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Share Your Alaskan Cruise Packing Secrets ... Please!

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Jan115

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I am so excited, I am beside myself! Our new lightweight luggage has arrived and sits in my living room waiting to be filled with an endless variety of stuff befitting a 10-day Alaskan cruise. As I look at the assortment of wheeled bags in an array of sizes, I realize I went a little overboard in buying 7 pieces. What the heck was I thinking? I needed only a couple of replacements. But, hey - the old stuff was getting - well - old, so why not replace it all, I rationalized to myself. The kids will get the hand-me-down stuff currently stored in the basement. If they don’t want it, I’ll simply donate it.

Armed with my CruiseCrazies packing list, I have begun a list of things I need to purchase. For starters, I have grown weary of laminating my own cruise luggage tags that the cruise lines are too cheap to provide, so I have ordered plastic tags for this purpose. New luggage requires new ID tags in bright, bold colors, complete with blazingly bold duct tape to match, for easy identification in the endless ocean of bags at disembarkation. I am not keen on messing up my pretty new luggage with tape which will eventually peel off and thus look ugly, but my husband wants every step taken to assure a clean get-away when departing the terminal. So be it.

I so want to become a frugal, efficient cruise traveler and pack sparingly. Realistically, however, this will probably not happen – at least this time around. Being my first time to Alaska, my head is already swimming with multi-season items we need to pack. We have been watching videos of people who have cruised to Alaska. Images of people huddled in coats, hats, gloves, scarves and blankets outside on deck viewing glaciers and whales. Really? In August? Is it that cold in Alaska waters? How much winter clothing do I need to retrieve from the attic? I have been following the weather throughout the inside passage and tracking cruise ships along the way, hoping to get a feel for what to expect in the way of climate. However, the unusually warm weather experienced in the region over the last several weeks leaves me even more bewildered. I expect I'll need to pack for any sort of weather that comes our way.

My husband has mentioned checking two 25” suitcases - his and hers - and this from a man who usually packs two days of clothing for a 7-day cruise. I was hoping for one bag to check between the two of us and a carry on each. Correction – make that just one carry on for clothing. My husband’s carry on bag will no doubt be solely used for a vast array of camera gear to quench his thirst for all things phototography.

I have researched and written articles recently about slimming down and simplifying the packing process, but none of it has prepared me for the task that lay ahead.

So, I turn to you, my cruising friends who have packed for an Alaskan cruise. Please share your Alaska cruise packing secrets!

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Jan...I know I will be asking that if we do go on an Alaskan adventure. Did you learn anything worth telling on this trip? I know that I will have a hard time packing. I know we should do the layering (sp) thing, and probably bring one of those light raincoats.

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That didn't sound right, LOL Just meant to ask if you have any tips for us. The lightweight luggage sounds good. I always want to bring too much, and I think it will be hard for Alaska since the warmer clothes also weigh more.

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It was hard keeping the packing light for Alaska. I was expecting cold in the glaciers, and believe me - it was freezing. Out on deck that morning, I was wearing a long sleeve turtleneck, a fleece vest, two hooded sweatshirts, a scarf, hat and gloves. I was worried I had overpacked, but we wore everything nearly everything we brought. The only thing that wasn't used was my husband's hiking boots. Sneakers were fine for the little bit of hiking we did.

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Sorry...forgot to get back on this. If I tell my hubby we have to pack all that warm stuff, he will use his usual excuse of not going to Alaska...we have enough cold and ice here in MN. LOL Maybe if we have an extra hot summer some year, I can talk him into going at the last minute. LOL

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