Packing for a cruise can be
a little different than packing for other types of vacations, and here’s why:
Storage space in your cabin will be very limited.
Packing light is always smart, but it’s truly essential for a cruise.
The nearest shopping center won’t be very near when
you’re out at sea, so be sure to pack your “must-have” items.
Onboard laundry services are usually available, but
for a fee. You can wash a few things in your bathroom sink and hang them on the
retractable clothesline in your shower, but that really works only for small
With all that in mind,
here’s a quick overview of what to pack.
For daytime, cruise wear has
become more casual than it once was. Shorts, jeans, casual pants and skirts,
t-shirts, and other everyday tops are usually fine for daytime; just be sure
it’s all appropriate for the climate where you’re sailing. Bring a swimsuit and
cover-up, and a little gym attire if you plan to use the fitness center. For
cooler climates, pack some extra light layers. For itineraries that include
religious sites, you may need clothing that covers your shoulders and knees, as
well as a scarf or hat.
Cruise line dress codes have
become more casual for evenings, too, but check with your professional travel
advisor on guidelines for your ship. In general, shorts, jeans, and t-shirts
with slogans may not be welcome at dinner; but, long pants with button-down
shirts and casual dresses may be as dressy as you need to be. Of course, you’re
welcome to dress up as much as you like; and many cruises have formal nights,
when glittery dresses, fashionable suits, and even tuxedos abound.
We could devote an entire article
to packing shoes for a cruise, but the main point is that they take up a lot of
luggage space, so the shoes you bring should be versatile. For example, simple
ballet flats and lace-up shoes can work for both day and evening; athletic
sandals can be good for going to the pool and on a shore excursion.
Accessories. Bring a few
accessories – jewelry, scarves, belts, bags – that can make the same outfit
look different the second or third time you wear it.
Special note: Don’t forget
the basics! It’s easy to focus so much on outer layers for day and evening that
you forget to pack underwear.
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