Packing for your cruise

Packing for your cruise

While cruise ships usually have a little supermarket on-board it is always better and cheaper to be prepared. Packing properly is essential and will ensure a wonderful cruising experience.

When I went on my first cruise, I might as well not have packed because I forgot everything I needed and things I didn’t even know I would need. Now that I have done about 12 cruises I feel that it is my duty to share my cruise packing wisdom with the world.

Don’t worry, this is not going to be about the normal everyday things like clothes or your swimming costume. What I am going to share with you is what I wish I had known to pack for my very first cruise.

A refillable water bottle

Super convenient so that you don’t have to get up from relaxing or tanning on your poolside lounger to fetch water when you are thirsty or worry about finding drinking water in the different ports. Simply fill up when it’s convenient and enjoy!

Hand sanitizer

I pack a few small bottles and keep them everywhere and I mean EVERYWHERE as it is not always easy or very convenient to wash your hands. Especially, when you are out and about at the various ports, it’s really nice to have handy, no pun intended!

Sunscreen & after-sun cream

Make sure you pack loads of sunscreen because it is very pricey to purchase on-board. I will also not leave home without packing my after-sun cream, it is a lifesaver.

Bottle of sunscreen lotion in bag on the sandy beach

Medication

Essentials like headache tablets, diarrhoea tablets (just in case) and motion sickness tablets are a must. Remember to buy the non-drowsy motion sickness tablets because you do not want to be sleeping throughout your cruise. A small First Aid kit with the basics like plasters, disinfectant, some bandages and a small scissor is also a must have.

first aid kit
First aid kit

Magnets

I know what you are thinking! And no, I am not cooked in the head! I promise, there is method in my madness. Cruise cabin walls are made of steel so having two or three little magnets are very useful to secure little reminders, your list of shore excursions, your daily program and your receipts to the cabin walls so that you always know where to find it. The bigger stronger magnets can be used as hooks for any number of things. Still think I’m cooked? I think not!

Waterproof bags

There is nothing worse than having to put your wet costume in your backpack when you are exploring the different destinations or having to pack it in your luggage when it is time to go home. Waterproof bags are very nifty and take very little space. You can of course buy waterproof bags especially made for swimming costumes but large Ziploc bags work just as well! Ziploc bags are very versatile and can even be used to keep your phone dry at the pool.

Backpack

Very handy when on-board for all of the little things we always need to carry around or on your shore excursions. An over-the-shoulder sling bag can become cumbersome. A back pack is comfortable and keeps your hands free for taking those very important photos and selfies.

Slip-proof comfortable shoes

Slip proof shoes or flip flops for walking on deck or around the pool area because it is going to be wet and wet of course equals slippery. Slipping in full view of everyone on board is simply not an option.

Sarong

So very versatile! Can be used as a cover up at the pool and beach, as a blanket on your sun lounger or the beach or as a wrap when it gets chilly at night. Enough said.

Woman with sarong on beach

Spectacles

Be prepared! If you really cannot be without it, bring an extra pair or a repair kit just in case it gets lost, breaks or falls overboard.

Lanyard

A lanyard with a plastic pouch is a nifty way to keep your cruise card safe because when it is around your neck you will always know where to find it. Unless you are like me and search everywhere for the sunglasses I have perched on the top of my head!

Folding toiletry bag

One that can be hung up in the bathroom because cruise ship bathroom counters are not the biggest and having it hanging saves space and is ultra- convenient.

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