THE golden rule when taking a cruise is to pack light as storage space in a ship’s cabin is always tight. Even seasoned travellers take time to realise the merits of such advice. finally became a convert after waiting days for the return of lost flight luggage. The loss proved an unexpected ticket to freedom with no hard decisions to be made about what clothes to wear each day.

Fortunately, an overnight bag held a change of underwear, a long T-shirt that doubled as night attire, a warm bright scarf, and favourite toiletries. Coupled with the layered clothes worn in-flight these items worked well together to ring in the daily changes.

And when the luggage finally arrived, there was a tinge of disappointment as once more clothing choices had to be made..

So what should be in that lightweight luggage when boarding a cruise ship?

Cabins on cruise ships, including this one on Avalon    Waterways river cruise ship are well planned but do not have an excess of storage space.
Cabins on cruise ships, including this one on an Avalon Waterways’ river cruise ship, are well planned but do not have excess storage space so pack light.



Underwear that is easily washed overnight.

Pants/skirts, T-shirts/shirts, warm sweater.

Waterproof jacket, fold-up umbrella.

Socks, sandals, comfortable shoes.

Inexpensive jewellery, sunglasses, sunhat, bathers.

Scarves/ties to liven up evening outfit.

Phone, binoculars, camera with extra battery and charger.

Small torch.

In overnight bag:

Change of underwear.

Moisturiser/toothbrush/purse size cosmetics.

Multi-purpose shirt/warm scarf.

Pen to fill in documents en route.

Travel documents including passport, and contact numbers.

Reading material and electronic gadgets.

Note:  Most cruise ships have formal nights when passengers wear evening dress or tuxedo, which tend to take up too much luggage space. Men can hire tuxedos on board ship and women can jazz up their outfits with scarves or showy jewellery. On the other hand passengers can avoid formal events by eating at alternative dining venues on board.



One thought on “PACKING FOR A CRUISE

  1. I used to pack 5 or 6 pairs of shoes whenever I travelled anywhere. However, for the last 10 years or so, I have been travelling light—my rule is never to have a bag that is too big or heavy for me to lift easily by myself. So nowadays, I wear a comfortable but decent-looking pair of shoes on the plane and they do for most days of the trip; I pack a pair of black suede shoes with a medium heel; and if I’m going to a hot area or beach, I pack a pair of sandals. That’s it. I’ve never said to myself on holiday, “I wish I had another pair of shoes”. But there were plenty of times in BTL (before travelling lightly) days that I wished my bag wasn’t full of shoes I didn’t wear.

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