A Ready Guide to Help you Pack for your Cruise Vacation

There is no doubt that cruise vacations are exceptional which is bound to leave you with an enriching experience, to be cherished for your whole life. And if you can’t identify with what I just said, you got to take a cruise to feel what I am saying

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When I was approached by Cruise Professionals who facilitated my first cruise on-board Majestic Princess where I sailed with them for 5 days, it took me a while to come to the terms with it. Perhaps it was a long distant dream which I didn’t realise will be fulfilled so soon. But as much excited I was, I also knew that it will be a bit of struggle to plan and pack for this vacation, as I have never been on such trips earlier. Although we received proper instructions and brief from Cruise Professionals beforehand, but…

You are going to be on a cruise, vacationing in the middle of Indian Ocean with sporadic stops at vastly different destinations. You just don’t know what you will need.  And of course there were myths which I carried along (thanks to all jazzy movies) which led me to overpack the stuff I otherwise don’t generally carry

My myths were obviously busted but I have decided to write this blog to help people especially the first time cruisers, who wouldn’t know what exactly needs to be in the trolley. And before you take a read, let me tell you it is not that complicated either. For convenience I am dividing this guide into 4 sections 🙂

  • Clothing for Girls/Ladies
  • Clothing for Boys/Male
  • Necessary things to be carried
  • Miscellaneous

Do Visit: Cruising for the First Time: A Complete Guide to Help You

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Clothing for Girls/Ladies

MorningIf you are a fitness enthusiast, make sure that you carry the appropriate clothing since almost every cruise has dedicated fitness centers which include Gym, pool and sports. Shorts are usually the best bet which can be worn both for pool or fitness center. Else carry your yoga pants which give you enough stretch while exercising. Don’t forget to pack your walking shoes

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My Morning Yoga Routine remains same…wherever I go 😉 Pic Credit: Abhinav Singh

During the DayGood bets for the indoor activities during the day time include walking shorts, slacks, jeans, casual skirts and sundresses. We were told that you can wear anything in which you feel comfortable. There is nothing extraordinary you have to plan here. Daytime is usually casual so Flip flops or fancy shoes will work

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The Breeze ! Pic Credit: Abhinav Singh

While on City Tour: Rules of the taste vary here but if you’re heading into a town, while the ship dock at a port opt for those items specified above, unless something specific is mentioned

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Evenings: This has to be the most challenging as well as the fun loving part of planning your outfit for the cruise. We were suggested that it is not mandatory that you pack your best outfits for the evening but it is always advisable that you pick up and dress up appropriately to gel in with the crowd. Usually your cruise advisors will brief you on the dress code depending on the activities planned during the evening.

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Dressed up for the Captain’s Party

Normally, on a seven-night trip, you can count on two formal nights, a couple of casual evenings in Fine dining’s which usually opens up at 6 PM. Make sure to resort to elegant attire, though not those silk gown milieu. Think of flowing dress or silky mix-and-match pants outfits that would be appropriate at a nice restaurant or a symphony concert we usually wear in parties. You can always substitute it with accessories and make up. Don’t forget to carry heels

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Eventful Evenings by the sea. Pic Credit: Abhinav Singh

Clothing for Boys/ Males

Though the morning routine remain same for the male where you can carry your pyjamas or shorts whichever is comfortable.

During the Day: Shorts are pretty versatile and go everywhere. Jeans and casual khakis work, too. T-shirts and sports shirts go everywhere. Beach sandals should do the trick here

While on City Tour: Not for fun but consider dressing up decently so that you feel comfortable along with the crowd. Don’t stand out. Avoid too casual a wear even if you are going out to travel the city. Ultra-casual is just fine.

Evenings:  Business suits on formal nights. Yes you have to carry it! I would recommend you to pack at least a suit and tie because some on-board Fine dining are so elegant that you really will feel out of place without them.

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And don’t forget the shoes to match. Otherwise, on non-formal nights, jeans clubbed with formal shirt (Checked preferred) should do the trick. Waist coat can be another option to top your look for the evening. But make sure to carry good shoes and NO chappals

Necessary things to be carried 

Pullovers: This totally depends on the weather condition of the area where you are sailing. I would suggest that you keep a proper check on the weather or get your cruise advisor to inform you the same beforehand. I sailed from Dubai to Kochi on Majestic Princess. While Dubai and the adjusting area was hot and humid, Day 4 is where we got hit with rains as we were nearing the Indian boundary, which was experiencing monsoons during that time. We were told to carry the rain coat and umbrella along just incase we want to venture out in the open. But having said this I would also suggest that rather than packing multiple clothings, opt for the best mix and match. Bring cardigans or jackets to wear over light layers if it gets cold. Always safe and less hassle of carrying the weight

Hats, Sunglasses and sun screen: A hat to protect you from the sun is an absolute must. Remember your sunglasses, as well as the sun can get harsh sometimes. You don’t want to go sun blind. Consider headbands, bandanas and scarves for styling. Carry a good SPF sun screen as you are bound to get tanned in the open

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Shoes:  Try to pack shoes that can serve multiple purposes. Color coordinate your formal wear so you only have to pack one pair of dress shoes. For example I carried fancy shoes for the day activities which gelled in perfectly with my dresses during the day. For the night I carried a beige colored pencil heels which paired up with each dress I wore

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Miscellaneous

Day Packs:  Small backpacks can be quite useful for carrying cameras, books or keeping the sunscreen, sanitizer, water bottles and other small items handy which can be carried around the ship or in port with ease.

