Hi! I read a great book "The Essential Little Cruise Book" by Jim West ($7.95 at Borders) that gave me lots of very helpful information. Here is some of the info. he gave and also some other tib bits I have learned along the way: Of course you need a power strip, an extension cord, night light for the bathroom (one with an air freshener if possible), a underwater camera, playing cards, a pad of paper or Post-Its & pen if you have adjoining rooms or 4 in a cabin (so you can leave each other notes), a hi-lighter (to map out the next day's activities), walkie talkies, battery chargers (if needed), a battery operated alarm clock, extra clothes hangers, a travel iron (if allowed), hair dryer (if none are provided), curling iron, etc., at least $20 in one's for tips, small bills to purchase small items on ports of call (some merchants sometimes aren't able to make change for larger bills), prescription drugs for at least 1-½ weeks (pack a written list of meds. including the name, dosage, times taken in case they were to get lost – keep in separate place), a brief medical history from your dr. covering the last year if you have been treated for a serious condition, a trial size pkg. of laundry detergent in a zip-lock bag and a few quarters for self-serve laundry (if ship has one), antacids, diarrhea med., etc. Dramamine or ask your doctor for a patch for motion sickness in case the sea is rough (these work great), binoculars, a small first-aid kit (pack it in your bag for the ports-of-call), extra pair of glasses or contacts (I wear disposables), high SPF sunscreen and lip balm, aloe vera lotion, a hat is a must, dark sunglasses, water shoes to protect your feet from glass, sharp rocks, coral reef, etc. while on the beach and in the ocean, a bag for souveniers, pre-addressed labels, bungee cord (for balcony cabins), duct tape, extra zip-lock bags, bright beach towels, tags with address & phone number (preferably your work address/phone) for the inside of bags (also attach something bright and unusual to a couple of your checked bags so you can easily identify them when the cruise is over), a backpack for shore excursions, pre-moistened wipes for shore excursions (especially if you have kids!) a few bottles of water & soda for your cabin and to take on excursions or for use in the gym, work-out clothes/shoes, a sweater (in case it is cold on the ship) and don't forget your toiletries (pack them in zip-lock bags and make sure they aren't filled to the top), and last, but not least, your clothes, don't overpack, knits work great because you can roll them and they don't wrinkle too much, mix and match items and take shoes that will work with most of your outfits. I hope this was helpful. Bon Voyage!!
I am so glad I found this website/message board! I've been taking notes on what to bring and have to say all of your ideas are wonderful! I would've never thought to pack lights for the balcony (we're cruising with 2 other couples in November and their cabins are in close proximity to our cabin so it will be fun to have them decorate also!) Thanks again for all the ideas -
P.S. not sure if my clock is going to work, but I wanted to give it a try!
Sticky notes are great for communicating with your steward. If you have a good one, you might never lay eyes on him/her. If we need something, like extra towels or batteries for the tv remote, we leave a note. We also leave notes like, "Smile, you're appreciated!". I use them for myself and leave notes on the inside of the door so I remember spa appointments, bingo times, etc.
One thing I don't cruise without is a business card holder. You know the little leather ones with pockets on both sides of the inside?? I put my cruise card/photo ID on one side and $/credit card on the other for going ashore. This zips easily into the pocket of my tote bag and I don't have a wallet/purse to lug around. It also fits easily into a back pocket or evening bag with my cruise card/cash (for the casino) when I'm onboard. You can get these cheap ($2.49) at Staples.
I now know to take aspirin, we use Tylenol. On our last cruise DH had a wrist flare up with an arthritis type swelling and pain. Tylenol would not help, needed the anti-inflammatory aspirin, he had to suffer til we could get to a pharmacy in Acapulco. (The ship only stocked little two tablet packs for $$$$)
Bug spray for the Carribean. Parents-If you have children 5 and under worth taking a life jacket. You can actually enjoy the pool and the ocean. Moms were asking me to borrow it when my son wasn't using it. It may have taken up room, but I was glad I packed it.
Jinka, the walkie-talkies are super great idea! We were 7 in our group in Dec. 2002 on the Galaxy and it saved us so much running around trying to find members of our group. We occationally had to change frequencies as they are popular and others may be on your frequency of the day. We could even use them from ship to shore when our daughter was sunbathing at a hotel near the ship. Your 6 mile range ones are much better than ours, so take them!!
I had business card/calling cards printed up with my home address and email address. It's an easy way to exchange info with new friends at the end of the cruise. No more having to hand out my business address!
Re: Re: Re: What are the things you wish you brought?
wish i had brought more sweat pants and shorts (just got back from alaska last night-it was hotttttttttttttttttttttttttt). would not have brought more than one nice outfit-went to the dining room 2 times and couldnt deal with the slow service.
wish i had purchase more of the new TSA luggage locks-the one case that did'nt have one, which we sat and waited to have gone through, was told did not need to unlock for them and were sent on our way, was still DRILLED into (had to find a bolt cutter to open it for our use) and had multiple missing items upon our retieval at YVR. finaly found some in ketchican ace hardware for our return trip (NOTE: these are not sold outside the US as yet).
and finaly A BIG STICK-to shake at HAL personnel who were very unaccommodating & managed to leave ours (and many others) luggage at the pier rather than transporting them to YVR as contracted to (then said WE would have to pay for taxi to transport them).
a hair dryer...no dryer at all in the room on Paradise.????
an extra 2 piece swim suit and cover up. My suit never seemed to dry completely and I wore it alot- all day in Belize and all day in Grand Cayman. An extra coverup that looked less swim like would have come in handy, too.
