The sounds of the calypso drums fill the air, frozen drinks are flowing, the cruise ship horn blows and your adventure begins. To make sure you are free to enjoy those early moment of the cruise experience, here are some packing tips we wanted to share with you.
Have a carryon bag that contains the items you might need in the first few hours on the ship. Some cruise ships, especially the bigger ones, have to process a lot of bags at once before leaving port. It may take a little while that first day to get your bags, but that should not stop you from having fun right away. Pack some key items to start your cruise - bathing suits, sun glasses, cameras, medications, sandals, sunscreen, a change of clothes and toiletries. If you’re traveling with small children, be sure you have enough diapers and wipes to get you through a day. Using this plan will also help in the event that your bags get delayed on any flight to the cruise ship.
Check with your travel professional what type of a dining dress code is suggested on your cruise. Often, there is a formal night which means a tuxedo or dark suit for men, and an evening gown or cocktail dress for women. Some cruises have a blanket dress code (such as county club casual – were other ones allow you to wear just about anything into the dining room except shorts or jean, so make sure you discuss this when selecting your cruise. You always have the option of room service or buffet dining if you’re not in the mood to dress up.
Since airlines are charging per bag, packing light is recommended. It will also be a lot more manageable to travel to the ship if you can carry or wheel the bags easily yourself. Look through your wardrobe for things that you can mix and match. Most cruise lines also offer laundry and dry cleaning services (for a fee), as well as, a coin-operated self-service laundry facility.
A few other items to consider packing include: an adaptor for electronics, a good travel alarm, an extension cord, and zip-loc bags for storing wet bathing suits and sunscreen and something to keep your passport and cruise documents with you at all times while on shore excursions.
We’d love to hear some of your suggestions and packing tips.