves?

Passports, binoculars, camera, rain gear, waterproof shoes...For past Alaska cruisers, what are your must haves for this trip? I'm trying to keep the luggage at a minimum, but this is our first time in Alaska and I really don't want to forget anything important.
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Old 08-24-2014, 02:48 PM   #2
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Really anything and everything the weather can change quickly prepare for the worst hope for the best.

We went on the Wonder in 2013 and were blessed with good weather, most of the time sunny and eps arm but a bit of fog in the mornings, rain coats and layers important as the weather can change cool with fog then sunny,.

I have photos in a trip report below.

Have lots of cameras and memory sticks as you will be taking photos from 6am to 11 pm each and every day.
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Old 08-24-2014, 02:49 PM   #3
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What month are you going? We went in May 2012 and we brought hat, scarves and gloves and really used them -- it got very cold near the glaciers. Other must have is a hoodie and/or sweater. Even in the summer months, it can get chilly on deck at night. And bring good walking shoes and/or hiking boots. And it is imperative to bring rainwear -- I brought a rain jacket with a hood that I could fit a turtleneck and/or sweater under. It drizzles and/or rains off and on, so be prepared.
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Old 08-24-2014, 03:22 PM   #4
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I went in June and wished I would've brought a heavier jacket--it was so cold near the glacier.
Definitely remember extra memory cards for cameras (I took around 4,600 photos o.O )
Better rain gear/rain slickers -- 2 of our 3 ports were so rainy ... My feet were soaked
**if you can bring an empty duffle or large bag so you can stuff it with all your souvenirs/pamphlets**
--believe it or not I did bring my swimsuit & I was so happy~~used it for the hot tub
$$ more cash than you'd think...stuff in Alaska is more expensive than I thought $$
Stuff for laundry use--I brought some tide pods in a bag and a sandwich-sized ziplok bag of dryer sheets

Most importantly:::: YOUR SENSE OF ADVENTURE!
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Old 08-24-2014, 04:04 PM   #5
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We got back last week, you will have a great time. Whatever you need to stay dry, since it rained off and on every day except when we were in Ketchican and that was an anomaly. Really good waterproof shoes/hiking boots were the best thing we had since we went on a lot of excursions with walking around. Since you are in Vancouver you should have a pair of shorts already, but we ended up wearing them on the first and last sea days as well. My daughter did swim on the sea days but she was the only one of us. Weather was great and very sunny those days, but everyone else had other things they wanted to be doing. Don't know how to not overpack for this one since so many variations in the weather. For our family of four we had 1 suitcase each and 1 suitcase that had all of our FE gifts and boots/raincoats. One thing we would have not brought so much of was changes for dinner. We only did semi formal clothes for both the formal and semi formal night but their were a lot of people in tshirts the entire time. I would have left a few of the dress shirts at home and went with polo shirts, and my wife could have left 2 dresses. We got back late from most of our excursions and just dropped our stuff off in the room and went to the shows and then dinner.
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Old 08-24-2014, 05:05 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stinkerbe11 View Post
Passports, binoculars, camera, rain gear, waterproof shoes...For past Alaska cruisers, what are your must haves for this trip? I'm trying to keep the luggage at a minimum, but this is our first time in Alaska and I really don't want to forget anything important.
Bug spray (mosquitoes) depending on what excursions you are doing, comfortable walking shoes, layers for warmth if needed, a waterproof jacket or coat.
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Old 08-24-2014, 07:49 PM   #7
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After two August trips....
  • dress in layers as you enter one microclimate after another
  • bug spray was only needed for Liarsville in my trip. Those black flies were nasty.
  • goretex was handy, but golf umbrella would be for my third trip.... then again, I saw no golf umbrellas in my trip. I guess no one thought to bring one.
  • do have your camera with you 24/7.... especially when a character shows up and the ship photographers are no where to be found.

Bring your phone, tablet, and/or laptop... Love the 24Mbps wifi, although it's fast/slow depending on other's usage.

Having an ATT sim comes in handy to extend on your ship wifi in Alaska. Telus offers good coverage in the inside passage, especially if you have an outside/balcony cabin.

Do you have strong desires for flight or boat excursions? These are the first to be sold out. Book ahead to avoid dissappointment. The only excursion I don't recommend getting ahead of time is the Mt. Roberts tram. Look up when you get off the ship. If it's foggy save your money and check again 30 minutes later before committing.

