Sunday, 21 March 2021

What To Pack For A Cruise Holiday

If you've followed my blog for a while, then you'll know that we a family of cruise enthusiasts.

I fell in love with cruising back in 2012, when I was still terrified of flying - it was the perfect way for me to enjoy holidays abroad and see the world without needing to subject myself to stepping foot on a plane.

And even now that I've managed to overcome my fear of flying, I can't leave the cruise holidays behind - there is just so much about them that we love!

The ultimate relaxation from the second you board at Southampton, the chance to wake up in a new port every day and have the holiday come to you without ever really feeling as though you're dealing with any of the down sides of travelling. The chance to get really dressed up in beautiful formal outfits that I'd never otherwise get to wear, the chance to dine like Kings and drink the most amazing cocktails poolside as we float way on oceans blue to new destinations. It really is the stuff of dreams!

One of the most common questions I get about cruising though, is what to pack.

And admittedly, it can be a bit of a minefield - often you'll be visiting different destinations with varying weather so you need to cover all possible eventualities, and then there are some cruise-specific items which I wouldn't want to be without on board too.

So I thought I'd compile a list of what we usually pack for a cruise holiday.


*Formal wear - Your cruise line will have information on their website about how many formal nights they are likely to host, usually depending on the length of your cruise.
Formal wear is optional but most people do wear it and personally we really enjoy this aspect of cruising as it's lovely to have a reason to dress up fancy.
I don't have tons of money to spend on formal wear though, so I tend to buy cocktail gowns on ASOS Outlet a lot as they're often heavily reduced.  I've also had my eye on this gorgeous long sleeve prom dress too.

* Day Wear - you'll need to check the weather forecast for the ports you're visiting, but my advice is to take lots of layers. Even on the warmest days, it's often a bit nippy when you're out at sea so bring cardigans or light jackets for out on deck. You'll also want comfortable shoes as you'll do a lot of walking and most of the ships are pretty huge! Don't forget your swimwear too.

* Medication & toiletries, plus enough nappies or wipes for little ones - There is a shop on board but the opening hours can be tricky as they don't trade while in port. They are also usually very expensive - I forgot to bring any painkillers with me once and when a bad headache struck, I ended up having to pay almsot $15 for a pack of paracetamol! So bring any medications you might need, including painkillers for yourself, calpol and plasters for any children you're travelling with.

* A big bag - The ships are pretty big so we usually find that once we're "out" for the day on board, we don't want to have to keep popping back to the cabin all the time for things. Which means, as a family with young children, we need a decent sized day bag to take out and about with us on board.

*Travel adapters - Depending on which cruise line you travel with. P & O ships are usually UK or EU sockets, whereas Royal Caribbean are usually US.

*Magnets - Random, I know but most of your cabin walls are metal and so if you bring magnets with you then you can make use of the wall space to hold things up! The space is often quite limited in a cabin, so utilising the wall space can be quite helpful. I tend to hand my evening bags up, and I also use them to pin up the days Whats On guide too so that I don't lose it!

*A card holder - The kind that you can wear around your neck. You'll have a Sea Pass card which you'll need to show every time you get on or off the ship, and you'll also need to show it when you buy anything on board such as drinks so it can be a pain having to fish it out of a purse or wallet constantly. Wearing it around your neck makes life much easier!

* A highlighter pen - one of my favourite things to do is sit down each evening and highlight everything of interest to us in the following days activity guide, so a highlighter comes in useful for this!

*Binoculars - If you have some, then you won't be sorry you brought them - especially if you have a balcony or window in your cabin! I could spend hours just looking out to sea.

*Ear Plugs - If you're a light sleeper, it might be worthwhile bringing these just incase you end up with a noisy room. I can't say I've ever needed them personally but I always bring them just incase.

*Snacks! - I always bring some snacks, especially when travelling with little ones, as although there is always lots of food available, sometimes you just want to be able to give them a bag of crisps without paying cruise shop prices! We also bring biscuits to have with our cups of tea at night.

*Mini bottles of squash - Again, if you're travelling with children then I find these so handy. The drinks on board can be expensive if you don't have a drinks package, so those little squeezy handbag-sized bottles of squash are ideal to bring along as you can just add it to water and save yourself a small fortune on endless sodas and juices!

I hope these tips have been helpful, and if you're cruising soon - bon voyage!!

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