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How to Pack for a Cruise Vacation

After booking one of our cruise deals, packing for the trip can seem like a daunting task. With so many activities on board and at port to choose from, having all of the essentials is key, but packing light to fit in a small -- or rather, economically sized -- cabin is also imperative.

Here are a few tips:

  • Hallways and cabins can be tight so make sure to bring a suitably sized suitcase that can also easily fit under a bed or in a closet after you unpack.
  • The cruise ships provide towels for pool use, so no need to take up much needed suitcase space with a beach towel.
  • Several cruise lines designate at least one evening as "formal night." So if you’d like to dine in style and take professional photos in your fancy attire, pack a dress/coat and dress shirt. If you’d prefer to stay casual on your vacation, there are plenty of other dining venues to choose from on that evening.
  • If traveling with a large group, consider packing some walkie-talkies to keep in touch. Your cell phone will not work a sea and if you have some friends or family members that like to wander, you can track them down with the push of a button.
  • When in port be sure to pack your passport (or a copy) in your day bag along with some cash and a credit card. With recent storms in the Caribbean passengers missed the departure of their ship and had to stay overnight and fly to the next port. Having ID and some funds is crucial and hopefully not needed!
  • If sailing on Norwegian Cruise Line, they feature a "White Hot Party" so be sure to bring some white clothing to party on down on the top deck with your fellow passengers and crew under the moonlight.
  • Indoor areas on the ships tend to be very air-conditioned so if you tend to get a chill, be sure to pack a sweater or long-sleeve shirt.
  • Sea-sickness is never fun so if you suffer from motion sickness, pack some meds so you won’t miss a second of your cruise vacation turning various shades of green. If you’ve never cruised or aren’t sure you get sea-sick, don’t worry – the doctors onboard have extra medicine, just ask.

If you forgot to pack something, don’t panic. Most ships have an ample gift shop selling everything from clothing to cold medicine.

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Tips by

Deal Expert, Miami
Monday, March 26, 2012
See more Tips from
Blake Roberts