Tuesday, September 17, 2019 Edition: U.S. & World | Regional

What You Should Pack for a Cruise

Wondering what to pack on a cruise? These tips for packing for a cruise will help you make sure you have everything you need to enjoy your cruise without tripping over piles of stuff in your small cabin.

Cruises are a great vacation choice, especially if you want to leave most of the planning to someone else. Many people like to go on them because they have their room, food, and entertainment all in one place and at one price. If you’re going on your first cruise (or hundredth), here is helpful packing list to ensure a relaxing, fun experience.

Boarding Cruise Ship


Think Small

Staterooms are not that large, so you need to make sure that you do not overpack, but at the same time, you will want to make sure that you have everything that you need for your time on the ship. Don’t try to bring a separate outfit for every activity you could possibly imagine participating in; you won’t wear half of them. Don’t bring a bunch of gadgets or other entertainment items. There will be so much to do onboard that you will never have time to be bored.
Too Many Clothes
Choosing clothing for a cruise is always tricky and while we understand that you need enough for the time that you are away, we want you to realize that you should not overpack. You don’t want to bring a ton of clothes you’ll never wear and that will just take up space. Every cruise line has a laundry service that you can use if your clothing gets dirty or you find that you did not pack enough. It is more important to make sure that all of your clothing can be mixed and matched than to choose items that you will probably never wear.
Shoes, Shoes, Shoes

You may or may not be a shoe person, but you will need multiple shoes when you are on your cruise. You will need flip flops for the pool, comfortable sandals for meals, and sneakers for excursions when you are in port. If you need to wear elegant attire, you will also need to pack dress shoes for dinner. Try to pack shoes that will match all of your outfits, so you are not taking multiple pairs of the same type of shoe.
Daytime clothing is going to differ from evening attire. Everyone should plan on wearing shorts, short-sleeved shirts, polo shirts, jeans, skirts, and sundresses. Of course, you should also pack a bathing suit and an appropriate bathing suit coverall for walking to and from the pool area.
Bathing Suit

Evenings are a little trickier, because some cruise lines just require casual dress for dinner, while others specify elegant attire. If you are cruising with a cruise line recommending elegant attire, then you will need to pack evening gowns and tuxedos. If you are not, then you can wear dress pants, blouses, polo shirts, skirts, and dresses.
Baby, It’s Cold Outside
No one remembers that it gets cooler on the ship when they are out in the middle of the ocean, but we recommend that everyone packs a sweatshirt as well as a sweater. This will save you from having to purchase these items when you are on the ship and freezing.

Cruise Packing List

Here are a few other miscellaneous items that you should pack as well:

Passports, driver’s license, travel paperwork. These are the most important, as they can’t be readily replaced.
• Day pack for excursions or walking around a port
• Charging cables for tech items and a power strip to charge more than one item at a time
• Books and magazines
• Toiletries – the cruise line often supplies shampoo, soap, and other items, but if you are picky or like certain scents, you will want to pack your own
• Camera and video camera
• Extra batteries
• Medications
• Sunscreen
What NOT to Pack for a Cruise

Now that we have the what to pack list completed, it is time to see what people should not pack. Clothes irons are banned on most cruise lines, because they contain a heating element and they are only one of the things that cruise lines ban. Most cruise lines will not allow you to bring scuba gear, surfboards, kites, skateboards, sneakers with wheels, food, or drink. Each cruise line has their own list of prohibited items, so make sure you check their list as you are packing. What may seem to be okay to you could end up being on the list.

Each stateroom has a hair dryer in the bathroom, so you may want to skip packing your own. It may take you a little longer to dry your hair, but you probably won’t be spending much time getting ready anyways.

We mentioned books above and while we do recommend bringing them with you on your cruise, it might be better if you took an e-reader instead. This could save you weight in your luggage and make it easier for you to not have to choose which books you need and whether you have enough.

Here are a few more items that you should never pack for your cruise:

• Heating pads
• Large coolers
• Scissors or knives with long blades
Scuba Gear
If you follow these guidelines, you should have everything that you need for your next cruise. Beyond the absolute necessities like your passport, it’s better to underpack than pack too much. Cruise ship cabins are tight enough without having a bunch of stuff you won’t even wear or use cluttering up the space. And, if you happen to forget something, you can probably live without it for a few days. As you begin to cruise more often, you will find that you know exactly what you do and don’t need to have a fabulous time on the ship.

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