Planning for an Alaska cruise can be an exciting yet daunting task. With stunning landscapes and unique experiences awaiting, it’s important to ensure you have everything you need. That’s why this article will provide you with a comprehensive list of essentials, crowdsourced from the valuable insights of Alaska cruise enthusiasts on Reddit. From practical items such as warm clothing and sturdy shoes to must-have accessories like binoculars and a waterproof camera, you’ll be well-prepared to make the most of your Alaskan adventure. So, grab your notepad, because Reddit has spoken, and it’s time to pack!
Clothing and Accessories
Layering for variable weather
When packing for an Alaska cruise, it’s important to be prepared for variable weather conditions. Layering is key to staying comfortable throughout your trip. Start with a base layer of moisture-wicking clothing, such as long-sleeved shirts and leggings, to keep you warm and dry. Add a mid-layer, such as a fleece or sweater, for extra insulation. Finally, top it off with a waterproof and windproof outer layer to protect you from rain and cold winds. By layering your clothing, you can easily adjust your outfit to accommodate changing weather conditions.
Rain is common in Alaska, so it’s essential to pack rain gear to keep yourself dry. Invest in a good quality rain jacket with a hood to protect you from the rain. A pair of waterproof pants or a rain skirt will also come in handy to protect your legs. Don’t forget to bring a small umbrella or a packable poncho for added protection. With the right rain gear, you can fully embrace the beauty of Alaska without worrying about getting drenched.
Warm hat and gloves
Even during the summer months, temperatures in Alaska can be chilly, especially when you’re out on the water. Be sure to pack a warm hat and gloves to keep your head and hands cozy. Opt for hats with ear flaps for extra warmth and gloves that are touchscreen-compatible, so you can still use your devices without taking them off. These winter essentials will ensure that you stay comfortable and enjoy your Alaska cruise to the fullest.
Comfortable walking shoes
Exploring Alaska often involves walking and hiking, so it’s crucial to pack a pair of comfortable walking shoes. Opt for sturdy and waterproof footwear with good grip, as you may encounter wet and uneven terrains. Consider investing in a pair of hiking boots if you plan on doing extensive hiking. Even if you’re not a hiker, comfortable shoes are essential for walking around the ship or exploring the ports of call.
Swimsuit and cover-up
Don’t forget to pack a swimsuit and a cover-up if you plan on taking a dip in the ship’s pool or relaxing at the beach during your shore excursions. Alaska may not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of swimsuits, but many cruise ships have indoor and outdoor pools that you can enjoy. A cover-up or a lightweight dress will come in handy when you’re transitioning from the pool to other areas of the ship.
Formal attire for evening events
Cruise ships often have formal or semi-formal evenings, and it’s important to pack appropriate attire for these events. Bring a few outfits suitable for formal occasions, such as a cocktail dress or a suit, depending on your preferences. These events provide a wonderful opportunity to dress up and enjoy special evenings onboard with live music, dancing, and delicious food.
Extra socks and underwear
It’s always a good idea to pack extra socks and underwear for any trip, and an Alaska cruise is no exception. With the unpredictable weather and various activities, you may find yourself needing fresh socks and underwear more frequently than usual. Packing extra ensures that you won’t have to worry about laundry or running out of clean undergarments during your trip.
Sunglasses and sunscreen
Don’t forget to protect your eyes and skin from the sun’s harmful rays. Alaska may not have the tropical heat of other cruise destinations, but the sun can still be intense, especially when reflecting off the water and glaciers. Pack a pair of sunglasses with UV protection to shield your eyes from glare and bring along a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a high SPF rating. Apply the sunscreen regularly, especially if you’ll be spending time outdoors.
Hiking boots or sturdy shoes
If you plan on exploring Alaska’s rugged wilderness and national parks, consider packing hiking boots or sturdy shoes. These will provide the necessary support and traction when trekking through trails and uneven terrain. Make sure your shoes are broken in before your trip to avoid discomfort or blisters during your hikes. Whether it’s observing wildlife or admiring breathtaking landscapes, having the right footwear is essential for a safe and enjoyable adventure.
Alaska is renowned for its stunning wildlife and picturesque landscapes. A pair of binoculars will enhance your experience, allowing you to spot wildlife from a distance and see details that may be missed with the naked eye. Binoculars are particularly useful during scenic cruising, where you can observe glaciers, whales, and other marine life from the comfort of the ship. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to get a closer look at Alaska’s natural wonders.
Documents and Identification
Passport or other valid identification
When embarking on an Alaska cruise, it’s crucial to have a valid passport or other accepted identification. Ensure that your passport is up to date and will remain valid for the duration of your trip. If you’re a US citizen, a passport is not required for cruises that depart and return to the same US port, but it is still highly recommended. If you’re not a US citizen, check with the cruise line and relevant authorities to determine the necessary travel documents.