Please make sure to carry a water bottle along as you do not get mineral water bottles on board. They are paid and if you want mineral water you have to buy them every time. Generally the water which is supplied in the rooms or dining areas are good enough to drink. So carry a bottle

Tech:  Don’t forget to check on the country you are travelling in along with onboard roaming charges. Changes are that your mobile data will not work while you are sailing in the sea and will have to check for on-board satellite internet. Inquire about the Internet usage rates before logging on. Since many cabins have limited electrical outlets,  its advisable to carry multiple strip chargers but always check these with your cruise planner prior to packing.

Entertainment: Generally the rooms have television with pre-loaded on board entertainment which includes movies and shows. The cruise lines have a dedicated library space for avid readers but feel free to bring the books of your interest. You never know if you can get them on-board.  Also the cruise has a dedicated section for kids where they are taken care off but bring the necessary items you think is important for your kid or he/she can’t live without. You will on waters so no way you can shop for them 🙂

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Toiletries and Necessities: The cruise ship provides the shampoo, body lotion, conditioner and body wash but if you’re picky, pack your own. The same goes for hair dryers though you have one in the room. Additional personal items to consider include medications

Laundry and Ironing: Generally all cruise lines have onboard laundry and ironing facility. While there is negligible charge for the laundry, ironing is generally free (only that you have to it yourself)

Storage: Many experienced cruisers swear by over-the-door shoe bags for storing toiletries or keeping small items from getting lost in cramped cabin quarters. Many bring extra hangers on longer cruises to make sure every item that needs to be hung up can be. If you plan on doing a lot of shopping in port, consider taking foldable duffel that can be packed into your luggage at first and then filled up with souvenirs (or dirty laundry) and checked on the way home.

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18 thoughts on “A Ready Guide to Help you Pack for your Cruise Vacation

  1. It looks like you had a fantastic time! We love cruises and have been on so many over the years. Your packing tips are great, but we’ve stopped going on any cruise lines that require formalwear. We are not interested in that on vacation!

  2. Although I’ve never cruised before, I think these are some great packing recommendations. I think packing fitness gear and formal wear for the evenings is a great suggestion. Without your list, I would only have packed summer clothing and sunblock!

  3. I have never been on cruise before but this New year’s I am planning to get on one. Thank you for your amazing post it will help me out in planning and sorting out all the stuff I will be needing,

  4. Useful tips on what items to carry out when going out for cruising. Day packs and tech are the most important things which should not be forgotten during the trip, because when cruising In Greece I felt shortage of Internet access and internet on cruise was super expensive. For evenings carrying heels is also good option and I carry the shoes in which heels can be fitted(screw system) so it works for both evenings and days. One more query some sea-sickness medications should be carried by us or provided by this Majestic cruises?

  5. This is a really detailed list and one to remember! I’ve never done a cruise so will bookmark this if I ever do one. I’ll still leave the ballgown at home!

  6. I love doing cruiseship. I have done it from Sweden to Estonia and backwards, and it was a memorable trip! Your tips are great and useful. Take note for the next trip!

  7. I’ve never been on a cruise so wouldn’t have thought of these tips, like carrying a water bottle all the time or having a shoe bag to save space in the room. Great ideas! You look so pretty in your evening wear, I am glad to see that although the evenings are more formal you can chill in your yoga gear in the daytime 🙂

  8. While I love hiking and camping outdoors during holidays, my fiance loves cruises so we do go on quite a few of them. Our last one was earlier this year for three and a half weeks crossing the Pacific Ocean from Sydney, Australia to South America (Valpairaso, Chile) – also on a Princess ship, the Sea Princess. Cruising is good in that you can be as active or as relaxed as you like. This is a really helpful post for those starting out cruising as you have covered so many great points.

  9. These are great suggestions! I’ve only been on one cruise and I LOVED it! It was a lot of fun to dress up for dinner and I was so thankful for the daycare option for our toddler. I was surprised how chilly it was in the shade, so I wished I had brought more layers.

  10. Very well written blog. It’s important to know what to pack on a cruise. Personally, I prefer a mix of smart casuals and formals to suit different occasions. I can carry more in a cruise because there is no hassle of packing and unpacking.

  11. I am going on a cruise trip soon. This looks like a great guide. I would have never worked out what to take and what not. Now I am all aware. Bookmarking for future 🙂 Thumbs up!

  12. These are all fantastic tips for packing for a cruise! You do need to be prepared for different occasions on a cruise. I feel packing for a cruise would be different than a normal holiday, because of a cruise you should be prepared for different weathers, different occasions, all the different cities you may be docking at.

  13. I love cruising and your guide is very helpful. I’m glad you’ve included packing information for men too! The day pack for leaving the cruise ship is incredibly useful too.

  14. Really enjoyed reading your comprehensive packing guide! I’ve never thought about doing a cruise because I’m simply terrified of the idea of being stuck in one place for so long. The formal nights sound fun tho and I just might consider doing a cruise in the future!

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