How to Pack for a Cruise

Although what you pack for your cruise will depend very much on the area of the world you will be cruising around (or to), an across-the-board guideline would be to ensure that you meet any dress code requirements, or understand what the ambiance is on board your ship. This will help to make your trip as enjoyable as possible. You don't want to be waltzing into the restaurant in your tux when everyone else is in Ralph Lauren polo shirts!


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    Start by making a checklist of the items that you'd like you pack. Be as specific as possible, possibly even take out your clothes and look through them before hand, then narrow it down to the clothes that you want to bring. Separate this pile into two piles, want to bring and need to bring. Put these all on your list, in these two categories.
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    Get the right luggage. One of the major considerations when packing for your cruise is not so much what goes into your case, but what shape and size that case may be. You want it to be able to stow away, once you have hung your frocks and jackets up and tidied your socks and stockings into their respective drawers. Having to move a suitcase the size of Alaska out of the way every time you want to get to the bathroom can be a cause for certain discomfort.
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    Remember the same rules for packing for a cruise apply as for packing for any type of trip: lots of light-weights, lots of items that can be layered to allow for changes in temperature and mood (a light cardigan can be taken off to reveal a slinky, night-time vest top, for example) and as many non-creasing fabrics as possible.
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    If your ship is likely to be encountering a few waves (ocean-crossings can be a devil for waves) keep in mind that your high-heels may not be the most appropriate footwear for getting about, so make sure you also have something sensible your mother would be proud of. If you are planning shore excursions that involve a lot of walking then again, something flat is going to be the easiest and safest option.
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    Lay out all of your required items which you are ready to pack. Put all of these in your suitcase, then decide if you have any room left. If you happen to, take out your optional items, and begin packing some of these. However, you do not need to over stuff your suitcase. You won't need all of this, and it will be a pain to carry around.
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    Leave some space for all the knick-knacks, souvenirs, art works and other purchases that many-a seasoned cruiser usually arms themselves with, as they dip in and out of all the varying and exotic ports of call around the world.


    1. Before you pack:
    2. Check how many Formal Nights (if any) there are on your cruise.
    3. Check what laundry facilities there are on board (the longer the cruise, the more relevant this is).
    4. Lay everything out so you can see it.
    5. Use a checklist to ensure nothing is forgotten.
    6. Start early, so you have time to go shopping for missing items.
    7. Use plastic shopping bags to create and maintain groups of items and these become useful for protecting from leaks/damage.
    8. Don't over pack - as you are carrying it!


  • While all decent cruise ships have well-stocked medical centres on board, don't forget to pack your favourite motion-sickness little-helpers; unless you have a rock-solid platinum credit card to cover your medical bills!

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Categories: Travel Cruises | Travel Packing