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Clueless Native Floridian Cruising at End of September


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Hi all, I’m preparing to go on my first Alaskan cruise Sept 22-Sept 29, right at the tail end of the season and could use some help. I’ve read many of the posts here as well as other information online so I know to expect rainy, with temps in the 30s-50s (and colder with windchill on deck) and to wear layers with a waterproof shell. The thing is, hubby and I are both native Floridians and pretty clueless about what sorts of things to buy. The one thing we have going for us is that we enjoy colder weather, myself especially (the windows are wide open on the rare days when it’s 50 or below), so maybe we won’t need too much to stay warm.

So far we’ve purchased hooded rain jackets, fleeces, and heavier, but not huge, coats. Hubby has some nice water resistant hiking pants and I’m still looking for a pair that I like the fit of for myself. We have cheap knit and fleece gloves and hats from Walmart/target, but I don’t think those will cut it, will they? We also have a few knit scarves but they’re very bulky and I’d love a better alternative, if we even need them at all.

 

What we don’t have, but I think we might need, are better gloves, better hats, maybe a better scarf alternative, waterproof hiking boots/shoes (we want to do as much hiking as we can fit in and they’ll be good for just walking around port too), warm insulating socks that will also keep our feet dry (I’ve seen people mention wool socks and liners?), and maybe some thin insulating long underwear for at least our bottoms so we stay toasty under jeans without bulk.

 

Am I missing anything? Is that too much? Is anything unnecessary? Do you have any particular brands that you’d recommend? Will a metal water bottle freeze in the cold? What do I wear under the fleece and jacket, thin long sleeves or T-shirt’s?

I wish I had any kind of cold weather background to draw on here, but I’m lost. Sometimes when I do have to wear a coat plus gloves and a hat here I spend my time wondering how people in actually cold climates deal with the necessity of layering up to go out and layering down when they get to the store or somewhere else not at home. What do they do with all of those layers? That’s how clueless I am haha.

 

Thank you for taking the time to read alllll of that. I know it’s a lot. Any help is MUCH appreciated!

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I feel for you, as I believe it is far easier to dress down for warm weather than it is to dress up for cold when that is not what you are accustomed to. If I were you, I would try to find an outdoorsy type store in your area. I'm Canadian, so I don't know what they are in the US. These stores are very good at providing light-weight, quick drying, but warm clothing. It sounds to me as though you will be lugging some very heavy, bulky clothing with you, and that is really not necessary. If you have a waterproof, windproof jacket with a hood and a fleece, you won't need another coat. A hat that covers your ears and gloves are fine--they don't need to be polar. We went in early May (first sailing) and the only time it was really cold was when we were in Glacier Bay and on deck. If you have a balcony room, you can just stay in that while your ship does the 360 in the Bay if you find it too breezy on deck. Alaska is certainly colder than Florida, but it's not the frozen north--not in September-and not on the coast.

 

Waterproof pants with long underwear would certainly be enough, but I wouldn't wear long undies under jeans. Jeans are thick enough as it is, and also dry very slowly if they get wet. We hiked a portion of the Chilkoot Trail when we were there and didn't need hiking boots. Sturdy runners were fine for that and any other hikes we took. If you plan to be walking around on top of a glacier you might want something sturdier, but otherwise runners will do you fine.

 

Don't go overboard with the warm stuff or you'll regret packing all of it. Keep your layers thin and if you plan to be outside off the boat for a long period of time, bring along a small backpack into which you can place layers when they aren't needed. And, a metal water bottle won't freeze because it won't be that cold yet.

 

Also, you should check what is supplied by any tours you might take. We did a sea kayaking tour in ketchikan and waterproof layers were provided by the company if we didn't have our own. Perhaps whale watching companies do that too.

 

Good luck and have fun!

