As my next cruise draws near I am starting to once again focus on packing and it got me thinking, we often pack things now that we only realised we needed once we boarded a cruise ship for the first time.
I thought it might be useful for those about to embark on their first cruise to be given a ‘heads up’ so to speak on what they might want to consider squeezing into the suitcase, just in case.
1: Extension Lead. On the newer vessels they often have more than one power outlet in the cabin but I boarded a ship once that had only one. The cruise was 3 weeks in length and it proved to be a nightmare. Even one extra socket can make a huge difference.
2: Antihistamines. It was actually my friend that recommended this. She never travels without allergy pills and now, neither do I. It’s always good to have them for insect bites or stings but they work well if you should suffer heat rash. The one a day pills are sufficient.
3: Travel Adaptor. This might seem like an obvious one and it could appeal to cruisers new and experienced, but I cruised on British ships for so long that when it came to a European cruise line I completely forgot I would need a plug adaptor. Thankfully I remembered the second I was on my way out of the front door but it could have been a royal pain had I not realised in time.
4: Bottle Opener. Some cruise lines (and only some) will allow you to buy alcohol ashore for private consumption in your cabin. Don’t forget to pack a bottle opener, nothing worse than buying local beer and not being able to open the bottle once back to your cabin. Check before buying that you can do this as like I say not all lines allow it.
5: Walkie Talkies. If you are travelling in a large group or you are just the type of couple that will lose each other at every possible moment then pack some walkie talkies. They are perfect for communication onboard and ultimately finding each other should you become separated. I am still yet to get a set but next time I cruise with my friend I vow to buy them!
6: Memory Cards. I know your camera and smart phone will have them and you probably think there will be enough space, but trust me there won’t. I never travel without spares for my phone and my camera, there are so many things to see whilst cruising you will want to capture every moment and if it is your first cruise the last thing you want to experience is “memory full”.
7: Torch (Flashlight). Again it was my friend who brought a torch on one of our cruises together and what a blessing it was. You usually find the light switch for the bathroom is outside the bathroom and turning it on in the middle of the night can result in a blinding glare. As you open the door it’s more than likely you are going to wake everyone else in the cabin. Use the torch instead during the night, especially if you are in an inside cabin. Your cruising partner will appreciate it!
8: Swimwear. This one is a good one to remember especially if cruising with kids. Although you of course will pack swimwear it’s always worth packing it in your carry on luggage. If you arrive at the ship and the weather is good then the kids can jump straight in the pool and you can enjoy some down time until your cabin is ready. Or you could join them in the water!
These are just a few little ideas for you to consider in the future, there are many other obvious things that no matter what, we would never forget. For example I don’t go anywhere without ear plugs but it’s not something I would necessarily recommend everyone pack.
I want to know if you can offer ideas on other useful things to pack?