Taking a cruise is supposed to be a relaxing and enjoyable experience. There are a few ocean voyage essentials that can ensure your trip lives up to your expectations and prevent any mishaps. Take this quiz to learn more about how to prepare for a sea voyage.
For most formal cruise ship dinners a nice suit will suffice and you can leave your tuxedo at home. In the event that you need a tuxedo, you can usually rent one onboard. Other items you don't need to take on a cruise include: towels, as there will be plenty of them; an iron. since there will be one in your room; too many clothes, as you won't have much space in your cabin; alcohol, according to the ship's policy; and cash, as theft is common on cruise ships.
Many people who are not used to the sea suffer from seasickness on a cruise and will wind up spending a good amount of time in the lavatory.
Seasickness occurs when the motion-detecting areas of your body, including your inner ear and your eyes, send mixed messages to your brain. For example, if you are in a room with no windows you may feel the ship swaying on the waves, but you will not see the horizon moving up and down. This may confuse your senses and cause you to feel ill. It is important to bring along seasickness prevention medication, to ensure you don't spend most of your cruise feeling ill.
You won't see many bugs while on the open seas, but you might encounter nasty bugs when you hit ports. Add insect repellant to your packing list to prevent being bitten and bothered.
To prevent your insect repellant leaking all over your clothes, pack it in a Ziploc bag.
There are often only a couple of electrical outlets in your cruise cabin and they may be in places that are difficult to reach. Bringing along a power strip will allow you to charge many items, such as your iPod, cell phone, laptop or alarm clock at once.
A 10-foot (3 meter) cord should suffice, as the cabins are not usually very big.
Buying sunscreen on board is generally going to cost you a lot more than at the supermarket. It is important to get water resistant sunscreen if you are going to spend a lot of time in the pool.
Anything over SPF 15 is considered sunblock but you should know the amount of sun protection your skin needs to prevent burning and buy sunscreen with an appropriate SPF. It is always better to err on the side of caution.
Aloe soothes sunburned skin, so bring it along just in case you get burned. An aloe-based lotion or a pure aloe gel will do the trick.
If you have a serious medical condition, such as diabetes or epilepsy, it is important to tell the cruise staff ahead of time. Make sure to bring along a good supply of medications you take, since you will be stuck out at sea and unable to get more if you run out. Also, make sure you bring along your medical identification bracelet or necklace if you have one.
Making a list of all medications you have used in the past couple months is a good way of seeing which medications you should bring along just in case, on top of your regular medications. Some over-the-counter medications that are advisable to bring along are: pain relievers, allergy medications, antihistamines, sleeping tablets, cough drops, anti-diarrhea medication and antacids.
Cash is often stolen on cruises. In addition, you may need to change your currency if it is not accepted on the cruise ship.
Traveler's checks are a lot safer than cash and some companies offer fully insured checks and round-the-clock customer support. Most ports take credit cards as well, which is also safer than carrying wads of cash. Choose one credit card to bring along that has lots of spending room on it and good customer support.
A money belt is a pocket on a belt that fits under your clothing, keeping your money safe and sound.
In a case your bags don't arrive at your cabin in time, bring your first evening's dinner clothes in your carry-on bag. If you are traveling with a partner, split your clothes between your bags so you will both be covered if one bag gets lost. Avoid bringing along much jewelry, as you may become a target for thieves.
Cruise ships are usually air conditioned inside so you will want to bring along warmer clothes, even if the ship will be traveling through warm climates.
Make sure you have adequate documentation with you, including your passport, driver's license or ID card, credit cards, medical information card, airline tickets, cruise documents and emergency contact numbers. Make two photocopies of all documents and give one to a friend or relative at home in case you need someone to send you replacements. Keep all documents in a plastic bag in a safe place on the ship.
If your bags go missing, having a detailed list of everything you had in your bags is the only chance you have getting the value of everything you had when you file a claim with the airline or cruise line that is responsible.
Bring yourself an extra bag for souvenirs so you don't have to squash them in your luggage.