What to Pack for a Caribbean Cruise

Cruising has long been renowned as being a prudent packer’s nightmare. With formal, informal and downright casual activities aboard it makes for a confusion of clothing in one’s luggage. Not to mention the aggressive air conditioning in the dining rooms and balmy temperatures on the deck and on land, packing for a Caribbean cruise has plenty of challenges.

With a few key pieces, however, and some simple packing tips, it is simple to fit everything you need for a weeklong Caribbean break.

The first rule of thumb is to pack multi-tasking items. Make sure cover-ups like cardigans or light jackets go with 2-3 shirts or tank tops in your stock so you have multiple options for dining in the chilly air conditioning. For formal events pack dresses that can double as day wear. Solid color, wearable fabrics can be easily dressed up with jewelry for more formal events and dressed down with casual sandals for day activities.

When it comes to shorts, ladies don’t over pack short shorts. They are only appropriate for day excursions, and putzing around during the day. Capris or loose fitting pants are often more appropriate for land activities like zip-lining or hiking (to keep the mosquitoes at bay). For resort casual events, skirts or dresses are far more appropriate than teeny tiny shorts and can double as casual and formal wear.

For the formal evenings, leave the silk numbers at home. These are best approached with long or short cotton, flowy dresses or pants with a silky top. All of these pieces can be double duty by being a formal outfit one night and then dressed down for a day of shopping.

Don’t forget a floppy hat! Not only do they protect your face from the harsh Caribbean sun, they compliment just about every outfit and look great in pictures! A super casual dress is automatically dressed up a notch with pretty cream hat.

Finally, footwear, this is a place that is easy to over pack. Keep it to 3-4 pairs and you should be just fine! Pack a pair of sneakers that work both for the gym and for heavy walking days. When it comes to sandals, try to limit it to one pair that work for the pool and for casual dining events and then maybe a slightly more dressy option as a second pair. Finally, coordinate your formal wear so you can wear the same pair of dressier shoes with each outfit.

There you have it, packing for a Caribbean cruise doesn’t have to be a vacation buster. With these simple tricks and tips, you can get everything into one suitcase and still have everything you need to dress appropriately for your tropical vacation.

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