Goodness knows, I’m no fashionista! 😉 BUT, that said, I try really hard each and every day to put together outfits that help this plus sized girl look and more importantly *feel* pretty. Some days I’m more successful than others, but, trust me, the effort is always put forth. My daughters laugh at me and ask me why I don’t stay in my pjs just one day and not worry about putting my make-up on and dressing like I have someplace to go. I tell them, and they know this better than anyone, that staying in my pjs, while it seems like an awesome idea, just isn’t in my nature to do…not to mention the fact that I always have to be ready to go on a moments notice. 🙂
All that said, I’ve been asked over and over again what clothes I take on our Alaskan cruises, so in this little post, I’ll show you the wardrobe that I put together for last summer’s (2015) Princess Cruises “Voyage of the Glaciers Cruise” (Southbound–Whittier/Anchorage to Vancouver, B.C). Let me start by saying that summertime in Alaska is absolutely gorgeous and the temps can vary anywhere from the 30’s when viewing the glaciers, to the 50’s in the morning and evening hours, to the 70’s and yes, sometimes the 80’s when in port and on land and rain is always a possibility. So it is important to take a variety of clothing with you…yes, yes, I know, how in the world does a girl take a “variety of clothing” without over-packing?!! Welllll, honestly, I’m *still* working on that! lol I thought I had it all figured out this past summer, but, if I’m candid, I definitely overpacked. 😉 🙂
Okay, let’s get started with my wardrobe choices for our Alaskan cruise, I did a lot of layering, I do think that is the key to packing for Alaska…
First, I took one light rain resistant jacket in navy blue. I found that this was my most worn piece of clothing:
I thought I would need one outfit for the daytime hours and then I’d certainly change for dinner in the evening, so I took 2 outfits for each day of the cruise (and this was my 4th cruise…OH brother, I need help!!). I think I dressed for dinner twice because honestly, the clothes that I took were dressy enough to go from day to evening (except for the formal nights and we decided not to dress up for them and instead went to one of the specialty restaurants). Here are some pictures of some outfits that I took, I did NOT wear all of them…
~~I took several pairs of black (stretchy) slacks…trust me, give yourself room for expansion…lol…well, I needed it anyway… 😉 I took tops that I could wear with said slacks…I wish I could provide a link for those black slacks, but, unfortunately, they are no longer made. WAIT: I ***think*** I just found them again, I just ordered a pair, so I’ll let y’all know if these are indeed them…In the meantime, here is a link for ‘plus’: Roz & Ali Plus Size Slim Leg Pants and here is a link for ‘regular’ sizes Roz & Ali Slim Leg Pants.
I took these tops to pair with jeans (3!!! pairs)<~~~DID NOT need 3 pairs of jeans. In addition, I didn’t wear that striped beauty in the middle (because when I tried it on after partaking at the food venues for a few days, it made me look w-i-d-e, lol), but I did wear the other two; the polka dot sweater ended up going with black slacks. I only wore jeans once and that blue and cream floral sweater is what I paired with them. I don’t often wear jeans, if you are a jeans sort of girl, by all means, you might want to throw a few pairs in. 🙂
I took this outfit just in case we decided to go to a formal night…didn’t wear it…haha…I did wear it on Thanksgiving Day though! Go me, the outfit didn’t go to waste…:)
Anyway, I digress…lol…Back to the cruise wardrobe…I took a few maxi skirt/dress options…yes, I carried both of those jackets up there with me…silly me, I didn’t need both of them…erg. I didn’t wear the black dress, or the striped maxi skirt outfit…:/
Now, here are some pictures of the outfits that I did wear on the cruise. The red and white striped sweater, the pink, and the purple tops were bought literally the day before we left so I didn’t take time to click off pictures of them as possible outfit choices. As you’ll see, I wore mostly those comfy black, stretchy slacks, they paired nicely with all of the tops that I bought and washed up nicely (yes, I did do laundry once on board):
***Note: I did not take a bathing suit this time around, but, there are hot tubs and pools on board and it will definitely be warm enough to climb/jump into one, so you might want to throw a bathing suit into your suitcase–you could always use (and many do) the robes that your Steward will gladly bring to you if asked as a coverup. 🙂 Also, I saw capris and some shorts as well, I didn’t take any with me, but, the opportunity to wear them might definitely crop up. 🙂
OH gosh, this choice is so hard for me every single time I travel anywhere. These are the shoes that I took to Alaska, I did wear all but the floral ones. I could have used a pair of flip flops or sandals…might want to think about tossing in a pair of those as well. 🙂 I found these spiffy pink shoes while on board in Hawaii (after my feet swelled so much I couldn’t get them into my sneakers), and have now ordered myself a pair of black ones as well, *that’s* how comfortable they are. Here is a link if you are interested:
