Taking a family on a cruise vacation is an easy way to travel, with one place to stay but so many different places to see. This Traveling Mom is a life-long cruise enthusiast who has been on more than 30 cruises. She knows what to pack for a cruise to get the most out of a family vacation. These five cruise packing tips will help you cruise like a pro!
Cruise Packing Tips
1. What to Pack in Your Carry-On
Your bags get taken at the port, and are brought onto the ship – but you may not get them until much later. Have a swimsuit and gym clothes in your carry on. The spa, pools and hot tub are the least crowded that first day (for those who didn’t listen to these tips!) so this gives you a chance to enjoy those amenities with very few people around
Bring a change of clothing for the first night’s meal and toiletries so you can freshen up. Remember, there is no rule on liquid size on a cruise.
2. Bring a Beach Bag for Shore Excursions
When you get off the ship, you’ll want to tote some stuff: at the very least, suntan lotion and a beach towel. Remember, you might have the chance to visit a remote beach and you will need a towel. Save the $40 or so the cruise ship gift shop charges for a tote bag by bringing your own.
You can also save money by bringing along cheap, deflated beach toys. Instead of renting a raft at that beach, pick up a cheap one at a dollar store. Then all you need is a strong set of lungs.
3. Keep Little Ones Happy
When your kids are happy, you get to enjoy their meal.
If you have young children, bring something to occupy them in the cruise ship’s restaurants. This is particularly useful if your child is not used to sitting through a five course meal. Depending on the child’s age, you can try puzzles or coloring books and markers. Older kids can stay occupied with a tablet; iPad or Kindle. I also like to play tic-tac-toe with my kids.
4. Use the Laundry
Most cruise lines have laundry machines. Since space is at a premium in your stateroom, try to get away with packing less and washing a load. I bring along a little bottle of Woolite and hand wash my delicates.
5. Bring a Dressy Outfit for the Whole Family
Although many cruise ships are casual, they all have professional photographers on board. This is an opportunity to take an affordable family picture, with no sitting fee. I think this is one of the best deals on a cruise – and a great way to keep the family vacation memories fresh. So make sure you pack nice outfits for everyone in the family to help get the most out of the photo deal.
This post was written by cruise expert Deb Bookstaber.