Cruises are great for many reasons. You don’t need to worry about where you are going to sleep or eat and each day you arrive in a new place. That’s all awesome, but my favorite thing is you unpack once. Compare this to a land trip where you are in and out of hotels as you arrive in each new city and you will learn to appreciate unpacking only one time.
I pack differently depending on which kind of trip I’m taking. The luggage is the same. I bring a 25 inch spinner, a smaller carry-on size spinner, and a expandable duffel-like bag. What’s inside is a bit different.
Packing cubes are my friends. They keep your suitcase organized and are especially handy when packing for a land trip but they are also valuable for cruises. You can take them right out of your suitcase and put them on a shelf in the cabin. There are never enough drawers on a ship, but there often seems to be an excess of shelves.
Everyone’s taste in clothing differs so I’m not going to tell you how many of each thing to bring, but I have to say, thanks to weight restrictions for the airlines, I have stopped bringing a different top for dinner every night. My plan is I bring tops that can do double duty. I wear one top for dinner at night with nice pants, a necklace, a jacket, or cardigan and then I wear the same top with shorts or capris the next day out in port. Nobody notices!
Some additional items I always pack for cruises:
- A portable clothes line: I like the kind with ends that you can Velcro or loop around something. The clothes line usually seems to be in the tiny shower which isn’t big enough for a shirt and is also always in the way.
- Battery tea lights: These are the tiny things that look like votive candles but have batteries. Cruise cabins can be dark. A battery tea light can provide just enough light for the bathroom, so you don’t need to turn on the light during the night and wake yourself up.
- Folding bins: These fabric-like collapsible bins can provide some extra storage for your stuff. You can either put the bin on a shelf or somewhere else. The back of the sofa is a good place for them.
- Magnets with clips or hooks: The walls of a cruise ship cabin are magnetic. Magnets with hooks create a hanging space for pajamas or a light jacket. The ones with clips are great for hanging up reminders for things like spa appointments.
- Door message board or magnet: The cabin doors are also magnetic. A large magnet can help you identify your cabin in the endless hallway of cabins. A dry-erase marker with a magnet attached is good for friends who want to leave you messages.
- Post-it Notes: These are great for leaving notes for cabin-mates and for the cabin steward. A note in the middle of the mirror is difficult to ignore.
What are your must-have items for a cruise?
3 thoughts on “Packing For A Cruise”
I had NEVER thought about the magnet hooks. I will need to buy some now for our upcoming cruise.
While I really miss the experience of formal nights on cruises, I do NOT miss packing for them. I agree completely that each clothing item should be worn at least twice (well, not underwear or socks, I suppose).
I always bring those sink packets of Woolite to wash items if needed. Some ships have self-serve laundries, but I try just about anything to avoid having to pay the price of having the ship do it for me.
One thing I have learned NOT to bring is a multi-plug. Depending on the cruise line and the departure port, they will be confiscated. Read that very fine print in your cruise contract…it was a surprise to me.
I travel with my husband and two kids. Sometimes my parents or my MIL also travel with us. This means a lot of devices. We use a 4 port charging station at home. It has slots to hold the devices upright, but the side can come off. I throw all the parts in a travel cube that I keep stocked with extra cables for iPhone, wireless headphones, and fit bits. This way we can charge everything using only one outlet… which is a valuable commodity on a cruise ship. It’s so easy, I take it on land based trips as well, even if we are staying in a different hotel each night.
To clarify, it isn’t a multi-outlet surge protector, which cruise lines tend to confiscate. It has multiple USB ports. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01L7WSUEM/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_lYSBDbHAP4XE9
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