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Pack List for a Cruise--and other Travel Tips

What you bring on a cruise depends a great deal of the kind of ship it
is.........casual or elegant.........and your plans for "fine dining".

If you are sailing a ship with all the elegant evenings, this takes special
forethought on your part. Even though they say that its two formal evenings,
three informal and two are sitting in such elegant
surroundings and eating a wonderful 5 course may want to
look your best ! Consider that this will be like a fabulous dinner party
every evening ! When I pack for cruises my husband asks me if I had left
anything in my closet.............well.............I wear absolutely
everything I pack.

Here are some of my thoughts...........some ships provide robes, beach
towels (both on deck and if you are going ashore to the beach) and hair
dryers...all depending on your level of accomodation. Check on this for your
particular accomodations............and if they are provided then leave
these items at home.....that's half a suitcase right there !

Ladies----If you are planning on "fine dining"-----Think thru 7 wonderful
evenings of dinners and cocktails beforehand. Think Black !! Black or cream
flowy pants or skirts topped with several different jackets, dressy dinner
jackets, big satiny tops..........if you pack separates you will have so
much more milage. Bring several evenings handbags......a nice selection of
jewelry........several different pair of dressy shoes..........several
bright colored Pashmina-type shawls are PERFECT.....lots of color over your
basics.......different little accessories to mix and match. These little
things that do not take up much room but will make all the difference.
Remember...........half the beauty of cruising is that you have these
elegant evenings. Basically..........if you think you want it.........bring
it. O a recent cruise, I brought 4 jackets with me of different colors and
fabrics..........and really did not feel it was enough. In addition to
dinner, we had lunch in the nice dining room three times, breakfast there
twice and High Tea one afternoon. All worked over basic bottoms. For casual
clothes, you will want fun things............some wrap
skirts..........bathing suit and coverup,
workout clothes...............

Kids------Remember no shorts or jeans in the nice dining rooms ! I have
found that kids really love these nice evenings. Where else can they have 5
courses of anything they want ?? Shrimp cocktails and lobster always a hit.
Teenage boy still hungry ?? What else would he like ? Another lobster tail ?
(Take lots of pictures-this can be great family time !)

Men---Quite Easy ! (Of course !) Tuxedo -optional...........but very nice
for the formal evenings. (Certain ships it is not optional) You may consider
bringing two tuxedo shirts. Navy or basic blazer and dress pants...dress
shirts...neckties....dress shoes.....khaki pants....knit shirts.....basic
shorts....workout clothes...casual shoes..sneakers...bathing suit. Hawaiian
type shirt for fun ! Discuss with your agent. So much depends on the kind of
cruise ship you are sailing ..and your personal dining plans. Overall-plan
on dressing for "Country club elegance".

You can check two bags with the airlines and carryon one
carryon was a garment bag and a very full large purse. Bring some sort of
granola bars with you on the plane.....airport and runway delays are all too
common and food is no longer served onboard as it once was.

Other Good Basic tips.....

**Pack a pad of Post-It notes to leave messages for your cabin steward (you
get to know him !),
family, and shipboard friends.
**Have plenty of one-dollar bills handy for tipping airport skycaps and
porters at the pier.
**Don't pack photo film in checked luggage as new airport screening
equipment could ruin it. Put it in your carry-on instead. Even if

you don't
think you'll need them, bring along extra camera batteries and change them
before you think the old ones are "dead." Don't forget film !

**Put a rubber band around
wallets in your back pocket will inhibit pickpockets. Some "ports of call"
have large pick-pocket communities....unfortunately.

**Toss a few empty plastic bags into your suitcase. You may need them later
to pack dirty or damp clothes.

Tap water on your ship is perfectly safe to drink; purchasing bottled
water is only necessary if you prefer the taste.

**Tuck fabric softener sheets between garments as you pack to keep clothing
fresh during travels.

**Bring your own travel alarm clock; most staterooms do not have them.

**If you live in a colder climate are traveling to a warm weather
cruise...When you put your summer wardrobe away for the winter, set aside
the casual outfits, sandals, swimwear, and sleepwear
you want to wear on your cruise and store them in the suitcase you plan to
use. You'll be at least half packed and won't be hunting down an outfit or a
pair of shoes later. You will also free up some drawer and/or closet space
at the same time. Hang your evening clothes in a separate area of your
closet and pack them when you're ready to leave for your trip

**Pre-address stick-on labels for postcards to the folks back home & you
won't have to carry along a bulky address book.

**Make two copies of your passport, driver's license, and credit cards
before leaving home-in addition to your Cruise Documents, and Trip Travel
Insurance. Leave one set of copies in a safe place on your ship.
If the ship's purser holds your passport (which is often the case, to
expedite clearing the ship in foreign ports), carry the passport copy ashore
with you. Leave the other copies with a friend or family member at home.

**Binoculars ---lightweight, small ones..........particularly for Alaska,
Hawaii, Europe !

**Print cards with your name, address, phone number, & email address to
share with new friends. Having your cards handy sure beats hunting
for pens & scribbling on scraps of paper to swap addresses. Fun,
inexpensive, colorful cards can be ordered online from a company called (Allow plenty of time to order and receive these !)

** Leave any paperback novels you've finished for the crew library. You'll
have more room in your suitcase and crewmembers will have fresh reading
material--they will really appreciate this !

**Don't forget to pack and USE your sunscreen. Why take the chance of a
nasty sunburn ruining a great cruise vacation? Protect your skin from injury
and aging. Throw in something for Sunburn too. People have a way of
overdoing on vacation.

**Check the balance of your on-board account before the end of your cruise.
Straighten out any discrepancies immediately and avoid a long line at the
Purser's Desk that last morning after your final bill arrives (try to do the
final the last night...try to beat the rush !)

**You are all dressed for dinner and you look fabulous !! Have a family
taken to preserve the memory. There's no obligation to purchase any photos
you don't care for.

**and my all time favorite..........depending on what type of trip, ship,
elegance level etc etc...........bring t-shirts you might want to work out
in.......sleep in..........tour in..that you will wear and leave behind as
they are dirty.......this will give you room in your suitcase for purchases
while traveling.

About the Author

Joan Dann can be reached via her website at and email
her at

She is President of Great Explorations ! Travel and a Cruise Expert. She is
also Co-Owner of Dann Mens Clothing ( ) with husband
Dennis and has spent many years in the Men's and Womens Clothing Industries
as well as the Luggage and Leathergoods Industry.