When we left for this cruise, we were leaving from hot, dry, Arizona. We didn’t exactly have Alaska-ready gear on hand, and we have two toddlers, who are always outgrowing their clothing, though these are the items that we can recommend for Alaskan Cruise With Kids.
Besides all the normal items we’d need for travel, we also needed Alaskan cruise specific clothing. Here’s what we took and what we’d recommend packing for a cruise to Alaska with kids.
Details: the dates for our specific cruise were August 28 – September 4, so the weather may be warmer during the earlier summer months and you may find the snowsuits optional. Our kids were 2.75 years old and 9 months at the time of the cruise.
Get Ready for an Alaskan Cruise With Kids
You may not actually encounter snow, but you will encounter cold. We had a glacier excursion scheduled, and though it was canceled, our kids still wore their snowsuits the further north we went. We got a full snow bib and jacket set for each kid.
If you have a baby, getting a size up is helpful. Our little guy was 9 months old (and a chunker), and we purchased the 12-18 month size. It was huge, but will also last him for a year. You can find snow gear brand new with tags on eBay at far better pricing, without having to leave your house.
Sweats and Leggings
We got two pairs of sweats per kid, then a little fleece full bunting (bear suit) from Carters for our baby. We had two pairs of leggings (think Lularoe or Leggings Depot http://amzn.to/2CUDCzo) for our toddler that she wore under the sweats when it got colder- way easier than tights when potty training. She wore the leggings as pants in the warmer places on our trip.
Cruise ship rooms are small. With two toddlers, a stroller is necessary if there’s any shot of one parent or caretaker wrangling both kids at once, solo. We use a version of the Babyzen Yoyo http://amzn.to/2GcxnJC, which collapses down small enough to fit into an airplane overhead storage bin, which makes it small enough to fit into a cruise ship closet or under a bed.
We got a super inexpensive mitten and glove set for our toddler from Walmart. She loved and wore the gloves. For our baby, his fleece bunting sleeves had those little hand bits that flip over into hand covers, so that’s what he used. We’d recommend a pair of fleece mittens for a baby, optionally.
See below for our discussion on rainboots vs snow boots for our toddler. For our baby (who was only crawling and pulling to standing), we had one pair of double-lined little fleece booties. We found the Zutano brand http://amzn.to/2FjCJpt great.
They also have one with a nonslip on the bottom of the feet if they are walking or taking steps. They did get damp if the rain hit his feet while in the stroller, but with socks underneath and a little blowdryer action, they were good to go.
If we weren’t minimalist packing, we would have brought a second pair. We were fine with the one pair, though.
Our toddler wore Ugg boots a good deal of the trip, but couldn’t put them on herself. She loved her snowboots because she could put them on by herself.
We brought waterproof snow boots for our toddler, but rain shoes would have been more than enough. It rains further north very frequently, so you will need waterproof gear.
We brought a too-small rain jacket for our toddler and immediately bought a new one-off ship in Ketchikan. Honestly, it was a great deal- a reversible fleece/rain jacket and we wouldn’t change a thing. It’s better than anything we would have ordered online and was under $20.
Anything you forget, you can buy it in port. Prices are reasonable.
We used a couple of hand and toe warmers http://amzn.to/2tdW1YF, but not as many as we brought with us. We’d probably bring a couple again, especially if we were going to a glacier with kids.
What We Didn’t Use
Snow mittens. We got a pair per kid and never opened them. We also never used gloves ourselves. Our hands were usually busy or in our pockets.
Snowboots. We used them, but technically, rainboots would have been good enough. Then again, they were very warm, so, it comes down to personal judgment.
You should enjoy cruising with your kids. If you want some hints, check my article about cruising with kids.