If you haven’t cruised before – or if you have, but you brought the wrong clothes – here are some pointers on cruise packing.
First, a very important point: you can do laundry, or have it done for you, on the ship. That may help you pack lightly, which makes it easier for you to get your luggage through the airport and avoid paying more than you need to in baggage fees.
Second, before you pack, check your ship’s dress code (your Cruise Holidays personal cruise expert can give you a hand). Following the dress code is good form, a part of basic cruise courtesy. And, dress codes have become more casual, even on luxury ships. Ultimately, you can’t go wrong with “resort casual” which is typically polo shirts, khaki pants and loafers for men and slacks or skirts, nice tops, and casual dresses for women.
Swim suits, athletic shorts and tank tops are appropriate only around the pool and fitness center. Most of your packing should be longer shorts, capri pants and slacks, jeans (with no holes), sport shirts, button-down shirts and nice t-shirts. Women have the option of skirts and casual dresses, too. Bring a couple of light sweaters for cool evenings, plus a warmer jacket if you are cruising in a cooler climate.
A week-long cruise may include two formal nights, with the rest split between semi-formal and casual. Evening, “casual” means something you would wear to a nice restaurant; semi-formal means something you would wear to a traditional wedding; formal means what you would wear to a fancy New Year’s Eve party, right up to ballgowns and tuxedos.
Once your packing is done, take some things out of your packed bags and put them in your carry-on bag. This will ensure you have some space in your packed bags for things you’ll pick up during your cruise!
Here’s what to put into your carry-on bag, including items you’ll need if your luggage is delayed:
- Important medications
- Cruise documents, passport and other identification
- Basic toiletries, hairbrush, toothbrush
- A casual change of clothes – such as a bathing suit, shorts and a cover-up – for relaxing on deck
- A dressier change of clothes to wear to dinner on the ship
Finally, enjoy one of the great things about cruising: once you get on board and unpack, regardless of how long your cruise is or how many ports you visit, you won’t have to pack again until you’re ready to disembark. What a luxury!