Alaska Cruise Travel Diary + Packing Tips

Happy Friday, friends!! We’re cheering the weekend for all kinds of reasons this week…one, because we’re actually home #praise, and two because we’re celebrating Mr. SP’s birthday!

So much for trying to eat healthy(ish) since getting home…I’ve been snacking on his birthday cake for three days already! Would someone please just finish it or get it out of my house?!! I have no willpower when it comes to cold cake. Mmmm, especially with morning coffee.

Before we jump in, thanks so much for the love on this week’s posts! I’m thrilled you loved the Date Night and Work Wear posts, and you made Mama Sugarplum’s whole week with your response to her skincare post! Hopefully we can get her to share more tips soon!

Today I’m excited to share peeks of last week’s Alaskan cruise! My parents were so generous to gift all the kids (me, my two step-brothers & step-sister, along with all our spouses!) with this fabulous trip, so I mostly took off my ‘blogger hat’, in order to soak up the extended family time.

Since I’ve already blogged this exact trip (see those posts here, here and here), this post will be a little of everything (and it’s a doozy!), including packing tips.


Day 1  //  Travel to Seattle

We left Dallas on a morning flight, and a few hours later met up with our family in Seattle! We stayed at the Westin Downtown, which was an easy walk to Pike’s Place Market and other fun spots. And as usual, Princess Cruises handled all the transfers from airport to hotel, and hotel to ship the next day. It makes it so much easier to have a representative meeting and guiding you every step of the way.

This day was mostly travel, followed by a big family dinner. The airport is starting to feel like my second home! #nocomplaintshere This combo has become my uniform, and this bag duo is perfect for long and short flights. See what’s packed in my carry-on here.

Jean Jacket | ‘Love First’ Tee (on sale!) | White Jeans | Similar Sneakers | Crossbody Bag | Leather Tote | Small Suitcase

A quick change for dinner out. This blazer is everything. It was so easy to throw on, and I felt instantly chic. Definitely a closet staple and wardrobe workhorse! I still can’t stop wearing these loafers, they’re honestly the most comfy shoes! Mama Sugarplum wore hers all week, too…I wish I’d taken a pic of our matching feet. It was a running joke of our constant ‘twinning.’

Fit Tip: I’m wearing a reg 2

Blazer | White Scoop Tee | Ankle Jeans | Loafers | Crossbody Bag

Day 2 //  Transfer to the Emerald Princess

After stuffing our faces at Biscuit Bitch (that’s really the name, and it was as aggressive as it sounds, but delicious!), we wandered down to Pikes Place market to soak in the atmosphere. I grabbed a bunch of flowers for Mama Sugarplum’s cabin…can you believe this huge bouquet was only $10!?

Fit Tip: This jacket was perfect for the chilly, drizzly morning. Remember it from this post? I’m wearing a small. It didn’t pack as small as my other go-to cold weather jacket, but was great in the rain!

Rain Jacket | Striped Ringer Tee | Distressed Jeans | Similar Sneakers | More Sneakers | Crossbody Bag

By the time Princess shuttled us to the ship terminal, it was bright and sunny, and only a light jacket was needed. We spent the afternoon exploring the ship, and taking advantage of port day specials in the spa. That night was a casual meet-up in the buffet, sweatpants appropriate!

Fit Tip: This blush jacket has been in heavy rotation for a couple of years…such a fun, unexpected color for Fall. I’m wearing an XS

Pink Utility Jacket (on sale!) | Distressed Jeans | Similar Sneakers | Crossbody Bag | Leather Tote | Small Suitcase

Day 3  //  At Sea

One of the things I love most about the Alaskan Cruise, is the balance of port days and sea days. There is just as much time to relax on the ship, as there is to explore on land. And after 14 days in the British Isles, it was much-appreciated!

We slept in, hit the gym, walked the track, and enjoyed all the fun amenities the Emerald Princess has to offer. It was warm, and sunny, and perfect! In fact, the Captain told us we had the best weather of the entire Alaskan cruise season! I’d call that the Mama Sugarplum effect. 😉

Striped Pullover | Her Pullover

Leggings | Similar Sneakers

That night was Formal Night in the dining room, and this ruffle dress made another appearance!

Fit Tip: It runs large, so size down one. I’m wearing a reg 00!

Ruffle Trim Flounce Dress | Sandals | Leopard Clutch | Cuff

Similar Sweater from same brandRuffle Dress (plus size on sale!) | Cuff | Flower Earring

Day 4  //  Ketchikan, Alaska

This stop is my favorite little town on the trip…the colorful houses on stilts are just so cute! You’d never guess it used to be a brothel neighborhood, right?! It’s a short day in port, so we chose to just wander the town on our own, and climbed up to a lodge overlooking the sea.

We sipped coffees by the fire and caught up on some work, then met up with the family for lunch before heading back to the ship. For dinner that night, we had a lively, but casual, evening the Salty Dog, (the new gastro-pub on the Emerald Princess), followed by live music.

*See more pics of the town, along with our seaplane adventure here.

Utility Jacket | Crewneck Sweater | Crossbody Bag | JeansLoafers | Hat | Leopard Bandana

Utility Jacket | Crewneck Sweater | Crossbody Bag | JeansLoafers | Hat | Leopard Bandana

I shared this tunic in last week’s Dressing Room Diaries…it’s a good one, friends! I’ve since ordered it in stripes, too. Once legging and boot season rolls around, I can never have too many bootie-covering tunics!

Fit Tip: I’m wearing an XS

Tunic | Jeans | Sneakers

Day 5  //  Scenic Cruising of the Tracy Arm Fjord & Juneau, Alaska

We woke early to experience the majestic Tracy Arm Fjord from the ship, the prettiest day we’ve ever spent at sea (Alaska is hands-down the most-picturesque cruising we’ve done to date!). For several hours, the ship passes quietly through the most stunning landscape of cliffs, waterfalls, and giant floating icebergs.