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Hi all, I’m preparing to go on my first Alaskan cruise Sept 22-Sept 29, right at the tail end of the season and could use some help. I’ve read many of the posts here as well as other information online so I know to expect rainy, with temps in the 30s-50s (and colder with windchill on deck) and to wear layers with a waterproof shell. The thing is, hubby and I are both native Floridians and pretty clueless about what sorts of things to buy. The one thing we have going for us is that we enjoy colder weather, myself especially (the windows are wide open on the rare days when it’s 50 or below), so maybe we won’t need too much to stay warm.

So far we’ve purchased hooded rain jackets, fleeces, and heavier, but not huge, coats. Hubby has some nice water resistant hiking pants and I’m still looking for a pair that I like the fit of for myself. We have cheap knit and fleece gloves and hats from Walmart/target, but I don’t think those will cut it, will they? We also have a few knit scarves but they’re very bulky and I’d love a better alternative, if we even need them at all.

 

What we don’t have, but I think we might need, are better gloves, better hats, maybe a better scarf alternative, waterproof hiking boots/shoes (we want to do as much hiking as we can fit in and they’ll be good for just walking around port too), warm insulating socks that will also keep our feet dry (I’ve seen people mention wool socks and liners?), and maybe some thin insulating long underwear for at least our bottoms so we stay toasty under jeans without bulk.

 

Am I missing anything? Is that too much? Is anything unnecessary? Do you have any particular brands that you’d recommend? Will a metal water bottle freeze in the cold? What do I wear under the fleece and jacket, thin long sleeves or T-shirt’s?

I wish I had any kind of cold weather background to draw on here, but I’m lost. Sometimes when I do have to wear a coat plus gloves and a hat here I spend my time wondering how people in actually cold climates deal with the necessity of layering up to go out and layering down when they get to the store or somewhere else not at home. What do they do with all of those layers? That’s how clueless I am haha.

 

Thank you for taking the time to read alllll of that. I know it’s a lot. Any help is MUCH appreciated!

 

I am a Wisconsonite and I never wear a winter coat...even in the winter here. I hate bulky clothing. I wear a sweatshirt in the winter.

 

I am going to be on the Carnival Legend on 8/21-28 to Alaska. I am bringing shorts and shirts and my hooded sweatshirt and a rain jacket. I will pack a pair of jeans and some yoga type pants if I feel colder. Taking tennis shoes, but I am not doing any heavy duty hiking.

 

I open my window above my bed at night every day of the year (even below zero). I seem to be hot all the time, so I am keeping things light.

 

We have a premium balcony room with a large balcony. So I think I am going to bring a fleece blanket also to keep me warm if its too cool there.

 

4 weeks to go...cant wait!!

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You aren't going to need more. You aren't there in the winter and putting your hands in your pockets works fine. Many people won't even have hat and gloves. Even a light scarf can work fine, you don't need heavy attire.

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I also think you've covered all your bases - bear in mind that the times you are off the ship it will be daylight and the higher temp parts of the day; cruising glaciers you may suffer more wind chill but you're only yards away from indoors if you do need to warm up a little. Your basic gloves/hat/scarf should keep your extremities warm enough unless it's unseasonally cold - and then sticking an extra pair of hiking socks on as mittens will keep your fingers toastier than heavy gloves with separate fingers anyway, unless you pack arctic quality gloves.

 

With the amount of rain you get in Florida, if you were outdoorsy sorts and would make use of a good goretex shell then I'd say it's worth buying a brand name (but even then, goretex lost patent years back so all the outdoor companies now make their own 'house brand' breathables) - but if you're just buying for this trip don't invest in anything that you won't be able to make use of on other trips - that's the beauty of layering, everyone already has T-shirts & shirts that fit them so by sticking a light fleece and a windproof shell on top of those things you already have you're adding hugely to the warmth-keeping capacity.

