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First time in Alaska: Packing Help???


cruisetorelax44
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Going with two friends on a 10-day land and sea later this month, Radiance of the Seas, starting in Vancouver, ending the land tour in Fairbanks.

I know there are a lot of packing lists out there.

My question is, what are the things you wish you took on your first trip that you forgot?

What are the must haves?

What could you have easily left home?

Just trying to figure out how to best utilize our luggage space.

Thank you!!

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We overpacked, however, weather is unpredictable. We had sunshine and warm weather through the last two weeks. Talkeetna 86 degrees and Juneau had 93 the day before we arrived. Best be prepared for anything as glacier days are cold.

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I have a thread in the Princess forum, that I started about our trip, we did land and sea 11 days, and I have a detailed list of what was packed.  It should help:
 

 

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4 hours ago, PhotoGal07 said:

I have a thread in the Princess forum, that I started about our trip, we did land and sea 11 days, and I have a detailed list of what was packed.  It should help:
 

 

You are like my packing soul sister, I have photo ideas and a spread sheet started for our cruise next summer. The spreadsheet gets packed and hung up in the room so that everyone knows what clothes are planned, particularly for dinners since my boys LOVE to dress up for formal nights. 
 

I love your review so far. We are in a very similar situation, we booked an Alaskan cruise for 2020 when our boys would have been 10 and 8, we rebooked for 2021 but since it didn’t look like sailings to Alaska were going to start before the hoys went back to school we switched to a Caribbean cruise and this summer we are unable to cruise as we added one to our ranks in March. We will just booked on Royal Caribbean for next summer when our boys will be 12 (just shy of 13), 10 and our daughter will be 15months. 

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9 hours ago, cruisetorelax44 said:

Going with two friends on a 10-day land and sea later this month, Radiance of the Seas, starting in Vancouver, ending the land tour in Fairbanks.

I know there are a lot of packing lists out there.

My question is, what are the things you wish you took on your first trip that you forgot?

What are the must haves?

What could you have easily left home?

Just trying to figure out how to best utilize our luggage space.

Thank you!!

My question is, what are the things you wish you took on your first trip that you forgot?

I think we were pretty happy with what we packed….I will however be packing an extra toothbrush for everyone on our next AK cruise. Mine performed some pretty intense acrobatics and bounced several times before landing between the back of the toilet and the toilet lid. They didn’t have any to buy on the ship and I had a hard time finding one in Juneau. Not how I wanted to spend my port time. 

What are the must haves?

Layers. No need for a heavy winter coat jacket, just plan to wear layers. Fleece, something to cut the wind (bonus pints if it is water proof) and something to protect you from the rain. We only experienced rain for about 2 hours in Juneau on our late July cruise in 2019. Sometimes I wore just my fleece for warmth, sometimes I wore just the wind jacket because the wind was kicking and a few times I layered to two. I never once needed a heavy winter coat though.

What could you have easily left home?

Extra workout clothes. We did lots of hiking on our shore excursions so I didn’t always feel like getting up for a morning run. 

Just trying to figure out how to best utilize our luggage space.

Thank you!!

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On 7/6/2022 at 6:16 AM, cruisetorelax44 said:

Going with two friends on a 10-day land and sea later this month, Radiance of the Seas, starting in Vancouver, ending the land tour in Fairbanks.

I know there are a lot of packing lists out there.

IMHO, some pack WAY too much! We do laundry half way through!

My question is, what are the things you wish you took on your first trip that you forgot?

What are the must haves?

Layers and layers! T Shirts (long and short sleeved), vests (down or fake down), water repellent jacket (not heavy), jeans, capris, ONE pair of nice pants, swimsuit, walking shoes (tennis), flip flops, one pair of dressier shoes, my Alpaca wool hat, sun hat, my Revlon Hot Air Brush

What could you have easily left home?

Super heavy coat

Just trying to figure out how to best utilize our luggage space.

Thank you!!

 

See above comments in bold blue. We have been 4 times and will be on a 12 night this September with new glaciers and ports for us; doing laundry halfway through.

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Plan for varying weather and pack layers. I have done two Alaska cruises and each time had days where I was in jeans and a hoodie and other days in shorts and a t-shirt. 
 

