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What to pack for a cruise

Camera. Sunscreen. Swimsuit. Okay, now that we've got the basics out of the way, our travel partners at Cruises International share a few must-have cruise items that'll help make your cruise holiday more comfortable, enjoyable and memorable.

For day one

For the first day of your cruise, pack a small carry-on bag with your travel documents, a change of clothes, bathing suit, workout clothes, and any medications you may need. That way you don't have to wait for your checked bags to arrive in your stateroom.

Day to day onboard

Shorts, t-shirts, slacks, trousers, casual skirts, blouses and sundresses are all perfect during the day, whether indoors or out.

For lounging by the pool, pack two bathing suits (an extra suit in case the other is wet) and a pair of casual shoes (for example, flip-flops, sandals, sneakers). You'll also need some casual shorts and a couple of t-shirts or a cover-up for getting to and from the pool areas.

If you're planning to visit an onboard fitness centre, be sure to bring extra shorts, t-shirts and socks that you won't mind working out in – plus a pair of tennis or running shoes/sneakers.

It's all about the R&R onboard Crystal Serenity
Dinner attire

The number of casual evenings versus smart dress-code evenings vary depending on the length of the cruise. For example, a five-night cruise may have three casual evenings and one smart evening and one formal evening, whereas a 14-night cruise will have eight casual, four smart and two formal. Always ask your Sure Travel agent what the ratio is when booking your cruise.

Suggested guidelines for these nights are:

  • Casual: Sport shirts and slacks for men, sundresses or pants for women.
  • Smart Casual: Jackets and ties for men, dresses or pantsuits for women.
  • Formal: Suits and ties or tuxedos for men, cocktail dresses for women.

Remember, shorts, T-shirts, and bathing suits are not considered appropriate attire in the dining rooms at dinner. 

Sail into Sydney with Celebrity Cruises
Onshore attire

You'll need comfortable walking shoes, as well as a hat and sunscreen for protection from the sun.  If you are cruising to Northern Europe or Alaska, remember that nights on deck can be cool. Bring jerseys, jackets and long pants. And if you'll be touring any museums, cathedrals or churches, it's always wise to dress conservatively. You may also want to bring a raincoat, hiking shoes and a travel umbrella. 

Venice, another port waiting to be explored
Books & binos

There are four very important types of books you'll want to consider packing:

  1. Travel guides: to help you explore new destinations.
  2. Poolside pleasures: nothing beats a great read in the sun.
  3. Journal: keep an account of your adventure for sharing and reminiscing.
  4. Address book: send your friends a postcard to make them jealous.

Binoculars are another often forgotten, yet indispensable travel item. Be sure to pack a pair for magnified excitement onboard and onshore.

Yokohama port in Japan on an overnight port call with Windstar Cruises
Save space

Be sure to leave some room in your luggage for all those souvenirs and mementos. Some space-saving ideas include:

  • Bring shirts and pants/skirts that mix and match, turning three outfits into five or six.
  • Wear your heaviest shoes during embarkation and disembarkation so you don't have to pack them.
  • Pack small items inside larger ones for efficiency.
  • Bring an additional empty bag for those acquired extras.
Not a bad place to set sail from
What not to pack

Weapons, illegal drugs, and other items that could interfere with the safe operation of the ship or the safe and secure environment of guests and crew are prohibited. The United States Transportation Security Administration also recommends that you do not pack fragile or expensive items (such as jewellery) in checked luggage.

The following are examples of items that guests are not allowed to bring onboard. These and other similar items will be confiscated upon being found. Alcoholic beverages, illegal drugs, flammable liquids, explosives, and dangerous chemicals will not be returned:

  • Firearms and ammunition, including realistic replicas
  • Sharp objects, including knives and scissors (although personal grooming items such as safety razors are allowed. Scissors with blade length less than 4 inches are also allowed.
  •  Illegal drugs and substances.
  • Candles and incense.
  • Coffee makers, clothes irons and hot plates.
  • Baseball bats, hockey sticks, cricket bats, bows and arrows.
  • Skateboards and surfboards
  • Martial arts gear.
  • Self-defense gear, including handcuffs, pepper spray, night sticks.
  • Flammable liquids and explosives, including lighter fluid and fireworks.
  • HAM Radios.
  • Dangerous chemicals, including bleach and paint.
  • Alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages (unless a specific quantity is allowed by the cruise line – always check this with your Sure Travel agent). Note that alcoholic beverages that are purchased in ports-of-call or from shops onboard will be stored by the ship and delivered to you on the last day of the sailing.
Ready to go cruising? 

Contact your nearest Sure Travel agency today and ask about Cruises International's range of cruise specials. 

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