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Are there formal nights on Alaskan cruises and what didn't you bring on your Alaskan cruise that you wish you did?

Are there formal nights on Alaskan cruises and what didn't you bring on your Alaskan cruise that you wish you did?

Jul 24th, 2007, 12:24 PM
Original Poster
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Are there formal nights on Alaskan cruises and what didn't you bring on your Alaskan cruise that you wish you did?

Family of four taking our first Alaskan cruise (Inside Passage) on RCCL. Most of our trips have been to warm destinations so packing for this trip seems so different! Any advice appreciated!
eileen is offline  
Jul 24th, 2007, 12:51 PM
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Just bring a jacket and a couple of sweaters and an umbrella.

It can get a little cool as the ship comes near the icebergs.

Yes there are formal nights, it is your choice if you want to go.

So if you do not want to dress up then for that night go to the buffet..or else bring your good dress-up clothes.

jmvp is offline  
Jul 24th, 2007, 01:33 PM
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Go to cruisecritic.com for Alaska packing lists and lots of ship info.

I pack in layers and opt for a waterproof mid calf length jacket with hood. It rains often and can be cold on the glaciers. I used my hat and gloves most days of my recent Alaska as I have in the past.

Yes, RCI will have two formal nights. You can opt out completely by dining at the Windjammer buffet or - depending on the ship - one of the other ala carte venues. Or, simply pack a suit and tie (or sport coat and tie) for the men and dressy pants outfits or dresses for the ladies and enjoy.

Small binoculars, disposable camera (for inclement weather), umbrella are all recommended.
kfusto is offline  
Jul 24th, 2007, 07:42 PM
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As has been pointed out pack in layers, i.e. swewaters, light, water proof jackets, etc. Binocs are a must for sight seeing. The best pasrt of any Alaskan cruise are the shore excursions so be choosy about what you do. Try to pick what appeals to you most as the offerings are many and varied. K's idea bout a disposable camera is righton the money. Our camrea got ruined from exposure to light rain while on Mendenhall glacier. It won't be like the Caribbean but you won't miss it either. Cheers, Larry
jacketwatch is offline  
Jul 24th, 2007, 07:46 PM
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I was glad I followed someone's advice here to take gloves.
April is offline  
Jul 25th, 2007, 07:50 AM
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I am not sure of your ports of call .

However, you have been already told how to dress and also taking a small wool pair of gloves is a good idea. The kind that you can just stuff into your jacket pocket.

You may never even need them.

Don't get the idea that Alaska is the frozen north and that everything is cold.

In Skagway:
1. Your cruise ship dock right at the edge of town...main street is just a two block walk and the street runs for about 10 blocks.

As you leave the cruise ship , then on your right hand side is a nice black and red train that they once used to clear snow off the track... look at that huge multi blade propeller in front!!

2.You can wander around on your own , but I would try to take the White Oass and Yukon Railway Train ride.

This trip takes about 3 1/2 hours round trip.
You will see the country side like never before and you can go outside and stand between the train cars as the train makes one of those sharp curves...but hang on because it is a looooog drop down into the canyon below !!!

The train will bring you right back to the cruise ship.

3. You can take a walking and riding tour around Skagway.
Here you will be take to a few vantage points for some great views of Skagway.

Also you willbe taken to the Gold Rush Cemetery.... you have to hear all about the con -man Jefferson Randolf "Soapy " Smith and the man who shot him ( Frank Reid).

You will learn why his nickname was "Soapy"!!!

It is a very quaint little town and you will enjoy walking down main street...but try to do the White Pass Railway Ride.


I hope you get to stop in Juneau:

1. This is where the Govenor's Mansion is.
2. As soon as you get off the cruise ship , there is ( almost in front of you) the Mount Roberts Tramway...it is a sharp ride up in the cable car but the views at the top are spectacular.

Bring your camera for sure.

There is a theatre, restaurant and gift shops up here( of course!)

