Are you planning a cruise holiday? Is it for the first time? And, you have no clue as what to pack for your upcoming cruise experience. This post is tailored especially for you where I will be providing an ultimate cruise packing guide. The handy packing tips are what you need just before your vacation.
Before I share the detailed cruise packing tips and checklists, I must admit that cruising can be quite addictive. Unlike shore vacations, cruise holidays altogether have a different charm to them. Sailing days after days on the sea without ports, watching endless spectacular sunsets, letting the wind play with your hair while holding a glass of wine. The romance between the sea and you, go deeper once you start cruising around the world.
Also Read: MY MAIDEN CRUISE EXPERIENCE WITH THE PRINCESS CRUISES: WHAT I LIKED THE MOST
I had the time of my life on the sea. I had cruised with one of the most luxurious cruise lines named the Princess Cruises from Dubai to Kerala during the monsoon season. And, I must admit that it was one of the most compelling travel experiences I ever had. Planned and curated by the Cruise Professionals, it was the most immersive travel experience of my life.
Whether it was attending numerous events, parties, hosted dinners, indulging in interesting activities, workshops, special concerts, Captain’s Cocktail Party, etc., you will be hooked on the entire time onboard.
So, the elaborate itinerary of your cruise holiday demands meticulous planning to have a proper wardrobe. You need to plan your apparel well in advance so that you carry a variety of attire, best suited for each occasion.
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WHAT TO CHECK BEFORE YOU START SAILING? ULTIMATE CRUISE PACKING GUIDE
Are you a last-minute packer? Are you someone, who rarely gives any importance to attires while travelling?
You can’t probably have the luxury of packing last minute if you are planning a cruise holiday. Because packing for a cruise vacation is way different from your regular onshore holidays. Packing for a cruise trip entirely depends on the itinerary, sea route, weather, season, and the activities on board. So, one needs to consider various factors before you pack your suitcases.
This ultimate cruise packing guide will help you plan your closet well in advance before you start sailing on the sea with the bright sun. Along with the perfect packing guide, I will be giving you Top Cruise Packing Tips as well.
It is highly advised to keep yourself updated with the CRUISE TRAVEL ADVISORY before you book your cruise holiday. Considering the risks associated with COVID-19, you must keep your health checked properly before your dream voyage.
CHECK OUT THE ITINERARY
Once you book a cruise vacation, the very first thing you must do is check out your itinerary. It gives you a fair idea about your onboard activities, port information, shore vacations, numerous events, hosted parties and formal dinners, etc. Having your itinerary well in advance helps you to plan your cruise vacation extensively.
The best part of a cruise vacation is that you don’t need to pack and unpack your luggage at every destination. Once you land up on the cruise and check in to your stateroom, you are hassle-free for the entire duration of your journey. Everything is well taken care of by the cruise line itself.
So, if you pack sensibly enough for your stay, it pretty much sorts out your journey.
CHECK OUT THE DRESS-CODE OF THE CRUISE LINE
Every cruise line has its dress code for various occasions and guests are expected to adhere to that. The seasoned cruisers are always smartly dressed up as they exactly know how to carry themselves on the cruise and what to wear. The dressing etiquette defines how well-traveled and aware you are.
I was amazed to see how the senior citizens were vacationing on the Majestic Princes Cruise in style. From casual wear, swimsuits, formals to shoes, they were quite sassy in style. It is imperative to dress appropriately for each occasion as you don’t want to draw extra eyebrows just because you missed out on the dress code guidelines.
The Princess Cruises has two recommendations – Smart Casuals and Formal. The smart casuals include Skirts, dresses, or trousers with a shirt or blouse for ladies. For the gentlemen, it is trousers, shirts or polo shirts. You must know that shorts and swimwear are not allowed in restaurants. When it comes to the Formal wears, it includes evening gown, cocktail dress or pantsuits for ladies, and suits and dinner jackets for gentlemen.
CHECK OUT THE WEATHER
You don’t want to regret not checking the weather report in advance. This would be a grave mistake if you miss checking it. The weather can be quite unpredictable on the sea. You should be well-prepared for unexpected weather changes.
Some days can be quite sunny and some days can be equally gloomy. In between, if you come across the storm, it can get worse. Therefore, carrying some extra clothes for unforeseen days is a wise thing to do.
One should always carry an extra pair of jeans, comfortable shoes, t-shirts, and a few light woolens even though you are sailing in the summer season. The sudden change in weather can dampen the spirit of your cruise vacation. Hence, a little bit of extra packing will not do any harm.
CHECK OUT THE CRUISE ROUTE
Just booking your first cruise vacation and dreaming about it will not suffice. You need to consider various factors before you start sailing. Especially, when it comes to packing for your first cruise holiday. You should be well aware of the cruise route. It tells you the countries you are going to cross, various cities for excursions and days on the sea.
