Updated September 2019
Packing for any holiday can be the most stressful part of preparation. While there will be some exceptions, there are cruise essentials that you will need no matter which cruise line you sail with. Read on for the five worst mistakes you can make when packing for your cruise, and avoid a packing faux pas!
1. Not researching airline rules
One mistake which can really put a damper on the start of your fly-cruise is to forget to check the luggage weight limit for your airline. While some cruise lines do not enforce a weight limit for luggage, all airlines do so it’s important to check this before departure. Common weight limits for larger airlines are around 20-23kg, however, many of the smaller ones are just 15kg. Be sure to double check this for your fly-cruise to avoid a nasty bill when you arrive at the airport.
2. Assuming every day will be hot
Although we often go on holiday to chase the sun, another error is to think that every day on your Caribbean or Southeast Asian cruise will bring sunshine and temperatures upwards of 25°C. While this part of the world is known for its warmer climate, the truth is there could be grey days, windy weather, and even rain during your time there. Be prepared for all eventualities by packing a light cardigan and a foldaway raincoat/poncho even if the forecast tells only of sunny skies. Neither of these items takes up much room in your suitcase, and you’ll be grateful for them if the weather does turn.
3. Forgetting a plug adaptor
It’s easy to forget these, especially when cruising from Southampton or another UK port, but it’s often the case that cruise lines offer European or US style plug sockets onboard. In fact, only Cunard and P&O Cruises provide 3-pin British plugs so be sure to pack at least one adaptor to charge your technology throughout your cruise holiday. In addition, keep a power bank in your bag when exploring in port or relaxing by the pool to keep you connected all day.
4. Wasting suitcase space
It’s easy to overpack when cruising, especially if it’s a no-fly cruise with next to no luggage limit. Instead of wasting your suitcase space on things you don’t need, consider focusing on the essentials and saving the room for bringing back more souvenirs. Cruise lines have you covered for a range of items including:
- Multiple books – there is usually a library with a good selection onboard
- Toiletries – often supplied in cabin bathrooms, or can be purchased onboard
- Hair dryer – usually supplied in the cabin’s vanity unit
- Towels – most lines supply enough towels for use in the cabin and by the pools
5. Forgetting to pack spare clothes in your carry-on bag
On embarkation day, you will be asked to leave your luggage with attendants who will see that it is delivered to your cabin. Considering how many people will be boarding, this process could take anything from an hour to most of the day. In anticipation of this, it’s a good idea to pack some clothes to change into when you get onboard. Whether you’ve made a long car journey to reach the port, or you’ve had to fly in, a fresh outfit will put you in the holiday mood ready to explore your new home away from home.
These mistakes are simple enough and we all make them, especially when the excitement of going on a cruise holiday takes over! To avoid them, make sure to keep this list handy and note down all the belongings you’ll need to take in advance. For more specific advice on cruise line packing guidelines, check out our FAQs.