 

The water-bottle thing - I very much doubt you'll have low enough temps in day time even that late in the season, but if it's a sustained below-zero day then potentially your water could freeze if you left it sitting around. The sloshing around as you walk helps prevent that, and you can always stick it in a pocket or inside your coat if you do actually get daytime below zero days. You won't need to worry about your lips sticking to it when you try to drink, if you're concerned about that - it needs to be well below zero for kids to dare each other to lick poles;-)

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I am not sure where in Florida you are, but I thought it was funny that I looked everywhere one year for a warm winter jacket for my teen girl and boots. Then I went to the outlets in Orlando and found Ugg boots and a Northface down coat for much cheaper than I have ever seen in Michigan. Sometimes Columbia, NorthFace, and other similar stores will have gloves. Even in the Ohio/Michigan Area in winter, I will wear a Fleece, sometimes gloves. I usually travel with a large scarf from Vera Bradley that has worked as a cover up, an extra layer, and a picnic blanket. I take it everywhere now!

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I feel for you, as I believe it is far easier to dress down for warm weather than it is to dress up for cold when that is not what you are accustomed to. If I were you, I would try to find an outdoorsy type store in your area. I'm Canadian, so I don't know what they are in the US. These stores are very good at providing light-weight, quick drying, but warm clothing. It sounds to me as though you will be lugging some very heavy, bulky clothing with you, and that is really not necessary. If you have a waterproof, windproof jacket with a hood and a fleece, you won't need another coat. A hat that covers your ears and gloves are fine--they don't need to be polar. We went in early May (first sailing) and the only time it was really cold was when we were in Glacier Bay and on deck. If you have a balcony room, you can just stay in that while your ship does the 360 in the Bay if you find it too breezy on deck. Alaska is certainly colder than Florida, but it's not the frozen north--not in September-and not on the coast.

 

Waterproof pants with long underwear would certainly be enough, but I wouldn't wear long undies under jeans. Jeans are thick enough as it is, and also dry very slowly if they get wet. We hiked a portion of the Chilkoot Trail when we were there and didn't need hiking boots. Sturdy runners were fine for that and any other hikes we took. If you plan to be walking around on top of a glacier you might want something sturdier, but otherwise runners will do you fine.

 

Don't go overboard with the warm stuff or you'll regret packing all of it. Keep your layers thin and if you plan to be outside off the boat for a long period of time, bring along a small backpack into which you can place layers when they aren't needed. And, a metal water bottle won't freeze because it won't be that cold yet.

 

Also, you should check what is supplied by any tours you might take. We did a sea kayaking tour in ketchikan and waterproof layers were provided by the company if we didn't have our own. Perhaps whale watching companies do that too.

 

Good luck and have fun!

 

Thank you for your advice! I really appreciate it! There is one store I can try that’s not too far away. I wish we had a balcony! But we can definitely step inside if we get too cold. It’s not the frozen north, that helps a lot actually. I’ll remember that. I did see that some excursions provide gear, so I’ll be mindful of that while packing. This is all really helpful advice, thank you so much!

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Thank you for your advice! I really appreciate it! There is one store I can try that’s not too far away. I wish we had a balcony! But we can definitely step inside if we get too cold. It’s not the frozen north, that helps a lot actually. I’ll remember that. I did see that some excursions provide gear, so I’ll be mindful of that while packing. This is all really helpful advice, thank you so much!

 

 

 

You can always do what I did on my first Alaska cruise. Went to a mailbox type store, like a UPS or Fed Ex store, got a box, went back to the ship and packed it with what I didn’t need, and mailed it home.

That made room in my luggage for my Alaska purchases.

 

 

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I'm on the same cruise with you Cammie...and also a native Floridian with the same exact questions. I'm looking for advice as well. So excited for the trip though :)

Oh that’s awesome! I hope you get all the information you need. I’m excited too! 60 more days! I hope you have an amazing time!

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I am a Wisconsonite and I never wear a winter coat...even in the winter here. I hate bulky clothing. I wear a sweatshirt in the winter.