One other thought, if you have an excursion off of the ship, be prepared for possible wet weather, so you might want to throw in a pair of rain resistant slip-ons. I love these shoes from LL Bean, I do realize that they might be a little dressy, but I pair them with my black slacks that I wear instead of jeans (I dress those slacks up and down as needed). I find that these run true to size, although, they are a bit stiff at first, so I’d definitely get them home and wear them around for a bit before whisking them off to Alaska, here is a link: LLBean Coastal Rain Skimmers:
We didn’t feel one raindrop fall on this cruise, but, I was glad that I had that light jacket, I wore it almost every day at some point in the day. I purchased the purple hoodie in Anchorage before we boarded the ship and was glad that I had it as well. As you saw in the pictures above, I did take several scarves, they came in handy to dress outfits up a smidge as well as provide a bit of warmth, especially while viewing Hubbard Glacier and while in Glacier Bay. (BTW–You can always wait until you get to Alaska to buy your rain jacket and/or hoodie…Maybe you want one with “Alaska” embroidered or stamped on? Regardless, they have tons of that type of garb in the stores on land and in the shops on the ships—Not to mention, on Glacier Bay day, they have a sale that they usually set up on one of the upper decks with tons of Alaska themed coats, hoodies, sweatshirts, hats, gloves, etc…)
All in all, I know that I took way too much with me and hopefully, I learned a few good lessons. I probably wore literally HALF of what I took with me…<shaking head at self>…
I thought I would continue on in this post and tell y’all about some of what I deem are “must haves” for a cruise, but, I think I’ll save that for another day…:) ***NOTE***, I have now finished my “What’s In My Carry-On, My Must Haves, and Packing Tips & Tricks” <~~~link. 🙂
I hope that this has helped any of y’all who might be heading to Alaska in the future…If anyone has any questions, please don’t hesitate to leave them in the comments below and I’ll do my level best to answer them. 🙂
I have written several entries describing this last Alaskan cruise and post land tour to Victoria, B.C. and also an entry describing a land tour that we added to one of our cruises back in 2012. Here is a link entitled Alaska: Voyage of the Glaciers – Days 1 & 2 to my first installment in the series, there is a link at the end of each post that will lead to the next entry in line (pretty much one entry per day of the cruise)
Until next time, y’all take good care! ❤
I’m going to go ahead and put a link to a Mini-Suite tour that I took and narrated while on our Hawaiian Cruise. We were on the Star Princess and I know that she also sails in Alaska during the Season…
Mini-Suite Tour D620 on the Star Princess
28 thoughts on “Alaska Cruise Wardrobe Choices”
This was so helpful!! Thank you very much for sharing. Clothes and shoes are my biggest concern as I’ve never done a cruise before (so formal nights are really making me anxious) and the weather in Alaska sounds very diverse.
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Hey there Andie, thank you so much for your sweet words! I hear you about “formal nights”, but try not to fret too, too much. Honestly, you see everything from nice pants suits (you saw what I was planning to wear), to short (to the knee) cocktail dresses, to gowns–and everything in between. 🙂 If I can be of any help as you move toward your trip, don’t you dare and hesitate to ask. 🙂
Andie, this is Helen. Please don’t worry about formal nights. What used to be a case of dressed to the nines and wearing a tiara is now down to something really easy to deal with. Depending on what you like to wear simply take a simple dress and jazz it up a bit with some bling or a pretty scarf, OR take one pair of nice evening slacks and a really pretty evening top/tops to go with the slacks. You will find that very few people over dress these days and particularly if we have been travelling prior to the cruise. I take the slacks option and add a cami and light weight evening jacket for formal night. My husband takes black trousers, a long sleeved shirt and a tie. He is always considered suitably dressed and he will look every bit as well dressed as others on formal night. Don’t let it stress you out. Just go enjoy your cruise.
