A luxury cruise is truly a unique way to travel. Once you go luxury, you will certainly not want to go back. No matter if you want to book a short Med cruise or a grand voyage around the world, travelling in style and comfort is a must. With the incredible amenities, first-class service, fine dining, and not to mention the unforgettable shore excursions, there’s a lot to be excited by. But when it comes to packing for a luxury cruise holiday, how different should your suitcase look than on a regular cruise? Well, this guide to suitcase essentials for your luxury cruise holds the answers. Here we have provided a ‘what to pack’ list and a ‘what not to pack’ list, to give you a helping hand.
What to pack for your luxury cruise
Formal evening attire
One thing that you might want to make sure is in your luxury cruise suitcase is some formal evening attire. Often – as with Azamara – there aren’t scheduled formal nights, but you should certainly feel welcome to dress your best when dining or going for a drink aboard. So, blazers, suits, and dresses will all be good inclusions.
Unlike other lines, Azamara does not have a strict dress code and Isabella from World of Cruising – a publication all about cruising - spoke to us about her suggestions for what to pack: “A luxury cruise is the chance to dress up. Most luxury sailings will have some sort of formal night, and that can be combined with other themed nights, too. Azamara has a white-themed party, so it’s worth packing something stylish and white.
“Men should make sure they pack at least one dinner jacket and/or a tuxedo, and women should bring something suitable for a formal evening. This doesn't have to be a black-tie gown and could be an elegant trouser suit, jumpsuit or cocktail dress.”
Resort casual options
Resort casual is a good starting point when planning your luxury cruise wardrobe. So, for the ladies, casual dresses, blouses, skirts, trousers, and jackets are the preferred attire. For men, smart trousers, shirts, polo shirts, sweaters, and windbreakers are the way to go.
Isabella from World of Cruising has a few more ideas: “For the day/more casual evenings, men should pack a sports jacket, smartish trousers and lots of crisp shirts (baseball caps are allowed on many luxury lines at certain times). For women, I’d recommend packing lots of smart blouses, sundresses, wide-leg trousers etc. We'd also take a stylish tote bag on board, to use as a poolside bag or on excursions.”
However, if you forget to pack your own tote bag don’t dismay, as your room will come with one included.
If you decide to dress up formally for dinner one evening, don’t forget to bring along some of your favourite accessories, from watches to earrings, and jewellery. You may not feel inclined to bring some of your finest jewellery for a typical cruise but when travelling as part of a stylish luxury cruise, you will likely want to look and feel your best!
The health, fitness, and spa facilities of a luxury cruise are often a big attraction for many travellers so don’t forget to pack your gym clothes. If you fancy hitting the gym or partaking in a sunset yoga session, for example, you will need the appropriate attire. Don’t forget some suitable trainers or rubber-soled shoes for any sports you might want to play.
Of course, a big part of many a cruise holiday is the opportunity to go for a dip in the pool or splash in the sea. So, make sure to bring a long a few options in terms of swimwear – it never hurts to mix it up a little throughout your stay. Additionally, for ladies, a poolside cover-up or wrap could be a stylish option for lounging around on deck.
Comfortable walking shoes
The shore excursions that luxury cruises offer is a point of attraction for many. So, bringing along a pair of comfortable walking shoes is a must. Make sure that you have worn them in previously and will be happy to wear them for a hike, stroll around a port, or when exploring ancient ruins. The last thing you want is sore feet and blisters when you make it back to your cabin.
Gadgets and tools
While not essential items, there a host of tools and gadgets that can truly add to the enjoyment of any luxury cruise. A top of the range camera for some perfect holiday snaps, binoculars for gazing at the beautiful scenery as you approach an attractive port, and a battery charging pack for your other tech are among the options. Or, for an even bigger sense of luxury, you can utilise a smart suitcase that charges your gadgets for you.
Something comfortable to fly home in (overnight bag)
With your suitcase full of your favourite outfits and accessories, don’t forget to make room for something comfortable to fly home in if you aren’t on a no-fly cruise. After all, you don’t want to be left with only your finest for a long plane journey. When it comes to travelling home, comfort is always the way to go.
What not to pack for your luxury cruise
Too many clothes
A laundry service is another fantastic feature of your luxury cruise – either self-service and free of charge, or a full laundry and dry-cleaning service for an extra cost. This means you can save room as you don’t have to plan for a new outfit on every day of your cruise. It would be a shame not to take advantage of such convenient facilities as these.
Mike, from About Luxury Cruising, shared this advice with us about what not to pack for a luxury cruise: “Don’t overpack and check the cruise line prohibited items places. Less is more but watch out for hairdryers, extension cables or power strips as these are being banned by some cruise lines.”
Robes and slippers
Being comfortable in your room before bed or in the morning is a nice pleasure but, as Donna from the travel blog My Itchy Travel Feet advises: “Luxury ships provide many luxurious amenities including a robe, bedroom slippers and hair dryer”. So, you can leave your favourite robe and slippers at home as this will be provided for you on board. With your ever-burgeoning packing list, you can happily save some space here.
Too many toiletries
A culprit of the over-stuffed suitcase is often toiletries, but you need not worry when booking a luxury cruise. Donna continues: “Quality toiletries are also provided, however, bring your special favourites.” As a fine selection of toiletries will be provided in your suite or stateroom, beyond a toothbrush and your preferred toothpaste, you will be good to go.
Your luxury cruise suite will also come complete with bathroom towels so there is no need to take up vital space in your bag in this department. Additionally, there is also no need to bring along a beach towel for those sandy shore excursions.
Overtly casual clothing
While, as mentioned, dressing black-tie isn’t a requirement, you might want to avoid packing too much overtly casual clothing on your luxury cruise. Your ship’s dining room or speciality restaurants will have certain rules, such as no torn or distressed jeans, caps, vest tops etc. Isabella from World of Cruising suggests: “Clothing like torn jeans, cut-off shorts and loud logo t-shirts and Hawaiian shirts might look out of place aboard a luxury cruise. Leave the garish or tired clothes at home.”
Depending on your cruise’s destination, you might be tempted to prepare for the worst and pack an umbrella – after all, no one wants to get caught in a downpour during a shore excursion. However, you can leave this item at home with Azamara, as complimentary umbrellas are available as part of the stateroom amenities.
If these suggestions have got you pining for a luxury cruise holiday of your very own, take a look at the incredible cruise deals we have available.
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