Have you booked a cruise or thinking about one? Watch out for overpacking.
The Sister Cruise started in Fort Lauderdale. All I had to do was get myself out of the frozen Midwest and down to the warm breezes of Southern Florida where we would board our ship. My sister warned me to only bring one suitcase and a carry-on, which I did, plus my laptop and purse. Four items. I managed to check the big bag and shove my purse into the laptop bag to board the plane. When I arrived in Florida, I had to rent a luggage cart because I had too much to successfully move on my own. I could have used some packing advice from my future self.
What I Should Have Left Behind.
- Excessive evening wear. Truthfully, no one gets dressed up every night on the ship unless you’re on the Queen Mary. Some nights, I wanted to eat on the lido deck in my shorts as opposed to wrestling myself into a dress and heels.
- Exercise clothes. Sure, there’s a gym, but swimming, walking, and kayaking kept me busy enough without hitting the gym.
- Snorkel fins-they’re suitcase hogs and in the end I used the rental ones. (The snorkel and mask, I’d still bring.)
- Laptop. (I had vastly overrated knocking out another 10,000 words. It didn’t happen. It wasn’t worth the hassle of lugging it around or worrying about it. As for the Internet; forget about it.)
- Beach towels- the ship provides them. If you’re staying at a hotel, they usually have them too.
- Toiletries- the Holland American ship had excellent shampoo, conditioner, body wash and lotion.
- Even though I came from the land of ice and snow, I should have not worn boots.
What I Should Have Brought
- My pillowcase (and possibly my pillow) My skin tends to be reactive to different laundry detergents.
- Face mask (cosmetic kind to deal with the reactive skin)
- Allergy medicine (No one ever thinks they’ll need it)
- Scissors (even tiny ones will do)
- A lightweight jacket. It’s breezy on the ship. I ended up buying a hoodie at the gift shop.
- Bug spray and sun tan lotion
- Hats. I had a straw one for the beach and a ball cap for sporty activities.
- Quarters. Especially helpful at the hotel vending machine
- Kindle Fire. This little device kept me entertained while waiting for my plane.
- Paperback book. Always good by the pool and while awaiting take off too. The ship had a library where you could leave your finished book and pick up another one.
- Band-aids. The ship had a medical facility, but it was much easier to have your own stuff.
- Flashlight. I was traveling with my sister and we don’t always have the same schedule. This was also helpful in the Bahamas when we lost electricity.
- An umbrella
- An extra pair of glasses. The lenses fell out of one set.
- TSA approved luggage locks
- Two pairs of sunglasses. (My sister who forgot hers ended up wearing mine.)
- Diet Coke. There are no vending machines on the ship. A simple soda can be expensive. It can be hard to get one at four in the morning too.
- Tissues, gum, mints and hand sanitizer in my purse.
- More than one swimsuit
- Seabands. They are small acupuncture wristlets that prevent seasickness
- Underwater camera
Okay veteran travelers and cruisers, what did I forget that I should have packed? What should definitely stay home?