We're currently on our very first cruise, right now! Woohoo! Travelling around the South Pacific Islands with Royal Caribbean on the Voyager of the Seas Ship. We're having a fantastic time! Eating way too much food, drinking way too many Pina Coladas and sleeping more than we are awake. But, It's exactly what we wanted out of this holiday so we're happy as a pig in....
After such an incredibly hectic personal shift and roller coaster at the end of 2016 and beginning of 2017, it's pure serenity to literally worry about nothing and have the option of guilt-free catch up of preciously needed sleep.
Here, after 5 days at sea, i want to share with you my packing list and EXACTLY what I have brought. Most items are self-explanatory with some i'd like to add a reason as to why i put it in my suitcase. This is my list and all items should be considered for the individual traveller. I am in no way a healthcare professional or family travelling expert. These are simply my own personal opinions in what works for myself and what i think may help the average traveller on their next cruise. This list is a detailed guide, and you are more than welcome to use it as a checklist, but in no way is this a 'must do'. Everybody is different and has individual needs and wants. We travelled on Voyager of the Seas and my tips may not apply to different cruise ships. I'll also share a few handy tips that go along with this list.
Tip 1: You have no weight or space limit on board the ship. This, for us, was a blessing! Our last trip together was 5 weeks camping through 17 countries in Europe. Each day was a new city which meant unpacking and re-packing all of our belongings every 24 hours. By the 3rd week i had a meltdown and decided i'd never be doing something that extreme again, Curtis agreed. This cruise was about being selfish, greedy and taking all those homely luxuries with us, no matter how unnecessary they seemed, we just simply could! So pack however much you want. This, though, does not apply to any flights or other transport/travel services you may be using to get to your ports, so check those before packing 5 suitcases....
Packing For A 12 Day South Pacific Cruise
Clothing & Accessories
- 3x shorts - 2 casual, one wet/breathable pair for the beach and swimming
- 4x shirts + 4x Singlets - Various options for casual day wear, to a nice evening out, to being able to get a bit of sun, to being able to cover up in the intense sun while on a day trip.
- 2x Casual Dresses - For day wear and the option to dress up or down for a night out
- 1x Party Dress - There are many themed nights on board and many opportunities to dress up and feel sexy. The dance floor will be calling your name after that 5th Pina Colada
- 1x Pair of Heels / Fancy footwear - Formal Nights
- 2x Casual shoes - For me that's 1 pair of thongs and 1 pair of sandals. I didn't find the need for any other footwear.
- Formal Wear - I took 2 dresses and Curtis brought 2 suits as we had 2 Formal Nights.
- 2x Jumpers/Cardigans - The first 3 days were cold, windy and raining. The Theatre was especially chilly during late night performances
- 2x Long pants - For cold weather, which could be one night, it could be the whole trip!
- Underwear - Men, women, it's all up to you how many pairs you take. I bring enough for each day and have a 'dirty' pocket in my suitcase that doesn't get opened until i get home to a washing machine. If you want to wash your clothes on board, you have the services to do so, but obviously that means time and money spent.
- Swimwear - bikinis, board shorts and rashie shirts.
- Towels - You do not need to take them, don't waste space in your luggage. You are provided fresh towels in your room daily and can take either these or the poolside towels off the ship for the shore excursions, no charge.
- Sunglasses & glasses case
- Accessories - I took none and didn't feel the need to. Maybe on the formal nights if your outfit demands so. But nobody cares, nobody's judging and the food is the only thing people are staring at.
- Vitamin C tablets - I do not travel anywhere or go a day without taking my glorious golden pills. I take 1 of these morning and night. It gives my body the fighting power to combat any bacteria/viruses/infections passing into my lungs via the thousands of shared air vents ventilating the delicious communal air. It's the simplest and easiest defence you can do, and ANYONE can add this to their morning coffee and evening tea. Up the dose to one an hour when you come down with any illness.
- Paracetamol - helps with ANY pains and fevers. Again, cheap and easy.
- Anti-nausea tablets
- Anti-diarrhoea tablets
- Hydralyte (Electrolyte solution) - I prefer the effervescent tabs as they are more compact
- First Aid Cream - For any bumps, cuts, itches, rashes, or other injuries
- Antihistamine tablets - Rashes, Mosquito bites, sniffles, sneezing, itchy eyes. Again a personal option, i take one daily so it's in my pack
- Band Aids - very obvious as to why but can also be used as an emergency duct tape for any broken bags, thongs etc...
- Drowsy Antihistamines - A few reasons why and one of them is NOT to help put your kids to sleep. I found the air conditioned rooms extremely hard to sleep in. I take a stronger, drowsy antihistamine to help clear my airways and relax my facial muscles while sleeping. I have severe sinusitis and narrow nasal passage ways and i cannot name how many things set off the sniffles for me, so again this is a personal choice and should only be used if recommended by a healthcare professional (which is not me).
- Mosquito Repellent - For the islands, not on board
- Make up bag - This didn't include anything fancy, just my usual daily routine of products. But a MUST to remember is the waterproof mascara ladies! There's pools galore and again, you never know where that 4th Midori Splice may take you, so be prepared ladies!