 

I am going to be on the Carnival Legend on 8/21-28 to Alaska. I am bringing shorts and shirts and my hooded sweatshirt and a rain jacket. I will pack a pair of jeans and some yoga type pants if I feel colder. Taking tennis shoes, but I am not doing any heavy duty hiking.

 

I open my window above my bed at night every day of the year (even below zero). I seem to be hot all the time, so I am keeping things light.

 

We have a premium balcony room with a large balcony. So I think I am going to bring a fleece blanket also to keep me warm if its too cool there.

 

4 weeks to go...cant wait!!

 

Thank you for the advice! I hope you have a wonderful time on your cruise! It sounds like it’s going to be amazing!

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You aren't going to need more. You aren't there in the winter and putting your hands in your pockets works fine. Many people won't even have hat and gloves. Even a light scarf can work fine, you don't need heavy attire.

 

Thank you for your advice! That’s good to know.

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I also think you've covered all your bases - bear in mind that the times you are off the ship it will be daylight and the higher temp parts of the day; cruising glaciers you may suffer more wind chill but you're only yards away from indoors if you do need to warm up a little. Your basic gloves/hat/scarf should keep your extremities warm enough unless it's unseasonally cold - and then sticking an extra pair of hiking socks on as mittens will keep your fingers toastier than heavy gloves with separate fingers anyway, unless you pack arctic quality gloves.

 

With the amount of rain you get in Florida, if you were outdoorsy sorts and would make use of a good goretex shell then I'd say it's worth buying a brand name (but even then, goretex lost patent years back so all the outdoor companies now make their own 'house brand' breathables) - but if you're just buying for this trip don't invest in anything that you won't be able to make use of on other trips - that's the beauty of layering, everyone already has T-shirts & shirts that fit them so by sticking a light fleece and a windproof shell on top of those things you already have you're adding hugely to the warmth-keeping capacity.

 

The water-bottle thing - I very much doubt you'll have low enough temps in day time even that late in the season, but if it's a sustained below-zero day then potentially your water could freeze if you left it sitting around. The sloshing around as you walk helps prevent that, and you can always stick it in a pocket or inside your coat if you do actually get daytime below zero days. You won't need to worry about your lips sticking to it when you try to drink, if you're concerned about that - it needs to be well below zero for kids to dare each other to lick poles;-)

 

That’s a good point, that it’ll be day time haha. I’m definitely getting carried away and expecting it to be MUCH colder than it probably will be. The problem with Florida is that it’s hot. We prefer our outdoorsy adventures to be in cooler climes. So, we probably wouldn’t get a lot of use at home. Haha well I’m glad I won’t be stuck to my water bottle! Thank you for the advice! It really helps!

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Reads as though you've got the correct clothing down. Another consideration is the short days the end of September and organizing your port time so you've got some daylight to explore.

 

Thanks! That’s true. Thankfully we’re getting to most of the Alaskan ports in the morning. Juneau is the only one that we won’t have a lot of daylight in.

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I am not sure where in Florida you are, but I thought it was funny that I looked everywhere one year for a warm winter jacket for my teen girl and boots. Then I went to the outlets in Orlando and found Ugg boots and a Northface down coat for much cheaper than I have ever seen in Michigan. Sometimes Columbia, NorthFace, and other similar stores will have gloves. Even in the Ohio/Michigan Area in winter, I will wear a Fleece, sometimes gloves. I usually travel with a large scarf from Vera Bradley that has worked as a cover up, an extra layer, and a picnic blanket. I take it everywhere now!

 

Thank you for the advice! I definitely know the outlets you’re talking about. I’m not out that way often, but I could make a fun day trip out of it for sure. That scarf sounds awesome!

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You can always do what I did on my first Alaska cruise. Went to a mailbox type store, like a UPS or Fed Ex store, got a box, went back to the ship and packed it with what I didn’t need, and mailed it home.

