6 Cruise Packing Tips

IMG_9621The other day I got a listener email about cruise packing and how much someone should pack for a seven-night Caribbean cruise.

Lets get right to it: as a general rule for cruise packing, pack anything you would need as if you were staying at a resort hotel in the same geographic area of your cruise.  Avoid over-packing by reading the recommended dress section of the cruise line website.

1. Save Space

It’s a good space saver in your luggage if you purchase space saver bags.  They can be found in drugstores and Walmart.  You pack them with your clothes, then roll out the air inside and double the space allowing you to pack twice as much inside your bags.  They are waterproof, reusable, and a good investment for your trip.

I used one for the first time a couple years ago and I am glad I did, we landed in a rainstorm and my fellow passengers’ clothes were soaking wet.

2. It gets chilly

Even in the warm Caribbean, you might need a sweater on the decks at night. The air conditioning can also be quite icy.

3. Port

Bring a pocket calculator to help you figure your ports of call exchange rates. Bring a white T-shirt if you plan on going snorkeling or you may have a burned back when you are done. You might also pack some drinking straws to use while at port. This will help you to avoid touching your lips to a can’s top. The top might be covered with contaminants that will make you sick. Coming from someone who got really sick on a cruise, trust me on this one.

A lot of cruise ships still have dinners where more formal clothes are appropriate, too.

4. Alcohol

There is always a big controversy regarding packing your own alcohol for use on board.  Most cruise lines will allow you a bottle of champagne for a special occasion, but an extra suitcase filled with liquor is frowned upon, and probably won’t be allowed.

5. Carry On

Packing a carry-on bag is important.  Items of value should never go in your checked luggage.  These would include cash, jewelry, medication, travel documents, and a list of everything in your checked baggage.  Since luggage is often not delivered to your cabin until late afternoon, be prepared and pack a change of clothes in your carry-on as well.

6. Miscellaneous

You might also consider one-day items – in other words, all the items you would need to make it through a 24-hour day, just in case your luggage goes missing. Keep lots of crisp one-dollar bills wherever you keep your money. This will come in handy when dealing with all the skycaps and porters.

There are just a few packing tips that could help you along the way. What are your cruise packing tips?

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