Had a pair of Motorola walkie talkies on Golden Princess last year. They're FRS that doesn't require a Federal license and has a small (2 mile?) range. They did not work when we were on different deck. It could be it wasn't loud enough to be heard, and vibrate mode would be better, but otherwise, I think the decks prevented reception.
GMRS/FRS two-way radios with more than 22 channels do require a license, as it reserves and assigns the frequencies to the unit. GMRS are typically more expensive and sophisticated units used by field employees like in a hotel. Don't know if a cruise ship will use them. If the ship does, my guess is GMRS radios will work but you might intercept the ship's communication.
I'd like to see if GMRS work well on board, but it's really too expensive, and takes too much room just to find out it doesn't work.
A rain poncho, it rained so hard in Grand Cayman. It started to rain just after we boarded the tender boat to the Island. In the short trip, we were soaked and it continued to rain so we just headed back to the ship. We had been on the beach for a couple of hours earlier, but it had rained so we headed back to the ship, had lunch and were going back to shop. I don't think I have ever seen rain like that before.
An over the door valet. The plastic ones that hold 4-5 hangers at an angle. They are great for drying out wet swimsuits.
Personal cards with your name, telephone number and email address. That way you can hand them out to people you want to stay intouch with instead of scrambling for paper and pen. I ordered mine through Vistaprint.com for only $4.95.
Lights? Re: Re: What are the things you wish you brought?
can you elaborate on the light idea. I used to have those hanging colored lamps you plug in that you see on campgrounds-- can you expain further detail.
Battery, where and how did you hang them, and did they let you leave them up?
What do I wish I brought......actually nothing.....I believe I had everything with me and then some. I didn't use half of the stuff I brought. The people I was traveling with laughed at me and they hated to ask me if they thought I had something they needed...and I did. Next time I won't bring as much though.
One of those water safes-you can wear it around your neck and is watertight. When we go swimming at the beach, one of us has to stay behind to guard the money/credit cards, etc. With the safe, just toss in the stuff and off we all go! I got a waterproof housing for my digital camera as well so now I can take it underwater and get some great pics!
Other items we bring-Downy Wrinkle Release, power strip, nightlights (we get night blindness after coming out of a lit bathroom at night), extension cord, portable dvd player for our son, something to read out on the balcony while hes sleeping, walkie talkies (every time I leave ours at home thinking they wont work, then see everyone with them and kick myself. After losing my son and hubby last year, Im bringing them this time), ziplocs, post its, duct tape, tolietry bag that hangs, biz cards made on the computer for handing out, storage bags for packing (you roll them to squeeze the air out, or I borrow a hose vacuum to suck the air out and it compresses everything-warning-you can then get more things in but it will weigh more too!). child size first aid supplies/medicines since they can be hard to find on board, beach bag, beach toys, life jacket, and new toys for dinner time for our son
Alison--where did you get a waterproof housing for your digital camera? I would love to take my digital, but am afraid of ruining it. Did the housing work? Is it only for a specific brand or can you get them for any camera. Any info would be appreciated. Thanks!
Can you tell me where you purchased the "water safe" that you wore around your neck. My husband and I are going on our first cruise in about 3 and 1/2 weeks to the Western Caribbean and I was quite concerned about how we were going to go swimming and keep our money, cruise card, etc dry.
3M makes "static cling" plastic sheets that adhear to almost any wall [door] surface. They are used in lectures/presentations and are written upon using magic markers, erasable pens, crayons, etc. The roll/fold up to very small dimentions. Basically it gives you a message board that can be greetings to neighbors or messages for family members.
In a pinch you can use the white plastic garbage can liners. They don't "static cling" as well but can be written upon using magic markers.
We were on the inside passage cruise on the Diamond Princess last May. We were also on a balcony on the Caribe deck and I didn't find any need for duct tape. My husband & his brother took the Mendenhall Glacier helicopter tour in Juneau and raved about it; it was pricey but they thought it was a great experience. We did the White Pass Scenic Railway tour in Skagway and highly recommend it. In Ketchikan we did the Great Alakan Lumberjack show and really enjoyed it. Though we booked it on the ship, I think we could have just walked over there after we disembarked and bought tickets since we could see it from our balcony and it was a short walk. It's a beautiful ship and I know you'll enjoy it. Have fun!
Re: Re: Re: What are the things you wish you brought?
I found a watersafe at my local bathing suit store. Frankly, it was the only thing I felt good about upon leaving! They were just sitting in a basket on the counter.
I used this thread for helping me to pack on my last cruise. It was very helpful then and I'm delighted to see that it is still going strong as I prepare for my next cruise. One thing I didn't remember last time was aloe. I remembered the suntan lotion however my husband always misses a spot and ends up with an awful burn. We ended up having to buy two bottles on the ship and they were extremely expensive!!