Alaska cruise itinerary and ticket
Don’t forget to bring a printed copy of your Alaska cruise itinerary and ticket. This will be your proof of reservation and will help you navigate the embarkation process smoothly. It’s always a good idea to have a digital copy saved on your phone or tablet as a backup. Familiarize yourself with the ports of call, onboard activities, and any scheduled excursions to make the most of your cruise experience.
Medical insurance information
Prioritize your health and safety by carrying your medical insurance information with you. In case of an emergency or unexpected medical situation, having your insurance details readily available will ensure proper care and assistance. Check with your insurance provider about coverage outside of your home country and consider purchasing travel medical insurance for added peace of mind.
Credit cards and cash
Bring a mix of credit cards and cash for your Alaska cruise. Credit cards are widely accepted onboard the ship and at most ports of call. However, it’s always wise to have some cash on hand for small purchases, tips, and situations where credit cards may not be accepted. Keep in mind that ATMs may be limited in some areas, especially during shore excursions, so it’s a good idea to have some US currency with you.
Driver’s license or ID card
Even if you’re not planning on driving during your Alaska cruise, it’s advisable to carry a driver’s license or an identification card with you. It serves as a primary identification document and may be required for certain activities or age verification when purchasing alcoholic beverages onboard. Having a valid ID will also come in handy if you decide to rent a car during your port visits.
Emergency contact information
Prepare for unforeseen circumstances by carrying a list of emergency contact information. Include the contact details of a trusted friend or family member who can be reached in case of an emergency. Additionally, ensure that you have the necessary contact information for the cruise line, including the ship’s emergency number and the port authorities. Having this information readily available will help you access assistance quickly, if needed.
Copies of important documents
Make copies of your important documents, such as your passport, cruise itinerary, insurance policies, and credit cards. Keep these copies separate from the originals and leave them in a safe location, such as the ship’s safe or in your hotel room if you arrive in the port city a day early. These copies will be invaluable in case your originals are lost or stolen, providing necessary information for replacements or other essential procedures.
Travel insurance information
Travel insurance is highly recommended for any trip, including an Alaska cruise. Ensure that you have the necessary documentation and contact information related to your travel insurance policy. This includes details of the coverage, the 24/7 emergency assistance contact number, and any specific requirements or procedures for making a claim. Having travel insurance provides peace of mind and safeguards against unforeseen events.
Cruise line loyalty program card
If you’re a frequent cruiser with the same cruise line, be sure to bring your loyalty program card. This card may entitle you to certain perks, discounts, or special privileges onboard. It’s a great way to make the most of your loyalty to the cruise line and enhance your cruise experience. Some cruise lines also offer reciprocal benefits with partner loyalty programs, so check if you’re eligible for any additional perks.
Travel visas (if necessary)
Check with your travel agent or the relevant embassy or consulate to determine if you need a travel visa for your Alaska cruise. Visa requirements vary depending on your country of residence and the ports of call you’ll be visiting. Apply for any necessary visas well in advance to allow for processing time. Don’t forget to carry the visa documents with you and ensure they remain valid throughout your cruise.
Electronics and Gadgets
Camera and extra memory cards
Capture the breathtaking beauty of Alaska with a high-quality camera. Whether you prefer a DSLR, a mirrorless camera, or a compact point-and-shoot, choose the one that suits your needs and photography skills. Don’t forget to bring extra memory cards to store your photos and videos. Alaska’s stunning landscapes, wildlife, and glaciers provide endless opportunities for memorable snapshots.
Battery pack or portable charger
Keep your electronics powered up and ready for capturing memories with a battery pack or portable charger. Between taking photos, using navigation apps, and staying connected with loved ones, your devices can drain their batteries quickly. Having a portable charger or battery pack allows you to recharge your devices on the go, ensuring you never miss a photo opportunity. It’s particularly useful during long shore excursions or when exploring remote locations.
Adapter plug for outlets
Electrical outlets and voltage standards vary between countries and even between ships. To ensure that you can charge your devices, bring an adapter plug that is compatible with the outlets onboard the ship and in Alaskan ports of call. This will enable you to safely plug in and recharge your camera, phone, laptop, or any other electronic devices. A universal adapter is a convenient option if you plan on traveling to multiple destinations in the future.
Travel alarm clock
Although most cruise ship cabins have alarm clocks, having your own travel alarm clock provides added peace of mind. It allows you to wake up on time for early excursions or activities without relying solely on the ship’s wake-up calls or in-room clocks. Choose a lightweight and compact travel alarm clock that is easy to pack and won’t take up much space in your luggage.
