Sunday, December 21, 2008

Cruise Packing Tips

Packing for a cruise can be quite a daunting task - when else are you expected to show up in everything from a bathing suit to an evening gown, yet are allotted such little closet space? Some things to consider when packing your bags:

At the cruise terminal - or even at the airport if you have an air/sea or a land/sea package - your luggage is taken by the porters to be brought to your room. The cruise line will tell you that it is possible that you won't have your bags until after dinner (it is generally quicker, but there are no guarantees), so you want to be sure to have bathing suits, dinner clothes and your toiletries in your carry-on just in case.

Another thing you want to think about when packing is what type of luggage will work out best. Some cruise lines offer to store your empty bags during the duration of the cruise (call ahead to check), but if they don't, you may want to consider soft-sided luggage - storage in your cabin is at a premium! - and if there are several people sharing the same cabin, it would be even more helpful if your luggage nested inside each other.

Now that we've discussed your actual luggage - and how long it might be before you see it again – perhaps the last item to consider is what you are putting in the bags. There are many things to consider - formal and semi-formal dinners, sporting events, shore excursions, casual days - and because of the whole space issue, you want to be sure to choose wisely. Consider clothing in complementary colors, so that every item matches other things you have brought, think wrinkle-free and low maintenance as much as possible, and cut out excess as much as possible (large shampoo bottles, etc.). If you are traveling with other people - in your cabin or otherwise - see if there is anything that can be shared, such as irons, steamers, hair dryers and similar supplies. Remember, it was no less a person that Sherlock Holmes (even though he’s fictional!) who pointed out that if the walls don’t distend, then only the absolute necessities belong with you, and you need to keep them accessible!

Author : Stephanie Larkin is the editor of