How to Pack for a Cruise Trip

, How to Pack for a Cruise Trip

Here’s my number one, most important, space-saving, aggravation-saving tip for packing for a cruise: Pick a simple color scheme, so that you can greatly reduce the number of pairs of shoes because shoes take up the most room in your luggage!

, How to Pack for a Cruise Trip
It’s all got to fit in this one bag… so… time to plan!

Determine your color scheme first.

Will it be pink and white or green and white? Navy blue and grey? Choose two main colors, with room for a couple of colors that coordinate with your main choices. Determine your colors, whatever suits you, and make sure that you have plenty of coordinates in that color scheme.

, How to Pack for a Cruise Trip

Plan your outfits and how many days you will travel.

For a cruise of three days, take out two shorts, maybe one skort or short skirt, a couple pairs of pants, and a couple skirts. Throw in one or two fabulous dresses, and consider a cape or shrug that coordinates with all of them as well. Make sure to include one or two lightweight long sleeve shirts that can either shield you from the sun, or protect you from the breeze.

For seven days, you only need a few more items – maybe one more skirt, one more pair of pants, and a couple shirts. Your main large items – shoes, sweaters, overwear, swimsuit – will be used multiple times.

, How to Pack for a Cruise Trip

Fold items very neatly, and spread them out.

On your bed is the perfect place. You want to see a bit of each item of clothing, so that you can check to see for any unexpected matches that you can make, or if there are any items that coordinate with nothing. Remove those! Keep shuffling until you can see that you have sufficient combinations of casual, dressy, and formal.

, How to Pack for a Cruise Trip
Do I really need all of this for three days? No. I removed four casual shirts.

Choosing shoes is easy!

Since you have chosen two main colors, choosing shoes should be a cinch since you already had them in mind as you chose the clothing. For around the pool deck, plan to take a pair of casual sandals, and a pair of dressy shoes or dressy sandals for dinner time, also a pair of killer heels for dancing the night away! Of course, if you are cruising somewhere cold, you will need to add in more substantial walking shoes. If your trainers can double as walking shoes; all the better.

, How to Pack for a Cruise Trip
This pair of grey shoes coordinates with all my blue and white color scheme, elevates the look of my white jeans, plus dresses up my evening attire, AND has a wide chunky heel good for dancing – or for making it across the dining room with some sea swells.

All the bits and bobs now.

Now select a couple pieces of jewelry that are not so dear that you would be heartbroken if you lose them – ones that will coordinate with everything.

Add in a work out kit. Bring your running shoes and socks because some cruise ships have trampolines and other places where you will need those socks; like for ice-skating! Make it a cute outfit for workouts, not something stained and stretched out – because, you know you will want to look great in the cruise ship gym, or running on deck, and someone’s always taking your photo!

I’m taking my Pineapple Company wear since it’s adorable, and oh-so-tropical-looking. It also dries fast, hand washes easily, and requires no foundation garments. (It’s not see through!) Here’s a link, and use “kimwal” for 20% discount.

, How to Pack for a Cruise Trip

Gather your hair care equipment and hair care products in tiny sizes. Do not forget feminine hygiene products if needed.

Grab your smallest makeup bag for daytime cosmetics including a few more vibrant shades for evenings. Purge ruthlessly.

, How to Pack for a Cruise Trip

Pre-cruise, my cruising partner presented me with this teeny collapsable water bottle – you know that’s coming with me! It has a wide mouth for easier filling, and is from Hydrapak. How smart! Cruiselines will not allow you to fill your bottles straight from their dispensers, but you can fill a cup, then fill your bottle. More hygienic. The cup will have to be washed, but at least neither item is a single-use plastic.

, How to Pack for a Cruise Trip

Electronics and Etceteras!

Cameras, books, chargers for everything, reading tablets, go pros, flashlights, chargers for everything – make a list well in advance, or use one of the hundreds of lists online to make sure you don’t forget anything. If you are diving – well – that’s a whole additional topic! Read this.

Cosider including an attractive, lightweight day back that is cute enough to take you to the pool or to the casino or on a day trip, and also use it as you one carry-on bag for embarkation and disembarkation.

, How to Pack for a Cruise Trip
Take pictures if it helps you decide on whether an outfit is “fun enough” to come with you. Also, you can refer to your photos later when you are dressing to remember which items were intended to coordinate with what.

Try on your clothing.

Try on all your clothing, and in the combinations you plan to wear. If you live in a climate different from your cruise destination; you need to make sure everything still fits, and does not need alteration or cleaning.

After mentioning this before a recent cruise, my own boyfriend packed a pair of pants he had not worn in over a year. He discovered they no longer fit, and so that was three unfortunates. 1) He could not wear them. 2) He could have brought something in their place that would have fit. 3) They took up completely useless room in his bag – totally wasted space.

One system for vacation packing is scheduling your outfits in advance. I know that does not sound very spontaneous, however, when everyone is ready to go dancing and you’re still trying on outfits… You’re holding everyone up and causing yourself undue stress. Plan ahead!

, How to Pack for a Cruise Trip

Benefits of using a clothing organization app.

If you are using a wardrobe organizer application, like the StyleBook App, you can mark entire outfits to go into the “Packing” suitcase – and save as many trips as you like. This will give you a checklist to remember every accessory needed for each outfit. If not; use your Notes or Pages or any word processing program to list your items for this and the next trip.

Also, in the unfortunate case of lost luggage; you will know exactly what you are missing and what the replacement value is. Upon return, you can remove from the list anything you did not wear, so similar trips on the future are even more streamlined. If you misplaced only a single item, you will know what to replace as well.

, How to Pack for a Cruise Trip

Try not to pack too many things that can be worn only once. See if you can make a couple of different combinations! If you have two items that are very similar, try to reduce to just one.

Packing in “pods.”

Once you’re sure of what to include, my preference is to group items inside my luggage; like pods. All my clothing is in this one bag inside my suitcase. The camera equipment is in a hard case. My dive gear is in the blue bag.

Clothing items are packed like file folders in a drawer; vertical. I can remove the entire bag, and place it where clothes need to be hung and stored. The one coverup I might need immediately is the one item on top. The blue bag at the bottom is all my dive gear – I can quickly remove that as well, and store the luggage under the bunk, out of the way.

, How to Pack for a Cruise Trip

After the cruise do this!

At the end of the cruise, make note of how many items you did not wear, and how many you were able to wear multiple times. For the next cruise, plan to reduce the number of items that had no usage.

, How to Pack for a Cruise Trip
My color scheme was NOT orange and black…

My favorite cruise line: RCCL, Royal Caribbean Cruise Line

I can get ALL my dive gear AND clothes and shoes in the bag shown above: Akona Roller Dive Gear Travel Backpack

Bill fits either all his dive gear and clothing, or both our sets of dive gear into his BLACKHAWK! Enhanced Divers Travel Bag with Wheels

That red tag on the bag – our Divers Alert Network insurance!

Where to dive out of Nassau on New Providence Island: Stuart Cove’s Dive Bahamas

Do you have any more tips? Comment below!


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