Headed on your cruise? Have everything packed? Yeah, right!
No matter how careful you are, there is always something that you’ll inevitably forget, whether because you truly forgot it or simply didn’t realize you needed it.
That’s why we’ve also gone one step further in identifying 14 things that you’ll want to bring on your next Alaskan cruise. These items range from the obvious to the oft-forgotten, but they all share one characteristic… you’ll be happy you brought them.
Put this as item number one on your list. A Caribbean cruise doesn’t need a pair, but you don’t want to leave them at home on an Alaskan cruise. Spotting wildlife — and really getting a good look at them — is the biggest draw to Alaska. A decent pair of binoculars are worth their weight in gold. $25 on Amazon
These days most people have pretty nice cameras on their phones, but there is still no beating the picture quality of a real camera. We have a Canon PowerShot SX260 model personally and love the zoom and the compact form. We can pull it out and snap a photo in just a few seconds, without having to fumble through our phone’s camera. It’s a little expensive — about $400 — but the memories are worth every penny.
Alaskan weather can change in an instant. You want to be prepared. Be sure to pack a nice rain jacket that is light enough to carry at all times. That will make sure that you’re prepared if the weather goes south. This jacket is affordable and gets great reviews.
Sunscreen? In Alaska? It sounds odd, but you can get burnt on your cruise, just as you would in warmer climates. The reflection of the sun off water and/or snow can be a double-whammy. Take sunscreen and use it liberally. A bottle should run between $6-10.
Have an iPhone? What about a tablet or a laptop? A small fan? A nightlight, curling iron or straightener? You can see that outlet space can be at a premium in a small cruise cabin. That’s why we recommend packing an adapter that will expand the number of plugs. We love how this one also has USB plugs to allow you to charge many devices without taking up a traditional plug. $17.50 on Amazon
Most cabins don’t have clocks. And while most people want to leave the alarm clock at home, we suggest bringing one. Not only will it make sure you don’t miss any onboard activities, but it can also help you pack in the most into your days in port. If you’re the sort of person who likes getting up early to be the first off the ship, then this $20 alarm clock is worth its weight in gold.
Alaska is a draw because of its rugged landscape. You’ll want to pack shoes that allow you to navigate over rough terrain without hurting your feet or your ankles. Your feet will be happy you invested in them after a long day ashore.
You should definitely bring mosquito repellent. You won’t need it while the ship is sailing (there aren’t mosquitoes in the middle of the ocean), but when you are in port, be sure to apply it as often as sunscreen to keep from getting bit by bugs. The good stuff is a bit pricey. You can usually find it for about $9 a bottle on Amazon.
While you likely won’t be doing much swimming off the ship, there is still the possibility of getting wet. A good drybag will ensure that your items like passports, cameras, phones, and cash stay dry and out of the elements. They can be as little as $10, like the one shown above, which comes with a phone case as well.
We always like to bring a few Ziploc bags because you never know what you’ll need them for. They are perfect in a pinch to keep things dry, or pack snacks for an excursion, or keeping small souvenirs to keep them from getting lost in your luggage.
Swimsuit for the Spa
What would a cruise be without a little swimming? While you won’t be headed to the beach, every ship will have multiple hot tubs that are inviting after a long day trekking through Alaska. So even though you may not be working on your tan, pack a swimsuit so that you can relax in some warm water.
We mentioned earlier about the importance of sunscreen. It’s the same with a good wide-brimmed hat. Keep the sun off of you in the first place and you don’t have to worry about getting burned. We like to bring these sorts of hats on our cruises. We like the universal style of the one above, which runs about $33 on Amazon.
Most cabins don’t come with a fan, so bringing along a small one is smart. It will provide more circulation in the room, but it will also serve as the perfect white noise. Sometimes your cabin will have people walking back and forth in the corridors. Having a fan helps to drown out the sound and keeps you from having it wake you up. $20 on Amazon
When you’re by the pool or on an excursion in port, it’s nice to have a little something to drink. Unless you want to constantly buy bottles of water, however, then you’ll want to bring your own bottle to fill up. We like this one because the space between your water and the outside of the bottle keeps your drink colder for longer. $13 on Amazon