Cruise Packing- MUST HAVE ITEMS!

You've done your research, you picked your cruise ship, you picked your itinerary and maybe you've chosen some excursions or even a luxury package; now it's time to tackle your next step: packing.

Some people love packing; it means to them that their vacation has officially arrived and it's time to get a move on, while others cringe at the mere thought of having to go through the dreaded packing process. Packing can definitely be a stressful situation, you're traveling a great distance from home and if you happen to forget something it's not always so easy to just grab a replacement along the way. There's also those who pack for multiple people at once, making it even more stressful having to plan out multiple outfits, bathroom bags, medications, and not to mention making sure everything fits within the designated bags assigned for your trip.

Today we're going to go over a few items that should not be left off you're packing list, items that are either essential to your cruise experience or that will just make your trip a little bit easier overall.

Let's start with something simple, an easy first-time cruiser packing hack is before you pack anything into your suitcase throw a couple of dryer sheets in the bottom of your bag. The dryer sheets simply make sure that your clothes stay smelling fresh while your bags are tossed around before making it to your cabin door on embarkation day.

Another beginner's tip to know is that when packing it's much easier to roll your luggage than to fold it into the standard square shape. By rolling your clothes it keeps away a lot of unwanted wrinkles from having to cram it into a suitcase as well as it gives you a lot more space once it's all said and done, meaning you can either pack more for your trip or you can save that extra room for more souvenirs on your way back, a win-win!

Now I personally know from experience that no matter how neatly you try and pack your back upon leaving home it still always seems to be a crazy sight to see once unpacking on the ship, one that can make you feel like you're going to lose your mind. For those who like me, like everything nice, neat and organized your must have item is hands down packing cubes. Not only do the cubes keep everything in it's place and separated properly but they also make unpacking a breeze. Once everything is put into it's selected cube there is a flip cover that zips shut to keep everything in place so that once in your cabin you can easily move the cube from your suitcase to a drawer or closet and you're on to enjoying all the fun of your vacation! The packing cubes are a great item to pick up and they are very reasonably priced. Easily found on Amazon at a whopping $20 for a set of three cubes, one large, one medium, and one small should be enough to pack one whole suitcase for at least a 7 day cruise, definitely worth the cash!

You can't deny that one thing you have in your suitcase would be shoes. But with that being said with the shoes tucked in there who wants their clothes touching the shoes you've worn in bathrooms, on lido, in port and everywhere else? Amazon offers what I call "shoe bags" their small cloth drawstring bags specifically for your shoes to keep them away from all your nice, clean clothes in the suitcase for only about $10. Having your shoes covered means that you don't have to have a separate section or even a separate bag for shoes meaning that you can get more items into one bag which if you're flying will definitely save you a few bucks.

It wouldn't be a cruise packing list if it didn't have: sea sickness medicine. Sea sickness is something that unfortunately is inevitable for some but can happen to anyone when the seas decide to get rough. Sea sickness medicine is something to pack because while yes you can buy it on the ship you are going to spend a lot more money for a very small amount on a ship compared to a box that you'd buy at the grocery store. Bringing your own will save you some cash that you can put toward some excursions or maybe even another cruise!

Something I personally always bring with me is a power strip. If you've heard anything about cruise ship cabins it's probably that there's only 2 power outlets in the whole room, well I'm here to tell you that this is a true fact. Granted I only cruise with Carnival so that is the only line that I can speak for but on all of my cruises with Carnival there have only been 2 outlets for the whole cabin. Some may not be bothered by this but when you think there's at least 2 people in the room: that's two cellphones that need to be charged, then you add in if you bring a fan to turn on while you sleep, charging gopros, cameras and any other electronics, and don't forget those who need machines to aid with sleep apnea and what not. With all things considered 2 power outlets is not enough, that's why it's a good idea to bring along a power strip to give you more outlets to keep your devices charged. A big thing to remember with power strips is that it cannot be a surge protector, certain power strips will be taken by security at the beginning of your cruise if you don't pay attention to the details. One that I use that is approved by Carnival as well as very compact for travel is the "Travel Power Strip-NTONPOWER Portable Charging Station 3 USB Without Surge Protector Short Extension Cord" from Amazon, coming in at only $20 it's compact, offers 3 extra outlets as well as 2 additional USB ports and is a very small shape with a cord that wraps around nicely making it very easy to pack away in your suitcase.

Another quick one which has probably been said a thousand times before, Downy Wrinkle Release. This is sold in full size as well as travel bottles and it is a life saver! The last thing you want to do on vacation is cut your fun short to go iron clothes, the wrinkle release is a quick fix to that, just spray it on your clothes when unpacking and smooth out the wrinkles and go enjoy your day! It really is as easy as that, no hassle, no searching for the laundry room and iron, just spray and go. A true pro-cruiser hack!

Speaking of pro-cruiser hacks another quick item would have to be towel clips. Towel clips is more for those who enjoy lounging on a deck chair during those lovely sea days. The worst thing about sitting on deck and enjoying the ocean breeze is fighting with your towel to stay on the deck chair the whole time. A quick fix for that is towel clips; whether you get the decorative clips from Walmart, or Walgreens that are shaped like tropical drinks or animals or you get clips from the dollar store that are basically over-sized clothes pins, either will get the job done and keep that towel from blowing away. Not a necessity but it does make life much much easier while on deck.

Everyone packs differently or packs different items, and honestly if we were to make a complete packing list the post would never end, the idea is to take into consideration some of these items that you might use and see it they fit into your packing list or your cruise needs. There will always be items that some feel are absolutely necessary for their cruise while others would never pack, it all comes down to your lifestyle and your preferences. Take what you need from this list and definitely let me know what essential items you may have on your list that I didn't have on mine.

Get packing and enjoy your cruise, as always happy sailing!

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