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Cruise Ship Checklist What To Pack For A Cruise

Following the global lockdowns with Covid, the world has seen an explosion in the popularity of cruise ship travel. The major industry players are launching new vessels, while travel agents have an amazing array of cruise ship packages on offer from Antarctica to the Arctic Circle, and everywhere in between.

Taking a cruise can be an exciting new experience that combines adventure and discovery with a little comfort and luxury. As you prepare for your maritime adventure, packing efficiently is key to ensuring a smooth and enjoyable journey. To help you navigate the process, here's our guide to the 10 essential things to take on a cruise ship.

  1. Travel Documentation: Before setting sail, ensure you have all the necessary travel documents. This includes your passport, cruise tickets, and any required visas. Make photocopies and digital backups of these documents, storing them in a separate bag or electronically, to avoid any potential mishaps. Be sure to check your passport has at least 6 months remaining on it from the end of your trip.
  2. Appropriate Clothing: The nature of your cruise destination and the onboard activities will influence your clothing choices. If your cruise is going to have daytime excursions then be sure to pack the right things, such as breathable tops and swimwear if you are island hopping, or a rain jacket if there's a chance you could be exploring a historic village in the rain. Evenings may call for more formal attire, so include a few smart-casual outfits. Don't forget essentials like a hat, sunglasses, and comfortable walking shoes for onshore explorations.
  3. Toiletries and Medications: While cruise ships are well-equipped with basic toiletries, it's wise to bring your preferred personal items. Pack a travel-sized toiletry kit containing toothpaste, a toothbrush, shampoo, conditioner, and any other daily essentials. We also recommend you pack a small first aid kit with pain relievers, seasickness medication, and any prescription medications you may require.
  4. Power Adapters and Chargers: With the plethora of electronic devices we rely on, having the right power adapters and chargers is crucial. Cruise cabins may have limited power outlets, so bring a power strip to charge multiple devices simultaneously. Don't forget charging cables for your phone, camera, and other gadgets to capture and document your cruise memories.
  5. Seasickness Remedies: While modern cruise ships are equipped with advanced stabilization technology, some passengers may still experience seasickness. Pack over-the-counter seasickness remedies like ginger candies, wristbands, or prescription medications if necessary. It's better to be prepared and enjoy a smooth journey without the discomfort of seasickness.
  6. Sun Protection Essentials: Whether you're exploring tropical islands or enjoying the sun deck on the ship, protecting your skin from harmful UV rays is crucial. Be sure to pack a good sunscreen that can be applied quickly if needed, as well as lip balm and moisturisers for the day after. A wide-brimmed hat has almost become cruise ship uniform around the world, and it’s a good idea to bring a lightweight cover-up to provide additional protection and ensure you enjoy the sun responsibly.
  7. Day Bag or Backpack: A versatile day bag is an essential item for onshore excursions. Choose a compact, water-resistant backpack to carry your essentials like water bottles, sunscreen, a map, and any souvenirs you pick up along the way. If you're worried about security in places like crowded markets consider taking small padlocks for your zippers, or even a bum-bag (fanny-bag).  If markets are your thing and you do plan to buy souvenirs along the way such as local arts or crafts, be sure you bring a large suitcase or bag big enough to bring them home in when the cruise ends.
  8. Reusable Water Bottle: Staying hydrated is crucial, especially in warm and sunny cruise destinations. Bring a reusable water bottle to refill throughout the day, both on the ship and during excursions. Most of the cruise lines offer water stations where you can fill up your bottle, reducing plastic waste and keeping you refreshed throughout your journey.
  9. Entertainment and Relaxation: While cruise ships offer a myriad of onboard entertainment options, it's a good idea to bring some personal items for downtime. You'll never regret packing a good novel for holiday reading, and many people download favourite TV shows onto a tablet to watch later. On a busy cruise ship there will likely be times when you just want to be left alone with your book or favourite show.
  10. Travel Insurance and Important Contacts: Accidents and unexpected situations can happen, so having travel insurance is a wise decision. Ensure your policy covers medical emergencies, trip cancellations, and any other unforeseen events. Additionally, keep a list of important contacts, including the cruise line's customer service, emergency services in the cruise destinations, and a reliable contact back home. We have helped hundreds of cruise ship passengers with their travel insurance, so get in touch if you'd like cruise ship insurance advice.

Planning a cruise ship vacation or holiday is exciting and at times daunting. We hope this checklist has helped. By packing wisely and preparing for various scenarios, you'll be ready to set sail with confidence, ready to embrace the adventures that await on the open seas and interesting destinations.



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