For me, the goal of a cruise vacation is to relax. The movement of the ship, the sound of the water, the smell of the sea, and the ability to completely disconnect from the internet all lead me to a state of tranquility that no other style of vacation provides. One of the ways I can clear my mind before this trip is to make sure that I’ve packed everything I need for a comfortable cruise.
Pack What You Need to Keep Your Body Happy
When you’re on a cruise, you can’t just dash out to the local convenience store or pharmacy. Sure, there’s a little shop on most ships that carry essential supplies. However, these little stores are crazy expensive and only offer a carefully curated selection of items. Basically, you want to have everything you simply can’t survive without. Here are the five things I always pack to take on a cruise.
Heated tiled loungers in the Spa on the Holland America Westerdam
Pack Bottles for Hot and Cold Beverages
On a cruise, there’s plenty to eat and drink. However, I find that the cups and glasses are often quite small. So if you are an avid water drinker like me, you will want to bring a water bottle to always have a beverage nearby. I’m also a coffee drinker, and so I bring an insulated travel mug so I can carry it with me around the ship. BUT to be TRUELY extra, I also will take a tea mug with me too. I keep my water, tea, and coffee separated or everything will wind up tasting like coffee. Yes, it’s true! I often have three empty bottles or mugs in my suitcase. The mug below started in the tiny town of Burnham on Sea in the UK and made it all the way to Puerta Vallarta, Mexico, but sadly, it finally cracked and had to be decommissioned!
Pack Enough OTC Medicine for the WHOLE trip
While I’m traveling on land, I only carry a small amount of my medicine cabinet necessities because I know I can easily dash over to a store. I only need about three days of any particular thing. So I figure I only really need a few tablets of cold meds, allergy pills, pain relievers, etc. Just enough to make me feel well enough to get to the nearest pharmacy. You may have seen this in a previous post.
However, when I’m taking a cruise vacation, I try to take “enough.” That’s three rolls of antacids, not one, a full week’s worth of cold medicine, and enough antihistamines for every day of the trip. This may mean taking a second container like the one above or picking up some supplemental items in blister packs and tucking them into a makeup bag. This might seem like overkill, but after suffering through a ship-board cold, I try to always be prepared. If I had to buy another pill box today, I would pick up this one.
Take an Ice Bag
After a 30+ year dance career, I find myself reaching for ice for a knee or ankle on a regular basis. At home, I like to use reusable ice packs that I keep ready and to hand in the freezer. When on a cruise, I reach for my trusty ice bag. Once I found myself using a leaky zip-top plastic bag to ice my knee, and I vowed never again! So now I always take along an ice-bag! This one on Amazon is similar to the one I picked up a few years ago in the UK.
Bring Spare Glasses
Another lesson I learned the hard way is traveling with a spare pair of glasses. I’ve always been slightly far-sighted and for years, I only needed glasses for long reading sessions. However, now that I’m out of my “Fuzzy 40’s” I can’t read a menu without a pair of reading glasses. These days, I buy tri-focal readers and I always travel with a pair in each of my two bags. One will be in a protective case in my large bag, and one will be quick to hand in my tote or backpack. I also take bi-focal sunglasses for reading my phone when outside in bright light.
Pack Your Essential Fitness Tools
Sure, there’s a track for walking and running. There’s going to be a fitness center too. But every day at home I’m reaching for my strech-out strap and my neck massage ball. I want to keep my body as fit and as comfortable as possible. So along with visits to the spa, adventures in ports, and dancing until dawn, I can always treat my body with a little extra care and consideration.