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Wednesday, January 02, 2008

What To Pack For A Cruise

Ultimate Cruise Packing List

Here is an article found at About Cruises
with Linda Garrison

visit: for more facts and information about cruising. Read cruise reviews by travelers and professional travel writers. Undedited and unbaised, they share thre expereinces with you.

Ultimate Cruise Packing List

Packing for your cruise vacation can be one of the worst parts of a cruise. The only thing I can think of that I dread more is unpacking when I get home! Through the years, I have learned that a packing list is essential. Maybe it's my advancing age or just that I have learned "the hard way" by forgetting some essential item and then having to purchase it at double (or more) the price on the cruise ship or in a port of call.

One important packing tip -- If traveling with a companion or spouse, divide your checked items into two (or more) suitcases. That way, if one is lost, you will both have some clothing to wear! It would be terrible for your spouse to have all of his clothes and you to have nothing but your carry-on. Also, be sure to carry-on anything that you cannot live without for a couple of days (or more), just in case your luggage is lost or delayed.

Use this list as a starter and modify it for your personal tastes. Some essentials and general items follow, and I have a separate list for women and men.

airline tickets or e-ticket confirmation
cruise documents
passports and visas (if necessary) or proof of citizenship (check with your cruise line for requirements)
vaccination certificate (if required)
wallet and fanny pack
driver's license and auto insurance card - in case you decide to rent a car when ashore
medical insurance cards and medical history (especially if traveling alone)
another picture ID - if you don't take driver's license
credit cards - be sure to call credit card companies before traveling to alert them you are traveling outside your normal area ATM card
pre-paid phone card
cash or traveler's checks (be sure to keep traveler's checks receipt in separate location)
3 copies of airline tickets, cruise tickets, passports/visas, itinerary - pack 1 copy in carry on, 1 copy in checked luggage, and
leave one copy with someone at home
contact numbers to report lost/stolen credit cards or traveler's checks
emergency numbers at home
prescription drugs and any other essential medications in carry on bag
glasses, contacs, contac cleaner
extra reading glasses
reading sunglasses
guidebooks and other port of call information
foreign language phrase book or dictionary
reading material - books to read while on the plane or lounging by the pool
journal or notebook and pen/pencil - for making notes to tell your friends back home about your experiences
business cards with email address to give out to new cruise friends
currency conversion chart
plug adaptor and converter
cell phone and charger
PDA and charger
home and email addresses of friends/relatives back home - for sending postcards, emails, or gifts
laptop computer
film camera and manual
extra film (don't put undeveloped film in checked luggage)
disposable underwater camera - for snorkeling or beach days
digital camera and manual
extra memory cards for digital camera
batteries for digital camera
battery charger
extension cord with multiple plug-ins
duct tape or strapping tape
walkman and tapes (for walking on deck or on treadmill)
small travel alarm clock - battery operated
lighted dial clock for cruise ship cabin
extra plastic cable-lock ties for securing luggage for return trip (better than locks, but one-time use only)
extra luggage name tags (in case yours are lost on the outbound trip)
zip loc bags of all sizes and garbage/laundry bags
small flashlight
night light
corkscrew (be sure to put in checked luggage)
Swiss Army knife or something similar with screwdriver head, etc. (be sure to put in checked luggage)
small umbrella
collapsible travel pillow for those long airplane flights
ear plugs or "ear planes"
small first aid kit (band aids, Q-tips, vaseline, dramamine, antibiotic cream, bandages, anti-diarrheal medication, cortisone
cream, aspirin/tylenol/advil)
Crazy glue
playing cards
sports gear (e.g. snorkeling gear)
bug spray (not for your cabin on the ship, but for those pesky mosquitoes and "nonos" ashore)
sun screen/sun block and lip sunblock
germicidal hand cleaner
hand lotion
rubbing alcohol or foot lotion for soothing tired, hot feet
sewing kit and scissors (pack in checked luggage)
travel-sized Woolite
clothes pins
empty folding tote bag - for souvenirs or the beach
insulated large coffee mugs

Women's Cruise Clothing Packing List

bras (include strapless if needed for evening wear)
lingerie/night gown/pajamas/robe
compression stockings (for airplane flight to prevent swollen ankles)
exercise/walking socks
trouser socks or pantyhose
purses (day and evening)
gloves and stocking cap(if expect cold weather)
walking shoes
walking sandals
rubber sandals for reef walking and beach
evening shoes
costume jewelry and extra watch
swim suit
swim suit cover-up/pareo/sarong
thongs/flip flop shoes
work out clothes and jog bra
dress/outfit for informal nights on ship
dress/outfit for formal nights on ship
dress/outfit for casual nights on ship
tops of all types (sleeveless, short-sleeved, long-sleeved)
capri pants
windbreaker jacket
evening sweater
raincoat with hood

