Cruising is a favourite holiday choice for many, from couples to families and honeymooners to retirees. The saying is true, that you only have to unpack once and you can do as much or as little as you like. Most days you will be waking up in a new exotic destination or a having a leisurely day at sea. Each cruise line has many unique features and depending on what your plans are in port you need to make sure you pack accordingly. Even if you are doing a tropical island cruise during summer, your cruise ship may have an ice-skating rink where a pair of long pants won’t go astray. Not to mention ensuring you have everything you need to explore new ports!
On the first day of your cruise holiday it sometimes can take a number of hours before your checked luggage is sorted and delivered to your stateroom. We suggest that you have all your valuables, including medication with you, in addition to spare clothing for dinner, extra footwear & basic toiletries. If you envisioned a cocktail poolside during the sail away party, you may also like to keep your swimwear handy in your carry on.
While at sea many find that the internet isn’t always fast or very cheap to access. So if you want an easy way to communicate with family and friends who are also onboard with you, we recommend investing in 2 way radios. If you purchase these prior to departure, all you need to do is just pick a station number for you all to tune into and get talking. Very handy if you are trying to arrange a meeting point with friends for a trivia night in the sports bar or even a pre-dinner sunset cocktail.
Cables, Cords, Camera and Adaptors
In our digital world we all like to stay connected. Remember to pack any cables, cords and adaptors to keep your technology charged. Why not use a small bag like a pencil case to keep your loose phone charger and 2-way radio charger cords from getting tangled up or lost? Power adaptors are also needed on board some ships. Many have US and UK power sockets all depending on their country of origin. Check with your cruise line prior to departure to see if you need one. Adaptors can be purchased onboard but you will find they are usually cheaper at an electronic store.
On any cruise itinerary you should always pack for the unexpected. You never know when unseasonably cold weather may hit on a tropical cruise and it isn’t unheard of to get sunburnt on an Antarctic cruise. During a tropical summer cruise always pack a jacket for rain protection and warmth. For a cruise to a cooler climate, packing lots of layers is advisable. We recommend having breathable thermal wear underneath and a waterproof outer layer, so you can then adjust every layer in between.
Most evenings in cruise à la carte dining rooms, the dress code is informal. Think ‘Business Casual’ when dressing. If the idea of dressing up for dinner each night isn't your idea of fun, then you may like to dine in the buffet restaurant or another dining option onboard. Many large cruise ships have many restaurants onboard from burger joints to sushi restaurants . Remember every cruise line is different and some cruise lines are more casual or formal than others.
Formal and Themed Nights
Depending on the length of the cruise you will most likely have at least 1 formal night. For Men: Traditionally formal night consists of a suit and tie. Often now a lightweight sport jacket and dress pants can also suffice depending on your cruise line. For Woman: A cocktail dress or pant suit are perfect for formal nights.
Some cruise lines also have a few fun inspired nights and even encourage guests to wear loud tropical shirts on some evenings. Most cruise lines provide information on formal and themed nights prior to departure, so you can pack accordingly.
Please note: Irons are not available onboard as they are a fire hazard. Many cruiselines do offer a pressing service at a cost if required. Important: Bringing your own iron is not permitted either.
As the cruise lines get bigger and better so do many of their onboard activities. It’s a great idea to pack for the activities you want to partake in. Some ships offer Ice skating, rock climbing, water slides, mini golf, bowling, racing cars, laser tag, zipling, skydiving simulator. For example : Even if you are on a tropical South Pacific cruise, you may want to pack long pants to go ice skating. If you are on a summer cruise, ensure plenty of sun protective clothing.
Any seasoned traveller knows the importance of travel insurance. Even a well planned holiday isn’t exempt from the unexpected. Please take the time and research insurance prior to travel. There are many different policies available, covering everything from the basics to full comprehensive policies. Read all the product disclosure statement closely to decide what is right for you.
Below is our Essential Cruise Packing List - Handy for your next Cruise Holiday
Travelling enriches our lives in so many ways. From the excitement of stepping off a plane in a country we have never visited before, to the sights and smells we experience as we explore this big wide world of ours. To make your journey a trip to remember for all the right reasons, we have put together a travel guide with some helpful tips to set you on the right path.
When considering your next travel destination it is always a good idea to research how much the journey as a whole will cost you. Some international destinations can be cheap to fly too, especially when the airlines offer cheap sale fares. But there can be surprises when you arrive there and you discover that transport, accommodation and meals do not cost what you expected. We recommend working out these costs before choosing a destination to make sure it works within your expectations so you can have the travel experience you are seeking, and that it fits into your ideal budget.
We all know that the weather people often get it wrong. And many countries do have very unpredictable weather year round, which can be part of their charm. We recommend looking into the typical weather patterns in advance, this will help you plan for the type of holiday you are seeking. It helps you avoid mistakes such as booking a tropical sunshine island getaway during the middle of rain season or booking flights to New Zealand for February hoping for a ski holiday – You will end up disappointed.
Currency exchange rates
When considering a destination it’s a good idea to look at the currency exchange rate. This will give you a guide as to what you will need for spending money while abroad, for things such as accommodation, food, transport, activities and shopping. Currency exchange rates do change, some countries have a more stable currency than others, many factors can contribute to this.
Plan to stay healthy
When travelling you should always plan to stay healthy. Looking at Websites such as https://smartraveller.gov.au/countries/Pages/default.aspx will give you current up to date advise on health issues in countries all around the world. Search for your proposed country so you are aware if extra precaution or vaccines are needed, If so a trip to a Travel Doctor prior to travel might be recommended.
Culture and Customs
Some activities are considered taboo by some cultures, and you can even get you arrested in some countries by taking photographs of government buildings. Doing prior research and showing respect can help you avoid any faux pas.
Some countries can look postcard perfect but underneath the surface there can be trouble brewing. Getting up to date information from websites such as
https://smartraveller.gov.au/Pages/default.aspx will give you the information you need.
It is always a good idea to check your passport expiry date during the planning stage of your next trip. There are many stories where travellers only discover that their passports have expired whilst in the final stages of packing for their holiday. It is not fun, nor a cheap exercise to arrange an emergency passport. All passports must also have at least 6 months validity on them from the date you return to your home country.
All countries have special conditions for nationals of other countries to abide by. Quite a lot of them require all foreigners to obtain a visa prior to entry. It is very important to be aware of time restrictions on visas, many tourist visas are valid for a maximum of 30 days. Penalties can be very harsh if the visa conditions are breached. If you have a history of criminal offences this can also affect your eligibility for a visa in some countries.
To access the most current information on visa requirements we recommend that Australian travellers check out the government website https://smartraveller.gov.au/Pages/default.aspx and search under the destination they are travelling too.