These days our packing is easy. We have packed for so many different trips that we don’t have to stress over items to pack. Packing for a cruise includes some special things to remember, however. We talk about some things to remember before going into packing list.
Think of Temperatures
Finland is a country of four seasons. Think of December in Finland compared to December in, say The Caribbean. Many parts of the world where cruises take off also have different temperatures than the places you’re about to visit. We have never, though, taken winter coats along.
Late March/early April can be pretty warm in New York. But as we realized I’m 2015, that season can also be something totally different. We trusted we could have only spring kinda clothes. Wrong. It actually snowed and we had to buy coats.
Anyways, if you cruise from those ports to the Caribbean, remember the days at the Atlantic Ocean are freezing. The first warm moments you’ll experience when arriving to Florida. Outdoor pool days are non existents the days before and on the way back to NY.
We also took a cruise from Shanghai to Japan in late may 2018 and the sea days were freezing. That was a little surprising, but fortunately our cruising priorities are not the sun decks and getting tanned. Like ever.
No swimming during the cruise in December 2018 (Barcelona-Morocco-Madeira-Tenerife-Gran Canary-Malaga-Alicante). The rough waters kept the pool closed through the most of the time. And early mornings were freezing at all the mainland ports.
But obviously, when you book a cruise you may want to think of what you want from the sea days. If your idea of a perfect day is swimming in the pool, super cold and rough seasons are not for you.
Packing Essentials for Carry-On
Before boarding we leave our luggage with attached luggage tags (printable you’ll get as you do your online check-in) to cruise staff. You see us boarding a ship with just one small handbag. We have our passports and passport copies, currencies, valuables, medications, cellphones, travel documents, credit/debit cards. A lanyard for your cruise card.
A lot of people will carry swimming gear and second clothing and Lord knows what. We head to the lobby bar or the first available place to get the welcome cocktail and chill out watching people arriving. Later, we go enjoy some lunch and tour the ship.
If your ship leaves late in the afternoon, your bags are likely to be at your stateroom late in the afternoon. If you are a pool person, pack stuff you’ll need to apricate in the sun.
We try to travel with an idea that we mostly have stuff we’d need in our everyday life. Of course we add seasonal clothing, needed currencies, updated visas. But our luggage always includes (as they are never taken away from our bags at home) stuff like shoe bags, raincoats, laundry bags, earbuds..
Before packing you may want to think of updating your passport (many countries require your passport has to be valid six months after your trip), the visa(s) you may need, ESTA to USA, getting all necessary vaccinations and prescriptions and making sure someone knows where you are going to.
But now, let’s see what is in our bags. The first part is about carry on for flight and cruise ship boarding, part of the stuff (like noise cancelling headphones, sleep mask, flight socks, reading..) will not be in carry on as we board the ship.
The second part includes stuff we will check-in at the airport and at the cruise terminal. Number of clothes we estimate by counting on the possibility of doing some laundry. For 2 weeks means the maximum of 1 weeks items.
Packing List 1st part
- Copies of passports (A4 for each passport)
- Driver’s license
- Cruise confirmations
- Hotel confirmations
- Loyalty cards, lounge access cards
- Business cards
- Car rental confirmations
- Luggage tags
- Cruise luggage tags (attach upon leaving bags for the cruise staff)
- Currencies & credit/debit cards
- Insurance cards (EU residents, remember your EU Health Insurance card if you travel within EU)
- Vaccination certificates
- Re-sealable, see through plastic bag (max. 1l) for liquids
- Small pouch for other toiletries & meds
- Prescription meds
- Prescriptions of all the prescription meds
- Painkillers (think of each member of the group, different people need different aids)
- Eye drops
- Bloating reducing products
- Heartburn relief
- Lip balm
- Tiny moisturizer
- Tiny hand lotion
- Wet wipes
- Small comb
- Tiny mirror
- Small toothbrush & toothpaste set
- Tiny nail file
- Personal hygiene products
- A couple of band-aids
- Chewing gum
- Mobile phones
- Mobile phone chargers
- Power bank & charger (can’t put it in checked-in bags!)
- Skyroam Global WiFi hotspot (Doesn’t work on board)
- Noise cancelling headphones
- Something to read
- Sleeping mask
- Inflatable neck pillow
- Flight socks (Mikaela)
- Warm socks (Mikaela)
- Huge scarf (Mikaela)
- Home keys (Never put them inside checked-in bags!)
Packing List 2nd Part
- Black tank tops (Mikaela)
- Black T-Shirts (Pekka)
- Undies for both
- Bras (Mikaela)
- Black socks (only if destination requires socks)
- 2 shorts each
- Skirt (Mikaela)
- Jeans (Pekka)
- Black pants (Mikaela)
- A light weight cocktail dress (Mikaela)
- 2-3 denim shirts, long and/or short sleeved (Mikaela)
- Black cardigan (Mikaela)
- Blazer (Pekka)
- A mid-season coat for possible colder climates before, after of mid- cruise
- Cosy wear for hotel room/stateroom
- Laundry bag (We keep this in our bags all year round)
- Pre- and after swim wear
- Small mending kit
- Smart and easy shoes to wear up in the air & more formal occasions
- Shoe bags (We keep these in our bags all year round)
- Everyday shoes to wear for ports, fun days at sea, excursions, what ever
- Flip flops
- Wedge heeled sandals (Mikaela)
- Small handbag for cruise days (one that fits the mobile phone, some casino money, pen and notebook)
- Maps – in addition to apps
- Guidebook(s) – we enjoy the traditional form
- Sun glasses
- Raincoats (we have them in our bags around the year)
- Small shampoo & conditioner
- Small shower gel
- Shaving kits
- Battery operated toothbrush
- Hairbrush & comb
- Nail clippers and nail scissors
- Small makeup kit (Mikaela)
- Face cleaning & eye makeup cleaning wipes (Mikaela)
- A couple of single use exfoliators (Mikaela)
- Sun lotion
- Insect repellent
- Insect bite cure
- Small craft scissors, craft pens and a pouch to store daily programs, flyers, found items, magazine clippings…
What do you think of our packing list? Do you think we have something you’d never take along or do you think we are missing something essential here?