Unlike packing for a regular overseas trip, what to take on a cruise can seem tricky. Most cruises have certain dress codes; luxury cruises
demand you to be your best-dressed self at the break of dawn itself. You can’t move around in your jeans.
Where you’re going and the kind of cruise
you’re going on also determines your packing.
If you’re new to cruising and are unsure on what you should pack, this guide will help you through it all.
Holiday makers swimming about beautiful waters off Caribbean waters during their cruise holiday.
Cruise Packing 101 Tips
While the list is also independent of the types of cruises, this general guide pretty much covers all that you need to know.
Be smart with your carry-on luggage - Carry-on luggage needs to be packed intelligently as you’ll have it with you at most times. Pack in those essential stuffs - from money, passport, documents, to other valuables like camera, and laptops. Keep your medications and toiletries along with a few extra sets of clothes for your cruise with you too - handy, in case your luggage gets damaged or lost.
Keep in mind the Cruise's dress codes - Most cruises keep a “resort casual” dress code with a couple of formal nights. However, it's a good idea to check-in before you pack to prevent any last minute hassles.
Do not pack everything in one bag - If you’re travelling with your friends or family, don't pack everything together in one bag. Mix and match a bit - if any luggage gets lost or stolen, you’d always have something to wear. If you tend to over pack, roll your clothes rather than fold them to adjust them better.
Carry detergent - Not all cruises offer laundry services or have self-service Laundromats. Even if they do, they tend to get expensive. Carry travel sized detergents or fabric softeners to do them yourself.
Save room for shopping - Don't stuff your luggage with everything you could find. Have some little empty space so that packing doesn’t get difficult while going back home.
What Can You Expect in the Cruise?
The inner cabins may be temperature controlled – you just need clothes when you are outside
Bring in a bottle of scent – you never know when the bathroom starts smelling
If there is less space, look for space under the bed
Don’t bring in irons and coffee makers, they are banned industry wide
Bringing in liquor isn’t a good idea – you will probably have it confiscated upon embarking
You may find a library on the cruise, so don’t bring too many books along.
Don’t pack toys like drones and kites – they may be banned.
Pack for where you’re headed
What should you wear? Your clothes and accessories shouldn't only depend upon the type of cruise you’re going to but also where you’re going. We will take a look at how you can dress for different cruises, from tropical ones like Caribbean to Asian cruises and even European ones.
Carnival cruise at Half Moon Caye.
What to pack for a Caribbean Cruise?
Sunscreen - It’s a must-have when going to a tropical island or any place with a beach. Reapply sunscreen every few hours and not just once a day.
Swimwear - Your swimwear should depend upon the activities you plan to do. If you want to participate in activities like snorkelling, water sports, kayaking, find something you will be comfortable in.
Snorkel, Masks and underwater camera - If you plan to go scuba diving or snorkelling, it is always a good idea to carry your own gear. You can never be sure of the quality of the rented products, and thus, it is best to carry your own. An underwater camera will help you get some beautiful clicks of flora and fauna under the sea.
Warm Layers - Even if you're heading towards a tropical area, carry a pair or of clothes for a rainy day. The weather can prove to be unpredictable at times, and being prepared isn't a bad idea.
Plug adaptors - It doesn’t matter what part of the world you hail from; plug adapters help while travelling overseas. Plugs in Europe are different from those in the US, and you do need one.
Translation kits - Europeans love their languages, and not everyone would know English. A translation book or an app in your smart phone can always come in handy while asking the locals for directions or other questions.
Appropriate clothingand warm layers - European countries have histories that go back to a thousand years - with churches that are still in relevance. Many of them have a strict dressing code - carry some appropriate clothing for the occasion. But otherwise the weather can be on the cooler side on most days. It is best to take some layers to keep warm on chilly mornings or evenings.
What to Pack for Arctic Cruises?
Waterproof Clothes –Some cruise ships do offer them, but you may want to bring your own waterproof jackets, waterproof pants and warm under layers. Gloves and warm hats are a must too.
Jackets at night - You can change to your t-shirt at night, but it’s always handy to have a separate jacket with you.
Sunglasses with UV filtering - The arctic region is also one without as much of U.V. protection as you would like – and it’s an absolute necessity to bring UV-protected sunglasses with you.
Regular medication - It can get a bit rough here, so it’s advisable to bring in all medication you can possibly need.
Sealable plastic bags - Sure, you love your cameras but the Arctic regions’ weather will not. Protect the devices by packing them in sealable plastic bags.
Summer outfits - Southeast Asia stays hot for the most of the year, and you need summer outfits with you. Never skip your dresses, shorts, or your swimwear.
Light cotton tops and other comfortable clothing - You can get sweaty time and again in your travelling; carry a couple of cotton shirts or tops and other comfortable clothing to change whenever you want to.
Medication - For those who travel for the first time, the sudden change in the climate can be hard on them. Don’t forget to carry the medicines you need with you.
Travel documents and translation kits - Other important things to carry are travel documents and translation kits. One must always keep the travel documents at handy in case of an emergency. It is also helpful in asking locals for anything in their language.
Check with your itinerary to see all the places you’d be visiting. Most Norwegian cruises
, for instance, start outside the Arctic Circle, and venture into it – which means that it could get really cold as your journey progresses. Knowing where you’d be going to could help you plan accordingly.