Headphones or earbuds
Whether you want to listen to your favorite music, watch a movie on your device, or simply block out unwanted noise, a good pair of headphones or earbuds is essential. Choose a comfortable and portable option that provides good sound quality. Noise-canceling headphones can be particularly useful during air travel or when you want to immerse yourself in your favorite tunes without distractions.
Waterproof phone case
Protect your phone from water damage while enjoying water activities or rainy weather with a waterproof phone case. With a waterproof case, you can take photos or videos without worrying about your phone getting wet. It’s also a great way to protect your phone from accidental drops or spills. Look for a reliable and durable case that allows full access to your phone’s functionality.
Portable Bluetooth speaker
If you enjoy listening to music or podcasts during your cruise, consider bringing a portable Bluetooth speaker. It allows you to enhance your audio experience and share your favorite tunes with friends and family. Choose a compact and waterproof speaker that is easy to pack and can withstand outdoor and maritime environments. Some speakers even offer additional features like built-in power banks for charging your devices.
Kindle or e-reader
For book lovers, an Alaska cruise provides ample opportunity to get lost in a good read. Instead of carrying multiple books, consider packing a Kindle or e-reader to save space and weight in your luggage. With an e-reader, you can have your favorite novels, travel guides, and magazines all in one portable device. Take advantage of the ship’s library or download e-books from your preferred online retailer.
Tablet or laptop
While it’s advisable to disconnect and enjoy the natural beauty of Alaska, there may be times when you want to check emails, catch up on work, or stream your favorite shows. If you need to stay connected, bring a tablet or a laptop with you. Prioritize portability and battery life when choosing your device, as you may not always have access to charging outlets or reliable Wi-Fi. Be mindful of your data usage and roaming fees if you plan on using cellular data.
Backup charger for devices
Don’t rely solely on the ship’s charging outlets or your portable charger for recharging your devices. Invest in a backup charger or power bank specifically designed for your camera batteries, e-reader, or other electronic devices. This backup charger will come in handy when your primary charger is occupied or when you need to charge multiple devices simultaneously. It ensures that all your gadgets stay powered throughout your Alaska cruise.
Toiletries and Medications
Toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss
Maintaining oral hygiene is essential, even while on vacation. Pack your toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss to keep your teeth and gums clean and healthy. Look for travel-sized versions to save space in your toiletry bag. If you have a specific brand or type of toothpaste that you prefer, transfer a small amount into a travel-sized container to comply with airline regulations.
Shampoo, conditioner, and body wash
Most cruise ships provide basic toiletries such as shampoo, conditioner, and body wash, but having your preferred products ensures that you feel comfortable during your trip. If you’re sensitive to certain brands or have specific hair or skin care preferences, bring travel-sized bottles of your preferred shampoo, conditioner, and body wash. Consider using leak-proof travel bottles to prevent spills in your luggage.
Deodorant and perfume/cologne
Stay fresh and confident throughout your Alaska cruise by packing deodorant and your favorite perfume or cologne. Opt for travel-sized versions or transfer the desired amount into smaller containers to ensure compliance with travel regulations. Be mindful of any scents that may attract insects, such as strong floral fragrances, as Alaska is known for its mosquitos and other biting insects.
If you take prescription medications, make sure you have an ample supply for the duration of your Alaska cruise. It’s advisable to bring extra medication in case of unforeseen delays or itinerary changes. Keep your medications in their original labeled containers to avoid any potential issues with customs or security. Additionally, carry a copy of your prescription or a letter from your healthcare provider detailing your medical conditions and necessary medications.
Pain relievers and motion sickness medication
Pack a small supply of pain relievers and motion sickness medication. Alaska’s bumpy waters and potential for motion sickness during excursions or scenic cruising may require over-the-counter remedies. Pain relievers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen can provide relief for headaches or minor aches and pains. Be sure to follow the recommended dosages and warnings on the packaging.
First aid kit
Having a basic first aid kit on hand is always a good idea, especially when traveling to remote locations like Alaska. Include items such as adhesive bandages, antiseptic wipes, blister patches, gauze, tweezers, and a small pair of scissors. This kit can come to the rescue for minor cuts, scrapes, blisters, or other minor injuries. Additionally, include any necessary personal medications or supplies specific to your medical needs.
Hair styling products
If you have specific hair styling preferences, don’t forget to pack your preferred hair products. Whether it’s hair spray, gel, mousse, or styling cream, having your preferred products on board ensures that you can maintain your desired hairstyle throughout your Alaska cruise. Look for travel-sized options or transfer a small amount into travel containers to save space in your luggage.
Feminine hygiene products
Ensure you have an adequate supply of feminine hygiene products for the duration of your Alaska cruise. It may be challenging to find specific brands or products once onboard the ship or during port visits. If you use reusable menstrual products, pack them along with a small waterproof bag for storage and cleaning. Having your preferred products on hand ensures that you stay comfortable throughout your trip.
