It’s always a good idea to be prepared for as much as you can in life and being prepared for travel is no exception, especially when packing for your hard-earned vacation. Just about everyone tends to forget an item or two when packing in a rush for an upcoming journey, but there are just some items important enough to double check the bag to make sure you have and some that should really be left at home. Cruise lines are known for making every effort to have your onboard experience feel as comfortable if not more comfortable than home, so we encourage you to bring the essentials and leave the ” do not bring” items listed below behind. (yes, all of the items below and more have actually been brought on board by guests.) Read on for a few of the most important do’s and do not’s when packing for a cruise vacation.
Do Bring Passports, Visas & Other Documents
Documents like your passport are essential when travelling internationally. It’s very likely you will be stepping off the ship to visit some exciting ports in an exotic country for the adventure of a lifetime, it’s important to have identification in the unlikely event something goes awry and you need to speak to someone at an embassy. Passports are very valuable and you wouldn’t want to have them lost or stolen, what many travellers do is make a copy of their passport and keep the original in a safe place such as their stateroom (which often contains a safe you can use during your trip), taking the copy with them during excursions. Also, depending on the countries you’ll be visiting, don’t forget any visas that may be required as well as proof of vaccinations. You’d really hate to have to spend the day on the ship instead of exploring that once in a lifetime destination due to forgetting or misplacing your important documents.
Don’t Bring Weapons of any Sort
This should really go without saying. Do not bring any form of weapon on board a cruise ship… they are simply not allowed. This includes knives, guns, pepper spray, handcuffs etc… Security has increased significantly in the travel industry and naturally, every travel supplier enforces strict rules in the interest of guest’s safety. They will confiscate any weapons passengers may attempt to bring on board. It may, however, be acceptable to bring something geared towards utility like a multi-tool, but its best to leave any stateroom repairs to a professional. Cruise ships are inherently safe and well protected by security and cameras, there is really no need to bring any sort of weapon for personal safety. This also includes things that can be construed or could be used as a weapon that you attempt to bring on board from your shore excursion. That cool samurai sword you saw in a shop in Japan? Best to leave it behind or try to make arrangements to have it shipped to your home from the vendor.
Do Bring a Carry On & Travel Pack
It’s a good idea to pack a carry on with some essential items. Bathing suit, sunscreen and maybe something to read. Of course, if you’re cruising to somewhere cold like Alaska, you’ll swap the bathing suits for some warm winter wear. This allows you to be prepared and enjoy the ship the moment you step on board without having to unpack your main suitcase right away. Ship stewards will typically deliver your primary luggage directly to your stateroom while you’re free to immerse yourself in your vacation and the incredible surroundings of your new home away from home on the sea for the duration of your journey. Sit poolside, taking in the incredible views during disembarkation or possibly grab a bite to eat at the buffet or toast your new adventure with a drink while saying farewell to the departing port Its’ also a great idea to bring a small backpack or shoulder bag that you can take with you on your shore excursions to pack a few essentials while on shore.
Don’t Bring Alcohol
Leave any alcohol at home. Cruise lines will absolutely confiscate any beer or liquor you bring on board and will throw it away so you won’t be getting it back at the end of the trip. Combine that with the possibility of public embarrassment in front of fellow passengers and in some rare cases actually being removed from the ship. These policies make it pretty clear you should just stick to the onboard bar and in-suite service or mini-bar. Although often a little higher priced then we would like there is a wide variety of beer and mixed beverages available on board so its really not worth risking bringing your own. The exception to this is purchasing alcohol in port. The cruise line will hold it for you and you’ll be able to enjoy it after the cruise. Some cruise lines do however let passengers bring one bottle of wine to enjoy during your cruise. It’s best to double check with your chosen line before packing that your favourite vintage and always ask your CruisePlus Travel Consultant about the best drink package to suit your needs.
