Cruise Travel Essentials – What to Pack

Cruises are exciting trips for individuals and families. As with any vacation, consideration should be taken when packing to make sure packing is done with some though. Planning your packing list beforehand will save you from worry and allow you to have an enjoyable vacation.

First of all, consider the weather and the time of year when packing for your cruise. It is important to remember that the weather at your ultimate destination may be very different from the weather on the cruise itself. Make sure to pack accordingly for every area where the ship will travel and stop. If you are traveling during the summer, make sure to bring sunscreen. It is surprising how many travelers do not think to bring sunscreen simply because they are on the ocean.

Check into activities that will be offered and make sure to bring the appropriate clothing and items necessary to participate. Does your cruise have a swimming pool? Is the cruise formal? Are there dances or social activities? Doing some research beforehand will help you to pack everything that is needed to enjoy all your cruise has to offer.

Cruise ship staterooms are small, so the key is to keep the packing light and make sure that what you bring is useful and essential. Be sure that you bring enough toys or games to amuse your children. There will be lots of activities on a cruise ship, but there is also the potential for lots of downtime when your children will need to amuse themselves. Account for this in your own planning as well, and bring a couple good books or crossword puzzles.

Another item that’s important to bring on any cruise is something to prevent sea sickness, such as pills or wristbands. Even if you have never experienced motion sickness before, it is always a possibility that you will be affected at some point on your trip. These items are relatively inexpensive, so it is a good idea to have some on hand.

Some items are basically essential for travel but should be brought using caution. These items would be things such as cameras, money and cell phones. You will definitely want a camera to take pictures of both the cruise itself and the destination. Consider what types of cameras would be best. Some choose to bring disposable cameras rather than risk losing or damaging a nice camera. However, if you are going on a cruise with lots of sights to see, such as an Alaskan cruise, this may be the time when you would need a good quality camera the most. You may be sorry if you do not bring a good camera, and it will be worth it as long as you take precautions to store the camera safely.

You will need money in some form both for extra incidental expenses on the boat as well as souvenirs, food and activities at your destination. Make sure that you research the safest type of money to carry and which forms of payment are accepted on the cruise. A travel agent will be helpful for advice on safe ways to travel with money.

Disadvantages to Cruise Ship Travel

Cruise ship travel is not for everybody. Although many enjoy cruises, some travelers prefer other types of vacations. Before going on a cruise, take time to consider whether or not this is the best method of travel for you. Be sure to research information about the specific companies you are considering as well as read reviews from other customers. Also consider talking to those you know who have traveled on cruises before and see if it sounds like something you would enjoy. It is important to get more information than just a recommendation from someone. What one person finds fun, you may not, so it is important to find out why a person did or did not enjoy a cruise ship experience.

Some do not enjoy cruises simply because of the nature of traveling on a boat. Those who are prone to motion sickness may not enjoy being on a boat because of the high likelihood of experiencing sea sickness. Severity differs for everybody, and sea sickness usually is not serious, but it can still be an unpleasant experience and can ruin a vacation. Consider whether or not this is something that concerns you. Medications and wrist bands help some who suffer from sea sickness, but they are not effective for everyone. For some people, sea sickness runs its course relatively quickly, but only you can decide whether or not this is a possibility you are willing to face.

Others are afraid to cruise because of the possibility of the boat sinking. Only you can decide whether or not you are a person who worries about this possibility. It may help to do some research. Any type of travel has inherent risks, of course. Some are terrified of airplane travel but sill travel on cruises. Others travel frequently on airplanes but would not consider going on a cruise. It is true that being on a boat is a different kind of experience than any other form of travel. Some are not so worried about the boat sinking but are afraid of being out in open water, unable to see the shoreline. Only you can decide whether or not being on the ocean bothers you.

Perhaps the most common fear of cruises in the last decade has been based on the media coverage of viral outbreaks on cruise ships. In the last couple years, this problem has improved, but most travelers are familiar with outbreaks of viruses such as the Norwalk virus. These viruses run rampant on cruise ships because of the large number of people in close proximity to one another for extended periods of time. Although general precautions can certainly decrease a persons’ chances of catching a virus on a cruise ship, it is true that illnesses are more difficult to avoid on a boat.

Along with viruses, crime on cruise ships has also been widely publicized. It is important to research each cruise line and get accurate statistics. Also, read reviews and information to learn how incidents are handled, and make sure you understand the level of security that will be present on the ship. Fortunately, most crime committed on cruise ships is property crime rather than violent crime, and this is relatively common with any type of travel.