My husband and I have been on 31 cruises, but our first one to Alaska was this past August. I was going crazy trying to figure out how to pack. I read all the Alaska packing lists, etc., and I ended up packing way more than we needed. We were on a 5 day land tour and then 7 days on the ship, so it was a real challenge to pack the right things.
On our trip, we packed mosquito repellant, but didn't need it.....all the posts said we would, but we didn't see any. Also, we had rain jackets so we didn't need the rain ponchos we took, but it's better to have them than not. One funny story. On our last day heading to Vancouver on the ship, the sun came out and it turned into a warm day and everyone was in the ships pool outside, instead of the covered Lotus pool. We were on the Island Princess. I was in my bathing suit on a lounge chair and my husband was sitting beside me in a sweater and jeans. I told him he looked ridiculous sitting there in warm clothes and he just said to me; if I go and change the weather will change again and it will be cold. We would start out in the morning very chilly and it would warm up quite a bit later in the day. The saying about "layering clothes" reallly holds true because the weather changed more on our Alaska trip, than any cruise I've ever been on. I found Alaska remarkable and very beautiful. It might be a once in a lifetime cruise for us, as we took all the tours we wanted, because we didn't know if we would ever get back again, and they were expensive. I overheard at breakfast one morning in the Horizon Court Buffet, a lady said to her husband that she wished she had booked more excursions because they really hadn't seen much of Alaska, but she didn't because of the cost of them. Well, the whole cruise was expensive; the way I looked at it, you're already there so see what there is to see. We took the helicopter glacier landing, two sea plane excursions, three or four different train rides and a few more I don't remember right now. Our weeks bill for the tours were as much as a one week cruise to the Caribbean. Our bill wasn't drinks or bingo (we did just a little of each) but the biggest cost was the tours. Like I said, don't be like the lady who said she wished she had booked some tours, because she was there and didn't really get to see the real Alaska. If you just get off the ship and walk around, you will just be seeing the shopping areas (which are nice) but you have to go further to see the real sights. We also took a bear watch tour which was one of the highlights of our trip; along with the helicopter glacier landing. My advice, don't hold back; it might be your only time there.