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I agree with Andie, this is so helpful! My husband and I are taking our first ever cruise in August and I am really trying to figure out the best way to pack. I figured I would be better off thinking about warmish clothes in March since it will be especially hard to think that way in August when we’ll be in awful Virginia heat and humidity:)
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Hi Susan!! I’m so happy that this has been a help to you. 🙂 I hear you about that heat and humidity in Virginia…stifling!! UGH!! One thing about here in Virginia is that ‘winter’ clothes are on sale now and there are things that you can get for a song. 🙂 Still, I wouldn’t say you need heavy sweaters, but long sleeves are a good thing–goodness, I won’t lament further here..haha…you just saw what I took…I’m such a “Chatty Cathy”, lol. 🙂 ANYway, if I can be of any further help to you, please don’t hesitate to reach out. 🙂
Loved your preview. Have taken many cruises and are finally getting the knack to not over pack. Usually get everything out I think I’ll take and end up only taking half. We take something that would be acceptable for formal, but not over dressed. I have gotten our bags down to a carry on for each of us. Hopefully this helps other cruisers.
Hi June!! You go girl!! I’d be hard pressed to get my stuff down to a carry-on, BUT, I’m going to try really hard to get close. 🙂 I did the same thing as you when planning for formal night, something nice, but not too over-dressed and something that packs easily without wrinkling. 🙂 You’ve given me hope that I too can shrink the amount of stuff that I take and fit it all into a carry-on. 🙂 🙂 Thank you so much for your words! 🙂
Your choices were outstanding! We also went on a cruise to Alaska and I have to say I did not over pack. But I still can not get down to only a carry on. I am getting ready for a trans Atlantic cruise! I may need advice from you!!!
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First Nancy…How wonderful for you that you are going on a trans-Atlantic cruise!! I’m excited for you! OH I’d love to do that one day…I’m not sure how much help I’d be, but, I’d be glad to try and help. 🙂 Thanks so much for your sweet words…they always touch my heart! 🙂 ❤
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Arlynn, once again I think you must have been tuned in to my wave length! LOL I’ve been fretting over just how much of what to pack for this first ever cruise to Alaska in May. You’re a beautiful lady and, in my opinion, a great dresser!! I, on the other hand, feel most comfortable in my jeans and various types of T-shirts. But I have gotten a few tops this past month that I hope will “up-scale” my look while on the ship. I read somewhere that 3 tops to each pair of pants would be about the right mix; and plan on basic black stretch jeans (2pair) for everyday wear, and one pair of nice slacks (with just 2 tops) for the formal nights. I’m trying my best to not over pack as I will have to wrangle my luggage by myself, so it’s one carry-on and one 27″ checked bag. Once I’ve packed all the travel necessities (I’m kinda OLD so there’s lots of odds and ends that I need to haul around) …. I hardly have room for my clothes, but, I’m determined to make it work so I’ll keep refining over the next few weeks. Thank you so much for all your tips and trip information it really helps relieve a lot of anxiety that plagues this new-to-the-cruise-world old lady. Please keep lending us all your wonderful experiences and tips. I for one really appreciate your time and efforts to communicate all your knowledge to us out here in the web-a-sphere!
Hugs to the Newfies ! and to you too!!! 70 more sleeps till trip time !!
P.S. I must tell you that I went through all your Alaska blogs again. You did such a great job with all the wonderful pictures and informative and entertaining script. It was like having a conversation with you….. Have a great trip to Hawaii !
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Hey there Jan!!
THANK you so much for your sweet, awesome comments…my goodness, you have touched my heart of hearts with your words. I think of myself as a country bumpkin who just happens to love to talk and share my life with others, your words make me feel as if I’m really doing something right and am indeed helping others even if it is only in some small way. 🙂
Bless your heart that you have to wrangle your suitcases by yourself, that said though, it sounds like you are determined to make it work, and with that kind of gumption you’ll definitely succeed and bring it all to fruition with aplomb…I just know it! 🙂
What you’ve chosen for your Alaska wardrobe sounds just perfect so far. 🙂 I’m sure you are going to look very stylish and beautiful in your new tops paired with your jeans and slacks…sounds just great to me. 🙂 Thank you for your sweet words about me and my clothes…I’m a ‘chunky bunky’ but am always working to slim down–menopause is proving to make that quite difficult, but I, like you, am a determined lady. 🙂
I plan on writing another post in the coming days with some things that I try to always have with me on my cruises, so be on the look-out for that. It probably won’t be a very long post, but, I’m hoping that it will provide a tiny bit more of useful information.
