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  • Writer's pictureLife of a Cruiser

10 Things You May Forget About While Packing

Updated: Feb 8

Planning for a cruise vacation can be exciting, but it can also be overwhelming when you start thinking about what to pack. What do you need? What should you keep at home? With limited space in your luggage, it's important to prioritize and bring only the essentials. In this blog post, we will discuss the top 5 things you need to bring on a cruise to ensure a memorable and hassle-free vacation.

Book on a bed on a cruise ship

Photo Credit: The Life of a Cruiser

Varied Clothing and Swimwear

When packing for a cruise, it's essential to bring comfortable clothing and swimwear. Most cruises offer a variety of activities and amenities, including swimming pools, hot tubs, and water slides. Make sure to pack enough swimwear to enjoy these facilities to the fullest. Additionally, pack comfortable clothing for both daytime and evening activities. Opt for breathable fabrics and consider the climate of your cruise destination. Don't forget to pack a few formal outfits for any elegant dinners or events that may be included in your cruise itinerary. Some cruise lines have themed nights, so make sure to pack Red for Virgin Voyages or White for MSC!

Excursions and Adventure Gear

In addition to packing clothing and essentials, don't forget to bring gear for excursions and adventurous activities. If you plan on exploring ports of call or participating in water sports, consider packing items like hiking shoes, snorkeling gear, or a foldable backpack. Research the activities available at each destination and pack accordingly to ensure you have everything you need for a memorable adventure.

Entertainment and Gadgets

While cruises offer a plethora of entertainment options onboard, it's always a good idea to bring some of your own entertainment and gadgets. Pack your favorite books, magazines, or e-readers to enjoy during downtime. Don't forget to bring headphones or earbuds to listen to music or watch movies on your phone or tablet. If you enjoy capturing memories, bring a camera or a waterproof action camera for underwater adventures and stunning views. Lastly, consider bringing a power bank to keep your devices charged throughout the trip. Just keep in mind, cruises do not like people bringing power strips or irons! So don't get too sneaky bringing ALL of your favorites. Don't worry, cruise ships offer hair dryers. As well, many offer laundry services too! Need a suit ready for a formal night? They can help with touch-ups as well. If you want to get even fancier, you can stop by the salon for a new look for your hair or nails (or beard!).

I always make sure to pack my universal adapter. Check out a list of my top recommended essentials for cruising!

Health and Wellness Items

Prioritizing health and wellness during your cruise is paramount. Don't forget to pack a small first-aid kit with band-aids, antiseptic wipes, and any over-the-counter medications you may need like pain relievers or motion sickness tablets for when you are getting off the ship. While the ship guest services and medical center will have plenty of items for you, it is a good idea to keep some when you are out and about exploring. Also, pack sunscreen and insect repellent if you're traveling to sunny or tropical destinations. Something you are less likely to forget, but remember to bring any prescription medications you need, and it might be a good idea to bring a refill prescription just in case. Lastly, consider packing some workout clothes if you plan to use the onboard gym or attend fitness classes.

Even if you don't usually suffer from motion sickness, it's better to be safe than sorry when setting sail. The ship's movement, especially in rough waters, can cause discomfort to many people. Packing seasickness remedies such as pressure point wristbands, over-the-counter medication, or ginger candies can save you from spoiling your vacation. Remember, it's always better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.

Travel Documents and Essentials

Before embarking on your cruise, it's crucial to have all the necessary travel documents and essentials in order. Make sure to bring your passport or other identification documents, as well as any required visas or travel permits. It's also essential to have a printed copy of your cruise reservation and any other relevant paperwork. Don't forget to bring your health insurance card, credit cards, and some cash for onboard expenses and any port visits. I have heard many horror stories of people not knowing what documents they need and/or forgetting items at home! When you book a cruise, make sure to read all of the information they send you thoroughly (even you, seasoned cruisers!).

My mom told me a story about a woman who did not realize she needed a passport to leave the U.S. for Alaskan cruises. Why do you need one? Well, Alaskan cruises stop in Canada, and for that you need a passport. What if you do not want to get off the ship in Canada? Sorry, but the rules are the rules and you are still going through custom controls to even dock there and be physically present. Thus, you need a passport.

Make sure you know if your cruise requires a passport (almost all of them except for a very select few). Please, do not wait until the last minute to get a passport. These things can take time to process.

Packing for a cruise can seem like a lot at first, but by prioritizing the essentials, you can ensure a stress-free and enjoyable vacation. Remember to pack comfortable clothing and swimwear, bring all necessary travel documents and essentials, and don't forget to bring entertainment and gadgets to enhance your cruise experience. By being prepared and organized, you can make the most of your time at sea and create memories that will last a lifetime.

Honestly though, the best piece of advice is to pack whatever works for you. Just one carry-on? Perfect, that's how I roll too! Need a few bags? Perfectly fine as well. The great thing about cruises is you can bring a little more than you may need! Just be mindful of your cabin space.

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