Monday, July 10, 2017

Blog With Friends, July 2017: Cruise Packing Tips

Welcome to July's Edition of Blog With Friends!! 

Our last cruise was wonderful, but I needed to jot down some notes to remember for the next cruise in four years. Four years is a long way from now and I am bound to forget something before then! You are more than welcome to apply these tips to yourself as you see fit.

Eileen, pack light, but don't make it so you have to do laundry! The Carnival Magic is a huge ship that carries 3,800 guests. It only has THREE laundry facilities on board, and they are small. You were fortunate enough to get to the laundry room on Deck 2 just as someone was finishing up a load; you may not have that kind of luck next time. And if you happen to cruise on a smaller ship, you could find that there are fewer laundry rooms on board.

Eileen, do yourself a favor and make sure that each person only packs one suitcase (24" or less) and a carry-on. Getting on the ship isn't a big deal because you hand all of your checked luggage off to the porters (for $1 per bag tip) before you get on the ship. However, when you get off the ship, you have to claim your luggage before you go through Customs...that line is long! When you had four people to carry 7 or 8 pieces of luggage, it was stressful. Sure, there are porters there that could put your luggage on a cart, but they were busy and you would have had to wait a while for one, not to mention the cost of tipping the porter.

Eileen, while we are talking about luggage, invest in luggage tag holders that will hold the cruise line luggage tags, since Boo's fell off her suitcase before it ever made it to her room, despite the fact that you stapled it on there instead of taping it. If you hadn't seen it on the cart, going down the hall, it would have been a while before Boo had her suitcase because you would have had to track it down. 

Eileen, pack for comfort because you will gain weight on the ship. Think elastic waists, or like your friend did, soft and stretchy cotton dresses. Do not restrict your waist or anything else. You will do a LOT of walking and stairs (which still puzzles me as to how you gained weight) and you will be served a three-course meal every time you opt to dine in the dining room (that could be why). Don't forget the Elegant Dress Nights though. Some people were VERY spiffed up. Despite the dresses you packed, you didn't feel dressed-up enough.

Speaking of dining...opt for the early dining because it was after 10 p.m. before you were done with dinner and dessert. You missed all of the good shows and stuff! Plus there's the fact that you were going to bed not long after, that's probably another reason why you gained weight.

Eileen, remember the things you packed because you thought you might need them, but never used? Like the rain ponchos and the binoculars. Four rain ponchos (bought from the Dollar Tree) and three pairs of binoculars were unpacked, but never used, taking up space in the small cabin. There was also the four paperbacks you took to read but never cracked open. You were either having fun on the ship or succumbing to fatigue due to the anti-nausea pills you had to take. You did use your tablet once or twice. If you feel you cannot live without books, make sure that you have plenty downloaded to your Kindle app.

However, remember the things you wish you had packed. A hat and a small purse to carry the couple of things you carry with you at all times (phone, Chapstick). That wind blew your hair around your face and it was too short to put in a pony tail (another note to self: grow hair long enough for a pony tail before the next cruise!)

Eileen, figure out something for your hairy legs, other than shaving with a razor and shaving cream. Those showers are too small for you to try to shave your legs in, not to mention trying to maintain balance on a swaying ship. Not every trip is as rocky as your first one was, but we don't want any cuts, do we? Think about investing in a new wet/dry shaver. Then you can sit on the toilet or anywhere, really, and shave your legs. Better yet, maybe you could invest in a wax job before you go.

Eileen, you might want to consider taking more pictures next time you go on a cruise so you have some great pictures for your blog!!

Now for the other great posts!

Karen at Baking in a Tornado made Spicy Broccoli Slaw and Chicken Salad

Lydia at Cluttered Genius Repurposed a Porch Door and it turned out really cool!

Kia at Think in English shows us some Hot Fun! Activities that Keep Your English Classes Laughing and Learning! 

Dawn at Spatulas on Parade had a Mother Daughter craft day turning ordinary clay pots into lighted lighthouse porch decorations.

Southern Belle Charm shows us how to make a Red, White, and Blue wreath.

Rabia at The Leiber Family shows us how to have some Backyard Fun in the Summer.


  1. Those are great tips. I have never been on a cruise as a passenger but I worked on 2 different ships for over a year so I have been on lots of cruises serving food and washing sheets. I totally agree with you about the elastic waist bands. I have never served so much food in my life. I can only imagine as a passenger how easy it would be to eat in excess every day between the biscuits and gravy for breakfast (one of my favorites) to the midnight buffet.

    I am glad you had a great time!

    1. Wow, you worked on a ship?! That had to have been a hard job with long hours...

  2. Great advice, both for yourself and especially for those cruising for the first time. I do love your last one best. More pictures!

    1. I really wish I had taken pics of the cabin and stuff. No idea why I didn't. Most of my pics were taken of scenery.

  3. LOL! I love all the towel creations and the reason you have them!! I bought a bunch of sundresses for my last beach trip and that's all I wore. They were very forgiving!

    1. I was thinking maxi dresses. I have a fear of the wind blowing up my skirt in front of everyone on the ship, lol!

  4. I have been looking at a cruise for a while now. Thank you for this, I will change my packing idea. LOL

  5. This is an awesome list. I've never actually been on a cruise, but we keep kicking the idea around. Thanks!

    1. That was our first cruise and I loved it, especially the port at Grand Turk!