My husband and I are taking a Princess Cruise/tour in August. We'll be traveling on land (with Princess) for six days and then taking the Sun Princess at Seward to Vancouver (inside passage). My question concerns luggage. Is there usually a limit on the amount one can take? I just can't imagine taking enough clothes for 14 days in one suitcase; especially with having to take formal clothes for evening. Any suggestions?
The cruise line does not present luggage limits, but the airlines do. Figure on 2 checked pieces with one carry-on per person maximum. For Alaska, you may wish to pack your formal clothes in a Garment Bag including shoes and other dresses/pants suits, men's blazer & slacks, etc., so you won't have to go into it during your land tour. We (husband & wife) usually don't have more than 3 checked pieces including the garment bag and a carry-on each plus a camera bag. You will need your carry-ons for the last night of the cruise to put your cloths and essentials in since your luggage is put out and taken below during the last night for off loading & customs (dogs) inspections. Since you will be on a Princess ship, they usually have a washer & dryer as well as an ironing board on each deck for your convenience. You will want to layer your clothing no matter if on land tours or cruise tours for comfort. Bring basic color slacks, sweatshirt/sweaters & turtlenecks or SS golf style shirts, some socks, a pair of gloves & hat or headband (men & ladies) and thick soled shoes as well as a polartec lined or quilt lined jacket. You won't need much "summer wear" maybe one swim suit (hot tubs) and one pair of shorts (it can get warm), exercise cloths, sneakers for on board ship. Evening dress is the same as any other cruise. If the gentleman does not own a tux (not manditory), he may consider renting one onboard then you won't have to carry it including the dress shoes. the Alaska itineray is wonderful and you are very lucky to be able to extend your vacation with additional land tour time. Enjoy
Nanatravel's advice on layered clothing is basically accurate, but be aware that you might encounter some very warm weather inland. When my parents went to Alaska relatively early in the season several years ago, they encountered daytime temperatures around 90 at Fairbanks and in the Yukon, even though the coastal areas (including the inside passage) were quite cool both before and after their land tour.
I would try to pack everything that you expect to need on the land tour in one checked suitcase and a carry-on bag (per person) and use the second checked suitcase for formalwear and other items that you don't expect to need until you go aboard the ship.
You might also need the carry-on bags (which should be able to hold enough clothes for a couple days) for intermediate stops on your land tour. When my parents came home Alaska, they said that Princess transported most of their luggage directly between Anchorage and Fairbanks and that they had just their overnight bag at Denali. I suspect that this practice probably has not changed, as it saves a lot of handlng of luggage!
Norm and Nanatravel
Thanks so much for such good advice. I'm so glad I posted here. I haven't cruised in years and I'm always confused with luggage and what to pack when I do travel. I always seem to pack too much and never wear half of what I did pack. I need to become an educated packer. I like the idea, Norm, about packing everything in one suitcase for the land tour. We're going to be 2 nights in Fairbanks, 2 nights at Mt. McKinley, and 2 nights in Anchorage. Then we would only be working out of one suitcase. I know my husband would LOVE that! Thanks again for the great advice.