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What to Pack on a Cruise - and Not to Pack

Packing for a Vacation can be stressful for some. Here is a guide to make your packing STRESS-FREE!

Camera. Sunscreen. Swimsuit. Okay, now that we've got the basics out of the way, here are a few must-have cruise items that'll help make your vacation more comfortable, enjoyable and memorable.

On the first day...
For the first day of your cruise, pack a small carry-on bag with your travel documents, a change of clothes, bathing suit, workout clothes, and any medications you may need. That way you don't have to wait for your checked bags to arrive in your stateroom.

Onboard attire...
Shorts, T-shirts, slacks, trousers, casual skirts, blouses and sundresses are all perfect during the day, whether indoors or out.

For lounging by the pool, pack two bathing suits (an extra suit in case the other is wet) and a pair of casual shoes (e.g., flip-flops, sandals, sneakers). You'll also need some casual shorts and a couple of t-shirts or a cover-up for getting to and from the pool areas.

If you're planning to visit the onboard fitness center, be sure to bring extra shorts, t-shirts and socks that you won't mind working out in - plus a pair of tennis or running shoes/sneakers.

Dinner attire...
Meals in the main dining room follow this schedule:

Cruise Length

Casual

Smart Casual

Formal

3-night

2

0

1

4-night

3

0

1

5-night

3

1

1

6-night

3

1

2

7-night

4

1

2

8-night

4

2

2

9-night

5

2

2

10-night

6

2

2

11-night

7

2

2

12-night

6

3

3

13-night

9

2

2

14-night

8

3

3

15-night+

Remaining Casual

3

3

 

 Suggested guidelines for these nights are:

 

Casual: Sport shirts and slacks for men, sundresses or pants for women

 

Smart Casual: Jackets and ties for men, dresses or pantsuits for women

 

Formal: Suits and ties or tuxedos for men, cocktail dresses for women


For fun... There are four very important types of books you'll want to consider packing:

 

Travel guides - to help you explore new destinations

 

Poolside pleasures - nothing beats a great read in the sun

 

Journal - keep an account of your adventure for sharing and reminiscing

 

Address book - send your friends a postcard to make them jealous


Binoculars are another often forgotten, yet indispensable travel item. Be sure to pack a pair for magnified excitement onboard and onshore.

Save space...
Be sure to leave some room in your luggage for all those souvenirs and mementos. Some space-saving ideas include:

 

Bring shirts and pants/skirts that mix and match, turning three outfits into five or six.

 

Wear your heaviest shoes during embarkation and disembarkation so you don't have to pack them.

 

Pack small items inside larger ones for efficiency.

 

Bring an additional empty bag for those acquired extras.

The number of smart casual and formal nights is at the ship's discretion.

Note: *Some 12-night European cruises may have 3 formal nights

For formal nights you'll need cocktail dresses for women, suits and ties - or tuxedos - for men. And for the smart casual nights bring dresses or pantsuit for women, jackets for men.

Remember, shorts, T-shirts, and bathing suits are not considered appropriate attire in the dining rooms at dinner. Casual dress dining is available nightly in the Windjammer Cafe. And be aware you'll also need smart casual attire for some of our specialty restaurants.

Most cruise lines offer tuxedo rentals for formal dinners and special occasions.

Onshore attire...
You'll need comfortable walking shoes, as well as a hat and sunscreen for protection from the sun.

If you are cruising to Northern Europe or Alaska, remember that nights on deck can be cool. Bring sweaters, jackets and long pants. And if you'll be touring any museums, cathedrals or churches, it's always wise to dress conservatively. You may also want to bring a raincoat, hiking shoes and a travel umbrella. And don't forget your swimsuit - it may be cool outside but it's always warm in  Solarium.

Additional Suggestions...

An Over-door shoe holder (soft style)

Electric Plug Extension Outlets for your camera and other electronic equipment to recharge
 

What Not To Pack
Weapons, illegal drugs, and other items that could interfere with the safe operation of the ship or the safe and secure environment of our guests and crew are prohibited. The United States Transportation Security Administration also recommends that you do not pack fragile or expensive items (such as jewelry) in checked luggage.
The following are examples of items that guests are not allowed to bring onboard. These and other similar items will be confiscated upon being found. Alcoholic beverages, illegal drugs, flammable liquids, explosives, and dangerous chemicals will not be returned.

  • Firearms & Ammunition, including realistic replicas.
  • *Sharp Objects, including knives and scissors.
  • Illegal Drugs & Substances
  • Candles & Incense
  • Coffee Makers, Clothes Irons, & Hot Plates
  • Baseball Bats, Hockey Sticks, Cricket Bats, Bows & Arrows
  • Skateboards & Surfboards
  • Martial Arts Gear
  • Self-Defense Gear, including handcuffs, pepper spray, night sticks.
  • Flammable Liquids and Explosives, including lighter fluid and fireworks.
  • HAM Radios
  • Dangerous Chemicals, including bleach and paint.
  • **Alcoholic and Non-Alcoholic Beverages

Note:

*Personal grooming items such as safety razors are allowed. Scissors with blade length less than 4 inches are allowed.
** Alcoholic beverages that are purchased in ports-of-call or from shops onboard will be stored by the ship and delivered to you on the last day of the sailing. Alcoholic beverages seized on embarkation day will not be returned.

 Have a wonderful trip - Bon Voyage!

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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