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Top 5 Cruise Essentials For Your Vacation At Sea

When it is time to pack for an upcoming cruise vacation, it is hard to decide what to bring and what to leave at home. If you add weather predictions into the mixture, all bets are off. Whether you have cruised in the past or if this is your first time, we are here to help! Before you know it, you will have a cocktail in hand, and all your worries will disappear. Here are our top 5 packing tips! 

1. Time and Destination 

First things first, think about the duration of your trip and the destination. If you are going away for an extended period, keep that in mind when packing. For example, pack the appropriate amount of undergarments, toiletries, etc., to get you through the entire vacation. Keep in mind cruise laundry services are not always available and it can be very expensive. Pack multiple pairs of shorts, shirts, and undergarments to ensure you have the right amount of clothing to get you through your entire trip. For example, if you are going on a five-day cruise to the Bahamas, pack a few bathing suits to wear in the Bahamas and for your sea days. 

2. Carry-on bags are key

When you step onto the cruise ship, it will take time for the porters to bring your luggage to your room. Instead of waiting to start your vacation when your bag arrives, we suggest putting all your important belongings and a change of clothes in a carry-on bag to speed up the process. This way, you can be lounging by the pool in a matter of minutes. With this in mind, we suggest you place all identification papers in this bag, such as your passport, cruise ticket, license, and wallet. Once you get on the ship, you will no longer need to show these belongings after checking in, and you can stow them away until after your trip. 

3. Clothes and footwear 

Casual attire is the best attire for cruising. If you are traveling to warmer destinations, we suggest a loose sundress, shorts, a t-shirt, or anything easy to throw on. When traveling to colder regions, it is important to layer your clothing and pack what you feel is best to ensure you are warm and comfortable. As far as excursions go, attire depends on each activity. When you book your excursion, guests can call and ask representatives about the dress code, or it will be listed on the summary page during booking. For evenings on cruises, it is recommended to dress modestly. We suggest wearing a nice dress, jeans, or something nicer than your everyday look. If you are going to the buffet, feel free to dress casual. While vacationing at sea, we know that flip-flops are at the top of your packing list. When it comes time for excursions off the ship, we recommend adding a pair of closed-toed shoes/sneakers. Add a pair of nice sandals or heels for evenings and dinners, and you are set.  

4. Sunburns and motion sickness is no fun

We know you want to lay out all vacation and get your tan on, we couldn’t agree more. But, It is crucial to bring sunscreen and gear to protect yourself from the sun. Be sure to pack sunglasses, sunscreen, and a hat to ensure you are doing everything you can to protect yourself from UV rays. The last thing you want is a sunburn to ruin your vacation at sea. 

When it comes to nausea at sea, it is a familiar feeling many people experience. To avoid this, we suggest buying nausea or motion sickness medication before your vacation in case the ship hits rocky waters.

5. Hydrate! Hydrate! Hydrate!

Need we say it more? While cruising, it is always 5 o’clock somewhere. When you are getting your drink on, hydrate with a glass of water or two. To remind yourself, bring a reusable water bottle to carry around the ship. This way, you can enjoy all the tropical drinks but ensure you stay hydrated with some H20. 

Here are must-have items our Porthole Cruise & Travel Digital team can’t live without while cruising:

Stephanie Davies, VP of Digital Marketing: Sunscreen and multi-charger

Adam Hancock, Digital Content Strategist: Action camera (GoPro)

Julie Rosner, SEO & Content Strategist: Bonine and sunglasses

Check out our amazon storefront for our full list of cruise packing must-haves here: 

Now that we have shared our tips and must-haves, it is time to get packing! 



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Julie Rosner is the SEO & Content Strategist for Porthole Cruise and Travel. She has a Master’s Degree in Journalism from Syracuse University. When she is not writing, she enjoys traveling, spending time with family, baking, and playing with her Siberian Husky named Ellie.