Packing for a Caribbean Cruise

Tips on packing for a cruise

Lydia Bates

7/9/20233 min read

CARRYONS - If you drink wine and don’t have an all included drink package, it’s a must to carry on some wine. For most the common larger lines adult passengers are able to carry on 1 bottle of wine each, for a max for 2 per staterooms. I’ve never had them check our wine, so both me and my husband had carried on two bottle for a total 4 before with out issues. Good luck if you want to try. We use a tote for the wine and swimsuits each. We also both carryon a backpack. If you need any medication, make sure to carry it on vs stash it in your luggage. You don’t want to risk losing it or not having it arrive timely. I will take my laptop, charging cords, a change of cloths and our toiletries, hair brush and our sunblocks and aloe gels. For good measure, I like to toss a couple of travel sink size Tides laundry packages. In case we need to wash anything but aren’t ready laundry service. The change of clothes is nice, again because if luggage get delayed. I also prefer to have all our undies in the carryon. I am particular and would hate to have to settle for what ever they sell on board if our luggage got lost and never arrived. We also carry one a swimsuit eac. A little make up goes in the carryon.

Basically everything you need, treasure or is expensive, like cameras and computers/tablets should be with you when you walk on the ship.

Formal night - Some people go all out, men can rent tuxes onboard some of the major cruise lines.. We dress simply. Button down shirt and slacks for my husband and simple but nice dress for me and we can use it for both formal nights, or any other time we feel like stepping up. You know you. If you enjoy getting your picture taken, you may want to dress to impress and get some professional pictures taken before you have dinner.

Main luggage- Shoes, wear your tennis shoes or whatever your bulkiest shoes are going to be, on boarding day. That saves space in you luggage for your outfits. I keep it casual, maybe 1 sun dress and 1 more elegant dress with easy slides I could wear with either dress. A pair of yoga pants, then everything else is shorts and tees/tanks. For a 7 day cruise, I’ll bring 6 tees/tanks and 2-3 pairs of shorts. I like to have 4 pairs of socks. I’ll mostly wear sandals on the ship but like good tennis shoes for walking around port. I pretty much pack the same for my husband, minus the dresses. He’ll have one or two button down shirts and a pair of slacks for our formal nights, tennis shoes and sandals. I like to pack us a second swimsuit, so that we can rotate wet/dry suits.

Bonus Items - It can get chilly sailing on the open sea when the sun goes down. So bring a light jacket, cardigan or sweater.

Also, if you wear Rx glasses, I’d recommend investing in Rx face mask and personal snorkel gear, if you plan on snorkeling. Ours are about 8 years old now, since our prescription hasn’t changed much, they are still perfectly fine.

Magnetic hooks are handy to have. You will be able to hang more clothes, bags, etc. as the walls are all metal.

If you aren’t buying a drink package, you can try your luck at smuggling in some alcohol. I’ve seen all kinds of “gadgets” and read bunch of tricks. I personally have not risked it. For the stories I’ve heard onboard, most people just get it confiscated and your luggage is delayed. If we are not buying a drink package, I will just send bottles of liquor or wine to our room before we sail. Most lines will you pre buy, and Princess let us order while we were on the ship any time. If your sailing with Viking or other smaller, luxury ships, you will be able to alcohol onboard whenever you wish.

Some families dedicate an entire suitcase for canned sodas, waters and juices. You will need to look over the rules of the cruise line you are sailing with to see how much you can carryon. We typically will go with a drink package, therefore it would be a wasted effort for us to bring our own onboard.

It’s time to pack for your up coming cruise! You are more than likely excited and a bit overwhelmed. How many outfits and swimsuits do you need? Foramal night? What do you need for that?

I’ve cruised the Caribbean a half dozen time or so, and the first couple, I totally over packed. It’s easy to think that on a 7 night cruise, you need serval wardrobe changes and multiple swim suites, plus all kinds of gear you can cram in your baggage. All your large suite cases are taken from you at port and will arrive to your room later the 1st evening onboard. So as nothing were to happen to it along the way. So your carryon is important.