- Moisturiser - night and day
- Shower wash
- Shampoo and Conditioner
Tip 2: Put any large liquid bottles into a plastic bag and then into your suitcase. This ensures any leaks/explosions don't end up on the rest of your luggage (what a nightmare!). If it's clean on the other side, you then have a spare plastic bag to be used for a million different things!
- Nail clippers/Scissors - Not just for nails but as compact emergency scissors for many other uses
- Perfume - The formal nights you'll want to put in a bit of effort, and I feel i'm complete once i spritz up just before leaving my room
- Cotton buds - usual uses + clean off makeup, clean up any cuts or grazes
- Razors - I like to keep neat and tidy for my bikini days, so a touch up every few days meant 3 razors for me
- Glasses/Lens cleaning wipes - Myself and Curtis are extremely blind. To the point that we worry every beach visit as we may never find our stuff after our swim. So we gotta keep our land goggles nice and clean. Also needed for my camera lens. We are surrounded by water 24/7 so fine sea spray was becoming an issue with sunset shots.
- Toothbrush & Toothpaste
- Lip Balm - I was using this more than I have in a long time! The air conditioning, alcohol and sun makes for delightfully dry, non kissable lips - keep them hydrated and puckered!
- Hand Sanitiser - You'll have plenty provided in all areas onboard, but it was nice to have a personal supply.
- Baby Wipes - I'm a strong advocate for never travelling without a packet of these! They have SO MANY uses. Facial wipes, cleaning surfaces, cleaning hands, cleaning wounds, cleaning glasses, cameras and phones. Sooooooo many uses!
- Dry Shampoo - Swimming everyday, I can't be bothered washing my hair everyday too. So I cheat! Dry shampoo cleans, takes away excess oil and plumps up the hair, keeping you looking fresh and tidy!
- Hair Spray - I only used this on Formal Nights when I wanted to be fancaaaay
- Double-sided body tape - For formal and party wear. Don't want my ladies escaping!
- Contact Lens' - For Snorkeling adventures
- Hair brush
- Hair Straightener - Again only used it for formal nights. A hair dryer wasn't needed as they had one in the room
- Feminine Hygiene Products - Ladies! There was an EXTREMELY limited range of products to purchase on board. I'm talking literally one type of pads, one type of tampons and that's it! So if you know, or even have the slightest chance of having Aunt Flow visit, make sure to pack everything you'll need!
- Snorkel gear - we brought our own because 1) They're stupidly expensive to buy on board. 2) No sharing - my mouth and my mouth only touches it 🙂
- Padlock & Keys - enough for all suitcases and bags
- Day bag - this can be a backpack, shoulder satchel or beach bag. Whatever you're comfortable with taking on shore and around the ship
Tip 3: Pack a day pack for your first day. You're bag can take up to 24 hours to reach your room. If you need any medications, extra clothes, toiletries, underwear, swimwear, books etc. for that time, pack it in your carry on. Families with small children especially be conscious of what you'll need for a 24 hour period.
- Laptop - I needed it to keep all you wonderful people up to date with our daily activities, obviously the majority of people won't need one. But if you plan on taking lots of video/photos, it might be a good idea to bring it and back up all footage each night so that if anything happens, you don't lose anything.
- Phone - For communicating with people on board and back home, camera, list making, and time keeping. We carried ours in our pocket just to keep an eye on the time. Strangely we couldn't find the time ANYWHERE on board! This might be to heighten the aspect of 'Fiji time' while on vacation, but it was slightly annoying when you needed to be somewhere at a specific time and they weren't running on fiji time. Turns out there was a single clock on the pool deck and the time is on all of the cruise interactive boards in front of all staircases (way too obvious for me...)
- Chargers and connectors - for charging your Phone, laptop, camera, shavers etc.... and also backing them up on my laptop
- Power adaptor - Check with your cruise liner which adaptor you'll need. We needed american for the Voyager of the Seas
- Business cards - You never know who you'll meet !
- Notepad & Pen - jot down any notes, times, info, tips you want to remember for that day or for when you return home. Pens are always handy on any trip for forms, competitions and signatures.
- Colouring & Pencils - A great calming hobby for all ages! I bought myself a wonderful nature themed adult colouring book in Europe and it's a trusty travel companion for when I need a break from a screen
- Books - Bring that book you've wanted to read forever, the book you never finished, the book your neighbour recommended, the book you think you'll learn something from! Reading is something you will have endless amounts of time to do. There is a library on board for if you do forget your own.
- Car & House keys - As much as you don't want to think about coming home, you need to get back somehow.
- Travel documents - Tickets, receipts, copies of all important info, maps, phone numbers, emails of relevant companies and travel destinations. Print out any important emails from travel agents or companies that may be needed as a reference if anything is questioned.
- Travel insurance - Certificate, a PDS print out and any relevant phone numbers and email addresses for claims
- Other forms of ID - To use in place or with your passport, so you're not carrying it everywhere. I use old drivers licenses. This way if they get lost or broken, there's no loss.
- Money - Native currency and currency of your destinations. For us this meant carrying Australian and Fijian currency. US Dollars are always a good option to have, many countries will use this in place of their native currency.