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ErLee

Packing tips for Alaska

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I'm packing a 3 way outlet like

https://www.homedepot.com/p/RIDGID-3-Outlet-Power-Hub-Adapter-36005/305186003

and a multi USB charger like

https://www.anker.com/products/variant/powerport-speed-5-ports/A2054111

The power cord detaches so not one of the surge protected strip models.

The 3 way will accommodate my two camera battery chargers and still have an outlet remaining to plug in the charger for all the USB devices - phones, GoPro battery charger, Power bricks (banks), and HDD backup. It can get crazy.

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41 minutes ago, PittsburghNative said:

 

I know, but certain power strips/charging stations are approved to take onboard. The one I got was highly recommended by cruisers.

 

 

2E0ADBAC-EED5-4EC4-A9E9-F1A16D7764C0.jpeg

 

Electrical extension cords are on the "What Not to Pack" list for Celebrity. If you replace this with a different purchase, don't be surprised if it is confiscated.

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1 hour ago, masterdrago said:

I'm packing a 3 way outlet like

https://www.homedepot.com/p/RIDGID-3-Outlet-Power-Hub-Adapter-36005/305186003

and a multi USB charger like

https://www.anker.com/products/variant/powerport-speed-5-ports/A2054111

The power cord detaches so not one of the surge protected strip models.

The 3 way will accommodate my two camera battery chargers and still have an outlet remaining to plug in the charger for all the USB devices - phones, GoPro battery charger, Power bricks (banks), and HDD backup. It can get crazy.

 

Thanks for the links!

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1 hour ago, Anita Latte said:

 

Electrical extension cords are on the "What Not to Pack" list for Celebrity. If you replace this with a different purchase, don't be surprised if it is confiscated.

 

I decided after reading more of the reviews to not bring it...I’m actually returning it because it doesn’t look like it’s a reliable product. I don’t know why they advertise it and say that it’s good to bring on cruise ships 🧐

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On 4/29/2019 at 9:37 PM, Anita Latte said:

 

This is why layers are the key. You don't need a WARM jacket...you need a waterproof jacket. You need to have optional warm layers to wear over whatever your base layer is. These are the layers...base, warmth, protection. Many possible combos depending on when you go and what the weather is, but this is the wardrobe approach. Your base layer may or may not be seen, depending on how cold it really is. A short or long sleeved shirt may be your base. If needed, for protection, you can just wear your rain coat. If your rain coat helps you be warm enough on it's own (because it isn't THAT cold), great...if not, add a fleece coat, or a vest, or a sweater, or merino wool over shirt, a favorite hoodie. Whatever. Unless you really don't own a raincoat, you shouldn't need a special jacket for Alaska.

 

Great advice, truly.  Except...you don't know my wife.  She gets cold brushing her teeth because her hands get wet.  Her base layer goes on top of her shirt, and is some type of warm jacket.  Then comes her ski jacket, which may be worn unzipped if the temps are in the 60's.  Finally, the raincoat which is two sizes too big in order to cover up the big jacket.  That will protect her down to mid-40's in the rain.  Oh, except for her hands.  She does like turtle fur.

 

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Ditto on the sunscreen, sunglasses and sun hat!

 

I also bring insect repellant wipes but so far have not had to use them!  (We generally cruise in late May/early June)

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16 hours ago, PittsburghNative said:

 

I decided after reading more of the reviews to not bring it...I’m actually returning it because it doesn’t look like it’s a reliable product. I don’t know why they advertise it and say that it’s good to bring on cruise ships 🧐

 

This is the one I have and I've had no issues with the quality or with bringing it on board. I usually put it in my carry on bag. I've used it twice since January on RCCL and NCL and neither questioned it.

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3 hours ago, Adian80 said:

 

This is the one I have and I've had no issues with the quality or with bringing it on board. I usually put it in my carry on bag. I've used it twice since January on RCCL and NCL and neither questioned it.

 

NCL doesn’t have electrical extension cords lists on their prohibited items list, however Royal does. I don’t recall if Royal employees screen the carry on baggage when you board at embarkation or if it is just port security, so that could be why it wasn’t t caught by Royal. It might be more likely to be confiscated if you had packed it in your checked luggage. Either way, you got away with it on Royal but that may not always be the case.