We order room service breakfast (no additional charge!), and spend the morning gazing out from our balcony. But bundle up, because it’s cold in the Fjord!

*See more of this stop, including our adventure with the snow dogs here.

Beanie Hat | Pullover (last seen here) | Jogger Pants


From there, the ship headed north to Juneau, and we were hiking to the Mendenhall Glacier by 3pm!. Since we had a late departure, we were able to have dinner in town at the cutest wharf-side fish taco stand, Deckside Daves (thanks to reader recs!). And ohmygosh, you haven’t had fish until you’ve had it straight from the Alaskan waters!

Fleece Pullover

Fleece Pullover | Leggings | Best Hiking Shoes

Day 6  //  Skagway, Alaska

One of the most gorgeous ports, you’re greeted with wild beauty the moment you open your cabin drapes! Our family took the White Pass Railway excursion, but since we’d already done that one, we decided to follow their route by bicycle!

I’ll admit, I was a little nervous about 15-miles, but it was a breeze (mostly because it was straight down hill!). The only downside is you have to just enjoy it for yourself, rather than risk death to take pictures while you ride! Ha!

*See more of Skagway, including views along White Pass here.

White Jacket

Fleece Pullover | Cropped Leggings | Similar Sneakers

After that, we treated ourselves to a Thai food feast at Starfire, before exploring Skagway town. By 4pm, we were back on the ship preparing for Chef’s Table. Seeing my family experience such a spectacular event (they’re all foodies!) was a memory I’ll cherish. I highly recommend it if you ever take a Princess Cruise.

We started with a private tour of the galley kitchen, where the head chef presented us with the most insane appetizers I’ve ever seen. One was caviar served in oversized teardrops carved out of ice!! Then we paraded to the dining room to a special table where the chef prepared five tableside courses. Seriously jaw-dropping experience.

I’ve started calling this my eating dress. It has room for #allthefood But still looks cute, right?! It also packs like a dream.


Fit Tip: I’m wearing an XS. It’s under $50 and comes in a slew of colors!

Shirtdress | Leopard Pumps | Crossbody Purse | Earrings | Cuff

Day 7  //  At Sea

Another relaxing day under the bright Alaska sun (which apparently is an anomaly in September!). We slept, ate, played games, etc. Then it was our last formal night on the ship.

Jacket | No-Iron Shirt | Lace Midi Dress | Sandal

Day 8  //  Victoria, Vancouver Island

This day starts at sea, since the journey back takes a couple of days from Alaska. So it was more of my favorite…walking the track with my mom, afternoon tea (warm scones & mini sandwiches, count me in!), movies…all the perfect lazy day things!

We arrived in Victoria around 3pm, but unfortunately our good-weather mojo ran out, and the winds were too strong for our ship to dock. (This is the first time in 5 cruises we weren’t able to make it to port.) So we anchored off the coast and spent the final evening celebrating at the Crown Grill, the best steakhouse on land or sea!

Plaid Flannel (on sale!) | Quilted Puffer Vest

Embellished Top | Leopard Heels

Day 9  //  Travel Home

We were off the ship by 8am, and back at the Seattle airport by 9am! Headed home with full hearts and tight pants!

Jean Jacket | Camo Sweater | White Jeans | Loafers | Crossbody Bag | Leather Tote | Small Suitcase

I can’t thank my parents enough for such a memorable trip and experience. It brought us all so much closer, and I appreciate their thoughtful generosity so much! I love you, Big Daddy and Noonie (their grandparent names) 😉


Packing Tips for Alaskan Cruise

Packing for Alaska isn’t really much different than packing for a trip to Colorado or other cold-weather mountain locale. Most Alaskan cruises only run May through September, so the days are long and the weather mild.

Plus, if you book your adventure excursions through Princess, they provide all the special gear you need, like snow cleats for walking on glaciers, heavy-duty parkas to sled with the dogs, gloves for biking down mountains, etc.

  • Check the weather forecast for each port a few days before arrival, and pack accordingly. You’ll only be in the port during the day, so that’s the main weather focus.
  • Depending on the weather, you may need heavy coats and rain boots, or just a light jacket and loafers. The weather can change quickly though, so be prepared for either. (Sorry, you’re not really packing light for this trip!)
  • If you’ve pre-booked excursions, pack for that activity. If it’s riding the train, you only need street clothes. If it’s biking down a mountain, bring workout wear. Let’s just say my bag was heavy on fleece pullovers!
  • Evenings are mostly on the ship, and there’s no need to go outside unless you want some deck time, so evening wear is seasonless. (See some suggestions for Formal Night and Smart Casual here.)
  • Sea days are very casual, and can be cold if you venture out on deck. We lived in leggings and joggers on those days.
  • There are no dress codes on ship (beyond the obvious), except for the Dining Rooms. But if you’re not in the mood for getting dressed up, just head to one of the many other dining options…in your sweats!
  • There is a gym, fitness classes, hot tubs, and spa on board, so bring exercise clothes and swimsuit if that’s your jam.

You can see what I packed based on the pics in this post, and the posts from our last Alaskan Cruise (here, here and here). Layers are definitely key, and you’ll likely wear pretty much everything you bring! Even if only once (because of changing weather).

I hope this post was helpful in planning your own Alaska Cruise. Feel free to leave any additional questions about this one, and I’ll answer them in the comments! More ports and scoop coming soon on the British Isles cruise, too! Happy weekend, lovebugs!

*Find more posts on cruising here and my packing tips here.

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