Do Bring Formal Attire (Sometimes)
While your days on the ship and in port will likely be fairly casual, depending on your choice of activities. The atmosphere during the evenings will often transform into a more upscale environment. Some cruise lines will require a certain level of attire to join the dinner festivities on specific designated formal nights. This does fluctuate greatly between lines so be sure to ask your travel agent about these nights and what is the appropriate dress code. Formal nights and requirements change from cruise line to cruise line with some lines forgoing formalities all-together so it’s always a good idea to check with your CruisePlus Travel Consultant on what the dress code will be while on board when you book your upcoming cruise.
Don’t Bring Outside Food
Homemade items and pre-cooked foods are not permitted on board. While it’s understandable people have favourite foods and snacks there is really no shortage of enticing dining options on a cruise. It’s very likely the ship actually has whatever your craving on board. Besides, don’t you want to try new things and enjoy cuisine inspired by your destinations by professional chefs? If you do have special eating and dietary requirements such as being vegan, lactose intolerant or allergies, etc… its good practice to mention to your CruisePlus Travel Consultant while booking to ensure your requirements are met. All of the cruise lines are almost always happy to accommodate where humanly possible.
Do Bring Sun Protection
It’s easy to get a little overzealous when taking in the rays provided by the Caribbean sun. Make sure to bring a good sunscreen suitable for the conditions. Bonus points if you bring some aloe lotion just in case the sun gets the better of you. Sunglasses and/or a hat will also play a vital role in protecting your eyes and skin from harmful UV rays both on the ship and on shore during the many exciting shore excursions you’ll likely want to partake in. This is another reason why a small backpack may come in handy as mentioned above.
Don’t Bring Risky Gadgets
There are certain toys and gadgets that are not allowed on cruises. Firstly, you cannot bring a drone on board a ship. It may fall into the ocean or even a crowd and somebody may get injured. It is tempting for some to bring wheeled items like a Segway, skateboard, hoverboard or Heely shoes. These are again simply not allowed. These are a safety concern due to the possibility they could send you or another passenger out of control or overboard.
Do Bring EarPlugs and Motion Sickness Prevention
It is a vacation, after all, a time to unwind and recharge your batteries. If peace and quiet on your vacation is your prerogative, don’t forget to pack a pair of earplugs. A set of earplugs will allow you to sleep in past the crack of dawn and of course rest easy without hearing commotion from less polite cruisers celebrating in adjoining staterooms. Guarantee quite flights and cruise nights by remembering to pack handy little noise reducers. Don’t forget, you should also consider bringing medication or treatment for motion sickness (sometimes called sea sickness) in the event that your insides suddenly want to make an appearance on the outside. Take a look at some of our recommendations on treating motion sickness while at sea.
Don’t Bring Certain Amenities from Home
Other items you can leave at home are simply unnecessary due to the fact that cruise lines supply them. You will not need shampoo or a hairdryer. Cruise lines are sometimes known to supply guests with multiple extra toiletries such as deodorant and body wash. If you’re travelling with a baby you can leave the endless supply of diapers and formula. Most cruise lines are very baby friendly and will have almost everything you’ll need available for preorder and will be waiting for you on board in your room.
Other Prohibited Items
Here’s a quick list of even more prohibited items that you may want to be aware of before packing for your next incredible cruise vacation. Definitely leave these items a home or you’ll find yourself having some explain and unpacking to do when boarding the ship for the first time:
- Common household appliances including clothes irons, coffee makers and anything else that can be seen as a potential fire hazard
- Non-prescription drugs
- Electrical extension cords
- Dangerous chemicals including bleach, paint, etc
- Sports equipment including hockey sticks, surfboards, skateboards, baseball bats, martial arts equipment, etc.
- Candles and incense
- Walkie-talkies and HAM radios
In summary, bring only the essentials for your journey but keep in mind, the lighter you pack the more room there will be in your luggage to bring home cherished souvenirs that represent a memory for a lifetime. If your ever unsure about an item you want to bring on board make sure to mention it when booking your vacation with CruisePlus. Our consultants will guide you every step of the way. 1-800-854-9664