Before my first cruise I seriously had no idea what I should pack or what was even necessary for a cruise. Obviously I needed the essentials but what do you really pack for a cruise. Do you pack your entire closet? Do you just pick random things and throw them in a bag? Do you just pack a swim suit and hope for the best? I mean really what do you pack for a cruise was the day in and day out question. My mind went haywire trying to think of what to pack. Yes, that is part of my anxiety that causes me to wonder and worry quite often. I knew that if I could pack for a 13 day trip to my grandparents place in Florida I could pack for a 7 night/8 day cruise. Packing essentials was my first step, so that includes the obvious underwear and pajamas (T-shirt and pants type of girl here).
After packing the essentials what else needs to go into a carry on suitcase for a cruise? I began researching the weather in these places that I was going. I knew they had to be at least warm. I eventually came to the conclusion I needed all summer clothes, but I would bring a jacket just in case I wanted to stand outside at night. That was a smart move on my part because at night on the ship it gets rather chilly outside and very windy. A light jacket is a must if you want to go outside. I began packing the necessary items that I needed for a cruise. I will list all the items I took below.
1.) Bathing suit or suits
2.) Beach towel (although they provide one, if you lose it they will charge you)
3.) Summer dresses and fancy dresses, men need dress pants, golf shorts and nice shirts
– Cruises have dining areas where you must come properly dressed. On one of the nights or two nights depending on the length of the cruise you will have fancy dining nights. You cannot wear shorts, T-shirt’s, flip flops and etc. You must have fancy or as fancy as you can get clothes on.
5.) Pajamas and essentials (socks and underwear)
6.) Flip flops and walking shoes
8.) A light jacket
9.) Essential papers needed to get on a cruise
10.) Passport or birth certificate, plus photo ID and money
– This includes perfume/cologne, deodorant, face soap, lotion, shampoo/conditioner, body wash and all the essentials you need.
– You can take a 12 pack of soda with you but you must rap it and it cannot be open. Wine needs to be put in a clear plastic bag and you can take it with you.
13.) Charging cables, phone and camera
14.) An extra bag (ie over the shoulder bag)
– Bring this to take essential things with you on excursions.
15.) Sunscreen, hat and sunglasses
– I will be upfront and honest in saying that the Caribbean sun is a lot different than the sun in the US. I do not burn easily but I burnt easily on a cruise and while on the Caribbean.
I pack ahead of time to feel prepared and ready to go when the time comes for my trip. I also do not like to forget things so I make sure to check my bag. Packing early also helps me to not be indecisive as to what to bring, it also helps me to not over pack. That is a true tip for all you over-packers out there. Packing for a cruise is a lot like packing for a normal trip, but it does take some extra planning per cruising rules. You also need to make sure you print off and bring all of the needed paperwork for check in. On some excursions they will need you to bring your passport, just make to secure it the whole time. All of the items listed above are the same for men, but on fancy nights you cannot wear any type of shorts you must wear pants.
I will forever be thankful for meeting our first cruise table mates. My husband did not bring pants and almost could not go to the fancy dining nights, if it were not for the husband of one of the families we met. They loaned him a pair of pants because it is required for men to wear pants on fancy dining nights. Just as a courtesy heads up, you do not under any circumstance have to go to any of the dining meals on cruise ships, as they have other places to eat. I have met tons of wonderful people eating in the dining room.
Cruise ships also offer a gym, a spa, a track and other fitness areas depending upon which ship you are. Make sure to research your ship before you go on a cruise, as it will tell you all of the amenities. For this you can bring the essential gear you need for working out such as tennis shoes and gym clothes. They have bathroom to change and shower to prepare for the workout as well as clean up after the gym. The entrance to the gym is through the bathroom, both men and women’s are separate on two opposite ends of the spa area. Click here for how to plan a cruise if you have not read it yet or need tips on how to plan a cruise.
Have you ever been on a cruise and overpacked for a cruise? Let me know about your first timer cruise story below. My husband way over packed for his first cruise and still did not bring all of the essentials (how does that happen?).
Stay tuned this week to learn about my review of 2017 and how 2018 is going to look through goals, travel and a brand new year! I will also be sharing about Missouri! See you all soon!