If you prefer to shave during your Alaska cruise, be sure to pack your preferred shaving supplies. This includes razors, shaving cream or gel, and any after-shave products you typically use. Consider using travel-sized options or transfer a small amount into travel containers to save space and comply with airline regulations. Remember to pack any necessary items, such as spare razor blades or a shaving brush.
Contact lenses and solution
If you wear contact lenses, ensure you have enough daily disposable lenses or a sufficient supply of solution for the duration of your Alaska cruise. Consider bringing a spare pair of glasses as a backup, in case of any issues with your contact lenses. Pack your contact lens case and travel-sized bottles of solution to comply with airline regulations. Properly caring for your contact lenses ensures clear vision throughout your trip.
Entertainment and Leisure
Books or e-books
Take advantage of the downtime during your Alaska cruise by indulging in a good book. Whether you prefer physical books or e-books, bring along a selection of titles to keep you entertained. Consider reading books related to Alaska’s history, wildlife, or the culture of the indigenous communities. The ship’s library may also have a selection of books to borrow, but having your own ensures you always have something to read at your leisure.
Deck of cards or travel games
Gather your family or friends for some fun and friendly competition with a deck of cards or travel-sized board games. Card games like Uno, Go Fish, or Poker are popular choices that can be enjoyed by all ages. Alternatively, pack travel-sized versions of classic board games like Scrabble or Monopoly for hours of entertainment. These games are also great conversation starters and an excellent way to bond with fellow passengers during your cruise.
Sketchbook and pencils
Unleash your creativity and capture the inspiring landscapes and wildlife of Alaska with a sketchbook and a set of pencils. Whether you’re an experienced artist or just starting, sketching can be a therapeutic and immersive activity. Find a comfortable spot on the ship or during your excursions and let your imagination flow. You’ll be amazed at how the natural beauty of Alaska can inspire your artistic pursuits.
Portable music player
If you prefer listening to your favorite tunes without draining your device’s battery, consider bringing a portable music player. Load it up with your carefully curated playlists or downloaded podcasts to keep you entertained during your downtime on the ship or during excursions. Look for a lightweight and compact player that fits comfortably in your pocket or bag.
Document your experiences, thoughts, and memories with a travel journal. There’s something special about putting pen to paper and capturing your impressions of Alaska’s breathtaking landscapes, wildlife sightings, and cultural encounters. Whether it’s a simple notebook or a beautifully crafted journal, find one that speaks to you and use it to record your adventures. Your travel journal will be a cherished keepsake of your Alaska cruise for years to come.
If you’re traveling with children or simply enjoy some beach fun, pack a few swim and beach toys. Bucket and shovel sets, inflatable beach balls, or water squirters can provide hours of entertainment both at the ship’s pool and during shore excursions. These toys are also great for building sandcastles or having a friendly game of catch on the beach. Just make sure to pack them in a separate bag to keep sand away from your other belongings.
If you plan on snorkeling during your Alaska cruise, consider bringing your own snorkeling gear to ensure a comfortable and personalized experience. Rental gear may be available onboard or at some ports, but having your own mask, snorkel, and fins ensures a proper fit and sanitation. Alaska’s pristine waters offer opportunities for unique snorkeling experiences, including the chance to spot colorful marine life and explore underwater ecosystems.
Binoculars for wildlife viewing
Alaska is a haven for wildlife enthusiasts and birdwatchers. Bring a pair of binoculars to enhance your wildlife-viewing experiences. Whether you’re cruising through fjords, observing humpback whales, or marveling at bald eagles soaring above, binoculars allow you to get a closer look and appreciate the intricate details of Alaska’s flora and fauna. Don’t forget to investigate the features and magnification power that suit your specific interests and preferences.
Portable DVD player (optional)
If you’d like to enjoy movies or TV shows during your downtime or before bedtime, consider bringing a portable DVD player. Although most cruise ships offer in-room TVs and an array of entertainment options, having your own portable DVD player allows you to watch your favorite movies or TV series at your leisure. Whether it’s a classic film or the latest blockbuster, curling up with a movie can be a comforting and relaxing way to unwind during your cruise.
Fishing gear (if allowed)
If you’re an avid angler or want to experience the thrill of fishing in Alaska, check with the cruise line and local regulations regarding fishing opportunities. Some cruises offer fishing excursions where you can try your hand at catching salmon, halibut, or other fish species. If fishing is permitted, pack your own fishing gear, such as rods, reels, lures, and fishing accessories. Fishing in Alaska’s pristine waters can be a memorable and rewarding experience.
