Packing for a cruise for me usually starts around the time I book a cruise or after returning from a cruise, whichever is later. I know, it sounds obsessive, but there are some things that you don’t need on a regular basis that’s only used on a cruise. Those things can be set aside as soon as I know we’re going. Each time we cruise though, it seems easier and easier.
We travel a fair amount so I have set up a toiletries bag for travel. When we return from a trip, I refill or replace things that need refilling/replacing. I also have a second bag that has medicines/first aid stuff. This again is specific for traveling and the cruise so I don’t have to pull this together every time I travel. When you are on a trip to a hotel, if something comes up you can go to a drug store. When you are on a ship though, you are limited by what they have in the gift shop, which usually isn’t much and usually is overpriced. I bring Bandaids, ibuprofen, Dramamine, Imodium, Pepto Bismal, antibacterial cream, hydrocortizone, ear dryer, eye drops and Maalox. I also carry tweezers and finger nail clippers. Believe it or not, I have used everything that I have brought on one cruise or another and this doesn’t take up much space in packing.
There are other things that I pack only for a cruise, that are rarely used at other times. This includes our snorkel gear, laundry hamper and over-the-door shoe holder. No, the over-the-door shoe holder is not for shoes, it’s for other things. I have a material one that has plastic holders for the shoes. This works great for putting up on the bathroom door in the cabin and putting your toiletries, medicines, sunscreen, etc. in. Cabins on the cruises don’t have a lot of storage space so every little bit helps.
We bring a power strip as there are usually limited outlets in the cabins. This can be a real problem if you have power adapters that are large or odd shaped. When I am cruising on a new itinerary or new cruise line, I bring an expandable folder to put all the papers that we receive in to keep them organized.
I also have a cruise kit of things just for cruising. This includes a corkscrew, highlighters (to mark on the schedule what we want to do), sewing kit, eyeglass repair kit, battery operated night light, personal battery fan, post-it notes, Ziploc bags (in various sizes), air freshener, travel alarm clock, gaffers tape (like duct tape but easier to remove), flashlight and a pocket knife.
This will be a different cruise experience for us. We are going on Norwegian Cruise Line. NCL is known for its Freestyle Cruising. This means that we don’t have to worry about the formal wear for formal and semi-formal nights.
We’re all packed now and just about ready to go! Next blog… live from Miami!