Last edited by xlxo; 08-24-2014 at 07:55 PM.
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Old 08-24-2014, 09:33 PM   #8
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Thanks for the replies. It sounds like the consistent recommendations are rain gear and lots of photo storage. Our cruise is next week and we will be adding on a few days in Vancouver, plus doing the b2b down to San Diego (14 days total). I definitely plan on washing clothes...specifically got a room near the ship's laundry just for that reason.
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Old 08-24-2014, 11:27 PM   #9
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Might want to bring earplugs if you are that close to the laundry room. I expect a lot of night owl's doing laundry when the kids are asleep.

Here's your September cruise weather... Hmm... perhaps you should skip the cruise and spend it in Vancouver's beautiful weather.
There's a reason why cruises are discounted in September. Even the White Pass train starts reducing their trips in early September...
http://wpyr.com/excursions/train-exc...cenic-journey/
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Old 08-25-2014, 12:33 AM   #10
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We leave for Alaska in a week as well so we must be on the same cruise. Thanks for starting this thread. Always good to know what/what not to pack.
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Old 08-25-2014, 08:17 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xlxo View Post
Might want to bring earplugs if you are that close to the laundry room. I expect a lot of night owl's doing laundry when the kids are asleep.

Here's your September cruise weather... Hmm... perhaps you should skip the cruise and spend it in Vancouver's beautiful weather.
There's a reason why cruises are discounted in September. Even the White Pass train starts reducing their trips in early September...
http://wpyr.com/excursions/train-exc...cenic-journey/
Hopefully the laundry won't be too loud We are 5 rooms down, so I think that will be enough buffer. The weather forecast looks great We live in the high desert right now and only see rain a few days per year...I am probably the only weirdo looking forward to chilly, rainy weather, lol.
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Old 08-25-2014, 08:28 AM   #12
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Another question: What did you bring that you didn't need?
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Old 08-25-2014, 01:59 PM   #13
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Layers!!!

Shirt, long shirt, fleece, windbreaker, heavy coat. And then you are set for "what ever" mother nature throws at you.
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Old 08-25-2014, 03:30 PM   #14
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OK, I can finally answer one of these posts (just returned from the Aug 11th cruise with an additional week of vacation afterwards).

What we brought that were lifesavers - waterproof hiking boots, good fleece jacket, rain shell to wear over other layers (but shove in backpack when not needed) and gloves. My gloves were a combination of fingerless gloves with a mitten sleeve that could be pulled over my fingers. This was great for taking pictures because I didn't have to pull my glove off for each picture. I just pulled back the mitten sleeve over that one hand.

What we brought but didn't need - scarves, they just got in the way for us.

What we didn't bring and didn't need - hats. There were cute ones to buy on the ship but we mostly just used the hoods from our fleece jackets and raincoats anyway.

We were never really cold on our cruise but we definitely got wet
We spent our Juneau day with mild rain in the morning during our whale watch and first part of Mendenhall Glacier walk. But that rain started coming down hard while we were at the Glacier and we were sure grateful for our waterproofing on the hike back. Even though the trail was completely flooded in some areas, our feet were warm and dry (and that made all the difference).
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Old 08-27-2014, 07:18 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stinkerbe11 View Post
Another question: What did you bring that you didn't need?
Dress clothes! We brought too many "nicer" outfits that sat in the suitcase. Also, we brought one too many sweaters each -- and they took up way too much room. One sweater and one hoodie are more than enough.
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Nov. 2002 -- Disney Magic -- 7-night Caribbean
Aug. 2004 -- Disney Magic -- 7-night Caribbean
Aug. 2005 -- Disney Magic -- 14-night Panama Canal
Aug. 2006 -- Disney Wonder -- 10 night Southern Caribbean
Aug. 2007 -- Disney Magic -- 10-night Mediterranean
Aug. 2007 -- Disney Magic -- 14-night Transatlantic
Aug. 2008 -- NCL Pride of America -- 7-night Hawaiian & Vow Renewal
Oct. 2009 -- Disney Magic -- 7-night Caribbean
July 2010 -- RV "Land Cruise" -- 30-days covering the West
May 2011 -- Disney Dream -- 4-night Bahama
June 2011 -- RV "Land Cruise" -- 30-days finishing the West and South!
May 2012 -- HAL Zaandam -- 7-night Alaska cruise/12 night cruisetour (thus completing our 50th state!)
August 2013 -- Carnival Glory -- 4-night NYC to St John, NB
Sept 2013 -- HAL Eurodam -- 10-night Colors of Canada/NE Cruise from Quebec to NYC
Dec. 2014 -- Disney Fantasy 7-night Eastern with San Juan port (our platinum cruise & 4th Disney ship!)
August 2015 -- Royal Princess -- 12-night British Isles Cruise R/T from Southampton
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