Thinking of Cruising? Check Your Bag!
As someone that has cruised several times and has helped plan SO many cruises, there are certain items that I consider “essential” no matter your cruising destination. I discovered that I needed most of these items by NOT having them! Live and learn.
The first item on my list is ALWAYS my passport when cruising or when traveling internationally. Yeah, they can be pricey but so worth it in my opinion. We first got them for our kids in 2012 and haven’t looked back. It’s amazing to have the world at your fingertips.
If you haven’t cruised, you’ll soon discover that sharing a bathroom without an exhaust fan can be “challenging” to say the least. We all “go” but that doesn’t mean that everyone else in your cabin should suffer. Y’all I discovered Poo-Pourri a couple of years ago and it’s always in my bag now. Just get it. You’ll thank me.
If you’ve ever been seasick, you know that it’s pretty terrible and rather difficult to stop once it starts. My husband and I cruised solo in 2013 and wouldn’t you know it, we both got horribly sick due to rough seas. Maybe that was our punishment for cruising without the kids?! NOPE! Haha! Now I strive to PREVENT seasickness by being proactive and taking motion sickness meds the day BEFORE I ever set foot on the ship and every day of the cruise whether I “need” them or not. I’m certainly not saying that you should take motion sickness meds, you may be absolutely fine with nothing at all (I was for a few cruises) but be prepared just in case! Some people use a patch, some ginger pills, some even use a bracelet, whatever works!
Do you have a medication that you use on an “as needed basis?” I certainly do and it’s for migraines which are absolutely debilitating if I don’t take my meds, so you would THINK I would remember to pack them. Nope. I’ve forgotten them once. I can literally lose a day or more of vacation without these meds so now, they go straight into a bag that I’m carrying on to the ship. Migraines still happen, even on a cruise, but having the meds at least allows me to salvage my trip.
I’m thinking no matter WHERE you’re going, you are going to need sunglasses. Doesn’t matter if it’s the Caribbean or if it’s Norway, you need them. This was always an argument with my son when he was younger. He always insisted that he did not need sunglasses when cruising. Ummmm…..some of the photos prove otherwise but what do I know? Ha Seriously! Protect your eyes and take sunglasses with you!
MOST cruise lines allow you to carry on some type of alcohol and I fully recommend you doing so! Not only will it save you some money, but it also is pretty darn convenient to have in your stateroom. Enjoy a drink while getting ready for dinner or chill on your balcony before bed while enjoying a nice glass of wine. Doesn’t get much better.
You all probably already pack this BUT I never really considered it until I received it as a fish extender gift (another post for another time) and that’s a first aid kit and manicure kit. What?! Yup. You just never know when you’ll need a band-aid and antibiotic ointment. Scratches and scrapes happen. The manicure kit was life changing! Haha I never realized how many hang nails and rough edges I got until I did NOT have a nail file with them.
Something else that you really NEED no matter your destination, is sunscreen. I’ve gotten some pretty intense burns (with sunscreen) so I’m definitely NOT leaving home without it. Sunburn HURTS so let’s try to prevent it. Even when you THINK you aren’t going to be exposed, you are.
If you’re like me and require contacts or glasses or both, packing them is certainly essential. I wear contacts throughout the day so I pack a spare pair in case I lose or damage one. I also wear glasses in the evening to watch TV and unfortunately, I’ve forgotten my glasses before.
For these last few, I deferred to my guys, and my son said that a swim suit was an “essential” on any cruise. I didn’t really think of this because I do not get in the pools on the ship. Just not my thing. If we’re going to the Bahamas or Caribbean where I would wear it in port, yeah, I’m packing a suit, otherwise it’s staying home. He’s right though. Most ships heat their pools for Alaska and other cooler destinations.
My husband said flip flops were “essential” and for our family, he’s absolutely correct! We’ve cruised the Bahamas, all over the Caribbean, as well as the Mediterranean and we’ve always needed flip flops! I’m certain we will wear them ON the ship while in Alaska! Besides, how else am I going to break in this adorable pair of pineapple flip flops?
I’m sure there are some items that I’ve missed so feel free to share your essentials with me!
Ready to plan your next cruise? Let’s get started!
CFO & Travel Planner