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What to take on a cruise

  • On of the best things about enjoying a cruise is that you have no limit on your baggage.  You can take along whatever you like as long as you remember that it all needs to fit inside your cabin.  Soft bags are ideal since they can be compacted after you have unpacked and they won't take up any additional space.
  • No matter where you book your cabin, make sure that you take earplugs along.  Even if you are far from loud facilities, your neighbours might be noisy.
  • If your cabin-mates have different plans during the trip, you will find a sleep mask handy. That way, they can turn the lights on even if you are sleeping.
  • Prior to travelling anywhere, you should always make photocopies of your important documents like your passport, ID, driver's license, credit card, travel insurance documents and any other documents relating to your cruise.  Keep these copies in a different bag from the originals, just in case.  Email a digital copy of all of your documents to your web based email address.  That way, should you lose both the originals and copies, you will still be able to access digital copies from anywhere in the world.
  • If you are a snorkelling fan, you may want to take your own snorkel and mask along for the trip.  Instead of paying hiring fees, you can buy your own gear for a fairly low price and keep them afterwards for other trips.
  • The ship often charges high fees for currency exchanging.  Check your itinerary and convert your allocated funds in the respective currencies necessary.  You can always change back whatever you don't spend at a later stage.
  • Remember that you could very well meet new friends and even business opportunities while on board.  Be prepared by taking some business cards along with you.  Take a small address book along to note down any important details or contact information for some of your new friends who may not have business cards of their own.
  • Take along some watertight, plastic bags that you can seal your important items inside. They will come in handy if you disembark while it's raining or if  you intend on spending some time at the beach.  These bags will keep your documents and important items safe from water damage and other elements.
  • If, for whatever reason, your phone does not have an alarm or it is unreliable, make sure that you take a small travel-sized alarm clock along for the trip.  That way, you don't have to rely on the ship's wake up call service and you wont be late for your favourite activities.
  • A power board can really come in handy if you are taking several electronic devices along which will need to be recharged from time to time.  No need to fight over the plugs and, while you're at it, you should consider taking an extension cable along too.
  • Take along a small first aid kit.  If something serious happens, you will need to see the on board medic but, if it's minor, you can tend to it yourself.  The on board medical services can be rather pricey so it's worth being able to save your money in this aspect.  Simple things like band-aids, bandages, paracetamol and seasickness pills can be very expensive compared to the prices at your local pharmacy so prepare all of these items for your trip.
  • Take a journal or notebook along with you.  Make a note of all the day's events and memorable moments.  It's a great way of remembering everything that happened so that you can tell your loved ones back home all about your holiday.  It also helps when you organize your photographs.
  • Take along plenty of reading material.  Sure, you might be busy with activities for the most part but you could also find yourself relaxing a lot.  Instead of paying the high prices on board for books and magazines, take your own along.  Once you are done reading, you can leave your paperbacks for the crew library.  That way, you won't have to drag them home with you and you will have more space in your bag for souvenirs and other items you buy along the way.
  • Take along some hand sanitizer for your trip.  Keep a large bottle in your cabin and a small one on you at all times.  Germs have a way of spreading when you are in confined areas. Take your sanitizer on shore and keep it with you at all times on board too.
  • Another great idea is to take a couple of cheap walkie talkies with you.  These cruise ships are like huge hotels on water and trying to find your friends or family members can often be challenging.  Walkie talkies make communicating easy but make sure that you keep the volume on low so that you don't annoy fellow passengers.  Some walkie talkies even come with earphones much like a hands free set for your mobile phone.
  • A good idea for when you go ashore is to take along a pack that contains insect repellent, sunscreen, your mini hand sanitizer, a compact first aid kit and a small umbrella just in case.
  • Easy to apply suction hooks are small so they won't take up space in your luggage and you will get great use out of them.  Many cabins only have a couple of clothing hooks and your extra hooks will allow you to place things like cameras and hats out of the way.  This will keep your cabin tidy and far more spacious.
  • Take some extra coat hangers with you.  Just like many hotels around the world, cruise ships rarely have more than a few hangers for each passenger.  Inflatable hangers are great because they won't occupy too much space in your bag.
  • Since cabins are so small, you probably want to invest in an air freshener for the trip.  Also, don't choose something with a strong scent.  An odour neutraliser will prove to be a far better choice.
  • Take along a small clothing line and some clothes pegs.  Some of your items are bound to get wet and you are better off hanging them up than leaving them lying around the cabin. The ship does offer laundry services but you may have items that can't go in the tumble drier, for example, and this is when your own line will come in handy.
  • Never underestimate the power of something as simple as duct tape!  Take a roll along with for the trip and you are bound to find it handy or perhaps another passenger will need some help.  Duct tape has many uses.  You can use it to remove lint from your clothing, mark your luggage in a unique way to make it recognisable, repair your luggage bag if it is damaged and secure bottle lids.  You can even use it to hem your clothing and secure your curtains in a closed position!
  • Pop-up hampers won't take up much space in your luggage and they are really great for keeping your clothing organised.  If you pick up a mesh one, you will see just how great it is for drying damp clothes too.
  • Hanging shoe organisers are also compact in your luggage and will help you keep your shoes off the floor and out of your way.
  • Don't fill your bag up with things like bath or beach towels.  The ship supplies these for on board and for going ashore.
  • If you are taking actual photo film (as opposed to a digital camera) remember to take your film in your hand luggage.  Airport screening of your main luggage can damage the film.
  • Keep a few empty plastic shopping bags in your luggage.  These will come in handy for damp or dirty items that you don't have the time to dry or clean before you disembark.
  • Take along an insulated mug (with lid) and fill it up at the beverage station with something hot or cold.  Either way, hot drinks will stay hot and cold drinks will stay cold for longer. Enjoy your time by the pool without your cold drink getting warm.
  • Take a small flashlight along for the trip.  You never know when you might need to find your way around in the dark or if an emergency arises.  Don't forget to take brand new batteries too.

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