Cruise Packing Tips from The Gem City Mama

So What Do I Need?

Like any vacation you need to come prepared. First things, first. Weather prep. The Caribbean, in my opinion, is similar to Florida. Rain could come and go at any time and we watch the weather closely before we leave. We don’t go too overboard, unless there’s a lot of rain in the forecast and bring ponchos. If there’s a lot of rain we pack the rain jackets. Other than that, unless your cruising in cold weather ports you’re good to weather wise.

Next up is typical shoes. We always bring varying shoe types, sandals, dressy, and athletic. The reason for this is because of dining venues, port excursions and onboard activity requirements. Some things require dress codes and safety measures ( like close toed shoes) and we don’t want to miss out on something because I didn’t bring proper footwear and I’m sure you wouldn’t want that either!

Now for my favorite part…OUTFITS. So far we have only done short, 3 night cruises. However from what I’ve seen/read, cruises that are 5 nights or more tend to do themed nights and this gal loves a theme. Be sure to check your trip planner (most cruise lines have their own apps for this) to see if they’re posted. For the purposes of this blog post I’ll touch on how I packed for our 3 night Bahama cruise.

I brought (for Freya and I) day time looks, dinner looks, and for mama…evening looks. Many cruise lines offer child care (complimentary and paid) and Miss Freya will be spending her evenings in there while Kyle and I explore the ship. We tend to do casual, fun and bright looks for day time. It’s vacation, let’s shake it up a bit right? Dinner we dress up a bit more. I usually wear dresses I’d wear for girls night or ladies brunch. The girls tend to wear dresses that sparkly, shine and twirl. Then in the evening I’ll slip into something a bit sexier since it’s one of the few times I get to be alone with my hubby and just be a grown up. As for Kyle, he does his own thing. He brings casual day clothes (t-shirts and shorts) and “smart” casual (button ups and fancy shorts) for dinner and evening activities.

I was also sure to pack plenty of socks and underwear as well as bathing suits and cover ups. Unless we stay at a hotel before hand I don’t bring towels because they are provided for on the ship. We also bring along typical toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, makeup, etc.) but if you forget anything they do provide some things in your room or for purchase in the promenade.

Embarkation Day Bag

Next up is our embarkation day bag. We will be driving over night in order to arrive during our scheduled boarding time and we don’t want to drive from Ohio to Florida in our cruise outfits. We plan to hit up a restaurant we really enjoyed when we went for New Year that’s right next to where our ship will be docking to eat some breakfast and chill out before boarding. I also liked their bathrooms so we will be doing an outfit swap there before boarding. We also bring along swimwear because you’re only given a window of when your room will be ready. We also learned last time that even though our room was ready, our bags didn’t arrive until later so this time we’re coming prepared. Again, I don’t have towels in there because they are provided on the pool deck. So if you plan to cruise, I highly suggest an embarkation day bag so you have everything you could want while waiting on your bags.

My Mama Bag

Next up is my personal purse. On embarkation day I always bring my makeup, wallet, important documents, sunglasses, jewelry, phone, ipad and chargers. Again, just because your room is ready doesn’t mean your bags will also be there so I don’t want to risk not having some of these things with me. These are also some of our most valuable items that I don’t want potentially disappearing since bags are typically left outside your room. The ship staff is wonderful, it’s the other passengers I’d be most worried about. So I suggest making sure you have a way to carry those high tickets times on your til you can store them safely in your room.

Last but not leas is Freya’s little backpack. In there she’ll have her special toys she brought along, an extra outfit and snacks. She’s a finicky little thing so we always like to come prepared with things we know will help her through any situation. I’m just glad she can carry it herself now instead of lugging the diaper bag around still. Haha!

Well folks, that concludes my packing list/tips for cruising. As we continue to cruise and go on longer cruises and explore different ports of call I’m sure this list may change. In the meantime this list tends to work for our family of four. Stay tuned because I have a big announcement coming up that will add another layer of fun to my blogging style and I can’t wait to share it with all of you.

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