Reusable water bottle
Staying hydrated is essential, especially when you’re in an environment like Alaska. Pack a reusable water bottle to ensure you have access to clean drinking water throughout your trip. Many cruise ships have water filling stations to refill your bottle, and you can also ask for water at bars or restaurants onboard. Having a reusable water bottle helps reduce plastic waste and ensures you always have water at hand during shore excursions.
Luggage locks and tags
Protect your belongings by using luggage locks and tags. Locks provide an extra layer of security and deter theft. Look for TSA-approved locks to comply with airport security regulations. Additionally, attach luggage tags to your suitcases with your contact information to help identify your bags and facilitate their return if they get lost. It’s also a good idea to have a copy of your itinerary attached to your luggage in case of any mix-ups.
Travel neck pillow
Long flights, bus transfers, or even relaxing on the ship can be more comfortable with a travel neck pillow. These pillows provide support and help prevent neck strain or discomfort during extended periods of sitting or lounging. Look for an inflatable or compact version that can easily fit in your carry-on bag or backpack. A travel neck pillow is a small investment that can significantly enhance your travel comfort.
Laundry detergent packets
If you want to do laundry during your Alaska cruise, consider packing a few laundry detergent packets. Most cruise ships provide laundry facilities where you can wash and dry your clothes for an additional fee. By bringing your own detergent, you avoid the need to purchase single-use packets or pay higher prices onboard. Ensure that the detergent packets comply with airline regulations to avoid any issues during your travel.
Ziplock bags for wet items
Carry a few Ziplock bags of various sizes to store wet swimsuits, muddy shoes, or any other damp or soiled items during your Alaska cruise. These bags will prevent moisture or odors from spreading to other belongings in your luggage. Additionally, they are handy for storing toiletries and preventing leaks or spills. Opt for reusable or biodegradable bags to minimize plastic waste and keep your belongings organized during your trip.
A portable sewing kit can be a lifesaver for minor clothing repairs or emergencies. Pack a small kit with thread, needles, buttons, and safety pins. This will come in handy if you need to fix a loose button, mend a small tear, or make any other quick adjustments to your clothing. It’s a small item that takes up minimal space but can save the day if a wardrobe malfunction occurs.
Snacks and energy bars
Pack a variety of snacks and energy bars to keep you fueled during your Alaska cruise. While the cruise ship will have a wide array of dining options, having some favorite snacks on hand ensures you have a quick and convenient option when hunger strikes. Choose snacks that are easy to pack, non-perishable, and provide sustained energy. Granola bars, trail mix, dried fruits, and nuts are popular choices for on-the-go snacking.
Travel pillow and blanket
If you value comfort and relaxation during your flights or extended periods of sitting, bring a travel pillow and blanket with you. These accessories provide added support and warmth, making your journey more comfortable. Look for inflatable or compact versions that are easy to pack. The travel pillow can also be used during your cruise for relaxing on deck or in your cabin.
Power strip for multiple outlets
With multiple electronic devices to charge, having a power strip with multiple outlets can be a game-changer. Cruise ship cabins typically have limited power outlets, so a power strip allows you to charge multiple devices simultaneously. Look for a compact and surge-protected power strip that meets all safety standards. It’s a convenient accessory that ensures your devices stay powered up and ready to use.
Small backpack or day bag
Carry a small backpack or day bag during your excursions and on the ship. This bag will be useful for carrying your essentials, such as sunscreen, camera, water bottle, snacks, and any other items you may need throughout the day. Look for a lightweight and compact option with multiple compartments for better organization. A small backpack or day bag allows you to explore comfortably without being weighed down by a heavy bag.
Food and Drink
Granola bars and snack packs
Pack a variety of granola bars and snack packs to satisfy your hunger between meals or during excursions. Granola bars are convenient, non-perishable, and provide a quick boost of energy. Look for options with a good balance of protein, fiber, and carbohydrates to keep you feeling full and energized. Snack packs with nuts, dried fruits, or seeds are also great for on-the-go snacking.
Non-perishable snacks like nuts and dried fruits
In addition to granola bars, bring a selection of non-perishable snacks like nuts and dried fruits. These snacks are compact, easy to pack, and provide essential nutrients. They can be enjoyed during your excursions, while exploring the ports of call, or during relaxing moments on the ship. Packing your own snacks gives you greater control over your dietary preferences and ensures you have suitable options available.
Instant coffee or tea packets
If you’re a coffee or tea lover, bring a few instant coffee or tea packets with you. Cruises usually provide coffee and tea onboard, but having your preferred brand or flavor can enhance your morning routine or provide a pick-me-up throughout the day. Look for single-serve packets that are easy to pack and dissolve quickly. Enjoy a cup of your favorite hot beverage while taking in the scenic views of Alaska.