Women's Sundries and Miscellaneous

blow dryer
curling iron or curlers
hair gel
hair spray (non-aerosol)
shower cap
bar soap in plastic container
dental floss
make-up mirror
make-up and make-up bag(list can be endless!)
make-up remover
moisturizer and freshener
nail polish and remover
nail clippers and file (be sure to pack in checked luggage)
razor and shaving cream

Men's Cruise Clothing Packing List

underwear (briefs or boxer shorts)
pajamas and robe
compression socks (for airplane flight to prevent swollen ankles)
exercise/walking socks
black dress socks
gloves and stocking cap(if expect cold weather)
walking shoes
walking sandals
rubber sandals/shoes for reef walking and beach
evening or dress shoes
"docksider" casual shoes
tuxedo jacket and pants (or dark suit)
tuxedo tie, suspenders, and cummerbund
tuxedo cufflinks/studs
sport jacket
regular ties
tuxedo shirt
dress shirts
swim suit
swim suit cover-up
work out clothes/T shirts
casual shirts
slacks (casual and dress)
windbreaker jacket
raincoat with hood

Men's Sundries and Miscellaneous

shampoo and hair products
bar soap in plastic container
dental floss
nail clippers and file (be sure to pack in checked luggage)
razor and shaving cream (or electric razor and supplies)
End of article
Leaving Home Checklist
To ensure peace of mind while you are away, why not run over this last-minute checklist of things to do before you go?
> Have the post office hold your mail.
> Stop your newspaper delivery, or have a friend or neighbor
take them in for you.
> Leave copies of your passport, airline tickets, travelers checks
and any credit cards you plan to use with a family member or
trusted friend.
> Distribute your ship communications cards to friends and
> Place a card with your name and address inside your luggage,
as well as on the outside.
> Bring your travel and health insurance information and have it
handy at all times.
> Verify that your identification and travel tickets are in your
carry-on bag and will be available at all times.