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I'm trying to decide if I pack my puffer jacket or not. Usually once the temps are consistently over 40, I stop wearing it and switch to the 3-in-1 jacket--shell with fleece or lighter weight sweater.  I know no one can predict the weather, but has anyone experienced under 40-degree temps on while on Alaska cruise in June?

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2 hours ago, CrabbyQ said:

I'm trying to decide if I pack my puffer jacket or not. Usually once the temps are consistently over 40, I stop wearing it and switch to the 3-in-1 jacket--shell with fleece or lighter weight sweater.  I know no one can predict the weather, but has anyone experienced under 40-degree temps on while on Alaska cruise in June?

I suggest that you leave the jacket at home. Your 3 in 1 jacket should be sufficient, especially with layers. 

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On 5/4/2019 at 7:07 PM, CrabbyQ said:

I'm trying to decide if I pack my puffer jacket or not. Usually once the temps are consistently over 40, I stop wearing it and switch to the 3-in-1 jacket--shell with fleece or lighter weight sweater.  I know no one can predict the weather, but has anyone experienced under 40-degree temps on while on Alaska cruise in June?

 

I was thinking to bring my mid weight puffer jacket, but now I’m unsure....I’ll be watching the forecast!  Being from Georgia, it seems crazy to be packing sweatshirts, etc. in June!!! 😂

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13 hours ago, ErLee said:

 

I was thinking to bring my mid weight puffer jacket, but now I’m unsure....I’ll be watching the forecast!  Being from Georgia, it seems crazy to be packing sweatshirts, etc. in June!!! 😂

 

We lived in Cobb County for 5 years...I know what you mean...and we went to Alaska at the end of June. If you have a glacier viewing day...you may want that jacket...even if only for that day. I had so many layers on for our Hubbard day...it was COLD. Shivering cold. DS went back to the stateroom to put on the thermal underwear we brought under his pants.

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11 hours ago, Anita Latte said:

 

We lived in Cobb County for 5 years...I know what you mean...and we went to Alaska at the end of June. If you have a glacier viewing day...you may want that jacket...even if only for that day. I had so many layers on for our Hubbard day...it was COLD. Shivering cold. DS went back to the stateroom to put on the thermal underwear we brought under his pants.

 

I'm going to bring it and also my cuddleduds - both will pack pretty small, and if I need them, I'll be really sad if I left them at home!!

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I take most of what has already been mentioned plus:

 

Post it notes and a pencil.  Sometimes I need to write a short note to the cabin steward or my husband.  Travel hand wipes, tissues, lotion, lip balm are a must in my purse.  I have two Relax the Back purses, one large one small that I always take.  It has lots of pockets and zippered areas to store items, even pen/pencil slots.  I bought them in 2000 and was one of the best travel purchases I have ever made.  I take a small purse that has a longer shoulder strap to use on the ship that just holds room key card, cash for the casino, travel size lotion, tissues.  Fanny pack for walking or tours in ports (I know it's dorky but I don't care if I look like a dork).  A small tripod to use for the camera taking videos from the balcony.  Umbrella is a must, one for each person.  Wine bottle opener.  Lanyard for the casino. 

 

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We are sailing 5/28. Originally I planned to take my puffy coat. Now I'm rethinking that. Should a columbia fleece jacket topped by a raincoat be enough? I run hot most of the time and my puffy coat is very warm. I hate to be sweaty! I am so torn about other stuff to pack. Obviously I will be bringing jeans, but probably some long sleeve tees and short sleeve tees that I can top with a sweater. I hate packing! 

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We are on Mille now at Hubbard Glacier. If you run warm then the fleece with raincoat would be perfect. That is what I have been using for the past week. When it is sunny with no wind the fleece is enough. When it is windy (like on deck when on the move) you need the overcoat to block the cold breeze. Don’t forget gloves and maybe a scarf to wrap around your neck and face. If you raincoat does not have a good be sure to bring a hat.

