Top 10 Cruise Packing Tips

As tempting as it is to squeeze in another favourite dress or add another shirt you think you may need – don’t. Leave room in your suitcase for shopping and the odd souvenir because chances are you won’t need those extra clothes anyway.

If you do forget something there are always shops on board selling everything from glamorous gowns to T-shirts and you can often pick up bargains in shops around the ports.  Make a checklist of what you need to take and tick off as you pack, resisting that urge to add more.

Packing Tips

1. It’s all about mix and match on a cruise

Pick two basic colours and co-ordinate your wardrobe so you don’t have to take a lot of clothes. Add a splash of colour with bright costume jewellery (leave your real jewellery at home), and pack several pashminas that will keep you warm when the sea breeze or air conditioning is chilly.

2. Keep shoes to a minimum

Why? Becasue they are heavy and take up space. Pack comfortable runners that can be worn at the gym, pounding the decks or out sightseeing. Take a pair of casual shoes for dinner at night and higher heels for formal occasions or when you feel like glamming up.

3. Pack lightweight clothing

Many ships have coin-operated washing machines on every deck but that is not always the case. If you want to avoid laundry costs, pack lightweight pants and shirts that can be easily washed, dry in record time and require no ironing. Take your own detergent or use shower gel.

4. Pack a carry-on

Make sure to pack a carry-on with medications, a change of clothes and your swimmers if you are in a warm climate. You can head to the pool area and stretch out on a sun lounge while you wait for your bags to be delivered. This way you don’t need to wait for your luggage to get into holiday mode.

5. Layer up 

You may want to get up early to catch the sunrise so a warm fleecy jacket is ideal and can be easily discarded when the day warms up. Thermal tops and leggings take up little room but add an extra layer if you are heading to colder climates, where a warm hat and gloves will come in handy too.

6. Study the ship dress codes and pack accordingly 

If there’s a Hawaiian deck party you may want to throw in your grass skirt, or if a fancy-dress night is included don’t forget to pack an outfit – it saves that last-minute rush around. Check out the formal nights and pack your bling.

7. Pack basic toiletries 

When it comes to toiletries most cruise lines supply shampoo, conditioner, soap and shower gel, but if you want your familiar brands scale down and take smaller plastic bottles that fit into a make-up bag. Pack nail polish in plastic bags to contain leaks.

8. Remember your chargers

Power boards are ideal for charging cameras and phones as there are limited power outlets in staterooms on many ships. Pack extra memory cards for your camera and download photos at night just in case you lose your camera.

9. Passports & travel documents

Photocopy your passport and travel documents and leave the originals locked in the safe in your stateroom. It’s also a good idea to take a quick snap of what you are packing for insurance purposes if your luggage goes missing.

10. Bring a walkie talkie

It’s a great way to keep in touch with your family or group without incurring phone costs. Some ships also rent walkie talkies. Pack sunscreen as it can be pricey to buy on board, and extra supplies of medication and prescriptions in case something goes wrong.


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