Once you know the details, it becomes quite effortless packing your suitcases. You would know what to carry and what to wear and where. It is very essential to be organized on such trips as you don’t want to spoil any moment due to lack of planning.
WHAT TO WEAR ON A CRUISE VACATION: ULTIMATE CRUISE PACKING GUIDE
Cruise vacations are more relaxing and luxurious than shore holidays. You are literally vacationing in a floating five-star hotel with all the amenities, world-class hospitalities, high-standard services, and a wide range of entertainment options. Hence, it is highly recommended to present yourself self suitably for every occasion.
The daytime on the cruise is more relaxing. So, smart casual attire makes absolute sense. Since casual wears are more comfortable and easy to carry, one must carry a few pairs of casual wears for the cruise holiday. Wearing shorts and crop tops or casual blouse with smart bottom are the most elegant style statements in the summer season. Coupled with stylish sunglasses, flats or sneakers and minimum make-up makes it look quite chic.
When it comes to choosing colours for your cruise holiday, try picking the colours that blend well with the colour of the sea. Like, white, sea greens, pink, blue, light yellow and even pastel shades go really well.
- A floral print dress.
- A maxi dress is a must.
- Always pack a Shrug or sarong
- A swimsuit is a must
- Tank top, casual tops, etc.
- Cotton shirts and T-shirts (For Men)
- Comfortable sneakers (both for men and women)
- Flip flop
SHORE EXCURSION OUTFIT
Never miss an opportunity to explore a new destination. The cruise holiday is an excellent way to reach different countries and popular beach cities. Depending on your cruise route and the weather of the particular destination, you must pack shore essentials. Your daycation depends on the places you choose.
Check out a few travel essentials you must carry for your shore excursion.
- Wear something comfortable as you will be out the entire day. If you are traveling in the summer season, you can opt for a cotton dress or comfortable trousers and cotton shirts as well. The men can wear shorts and T-shirts or linen shirts.
- Walking shoes, sneaker, or trek shoes are a must-have.
- Sunglasses & Sun cream lotion is mandatory as you are going to expose to the harsh sunlight.
- Refilling water bottle.
- You can’t forget to pack a Wide-Brimmed Hat and cap for a sunny day.
- A handy tote bag for your essential documents as well.
CASUAL DINNER OUTFIT
Don’t dream of walking into restaurants in your flip flop and shorts on a cruise. Each cruise line has a good number of specialty restaurants and it demands you to dress appropriately for your dinner date. The avid cruisers always dress up in style in the evenings. After a happening day on the cruise or shore excursion, you must book a table in a specialty restaurant for a casual dinner date with your loved one.
The classier you look, the more attention you get while entering the restaurant. So it is important to make your own style statement in the evenings. For men, this can be a suit and sleek shoes and for women, you can wear your “little black dress” or a cocktail dress to compliment the evening.
COCKTAIL AND FORMAL DINNER OUTFIT
This is one prestigious party on the cruise which no one wants to give it a miss. If you are invited to the Captain’s party, you undoubtedly need to pay attention to your wardrobe. This is the coolest party on the Princess Cruises, hosted by the captain himself where the captain leaves the bridge to mingle with passengers.
You get a rare chance of meeting the Captain, the cruise officers, and also the most important people on the cruise. Different cruise lines have different ways of hosting a captain’s ball or reception party. On the Princess Cruises, if your itinerary is more than 5 nights, you get to attend the captain’s party. On the night of the party, the captain introduces the officers with a champagne toast in the ship’s piazza.
This is a fun party to attend on the cruise. The party is by invite only. So, never miss the chance to make a classy statement by choosing the best proper party outfit for this fancy and formal night.
- Wear shirt and nice tie, paired with solid-colored dress pants. Don’t forget to wear classy formal shoes.
- Wear your best formal gown or the sassiest cocktail dress. Smart Pantsuits and elegant skirts and blouses are also acceptable. Don’t forget to wear a stylish necklace complimenting well with your dress. Do complete the look by wearing your stilettos.
I had a gala time attending the captain’s party on the Princess Cruises. It was a grand affair by the poolside on the 17th floor where unlimited wine and cocktails are served with some great music. I saved the best for the last and wore a wine red shift dress for the party, paired with my stilettos.
WHAT TO PACK FOR A CRUISE VACATION?
Here is the complete list of cruise essentials which you must have in your suitcase. This ultimate cruise packing guide is perfect for first-timers.
If you are planning your upcoming cruise trip, the below-mentioned cruise essentials are an eye-opener for you. The segregated section will guide you on what to pack for your cruise vacation. Packing for a cruise is a bit tricky. Therefore, don’t skip anything mentioned below. Find out this QUICK CRUISE PACKING LIST.
