What to Pack for a 7-Day CruiseBy Leah Rendon; Updated August 11, 2017
What to leave and what to bring for a week at sea
Whether you’re sailing under sunny skies in the Caribbean, navigating through fjords in Alaska or floating along majestic European cathedrals, you’ll enjoy your cruise even more if you’re properly dressed for the weather. From swimsuits to ponchos, discover the best items to bring for your adventure upon the high seas, no matter the destination.
Packing for an island cruise
Stay cool during a tropical excursion by dressing in light cotton shorts and tank tops or pairing breezy summer dresses with comfy sandals. Throw a hat, sunglasses and a good book inside a beach bag before heading to the pool dressed in trunks or a bathing suit with a cover-up. Use snorkel gear, goggles and waterproof cameras to explore a world under the sea and stay beach-body ready as you work out in trainers, yoga pants or basketball shorts. A light cardigan sweater or pull-over sweatshirt are real lifesavers on nights that are unexpectedly chilly but with perfect conditions for stargazing.
What to bring on an Alaskan cruise
Alaskan cruises take place between May and September, when daytime temperatures rarely exceed the mid-60s, but the sun may shine for 20-plus hours. Deal with the mild conditions by dressing in layers. Get ready to explore the great outdoors with hiking boots and backpacks outfitted with insect repellent and first-aid kits. Knit caps, gloves, scarves and fleece sweatshirts provide added warmth once the temperatures dip. Savor Alaska’s majestic landscape with a digital camera and examine a region teeming with wildlife with a pair of binoculars.
Prepping for a European cruise
For practical purposes, pack language books, guidebooks and plenty of local currency for your European adventure. Supportive shoes help tourists stay steady along old cobblestone streets, and you can fill reusable shopping bags to the top with souvenirs. Many of Europe’s most popular tourist attractions are historic old cathedrals with strict dress codes that require women’s legs and shoulders to be covered. Maxi dresses with sleeves and lightweight scarves help women meet the dress requirements for many European churches.
Dressing for dinner
Almost anything goes at casual poolside grills and buffets as passengers sport jeans, cargo shorts and collared polo shirts. Dress to the nines for the ship’s more elegant restaurants and the occasional formal night as men don everything from sports coats to three-piece suits. Women dazzle in cocktail dresses, pantsuits or an evening gown for really special occasions.
Three things to bring; two things to leave at home
Always bring a small carry-on bag filled with important and practical objects in case there’s a delay in the arrival of checked luggage. Carry-on items may include passports, prescriptions, toiletries and a change of clothes. Store up plenty of sunscreen as nothing spoils a vacation more than a painful and punishing sunburn. No traveler wants to spend a vacation with an upset virus either, so make certain motion sickness pills are at the top of the packing list.
Leave the tall stilettos behind as they’re completely impractical for walking around a ship’s slotted decks and pretty useless for most shore excursions. It’s wise to leave expensive jewelry at home as well, with the exception of wedding rings. Storing jewelry in a stateroom safe is a smart choice, but passengers still run the risk of losing their prized possessions around the ship or while on a shore excursion.
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