Things To Pack For A Cruise Vacation

{flickr|100|campaign} Going on a cruise is a different type of vacation. Unlike the standard road trip in a car or flight to a far away place, a cruise offers a unique experience. Packing for a cruise, then, is a unique experience as well. Depending on which cruise line is taken and where the cruise ship is going, the question of what to pack can be puzzling. Consider it similar to staying in a hotel for the entire vacation, as far as amenities and space. There are usually no restrictions for the number of bags a passenger may bring on board. The only restrictions imposed will be by airlines or trains for those who do not live near the departure point. Especially for spring break cruises, bring extra money for buying new outfits in port and leave extra suit case room to bring back souvenirs.

Carry On
The savvy traveler will pack any important necessities in their carry-on baggage. This is especially true for items that might be needed for the first few hours on board. Once passengers have boarded, it will be several hours before they are likely to see their luggage again. It will be delivered to the room, but this may not happen until after dinnertime, depending on the size of the ship and on which deck the passenger’s room is. The carry-on should have any necessary medication and a change of clothes. Anyone planning to hit the pool right away should pack accordingly.

Bathing Suit
Anyone planning to swim should bring more than one bathing suit. This will prevent having to put on a wet suit if going swimming more than once a day. Those not planning to swim should bring a swimsuit anyway, if just for the chance to sit by the pool, relax and play the part of the lounge lizard for a few hours. Pool towels are usually provided.

Formal Clothes
Most cruises feature at least one formal night on board. Travelers should consult the cruise line’s itinerary or cruise description to find out how many there are. An onboard newsletter or announcement will inform cruisers of how to dress for dinner. Many ships have dining establishments separate from the main dining room. For those without formal attire, this may be the time to buy it, or choose that night to try room service or another dining experience onboard. Dressing up in formal attire can also be fun and memorable for those who seldom have the opportunity.

Pack comfortable clothing to suit the climate. Bring a sweatshirt or light jacket for cool evening breezes, but plan to dress casually during the day and business casual for dinner and evening entertainment. Pack shoes for walking a lot when in port, whether sightseeing, shopping or exploring. Have special clothing and gear for any out-of-the-ordinary activities. For example, some ships have rock climbing walls. Some ports offer hang gliding, scuba diving, paddle boats or traditional rock climbing. Check out the amenities and excursions beforehand.

Medication and Toiletries
Passengers should pack anything that is usually not stocked by a standard hotel room, but may be needed for the trip. This includes medications, hair care and personal hygiene products. Check the cruise line’s information packet beforehand to see whether small appliances are offered. Coordinate with others staying in the same room to decide who is bringing what. This will cut down on the amount of packing space needed.