Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Cruise Travel: Planning & Packing & Lists


Before you break out the suitcases and affix the luggage tags, you need to decide what to pack for your cruise. That doesn't sound difficult, but it can make or break your trip, especially if you forget something essential.

I became a confirmed packing list maker following my very first cruise on the SS Norway. I forgot one little grooming aid that I really really needed—my tweezers. One of my tablemates forgot to bring her hairdryer. We were both able to find suitable replacements ashore but we spent two days at sea before arriving in port where we could shop for them.

Aha! A light went on in my brain! If I had a checklist, I would be less likely to leave something out of my suitcase. What simplicity... why hadn't anyone thought of it before? Mind you, this was twenty-five years ago, the Internet was in its infancy, and there were no cruise-specific packing lists making the rounds. No lists at ALL, in fact. So I devised one with everything I could think of and, when fellow cruisers on Prodigy, AOL, CompuServe, and the newsgroup (remember them?) heard about it, my email box was flooded with requests for "the packing list." Now, mind you, it contains just about everything anyone would need so there are many items you can just cross off.

Thus, my web site was originally created to share the packing lists! A new career was born and I now lecture on ships about packing light. Yes... it's true! I can pack everything I need for a two week cruise in an airline regulation size carry-on and my backpack purse.

A cruise is unlike a resort vacation. There's no local supermarket or drugstore to pop into when you need something. Although many ships stock a variety of sundries these days, they can cost considerably more than comparable items at home.

I hope the lists and articles linked from the Packing & Lists page on the Cruise Diva website are helpful to you. If so, let me know. If you have a suggestion, I'd love to hear that as well.

Bon Voyage!
Linda Coffman, the Cruise Diva (& Packing Guru)

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