7 Cruise Packing Mistakes Everyone Makes (and How to Avoid Them) - Cruise with Leo

7 Cruise Packing Mistakes Everyone Makes (and How to Avoid Them)

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Cruise packing mistakes

Over the years, we have often talked about cruise luggage.
We’ve looked at what to pack, what to bring in your carry-on luggage, and what are the essential items you must not forget.

However, I noticed that there are some very common mistakes among cruise ship passengers. Everyone makes them: from those going on a cruise for the first time, to more experienced cruise passengers.

For this reason, I decided to create a list of the mistakes that almost everyone makes, so that you can understand what they are and avoid them when packing your suitcase for your next cruise.

1. Overpacking

Overpacked suitcase
Overpacked suitcase

I think overpacking is one of the most common mistakes ever. Almost all the cruise passengers I’ve talked to have told me that, at least once, they brought many more clothes than they actually needed.

I know it can be tempting to add more clothes to your suitcase but try to contain yourself.

Try to make an estimate of the clothes you will need, based on the number of days of the cruise, and adhere to the plan.

Usually, one T-shirt (or one top) per day is sufficient, while for bottoms, you can plan for one every other day.

2. Bringing new shoes

Travel shoes
Travel shoes

Another widespread mistake is to bring a completely new pair of shoes that you have never worn.

Many people, knowing that they have to go on a trip, go shopping and buy new clothes to wear for their cruise.

This unfortunately doesn’t work for shoes, especially shoes you will wear to go on an excursion.

New shoes, at first, can hurt your feet and may require time to adjust to the shape of your body.

For this reason, I always recommend bringing a pair of sneakers that you have already used and know is comfortable even after many hours of walking.

3. Packing clothes from only one season

Clothes in a cruise closet
Clothes in a cruise closet

Cruises are not like ordinary vacations when you go to a place and spend several days there.

In this case, you will visit several different places and the weather can easily change from one to another.

Therefore, the mistake you should not make is to bring clothes that are only good for one season.

I usually do this: I bring at least a couple of clothes from the next season than the main one.

For example, if I travel in summer, I bring all summer clothes and add two fall clothes that will be needed if some days are colder than usual.

The other tip is to choose clothes that can be worn in layers, one on top of the other. For example, opt for blazers, cardigans, and jackets.

I would also like to remind you that some clothes are prohibited on cruises. Check the article on the things not to wear on a cruise.

4. Packing prohibited items

Confiscated items at cruise port
Confiscated items at the cruise port

As I have said several times before, some things are forbidden on a cruise.

You can imagine what these items are, usually all those that are dangerous, sharp, flammable, or can be used as a weapon.

I would also remind you that you cannot bring irons, candles, illegal substances, and similar things.

For more information, look at why you can be denied boarding on a cruise.

5. Forgetting the slippers for the cabin or the pool

MSC Slippers
MSC Slippers

One thing that I have forgotten more than once, I don’t know if it is the same for you, is slippers that can be used in the cabin, at the pool, or at the beach.

Last time, when I was packing my suitcase, I was only thinking about shoes to wear for excursions and during the evening, and I completely forgot to include a pair of flip-flops.

6. Bringing travel adapters

Cruise travel adapter
Cruise travel adapter

Another mistake I often see is bringing adapters to charge electronic devices.

In reality, modern cruise ships have various types of international outlets and even some USB ports to charge cell phones and other devices that use that type of standard.

Plus, before you depart, you can look at the outlets you will find on the ship so that you can check whether you need an adapter or a power strip.

You can find details for Royal Caribbean in this post:

7. Forgetting Essentials

Cruise essentials
Cruise essentials

Let’s finish this list with the last big mistake: forgetting the essentials!

Keep in mind that, when you are packing your suitcase, there are some things that you can forget at home, it won’t be a big deal. On the other hand, some things are foundational, and you absolutely cannot leave them behind.

For example, on the list of essentials, you will find personal documents, without which you will not be able to board the ship.

You should also pack any daily medications, as they can be difficult to obtain while traveling.

For all the other things, check the list of the 20 cruise essentials that you should always bring on a cruise.


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