Posted July 23rd, 2012, 09:13 PM
I see you are from NJ. You should have enough clothes that will work for Alaska. The main thing you may want to invest in is waterproof top layers. However, you need to think about what activities you will be doing to determine exactly what clothes you need. My DH and I were taking excursions where we would be outside a good part of the time. We also prefer to be out on the cruise ship deck for viewing the scenery rather than being inside the ship. Depending what you think you will be doing will determine how waterproof you need to go. Remeber that water repellent is not the same as waterproof. I always suggest that people buy from a store with a good return policy and leave the tags on. If you end up not wearing the clothing, you can return the items when you get home. If you are going on tours where you will always be in a bus and if you think you won't want to be spending time outside on deck, then you may not need to be concerned about water proof clothes.
If you feel you have no need for waterproof jackets, then buy yourself ponchos. I prefer jackets and waterproof pants, but if I felt it was the only time I would use the waterproof jackets, I would go for the cheaper ponchos. You can buy waterproof spray for your atheltic shoes and save money there if you don't want to buy new waterproof shoes. Not many people purchase waterproof pants, but we did and were glad we did. When we were at Hubbard Glacier there was a steady drizzle. We were able to stay out on the bow the entire time and we stayed dry. Others stayed inside, kept warm and dry and viewed the glacier from the windows.
Check out Sierra Trading Post (google to find this online store) for long underwear. They sometimes will also have waterproof jackets and pants. Their inventory changes, so you never know what you will find there.
I found relatively inexpensive breathable waterproof pants at LLBEAN when they were having a clearance on them. Otherwise LLBEAN is quite pricey. Others shop at Lands End, REI, Dick's Sporting Goods, Cabela's, etc. However, these are all pricey and more for the serious outdoors person, rather than the casaul traveller. However, they all have sales if you can be vigilant. Some people report finding clothing at Walmart, Kmart, Sears, etc.
For what it is worth, I bought and used long underwear on both of my trips to Alaska, but my DH never wore any long underewear. He is a jeans kind of guy and he felt they were warm enough for him. As I said, he did have waterproof pants that he wore once.
It is good to be prepared for all kinds of weather, but look carefully at your wardrobe and hopefully you will find you don't need to buy too many new clothing items.
Have a great trip!!!
HAL Volendam Alaska June 15, 2008
NCL POA Hawaii May 22, 2010
HAL Amsterdam Alaska August 5, 2011