0203 848 3600

Over 1.5 Million Happy Cruise Customers

{0} out of 10 Rated Excellent
ATOL Protected

Cruise Blog

5 Worst Mistakes to Make When Packing for a Cruise

clock 18th March 2019 | comment0 Comments

Packing for a cruise can cause anxiety in some guests – whether they’ve cruised before or not. Questions like ‘what am I expected to wear on a formal night’, and ‘are towels provided for the pool’ might be swimming around your head. While answers to these questions will differ among cruise lines, there are some cruise essentials that you would do well to remember, just as there are a number of faux pas that can be avoided when packing for a cruise. Read on for the five worst mistakes you can make when packing for your cruise holiday.



1. Not researching airline rules

One mistake which can really put a damper on the start of your holiday is to forget to check the luggage weight limit for your airline. Some cruisers can become preoccupied with abiding by cruise line rules and then don’t check those of the airline. This can be a huge mistake considering most cruise lines are very generous – with luxury lines such as Silversea Cruises and Regent Seven Seas offering no limit at all. 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 to avoid a nasty bill when you check in (the information will be available on airline websites).


2. Assuming every day will be hot

Although understandable, another error is to think that every day on your Caribbean cruise will bring sunshine and temperatures upwards of 25°C. While this part of the world is known for its warmer climes, the truth is there could be grey days, windy weather, and even rain during your time there. Same goes for destinations in the Mediterranean and Asia. 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

Many of us are guilty of this one - especially when cruising from Southampton or another UK port. Most cruise lines take pride in catering for an international clientele – including British passengers – so it’s easy to forget that many are actually European or US-based companies, meaning they have European or US style plug sockets onboard. In fact, it’s only Cunard and P&O Cruises that have the standard 3-pin British plugs. Be sure to find out what plug sockets will be in your stateroom, and pack at least one adaptor so that you can charge your phone/tablet, straighten your hair, or use any other electrical item you need to bring with you. 


4. Wasting suitcase space

It’s easy to overpack when cruising, especially if it’s a no-fly venture with next to no luggage limit. Instead of wasting your suitcase space on things you don’t need, consider saving the room for bringing back more souvenirs.



There are a number of things that you might not realise you don’t really need, for example;

  • Multiple books – there is usually a library with a good selection onboard
  • Large 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 pools

    5. Not bringing 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.



    For more advice about what you should be packing for your cruise holiday, see our blog about packing for different climate zones.

    Top tips for embarkation

    clock 19th May 2015 | comment0 Comments

    Updated June 2017

    The excitement surrounding the lead up to a holiday is sometimes just as good as the actual thing. There is nothing quite like that feeling of finally closing your suitcase before travelling on to the port or airport of your choice to embark on the holiday of a lifetime. There is often some scepticism in the cruising world around embarking your ship at port, so we thought we’d put your mind at rest with these simple tips for hassle-free embarkation.

    embraking a cruise ship

    1. Let us know in advance of any disability or accessibility requirements

    Please make your travel advisor aware of any access requirements you may have plenty of time ahead of your cruise. This will allow us to arrange any necessary equipment or assistance for embarkation.

    2. Arrive early (or late)

    Different cruise lines advise different waiting times, because, as you can imagine, some ships are up to 5 times the size of others. To avoid queuing times we advise to either arrive at port super early, or towards the end of embarkation once the queues have died down.

    3. Use the time wisely

    There might be a bit of a wait at the cruise terminal before you board your ship. It's a good idea to take a destination travel guide or phrase book in your hand luggage so that you can read up on the places you might visit during your cruise.

    4. Remember your essential travel documents

    Passports, tickets, luggage tags, visas - liaise with your travel advisor to confirm all documentation you may need. Have these ready to go in an easy-to-access folder/wallet in your hand luggage.

    important travel documents

    5. Carry some cash, and some snacks!

    When waiting to board, it’s advisable you carry some cash in the currency of your boarding destination in case you’d like to go to the bar or shop at your port. Otherwise, come prepared with snacks and drinks to keep you going whilst you wait.

    6. Check your cruise loyalty benefits

    Most cruise lines give frequent cruisers the chance to enjoy cruise rewards through their cruise loyalty club schemes. Generally, the more you cruise with one particular cruise line, the more points you earn which can be redeemed against a whole host of great benefits. Some cruise lines such as P&O Cruises or Celebrity Cruises include priority embarkation (where available) for selected membership tiers. If you like the comfort of a cruise line you know and love, and traditionally cruise with the same cruise line each time, take a look at their loyalty scheme, you may have more points than you realise.   

    7. The importance of hand luggage

    Once you’ve boarded the ship, there may be a short wait before you can go to your cabin and access your luggage. We think it’s always best to pack some swimwear, a change of clothes, and perhaps some cards or a book with you in your hand luggage.

    what to pack on a cruise

    8. Enjoy it!

    It’s holiday time! Soak up the atmosphere, meet some of your fellow cruisers, take a complimentary magazine or simply anticipate the great memories you are about to create.

    Happy cruising!


    Note - Cruise line loyalty benefits can still be redeemed when you book with Iglu Cruise. Speak to your cruise advisor for more information.

    Book with Confidence

    We are ATOL Holders and members of ABTA for your financial protection.

    Price Match Guarantee
    Search Cruises
    Your Shortlist

    You do not currently have any cruises in your shortlist.

    What our customers say

    "I booked a Fred Olsen cruise with IGLU last month and was so impressed by the service I received. The staff member I spoke to was Kimberley and she was exemplary. Capable, kind, professional, patient, friendly and knowledgeable. She went through every step of the way calmly and thoroughly. IGLU were recommended to me by friends and I have no hesitation in passing the recommendation along. Well done IGLU and thank you. "

    (March 2019)

    "So easy to deal with, I studied the Cruise I wanted, did my research with different company's and returned to Iglu. I had three quotes matching Iglu’s cost, but with one phone call they beat the price themselves by £40 without me even asking, how easy was that! "

    (February 2019)

    Read more feedback