Packing for a cruise is similar to packing for any other vacation. While there are some specifics to keep in mind, the most important thing that you can do to make your life easier is to ask your travel agent if there are any recommended items for your cruise or destination. Aside from packing the usual clothes and toiletries, you should keep in mind that items deemed tourist essentials will be expensive in port cities. If your camera takes film, you should bring enough for the entire trip. Batteries and sunscreen are some additional necessities that you should bring along.
When packing, carefully consider each item of clothing, as you want to ensure that you have enough clothing for the entire trip. It is important to check with your cruise agent for confirmation, but most ships offer laundry service, either self-service or full service. This can drastically reduce the amount of clothing you need to pack.
When packing for your trip, it is important to think of all phases of the trip. Many cruises require that you fly to the departing city. If you are flying into an area to depart on a cruise, make sure that all of the paperwork required for the cruise, such as tickets and passport, are in your carry on luggage. It is also a good idea to pack some extra clothing in your carry on bag in case your luggage is misplaced and this way you can continue on your cruise.
What to Wear
One of the things that many people enjoy about going on a cruise is the opportunity to get dressed up. In today’s world, there are not many opportunities to wear a formal dress or a tuxedo, outside of a wedding. Many cruises have a “formal night” where dressing up is encouraged. If you want to participate in this, it is important to plan ahead of time when packing your bag. Of course, if you do not want to participate, you can eat in another dining room on formal night, or order room service. Other than the formal night, there is little to differentiate between packing for a cruise vacation and packing for a regular vacation. Your cruise location will have more to do with what type of attire you should wear than the fact that you are on a cruise. One thing to keep in mind, however, is that because you are on the water, you can expect a near constant breeze at the least, and an occasional bracing wind as well. A jacket, sweatshirt or wrap should definitely be included in your attire, regardless of your destination.
What Not To Bring
What not to bring is almost as important as what you should bring. Do not bring anything that you will be devastated to lose. Do not bring expensive jewelry, unless you plan on keeping it in a safe, and not your room safe. Do not bring so many clothes that you can barely shut your bags, because you will certainly do some shopping while at various ports.
Cruise vacations are wonderful adventures, but they are not much different from traditional vacations when it comes to packing. Pack a variety of mix and match clothing, in neutral colors and a variety of weights. Layering will help ward off the chill if you run into unexpected weather and a lightweight shell that acts as a rain jacket and a windbreaker is a nice item to have. Plan your wardrobe around one neutral color to reduce the number of belts, shoes and other accessories that you must carry on board.
Consider each of the ports that you will be visiting when packing for your cruise. If you plan to go hiking, snorkeling or sailing, make sure that you have appropriate clothing and footwear for your adventures. It is easy to think that all you will do in port is shop and eat, but many of the ports visited by cruise lines offer wonderful adventure opportunities, and it would be a shame to miss out because the only shoes that you have are sandals. If you have any questions about the activities that are available in port, simply contact your cruise agent prior to your trip. They can let you know the popular and not so popular activities available at each port.
When you pack, roll your clothes and place delicate items inside sturdier items. If you have more than a carry on bag, and will be flying to your destination, pack at least one change of clothes as well as any medication that you will need on your carry on bag. This way, if you are separated from your luggage you can go on your cruise. You can buy any additional clothes that you need at ports along the way.