What to Pack for a Cruise
Getting ready for your cruise? Make sure your trip goes smoothly by packing what you need. (Click here [WHN page link TK]) for a handy packing list form.)
Label your luggage with your business address to avoid having your lost luggage returned to an empty house.
Mark your suitcases with a bright-colored tape, ribbon or rubberbands so it's be easy to identify.
Remove old white airport tags (the ones with the barcodes on them).
Find out if your cruise ship has a dress code for certain parts of the ship or in certain restaurants.
WHN Expert Tip: Look the Part
If the ship has a formal night, pack one nice outfit (hopefully, you have many shirts/pants, skirts that you can switch around). In the ships that don't have a lot of dining options, they require folks - even if they are eating in the buffet - to be [appropriately] dressed. You can ignore them, but you will get stared at." Jacqueline Church Simonds, frequent cruiser and publisher of Happy Sails: The Carefree Cruiser's Handbook
WHN Expert Tip: Weather Appropriate Packing
"If going to a warm place, pack your swimsuit and cover-up (many cruise ships ask that you not wander around the decks in your thong). If going to a cold place, think layers, with thermal silk underwear as the first layer. " Jacqueline Church Simonds, frequent cruiser and publisher of Happy Sails: The Carefree Cruiser's Handbook
More Packing Tips
If you're bringing bigger items (golf clubs, scuba gear, strollers), check with the cruise line to see if these items are available to rent. It might save you some extra room and travel expenses.
Bring plenty of cash for your end-of-cruise tips. Some cruise lines will add suggested gratuities to your onboard account which you will take care of at the end of the cruise. Check with your cruise line's policies so that you know when and what will be charged.
Pack at least one watch—preferably waterproof—to keep track of time on and off the ship. (On shore excursions, allow plenty of time to get back onboard.)
Don't overpack. You'll need room in your luggage for souvenirs, clothes, gifts, etc.
Bring a small day bag or large tote for shore excursions to carry your money, identification, camera and any other essentials.
WHN Tip: Pack a few resealable plastic bags in a variety of sizes. It helps with so many things like keeping sand out of your camera, returning from the pool with a wet suit is easier, and taking snacks on the go are very simple too. I like the ones with a slide resealable top. It prevents accidental opening " Diana, Fremont, CA
Pack a Carry-On
While you might board the ship with no delays, your checked luggage still has to go through security and might not be land in your room until a few hours later. Stock your carryon with the following:
Valuables—Electronics, jewelry, camera, money, credit cards, etc.
Medications/Special Needs Items—Bring prescription copies as well as a list of the generic names and make sure meds are in their original labeled container.
Misc. Items—Swimsuits, small toys for kids
Not sure what to pack in your carry-on? Carry-On Luggage What's Allowed
What NOT to Pack
Forgo the "bling." You may want to look nice for the events on board but it's best to leave the the expensive jewelry at home.
Check ahead. Cruise lines may have limitations or safety restrictions on what is allowed on board and what isn't, or what can only be used off the boat at the ports (rollerblades, scuba gear, etc.)..
WHN Tip: BYOB?
Certain cruise lines have policies restricting passengers from bringing any beverages (both alcoholic and nonalcoholic) on board. Check before packing.
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