Luggage ‘essentials’ cruise passengers need for a ‘smooth’ holiday

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James Cole, founder and managing director at Panache Cruises shared the most important items to pack in your luggage when heading on a cruise. He recommended including more than just clothing and toiletries to ensure a “plain sailing” holiday on the water.

Cruises provide everything you need when on board, from food and drink to entertainment, but it can be more difficult to get hold of other, personal items while cruising to your destination.

James said: “Before getting on board there are a number of cruise-specific essentials that passengers can bring with them to get the most out of their luxury cruise holiday. Pack some high-quality binoculars to truly take advantage of stunning once-in-a-life views and a snorkel to explore the underwater life too. An underwater camera is always a great choice as well.

“Even cabins on luxury cruise ships can start to feel cluttered – especially when travelling with children so bringing along magnetic hooks and over-the-door organisers is a great way to keep everything tidy.

“Taking just a little bit of time before you travel to pick up some of these items will help you to relax and enjoy exploring the world with peace of mind. Why spend valuable time on your holiday looking for something in a shop that you could have taken with you.”

While this is a given if you’re prone to motion sickness, James noted that anti-nausea tablets are also worth taking along for peace of mind. It’s also always worth having basic medication like paracetamol, antihistamine and bite-sting cream close to hand if it is needed.

If you’re headed somewhere hot, packing plenty of sun cream is a given. There are no size limits for guests on cruise ships, though you should consider restrictions on liquid toiletries if you’re flying somewhere beforehand.

In addition to packing items for your own personal use, other tools for your room should also earn a spot in your suitcase, according to James.

He said: “Most cruise cabin walls are made from steel – meaning magnetic hooks are a great idea for storing smaller items like lanyards, hats or jewellery, instead of leaving them around the cabin.

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“Another great way to keep the cabin in order is to have an over-the-door organiser for all the smaller essential items.

“Fill it with things like suncream, sunglasses, snacks, water bottles, and anything else that may instead be left laying around. It’s an easy way to keep the cabin feeling spacious and organised.”

Inside your room, socket plugs may be scarce, so it’s always a good idea to make room for a socket bank in your luggage.

This allows you to charge several devices at the same time though you will need a plug adapter to ensure you can use it with any socket type.

Depending on your cruise itinerary and the time of year, you may want to swim at your ports of call, so it’s important to be prepared.

If you enjoy exploring the sea, pack a mask and snorkel along with binoculars so you can swim and enjoy the underwater life. Water shoes are also a good idea to have – to help avoid any nasty foot cuts and scrapes.

On the ship, dressing to impress is a must for most evening cruise dinners. You will want to pack appropriate dress clothing to make the most of the experience.

James added: “Also, travellers might not be able to dine in certain restaurants if they are not wearing the appropriate clothing so it is worth checking with your cruise agent before you go and packing appropriately. Be mindful of the local traditions in your ports of call and cover up where necessary out of respect for local cultures and religions.”

For the time you spend both on, and off the ship, keeping your personal belongings safe should always be a priority. To do this, you should bring along a small bag to keep your cabin keys, money and phone close by. This is especially important for larger cruises where you may spend much of your day far away from your cabin.

James said: “A ‘day bag’ will allow you to access essential items without needing to keep going back and forth. It is also worth remembering that on the day of embarkation, it may take several hours for your luggage to arrive in your cabin. Ensure you keep everything you might need with you in a separate bag.”

Cruise repatriation insurance is another essential you need for your cruise holiday. The Panache Cruise founder explained that these provide the peace of mind that if anything does go wrong you will be protected.

He added that it’s worth knowing what the insurance specifically covers and having these documents to hand at all times – taking a picture or having the email saved on your phone is a good idea. Alternatively, take a print out with you.

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