Over our dozens of cruises we've continued to gain new insights and little tips and tricks for what to pack for our getaways. Over the years, we are constantly seeking ways to make our little cabins as comfy and efficient as possible.
Here are some of the top packing tips -- some less-than-obvious-items to bring along -- that can help you have a better adventure. Help out your fellow travelers by adding some of your best advice in the comments below.
1. Magnet hooks -- Did you know that the walls of your ship are magnetized? You can use this fact to carve out some more space in your quarters. Use magnets with hooks to hang wet clothing and hold other items so that you don't have to toss them on the floor, bed or chairs.
2. Over-the-door organizer -- Get a multipocketed shoe organizer than takes up little space in your luggage but creates a tidy look to your cabin. Don't fill them with shoes; there's plenty of room in closets for those. Instead, use the little mesh pockets to store all sorts of stuff that you don't want to lose but need access to quite regularly on your cruise. Sunglasses, lotions, makeup, cabin keycards, etc. We drape the device over our bathroom door so we can use it when we pass by on our way into and out of our stateroom.
3. Mini alarm clock -- We've never been in a cruise ship cabin that has had a clock. If you want to know what time it is if you happen to stir in the middle of the night in your dark stateroom, you're going to need a clock. You also need a way to wake up on time if you have plans for the morning. You could use your smartphone for these functions, but depending on your service plan, you might be wary of risking roaming charges at sea by keeping your phone on all the time. My wife likes having the mini clock so she can to roll over and glimpse the time without much effort.
4. Tiny flashlight/night light -- It gets really dark in your cabin at night. It can be very handy to have a night light or tiny flash light to give a little glow to find your way in case you have to get up and go. We also have left the bathroom light on with the bathroom door open a crack to throw us some light in the room, but perhaps you don't like even that much light when you sleep. This also is not the most energy-friendly option.
5. Post-Its -- These sticky note papers are useful for leaving messages on the cabin doors of your friends and family members who are on the cruise with you. Just stick up a note on your door or theirs to let them know where you are and for how long you'll be there. We also use Post-Its to leave messages for our cabin stewards if we have any special requests.
6. Clothes detergent -- Pack a travel-size package of detergent and give your socks, underwear or bathing suit a wash during your sailing. This is especially prudent during a sailing of more than a week. You will be able to pack your suitcases more lightly when you can wash some of your clothes items in the sink or shower during your trip. We also bring along a length of bungee cord (you can stretch it out anywhere to create a clothesline) and some clothes pins to hang the items to dry. All these sundries store neatly in the over-door organizer we discussed above.
7. Well-packed carry-on bag -- On embarkation day, you might aim to get on the ship ASAP so you can start enjoying the buffet lunch, swimming pool, hot tubs and more. But you won't be lugging around all your luggage. If you leave your bags curbside before you enter the ship, you might not meet up with your suitcases for a few hours as they make their way to your cabins. Smartly pack a carry-on or backpack with sunscreen, camera equipment, bathing suits, book, magazine and anything else you might want as you pass the time on deck or in a lounge. This gives you a jump on your vacation. Hey, every moment counts. You deserve it!
Let us all know some of your tips and tricks in the comments section below.
As always, thanks for reading.