In June we had one day that was cloudy and cool. The others were mostly clear and warm.

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Just got back, and spent the week without any of my luggage (thanks, Air Canada). So I know about going minimalist. I wore jeans, tee, and zip up hoodie every day, with the hoodie going on and off. Those layers were perfect for most days. I added a windbreaker at glaciers or on small boats. The only gear I didn't have with me that annoyed me was binoculars, gloves (for those colder stops), and goggles for the saltwater pool for the kids. (Of course it would have been nice to have the rest of my stuff, but those were the things that did affect some of the enjoyment). 

 

I had packed extra sneakers and a dry bag thinking I might get wet on excursions, but I never felt I needed them. We were lucky though with minimal rain. 

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On 7/11/2022 at 10:39 PM, Monica887 said:

Just got back, and spent the week without any of my luggage (thanks, Air Canada).

Oh no!   We are flying Air Canada for the first time a week from today (PHL-YYZ-YVR).   How did they lose your luggage?  Any words of advice on how to possible mitigate that problem?  We have air tags in all our luggage, so that would at least help to locate it.

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1 hour ago, Amtrack Springfield said:

It has been cold and rainy in Alaska this week and no break in the next ten days.

I've been watching the weather there, and that seems to be the case. We leave Aug 5th. I hope we get some sun shine. 

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On 7/19/2022 at 9:09 AM, kstetser said:

Oh no!   We are flying Air Canada for the first time a week from today (PHL-YYZ-YVR).   How did they lose your luggage?  Any words of advice on how to possible mitigate that problem?  We have air tags in all our luggage, so that would at least help to locate it.

Air tags are smart - we didn't have them. At least then you can clarify where they might be to help things along.

 

We went from DCA to EWR to YVR. Not sure where the breakdown was. We think they didn't make it on the plane in Newark. We were told they were in Toronto at one point. They led us to believe they would get there by the first or second port, but nope.

 

I'm not sure there's a way to prevent it. Bring a carry on with one extra outfit, including any important layers just in case. We miraculously had windbreakers and bathing suits in the carry on. I was sad to not have my binoculars. 

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Agree with everything said above. 

Only want to add that the clothes we brought to wear to dinner at night were the ones we brought home clean!   The only nights we ended up changing for dinner were the sea days.  The rest of the days we went to dinner pretty much in what we had worn all day.   Relaxing with a drink or 2 before dinner on the balcony/bar/outer decks was much more fun than spending that time changing for dinner.   Here in Florida that would not be possible!  But in the cool weather in Alaska it was fine.   We did make the kids change a couple times, but they were a bit more active off the beaten track than we were!  

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  • 2 weeks later...

Here's what I packed and used:

  • Wear on plane: yoga pants, comfy sneakers, tshirt, travel vest with phones, wallet, passport

  • Backpack carry on: printed docs, waterproof jacket with hood, removable fleece liner, playing cards, headphones, audio books, hand sanitizer, pen & paper, phone charger, reusable water bottle 

  • Redeye return loungewear

  • Nice sweater poncho (wore often on ship)

  • 2 long sleeve shirts

  • 2 t shirts

  • 2 jeans

  • 2 leggings

  • Waterproof weather suit (wore twice for glacier viewings)

  • 1 nice blouse & dress shoes

  • 1 Swimsuit

  • pajamas

  • underwear and socks

  • Outdoor boots

 

Here's what I packed and did not use:

  • Snacks, powerbanks, travel pillow, and earbuds for flight

  • Binoculars

  • Scarf

  • Sunscreen and Bug spray

  • Toiletries, bandaids, tylenol, safety pins

  • Mosquito nets, umbrella, gloves

  • Extra wall charger

  • Ziploc bags for snacks/sandwiches, string backpack, lanyard

  • clothes for gym

  • Room signs and tape

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2 hours ago, tabby50894 said:

What about a lightweight puffy jacket? Will be going to Denali and doing a flightseeing trip with glacier landing. Is a windbreaker and hoodie enough? 


If your windbreaker is also waterproof, and your hoodie is fleece or wool - you should be fine - if you can tighten the hoods so they do not blow off. otherwise you might want something to keep your ears warm. 
 

Gloves & scarf might be useful. 

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