Don’t get me wrong… I love a good cruise. The blue water, the exotic ports, the amazing food – it’s all fantastic. There is one thing, however, that I wish I could somehow avoid… THE PACKING!
Packing for a cruise is difficult for several reasons. First of all, there is some formality to these trips. Eating in the “Main Dining Room,” which I thoroughly enjoy, requires a dress code, and depending on your cruise line, that can vary from nice shorts to a suit & tie. And if you’re sitting at an assigned table, where you’re going to dine with the same people every night? That certainly means no repetition of any part of your wardrobe. Luckily, we choose the flexible dining option where we enjoy a table for 3 and can wear the same black pants a few times without worry.
During the day, there are other obstacles. Walking around the ship is a bit different than just hanging out at a beach resort. You really need an “outfit” versus a “cover-up” over your bathing suit. This is especially true if you’re planning to eat lunch inside or want to hit the casino for a few rounds as you’re passing through (and it always seems like we’re passing through, no matter where we’re going!)
Then there are your Port Days… something to wear while sightseeing, or shopping, and then something for the beach. You need to pack a beach bag, possibly a few sand toys for the kids and a whole numerical range of sunscreen. And don’t forget you’ll still need another outfit for dinner that night!
Planning to hit the gym during your cruise? Add that stack of work-out clothes and those special sneakers to your pile. And I haven’t even touched on shoes yet! Dress shoes, sandals, flip flops, water shoes for the beach… And the toiletries, and the first aid supplies, jewelry, toys, books, cameras, all the chargers, a power strip (cause there are never enough outlets), and don’t forget the “Rum Runner Flasks” to smuggle on a few cocktails!
So as our upcoming cruise rapidly approaches, I’m in that state of packing-hell, with piles of clothes and accessories taking over my home office, and the stress of fitting it all in the suitcase yet to come… oh and did I mention that we’re sailing on Halloween? And that my son is a Giant Hot Dog? That’s right… find a place for that costume in your suitcase!
All complaints aside, soon I’ll be on my balcony with my coffee or cocktail in hand, watching the sun rise & set over the ocean… and it’ll all be worth it!!!