So you’re all ready to go for your cruise; you have your passport, ID, boarding passes and all of your cruise wear packed to go–so you’re all set right? The answer is not even close! Yes, the ship DOES sell a lot of the things that you need (and probably forgot) but things like a small bottle of lotion to cover those ashy knees can cost you an arm and a leg AND they are usually poor quality ($7.99 for a 4 oz bottle of lotion? I think not!)
Here is a list of things NOT to forget when packing for your cruise:
1. Cruise wear (CLOTHES): Besides the obvious: everyday wear and a swimsuit, don’t forget to pack formal wear, most cruises have at least 1 formal night. Other than that you should pack clothing that can serve more than one purpose, for example a sarong that can be used as a cover-up for your swimsuit as well as a long skirt on a shore excursion. Or maybe pack a dress that you can wear with some nice strappy sandals in the daytime and then add accessories to it for dinner another night. Also, its good to pack clothing that doesn’t wrinkle easily.
2. Cell Phone, iPad, Laptop etc: Your main goal on vacation is to be away from work BUT if you absolutely have to keep in contact with the outside world, then not forgetting your cell phone, iPad, Laptop, etc. is essential. Make sure that you have ALL charging cords AND heaven forbid something knocks out power during the cruise (as happened as of late on the Carnival Triumph) a portable charger that doesn’t need to be plugged in to charge is a good idea.
3. Sunscreen: Yes, this site is aimed primarily at black cruisers, but BLACK PEOPLE BURN IN THE SUN TOO, and in most of the exotic places that you travel, those sun rays are coming down hard! Don’t let your sunburn ruin your cruise! In case you are burned (because you forgot to put on sunscreen) bring along some aspirin and aloe vera.
4. Bug Spray: If you are getting off of the ship to just explore at the ports or if you have shore excursions planned, its always good to have some bug spray handy. You’ll be sorry that you forgot it if you are without it. (read why bug spray may be important when it comes to Yellow Fever prevention)
5. A Book or Magazine: There will be PLENTY to do on the ship BUT a book/magazine is good to have when waiting to board the ship or just for a nice sit out on an outdoor deck on the ship.
6. A Suitcase: If you have a collapsible suitcase or bag that you can bring along empty for all of the souvenirs that you bring home, then its a good idea to put it inside of a larger suitcase.
7. Cash: On most ships everything is paid through a card that you link your credit card to and cash isn’t accepted on board. BUT having cash available to spend at the ports that you stop at is a good idea. Even if you are in another country, most of the ports that you stop at are tourist attractions and they will MOST DEFINITELY accept good old American money. Also, the ATM machine on the ship is only stocked with a certain amount of money (if your ship HAS an ATM) so it’s good to have cash in case the ship runs out of money.