Not sure what to pack for your Caribbean Cruise? Check out my list of must haves including a free printable!
Hey, y'all! One of the questions that I am asked most often about cruising is, "What should I pack?" I swear, I have a friend that asks me this question every single time she goes on a cruise (even though she seems to go on a cruise each year!).
Packing for a cruise can be tricky. There's always that underlying fear that you're going to be stuck out to sea when you realize that you don't have something that you "need". The fact of the matter is, if you really "need it", chances are it will be available on the ship, or at the very least- in port. I first started cruising when I was 11 years old. My dad's rule was we could pack whatever we wanted, as long as we were able to manage our own suitcases. There's no way in hell that joker would be able to juggle all of my mom's luggage, his luggage and deal with 3 kids stuff on top of that.
Admittedly, I used to over pack. I would honestly pack 4 outfits a day. No joke. 1 for by the pool (a bathing suit plus a coverup of some sort, one for after I was out of the pool and just walking around the ship, 1 for dinner and 1 for after dinner). Some people may say that I still over pack but this is what I have found works for me.
I'll start with the basics.
As far as clothes go. I will typically pack 11 shirts for a 7 day cruise. Out of those shirts, a few will be tank tops, some can be worn to dinner or to shows, some will be for hiking, jungle treks, excursions or the gym, and others will be everyday wear. Since I travel with kids, we always hit up the Dr. Seuss Breakfast and we are THOSE people... you know the ones who love a theme? We all rock a Dr. Seuss shirt for the character parade. Go ahead and judge us.
Tip: Be sure to pack shirts you don't mind getting a little dirty, especially if you're going on an adventure excursion.
Tip: Pack shirts that are versatile and can be worn during the day and at dinner with slacks.
Tip: Bring along a long sleeve shirt or a sweater. The theatres tend to be cool.
On my last cruise I packed, 3 pairs of shorts, 1 pair of jeans, 2 pairs of slacks for dinner and 1 pair of work out pants. My shorts were all neutral colors (white, khaki and jean) so I could wear them more than once.
Tip: Jeans are great for the evenings!
Shoes can be tricky. You'll need shoes for the beach, shoes for dinner, and shoes for adventure excursions. On my most recent cruise I packed 7 pairs of shoes. I wore of them. The key to packing shoes is packing pairs that are versatile.
Tip: Swap our your .99 Old Navy Flip Flops for a pair of leather sandals that can be worn during the day and at night.
Toiletries are an essential part of packing. You're going to want to make sure you have everything packed that you would typically use one a day to day basis.
I pack all of this stuff up into 4 separate pouches, each has a different appearance so I know what's inside without having to go through everything. They are small and portable so I can just toss them into my backpack and carpe diem!
The bag on the left is my beach pouch. It houses a hairbrush, extra hair ties, 2 different SPFs of sunscreen, a bottle of conditioner and a collapsible cup (I've always traveled with one of these for some weird reason). On beach days or pool days, I can simply grab a towel, some water and this pouch and be out the door.
The bag on my right is my jungle bag. Although I usually only use this in the Western Caribbean and Alaska, I always carry it with me just in case. It has binoculars, hair ties, sunscreen and insect repellent galore. I swear by BullFrog but have backups in the event we go deep into the jungle. These things are great to have on hand if you're visiting Mayan Ruins!
Bag number 3 is a little larger- about 8" x 10". This is where I keep my shampoo, conditioner, body wash, chapstick, deodorant, and skin care. I also toss in my hairbrush, some extra hair ties and some headbands.
The fourth bag is where I'll store my make up.
Tip: Forget breaking the bank of spa days! Treat yourself to a facial in your cabin! I ask my steward for a bathrobe, put on a clay mask and enjoy a glass of wine.
Everyone's miscellaneous items are going to look different. I pack things like gallon size bags (for wet bathing suits), a Tide Pen, a cork screw and bottle stopper, a large cup and a scarf. I also bring along a few games, snorkel gear and a hammock. Again...totally weird, I know but I love me some hammock time.
Tip: Bring large cup along. The coffee cups on the ship are TINY. Metal cups are great for keeping your coffee hot in the morning and your beverages cold poolside.
These hanging shoe organizers help keep our cabin tidy. I use heavy duty magnetic hooks to secure it to the wall.
YES YOUR WALLS ARE MAGNETIC!
These guys are great. Not sure what to put in here? Think sunglasses, aloe, sunscreen, ball caps, small toys, etc.
One last thing...
Your suitcase conveniently fits under you bed so that it's out of the way and you don't lose precious closet space.
Be sure to pop in next week for another Travel Tuesday Post. I'll be showing you how I cram all of this stuff into one very manageable suitcase. Give me a like on Facebook or follow me on Twitter for more cruising tips and tricks.