Countdown…one month to our Alaskan cruise

Our Alaskan cruise is just a month away. Finally. This trip has been in the plans for over two years. It is hard to believe it is finally almost here.

The cruise and air fare has been paid for months. Shore excursions have been booked. I’ve spent evenings researching what you need to bring – binoculars, clothing, you name it, and I’ve read up on it. But I don’t feel any more prepared for this trip than I did before.

I think this trip is more intimidating than our last cruise (three years ago) not just because we are flying to our departure port (which limits what we can pack) but that the weather in Alaska in the summer can be so varied. One day, it might be a high of 58 but a few days later the high is in the 80s. And those are the highs. It will be cooler in the mornings/evenings and of course up on deck with the wind blowing.

And then there is the possibility of rain. It seems whenever I check the weather, it shows a chance of rain.

We live in Texas where it doesn’t rain much, and it doesn’t get cold but maybe one month a year. We don’t have gear for this. Our stores don’t carry clothes for these situations. Thankfully, there is the Internet.

Most of the advice I have heard about packing is to plan to dress in layers. And many of the sites feature suggested packing lists; however, the lists always contain things I don’t wear such as yoga pants, sweats, capris. I’ll just replace those with jeans on my list.

To help out those planning their own Alaskan cruise, I do plan to post afterwards what I took and what I wish I had or what I didn’t need.

My goal is to not over pack. But without knowing what we need that is hard. Like do you need a swim suit on an Alaskan cruise? Based on the answers online, it depends on the cruise. Some do have indoor pools or hot tubs. But packing a swim suit means I need shoes to walk to the pool/hot tub and a cover up. With packing space at a minimum, I need to decide if this is something I need to bring.

Since the kids have outgrown all their pants from last winter, I had to go buy them new ones. Thankfully, they were on clearance at the store. Then Jase needed a suit and dress shoes for “formal” nights. And Lexie needed new tennis shoes. Ugh. The thought of packing all this stuff feels overwhelming. I don’t even know how many suitcases I will need. We only took 2 for the whole family on the Caribbean cruise, but those were summer clothes and not jackets and rain coats.  (We each had our own carryon too.)

Somehow, I am sure it will work out. We will get all our necessary supplies to the cruise ship and have a wonderful time. Until then, I have four weeks to figure out how to make that happen.