By Jennifer Stuart
An Alaska Cruise varies considerably in many ways from a warmer weather cruise, including what you will need to pack. Read on for our advice on what to pack for your Disney Alaska Cruise.
Disney Alaska Cruises depart from Vancouver, Canada. The weather in Vancouver is similar to that of Seattle. Think mild and rainy for much of the year but can also have beautiful sunny summer days. What you will want to pack for Vancouver for any pre or post cruise days will vary depending on when you will be there. The height of summer can be warm and you might want to pack shorts and sandals. If you are travelling in May, however, it is unlikely that you will need to pack these. A rain jacket and umbrella are always a good idea.
Prepare for the weather
Most of the time we found that the weather was quite moderate and we were comfortable with just a light sweater or hoodie. But when the wind picks up it can feel much cooler. This is especially true on excursions and on deck when the ship is moving. Keep in mind our cruise was in the middle of summer (late July). Closer to the start or end of the season you will definitely want warmer clothes and outerwear. We suggest a lightweight "packable" down jacket. It is great for colder weather and layering under a rain jacket/waterproof shell and will keep you warm in most situations. A "packable" jacket will often stuff down into a tiny pouch and take up very little room in your suitcase.
The exception to this was when we passed the Tracy Arm glacier. In this area it was cold. Jackets were a must and for those more sensitive to the cold a warm hat and light gloves were appreciated.
It rains in Alaska. It rains A LOT. Expect rain at least one of the days. We highly recommend a good rain jacket. This is especially true if you are planning any of the more active shore excursions. A good rain jacket will also act as a windbreak and make you feel warmer as well. If you don't pack a rain jacket consider packing a number of disposable ponchos. You may want to bring an umbrella as well if you are going to be walking around on shore (they are not particularly useful on deck). See below for a link to both adult and kid sized ponchos available through Amazon.
Disney provides H2O branded toiletries for your stateroom (shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and moisturizer). These are lovely and smell really nice in our opinion. So unless you absolutely must use your own kind of toiletries don't pack them and enjoy these instead. The one exception we would note is that these are adult products so if your small child regularly uses a baby or child friendly shampoo you will want to bring it from home.
You will want to pack whatever you wold normally travel with in terms of makeup and hygiene items (i.e. toothpaste etc.). Two items you may not have considered packing are sunscreen (it may be Alaska but it can still be very sunny) and insect repellent. This area is known for its mosquitos.
Carry On Tips
Carry on items will be screened prior to boarding. Your bag/suitcase will go through an x-ray and you will be asked to open it if security has any questions about what you are bringing on board. Treat your carry on the same here as you would for an airline.
Things you should pack in your carry on:
Remember you will have to keep your carry on with you until you can get into your room. That will most likely be around 1:30- 2:00. Your checked luggage will be delivered to the hallway outside your stateroom. It most likely will not be there when your room is first ready. Don't panic if your luggage does not all come at the same time as it can get separated. Some of it may not arrive until right before dinner. For example we all had our bags but my sister-in-law didn't get hers until MUCH later than the rest of us.
What NOT to pack
Here is a link to the Disney Cruise Line List of Prohibited Items
My Packing List
I decided to include our packing list, not because I think it is what you should pack but so it gives you an idea of where you can start for your own list. See below for a downloadable pdf.
If you liked the post you may bi interested in some of our other cruising posts
All photos by Jennifer Stuart
Questions? Comment? Did we forget anything that you think is essential? We would love to hear from you.
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