Cruise Tip Tuesday | Packing Light – Women’s Edition

89/365 Mar 30, 2011

We as a family have become lighter packers on recent trips, and I wanted to share a few ideas for women.  To read a bit about our recent packing and my tips for men, check out last week’s post Packing Light – Men’s Edition.

My tips are just suggestions.  I am by no means a fashionista nor an accessory or make-up girl.  If you are one of these, then your packing list would be different.  This list is based on a warm weather 7 night cruise.

Women’s Cruise Packing List:

  • 4+ Capri’s – Seriously, capri’s can be worn all day AND to the dining room on non-formal nights.  They are not too hot for summer and they are fairly modest – appropriate for most cultures.  If you are comfortable wearing them more than once, pack less than 1 for each day.  If you prefer skirts, feel free to pack those instead.  Just remember it is windy outside on the upper decks of the ship!  You could pack shorts instead of capri’s, but you will need to change before dinner into pants or a skirt unless you eat at the buffet for dinner.
  • 6-7 short sleeve tops - Casual shirts that mix and match with your capri’s and can be worn all day.
  • 1 beach day oufit or cover-up – I usually go with a t-shirt and shorts over my swimsuit, but feel free to pack a simple cover-up.
  • 1 skirt -  I like to have at least one basic summery skirt to wear to dinner if my capri’s get dirty or if I wore shorts that day.  It is best to pick a solid that can match any of your tops.
  • 1-2 pants (optional) – It could be nice to have some casual pants for dinner, especially if you have a toddler or baby that might stain your capri’s during the day.
  • 1 formal dress or outfit - Pick one that does not wrinkle easily as irons are not usually easily available.  You will often have 2 formal nights on a 7 day cruise.   My mom usually packs Chico’s Travelers items that she can mix and match and add a few accessories such as a scarf and jewerly to make them more formal.  There are definitely less expensive versions, so just keep a look out.
  • 1 cardigan sweater or similar -  It can get pretty cold in the dining rooms and theater at night.  Pick a solid basic one such as white or black.  I am pretty casual and usually just wear a light-weight jacket if I am cold.
  • 1 swimsuit - hand wash in the bathroom sink and hang to dry overnight.  If it is not dry by the time you need it, blow dry it for a few minutes.
  • Undergarments and socks/pantyhose- Pick what is best for you.  Remember that you can hand wash them – probably best to do it in the evening after turn down service, and hang them to dry overnight.  That way the room steward will not see them!  Consider packing some older undergarments that you could throw away once worn.  This will allow for a little extra room to pack some souvenirs for the return home.
  • Sandals – I pick sandals that can be appropriate for the beach, pool, and dinner with capri’s, a skirt, or a dress.
  • Sneakers – You do not need to “pack” them per se if you wear them onto the ship.  You will want them for the long walks and excursions.  They are not usually appropriate for dinner in the dining rooms.
  • Dress shoes (optional) – I prefer to just pack nice sandals, but if you want to be really formal on formal nights feel free to pack some.
  • Casual flats (optional) – Probably would look better at dinner with pants and some capri’s than sandals, I personally do not bother packing them.
  • Toiletries – I won’t tell you what to bring.  Just please remember that you will be provided with some sort of soap or body wash as well as shampoo.  If you want to pack just a carry-on, remember that you can pack 1 quart ziploc per person with bottles of toiletries up to 3 ounces in size.  Definitely take into account that the weather is usually quite humid in warmer climates and your hair might frizz and your face might get oily.
  • Medicines – Obviously pack any medications you need, but also consider some basics such as anti-diarrhea meds, a pain reliever/fever reducer, and an antacid.  Motion sickness pills (Dramamine or generic) are available free of charge – usually at one of the main desks such as the purser or similar.  The medical center is extrememly expensive, so back some basics of your own.
  • Don’t forget your water bottle and beach tote.

If you wear capri’s, pants, or a skirt onto the ship you will be set for dinner the first night.  If you wear shorts, you might prefer to change into something more formal, though the first night is usually okay to not follow the rules as not everyone gets their luggage in time.  Finally, remember you can wear what you want the last morning of the cruise.  So, pack what you will need to wear once you get home.

I would love to hear some of my readers’ thoughts.  If you have some tips, feel free to share them in the comments.

photo credit: becca.peterson26

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