10 Things to Pack on a Cruise

Ten Things You’ll Want to Remember for Your Cruise

If you’re anything like me, packing for vacation is probably the hardest part of the whole darn thing. Parking? Easy. Port? No problem. Customs? A breeze. Packing? Whoa, there! I have to check my bags about ten more times to make sure I didn’t forget my toothbrush! Or my comb, or my favorite sandals, or an extra bottle of lotion, or… Well, you get it.

things to pack on a cruise

That’s why this week, Exploring Port Canaveral is taking a step back from Brevard County to help you remember to pack these ten things for your upcoming cruise. Some of these may already be on your list, but most aren’t on the usual checklist for every vacation. If you like the idea of any of these, you may try packing them in your luggage on your next trip out to sea!

1. Charge More with a Power Strip

power strip for cruising
A power strip can mean an end to your electricity shortage on the ship!

Cruise ships are famous for having virtually no outlets. If you want to plug in more than a few electronics (phone, fan, laptop, hair dryer, etc.) at a time, a power strip can add the space you need. An extension cord can also come in handy. Power strips and extension cords will let you organize and position your electronic stuff without having to play musical plugs. Trust me, you’ll love having the extra plugs and just one power strip will make your life easier!

2. Don’t Forget Over the Counter Medicine

medications should be brought on your cruise
Dramamine, Ibuprofen, Tylenol, or Pepto can make or break a great vacation!

Most people are extra careful to pack their prescriptions with a note from the doctor, but what about your regular, everyday, over-the-counter meds? They may not be as important as prescriptions, but you might miss them just as much if you forget them. A few common medications to fend off headaches, seasickness, upset stomachs, or allergies can save the day on vacation if you need them. Many families also bring Neosporin and Band-Aids for quick cuts and scrapes that might happen on an adventure. Remember, it’s always better to pack them and not need them than to wish you had some ibuprofen for a killer migraine. Don’t let seasickness or allergies ruin a perfectly good day!

3. Switch Up Your Shoes

water shoes for off ship activities
Water shoes have better gripping and protection for your feet

Shoes are a crucial accessory for every man and woman on a cruise. With different kinds of activities on the ship and off the ship, it makes sense that you should bring all different kinds of shoes, right? Be sure to include casual shoes, water shoes, and walking shoes on your list alongside formal heels and tennis shoes. Comfortable, relaxing shoes are great for lounging around the pool or cabin. Water shoes are essential for those planning to do any water activities. These shoes tend to grip better underwater and keep you from stepping on rocks (like if you’re going kayaking!). Sore feet aren’t fun, and you can avoid them with proper foot gear.

4. Kill Time with Playing Cards

playing card help you when you show up earlyWhat? Playing cards? Why would you bring playing cards on a ship designed to cater to every desire and need for entertainment?

Well, you’d be surprised. There are plenty of opportunities for downtime while sailing the seas. Playing Old Maid or Hearts with family or friends is a great way to pass the time. And if you’ve signed up for any activities or shows on your ship, you’ll probably want to arrive early.  How will you pass the time until the show starts? Pull out your deck of cards! Or any other travel-sized game that you’ll have fun with. The choices are endless! Don’t want to carry anything? These fun games can be played with just your mind and some creativity!

5. Avoid Stale Air with a Small Fan

get a fan for your cruiseYes, this item is a little big, but you might welcome it during those warm days on the sea. While cruise ship cabins are air-conditioned, the quality of the A/C can vary. A travel-sized fan helps circulate air and keep it fresh and moving if the A/C isn’t doing much for you. In addition, it can add white noise at night while you sleep, and you can hang wet socks and swimsuits up in front of a fan to get them to dry faster!

6. A Lanyard Keeps Your Key on a Leash

lanyard

At home, I keep my keys on my lanyard to easily pull them out of my purse or pocket. On a cruise ship, I can do the same thing with my room key and ID card. On most cruise ships, your ID card is important for so many reasons. It doesn’t just have your identification on it, but it also has information about your reservations, on-board purchases, drink packages, and more. They can also function as room keys and port IDs. So, put your room key/ID card on a fun, colorful lanyard to keep track of which is yours!

