With spring rapidly approaching, the idea of taking off on a relaxing vacation probably seems more and more enticing. What better way to defrost after a cold, long winter and soak up much-needed rest and relaxation than a cruise around the captivating Caribbean Islands? With affordable pricing and endless amenities, a Caribbean cruise is an exciting and easy way to explore a beautiful part of the world.
Though scheduling your dates and booking your trip is easy, packing for a cruise can be a bit of a challenge. Between following dress code guidelines and being prepared for various weather conditions, it doesn’t take much to find yourself loaded down with luggage - much of which you’ll likely not need. However, with this list of what and what not to bring on your Caribbean cruise, you can be sure to pack all the essentials needed to make your vacation one for the books.
First and foremost, be sure you’ve got the basic essentials like medications (including pills for seasickness), earplugs, extra batteries, plenty of sunscreens, a hat and a compression sack or compact backpack to protect your valuables on-deck and at the beach.
Today’s cruise ships are equipped with alarm clocks, hangers, towels, pillows, blankets, etc., meaning that you needn’t waste space valuable space in your bag with these important items. Similarly, because cruise ships desalinate their water, you don’t have to worry about bringing your own supply of drinking water. Instead, be sure to grab a refillable water bottle for on and off-ship adventures.
Along with a bathing suit, a few pairs of versatile shorts - khaki, jean, athletic, nearly-knee-length - are important for ship activities and on-shore expeditions. Grab a few neutral colored t-shirts or sports shirts that can be easily mixed and matched with your shorts, and be sure to pack a sweatshirt or light jacket for layering on colder nights.
Ratty jeans, scruffy shorts, shirts with holes and offensive imagery or language should be left at home. Even though these might seem beach-appropriate, you don’t want to risk offending others or being disrespectful to the cultures you visit.
Generally speaking, the only shoes you’ll need are sandals or boat shoes, good walking/hiking shoes, and a pair of dress shoes appropriate for formal evenings.
Pro-packing tip: Keep the shape of your shoes and save luggage space by stuffing socks and/or underwear into your shoes.
Gone are the days when cruisers were expected to dress to the nines for formal dinners. Leave your tuxedo at home and instead pack a suit and a couple ties for nights when a formal dress code is mandatory.