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?