Must-Have Cruise Essentials

Breathtaking views of the ocean, gorgeous sunsets, unlimited food, fruity drinks, and tons of time to sit by the pool…what's not to love about cruising? As long as you've got a sturdy pair of "sea-legs" (or a bottle of Dramamine) there's really nothing that can stop you from having a great time on one of these floating wonders--some are practically little cities on water! A great budget-friendly way to travel, all-inclusive cruising gives travelers the chance to visit multiple sites for the price of one. Whether you'll be floating among icebergs or tropical islands, cruising guarantees a fun-filled adventure. Make sure to pack the essentials and you can watch your worries just sail away.


Sun Protection, Toiletries & Meds

Pretty much anywhere you go will provide extra sun exposure, whether it's Alaska's extended summertime sunlight or the Caribbean's hot and sunny environment, so make sure to pack sun protection. Hats, sunglasses, SPF lip balm and plenty of sunscreen are must-haves, as well as aloe and a rich lotion to soothe any accidental over-exposure. If you're going somewhere tropical or plan to go hiking through the rainforest, consider packing insect repellent. In addition, don't forget to pack your daily toiletries and medications, including the aforementioned motion sickness medicine, as well as medicines for other tummy troubles and general aches and pains.


Clothing & Footwear

Depending on your cruise liner and itinerary, you might need to pack for a rather conservative and formal environment or you might need nothing more than string bikinis. Make sure to check your policies pre-packing to know what to expect and what you'll need. Perhaps you have 1-2 formal nights on the ship; make sure to bring your fancy formalwear with shoes and accessories to match. Also keep in mind any off-boat excursions you might be interested in, and pack your clothing or footwear accordingly; for example, if you plan on doing some hiking, a pair of sneakers and activewear would be a good idea. It goes without saying that you'll need a few gorgeous swimsuits to lounge in, whether you're soaking up the tropical sun or enjoying a hot and steamy hot tub. Don't forget to pack versatile cover-up options as well as sandals or flip-flops that are suitable for both exploring the local areas and beach time.


All the Extras

Many cruise destinations have fabulous shopping opportunities and if you plan on doing some serious shopping, consider packing an empty tote or duffel for all of your new goodies. Leave the fine jewelry, expensive handbags, and unnecessary valuables at home to minimize the chance of them getting lost, stolen or damaged; instead, opt for fun "costume jewelry" to accessorize your outfits. The most important thing to bring is a great attitude and the willingness to leave your at-home stresses, well, at home! Consider these essentials and get ready to sail off into the sunset with a smile on your face.