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Cruise Holiday Must Do's: Top tips for packing right, for day & night so you can really cruise like a princess

Anita McLachlan - 22nd March 2010

Cruising to a summer place when it's winter is magical. Preparing for one can be down right stressful. Top tip...pack the least to look your best. Start with versatile resortwear and a kaftan or two AND never pack anything you couldn't stand losing forever!

What to Pack:

  • Never pack anything in your luggage you couldn't stand losing forever.
  • Always ask your cruise agent about any specific clothing needs for your particular ship. Some ships have special requirements that may affect your packing plan.
  • Versatile clothing is the answer. Kaftans (caftans), tunics and dresses (especially those you can wear as skirts) are perfect. At night, layer with light weight pants (trousers) or leggings then the next day, wear them on their own over swimwear our out and about.
  • In the tropics, use light cotton and natural fibres as synthetics will make you sweat more. Looser fitting to encourage air-flow about your body will also help. Again, resortwear is made for these conditions.
  • Be culturally aware: some cultures will want you to cover up more. Again, kaftans and longer sleeve loose fitting shirts will work well together with those light layering pants
  • Formal nights are not necessarily extremely formal. Some passengers, who enjoy dressing up, will go all out. On most seven-night cruises, this is not necessary. Dress as you would for a nice restaraunt at home.
  • For Northern Europe: Temperatures can be cool during the summer, particularly in the evenings. Baltic cruises tend to be dressier. A warm sweater and gloves might be useful, particularly in late August. Absolutely bring an umbrella!
  • For the Mediterranean: Summer temperatures are similar to Australia (without the humidity if you're from the north). Spring/Fall are cooler and more formal. Winter Cruises in the Med can be very cool, although snow/ice are not likely.
  • For Bermuda: Weather is beautiful from May through October, although cruising to/from New York or Boston can be quite cool in early and late seasons. Bermuda is in the Gulf Stream, while New York and Boston aren't, so be prepared for a change in weather!

Handy, Practical Tips:
I found many of these on cruisedirectonline.com and then added a few gems of my own.

  • Always carry your cruise and airline documents on you and not in your luggage or carry-on bag.
  • Stuff a small collapsible light weight bag or two into your suitcase. At the end of your cruise, use the bag for your those souvenirs!
  • Keep your suitcase organised. Separate dirties from cleans with a laundry bag. Separate shoes with a shoe bag and the same for lingerie and delicates. It'll help you find things in a snap and stop you from having to sniff everything before you put it on!
  • Insurance - claiming for lost or stolen items can be a long and drawn out affair. Write out a list of what you've packed and take photos/video of it all. Keep a copy on you and leave one at home with a friend.
  • Save money: buy as much as you can before you go as on board and in port prices will be much higher.
  • Valuables: If you choose to travel with expensive jewellery, use the purser's safe when you're not wearing it. Although room safes are available on many ships, only valuables locked up in the purser's safe are covered under the ship's insurance (check you cruise contract, usually supplied with your cruise documents). Frankly, we'd recommend not taking your expensive jewellery at all.
  • Zip-lock bags, preferably the thicker freezer-type, are great for keeping things dry, especially when you go to the beach. You can stuff your credit cards, driver's licenses, cash, etc. in them and keep them safe inside your bathing suit. We recommend double-bagging them and you won't have any problems with leakage.
  • Air things out after you wear them to save on washing and ironing. The exception...underwear!
  • Take your own mobile phone and organise it to accept international calls to where you are going. It's just so convenient. If you run into delays, you can call your cruise agent, airline, limo service, etc. without standing in line for a telephone. Mobile rates are usually much less than the ship's satellite rates.
  • Since many ships have e-mail and internet capabilities, you may wish to bring along a list of important e-mail addresses and web site URL's. Although this can get expensive, you might find it worthwhile, particularly if you keep close track of an investment portfolio or have important e-mail messages.
  • A pair of 'walkie-talkies' to keep in touch with family and friends on big ships. Some ships even offer them for rent during the cruise.
  • A few emergency items are useful, particularly the flash light. It's nice to know that you have an extra light for your room, and it could come in very handy should your ship develop some temporary generator malfunctions. You'll also want to take a nightlight if you're staying in an inside cabin.
  • Most cruise lines do not permit you to carry alcohol on board due to customs regulations.

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Sequins & Sand is an online resortwear boutique where it's summer every day of the year. Perfect for that next holiday cruise or summer vacation.

See the images below for a selection of what's on offer at Sequins & Sand.

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