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4 hours ago, hmanderson said:

We are sailing 5/28. Originally I planned to take my puffy coat. Now I'm rethinking that. Should a columbia fleece jacket topped by a raincoat be enough? I run hot most of the time and my puffy coat is very warm. I hate to be sweaty! I am so torn about other stuff to pack. Obviously I will be bringing jeans, but probably some long sleeve tees and short sleeve tees that I can top with a sweater.  

 

3 pieces of advice that I am taking to heart

 

1) From @Anita Latte 

>>  If you have a glacier viewing day...you may want that jacket..

 

2) From a native Alaskan on TripAdvisor who lives in Fairbanks.  I copied and pasted 2) and 3)  into my "Packing notes" Google Docs file:  

>> I can tell you one good way to not notice the waves is to underdress, and be out there on a miserable, rainy, freezing cold day!   That is so much worse than waves, imho! I learned my lesson on one long nature watch, on a small boat, and we all did not fit inside. I was outside the entire 11-12 hours, with my tough two year younger sister, and all anyone has to do is say “Seward Nature Watch”, and we get PTSD!!!    We will never underdress and go on a boat again.

 

The same person from Fairbanks wrote in a different topic something to the effect of:

(I didn't copy it but this is what stuck in my head)

"I can handle -40 degree weather in Fairbanks, but put me on a boat on the water near a glacier and I am COLD"

 

The key question seems to be:  Are you going to be outside on a boat (big or small) near glaciers? 

I am taking both the 8.5 hour Major Marine tour and another all day glacier tour from Whittier.

All before I even start the cruise from Seward.  Therefore, I absolutely am bringing a puffer,  rain shell, rain hat, fleece, the first "comfort layer," etc.

 

I am mentally ready for this to be a physically challenging day (recalling Anita's comment re: "being on that boat for the afternoon was like being on a balance board for several hours) and mentally challenging day if I feel nauseous.

However,  when I look at the photos people have taken from that tour and read the amazing reviews, I just can't wait. 

I have never seen nature or wildlife at the level I've seen in the pictures, and might never see same again.  Even if the weather ends out being terrible all days, I know I will still see things I've never seen before in my life.  

 

In terms of clothes packing, because

a)  I will be on a boat near glaciers

b)  due to a),  the weather temperature forecast will NOT necessarily indicate the temperature I'll feel on the boat

 

My Conclusion:  I need "bring 1 of everything"   (everything =  all the layers, all the rain gear, etc.) 

The beauty of a cruise is fewer times packing and unpacking.   So needing to have more than usual packed is not as big of a deal during the trip.   ( But now in the planning stages it's downright traumatic! 😨

 

3) From someone on TripAdvisor who lives in Anchorage

>>  However, I would leave the jeans at home. (Actually I don’t even have jeans at home...I wore jeans during my first backpack trip in Denali and spent an hour drying them using the Fielson Visitor Center hand driers after two soggy days camping on the tundra next to the Muldrow Glacier. They aren’t nice and warm and they are bulky to pack. They soak up water and get heavy and cold and then take forever to dry. The convertible pants bought loose enough to go over a pair of long johns or leggings are a better option.

Really experiencing Alaska isn’t for the well-healed. Layers that work and are comfortable and footwear that will dry quickly, can be worn all day, and provides traction on all surfaces are important. I also prefer a lightweight hat to using a hood because a hood blocks my peripheral vision.   There is no bad weather up here. Just bad gear.

 

I am still bringing jeans but not for the glacier adventures.  I thought his / her comment about hoods vs hats was interesting.

Edited by SempreMare

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I will add...I debated bringing my fleece vest. I have one of those nubby fuzzy fleece type vests that isn't sherpa fleece but is in that style? Anyway...it doesn't pack small but it is one of my favorite layering pieces to wear at home. I ultimately decided to bring it and I'm so glad that I did. So my advice regarding questionable layers is this...if you love it and it's something you enjoy wearing for layering at home, then bring it. Because you will miss it and vacation isn't the time when you want to leave behind your favorite things. If however, it's not something that you usually grab and you make do well with other things...then you probably will make do with other things on vacation too.

