Christmas is over, it’s cold and dreary, and spring is still a long way away; this is the time of the year when I dream of taking a trip to a tropical island. On a whim, I took a look at some cruise websites and found that we are in the middle of high season for Eastern Caribbean cruises. We recently took a cruise, and I learned a few clothing-related things about cruising that I thought I’d share.
- Know the dress code in advance. While it seems that we’ve all gotten more casual over the years, cruises included, many cruises still have 1-2 formal dinner evenings, depending on length. I understand that enforcement varies from ship to ship, but during our cruise, I witnessed a couple be turned away from the main dining room one formal night because they were dressed too casually.
- Make a list of needed garments well in advance. This is especially important if you need out-of-season items. While you may not be able to run to a department store to pick out new swimwear, it is possible to order something online. Additionally, if you have needed items in storage at Shores, you’ll want to be sure to give us a week’s notice so that we can take your clothes out of storage, inspect them, and then freshen them up for you so that they are ready to pack.
- Bring layers. Even though you are traveling to a tropical environment, it can rain, get cool at night, or be chilly in the dining room. A good way to prepare for lots of scenarios without adding too much to your suitcase would be to bring a light-weight rain jacket; a multi-purpose cardigan sweater; and a pashmina, shawl, or wrap. All three came in quite handy on our recent trip.
- Pack several Ziploc bags in a variety of sizes. Ziploc bags can be the answer to a number of problems – protecting electronics while on a beach or water-related excursion, holding medication or jewelry, and separating excessively dirty or wet items from the rest of your laundry or clean clothing.
- Split your clothes between two suitcases. Strategically place half your wardrobe in your travel-mate’s suitcase, and have them put half of their wardrobe in yours. If one suitcase ends up missing, at least you have half your wardrobe to work with. It’s better than having nothing at all.
Most cruise line websites have helpful hits and check lists to help you pack if it is your first time cruising. For more information from Shores about packing in general, check out these two blog posts: How To Not Over Pack and How To Pack A Suit.