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Packing for a 10 Day Alaskan Cruise report

I just took a 10 day Alaskan cruise. We left from San Francisco, meaning we drove to port (so easy!). I could have packed more, but honestly, I am more comfortable with less. Easier to pack/unpack and honestly, I am less overwhelmed by the quantity.
My bags were a Travelpro rolling carry-on and a Kipling Sasha tote.

I've missed packing reports, so maybe this will inspire someone else to post?

4 casual pants
1 dress pants

1 long sleeve tunic
1 ¾ sleeve blouse
1 sleeveless blouse
3 swing tees (various colors)
2 solid color short sleeve tees
2 “dressy” tops
1: and 2:

Misc Clothes
Swim suit
sleeveless dress (as swim coverup)
Underwear 6
Bras 3
Socks (I brought a couple “knee hi’s, 1 pair wool socks, and 6 pairs ankle socks)

Cold weather clothes
Soft gaiter
Magic gloves
Black pashmina
2 pairs black tights
2 under tees (performance wear)

Black very lightweight ¾ sleeve open cardigan (
Lightweight DCL windbreaker with hood (
black blazer (made of soft modal fabric, almost sweatshirt feeling)
A down jacket (not that great of quality, but used it on last Alaskan cruise)

Sneakers (arch support)
May Jane style sneakers (arch support)
Arch support slip on shoes (think skechers style)
Dress flats

iPad mini
Electronics cords and chargers
Games (Code names, 3 decks cards, Left Right center, Yahtzee)
Umbrellas (2)
OTC meds such as bonine, ibuprofen, etc
phone case with lanyard (

This included what I wore the first day. So between what I wore and and what I packed, it all fit in my carryons.
Our weather ended up being quite temperate, so I only wore the tights and undershirt once and I really didn't even need them that day. (My previous cruise, I used them often). I also ended up not booking the thermal spa and didn’t go to the hot tub, so didn’t use the swim suit or cover up, but I don’t regret carrying these items… just don’t know. We traveled with 5 other people…..I probably would have used the thermal spa if it was just dh and I traveling.

I also could have done with one less pair of shoes as well, but again, had it been really rainy I would have been happy for the second pair for excursions (my last trip to Alaska, it did rain in almost all our ports and my shoes were soaked)
I wore everything else. I could have easily left out one pair of pants and two tops, but the variety was nice. Had we been moving around, I would have packed less.
Dh and I did one load of laundry on about day 6. And I rinsed out bras in the sink (super easy)
I had nice clothes for formal nights and felt my level of “dressiness” was on par with about 60& of passengers. I’d say 20% dressed very casually on gala nights and maybe 20% were much more dressy. I wore my black flats but added shoe clips (one night rhinestones and the other night a flower) so I felt that added an “extra” dressy touch.

Posted by
127 posts

Ironically, I actually packed better at the end of the trip. I had packed everything, while still deciding on outerwear and then just stuffed them at the top. By packing them at the bottom of the my bag to begin with, everything fit way better. I really learned that how you pack DOES matter, it’s not just what you bring.
The phone case with lanyard was outstanding. It has a little zippered pocket that held a couple of credit cards, license and cash. I wore it as a crossbody throughout the ship and around my neck when taking pictures (no danger of dropping it). So glad I purchased it!

What I would do differently:
I’d probably pack one less pair of pants and two less tops and bring two lightweight cardigan style outerwear. I found I liked a second layer I could wear over my tops and most of the time, that’s all people saw. I would have preferred the variety of the cardigans and wearing the same tops.
I liked slipping my feet into a lightweight pair of shoes after excursions, but I could have done without them if the packing space was tight.
I’d also maybe skip the down jacket, unless I was doing excursions that I would be outside for longer periods. I never wore it. A lightweight sweatshirt or cardigan under a windbreaker would have been more versatile and I could have just added the tights and undershirt. I really liked the blazer. It was as comfortable as a sweatshirt, but much dressier.
Otherwise, I was pleased with what I packed.

I know this isn’t a European packing list, or even for a long trip. But maybe some of these thoughts could be helpful for someone on a similar trip. I could have downsized into a smaller bag by packing less, but this was perfect for a driving trip. If I were flying, I’d change what I brought to make sure my carry on and personal item met whatever criteria the airline required.

Posted by
1259 posts

Sweet, thanks for the post! The best packing reports are the post-trip deconstructions.

Posted by
54 posts

Thanks PandaBear.
This is very useful to me. We’re planning a 3+ month trip to Europe next year that includes everything from walking in remote-ish areas to cruising to nice hotel stays and city breaks. I’ve been avidly reading all of the packing posts, and your list seems similar to what I’ve been thinking, so it’s nice to know it works, and fits in a carry on size.

Posted by
13 posts

Thanks PandaBear,
I enjoyed your packing report.

It was a bit cooler the first week of June on my AK Cruise, so I did use my puffy jacket. Fun to compare and contrast packing styles. I always seem to be short on tops, no matter how I pack. ??

Posted by
1259 posts

Packing lists and post-trip evalautions are always intersting reading for some of us and helpful for others embarking on similar trips. welcome home and thanks for the post.

Layering is fundamental to comfort, utility, and variety.