But what am I going to wear!?!? It’s one of life’s most frequently asked (and most annoying) question. Packing for a trip can be loads of fun or a massive headache, and it’s often hard to predict what you will need during your vacation. I tend to think I am pretty good at packing. I normally travel carry on only, and since one of our carry ons is all camera gear, that means I have to pack clothes for three people in 7 kilograms or less.
I recently went on my very first cruise. Packing for a cruise is an entirely different beast.
I normally travel carry on only. But for the cruise I decided to purchase 15 kilograms of checked in luggage. And then I panicked and purchased 30 kilograms instead. To be fair, that was still just one 30 kilogram bag for three people (and actually it only weighed 25 kilograms thank you very much), but for me this was definitely a departure from the norm.
The fact is: you do need to pack a lot more when you are cruising.
When you are cruising, not only do you need your standard travel clothes and shoes for whatever climate you will be cruising through, but you will also need an array of cocktail and formal outfits for the various events on board. Even if you only have to pack for one formal evening, that still means an additional pair of shoes and a bulky evening dress/ suit. Then you need to consider that most cruise lines have different themed nights or fancy dress parties that you will also need to pack for.
Last week it was my mother in laws 50th birthday party, so the whole family took off on P&O’s Pacific Dawn for a week of cruising through the South Pacific. There were three themed fancy dress parties, but I only packed outfits for two of them. There were two formal nights, plus my mother in laws birthday event which also had a formal dress code. With that in mind, I have tried to tailor the below packing list to be somewhat generic and suitable for most cruise lines. However make sure you do your research and adjust the list accordingly to suit your specific destination. Also please note that this packing list is for a cruise through a warm climate.
Packing List for Cruising Ladies
- 2 pairs of swimwear
- 1 pair of pyjamas
- 1 pair of long pants for colder evenings
- 1 sweater or cardigan for colder evenings
- 3 warm weather outfits. Remember that it can be windy on the open decks, so don’t pack dresses that can easily blow up. If you are really worried about flashing your cruising companions, you might want to pack shorts instead.
- 1 light weight cardigan or scarf for when its slightly cooler, or when you want an extra layer of sun protection
- a minimum of 2 formal/ cocktail dresses. I actually packed 4 formal dresses and ended up wearing three of them.
- fancy dress outfits as required for theme nights
- 1 pair of comfortable flip flops
- 1 pair of enclosed shoes for shore tours or adventure park activities
- whatever shoes are required for your formal outfits.
- Bras/ panties as required
- 1 or 2 pairs of sunglasses