Posted on 30 June 2022

How do I pack for my first cruise holiday?

One of the best reasons to take a cruise holiday is that you get to visit many of your dream destinations in just one trip… and only have to unpack once. And as you can take as much luggage as you please on your ship, it might be tempting to take your entire wardrobe along for the journey – just bear in mind that whatever luggage you take will need to be stored in your cabin. 

If you’ve never been on a cruise holiday before and are not sure what you need to take (or what you can leave out), we’ve put together a list of packing tips that’ll help you prepare for your holiday…

Pack a carry-on bag 

If there’s one thing you must pack before your holiday starts… it’s a carry-on bag. When you board your ship, it may take a few hours for your suitcases to be delivered to your cabin. If you bring along everything you need for your first day in a carry-on bag you won’t have to wait to start enjoying your ship. As well as essentials such as your passport, basic toiletries, sun cream, a change of clothing, why not also pack your bathing suit and flip-flops so you can have a dip in the pool? And, when you’re off exploring ashore, your carry-on bag will come in handy for your camera, a bottle of water, souvenirs, etc. 

Pack clothes for your shore experiences (not just your destinations) 

Ok, it might not come as much of a surprise to learn that what you pack will depend a lot on how long you’re going away for, where you’re going to and what activities you have planned when you get there.

If you’re sailing around the Caribbean, then you’d expect to take mostly beachwear or light-weight casual clothes but don’t forget to pack clothes for your experiences ashore. Those flip-flops and Hawaiian shirts are fine for sipping cocktails on the beach, but if you’re planning on more active experiences like hiking or cycling, you’ll need to make sure you have suitable shoes and clothing. 

Pack warmer clothes (even if you’re going somewhere hot) 

Even if you’re sailing away to an exotic tropical destination, nights at sea can still get chilly when the sun goes in. If you want to enjoy some time together gazing at the stars on deck or from your balcony, then wrap up and stay warm with a comfortable jacket or jumper. And if you’re planning on visiting any religious sites, then you’ll need to make sure you cover your shoulders and knees – even when it’s hot. 

Pack casual and smart evening wear 

Looking to dress up for a romantic meal in a chic restaurant or step out in style at a Celebration Night? Why not try something a little extra special on your holiday and pack your favourite cocktail dress or smart dark suit and tie? Or if you really want to make an occasion of it… a ball gown or tuxedo.  

Feel more comfortable in casual dress? Don’t worry as for the majority of evenings on board your ship, you can dress as you would for a meal in a nice restaurant. So, pack suitable evening wear, such as smart jeans or trousers and a nice top, open-neck shirts, skirts and dresses. 

And what you don’t need to pack… 

Pool and bath towels – these will already be provided for you.

Hair dryer – you’ll find one in your cabin.

Toiletries such as soap, shower gel, shampoo and conditioner – these will be in your bathroom and if you run out, your cabin steward can provide you with extra. 

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