You’ve booked your trip! Now here’s what you need to pack for your Caribbean Cruise
I have always prided myself as being a light packer. I went to Europe for almost 10 days with one suitcase. That was before I went on a 7 day Caribbean cruise.
A cruise is a completely different type of vacation than most other trips you have taken. And it takes a little different approach to packing. On a cruise you are combining relaxation, entertainment, fine dining, and excursions all into one vacation experience. With so many activities to look forward to, it’s essential that you pack the right attire and accessories.
Dinner in the dining room and evening shows call for apparel a little more dressy than a t-shirt and flip flops. Our cruise held two formal nights, though the dress code for ‘formal’ night is actually fairly broad. Feel free to bring a cocktail dress, but a casual dress or nice slacks work as well. The dining room can be cool so be sure to bring a lightweight shawl or wrap as well. Pack a pair of heels or nice flats to go with your dressier outfits.
While you are sure to spend plenty of time in or near the water you will need plenty of daytime clothing as well. Pack a few outfits that you can wear around the ship, on excursions, and a couple you can wear to eat in the dining room or buffet area. Pack some athletic wear and a reusable water bottle if you plan to hit the gym while you’re onboard. These will also come in handy if you are planning an excursion that includes hiking or other physical activities. Bring some tennis shoes for all that running around.
From the pools (plural) to the beaches (also plural) this is a vacation centered around water activities. You are almost guaranteed to be wearing swimwear daily. While your room will have a drying rack, you might want to bring at least a couple different swimsuits. Your cruise ship will provide you with plenty of towels, but in addition to your swimsuits you should also plan to bring:
- Swim cover-ups
- Sun hats
- After sun gel
- Bug spray
- Swimmer’s ear medicine
- Waterproof cell phone case
While you’ll enjoy an unlimited number of towels, there are some other bathroom items you’ll need to bring, including shampoo, toothpaste, and other personal care items.
Cruising is a fun way to visit new places, all over the world. Traveling the world means you’ve gotta pack your passport. Before you set sail make sure to make copies of your identification to leave at home, or with a point of contact, in case of an emergency. You can also take pictures of your important documents to keep on your phone. While on your cruise you can keep your passport locked in your room safe. Always check with the cruise line to make sure you have the proper identification for each port.
Pack For Convenience
Don’t wait to start enjoying your cruise. You could be waiting for a couple of hours for your luggage to be delivered to your cabin after you board your ship. But who wants to wait to start enjoying their trip? Bring a backpack ‘carry-on’ filled with some essentials, including swimwear, so you can dive right into the on-board entertainment.
When choosing what to wear while boarding choose something that can easily be made dinner ready. While most luggage will likely be delivered before dinner, it’s better to be prepared. (Some members of our group didn’t get their luggage delivered until after dinner on our first night on-board.)
Use this same bag for excursions and bringing home souvenirs. You can also use this bag to carry snacks for when you are off the ship.
Are you planning on enjoying a book while you relax by the pool? Do you want a physical book or do you plan to read on your phone or tablet? Make sure you bring chargers for all electronics you plan to bring with you. A portable charger is a good investment for port days, you don’t want to find yourself with a dead phone battery and unable to take pictures of your phone.
Consider packing motion sickness medicine or sea bands, particularly if this is your first cruise.
Relax and Enjoy
You’re packed and ready to go! One last item I enjoyed was an ID card holder lanyard. My friend who organized our girls trip got everyone in our group a lanyard that held our cruise identification card. This ID card is made during check-in and serves not only as our room key but our on-board credit card and identification card when we got on and off the ship. Having a lanyard made it easier to keep it on us all the time.