STATEROOM CRUISE ESSENTIALS
- Battery-powered nightlight
- Travel Outlet Adapter
- Global Travel Charger
- Extra hangers
- Air freshener
- Bedside Portable Cabin Fan
- Alarm clock
- Non-surge protected “cruise approved” power bar.
- Laundry Bag
- Ziplock Baggies
- Door organizer
- Magnet hooks
WEATHER GEARS CRUISE ESSENTIALS
- Small umbrella for a rainy day
- Sunscreen and insect repellent
- Light jacket
- Lined bag for wet items
- Waterproof Phone Case
FOOTWEAR CRUISE ESSENTIALS
- Flip flop sandal
- A pair of flat sandal
- Formal Shoes
- Walking shoes
APPAREL CRUISE ESSENTIALS
- Summer dresses ( Floral prints, white, pastel shades, and a few soothing colors)
- White shirts
- Evening gowns
- Casual Clothing
- Blouses, tops, crop tops, etc.
- Bathing suits
- Light sweater/Jacket
- White outfit
- Sun hats & Caps
- Disposable Underwear
GADGETS CRUISE ESSENTIALS
- Extra battery
- SD cards
- Mini Tripod
- External Hard Drive (If require)
- Power Bank
HEALTHCARE CRUISE ESSENTIALS
- Mini medicine bag
- Dramamine, Bonine tablets for seasickness
- Sea bands
- Ginger Candies
- First Aid Bag
- Hand sanitizer
OTHER CRUISE ESSENTIALS
- Packing cubes
- Miniature toiletry kit
- Excursion bag
- Travel-friendly Makeup Kit
- Suns cream lotion
- Waterproof Drybag
- Lightweight Backpack
- Waterproof Valuables Case
- Cruise lanyard
- Towel clips
- Insect Repellent
- Disposable rain poncho
- Insect Repellent cream
- Wrinkle release spray
- Phone waterproof case
- Passport / Birth certificate
- Travel Insurance
- Credit Cards / Cash
- Health Insurance
- Cruise Documents
- Copy of your Itinerary
- Flight Details Documents
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Very informative & creative!!! I have never been on a cruise before and this post will help me a lot. You have covered each and every thing. Good guide
I truly appreciate the tips. Will definitely keep in mind to check the dress code and itinerary
Its been more than a month and still i wasn’t sure whether to go on a cruise or not. But seems like im done with thinking and lets explore it. As you have described so beautifully i hope it will be a great adventure for me and my wife.
We had planned a cruise holiday for this year after a tour to Europe again last year. But nor did last years trip happened and nothing in sight this year too. This post of yours therefore would be very helpful whenever we are ready to go. Hopefully next year. Saving it for our planning.
This is helpful. I also have no clue on what to pack on a cruise so, I truly appreciate the tips. Will definitely keep in mind to check the dress code and itinerary. Love the idea of bring a shrug or sarong. It’s just so versatile.
It’s comprehensive, detailed cruise packing tips and checklists. Very useful for people planning a cruise. The Princess Cruises from Dubai to Kerala had to be a fabulous adventure. I was in Kerala, so I can imagine how beautiful the cruise it was. Great to know that it is worth checking out the itinerary before travel. I had no idea that there are such exciting onboard activities, numerous events, hosted parties, and formal dinners. I hope to do such a cruise one day. I have only experience with wildlife watching cruises.
I have been on a cruise once – a 4D3N from Kuala Lumpur to Phuket and back. It wasn’t very fancy but still luxurious by my standard, and you’re right – it can be pretty addictive. I would love to go on a longer cruise someday, and I think this packing guide will come in handy.
I’ve never been on a cruise before but would love to take one in the future. I didn’t know that each cruise has their own dress code! I didn’t think about bringing a formal outfit too. Also, it’s a good idea to check the itinerary and weather for sure.
I must admit we are finally thinking about cruising. And my packing skills are pretty rusty! Even with more casual dress these days, we always like to pack a few nice outfits. Dressing up a bit is part of the fun. The hardest cruise packing we have done is when the weather changes a lot. Means a big suitcase! A good checklist to use. Although my stiletto days are far behind me!
I have never been on a cruise before. This is such a useful and informative guide for a cruise trip. Bookmarking it for future reference. I would like to go on a cruise trip someday.
This is a really handy guide for me as I’ve been looking into going on my first ever cruise for next year! I would have no idea what to pack to be honest so I’ll definitely save this for future reference!
I have never been on a cruise before so thanks for the tips. Really comprehensive and useful. I had no idea there are so many different types of cruises! I better get shopping
Taking along a little black dress is so smart! Those formal nights always get me, lol. I am a last-minute packer, which isn’t the best for cruising b/c you need so many different things for various days. Great tips!