Re-usable coffee cup or travel mug
Save money and reduce waste by bringing your own re-usable coffee cup or travel mug. Many cruise ships offer self-serve coffee stations, and having your own cup ensures you can enjoy your favorite brew at your leisure. Re-usable cups also help keep your beverages hot or cold for longer periods. Choose an insulated cup with a spill-proof lid for added convenience and to prevent any accidents onboard.
Disposable plates, cups, and utensils
In addition to your re-usable coffee cup, pack a few disposable plates, cups, and utensils. These items come in handy for picnics, enjoying snacks on-the-go, or for impromptu meals in your cabin. Opt for eco-friendly options made from biodegradable or compostable materials to reduce environmental impact. Having disposable plates, cups, and utensils provides flexibility and convenience during your cruise.
Collapsible cooler bag
If you plan on picnicking or keeping beverages and snacks chilled during your excursions, consider packing a collapsible cooler bag. These bags are lightweight and compact when not in use but expand to accommodate food and drinks. They are a great way to keep perishable items fresh and prevent spoilage during your Alaska cruise. Look for bags with thermal insulation and leak-proof features for maximum effectiveness.
Waterproof food storage containers
Invest in a few waterproof and airtight food storage containers to keep your snacks and leftovers fresh and secure. These containers are particularly useful when during shore excursions where you may want to pack sandwiches, salads, or other perishable items. They can also be used to protect your electronics or other valuables from water damage during rainy excursions or water-based activities.
Condiment packets (ketchup, mayo, etc.)
If you have specific condiment preferences or enjoy adding extra flavor to your meals, pack a few condiment packets. Ketchup, mayonnaise, mustard, or your favorite hot sauce are examples of commonly used condiments. Having your preferred condiments on hand ensures you can personalize your onboard meals or add flavor to sandwiches during your excursions. Look for single-serve packets that are convenient and easy to pack.
Mini bottle opener/corkscrew
If you enjoy having a drink in your cabin or purchasing bottled beverages onboard, bring a mini bottle opener or corkscrew. This small tool ensures you can safely open bottles of wine, beer, or other drinks without the need to borrow one from the ship’s staff. Look for compact and multi-functional openers that can easily fit in your pocket or bag.
Canned or packet soups/drinks
For quick and easy meals or beverages, pack a few canned or packet soups or drinks. These items can be enjoyed in your cabin or on-the-go during your excursions. Just add hot water for a comforting bowl of soup or cold water for a refreshing drink. Check the ship’s policies regarding outside food and beverages to ensure compliance and enjoy your favorite flavors during your Alaska cruise.
Safety and Emergency
Travel insurance information
One of the most important items to pack for any trip, including an Alaska cruise, is your travel insurance information. Make sure to carry the necessary documentation, including your policy number and contact information for the insurance provider. Familiarize yourself with the coverage and procedures for making claims. Having travel insurance provides peace of mind and protects you against unforeseen events or emergencies during your trip.
Emergency contact information
Prepare for unexpected situations by carrying a list of emergency contact information with you. Include the phone numbers and contact details of trusted friends or family members who can be notified in case of an emergency. Additionally, ensure you have the necessary contact information for the cruise line, including the ship’s ultimate emergency contact number. Having this information readily accessible ensures you can quickly reach out for assistance if needed.
Flashlight and extra batteries
A small flashlight and extra batteries are essential items to pack for any trip. In case of power outages or during evening excursions, a flashlight can provide much-needed illumination and ensure your safety. Choose a compact and lightweight flashlight with a long battery life. It’s also advisable to pack extra batteries or ensure your flashlight’s batteries are fully charged before your trip.
Whistle or signaling device
Having a whistle or signaling device is important for attracting attention and alerting others in case of an emergency. This can be particularly useful during shore excursions or outdoor activities where you may find yourself in need of assistance. Attach the whistle to your keychain or backpack for easy access. Remember to familiarize yourself with the proper signaling techniques and signals before your trip.
Small personal safe or lockbox
If you’re concerned about the security of your valuables, consider carrying a small personal safe or lockbox. These compact and lightweight safes provide additional protection for items such as passports, credit cards, cash, and jewelry. Look for safes with combination locks or key locks for added convenience and security. Many cruise ships also offer in-room safes for guest use, but having your own personal safe provides an extra layer of peace of mind.
Waterproof document pouch
Protect your important documents from water damage by using a waterproof document pouch. Whether you’re out on the water or exploring rainy ports of call, this pouch ensures that your documents stay dry and secure. Choose a pouch with a watertight seal and sufficient space to hold your passport, cruise itinerary, credit cards, and other essential documents. A waterproof document pouch helps safeguard your important information and ensures smooth sailing throughout your Alaska cruise.
