8 tips for how to pack for a cruise

I love cruising! I’ve done 10 cruises now and each are so different and wonderful, that I’m not sick of them yet.

Here are my top tips for how to pack and what to take on your cruise:

1 Your luggage needs to be put outside your cabin door the night before you arrive at your final destination. Take a small cabin bag or day pack that you can also use on shore excursions for your nightwear and toiletries to avoid leaving the ship looking like a hipster in pajamas. Also pack your swim suit and casual clothes in it on Day 1 so if your bags arrive late to your room, you can head out to the pool without having to wait.

2. Mix and match pants and tops/tunics and a couple of sun dresses. Pack something for 1 or 2 formal nights. Usually I go black on black and bling it up with jewellery (it’s so easy for us girls!). Don’t bring heels. Seriously, teetering around on deck is not a good look and unless your shore excursions consist of the theatre, you don’t need them.

3. Jeans and casual tops are fine for day wear on almost every ship. (I can’t actually think of one they’re not, but want to hedge my bets). Men, bring button shirts for evening meals and if you partake in formal nights you’ll need a jacket and tie (or a bow tie if you’re so inclined). You’ll need dress pants too, but they don’t take up much room - it's your shoes that will!

4. Most cruises include a formal night so you may want to throw in a little black dress and couple of different coloured pashminas or scarves to make it look like a new outfit. Men, if you don’t want to pack a jacket you can often rent one onboard. Formal nights mean dinner suits or tuxedos. Of course, some ships’ formal nights are not as posh as this, so once you’re booked, check on their website as to dress code. They’re fun (spot the ladies in their gowns and tiaras!) so get amongst it and enjoy the bubbly! They're also optional, and don't forget you always have the buffet and room service if you don't want the formalities.

5. You will need some good walking shoes for excursions. Also a pair of flats that are good enough to wear to dinner is essential (I had to borrow my cousin’s on our last cruise).

6. If your chosen ship has a gym (most do) then bring your trainers and if you’re anything like me, you can wash your clothes in your shower and hang them either on your deck to flutter in the ocean breeze, or in your room with the air conditioning on full roar and they’ll be dry in no time. Note: your trainers can double as the walking shoes above.

7. Pack a couple of swimsuits so you don’t have the nasty job of pulling damp togs on when you want to hit the pool again. Take a hat, sarong and jandals (thongs/flip flops for my international readers) and sunscreen. You can dine poolside in this getup and wrapped in a sarong will likely be fine at the lunch buffet.

8. Most ships will have a laundry that you are able to use although this policy seems to be changing and your cabin attendant will take care of it for a fee. But it's always helpful to take a small packet of laundry powder to either use in the main laundry or in your room for hand washing.

Click here to jump into my curated collection of luggage and accessories for cruising >>

Entertainment:

Binoculars are a great idea wherever you are cruising. Spot the whales breaching in Alaska, see the far off Italian village before anyone else, find a castaway lost at sea…. Take a good book (or 2). I prefer the Kindle as I can load any number of books on and they’re much cheaper and lighter than taking them from home. Take your iPod as some cabins have iPod docks (check this online with your cruise ship once you know where you’re going).

Power adapter: Depending on what ship you’ll be on that could be an American or European converter. Don’t take a power board (which I always pack to use in hotels) as these are considered a fire hazard and a no-no.

Click here to pick up a Universal Power Adapter >>

Walkie Talkies are a suggestion from a reader who says they’re great for finding each other – especially your teens!

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I'm Megan Singleton, creator and word-slinger at Blogger at Large and this is my luggage store. At this stage I am only shipping luggage in New Zealand, so if you're downunder, then shop away!

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3 comments

  • Hi Megan thank you for all your wonderful tips for traveling. Tim and I heading for Ireland in Couple of weeks for Marks wedding and doing a river cruise with Avalon through France on the way
    Very exciting!
    Rosie x

    Rosemary Ormond
  • wow I love that green car is that Cuba?

    Gaz

    Gary
  • Thanks for the ideas makes packing hassle free…

    Deb

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