Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Your First Cruise: Packing

We are hoping to have a small series of entries that will cover your first cruise.

When it comes to going on your first cruise you can find tons of packing lists on the internet that can get pretty in depth and in some cases just plain weird. Many include duct tape which I can see some purpose in but many involve bringing power strips that I honestly do not see the need for. Most cabins on board cruise ships do have very few power outlets in your cabin. But to be on vacation how many outlets do you really need? You should not be using your phone. That should be powered off and put in the safe. You should not be needing a computer very much. Some sure, but not a lot. Hair drier and curling iron? OK. That works.

Clothing is another issue where people tend to go overboard in their packing for their first cruise. Dinner clothes and day clothes, beachwear and lounge-wear. You will have many different situations and this leads to people over packing. I sure did on my first cruise. In reality you will be in shorts or swimwear while on the ship for men and dresses or shorts or swimwear for women. Only in the evenings will you be in other clothes.

There is also laundry service on board. Some self serve and others are send out only. Either way, you can get by with less than you plan to use. Having lightweight quick drying clothing will also help. Things you can wash out and dry in your cabin sink and bathroom will really help you get by with less as well.

Camera equipment is something I feel is a must have when traveling. I never travel without at least one camera for each of us. Bringing a camera per person will help you have memories from the trip you may not have noticed the first go around as you see pictures through your travel companion's point of view.

A cruise is a perfect place for a video camera. Sail away is always a party worth recording. The ever changing scenes can be magical, especially when you first leave the sight of land. During the voyage depending upon the cruise line you can find events going on that are worth recording from demonstrations to a belly flop contest.

You luggage is also something else to consider when taking your first cruise. Most cabins are on the small side running between 160 and 200 square feet. There will only be rooms to store a couple bags. There should be room under the bed to hide a couple bags and also in the closet to hide a couple more. This space limitation keeps you to an average of two suitcases per person at most with a carry bag. Anything more and you will really feel cramped in by the bags throughout your stay.

Remember the golden rule of packing. It applies for cruising as well. Pack your bags lightly and then remove half of it.

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