Packing for a Cruise: The Essentials

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Packing for a cruise can intimidate even the most experienced of travelers because unlike “traditional” vacations, cruises have the prospect of “formal” and themed nights to contend with, thus vacationers are posed with the ultimate question: to pack, or not to pack, the tux or gown. What’s more, all clothing and travel items need to be packed into two suitcases, max. But worry not—cruise packing can actually be pretty stress-free; especially when you follow our top tips.

Wardrobe: Mix it Up

Most cruises feature both laidback and more formal dining options, so in addition to your casual attire—such as t-shirts, jeans, sundresses and shorts—you’ll also want to bring a set or two of dressier options for those nights when you want to take your evening up a notch. Tuxedo- and gown-averse guests needn’t worry—dark suits, or blazers with trousers will work just fine, as will contemporary nighttime looks for women. That said, should you wish to don cocktail attire, you’ll also feel right at home. Other essential items include a minimum of 2 bathing suits (so one will always be dry!), workout clothes, sun hats, sandals, and sunglasses. However, if you’re headed for a cooler region, you’ll also want to add a lightweight (but warm) coat, pieces you can layer, along with socks and suitable footwear.

Technology: Capturing the Memories

To help you remember every aspect of your trip, you undoubtedly want to pack a camera (or if you have a smartphone, a charger to make sure your device won’t let you down at the wrong moment!).

If you plan on going ashore and sightseeing, you should also consider bringing a tripod, to guarantee your pictures come out grounded and professional, and a portable flash drive, so you have enough memory to keep shooting pictures from day to night. Extra camera batteries are also key, if you’re opting for the non-smartphone option.

Safety: Protect Yourself

Whether it’s from the sun or potential pick pocketers, take steps to keep yourself and your property as safe as possible when traveling. We recommend stocking up on sunscreen and bringing along a personal first-aid kit to take care of small emergencies (but of course cruise staff are around to help at all times). For peace of mind in port, bring purses and wallets that can be kept close to the body, along with carry-on bags that are big enough to keep your cruise paperwork, airline tickets and required medications on you at all times (pro tip: do not pack them into your luggage!).

And, Finally: Don’t Stress

The beauty of being on a cruise is that even if you forget something (say, your sunscreen or a pair of nice dining shoes), chances are you’ll be able to purchase the forgotten item(s) from one of the many onboard boutiques. Indeed, Celebrity Cruise guests can pick up everything they might want—or need—from, say, a TAGHeuer watch, to a Hugo Boss bathing suit., and they’ll all be at duty-free prices.

4 thoughts on “Packing for a Cruise: The Essentials

  1. Frederick Dean Simpson

    I have taken two (2) cruises with Celebrity. The first was a 12 night Mediterranean cruise that went quite well.

    However, recently I was on a 12 night cruise from Sydney to around New Zealand. This was aboard the Solstice. We eagerly booked the concierge class with a veranda looking forward to the views of the sounds and shoreline.

    Generally speaking the ship was clean and the staff interaction was pleasant; but on this trip there is no doubt in my mind that Celebrity was ‘skimping’ on the quality.

    It was raining the day we boarded — not Celebrity’s fault! But they did not make arrangements to deal with the luggage checked in and left exposed to the elements. I understand that sometimes the staff can be overwhelmed by all the people checking in, however, when some of the luggage was obviously soaked because of the exposure to the rain after handing off the luggage to the staff; Celebrity put all kinds of barriers up to avoid helping their customers get their clothes dried out. Oh I must say they would do anything for you if you would just ‘write a check’.

    Again you can imagine a rainy day and everyone boarding; but as soon as my first foot stepped onto the main deck; I was hit was a hoard of solicitors for upgrades to drink packages, dinner locations, excursions… It was like stepping into a convention of used car salesman…all eager to collect a commission! Instead they should have handed out towels so we could dry ourselves off!

    Now the food in the private restaurants was fine…but the other meals were just so so. I know it is not easy to prepare meals for 2,500 people, but this was not the same quality I enjoyed on the Mediterranean trip. Something was cut. Even the ‘snacks’ provided in this booking class were only available if you were going to be in your room at the time of delivery.

    Here we are sailing around New Zealand — home of the ‘Kiwis’…yet not a piece of Kiwi fruit on the entire cruise! I now it is not rare, because I could easily find it at most of our ports! As I looked at what was prepared; I thought to myself that someone is saving a few bucks at the expense of their guests….not such a smart move when you consider many of us are entering the time frame in our lives that we want to do more traveling. I was traveling with a group of forty (40)….a group that has taken a number of Celebrity cruises and we all noticed the difference.

    As I continually receive emails about “specials” and “opportunities” from Celebrity; I can only wonder if they are now turning into a low cost cruising option at the cost of their customers… Something to consider when exploring who we take our next cruise with.

  2. Joanne Harding

    Hi, trying desperately to check-in online. Website constantly timing out. Not able to save the details. Any resolve most welcome as my cruise is approaching rapidly

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