3. There is also the Macauly Salmon Hatcher about 2-34 miles away and this is interesting to see.... I was impressed.

4. Of course you will in all likely hood go to visit the Mendenhall Glacier...here you will see ice like you have never seen before.!!

Also you will see a lot of Eagles, they will be feeding on Salmon ( what else!)

It is very neat to see them fly very low over the river and then grab a poor salmon that was swimming a bit too close to the top of the water.!!


At this port your ship docks almost downtown again... that is the nice things about an Alaska Cruise the ports are almost all downtown.

It is nice walking around here and make sure you visit Creek Street, the old Red Light District.
It is not really a street but a board walk only for foot traffic.

Look over the bridge into the water...that is Ketchikan Creek below and if you are there in late August or September you will see Salmon coming upstream... pretty cool site when you see them.

Of course you can just get off the ship ,turn to your Left and you are on the main shopping street.

Here is a little tid bit:

Did you know that Juneau is the only State Capital that is not accessible by road....so you have to fly in or come in via the waterway!!hmmm!

Good that you are going through the Inside Passage.

The Fjords are really something to see.

Hopefully they will take you to Hubbard Glacier.

In any event you will see Glaciers that have big chunks of ice falling off them and crashing into the water.

This process is called calfing!

Have a nice time in the land of the Midnight Sun and choose the tours that have a special interest to you because there are many different tours in in port.


Percy is online now  
Jul 27th, 2007, 09:11 AM
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Wednesday is offline  
Jul 27th, 2007, 12:04 PM
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-hats and mitts (for when you're near glaciers)
-binoculars (for viewing bald eagles perched on tree tops)
-umbrella and rain repellent outerwear (for probable rain days)
-bathing suit (for outdoor jacuzzi- fun when weather's a bit chilly)

Bloom is offline  
Jul 27th, 2007, 05:32 PM
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do you recommend the hats and gloves even in the summer?
kwren is offline  
Jul 27th, 2007, 07:37 PM
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Yes I would take gloves even in the summer..............if you do not need them then okay.

Just a soft pair of gloves, no heavy stuff, and bring that jacket and sweater because you can layer this if need be.

Percy is online now  
Jul 28th, 2007, 04:54 AM
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Thanks Percy
kwren is offline  
Aug 1st, 2007, 11:05 AM
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kwren- the day I was out on deck to view the Hubbard Glacier, it was quite cold, and drizzly. I had layered with a sweater and Goretex coat (with hood), but my hands were cold and I envied those that had brought mitts and a touque.

The crew passed out blankets and hot chocolate. I thought that was such a nice touch.

Bloom is offline  
Aug 4th, 2007, 02:35 PM
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Those are good ideas. Thanks
LN is offline  
Aug 5th, 2007, 07:37 AM
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Check the weather on weather.com before you leave. We packed fleece shirt and waterproof jacket for showers. Used them twice maybe. The temp was in the 70s while we were there.
GBelle is offline  
Aug 6th, 2007, 06:10 PM
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You should definitelly bring an umbrella & couple of sweaters. Check out www.al-cruise.com for more tips on what to expect on an Alaskan cruise.
belimorako is offline  
Aug 7th, 2007, 05:27 PM
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I'm going on an Alaskan cruise in 3 weeks. Can't wait. A friend just came back from one. He was so lucky - said he only saw rain in Seattle when they left. Weather in Ketchikan, Juneau and Skagway was beautiful - short sleeve shirts were all he had to wear! Personally, I'm planning on taking layers, as others have suggested! Glad someone suggested disposable camera and gloves - not sure I'd think of those. Did someone suggest insect repellent? I hear it can be pretty buggy, since some places are basically a rain forest!
roothy123 is offline  
Aug 8th, 2007, 08:35 AM
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We hiked near Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau a few years ago in August- it was a warm and sunny 23C day. Although we had insect repellent in our knapsack, we didn't need any.

It can't hurt to pack some, just in case.

Bloom is offline  
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