I’ve passed your hugs on to the Newfies…And of course they loved every single one of them!!! ❤ They'd give them right back to you if they could. 🙂
You take GOOD care! ❤
Hi there, I LOVED your article as I am heading to an Alaskan cruise in September. I was going to say the article was BRILLIANT!! but demoted you by one star when you mentioned TWO suitcases 🙂 Sowwy!!! My husband and I travel with a 26″ suitcase each and the rule is ‘if it doesn’t fit, it doesn’t go!!!!!!’ I have gotten much better in the past few years at keeping my suitcase down to just the one 26″ one and I have never yet had nothing to wear 🙂 I love your outfits and you looked fantastic. I can relate very much to your comment about why you get up, get dressed and add makeup each morning. We will be travelling in Canada and the US for 4 weeks prior to our cruise, so I am planning on being very ruthless with the packing to make it easy for us while travelling. Thank you for the article. I am most impressed 🙂 Helen.
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Thank you SO very much for your wonderful words, they really meant a ton to me!! 🙂 I laughed out loud when I saw that I’d been demoted by one star, LOL. And I don’t blame you for doing that, you’ve been a diligent lady and have honed your packing skills succinctly! I am amazed and you will be my roll model moving forward–and I’m not kidding when I say that!! Honestly, I’ve been picking out my clothes for this 15 day Hawaiian cruise, I *think* I’m going to pack as if I were going on a 5 – 7 day and just wash clothes on board, goodness knows I’ll have plenty of time we have 10 sea days on this one. 🙂
That pre-cruise in Canada and the US sounds amazing!! 4 weeks?!! OH the hubby and I cannot wait until he retires so that we can do a similar type of tour…I’m so excited for you!!!
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Hi Arlynn, Thank you for replying … always happy to help, and probably always cheeky. You’ll love Hawaii. We cruised from Sydney to Honolulu in 2012 on an 18 night cruise followed by a week on land prior to flying back. We actually did pack for about 7 days and evenings in terms of clothing.
I do admit to being prepared to use the laundry service if necessary, and I wash our underwear and lightweight clothes myself. We have bought light weight/quick dry undies for both of us and I take two microfibre towels with me to help them dry completely overnight. I’m suspecting that you are also a person who doesn’t like the cabin steward having to wade through washing, even hanging over the shower when he comes in for the morning clean. By rolling the undies in a microfibre towel, then don’t wring it, but squeeze, pad hard, or jump on it you will find that the water is stripped out of the washed clothing and they dry in no time flat. The towel can then be wringed and it also dries overnight. Voila – no sign of washing for the steward 🙂 Some people use an extra provided bath towel, but the microfibre works much better. Some ships don’t have passenger laundries.
Hawaii has a very temperate climate nearly all year round, so you should get away with very light and floaty tops that also drip dry overnight. Dress code over there is VERY CASUAL and you won’t need to worry about dressing up … except with a lei. We carried a ‘packet jacket’ with us all the time, but didn’t need them at all.
Looking forward to seeing your ‘must take’ list. 🙂 Helen.
Hi Helen…You are too funny girl…LOL. You make me chuckle!! “Or ‘jump’ on it”…LOL OMGosh…I’m still tee-hee’ing…:) Thank you so much for all of those great ideas; I love the micro-fiber towel idea, I will definitely throw one of those in. And you assessed me correctly, I hardly need the cabin steward to come in because I like to keep things nice and straight and yes…no drying laundry hanging in our cabin. 🙂
I put together some outfits today, some capris, some ankle pants (don’t really wear shorts above my knee…although, I’d love to have prettier legs so that I could do that without feeling self-conscience…I know, I know, I probably won’t *ever* see these people again in my life so who cares…but, ugh…I unfortunately care…. ANYway, all of my tops so far are nice and flowy and lightweight. 🙂 I’m taking a pretty black and floral maxi dress too…well, it is starting to come together. 🙂
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OHHHH and I’m working on that “must take” list as well…along with some packing tips, tricks, & solutions (courtesy of our oldest daughter who spoiled me rotten at Christmas with said packing solutions)
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Would love to see the Hawaii cruise choices. I am needing to do the same thing and you would be a great role model for me. Yes I will have one suitcase plus carryon. I do plan on doing laundry on board.
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Okie dokie…When I get all of my outfits picked out and assembled, I will definitely write a post and that is the way I will start out my Hawaii Cruise Series. 🙂 I will try to get it up in the next couple weeks…Thank you so much for your sweet words!! (BTW…I’m composing a blog about some of my “must haves” on cruises…Not sure if that would be a help, but, wanted to let you know that that one is in the works). 🙂
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Reblogged this on Country Craft Corner and commented:
I’ve done a little updating to this Alaska Wardrobe Choices post and to the Hawaii Wardrobe Choices post as well. I’ve slimmed down both posts a bit and have added links and a few more pictures to both…I’ll “Reblog” the Hawaii post as well. 🙂