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Cruise Ship Passenger Tips

I love cruising, but I’m not that fond of packing. After several cruises, I’ve learned some tips that will hopefully help you prepare for your trip. But, before you start, keep this in mind: Pack Light. Carting around less stuff in airports, and ease of putting your belongings away at your destination is the way to go.
No matter where your adventure is taking you, some items you need remain the same. This basic list, from clothing to toiletries and personal items I like to take (such as a camera) on every trip, I wrote down while packing. This avoided having to think about it on all future trips as well as avoid forgetting something basic next time. My husband keeps a list on his computer, I have one in a drawer. Packing is faster with less concern for forgetting something.

DRESSING FOR DINNER

Every cruise line has dress codes for meals, and sometimes activities. They will tell you when you book your trip how many formal, semi-formal or casual nights, as well as restrictions (such as no shorts in the dining room). For formal nights I have purchased a dressy outfit made of a fabric that does not wrinkle and is light weight. I also will wear this more than once. For the men a suit jacket and tie. Some cruisers bring a tux. If you do not wish to bring formal wear, you can rent an outfit on the ship.
Some cruise lines have semi-formal nights which for ladies is a dress or pant suit and for the men a sport coat. We used to carry a suit jacket and sport coat, but now have on nice jacket and vary the shirt, pants and tie for a formal versus semi formal evening. My favorite tip is that I have a pair of black dress pants, and vary the top to be more semi-formal or casual. How many pants I bring depends on the length of the trip. Not all cruises have semi-formal nights.
For casual nights, dress is similar to casual work clothes. For most cruise lines, no jeans or shorts. Remember that it is only necessary to dress for dinner in the dining rooms. The lido restaurant as well as many other eateries are always casual and open at all meals.

SPECIAL EVENTS

Occasionally different ships will have special events, like a 50’s party or line dancing, but there is usually no specific dress code. The only special event that I have encountered was on the Costa ship ATLANTICA. They have a Toga Night where everyone wears a sheet to dinner. They provide the bed sheet, as well as a set of directions on the various ways you can wear it. Some passengers looked as though they belonged in the Roman Empire. Others…well lets just say it was very entertaining. I do recommend that if there are any similar events on your cruise line, bring safety pins and any simple accessories for your outfit.

DESTINATION CONSIDERATIONS

ALASKA

In Alaska, the temperature varies from hot in Fairbanks, to chilly in Glacier Bay. It also rains a lot. Some cities have more than 300 days of ran per year, so your odds are- you will see rain on your voyage. On our first trip to Alaska I wore a flanned lined pair of active pants and a polar fleece hooded sweatshirt. I also purchased for both of us a flannel lined rain coat (hooded). It rolled up well to pack easily and was perfect for rain and warmth (especially over the fleece). I was comfortable and could stay outside at Glacier Bay, while my husband (in jeans) was cold. Our second trip we were both dressed in what we now call our “Alaska pants”, and were both comfortable.
Besides clothing, the following list is recommended when traveling to ALASKA
  • SUNSCREEN – remember the sun is out 24 hours
  • MOSQUITO REPELLENT – some cruisers have joked they are the state bird (this is more important if you spend much time on land tours.
  • BINOCULARS – the view is spectacular
  • GLOVES/SCARF
  • FLANNEL LINED RAINCOAT WITH HOOD
  • FLANNEL LINED PANTS
  • UMBRELLA – you will probably see rain
  • HAT – for protection from the sun
  • WALKING SHOES – an extra pair due to rain possibility
  • SWIM SUIT – I enjoyed the hot tub outside in Alaska as well as on the ship

  • For land tours in Alaska, no dress clothes are necessary. We carried a docker style pair of pants in case we needed them, but never wore them. Jeans was acceptable everywhere we went. Our next trip I will probably pack one pair of casual pants just in case.


    CARRIBEAN

    The warm and sunny carribean is easier to pack light. Other than dress clothes, you wear shorts, sundress or swimsuits most of the time.
  • SWIMSUIT
  • SUNSCREEN
  • HAT – for protection from the sun
  • LIGHTWEIGHT CLOTHING
  • SWEATER – you may need it in the air-conditioning
  • WATER SHOES

  • I like to bring a deck of cards, or other small game for traveling, as well as playing at the pool. One trip we would play a fun game in the lounges prior to a performance while we waited for it to start. If you are interested in athletics (gym), bring appropriate clothing and shoes.
    BASIC LIST: you will have to make yours to your specifics

  • CLOTHING
  • PJ’s
  • TOILETRIES
  • MEDICATIONS
  • VITAMINS
  • CARDS/GAME
  • TICKETS
  • PASSPORT
  • BINOCULARS
  • BATHING SUIT
  • WATER SHOES
  • HAT
  • BOOK
  • Every trip we take, when we think of something that we wish we would have thought to bring, we add it to the list, and always check that list in the computer prior to leaving.


     

     


     

     

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    Cruise ship traveler site includes news and information on destinations such Panama cruise or Caribbean cruise or Alaska cruises. Recommendation on what to bring on board and when to travel. Great suggestions for first time cruise ship traveler or the veteran.