Posted on January 20 2016
Top 10 Items to Pack for a Cruise
We have all been that crazed person scrambling to finish up some last-minute packing. Packing can be a major source of stress on a trip - the last thing you want to do is realize that you have forgotten something essential while on a cruise in the middle of the ocean. Luckily, remembering these next ten things to pack while going on a cruise will put you off to a great start and set you on course for smooth sailing.
1. The basic documents
Sometimes the most obvious things are easiest to forget. Depending on the cruise, you may need your passport, birth certificate, and/or photo ID. Bring any necessary visas or immunization documents. And of course, you’ll need your cruise ship boarding pass.
2. Clothing for all conditions
Bring the shorts, sundresses, and bathing suits for your Caribbean cruise, but don’t forget a jacket for those windy evenings on deck. Think about appropriate clothing for your destination – for example, you may encounter a thunderstorm in the Bahamas during mid-August, so consider packing a raincoat in addition to your typical warm weather wear. Also make sure to consider the cruise-specific dress codes.
Pro-tip: To fit all your clothes compactly and wrinkle-free in your suitcase, roll your clothes rather than folding them.
Although there should always be basic soap and shampoo available in the bathroom of your cabin, this may not cut it for you. When booking your cruise, you can always ask what complimentary toiletries are provided. If you are like me, you may want to bring your own shampoo/conditioner and body wash, as well as anything else you might need (i.e. moisturizer, toothbrush, razor). I know that I will never leave for a trip without my Dove conditioner and Clinique face wash.
A picture is worth a thousand words. Whether it is with your smartphone or a DSLR, you are going to want snapshots of your vacation. Preserve your memories with some video footage, and don’t forget a charger and extra batteries. I am definitely thankful to have done so – to this day, I can easily flip through an album and relive my family’s first boat cruise to Mexico.
5. Power strip
Nowadays in our increasingly technology-based world, outlets are essential for keeping our favorite gadgets functioning. Unfortunately, cabins tend to have fewer than expected outlets. You will be grateful to have that power strip, and maybe an extension cord as well.
6. Refillable drink container
Most cups available on cruise ships for unlimited drinks are small – probably to prevent overindulgence. The tiny cups make it difficult to transport your drinks and definitely do not hold enough coffee for the coffee addicts out there. Having your own travel mug is efficient and much more convenient. A personal favorite is Stojo – its unique ability to collapse into a leak-proof disk and fit into a pocket makes it perfect for travel.
7. Sun protector and Sunglasses
It’s all fun and games until you get a sunburn. Packing sunscreen and your favorite pair of UV blocking sunglasses is a must. Take care of your skin if you don’t want to leave with an unpleasant and damaging souvenir. Check out these tips for preventing sun damage.
8. Duffel Bag
For souvenirs that you might actually want, an empty duffel bag can help hold any mementos that you may have picked up along the trip. This ensures that you have a way to carry the magic set and animal towel creation book that your ten-year-old begged for on her first Carnival Cruise. Or in my case, an extra bag helps hold some of the things that I came with but am unable to stuff back into my suitcase after a messy packing job.
Each cruise line has its own alcohol restriction guidelines, but many allow you to bring one bottle of wine per customer. This is not only convenient, but also can save you money. Relish that special bottle of wine wherever and whenever you want, and don’t forget that corkscrew!
10. Medicine kit/Motion sickness relief
Aside from your fundamental antiseptic cream, band-aids, and ibuprofen, motion sickness medication should be in your kit. You do not want to spend the whole cruise seasick and miss out on what should have been a perfect vacation as a result. Fortunately, if you are wondering how to beat seasickness, there are a variety of remedies available to help alleviate the associated nausea and discomfort. Options include medications; you may know from experience, however, that they frequently cause drowsiness and cannot be consumed with alcohol – not ideal for a cruise! As an alternative, I suggest the Anchor Nutrition Bar, an all-natural remedy packed with protein and made from real ingredients proven to reduce nausea.