Emergency cash stash
It’s always a good idea to carry an emergency stash of cash during your Alaska cruise. This cash can come in handy in situations where credit cards may not be accepted or if you encounter unexpected circumstances. Keep the emergency cash in a secure location, such as a hidden compartment in your luggage or your personal safe. Ensure you have small denominations and a mix of US currency for convenience.
Portable water filter or purification tablets
If you plan on exploring remote areas or engaging in outdoor activities in Alaska, consider packing a portable water filter or purification tablets. These items allow you to purify water from natural sources, such as streams or lakes, ensuring safe drinking water. This is particularly useful for hikers or adventurers who may not have access to bottled water during their excursions. Ensure you follow the instructions provided with the water filter or purification tablets for optimal use.
Alaska is known for its mosquitos and biting insects, particularly during the summer months. Pack an effective insect repellent to protect yourself from bites. Look for options that contain DEET or other recommended active ingredients for maximum effectiveness. Apply the repellent according to the instructions, especially when venturing into wooded or marshy areas. Protecting yourself from insects ensures a more enjoyable and comfortable Alaska cruise.
Having a set of waterproof matches or a reliable firestarter can be crucial during outdoor activities or emergency situations. Waterproof matches are designed to work even when wet, providing a reliable way to start a fire for warmth or cooking. Ensure that your matches are stored in a waterproof container and carried in a safe and secure location. Familiarize yourself with basic fire safety guidelines before your trip.
Kids and Family
Children’s life jackets
If you’re traveling with young children, safety is paramount. Pack properly fitting life jackets for your children, especially if they will be participating in water-based activities or boat excursions. While many cruise ships provide life jackets, having ones that fit your children properly ensures their comfort and safety. Teach your children how to wear the life jackets correctly and emphasize the importance of water safety during your trip.
Baby wipes and diapers
If you’re traveling with an infant or toddler, pack a sufficient supply of baby wipes and diapers. These items are essential for keeping your little one clean and dry throughout your Alaska cruise. Opt for travel-sized packs or portion out what you need into resealable bags to save space in your luggage. Cruise ships typically provide diaper disposal units or arrangements for disposal, ensuring convenient access during your trip.
Snacks and sippy cups
Bring along your children’s favorite snacks and sippy cups to ensure they have familiar options available during the cruise. Having snacks that your children enjoy can help minimize fussiness and keep their energy levels up during excursions or onboard activities. Pack a variety of snacks that are easy to eat and won’t make a mess. Sippy cups with spill-proof lids are also essential to avoid any accidental spills in your cabin or during the ship’s activities.
Stroller or baby carrier
If you’re traveling with a baby or toddler, consider bringing a stroller or baby carrier. This allows you to easily navigate the ship and port areas while keeping your child comfortable and secure. Strollers are particularly useful for infants and younger toddlers, providing a convenient way to transport them between activities. Opt for lightweight and foldable strollers or carriers that are easy to pack and maneuver.
Favorite stuffed animals/toys
Don’t forget to pack your child’s favorite stuffed animals or toys. These comfort items can help ease any anxiety or homesickness during the trip. Having familiar toys also provides entertainment during downtime or when your child wants some quiet playtime. Encourage your child to select a few of their favorite toys to bring along, making your Alaska cruise feel like a home away from home.
Children’s books and coloring supplies
Keep your children engaged and entertained with their favorite books and coloring supplies. These items can provide comfort and distraction during long flights, wait times, or quiet moments onboard the ship. Choose age-appropriate material that appeals to their interests and encourages creativity. Reading or coloring together can also be a great bonding activity for the whole family.
If you’ll be staying in a cabin with young children, consider childproofing the space to ensure their safety. Pack socket covers, edge guards, and cabinet locks to prevent accidents and curiosity-driven exploration. Familiarize yourself with the cabin layout and any potential hazards that may need attention. The cruise ship’s staff can also provide childproofing measures or assist with any safety concerns you may have.
Travel crib or playpen
Ensure your little one has a safe and comfortable place to sleep by bringing a travel crib or playpen. These portable options provide a familiar sleeping environment, giving your child a restful night’s sleep. Look for lightweight and compact designs that are easy to set up and pack. Having your own travel crib or playpen ensures that you have control over your child’s sleeping arrangements, even in different ports of call.
Portable DVD player or tablet
If your child enjoys watching movies or shows during downtime, consider bringing a portable DVD player or tablet. This provides them with familiar entertainment options during the trip. Load the device with their favorite films or TV shows to keep them engaged during flights, transfers, or quiet moments onboard. Set screen time limits and encourage other activities to ensure a well-rounded experience.
