“To Err is Human; to Forgive, divine”, to forget something when you go on vacation is sometimes par for the course. One of my favorite sitcoms over the past few years has been ABC’s “The Middle“. This is a show about a family living in the middle of the US and the trials and tribulations they go through. One of the running jokes in the show is that whenever they go on vacation or on a car trip is that they will always forget the “Blue Snack Bag” and leave it on the kitchen table, in the driveway, or somewhere else. They even try changing the color of the bag, and they still forget it. Well, we all have a “blue snack bag” sometimes, that item we tend to forget when we go someplace. So we thought we would put together a list of the top 10 items that people quite often forget when they go on a cruise.
Top 10 Items People Forget to Pack!
1. Passport/Travel Documents
This is one of the top items you DON’T want to forget! Yes, you can cruise to some locations (Canada for instance) with just your birth certificate, but I truly believe it is better to travel with a passport. It is more accepted worldwide, easier to keep track of, and it is much easier to replace if you lose it.
You also should remember to have in your carryon all of your travel documents. This would include any boarding documents you may have received from the cruise line or your travel agent, but also a list of your reservation confirmation numbers, emergency telephone numbers (suppliers, hotels, transfers, your travel agent, etc.), itineraries, and any other paperwork you may need. Keep this paperwork handy so you can find it quickly at the pier.
Can you buy sunscreen on the ship? Yes. Do you want to buy sunscreen on the ship? NO! It is expensive, and you won’t have any choices. Buy the sunscreen that you know works for your skin and pocketbook! Save that extra cash for the casino!
3. Water shoes/Sunglasses/Towel
In other words, “Pool Items”. Even if you are going on an Alaska Cruise, you may want to sit by the pool. We went on an Alaska cruise in the late summer of 2017. It rained the entire time we were in Alaska (we still LOVED the cruise, rain and all!). On our last day, the sun came out and we spent a few wonderful hours up on the pool deck enjoying the sun, eating pizza and desserts, and talking with friends. We were happy we had our favorite deck shoes and sunglasses. And some people want their favorite beach towel (though it isn’t needed, the cruise line will have towels you can use).
4. Daily Use Items
These are items like medications, extra contact lenses, toiletry items, etc. Except for medications and contact lenses, you can get most things on the ship. Now, you might be able to work out getting some medications at a port of call, but don’t count on it. When I was in Anchorage, Alaska a few years ago, I had forgotten one of my medications. I wasn’t on a ship, and it still took me more than 1/2 the day to get the prescription transferred to a pharmacist there. Make a list now and put it in your toiletries bag so you can double check while you are getting packed.
5. Sea Sick Medication/Motion Sickness Devices
Take a couple of different types of medication or devices so you can have choices when you are on board. If it is your first cruise, take some pills or something like the
6. Electronic items/Binoculars
Don’t forget your phone, tablets, computers, etc., if you want to take them. I like to take my phone, camera, and maybe a tablet for reading my books (easier than taking a number of books for me). Don’t forget all the charging cords as well that you will need for these items. I have also added binoculars to this list. It doesn’t matter if you are going to Alaska, the Mediterranean, or Baja California, you are going someplace beautiful! Take a small set of binoculars so you can see the wildlife and locations better.
7. Stateroom Items/Money belt/Lanyard
I’m going to be doing a post soon on the items we always take with us on a cruise to help us organize our stateroom better. I’ll add a link once it is posted. Some of the items are pens, paper, post-it notes, highlighters, magnet clips, shoe organizer, extra hangers, etc. These are all things we like to have with us. Also included would be items like a power strip so you can plug in all your devices (a lot of cabins might only have one plug in the entire room), USB chargers, small alarm clock, etc. Also, think about taking a money belt or a neck lanyard that you can carry cash, your passport, cruise card (how you unlock your stateroom door), pen, etc. We like this one with a clear window so our cruise card is visible without needing to take it out every time we need to show it, but it hides under my shirt when I am in port pretty easily.
I know your asking, “Bil, isn’t the food free on the ship?” Yes, yes it is, I’m talking about getting to the ship, and maybe for getting home. You’ll want to have snacks on the plane, in the airport, at the pier while you are waiting to get on the ship, etc. Also, on some ships, they will allow you to take on a 12-pack of canned soda, or maybe a bottle of wine. Ask us what your ship will allow and we’ll get you set.
9. First Aid Kit/Sewing Kit
I wouldn’t go on any trip without a small first-aid kit and/or a sewing kit. Now all ships have a medical center on them, and they are great, but if you need just a bandage or something quick, it would be much better to have it in your stateroom than have to possibly pay for it. Also, a small sewing kit can come in very handy when a button falls off right before dinner.
10. Open Mind & A Sense of Adventure
And most importantly, don’t forget to travel with an open mind, and expect and look for the unexpected. Travel is not perfect. Don’t worry about the little things, we can take care of the little things. If it’s raining, good, there will be fewer people out. We were in Juneau, Alaska last year and had an excursion to the Mendenhall Glacier. It was cold and very rainy. Did that stop us? Not at all. We came prepared, got a little bit wet (ok, a lot wet), but we had a great time, saw some amazing sites, and met a couple from North Carolina that happened to be on our ship, and we spent a lot of time with the rest of the cruise. If we had let the rain deter our plans, we would have never seen the most amazing glacier, nor met Todd & Rodney! Never let the weather stop you!
Now there are many other things you shouldn’t forget like pants, shoes, underwear, etc., but these are things we think are important enough to make sure they are on the list! Let us know if you would like help not only planning your next vacation