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Taking a cruise can be the experience of a lifetime. After all, how often do you get to tour so many locations in just a single trip? If you are a first-time cruiser, knowing what to pack can be tricky. Seasoned cruisers know that each day of the trip will bring something different, so get ready to hop aboard and enjoy the ride with Cabeau’s list of what to pack for a cruise. Grab your tickets and rest easy on deck with our best cruise packing tips.

1.   Your Passport

This one seems obvious, but many passengers forget their passports at home every year! Even if you will be boarding and departing at a domestic port, the odds are that you will travel through international waters and enjoy some foreign destinations during the course of your trip. Some cruises cover up to a dozen countries, so don’t forget your passport! Keep your physical passport on your person, but have additional photocopies in your check-in luggage – just in case.

2.   A Carry-On

Many novice cruisers have also made the mistake of only bringing one bag and, then, checking it. That’s why the next item on our cruise packing list is a carry-on bag. If you’ve flown before, you know that all checked luggage goes through security before reaching its final destination. Well, a cruise ship is no different. Luggage is inspected and brought to your room as quickly as possible, but with hundreds or sometimes thousands of passengers on board, this could mean waiting several hours before you have access to your belongings.

So, bring whatever you need for the first day in a small carry-on bag, including any valuables. Make sure to add in a change of clothes, some comfy shoes and a sun hat, as well as a universal adapter or portable charger for your electronics. This is one of the most overlooked items of what to pack for a cruise, but you’ll appreciate having your swimsuit (and any other essentials) handy, so you can be first one on the pool deck.

3.   A Cozy Blanket for the Deck

Next up on our list is a cozy blanket. You may picture a luxurious Caribbean or Mediterranean cruise under the hot sun, but the reality is that travelling on the water is much cooler than on land. Plus, temperatures can significantly drop at night. That’s why a cozy blanket will maximize the length of time you can spend enjoying the outdoors. Cabeau’s Fold n’ Go Blanket is the perfect lightweight option for lounging on the deck. Despite its small (but convenient) size, this blanket covers your body from head to toe! So wrap up, and relax under the stars.

4.   Formal Attire

Most cruises include formal dinners and dancing, so be sure to include formal wear. Dressy attire is a must-have if you want to replicate photo-ops à la Titanic (although, hopefully that’s where the similarity with the Titanic ends). Check with your particular cruise line to see a preview of the agenda, but be prepared to add at least one formal outfit to your cruise packing list. Another tip: photographers are usually on hand to capture every moment, so make sure you look your best!

5.   Smart Shoes

Cruising means that you get to park all of your luggage in one spot for the entire voyage, so bringing a few extra pairs of shoes is no biggie. Be sure to pack matching shoes for your formal-wear, but also toss in some flip-flops for the pool. Knowing what to pack for a cruise day-trip excursion is just as important as what you plan on having on board, so make sure you bring hiking or tennis shoes for comfort too. You will probably be walking most of the day whether on-board or off.

6.   A Poolside Sleep Mask

Enjoying cruise ship activities late at night can take its toll, and you might want to have an afternoon nap on the pool deck. That’s why we think your list should include a small sleep mask. To make daytime snoozing a bit more enjoyable after a night on the dance floor, tuck one into your carry-on to pull out when you need it. We love Cabeau’s Midnight Magic Sleep Mask for its portability and custom fit. You won’t even know you’re under the sun with this little extra accessory on-hand.

7.   Quick-Dry Clothing

Deciding what to pack in terms of clothing can be a challenge, but we have one piece of advice that will save you a lot of time – and laundry! Pack items that are versatile, but more importantly, pack items that dry quickly. If you are going from the pool or hot tub to the dining lounge or bar, consider packing outfits that dry fast. Thinking about fabric and the weight of the garment will save you a lot of time, especially if you happen to be visiting areas that are more tropical.

Feeling cool, calm and ready to board? Now that you’ve checked off all the items on your cruise packing list, hop aboard and enjoy the ride. Not much beats the silent rumble in your cabin as you drift off to sleep asea, and perfectly relaxed. Get everything you need to prepare for your cruise at Cabeau.

Bon voyage!

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