After sharing our Alaskan cruise adventure over the past few weeks, I realized that I have valuable information and tidbits that I couldn't keep all to myself. I realized several items that really enhanced our vacation, and a few that I wished we would have had. So, today I'm sharing 10 items to add to your Alaskan cruise packing list.
Binoculars | Binoculars definitely added to the awe of your trip. Not the cheap kind either. Invest in (or borrow from a family member or friend) a great pair of binoculars for wildlife & scenery viewing. I was blown away by how much more we could take in by keeping a pair handy while on deck or our balcony.
Robe/Blanket | A robe would have been great for mornings & evenings relaxing on our balcony. I'm sure we could have requested one from our steward, but I always prefer my own. A blanket would have been even better! We did use our bed's comforter for cozying up on the balcony, but it was much too big to lug out. A throw blanket would have been perfect, and could double up for use on the plane.
Flowers | No, don't run to the grocery store before leaving home. I'm talking about popping by Pike Place Market, if you're sailing from Seattle. Stop by the morning before you sail away to pick up a bouquet of flowers for as little as 10 bucks! Bring a plastic cup for a vase or ask your cabin steward for one.
All Weather Shoes | Rain, snow, glaciers, you need shoes that covers it all! We loved wearing duck boots for the rubber, skid resistent soles for rain, snow, and wet decks. They also gave added warmth on cold days. We were also sure to get duck boots that were comfortable for walking on port days.
Light Jacket | Not all day, everyday will be cold enough for a heavy coat. A light jacket will come in handy for warmer days.
House Shoes/Slippers | This is something I really wish I would have taken—slippers. We loved hanging out on our balcony in the early mornings before heading out and in the evenings after showers. Instead of putting on socks and shoes to keep my tootsies warm, house shoes would have been the perfect fix. Bonus—they don't take up much space in luggage.
Stamps | We enjoyed mailing postcards back home from our ports, but I didn't bring enough to send from each port or to everyone I would have liked. So pack some stamps (you can buy postcard stamps for a little cheaper than regular stamps) and a pen to treat someone back home to a taste of your trip.
Sunscreen | Believe it or not, the sunshines bright in Alaska! We spent many days on deck overlooking the ocean and onboard pools, suncreen would have definitely been appreciated!
Small Bills | Our service was so impecable, we wanted to show our appreciation even more than just the cruise line's gratuity rates. We carryed on a stack of 1s and 5s for additional tipping. Having the cash kept our final bill at bay when checking out on the last day.
Hearty Appetite | So much good food! Onboard, in port, great food options everywhere!
Hopefully this list adds to the enjoyment of your Alaskan cruise! If you're still waiting to book your adventure, contact me, and let's start planning!
Our Alaskan cruise has been our best vacation to date and it’s not all because of the amazing itinerary. Our experience was immensely heightened by the cruise line, ship, and cabin we chose! Norwegian Cruise Line packed a punch with one of their new ships sailing Alaskan—Norwegian Joy! Read out for my thoughts, notes, and things to know about this beautiful ship.
Ship Shape | This is a very large ship! It takes a day or two to get used to where things are and get a jest of the lay of the “land.” However, with it being so large, I felt like this helped alleviate crowds during busy times as the ship boasts a spread-out deck plan. That being said, be prepared for walking, but know the ship is fully accessible. With our stroller, we never had any issues getting around. With elevators at every turn, wide doors, and minimal “step ups,” ease was added to our vacation. If you need accessibility, this ship is a wonderful option!
Waterslide + Pools | Yes, you can utilize the waterslides and pools on an Alaskan cruise itinerary! These babies are heated! There’s even a small water park for the little ones. Just be prepared for when you exit the water—a plush, long robe would come in handy. Note about the epic waterslide that juts out over the ocean: it is not as easy to slide down as it looks. It was common for attempters to get stuck midways, left waiting in the tube with the ocean below them, if they didn’t gain enough momentum. A trap door awaits to “rescue” you, but just admire the bravery of others if you are afraid of heights.
Shows & Entertainment | The ship has some great entertainment, including two complimentary show, for guests to enjoy. Experience a comedy club, video arcade, casino, and much more! We also took advantage of the kids’ club (drop off available for 3 and up) for free play with toys for our little ones. This was a great way to allow them to run off energy, especially since they couldn’t use the pools/waterpark as they are still in diapers.
Deck Notes | Deck 8 happened to be our favorite, as you could walk nearly the entire perimeter of the ship, excluding the immediate forward section. We spent many hours just hanging out outside on the couches of deck 8 and were even given blankets for keeping warm on chilly days/nights. However, it would have been nice to have blankets (though our cabin steward would have provided us with a few) handy while on our own balcony. Keep that in mind when packing—throw in a plush robe or a warm blanket. Let it double as help keeping you comfy on your flight.
Fish Carpet | Notice my photograph of the carpet below—there are schools of fish swimming in one direction. These little fishies are swimming towards the front of the ship. This way, you know which direction you are walking—brilliant!
Laundry | Yes, laundry! Towards the end of our 7 day sailing, we were offered a full bag of laundry service for only $19.95. Let me tell you—best 20 bucks I've ever spent! Every piece of our clothing, including socks, came back perfectly laundered and folded. It was great to head home without so much laundry waiting for me at home.
Dining | The restaurants aboard Norwegian Joy afforded us some of the best dining we’ve had on any vacation, ever! We were absolutely blown away with our meals, all of them, and are still raving about the food even 6 months later! Our favorites were the Garden Café (buffet), Teppanyaki, and Cagney’s Steakhouse. We frequented these 3 many times during our cruise.
Ready to book your Alaskan, or even Caribbean, cruise aboard Norwegian Joy? Contact me to plan your vacation on this beautiful ship!