More Packing Tips For Cruises

• Always ask your cruise agent about any specific clothing needs for your particular ship. Some shipshave special requirements that may affect your packing plan.
• Although you can purchase many items on ship or in cruise ports, you will often pay a heavypremium, and may not find exactly what you need. For example, film for your camera will costsignificantly more once you leave home and you may not find the size or speed you require.
• Try to pack clothing that is re-usable on the cruise. For example, a men's blazer may be used on aformal night if packaged with the proper shirt & tie. The same blazer can be used with an open-neckshirt or a less-formal shirt and tie for an informal night. A formal skirt can be mixed with differentblouses and/or jackets for varying effects.
• Formal nights are not necessarily extremely formal. Some passengers, who enjoy dressing up, willgo all out with tuxedo's, long gowns, etc. On most seven-night cruises, this is not necessary. Themajority of men wear a suit or blazer with white shirt and conservative tie on formal nights. Manywomen wear cocktail dresses, fancy dresses, or suits. It’s like getting dressed for a nice wedding.Young boys can wear nice slacks with a shirt and a tie. The more expensive the ship, the more likelythat formal wear will be worn.
• Many ships have self-serve laundry and ironing facilities in addition to the available washing and/ordry cleaning. Sometimes it makes sense to do a load or two during the cruise rather than packenough of everything for your entire trip.
• It's quite possible to avoid getting dressed up during a cruise. How? Simply plan to eat your eveningmeal in the Lido restaurant during formal nights, or have room service that night. You can even havea snack and a nap at dinnertime, and enjoy the midnight buffet in casual attire. If you're interested ina totally casual cruise, ask your cruise agent how the line you've chosen handles casual eveningmeals. By the way, Lobster tails are commonly served on one of the formal nights. If that's importantto you, ask your waiter which night the lobster will be served.
• If you choose to travel with expensive jewelry, use the purser's safe when you're not wearing it.Although room safes are available on many ships, only valuables locked up in the purser's safe arecovered under the ship's insurance (check you cruise contract, usually supplied with your cruisedocuments). Frankly, we'd recommend leaving your very expensive and/or priceless jewelry athome, or in your bank's safe deposit box.
• If you're planning to buy t-shirts, hats, etc. on the ship or ports of call, why not wear them on yourcruise? You'll cut down on the amount of clothing you'll bring, and you won’t need to plan for extraspace on your trip home. If you under-packed (unlikely), you can purchase additional clothing duringthe cruise.
• In the tropics, use light cotton clothing as often as possible. You'll be cooler and more comfortable.
• Plan your carry-on load carefully. A larger carry-on bag (within airline carry-on requirements) isuseful so that you can comfortably carry a change of clothing. Keep your carry-on bag safe whenyou're in the airport; never leave it unattended.
• Carry all documents, medicines, essentials, and valuables with you in your carry-on. If your mainarticle of luggage is lost or misplaced, can you exist with what you're carrying?
• Do not plan to find space for a garment bag on an aircraft. Better to carefully pack your clothing in asuitcase than to jam it into an overhead compartment.
• Instead of bringing full-size toiletries, like a full bottle of shampoo, save or purchase smaller plasticbottles and bring only what you need. Try sealing plastic bottles in zip-lock bags for addedprotection.
• Zip-lock baggies, preferably the thicker freezer-type, are great for keeping things dry, especially when you go to the beach. You can stuff your credit cards, driver’s licenses, cash, etc. in them and keep them safe inside your bathing suit. We recommend double-bagging them and you won’t have anyproblems with leakage.
• There are several reasons to bring your cell telephone with you on the cruise: 1) If you run intodelays, you can call your cruise agent, airline, limo service, etc. without standing in line for atelephone; 2) You can use your telephone on the ship before it departs, and while it is still close toland; 3) You can make calls on the day you return. A cell phone is great for calling a cab or a ridefrom home, or making arrangements with friends who are already ashore; 4) Many ports havecellular service so that you can make calls directly without finding a phone booth. Cellular rates areusually much less than the ship's satellite rates. Some common cruising areas have surprisinglygood coverage (The Bahamas, Bermuda, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and Grand Cayman, toname a few), and if you have free roaming as a part of your service, the call might even be free; 5)You never know how a cell phone will help you in transit should an emergency arise. It givessomeone else the ability to call you, which is sometimes invaluable.
• Since many ships are installing e-mail and internet capabilities, you may wish to bring along a list ofimportant e-mail addresses and web site URL's. Although this can get expensive, you might find itworthwhile, particularly if you keep close track of an investment portfolio or have important e-mailmessages.
• If you really depend on a hair dryer, plan to bring your own. Even if the ship provides them, you maynot find them to be powerful enough to handle your needs, particularly if you have long or heavy hair.
• A pair of personal communications devices (as kids, we used to call these walkie-talkies) is useful inkeeping track of your traveling companions on the ship. As ships become larger, it becomes moredifficult to keep track of one another. This is a perfect tool for young teenagers (check your batterysupply!). Some ships even offer them for rent during the cruise.
• A few emergency items are useful, particularly the flash light. It's nice to know that you have an extra light for your room, and it could come in very handy should your ship develop some temporarygenerator malfunctions. You’ll also want to take a nightlight if you’re staying in an inside cabin.
• For Alaska and Northern Europe: Replace shorts, t-shirts, and short-sleeve shirts with warmercounterparts. Although you may wish to have one set of warm-weather clothing for afternoon wearon a warm day, you'll be more comfortable with warmer clothing.
• For Alaska: You can dress down just a bit. Jeans are acceptable/desirable for daytime wear. Bringrain wear, waterproof footwear, wool socks, a warm sweater, a wind-proof shell, warm gloves, and astocking cap. Although you may not NEED this much if the weather is warmer, cold (low 50's), windyand rainy weather is not uncommon along the coast of Alaska.
• For Northern Europe: Temperatures can be cool during the summer, particularly in the evenings.Baltic cruises tend to be dressier. A warm sweater and gloves might be useful, particularly in lateAugust. Absolutely bring an umbrella!
• For the Mediterranean: Summer temperatures are similar to the Caribbean. Spring/Fall are coolerand more formal. Winter Cruises in the Med can be very cool, although snow/ice are not likely.
• For Bermuda: Weather is beautiful from May through October, although cruising to/from New York orBoston can be quite cool in early and late seasons. Bermuda is in the Gulf Stream, while New Yorkand Boston aren't, so be prepared for a change in weather!
• Most cruise lines do not permit you to carry alcohol on board due to customs regulations.


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