I know, I *know*, it is only February, and we won’t be heading out for our Alaskan Cruise for several months yet, so y’all might ask, “Why in the world are you writing your Alaska Cruise Wardrobe blog now?”. Easy answer, now is the time when you can find awesome sales on wintery’ish’ clothing. 🙂 I have been on the look-out for some things that I know I’ll need and as you’ll see below, I’ve come across some cute things that will be perfect for our trip.
As I mention every time I go to write a cruising wardrobe post, I am *no* fashionista…truly. But I do really enjoy clothes, shoes, jewelry, and anything else that can help this ole girlie feel pretty. 🙂 I am a tall (5′ 8-1/2″) plus-sized lady, so that presents me with some challenges at times, and I do think I’ve gotten pretty good at highlighting the good things and camouflaging the not so wonderful things about my figure…like the hips that go on for days, and the ‘menopausal’ belly (hate that!). ANYhoot, y’all didn’t come here to hear me lament on my figure…full as it is. 😉
Let me start by telling you that Chris and I are planning on going on back to back Alaska cruises with Princess Cruise Lines. In years past, we’ve taken the Voyage of the Glaciers Southbound cruise which starts in Whittier (Anchorage), AK and ends in Vancouver, B.C. This time we are combining that same cruise with the Northbound Voyage of the Glaciers–Vancouver to Whittier–In fact we are starting with the Northbound after spending a day in Victoria with my dear friend Liz. ❤
These two cruises have basically the same itinerary with only a couple of differences–both visit Glacier Bay which is one of the main reasons we return to Alaska again and again–the feeling that I get when sailing through there, well, it is unsurpassed, and almost soulful…truly. Here are a couple of pictures of the two itineraries that we’ll be enjoying:
Before I start showing you my wardrobe choices for this trip, I should tell you a little bit about the climate in Alaska in the Spring/Summer/Fall. Temperatures can vary greatly, during the day they can soar up into the 60’s and 70’s (and higher I’ve heard but never experienced in the past 4 Alaskan trips that we’ve taken). The temps in the evenings can be chilly–into the 40’s and 50’s, especially on the water. On this trip, we’ll be doing several Glacier viewings: Glacier Bay (twice), College Fjord, Hubbard Glacier, and then we are also doing the 26 Glaciers excursion out of Whittier on our turn-around day–During those viewings, I know for a fact that it is going to be downright chilly–like 30’s – 40’s chilly. The chance for rain is also high. So all that said, layering is key for me. I will take a rain type jacket, and some water resistant shoes as well.
Okay, let’s get started, I plan to take one large 29″ suitcase, and one medium 24″ suitcase, and one backpack for my carry-on bag. Here is a picture of the suitcases I plan to take:
I will also pack an extra Vera Bradley Weekender bag (my pattern is Parisian Paisley) in one of the suitcases so that I’ll have it to use on the way home as a carry-on–it will be used to place our last day on the ship clothing, last morning toiletries, and other sundries that might be left over after packing to go home (we have to set our suitcases out in the hallway the evening before disembarkation).
This weekender is a spiffy bag folks…It holds a plethora of items and it also has a sleeve on the back so that you can slide it down over the suitcase’s handle:
Here is what I’ll be using as my Carry-On bag, it is a Vera Bradley Campus Backpack (my pattern is Midnight Paisley). I will use this to pack up my laptop, travel papers, wallet, a little bag of necessities, crossword puzzle book, my kindle, etc…:
A couple more little tidbits of info before I show you my clothing, shoes, and jewelry choices…I use these wonderful packing aids…Our daughter Christin introduced us to packing cubes and packing folders and I have used them for two cruises now…gracious, I cannot tell you, it has changed the way I pack and the amount of items that I can take. Of course, I always still need to be aware of the weight of the suitcase if flying, but, even with that, I can fit so much more in and it is all organized and everything is easily found.
I have another blog post that goes over the Shacke-Pak cubes and the Eagle Creek Medium Pack-It Folder in more detail (here is a link for that), but here are a couple of pictures, and I’ll also post a little video entitled “Packing Folder, Cubes, & Suitcase” from my YouTube Travel channel “Arlynn’s Travels” <~~~feel free to subscribe~~~to show you how I utilized my packing folder and cubes for our last cruise to Canada and New England:
Here is my YouTube Video:
All righty–Here are some of the clothing choices that I’ve made and will be taking with me on this cruise. We will be gone for 15 days, but, I’m only going to pack as if I were going on a 7 day adventure as I will have access to a laundry room on board the lovely Coral Princess. And I will definitely wash at least once.
I’m only going to be taking black stretchy, comfy slacks–no jeans (I never wear jeans in my every day life, they are just not my thing), no skirts (well maybe one maxi), no other colored ‘bottoms’, and no dresses. <~~~ My attempt at keeping my packing to a minimum. In the past I’ve shared with you some links for the black slacks that I get from Dressbarn, but, I just tried to go to one and poof…they do not have any in stock at the moment. Ugh…I’m so sorry! I will be sure to let y’all know if and when they get them back in…I’m so bummed about this!!!!
