If that photo gives you a bit of anxiety, don't worry you're not alone. You've booked your very first cruise and now it's time to start getting ready. If you're like most cruisers, you've done more planning for your excursions and completely forgot about packing until last minute. My OCD wont allow for it. But don't worry, when you work with a vacation planner like MUSE Travelers, you not only get free custom luggage tags, but you'll get a packing list as well. (you're welcome) So for this post, I am not going to point out the obvious. Let's talk about those things you WISH you had when it was just a little too late.
EXTRA BAGS - A day pack, a bag for dirty laundry, a plastic bag for wet bathing suits, Zip-Loc bags for snacks ... you really can't have too many extra bags with you on a cruise. Take a look at your itinerary to see what type of bags you might need. Heading to the beach? Make sure you have a roomy beach bag you can stuff a towel or two into. Doing a city tour? You'll want an over-the-shoulder piece with a zipper for keeping your wallet, phone and camera secure. Going shopping? Pack an empty, expandable duffle that you can fill up when your suitcase is bulging with all the souvenirs you picked up on your trip.
FIRST AID KIT - No one wants to think about getting sick or hurt on a cruise, but few vacations end without someone getting a cut or having a little indigestion. Buying Band-Aids or Pepto onboard isn't cheap, and all the over-the-counter meds you have at home might not be readily available on a cruise ship or in a foreign port. We recommend packing a small first-aid kit stocked with items like Band-Aids, alcohol swabs, antibiotic ointment, cold pills, cough drops, painkillers, seasickness remedies and meds for heartburn and upset stomachs.
LAUNDRY ALTERNATIVES - Sending out your laundry onboard many cruises ships is expensive, and on those where the cost is a handful of quarters for self-service, you're forced to give up part of your day to usher your clothing through wash and dry cycles. Need something pressed? You'll also pay a premium unless you're staying in a suite or there's a launderette onboard equipped with an iron. But invest in a small bottle of Downey wrinkle spray and travel-sized packets of Woolite for handwashes in your cabin's sink, and you've got a cheap path to clean and wrinkle-free clothing. Other laundry must-pack items include a quick-treatment stain remover and a travel-size bottle of Febreeze to get out smoke and other smells, so you can wear an outfit more than once.
EXTRA CHARGING NECESSITIES - With the exception of only the absolute newest cruise ships (we're talking those that debuted in 2014 or later), cruise ship cabins are notorious for not having enough outlet space for all the gadgets and gizmos most cruisers carry with them. The most obvious quick fix is to bring a power strip onboard, but first time cruise passengers need to be aware that cruise lines are incredibly wary about overloading shipboard circuits and have strict rules about what types of power strips may be brought onboard. First rule of thumb, no power surge protected strips may be carried on. Second, keep your power strip small; it should provide only one or two extra outlets for plugging into, not four or five. Y
PORTABLE CHARGERS - In this day and age, we use our phones for everything. You don't want to be mid-capture and realize your battery is completely drained. If you keep one of these nifty little contraptions in your fanny pack, tote bag or backpack... you will never miss out on the next shot!