 

To speak to the hood versus hat...I agree with the cut off of peripheral vision with a hood...however, in the wind, a hood can feel more secure than a hat, depending on the type of hat. Beanie style hats are really secure...and if you can get a messy bun beanie...those are really good in the wind. Hoods also help with exposed neck...so if you are going to rely on a hat, think about your neck...and your ears (again depending on the hat). There's no one way to prepare for Alaska and what you are doing...it's all just a matter of thinking about your "kit" and how you are going to deal with what may come your way.

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Wow! Great tips. Now I’m torn. I’m a native NYer (now living in NC) and I dealt with a wet, windy blizzard in NYC last year with only a fleece and raincoat. The worst part was getting our feet and jeans soaked. However, that wasn’t on a boat and we will be on the glacier tour as well as an ATV buggy ride while in Alaska. Maybe a puffer would be smart. I’ll see if I can fit it. It’s going to be upper 60’s/low 70’s while there but the glacier could be very uncomfortable. 

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With a windy, cold drizzle much of the time we were there, I definitely needed a warm jacket.  Of course, warm is relative to where you come from.  I live in Houston, and Alaska felt pretty much like a Houston winter day.  Most of the time we were there the temp was around 55 degrees.  I wore a couple of shirt layers, plus a fleece like a North Face or Columbia jacket with a rain jacket over it.  I wore long underwear several times as well. 

 

The things I didn't need...I brought way too many dressy clothes.  I brought quite a few cute sweaters, pants, and boots.  Other than the one dress up night, most people were coming in from excursions and wearing either leggings, jeans, or hiking pants in the dining room.  Lots of times we weren't leaving port till 8 or later and ended up eating places other than the dining room. 

 

Thing I loved having...a cheap over the door pocket organizer to hang on the bathroom door and hold all the bathroom stuff that we didn't have room for on the tiny counter.

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6 hours ago, hmanderson said:

We are sailing 5/28. Originally I planned to take my puffy coat. Now I'm rethinking that. Should a columbia fleece jacket topped by a raincoat be enough? I run hot most of the time and my puffy coat is very warm. I hate to be sweaty! I am so torn about other stuff to pack. Obviously I will be bringing jeans, but probably some long sleeve tees and short sleeve tees that I can top with a sweater. I hate packing!  

 

A Columbia fleece with a raincoat is exactly what I took.  I am quite cold most of the time and it was perfect because you could take off and put on or zip and unzip as needed. 

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2 minutes ago, MommyCPA said:

With a windy, cold drizzle much of the time we were there, I definitely needed a warm jacket.  Of course, warm is relative to where you come from.  I live in Houston, and Alaska felt pretty much like a Houston winter day.  Most of the time we were there the temp was around 55 degrees.  I wore a couple of shirt layers, plus a fleece like a North Face or Columbia jacket with a rain jacket over it.  I wore long underwear several times as well. 

 

The things I didn't need...I brought way too many dressy clothes.  I brought quite a few cute sweaters, pants, and boots.  Other than the one dress up night, most people were coming in from excursions and wearing either leggings, jeans, or hiking pants in the dining room.  Lots of times we weren't leaving port till 8 or later and ended up eating places other than the dining room. 

 

Thing I loved having...a cheap over the door pocket organizer to hang on the bathroom door and hold all the bathroom stuff that we didn't have room for on the tiny counter.

Here in NC, I wore my puffy coat only twice and one of those times was while in the mountains. Very likely I would be okay.

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5 minutes ago, MommyCPA said:

 

A Columbia fleece with a raincoat is exactly what I took.  I am quite cold most of the time and it was perfect because you could take off and put on or zip and unzip as needed. 

What time of year did you cruise?

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Just off the Nieuw Amsterdam this morning...

 

Items I used frequently were lightweight gloves (which I used mainly while walking on the cool windy promenade and in Glacier Bay), binoculars (small, lightweight and I had them with me all the time which was the right choice based on all the Orca and other wildlife sightings) and a hoodie/lightweight zip sweater in case I needed the extra layer under my lightweight rain jacket.

 

 

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