I did just find some lovely long-sleeved t-shirt type tops on the 60% off rack in Dressbarn a couple of weeks ago. I bought pretty much every color they were offering, got 5 tops for $32 (I had a coupon too for 25% off of my total purchase…what? Pfft, I got lucky on that one girls). One important thing to mention, I did have to go *up* a size in these (just in case you want to get any…here is a link–But, truly, if I were you and I wanted to order some of these tops, I’d do it pretty quick because they are selling out fast). I got home that day and I set up all of the tops with a different scarf for each one (and then added more scarf choices that I have hanging on the doorknob in the picture…I’m all about those scarves ladies—they can make an outfit look totally different, and then pack up so nice and small—I like to have options, it is obvious that I’ve been collecting them for years and years (I got many of them at the $10 sale on Princess ships and have received many as gifts from family). Anyway, here are those tops that I will pair with my black slacks:
Here are a couple of other tops that I will be taking, I also found these on the 60% off rack at Dressbarn:
So that makes 7 tops, I have a some other options from which to choose as well, here are some of the outfits that I wore on our Canada and New England Cruise–I packed pretty much the same for that one as I will for this Alaskan cruise:
I *might* throw in a couple of these capes…my new favorite thing, here is a link for Edinburg 100% Lambswool Scottish Tartan Long Cape:
I’ve just found some very (really can only be used for layering or if you wear a cami under) lightweight turtleneck tops from Amazon–Again, I went up a size for these — Here is a link: Women’s Lightweight Long-Sleeved Ribbed Turtleneck. These look lovely under the capes, and also could be used on glacier days to put under one of those other tops or possibly a sweatshirt (that I will either take with me or buy while in one of the Ports heading North):
Side Note: Chris and I do not participate in formal night, we choose instead to go to one of the Specialty restaurants where the dress code is always business casual (please don’t judge, this is a personal choice of ours, we don’t want to pack the formal wear and we will not enter a dining room unless we are dressed in what we deem to be appropriate). Nuff said on that subject. 🙂
All right, let’s talk jewelry, I truly do not take a ton of jewelry with me. Mostly just some basic necklaces and earrings. I’ll definitely take a couple of watches and several bracelets though…Here are some things that I might throw in:
Now for shoes–I will take two pairs and wear one pair, all black, and all comfy. 🙂
I have just rediscovered these spiffy Minnetonka Women’s Deerskin Gore Front Moccasin shoes again, I had a pair years and years ago that I wore completely out. These hug your feet like a nice warm blanket and conform to your feet. I will wear these around the ship and possibly on an excursion where I know my feet won’t get wet and where I might not be doing a ton of walking. I purchased these in my true shoe size. These are the shoes I will travel in as well…I canNOT tell y’all how comfy cozy these shoes are…I love them!
Here is a really comfy pair of shoes that I actually discovered while on board the Star Princess when my feet were so swollen (have no idea why that happened because it *never* happens to me…ever..) and I couldn’t wear the shoes that I had taken with me. I paid way too much for these on board in one of the gift shops, but, I was very grateful to have them…I purchased them in a pretty pink that time because I knew I had outfits that I was planning to wear on excursions in Hawaii that they would pair nicely with:
But, when I got home from that trip, I ordered up a pair in black, they are Skechers Performance Women GoWalk 3 I did order up a 1/2 a size in these and they fit like a glove.
And last but not least, I will take a pair of waterproof shoes from LL Bean. These are Coastal Rain Skimmers, yep, they are pretty pricey, but, I’ve had a pair of these for literally a decade and they work like a charm. Now, one word of warning on these shoes, I do order mine in my regular shoe size, but they definitely need a little wearing in before your trip…they do loosen up pretty quickly though and in my opinion would be too big if ordered up a 1/2 size.
Obviously, I have chosen shoes that will go with my wardrobe, but, I’m often asked if one should take hiking or snow boots. And I will tell them, if they are going to be taking an excursion to a glacier or hiking through the forest, then yes, one might need to take some boots with them. For me, I will not be atop a glacier or hiking through the forest, so these 3 choices will work perfectly for me. 🙂 OH yeah, I’ll also be taking some spiffy compression socks too–mostly to wear on the flights, but, also, to pair with a couple of my outfits. Here is where I got these Plus Sized Support Like Crazy Compression Knee-Highs (thank you Pat for sharing this site with me!!
Okay, time for a chat about winter garb as in jackets, hats, gloves, & winter scarves. Truthfully, I do not think it is necessary to take a heavy winter coat, again, unless you are going to be atop a glacier and even there you can layer up and should be fine (I’ve also heard that the excursion companies will provide boots). BUT, that said, it will, I cannot stress that enough…***WILL*** be chilly on the days that glaciers are viewed–during the Scenic Cruising portions of the cruises, and let’s face it, we are in a rainforest when in Port and there is a high probability of a few raindrops plopping down upon you. 🙂 I have chosen to take one rain jacket with me and I will definitely be purchasing a jacket in Alaska—either on board or in one of the Ports because I want one with “Alaska” embroidered on it and they are a pretty cheap purchase once in Alaska. If I need gloves, scarves, and the like…I will purchase them at a spiffy sale that they’ll have on board on Glacier days. Here is the rain jacket that I will be taking, it is a Columbia Arcadia Casual Jacket.
So, there we go, I’ll continue to tweak my wardrobe, probably until the moment it is all packed up in that folder and those cubes, and, admittedly, I might change out an outfit or two, but, this is the ‘look’ I’m going for–Outfits that are casual but will carry me into the evening meals while on board, ones that I can dress up with a change in jewelry/scarves/etc…
I am so excited to be going back to my favorite place on the planet, and as I watch my countdown click away, I try my best not to “wish my life away” like my Mom always told me I shouldn’t…but, it is so hard not to be anxious and feel those butterflies zipping around in my belly when I think of the adventure that awaits.
Until next time, y’all take good care!!
***If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there Your hand will guide me…Psalm 139***