It is officially vacation season! (yayy). My personal favorite way to vacation is taking a cruise. There is nothing like being in the middle of the blue ocean on a gigantic ship that has more luxuries than I could ever dream of with endless food & drinks. I also feel like its the best bang for your buck in my opinion.
So, before I get into this post I am going to give a quick little run down for anyone who has never been on a cruise. (If you know how this works, just go ahead and skip down to my first point) When boarding the ship you have the option of either checking your luggage or carrying on your luggage. Trust me when I say, check your luggage! When you get on the ship your room will not be ready yet. Its really no big deal because this gives you time to check out the ship and grab some lunch. However, since your room will not be open yet, you will be responsible for carrying around everything you carry onto the ship. So, if you carry on your large suitcase then you are going to have to lug it around the ship, up the stairs or on the elevators, and through the buffet. You don’t want to do this!
When you check your luggage, you will check it before you ever board the ship & then your luggage will be placed right in front of your room’s door a few hours later. This is super nice with zero hassle, however, this means you will be multiple hours without your things.
Now we get to the purpose of this post…. a carry on! Pretty much the same concept as a carry on for a plane. What you have in your carry on will be the only things you have access to for hours. I personally use a backpack as my carry on bag for a cruise because it allows me to be completely hands free as I get food, drinks, & explore the ship.
So here is what I keep in my carry on:
Like I said before, once you check your luggage, you will not get your bags for a few hours so if you want to hit the pool you should back a suit in your carry on to change into. If you’re anything like me, grabbing a chair by the pool or hopping in the hot tub is one of the firs things I want to do! (other than eat of course)
I keep my camera in my carry on for two reasons. The first reason being incase I want to use it, and the second reason is because I don’t want it thrown around in my checked luggage. The workers can be a little rough with your bags so I would advise against putting any breakables in your checked baggage, unless you have them properly protected.
Side note: The camera pictured above is a really awesome water proof camera that I highly recommend! It takes great quality photos and stays charged forever. I love to take it with me when I snorkle. If you’re interested, I put the link below.
Phone Charger (& camera, watch, etc. chargers)
Once again, like I’ve said multiple times, you won’t have your luggage for hours & there is nothing worse than your phone dying and not having access to a charger. I personally also keep my camera charger and any other charger I need on my carry on also, just incase I would need it before my bags are delivered to my room.
Star, highlight, & circle this one!! This is a must have! You will be separated from your baggage before you get checked in and get your sign & sail/seapass/whatever card, and in order to get your card, you must have your passport and ID. It would be a disaster if you left this in your checked bags.
If you have any medicine at all, keep it in your carry on. The obvious reason given you need to use it, but also incase (heaven forbid) your luggage would get lost or some insane situation like that. You can’t run to the pharmacy and grab some more.
If you plan on hanging out by the pool until your room is ready, don’t forget your sunscreen! I usually just bring a small travel size lotion in my carry on to use by the pool the first day and keep my bigger bottles in my suitcase.
I keep my makeup in my carry on because after a day of traveling, loading/unloading luggage, standing in line in the heat, and the hustle and bustle of it all, I am going to need to freshen up. I typically just throw my foundation, mascara, and lipgloss in my carry on and leave the rest in my luggage.
In general, any valuables you have, I would put in your carry on. I want my most important things with me at all times.
Don’t forget your sunnies & hat!
One last thing: just remember that you will be carrying this bag around with you for a few hours and although there are things you need during those hours, there are also things you won’t need. A mistake I made on my very first cruise was bringing a huge, heavy carry on. I threw a ton of unnecessary stuff in my carry on and then had to lug it all over the ship. By the time our room was ready, my shoulder was in serious pain.
I hope you find this post helpful for your next cruise vacation! Like I said in the beginning, cruising is my favorite vaca so if you have any questions or would like any other posts about cruising, let me know in the comments!