You have just booked your last minute cruise deal, so it is quite understandable that you want to start packing straight away. However, as you know, when you are excited it is more probably that you will forget certain things.
Cruises are also different to other holidays and vacations, you must remember that you must dress appropriately when you arrive at your departing port, or that you are on a cruise ship with limited shopping areas (and the prices you pay will not be the same as your local grocery store), and you may be calling at a number of destinations that offer something different.
Each cruise often has the ability to surprise, as the weather on the seas can be a lot different when compared to land based holiday resorts.
If you have booked your last minute cruise deal, you may have done so by scouring the internet and finding deals on this page.
(Great photo from Pauls Imaging via Flickr)
With this in mind, here is a useful packing guide especially for those who have booked a cruise.
Be smart when packing your carry-on bags
This is especially important for those on a fly cruise, when you have to rely on airport staff to get your luggage to you at the first attempt.
Pack important medications, toiletries and a light change of clothes to take with you. This way you are prepared for the worst case scenario of your luggage going missing in transit. You will have the ability to keep clean and stay healthy. What more could you want before your luggage is forwarded to your next port of call.
Know the onboard dress codes
The dress code can be very different depending on which cruise operator you use, cruise liner you travel on, and even different areas of the liner itself. Knowing is half the battle before you start to pack.
Some people still like to dress up, as cruising still holds a sense of class and nostalgia. Men will be in formal suits and tuxedos, while woman are in formal gowns. However, most cruise liners operate a more relaxed approach to dress code, with ‘smart casual’ being very much the theme.
Do your laundry
If packing light is more your style, then you can make use of the laundry services onboard the cruise liner. Depending on your booking, and what class of cabin you are staying in, the laundry service could be free. However, if laundry is not covered you may want to consider packing a little more, and doing less laundry.
If you do have to pay for your laundry, then pick up some travel detergent before you board. You can also rinse out shirts and underwear in the cabin’s bathroom or freshen it up with some Febreze to get more than one use out of it.
Bring your favourite toiletries
Most toiletries are provided in your cabin, but if you have your favourite or preferred brands in soap and shampoo take them with you.
Likewise, if you dry your hair using a hair dryer do ensure that you pack your own. The hairdryers that are offered as part of your cabin are often weak and not very powerful.
Each cruise operator and each cruise liner has the potential to offer something a little different to the next. So, if you are thinking about packing your bathrobe, read up on what is included in your cabin and your booking. Word of warning, do not take your bathrobe home as you will be charged for it.
Some cruise operators will require you to stipulate your requirements before you book. Otherwise it is just a case of checking what bathroom provisions are included on their website or ask your travel agent.
Dress for your destination
If your last minute cruise includes calling in at a number of destinations, then read up on them. Each destination will offer you something different, so it is important that you not only dress for the destination, but you also respect it too.
If you are travelling across Europe, expect a more casual approach to attire, but it you are calling in at destinations which have a more strict approach towards your attire then dress appropriately.
Also, you should think about what you plan to do at your destination. If you are planning on long walks, hiking, biking, exploring and taking in the sights, take comfortable footwear. However, if you plan to keep to the beaches and enjoy the view, then pack some flip flops.
Save room in your suitcase
No cruise is complete without picking up a few souvenirs during your time at sea and at your destinations. So it is essential that you leave a little bit of room in your suitcase so that you may bring these souvenirs home with you.
Mix up your clothes
Why waste room in your suitcase with entire outfits or fight over cabin space and who has the last hanger, instead pack clothing items that are easily mixed and matched with one another.
Try and stick to a minimum selection of colours, for example; black goes with almost anything so try and pack a selection of black tops and bottoms to go with a few of your other items.
Layers are important too. You may have a good idea what the weather will be like when you depart, but things change, so it is essential that you take items which have the ability to provide you with a number of different layers.
Accessories are also important, take a small selection of jewellery with you to add a little something to your outfits.
As the bigger cruise liners hold such a huge capacity of people, you have the ability to wear the same outfit twice without seeing the same person, or group of people again throughout the rest of the cruise.
Keep your documents safe
When packing, keep all of your important documents with you. This is just common sense.
Make sure that you pack passports, boarding passes, visas and any forms of identification and keep this with you at all times. Place them in your carry-on bag, rather than your luggage, as it means that you have access to them at all times.
You are now ready for your last minute cruise deal. Go and enjoy it.