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
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
Clothing for Girls/Ladies
Morning: If 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
During the Day: Good 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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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 🙂
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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