Updated: Nov 13
Packing for any trip can be daunting between all of the documents you'll need, the clothing you may need, any medication, and somehow making it all fit in your suitcase. I have created the ultimate packing list for your first cruise.
Packing Item #1
Packing the appropriate attire is essential and can vary on the type of cruise you plan to take. Many cruises to the Caribbean have lost some of their formality, and casual wear is becoming more and more normal. However, if you are river cruising in Europe, you'll need to pack business casual attire. In addition to that, there are specific activities that require closed toes shoes, long pants, or swim gear. The last item of clothing is specifically for the ship is a sweater or long sleeve shirt. Even if you are traveling to the Caribbean, ships can be a little chillier than you are used to, and you'll be wearing an outer layer more than you anticipate.
Packing Item #2
Medications are a significant item on packing lists. On top of any daily medications you take, packing other first aid items is a must. That is not to say that you won't be able to find Advil or Band-Aids onboard the ship, but you'll be paying an arm and a leg to purchase them. I highly recommend bringing them from home and saving some pain in your pocket. Included in the first aid kit is motion sickness medication. Even if you've never experienced any issues in the past, cruises are notorious for bringing out that motion sickness. Your family doctor or even tele-heath can prescribe a patch that lasts seven days that you can wear and forget about.
Packing Item #3
Toiletries fall in the same vain as the medication. They are fully available; however, their prices are much higher than on the mainland. On a cruise, they provide small toiletries in each stateroom bathroom, though if you find yourself going through those toiletries, or have specific products you love, be sure to pack them. I always pack additional toiletries for the bathroom and an air freshener. In addition, I always add sunscreen and after sun lotion because the sun on ships can be much stronger than what you'd find at your local pool or the beach.
Packing Item #4
The last tip is one for if you've decided not to purchase the beverage package, you can generally bring on a 12 pack of anything but bottles, but most cruise lines require you to carry it in your carry-on. You can also bring on a bottle of wine with most cruise companies. There is a charge for opening the bottle that varies from cruise line to cruise line. It'll help with cutting costs if you just want to have a celebratory drink.
Bonus Embarkation Day Packing Tip
When you are boarding the ship, your main luggage will be delivered to your room by a porter, which means that you could potentially be without your luggage for a portion of your first day on the ship until your room is ready. This is why I highly recommend a small carry-on in the way of a small backpack or bag. In that carry-on, you should include your medication, a change of clothes, your swim suit to take advantage of those fantastic pools, a copy of all of your documents, and any chargers or electronic accessories that you may want to use early on in the day.
Now that you have your bags ready to go, let's book your perfect cruise. From river to the Caribbean or even a Mediterranean cruise, we will ensure that your first cruise is one that you'll remember for a lifetime. Schedule your consultation today!