Essentials To Pack For A Cruise

Essentials To Pack For A Cruise
What would you choose as your top ten items to bring on vacation? What if it’s a cruise? We’ve done several cruises on the Windstar Cruise Line, which are the perfect size ship for us. Less than 200 passengers. They can get closer into small ports…which is great… but don’t have the resources and shopping opportunities that are aboard the huge ships.

Cruising Mediterranean


There are several essentials that I never go on vacation without. But for a cruise…that list becomes more  critical  because you’re on the move…almost constantly…often in exotic places.
kindle paperwhite
1-  A Kindle Paperwhite loaded with several new books I’ve been anxious to read. At home my preference is paper & ink books. But for travel, the Kindle is far more convenient. I can also download other books anywhere I find wifi. It’s not always easy to find a book you want to read, written in English, in a foreign speaking port.
La Roche-Posey sunscreen
2-  Multiple bottles and brands of sunscreen. I had melanoma in my late 30’s so I take my sunscreen very, very seriously.  These are some of my current favorites. The La Roche-Posay is a physical block, but virtually invisible on the skin. Most mineral sunscreens are nasty white pasty things. Not this one! The Shisedo one is a combination mineral/chemical sunscreen and also very clear upon application. I always keep this Neutrogena stick in my purse…for instant back of hand protection.
polarized sunglasses
3-  I always bring at least one extra pair of prescription glasses and prescription sunglasses. Obviously, they couldn’t be replaced on a cruise and my trip would be worthless ruined if I’d only brought one pair and they broke or were lost. Another benefit is the ability…along with my hats and accessories…to make the same black dress look different.
4-  I like to bring an over-the-door toiletries holder/organizer. A clear over-the-door shoe organizer works just as easily. Counter space is usually quite minimal on cruises unless you’re traveling Silversea or equivalent.
5-  For a cruise I like this hat from Coolibar because the brim is wide and the strap will keep it on my head in a strong wind. Mine is the far one you see in this photo in cream. I stack multiple hats inside each other and pack them upside down in my suitcase.
6-  This is coming with me every time I travel from now on. I can’t take credit for finding it. That goes to our always inspiring and brilliant friend Slim Paley. I was guilty of bringing a far inferior product until she mentioned this in her latest post. Thank you Slim! My alternative was pathetic.
Wardrobe Workhorse
7-  A black Jersey Dress…the workhorse of my travel wardrobe! I’d bring at least one.
7-  My cell phone. Ugly as it looks and sounds…all my contacts’ information is stored on it. Plus it’s smaller and lighter than my camera so I’m more likely to take it everywhere. My camera is a heavy production to haul around, so I frequently leave it behind.
8-  Although I don’t do water, I would bring a bathing suit. I don’t sunbathe, I don’t swim and I don’t use public hot tubs…but for a cruise, I would always bring a couple of bathing suits.
9-  A beautiful caftan to slip into at the end of the day. Loose fitting and elegant, it’s perfect for having drinks on the deck or relaxing in our cabin.
10-  Scarves, sarongs and wraps. I travel with tons of them. I’m currently lusting after this one from Hermes. I have a predominantly black and neutral wardrobe so I like to add my punch of color and pattern with scarves,
 Do you have essentials you always bring on a trip?
Thanks for reading and have a great day!

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  1. Robin
    June 28, 2020 / 6:19 am

    My husband’s six year-old granddaughter sked me the other day if I was a wet person or a dry person. Your post made me think of it. I’m a wet person. 🙂

    • Jennifer
      June 28, 2020 / 11:38 am

      Lol- Out of the mouthes of babes 🙂

  2. Candiss
    June 27, 2020 / 10:48 am

    Just discovered your site and think we should be best friends! I agree with you completely regarding your essentials. My only addition would be a small journal. There is so much I forget unless I jot down thoughts either at the end of the day or over a quick cup of tea in the morning! Thank you so much for putting my travel essentials and wardrobe into pictures and words!

  3. Carmen
    June 19, 2020 / 5:13 pm

    I just came across this site and loved it. Thank you Jennifer I look forward to all your fashion help.

  4. Kim
    July 29, 2019 / 4:55 am

    Great Article!

  5. May 3, 2019 / 4:30 pm

    Packing right now for a river cruise in Russia…trying to ‘PACK LIGHT” and thanks for the idea of scarves. Taking several as I feel they will punch up my wardrobe and keep my neck warm if it gets cold on the rivers!

  6. Carolyn
    April 11, 2019 / 4:38 pm

    For years and many miles I have carried swim suits, cover ups, beach towels, etc thinking I might need them as I was usually on extended trips. Now days I seldom “do water” so I seldom pack a swim suit.and all the other related paraphernalia. So out of curiosity why do you carry a couple of swim suits?

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