Motion sickness wristbands
If your child is prone to motion sickness, bring motion sickness wristbands. These bands apply gentle pressure to specific acupressure points on the wrists that can help alleviate or prevent motion sickness symptoms. They are a natural and non-invasive option that can be used for all ages. Consult with your child’s pediatrician for advice and guidance regarding motion sickness prevention.
Souvenirs and Shopping
Reusable shopping bags
Bring a few reusable shopping bags to carry your souvenirs and purchases during your Alaska cruise. These bags not only help you stay organized, but they also reduce plastic waste and support sustainability initiatives. Many ports of call and local boutiques encourage the use of reusable bags and may charge for disposable bags. Having your own bags ensures you’re prepared to shop and helps protect the valuable environment of Alaska.
Cash or credit cards for shopping
Ensure you have both cash and credit cards for shopping during your Alaska cruise. While many shops accept credit cards, some smaller establishments or local vendors may prefer cash. Having a mix of payment options allows you to shop with ease and take advantage of any cash-only deals or discounts. Be mindful of currency exchange rates if you plan on using a different currency than the US dollar.
Alaska-themed clothing and accessories
Immerse yourself in the Alaskan culture by purchasing Alaska-themed clothing and accessories. Look for items that showcase local art, wildlife, or the majestic scenery of Alaska. T-shirts, hoodies, hats, scarves, or jewelry with Alaskan designs are popular choices. These items not only serve as souvenirs but also as wearable reminders of your Alaska cruise adventure. Embrace the spirit of the Last Frontier with your unique Alaskan wardrobe.
Local arts and crafts
Support local artisans and bring home a unique piece of Alaskan art or craft. Alaska is renowned for its talented artisans who create beautiful sculptures, paintings, woodwork, and jewelry inspired by the region’s natural beauty. Explore local galleries, craft markets, or Indigenous cultural centers to discover one-of-a-kind pieces that reflect the rich cultural heritage of Alaska. These art pieces make meaningful souvenirs that can be treasured for years to come.
Souvenir magnets or keychains
Collecting magnets or keychains from each port of call is a popular way to commemorate your Alaska cruise. These small and inexpensive souvenirs allow you to create a visual display of your journey, showcasing the unique features of each destination. Whether you prefer magnets for your fridge or keychains for your bag, these mementos serve as lasting reminders of your travel adventures.
Alaska cookbooks and food products
If you’re a food enthusiast, consider bringing home a taste of Alaska by purchasing cookbooks or food products unique to the region. Alaska’s culinary scene is diverse and offers a wide range of delectable dishes and ingredients. From seafood recipes to indigenous cuisine, there are cookbooks available that showcase the flavors of Alaska. Additionally, look for local food products, such as smoked salmon, wildberry jams, or birch syrup, to enjoy a delicious piece of Alaska even after your cruise.
Photography prints or postcards
Capture the beauty of Alaska through the lens of local photographers by purchasing photography prints or postcards. These stunning images showcase Alaska’s breathtaking landscapes, wildlife, and cultural heritage. Hang them in your home or use them as postcards to share the incredible beauty of Alaska with friends and family. Supporting local photographers and artists contributes to the preservation and appreciation of Alaska’s natural wonders.
Unique items from local boutiques
Explore the local boutiques and shops in each port of call to discover unique items that reflect the character and traditions of Alaska. From handcrafted clothing and accessories to locally made skincare products, these boutiques offer a variety of treasures that cannot be found elsewhere. Take the time to meander through the streets and interact with local artisans and shop owners to find hidden gems that will forever remind you of your Alaska cruise.
Gifts for family and friends
Your Alaska cruise provides an excellent opportunity to shop for thoughtful gifts for your family and friends. Consider their interests and preferences and choose items that are representative of Alaska’s beauty and culture. Look for locally made crafts, souvenirs, or food products that are specific to each individual’s tastes. These meaningful gifts will be appreciated and cherished long after your cruise ends.
Alaska-themed home decor
Embrace the spirit of Alaska by incorporating Alaska-themed home decor into your living space. Look for decorative items such as artwork, sculptures, or lamps that showcase Alaska’s wildlife, native heritage, or stunning landscapes. These pieces can serve as conversation starters and keep the spirit of your Alaska cruise alive in your home. By curating a collection of Alaska-themed decor, you create a warm and inviting atmosphere inspired by the Last Frontier.
Hi, I'm Mike, the author of Ocean Bliss Journeys. As the captain of this incredible website, my mission is to provide you with the ultimate sailing experience. Set sail on a journey of discovery with us and indulge in the perfect mix of adventure and relaxation. Our handpicked cruises offer unparalleled luxury and unforgettable destinations. From romantic getaways to family vacations and hidden gem exploration, I've carefully curated tailored packages to ensure every moment is cherished. So, join me and embark on your dream cruise today. Let's create memories that will last a lifetime.