A cruise can be relaxing and rejuvenating and that is why it is so popular, with the Caribbean, Bahamas and Mexico topping the list. Everyone wants to escape from city life and harsh winters and go someplace warm on a vacation. What is more ideal than a cruise?
When packing for a cruise, you have to be very smart about what you put into your suitcase. Whether you are going for a cruise for the first time or you are a regular “cruiser”, there are some things you need to consider before you get started on your cruise trip. Here are some pointers that you may want to consider.
Be Ready for Extra Costs
Almost all cruises will not include the costs of beverages (alcohol), excursions, spa and laundry. All these come at an extra price, over and above the price that you pay for the cruise. While packing for a cruise, it is best to avoid clothes that need high maintenance, like dry cleaning and frequent washing. You can choose clothes that are smart and still practical for travel purposes. This will save you the laundry costs. Also, pack a few dry snacks, such as cookies, dry fruits and energy bars to satiate your hunger between meals. This too will save you money and stop you from raiding the mini bar.
Show Your Gratitude through Tipping
A cruise is not very different from a hotel stay. You need to budget separately for tipping the staff. Typically, your tips would cost up to $20 per person per day. It could be the service staff, housekeeping or any other staff who helps or serves you during your trip. Remember, room service and housekeeping staff does expect a tip and if you are not generous, it comes across as rude. So make sure you budget for these gratuities.
Pack Smartly and Wisely
A cruise ship is pretty big and can accommodate a large volume of luggage. However, you are not the only one on the cruise and there will be several people given the vacation season. Do not overload your luggage by over packing. Take the items that you would need. Some people carry their toasters and electric kettles on a cruise for personal use! This is really an oxymoron because you will not need such things while on a cruise. Your luggage should only contain summer clothes, a few valuables, toiletries and other essentials. Remember, you are heading to warmer climes, so pack accordingly. Also, throw in a few formal outfits for the captain’s dinner and other formal occasions.
Dress for the Occasion
While on a cruise, there will be some occasions and parties where you would be required to follow a certain dress code. You cannot turn up to a special party in casual clothing. So make sure you pack one or two sets of party wear that are light, practical and do not take up too much space. Otherwise, sundress, T-shirts, shorts, cotton pants, cotton blouses and swimsuits are perfect for a cruise.
Don’t Load Up the Toiletries
If it is month long cruise, you do not have to carry too many toiletries other than your personal items. Several cruises provide basic toiletries, such as shampoos, conditioners, and soaps. So, there is no need to raid the supermarket shelves to pick up these things, as you most probably will bring them back, unopened. Similarly, all cruises have laundries and washing areas that are well equipped with washing soap and iron for self use. Check with the cruise liner for the additional amenities that they provide at no extra cost.
Prepare a Checklist
It always is a good idea to make a list of things you want to carry. This will help you cut down on unnecessary items, especially those that are supplied by the cruise liner. Make a detailed list of things that you would need and eliminate the things that are unnecessary. This is the best way to consolidate your luggage while travelling.
Travel Documents are a Must
If you are going to foreign shores, carry your passport. You will be disembarking for tours and will need to present your passport to immigration officials at the port. Make sure you make copies of the documents and keep them in your cabin safe, so that you have a backup if you get robbed or your passport goes missing.
Cash n Carry
Always carry 80% cash and 20% traveler’s checks while going on a cruise. You may not be visiting places that are modern and have ATMs and Western Union to encase your traveller check. It is better to carry more cash, especially on a cruise. Also, keep the cash safely with you, in a backpack and some in your wallet. While you are relaxing on the liner, keep your cash and travellers checks in the safe in your cabin.