When you’re packing for a Caribbean cruise, there are a few things that you need to bring and you’ll probably be fine — shorts, swim suits, and some tank tops.
When you’re thinking about an Alaskan cruise, though, your packing list is going to be a bit different. Having just returned from my first Alaskan voyage on the Disney Wonder, I have one word that I want you to keep in mind: layers!
Since our trip was at the beginning of June and we weren’t only traveling to Alaska (we made stops in Seattle and Vancouver, too) I wanted to be smart about my packing strategy. I try really, really hard not to over pack, and I didn’t want my suitcase to be filled to the brim with winter accessories.
If you’re heading on this very awesome cruise anytime soon, here are my best packing suggestions.
I was not about to pack my winter parka and haul it across the country with me in June. My strategy was to layer. I brought a bunch of t-shirts, long sleeved shirts, a fleece and a raincoat, and I figured I could shed a layer (or two) when necessary. This worked really well. The day we were in Skagway, I started the day with a t-shirt, fleece and raincoat (and needed all three layers at many points), but by later in the afternoon I was in just the t-shirt and the sun was shining.
Rainy, Cold Weather Gear
Probably the most valuable piece of clothing I brought was my rain jacket. I don’t think I took it off at all during our day in Juneau! It may be a summer cruise, but winter gloves and a hat aren’t a bad idea either. While the temperatures ranged from mid 50s to upper 60s, we were still cruising and the open decks on sea days were windy. Tracy Arm day was especially chilly, even though the sun was shining. Disney is great, though, and scatters warm fleece blankets out on decks 9 and 10, and they came in handy!
I wore my running sneakers in every port. If you are considering a Port Adventure that involves hiking, heading up onto a glacier, or something more outdoorsy, hiking boots were recommended, but we definitely didn’t need them for our Port Adventures and walking around town. On board, I wore my sneakers, flip flops, or sandals at dinner.
Other Cruise Clothes
You’re not going to be outside the entire time. Don’t forget about your lounging around clothes and fancy dinner clothes. Just like other 7-night cruises, this one consisted of five casual nights, a semi-formal night and a formal night. We don’t dress up a lot in our normal, everyday lives, so it’s always nice to put on our dressy clothes for the semi-formal and formal nights, but not everyone observes this. Also, if you choose to dine at Palo (we did for brunch and dinner — and you should, too!) casual attire, like shorts and flip flops, are not permitted.
One thing I brought that I definitely didn’t need? A swimsuit. Most days, I didn’t see anyone in the pools, but when I did, they were kids. The pools are heated, though, so if you’re brave enough to deal with the chill in the air that comes after you get out of the pool or hot tub (I was not!), go for it.
Don’t fret too much about forgetting something, because if you do, it will be very easy to find what you need. There were lots of sweatshirts, fleeces and raincoats for sale at Canada Place and each port was overflowing with merchandise. Even Treasure Ketch, one of three shops on the Wonder, had warm clothes for sale.
Missed Alex’s first post about her Disney Cruise to Alaska? Check it out here.