We know how difficult it may be to pack just the essentials for a cruise vacation, and whether you’re a first-time cruiser or experienced traveler guilty of bringing just too much, let’s face it – packing is always a daunting task. To help you out with your cruise packing list, check out some of our top tips and tricks to collecting everything you need for your vacation at sea!

Pre-Cruise
  • Travel Documents: Don’t forget your important paperwork – you might not be able to get on the cruise without it! This includes your passport, embarkation materials, and airline tickets (if you’re not driving to the nearest homeport by you!).

Insider Packing Tip: Prepare all your paperwork in advance, and create a binder to have all your travel documents in one place so you won’t misplace anything throughout the trip.

  • Carry-on Luggage: Aside from your actual luggage, bring a carry-on bag with a change of clothing essentials you’ll need to get through at least the first day of the cruise. With a carry-on, you don’t have to wait for your checked bag to arrive to your cabin to freshen up (it sometimes may take a couple of hours). Plus, if you’re flying to your cruise port, you won’t stress out about potential lost bags because you’ll have back-up items just in case. Your carry-on should include extra undergarments, outfit, and swimsuit if you want to hit the pool early and avoid the crowds! Also, while cruise lines provide shampoo and soap, you might want to bring your favorite onboard toiletries to make sure you’re satisfied every time you freshen up.

Insider Packing Tip: Many cruise lines also offer onboard shopping as well as laundry service – so if your bags are lost in any worse case scenario, you can always take advantage of these features!

Onboard
  • Daytime Wear: Casual shorts, t-shirts, sundresses, trousers, and typical daytime wear are all perfect for your cruise vacation. And for country-club atmosphere cruise lines such as Oceania Cruises, recommended clothing includes resort or country-club casual. The amount of these clothes you bring should depend on how long your cruise length is, so we recommend planning your outfits in advance, and potentially bringing a couple of back-up outfits in case. With cruise lines that feature incredible waterslides, whirlpools, and aqua parks such as Norwegian Cruise Line or Royal Caribbean, you might be spending a lot of time splashing around by the pool – so be prepared to pack extra bathing suits!
  • Evening Wear: While cruise lines such as Norwegian Cruise Line or Royal Caribbean have become less-formal during the evenings, it’s still important to bring a variety of evening attire. We recommend still wearing more than just casual attire; dinner in the Main Dining Hall of most cruise lines should include with cocktail dresses, skirts, or a nice blouse and pants for women as well as button-up shirts and slacks are recommended for men. For luxury cruise lines such as Silversea Cruises and Oceania Cruises, attire is usually a little bit more elegant with formal nights that include cocktail dresses, evening gowns, or trouser suits for women and jackets or dark suits for men.

Insider Packing Tip: If you’re thinking of hitting the many onboard lounges or club venues onboard Celebrity Cruises or any of other cruise lines, be sure to bring clothing that includes comfortable dancing shoes, cocktail dresses, slacks, and whatever you would want to wear on a ‘night-out-on-the-town’!

Shore Excursions
  • Adventure: Are you thinking of zip-lining through the Caribbean or perhaps walking through the excavations of Pompeii? For Europe itineraries, we recommend bringing a pair of socks, tennis shoes, a hat, and sun block to more adventurous shore excursions that require a lot of activity. If you’re traveling to island paradise in the Bahamas, Caribbean, or Hawaii, you’ll definitely want to bring a lot of sun screen, a swimsuit, towels, and an extra pair of clothes.
  • Leisure: If you’re simply going to be sightseeing and leisurely walking through each port-of-call, it’s important to bring comfortable shoes. For Europe especially, you’ll be traveling through cobbled streets that may be difficult to get through with sandals or flip flops. If you’re stopping by the Caribbean, be sure to bring loose clothing that you can freely walk around in and aren’t too uncomfortable when you sit (you may have a bus taking you into the cities near these ports-of-call). And, during certain seasons, there is a chance of unexpected rainfall where an umbrella will come in handy!

Did you gather everything you need with these cruise packing list tips and tricks? For more advice on what to bring on your next cruise vacation or what cruise vacation is perfect for your style of traveling, contact an Avoya Travel Cruise Specialist today!