Common sense will tell you most of the items you should pack for a cruise. Here are a few you may not have considered, yet may make all the difference in your vacation enjoyment!
Beach Bag: A roomy but lightweight bag, preferably with a waterproof lining, can add greatly to your comfort while away from the ship. Beyond transporting a bathing suit and towel for beach days, it can hold your wallet, camera, sun screen, water bottle, snacks, medications, hand sanitizer, packages of tissue, and anything else you may need. A zippered top closure or side pocket will prevent losing items.
Binoculars: Useful for spotting fish, birds and animals, inspecting other ships, or for simply satisfying your natural curiosity about anything seen on land or floating in the water.
Cards, games, or movies: All extended cruise have sea days.Though cruise directors make every effort to entertain passengers, you’ll be happier if you provide for some of your own amusement.
E-reader or tablet: Nothing is more relaxing than reading away a sea day while settled into a deck chair, roomy sofa in the lounge area or the comfort of your bed. Your E-reader or app should be stocked with as many books as you can possibly read in the time allowed, plus a few.
Hat, visor and sunglasses: The tropical sun encountered at many destinations can be powerful. You’ll be glad you have protection from it while sightseeing or lounging on open decks. Bring your own or expect to pay a premium for them onboard ship or in port.
Lanyard: This item should come with a sleeve or pouch of some description to hold your ship’s card. You’ll always have it with you, yet be hands-free, wallet-free, as you move about the ship.
Photocopy of passport: This proof of identity will greatly simplify replacement of your passport if it’s lost or stolen. In addition, travelers are often advised that carrying a passport is unnecessary while on ship-sponsored excursions. A photocopy can become useful identification if you are separated from your group.
Plastic Bags, zip top: Gallon sizes come in handy for wet bathing suits or protecting a purse, beach bag or e-tablet from spills. They can be used to hold a tablet while clipping it to the back of the airplane seat in front of you for easier viewing, as well. Quart sizes are useful for keeping small items together, guarding against razor cuts, organizing receipts, separating foreign currencies, protecting electronics from sand and sea water, and a thousand other things.
Room deodorizer: Air circulation is fine on most ships, but cabins can still become stuffy. There may also be times when having this item in the bathroom will be a kindness to roommates. Look for travel size aerosols, though small spray perfumes make good substitutes.
Tissue packs: These small, individual passages of tissues are indispensable for nasal problems caused by cold wind or meeting with an unexpected allergen, but can be useful for wiping off seats or table tops, cleaning glasses or faces and, especially, for those times when bathroom stalls are out of tissue or you lack foreign coins to pay for it in places where a requirement.
Travel journal and/or notepad: Photos are wonderful, but a written record of scents, sounds, strange or comical incidents and place impressions will be appreciated more than you might think. This is also a good place to record names and addresses, interesting bits of information, amounts paid to street vendors for which there was no receipt and, especially, a running total of how much you’ve bought for ease in filling out the declaration form for reentry into the U. S.
Umbrella: It’s an unwritten law of cruising that the harder it’s raining, the longer the hike will be from the ship’s gangway to the taxi stand or shore excursion bus. Yes, and the more walking in the unprotected spaces will be required. Add that many of the most beautiful places in the world have little or no shade or other sun protection, and a small, collapsible travel umbrella could become your best friend.
For more tips on planning and surviving a long cruise, see Around the World in 100 Days, by Jennifer Blake with Corey Faucheux.