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    Cruise Packing Tips From the Pros

    Planning the perfect cruise requires more than just getting the paperwork together and paying for your ticket. You want to be comfortable and appropriate for all parts of the vacation, from hanging out poolside to dining at the captain's table. Pack the right things to enjoy every activity and setting during your cruise.

    The CruiseCrazies Packing List and Tips are the perfect packing resource for you. Below is some more helpful information for your cruise packing knowledge.

    Read the Dress Code

    Before you begin packing, read the dress code policies ... Different cruise lines have different sets of dress codes and require different attire for special events. CruiseCrazies has a detailed guide to Cruise Line Dress Code Policies that you can access here: http://www.cruisecrazies.com/cruise-line-policies/dress-code-policies. Although many activities may allow casual clothes, you may also discover that certain meals and events are formal. While tube dresses are appropriate for afternoon activities, more formal dresses are de riguer for dinners and nighttime shows.

    Pack Your Passport

    Obtaining the proper documentation is a bothersome (but necessary) part of cruising. As soon as you choose the best cruise and book the trip, check your passport to determine how long it's valid for. As odd as this may sound, some countries require a passport that is still valid for several months after you return home.

    Along with your passport, find out if a visa is required for your trip. Find out as far in advance as possible, so you have your visa and passport on hand before you start packing. Should you find yourself in the situation where you need your passport at the last minute, don't stress it. There are services which offer expedited passports, and CruiseCrazies members get a 10% discount with expedited passport services through this link: http://www.cruisecrazies.com/member-benefits

    Important: When boarding the ship at the beginning of your cruise, carry your passport in your carry-on bag.

    Don't Forget

    The opportunities to swim and tan by the pool are seemingly endless on a cruise. Pack at least two swimsuits, so one is always dry. Along with the swimsuits, pack shoes that won't slip on wet surfaces and at least one cover-up, so you have something to throw on when you visit a dining area or are just making your way around the ship.

    Non-Clothing Items

    The non-clothing items will vary based on your plans, but certain items are common. Pack sunscreen, a camera and guide books to the destinations where your cruise will stop. Other items, like a laptop, MP3 player or cell phone, are entirely a personal choice. If you decide to bring a cell phone, find out about your service provider's policy and any possible roaming charges, so you do not face unexpected costs when the bill comes in.

    Preparing for your cruise ensures you'll have more flexibility on your trip. The overall atmosphere on a cruise is casual and festive, and with a little forethought, you'll be comfortable the entire time.

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    And if I may add, make sure you contact your credit card company or the bank you have your card through to advise them of your trip. Some credit card's have daily limits as well as extensive usage of that card during your cruise may send up a flag thus suspending the card. Nothing worse than not being able to spend on your vacation and having to make an international call to the bank to have the card reactivated!!!

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    I usually call the CC companies to alert them of where I will be and when.

    These days I tend to pack less for a cruise and rely on the ships laundry if need be. With the packing limits set by the airlines it makes sense I think.

    Also try to get CC with no foreign transaction fees for use abroad.

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    Good reminder about notifying your credit card company. We actually have one card that we only use outside the US (never in the States) but we still let them know what countries we’ll be visiting on what dates.

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