That made room in my luggage for my Alaska purchases.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

 

That’s a good idea honestly. If I do end up packing too much (definitely a possibility even with all this great advice), I’ll have a back up plan. Thanks!

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You asked about a hiker. Merrell makes their Moab hiker shoe that also comes in a waterproof edition. If you can't find it locally, check Zappos.com. They do free shipping. For socks, if you want a warmer sock, I suggest something that has wool in it. Check Dick's Sporting Goods. The closer to September they may stock their winter stuff. I was lucky to get my warm stuff on the mainland last year. Already had a waterproof jacket. I really like the North Face one. Have fun.

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Don't worry about inexpensive hats and gloves from Walmart. They are what I use all through our up-North Michigan winters. I just wear a thin raincoat's hood over the cap, and I stay warm and dry. For gloves, I just switch them out if they get wet--even expensive waterproof gloves get wet from hands sweating.

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One bit of advice I give for traveling really anywhere but especially places you’re not very familiar with is to research and pack what you need and then have enough cash available you can buy yourself out of an emergency. My wife’s favorite hoodie was one she bought in glacier national park because we had a sudden cold snap with high winds one of the days we were there and so she bought something warmer than what we originally had. Now she has a warm hoodie that’s a great souvenir anyway. Buy stuff now that you know you’ll need, like decent shoes and a good waterproof outer layer. If you need more, there will be plenty of places to buy that stuff and most of it is going to be the sort of touristy thing you’ll want anyway like a good sweatshirt. As far as the Walmart gloves and hats, chances are they’ll be fine. Walmart sells that stuff all over the country including in places where it gets no joke cold and it’s the same stuff in all their stores.

 

 

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You asked about a hiker. Merrell makes their Moab hiker shoe that also comes in a waterproof edition. If you can't find it locally, check Zappos.com. They do free shipping. For socks, if you want a warmer sock, I suggest something that has wool in it. Check Dick's Sporting Goods. The closer to September they may stock their winter stuff. I was lucky to get my warm stuff on the mainland last year. Already had a waterproof jacket. I really like the North Face one. Have fun.

 

Thank you for your advice! I will definitely look at those shoes. My feet are always cold here in our “winter” haha so I will certainly want some nice warmer socks. Thank you for the recommendation!

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I have Keen boots (hiking) that are waterproof. Though I don't bring to Alaska. I only use them when I shovel snow.

 

Thank you for the recommendation! I will definitely look into that brand.

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Don't worry about inexpensive hats and gloves from Walmart. They are what I use all through our up-North Michigan winters. I just wear a thin raincoat's hood over the cap, and I stay warm and dry. For gloves, I just switch them out if they get wet--even expensive waterproof gloves get wet from hands sweating.

 

That’s a good point that I hadn’t thought of, that they sell the same things up north as they do down here. Thank you for the advice!

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One bit of advice I give for traveling really anywhere but especially places you’re not very familiar with is to research and pack what you need and then have enough cash available you can buy yourself out of an emergency. My wife’s favorite hoodie was one she bought in glacier national park because we had a sudden cold snap with high winds one of the days we were there and so she bought something warmer than what we originally had. Now she has a warm hoodie that’s a great souvenir anyway. Buy stuff now that you know you’ll need, like decent shoes and a good waterproof outer layer. If you need more, there will be plenty of places to buy that stuff and most of it is going to be the sort of touristy thing you’ll want anyway like a good sweatshirt. As far as the Walmart gloves and hats, chances are they’ll be fine. Walmart sells that stuff all over the country including in places where it gets no joke cold and it’s the same stuff in all their stores.

 

 

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That’t really great advice. Thank you! I try to keep my souvenier purchases to a minimum (a magnet from each place I travel), so I hadn’t thought of buying a sweatshirt etc if I really needed it. Now that it’s in my mind I’ll set some money aside just in case. And I hadn’t thought about the fact that Walmart sells the same sorts of things nationwide. That’s helpful! Thanks again!

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