what do i wear??


what do i wear??
the ship


from:  cactus jack's cruises
location alaska 2006
when june 3 2006 through june 10, 2006

what do i wear? and other frequently asked questions

ah yes.... i am from the desert, so what exactly do i wear in alaska?? but first, let's talk about the weather...

will i get cold in alaska?

alaska is our country's northern most state. it's above canada and close to the north pole. the cruise ships visit places with lots of ice and you can take tours which give you the opportunity to go dog-sledding or trek across a glacier. with this said, you would expect it to be very cold in alaska. it can be, but not really in the may - september alaska cruise season.

temperatures in alaska vary based on the time of year and the port or city you are visiting. the weather on shore is unpredictable but here is the present weather in all our port cities and a chart for the average daily high temperature in alaska major ports and cities:

click for anchorage, alaska forecast

 click for juneau, alaska forecast

click for ketchikan, alaska forecast

click for skagway, alaska forecast

click for vancouver, british columbia forecast


may june july august september
anchorage 54�f 62�f 65�f 63�f 55�f
fairbanks 70�f 70�f 75�f 70�f 64�f
denali park 58�f 68�f 70�f 64�f 53�f
juneau 62�f 64�f 64�f 62�f 56�f
ketchikan 56�f 61�f 65�f 65�f 60�f
skagway 57�f 63�f 63�f 61�f 57�f
vancouver 64�f 69�f 74�f 73�f 65�f

most days are very comfortable, but it's important to be prepared for both cold and warm weather. pack wisely and dress in layers and you should be able to enjoy alaska whatever the weather conditions may be.

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is it true it doesn�t get dark in alaska?

alaska is known as the land of the midnight sun because of the really long days you may experience in april through september. it's really quite a feeling to be cruising the inside passage, stepping out to your private balcony and enjoying the view at 11:00 pm at night!

the amount of daylight you experience while in alaska depends upon where you are and when you traveling. here are the number of average daylight hours in alaska major ports and cities during the alaska cruise season:

may june july august september
anchorage 18 hrs 19 hrs 18 hrs 16 hrs 13 hrs
fairbanks 20 hrs 21 hrs 20 hrs 16 hrs 14 hrs
denali park 18 hrs 20 hrs 19 hrs 16 hrs 13 hrs
juneau 17 hrs 18 hrs 17 hrs 16 hrs 11 hrs
ketchikan 17 hrs 18 hrs 17 hrs 16 hrs 11 hrs
vancouver 14 hrs 15 hrs 16 hrs 15 hrs 13 hrs
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onboard attire

there are 2 (two) formal nights on board our cruise, and the rest are smart casual.

from the princess website:

princess has made it easier than ever to know what to pack and what to wear when you're onboard. there are two designations for dress codes: smart casual and formal.

smart casual evenings:
passengers dress as they would for a fine restaurant at home.
   � skirts/dresses, slacks, and sweaters for ladies
   � pants and open-neck shirts for men
in the dining room, items such as cutoff t-shirts, shorts, halter tops, and jeans are not permitted; shoes must be worn at all times.

formal evenings:
   � evening gowns and cocktail dresses for ladies
   � tuxedo, slacks with dinner jackets, or suits for men

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what do i wear then.... on our cruise?

days onboard are casual. to be most comfortable(!!), recommendations are:
jeans or slacks - yep! this cruise bring your jeans!!
several sweaters, a jacket, a windbreaker/ raincoat - polarfleece is great!
warm socks
low-heeled shoes for deck activities
don't forget your swimsuit, (towels are provided) - there is nothing better than to see a glacier while you are in a hot tub! nothing! (well maybe)
layer, layer, layer! temps can and will fluctuate 30-40 degrees during the day, so layer so you can put it on then take it off!

dinner and evening wear, count on 2 types of attire:

smart casual: dresses or slacks and blouses for women, nice sport shirts/cactus jack wear (hawaiian shirts!) and dockers for men
formal: cocktail dresses for women, suits and ties or tuxedos for men (you can arrange to rent a tuxedo onboard)
ladies - special note - you will be cool in your strapless dresses, bring a cover or sweater to wear....

ashore, you'll need comfortable walking shoes or hiking boots. cruisetours are casual, both during the day and in the evening.

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a note for some that might be crinkling their noses up at the formal nights:

you do not have to dress up! you can dress as casual as you want and eat at several other restaurants on board (the buffet, etc.) there are a couple reasons i love dressing up for a cruise on formal nights.

  • how many times do you do it in tucson??
  • you can get some fantastic family portraits before dinner (you'll find you always have an opportunity to get your photo snapped by the photographic staff on board - they are good too!) hey! use them for your next christmas card! they have some cool backgrounds.. pick the one with a big cruise
  • it sure would be fun to have everyone dressed to the nines a couple nights, you guys are a great looking crew!
  • i'd love to have a group photo of the whole gang and a family photo of the anderson/diaz/herklotz clan.

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on shore attire

well, this will depend on your selected shore activities. as a guide, refer to the temperature chart in each city. it will rain! and, if you live in tucson, it will seem chilly (that's how they keep the glaciers fresh for us to go see!!) now, seriously, i will probably wear jeans, and hiking/walking shoes, and i will layer a t-shirt, a polar fleece and bring along my rain/windbreaker (which happens to pack up in a little bag which will fit nicely in a backpack). alaska is the frontier and is very casual. most excursions are outdoor related, so hiking attire is the norm.

alaska cruise packing tips

here is what some others say about what to wear... and some more....

from may through september, temperatures range from 40�f to 70� f during the day and drop into the 30�s and 40�s at night. the best way to prepare for this range of temperatures is to dress in layers and to be prepared for anything from bright sunshine�don�t forget those sunglasses�to light rain.  here�s a list of items to include when packing for an alaska trip.

  • waterproof jacket

  • wool or fleece sweater or liner

  • turtleneck or a comfortable protective long sleeve shirt

  • comfortable footwear suitable for hiking and walking in wet conditions (be sure to break in new shoes before your trip.)

  • good socks

  • warm hat/rain hat

  • gloves

  • insect repellent <- this one make sure to do!

  • sunscreen

  • travel umbrella

  • good camera with extra batteries and variety of film speeds

  • spare memory card and battery for digital cameras

  • travel-size binoculars

  • sunglasses

  • day pack/backpack

there is a self serve laundry with an iron and large ironing board on the diamond princess!!

packing lists

list of "the essentials"

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carry on bag? the airline has never lost my luggage before....

well, as far as that goes... the answer is "there is always a first time.." while it is true that denver has finally abandoned the "magical computer luggage misplacer", humans can and do make mistakes routing your luggage. i don't mean to scare you, and it has been quite a while since it has happened to me. but we do pack a carry-on bag with the following in it:

  • toiletries - prescription drugs, contact stuff, etc.

  • change of clothes

  • books for us - for the plane

  • books/toys for the kids

  • cruise docs

here's the tip o' the day!

split your clothing up into multiple bags i.e. you have 2 large suitcases, put half your underwear in one and half in the other. that way, if the airline loses one bag, you still have half.

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cactus jack




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this site was last updated 09/05/05

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