We recently travelled around the South Pacific Islands with Royal Caribbean on the Voyager of the Seas Ship. I would have loved a check list style packing list for a 12 day south pacific cruise before jumping on board, so I'd like to share my wisdom, to make your next cruise easy peasy! We had 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....
Packing List For A 12 Day South Pacific Cruise
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.
This is my packing list for a 12 day south pacific cruise. Most items are self-explanatory with some I've added a reason as to why I put them 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'. We travelled on Voyager of the Seas and my tips may not apply to different cruise ships.
Let's Get Packing!
No Weight Limit On Your Cruise
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....
What Clothing and Accessories Should You Pack For A Cruise?
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.
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First Aid Pack For A 12 Day Cruise
Again highlighting that everybody has individual needs. You are inside an air conditioned confined space with 4000 (at least) strangers from all over the globe. You're bound to feel less than 100% on at least one day of your trip. Whether it's the sniffles, a cough, vomitting, diarrhoea, eye/ear infection, motion sickness or the dreaded 'screaming-kids-induced' headache - you will get something. So, be prepared! It's very cheap and easy, don't put yourself and others at greater risk by being pretentious. Include:
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.
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 - There's 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
Hand Sanitiser - There is plenty on board, but you can never use too much!
Glen 20 spray - A major tip for any cruiser. Spray your air vents each night before bed, to kill any bugs floating around in the air. Best tip ever!
Toiletries For A Cruise
All the usual suspects can be found in here. The ship did provide bars of soap, shower gel and tissues.
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
Shampoo and Conditioner
Cruising Tip: 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!
Tweezers/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. I always feel complete once I spritz up just before leaving my room. My favourite scent is Dolce & Gabbana Rosa Excelsa
Cotton buds - clean off makeup + clean up any cuts or grazes
Razors - I like to keep neat and tidy for my bikini days, so that meant a touch-up every few days. Check out these amazing razors made from recycled plastics >>
Glasses/Lens cleaning wipes - Myself and Curtis are pretty blind without our glasses. To the point that we worry every beach visit as we may never find our stuff after a swim. So we gotta keep our land goggles nice and clean. These wipes are also used 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 plump!
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 Straightener - I 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 Aunt Flow coming to 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
Pack A Day Pack For Your First Day On Board
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.
Tech Gear To Bring On Your Cruise
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
Miscellaneous Items To Bring On Your Cruise
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 Book & 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 For Your Cruise
Passport - Triple check you have it before leaving the house!
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.
Document Wallet - Grab yourself a travel document organiser/wallet. These are larger than an average wallet to fit your passport and A4 documents in. I LOVE mine! It makes stressful situations in airports much smoother as everything is neatly in one place.
Don't Forget To Pack Your Common Sense!
Most important item on your packing list for a 12 day south pacific cruise is to take your common sense! You are not the only person, couple, family on board! Be respectful and remember that you and everyone around you is there to enjoy themselves. Chill out, don't stress the little things and be nice. Don't be 'that' person. Smile, take your time, remember your manners and make some friends!
I hope this detailed guide helps you to have a smooth and joyous cruise! Any further questions? Think I should've taken something else with me? I'd love to know! Comment below or email me.