9 October 2017 by Scott Anderson
With everything from fine-dining restaurants to onboard spas, and those all-important shore excursions, packing for a luxury cruise can be more complicated you might think. Here, Wexas Travel's Scott Anderson shares his expert opinion on the best things pack to make sure your holiday goes off without a hitch.
When it comes to clothing for shore excursions, and even those long lazy days between ports, it’s important to research the destination. This may seem an obvious one, but weather can vary tremendously at different times of year. For example, in Alaska you might think it would be all cold, cold, cold. But, with daytime temperatures in summer reaching as high as 34°C, you might be spending more time by the pool than you might have thought. However, once you reach the glacial forests in the north, it can still get decidedly chilly, so you’ll need to pack for all seasons. And aside from the destinations themselves, there’s your time on board to consider. Always check the dress code of the cruise line you’re sailing with, especially in terms of evening wear – some lines adopt a smart-casual approach while others are strictly black tie. There are few things worse on a cruise than being caught out without a jacket and turned away from your favourite dining room!
Ensure you pack all the relevant chargers for you camera, iPad, phone and other electrical essentials – you don’t want to waste valuable exploring time hunting for these in destination. And, don’t forget to bring an adapter with both US and European-style plugs, as sockets can vary from ship to ship. That said, some do now feature USB ports for handy charging.
Remember to bring all the necessary documentation and vouchers, along with the full itinerary from your travel agent and those all-important travel insurance details. We also recommend you take a quick snap of your passport photo page and your credit cards – just in case. Alternatively, leave a copy with friend or a family member back home. It’s also well worth emailing a copy to yourself so you can access it all online.
4: Medicines & toiletries
Always pack any necessary medication in your hand luggage – and research your embarkation and debarkation destinations as some countries have strict laws, even on prescription drugs. All luxury cruise lines provide top-of-the-range bathroom amenities, but remember to bring those medicine-cupboard essentials – headache tables, antihistamine cream, plasters and sunscreen. Most can be purchased on board, but with many shops closing once you arrive in port, you might find yourself forking out a premium.
5: Carry-on luggage
With many luxury cruises you can often board prior to your suite being ready – so you’re able to enjoy lunch on deck, or make the most of the onboard facilities prior to unpacking. Here’s where it pays to pop your swimming costume into your carry-on luggage, allowing you the opportunity to enjoy the sun deck and pool, cocktail in hand, before heading to your cabin. Or, as with some cruise lines, simply ask your butler to take care of it all for you.