Packing for a cruise

  1. Pack a USB/power strip, but NOT a surge protector. Look for hidden outlets, like behind the TV for extra outlets.  ALSO: look for USB ports to use for charging phones and such.
  2. Ziplock baggies: take a few lunch sized ones/quart/freezer as they are great to have in case of rain, sandy beaches, etc., for your phone, ipod, etc. Also good to use for ice for sore joints. 
  3. Use old pill containers/weekly pill sorter for smaller Jewelry items and thread one side of your necklace thru a straw so it doesn’t tangle.
  4. Pack undies, socks, etc. into shoes to save space. Two words:Wrinkle Spray. It’s a life saver.
  5. Place your belt in collar of dress shirts if you don’t roll them, fold so collar stands up and belt will help keep its shape.
  6. Roll clothes to pack. Makes it easier to fit more. Also, think about packing some rolls in gallon sized bags for use later for wet clothes, dirty shoes, etc.
  7. Put a dryer sheet in suitcase. Keeps your clothes and stuff smelling good and helps in case of moisture.
  8. Duct tape: just pack it. You can use it for childproofing, for sealing bags that have ripped, and for putting back together suitcases that suffer from post-travel damage.
  9. Pack anything that could leak in Ziplock bags when packing.
  10. Carry a portable USB charger, such as “Jockery”, so your camera or phone doesn’t die half way thru your day.
  11. Take a portable travel clock as rooms do not have clocks or radios.
  12. Take magnetic (heavy duty) hooks for bathing suits and such, or commando hooks (extra strong). Can also bring clothes pins to hang wet items in the shower. Most showers have a small string with a hook opposite to pull the string across to hang stuff.
  13. Take some magnets to put notes, schedules, appts, etc. on the walls or on your door for others. A good idea is to bring a familiar magnetic sign or name plaque or something to put on your door. It helps you to find it quickly. A small magnetic dry erase board is good too!
  14. Bring a small bottle (or 2) of flavor dropsMio Water Enhancementto add flavor to water instead of paying for sodas. Can also bring your own to-go cup, coffee mug, or water bottle and fill it at the drink stations (using a glass) with ice/water for the day.
  15. Take a hanging shoe rack for stuff and hang it over your bathroom door. Use it for all those little things like sunglasses, id’s for while you sleep, sunscreen, headbands, hats, etc. But with cruise lines instituting more stringent policies on what passengers are and aren’t allowed to hang on doors, and with newer ships offering more storage space than ever, we question whether it makes sense to pack a bulky organizer when you can simply use the drawers and cupboards already provided.
  16. Bring some post-its to leave notes for your travel buddies or cruise staff. Take photos of your luggage before you drop it off with the stevedores. Makes it easier to find when you disembark and there are hundreds or even just a few others like yours.
  17. Put your wine in your shoes to help protect it. Best if you have it in a bag too, just in case.
  18. Put a business card in your luggage tag or just inside in case something happens to the other tags.
  19. Bring your own lanyard, with an ID pouch, or with a hole punch to punch a hole in your room card **do not put hole near the strip on back, put it in the opposite corners. Many cruise lines are now putting in the hole for you!!
  20. If you bring a bottle of wine onboard, be sure to bring your own opener so you can drink it in your room.
  21. If traveling light, bring a few laundry pods to do laundry.
  22. Bring hi-liters of differing colors to mark each person’s activities for the day.

       Bring battery operated tea lites for night lights, esp for inside rooms.

  1. Leave an open suitcase under the bed for dirty laundry. Makes it easier to pack when you are ready to leave!
  2. Go to the shop talks on the ship and sit near the front to catch free stuff!
  3. Check the Bible in your room, others in the know leave unused drink cards, or other items someone may want.
  4. If you’re having trouble sleeping, use a quality pair of noise-blocking earplugs or download a white noise app on your phone. 
  5. Ask crew members for free wifi spots in port.
  6. Need cash on board or for next port? Instead of waiting in line at the main desk, go to the casino, sit at a slot machine, insert your room card into machine and deposit the amount of money you want. Once it is loaded “cash out” and go to the counter for the money.
  7. If you need more hangers in your room, ask the room steward. They can usually get some or carry some wire ones with you as they can be reshaped if needed.
  8. Room stewards will also get extra pillows, blankets, etc. if needed.
  9. Can get the full week (cruise) menu from the main desk if you want to plan ahead. Also, if you want to eat in the specialty restaurants and save money, go the first night, or if in a port all day, that night. Or go for lunch, may be cheaper.
  10. Spa offerings are cheaper the first day and port days.
  11. Get there before noon and plan to eat on the ship. It is nicer to eat in the dining room than up on the pool deck as that is where everyone is going and it gets very confusing and crowded. Rooms are usually not open until around 1pm.
  12. All ships have to do an abandon ship drill so go to your room and find out your muster station. Ask a crew member if the lifejacket will be required. It is not required as often anymore. Then find your station about 15 minutes before and hang out nearby until just before it starts.  Especially if you don’t want to walk up stairs.
  13. If you wish to swim as soon as you get onboard, pack your suit in carryon or wear it under your clothes. No towels needed, they are provided onboard.
  14. Do not purchase items on the ship unless it is something you just have to have. Ships have recommended stores, which are great for high cost items, but for souveniers and such, go to the out of the way stores, if you have time. Most Caribbean countries will haggle with you so don’t pay first price at any store unless it says that prices are fixed.
  15. If you see a “captain’s toast” listed as an activity, do not miss it! This means there is a server with a tray of champagne or wine.
  16. Download any apps the cruise line offers. It usually means you can have access to all of the best activities at your fingertips.
  17. Make a free cafe mocha by adding half a hot chocolate mix to your american coffee at the buffet line.
  18. Some ships require a card in a slot for lights in the room. Use a business card instead of your room card.
  19. Consider tipping your head stewards (both table and room) in advance and you will get better service.

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