How to Pack for a World Cruise
The question that I am most frequently asked about cruise travel relates to packing. Packing for me is enjoyable. This is when I assemble all the fun items, some of which only work for a cruise. Where else can I wear my kimono jacket, or gold, sparkly blazer?
If I can pack for six or seven months in a single large suitcase anyone can. Most cruise travelers only need to bring: off-ship excursion very casual, on-ship resort casual and dinner clothes, plus swimsuit and gym clothes, as do I. In addition, I bring my on-stage wear, collected from ports of the world, plus all my performance goodies: computers, notebooks and cameras. Clothes go in the big suitcase, the rest in a carry-on.
Packing for a seven-month cruise is easier than packing for some shorter duration travels, which may span several temperature zones. World Cruise itineraries are built to follow the optimum season, where ever the ship travels. Typically, the season is warm & sunny. Plus, guests booking the full World Cruise usually receive laundry perks. Most luxury ships have washing machines. Here are a few tips for long voyage packing:
Tip 1: Do not bring something you will likely wear only once, unless it is very special.
Tip 2: Leave the blue dress at home if it needs blue shoes, unless blue is your daily color.
Tip 3: Pack fun items you really love and wear them often. Make new friends each week, they will not know what you wore the prior week.
Tip 4: Build your wardrobe around black pants, black leggings and a black skirt, plus black tops under your wild jackets.
Tip 5: (really hard) Limit your shoes to 4 pair (ugh!!) on-ship casual, off-ship, dress shoes and rubber sole deck or gym shoes. Even dress shoes can be lovely-comfy on a cruise.
Tip 6: For the World Cruise start packing a week ahead. Put aside your effort and then think of all that you left out. Travel clock? Vitamins? Toothbrush? Eyewear (several pair).
Tip 7: Rethink some of what you included and pull out a few items. Overpacking is a burden. Remember, closets, even in suites, have less space than you will want. Traveling with a partner? You will need to learn to share space.
Tip 8: Save cloth shoe bags from new shoes. Use them for packing shoes and small delicate items. Chiara Boni gives out lovely, pierce-proof packing bags for knit dresses. Put your silks and knits in a packing bag to protect them and keep them from wrinkling. You can also use large snap-close plastic frig bags to protect beaded, sparkly items.
Tip 9: Relocate to south Florida, since most World Cruises depart from Miami. No flight means no weight restrictions.
Tip 10: If you fly, use a sturdy ID tag. Remove all prior little white-sticky skew tabs from prior flights. Many a bag is misdirected by gate crew reading an old skew label.
The best part of cruise travel, all travel actually, is that memories take up no room in your suitcase. Experience leads to personal growth that does not affect waist size. The more you travel the more efficient packer you will be.