Going on a cruise is an exciting adventure requiring little planning and preparation. However, one of the most important things to consider is what to pack for a cruise. In this article, we’ll review everything you need to know about what to bring. Of course, when packing, you should additionally consider the destinations you’ll be visiting, the length of your trip, the season, and the activities you’ll be participating in.
Cruise dress codes may vary by cruise and itinerary. You’ll generally want to pack comfortable, casual clothes for daytime activities and more formal attire for evening events. Check if your cruise has any special requirements or the effortless dress is acceptable 24/7.
When packing clothes for a cruise, it is essential to consider the destinations you will visit and the activities you will participate in. For daily wear, pack casual clothing: casual t-shirts, tank tops, shorts, skirts, jeans, sundresses, and pants. It is best to choose two primary colors to make combining them easier. To that, add a few pieces of clothing in neutral colors and those with patterns to have additional possibilities for combining.
If you are on a cruise that organizes formal evenings, you should pack traditional clothes for these occasions, such as suits and ties for men and evening dresses for women. You can also pack sleek garments such as elegant dresses, skirts, collared shirts, pants, or pantsuits.
In addition to clothes, you will, of course, also need shoes. Bring slip-resistant flip-flops, sandals, tennis shoes, and special footwear for planned activities (e.g., hiking boots and running shoes). If you wear formal clothes, remember proper shoes.
You will need everything you usually take to the beach on a cruise. Pack a few swimsuits and cover-ups. Be sure to bring enough sunscreen and after-sun lotion. Also, pack a wide-brimmed hat or a cap to enjoy all activities in the sun carefreely. Consider getting a packable hat. Of course, sunglasses are also mandatory. What you don’t need to bring on a cruise are towels.
Even on a cruise in the hottest months, bring a packable jacket, a hoodie, or a sweater. The weather can be unpredictable, and you may need warmer clothes for some planned excursions. The jacket will also come in handy for staying on deck during navigation. The wind can be very unpleasant.
And remember the basics – underwear and sleepwear.
Essential toiletries to pack are a toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss, hairbrush or comb, deodorant, sunscreen, and moisturizer. In addition, most cruise ships have soaps and shampoos in the cabin bathrooms. However, if you have special needs (such as sensitive scalp or skin), bring your toiletries – shampoo, conditioner, body wash, or soap.
It is crucial to think about personal preferences and needs. For example, you may pack mouthwash, a razor and shaving cream, makeup and makeup remover, hair bands and clips, and other products you use regularly.
When you go on a cruise, you must bring any prescription medications you take regularly. Pack enough for your trip, plus a few extra days in case of unexpected delays. It’s also a good idea to bring a copy of your prescriptions. If it is a more serious medical condition, get a letter from your doctor explaining your medical condition and medications.
In addition to prescription medications, it’s a good idea to pack pain relievers (e.g., ibuprofen), anti-nausea medications, antacids, anti-diarrhea medications, allergy medications, plasters, antiseptic sprays or ointments, and insect repellent. If you have children, bringing a thermometer and medicines to reduce the temperature is wise.
If you have specific medical needs or concerns, it’s a good idea to discuss this with your doctor before traveling and ensure you have everything you need. Then, take care of how to pack them for a worry-free trip.
Typical electronic devices people bring on cruises include smartphones and their chargers, tablets, e-readers, cameras, and portable chargers.
Smartphones help keep in touch with friends and family while cruising. However, you will use it primarily for taking photos, recording videos, and capturing memories. If you are more professionally interested in photography, you should bring a camera. It is a good idea to get an underwater camera.
Tablets and e-readers are great for reading and entertainment during downtime on board. Also, pack a laptop if you need to work while on the cruise. Since cruise ships have limited electrical outlets in the cabins, extra batteries and portable chargers are a valuable addition to your luggage.
If internet access is crucial to you, explore the offers of domestic mobile providers. You may need it because internet access on the cruise ship may be slower or weaker than your needs.
The essential thing you must bring is your travel documents (passport, visas, etc.). You should also get all information about travel insurance.
A lightweight backpack should also find a place in your luggage. You will need it often, and it is necessary for shore excursions. Bring a travel umbrella for tours, and pack a reusable water bottle.
Having a dry pouch for money and documents on a cruise would be wise. Also, books, magazines, and crosswords are good choices for complete enjoyment while lying in the sun, relaxing on the covered deck, or in the air-conditioned lounge of the cruise ship.
One more thing you must remember is cash. Although we make most of our daily payments with cards, they are unacceptable in some places your cruise will take you. You need money to tip the crew.
The main difference in what to pack for a 7-day cruise versus a 5-day or 2-week cruise is the amount of clothing and essentials needed to last the entire trip. A good rule of thumb is to pack one outfit per day plus a few extra outfits.
For a 5-day cruise, you can pack slightly less clothing and supplies than for a 7-day cruise. For a 2-week cruise, you must pack more apparel and supplies that will last longer. It’s a good idea to check if your cruise ship has laundry facilities so you can pack fewer clothes.
Adjust the number of toiletries, medicine, and all other necessities you will need during the trip to the duration of the cruise.
The main difference in cruising in October and May compared to summer is the temperature. During these months, the weather offers a slight chill, but sometimes it can be warm enough to take a bath. For the colder months, you should pack light and warm sweaters. Since it’s impossible to predict whether the weather will be warm or cold during your cruise in October and May, your best bet is to pack in layers. Bring a jacket or windbreaker, and a scarf might come in handy.
In contrast, the summer months, especially July and August, are hot. So light and airy clothes with short sleeves will be appropriate. And the most important are swimwear, sunscreen, and a hat.
Packing for a cruise can initially seem overwhelming, but with some planning and preparation, it doesn’t have to be. By following our guide, you’ll be well-prepared for your cruise adventure. So go ahead and book that cruise – you won’t regret it!