7.  A Spot of Cash for Here or There

use small billsThere are three big reasons to bring some cash: off-ship purchases, tips, and casino runs. While your ID card will let you make purchases on-board, off-ship souvenirs and trips will require different funds. Tipping the staff of the ship will also require cash, so small bills are important for gratuities. And finally, if you want to tempt Lady Luck at the casino, you’ll want to bring dollars and change for gambling.

8. Keep the Sun Off with a Hat

hat and sunglasses for sunshine on your cruise You’ve probably already put sunglasses on your list of important items about thirty times. However, your awesome Ray-Bans will go miles more if you pair them with a cute hat or a ball cap. Your face and top of your head will thank you for not leaving it out to burn in the tropical sunshine!

9. A Light Jacket Keeps Away the Wind

jackets can still be important on a cruise

Most people sailing in the Southeast (like from Port Canaveral) are headed to the Caribbean, the land of seas and sunshine. However, that doesn’t mean that you should only bring shorts and tank tops. At night and in the shade, you’ll find that the wind can add a nip to the air, and a light jacket, sweatshirt, or windbreaker will add a little warmth. Bring something with some waterproofing, and it can double as a coat if rain hits.

If you’re sailing during the winter, this is especially important. The ports on the Gulf and Atlantic are super windy, and during the wintertime, you will NEED a coat for the port even if the Caribbean stays tropical.  Lots of Honor has seen this happen with many families who overestimate the winter warmth of the South.

10. A Sweet Tote or Sturdy Backpack for Travels

backpack or another secure bag Whether you’re going to a show on the ship or taking a tour on an island, you’ll want to bring all of your necessities without overloading a bag. Where better to put your IDs, water bottle, sunscreen, cash, camera, and more? A cute tote, drawstring bag, or backpack will let you keep your packed items light and secure while you’re going an an adventure!

Bon Voyage!

With all these items considered for your luggage, you’ll be better prepared than half the ship. Don’t forget to add some (or all!) of these items to your gear when you go cruising! Though each thing only adds a bit of fun, flavor, or comfort to your trip, your journey is sure to become easier and better with just a little help from this list!

5 Tips to Save Money While Cruising!

The Top 5 Ways to Save on Cruises: Time-Tested Tips

Vacations, like it or not, are expensive. Tickets, attractions, food, and souvenirs all keep your wallet busy while you’re having fun. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t save a dollar (or more!) here or there. In this article, we’ve gathered some of the best ways for you to save while still having a great time on your cruise!

1. Book Smart

book smart for cruisingOne of the biggest way to save money is by having the best practices for booking your cruise. Book ahead of time, and be flexible with your calendar. Booking in advance will allow you to be more choosy with what you’re getting. Don’t waste money on a cabin or date that you don’t want, just because others bought up the good options months ago! Plus, you’ll be able to plan out which packages you want and take advantage of deals before they run out. Or, go the other direction and focus on taking advantage of last-minute deals that cruise lines may push.

Prices fluctuate too, so don’t hesitate to schedule your cruise during the “off” season (when kids are in school!) This could save you buckets of money since prices get a big bump during the summer or other prime seasons. It’s also good to shop around for different cruise lines. Make sure your cruise has everything that you want, but don’t pay for more than you need. If you don’t want most of the luxuries, it might be a good idea to “down-grade” to a more casual cruise line.

2. Keep an Eye Out for Sales

sales for royal caribbean norwegian carnival disneyCruise lines love to entice vacationers with sales. Look for big, celebratory sales around holidays and you can save 50% or more with great offers from different cruise lines. Sales can also include drink packages, food offers, and other goodies that you’d otherwise be shelling out for.

Discounts are something to check out, too. Sometimes there are sales and discounts for cruise lines that specifically target veterans, families, or returning customers. You can save big if you qualify! Most of these sales and discounts are advertised on websites and social media, so pay attention to your calendar and subscribe to the cruise pages to keep up with great potential savings!

3. DIY and BYOB (BYOBeverages) 

pay less for shore excursions cruisingIt’s super tempting to pay for all the fun, extra goodies that cruises offer, especially once you’re on board. But hold up! You could be wasting money by buying something you could do yourself.

One of the big ways to save (and have more fun) is booking shore excursions on your own. The cruise line will have excursions that you can book through them, but it will cost more and you won’t have as many options. Take the initiative and schedule your own to save money and get better options for what to do! Just make sure that you pay attention to the timing and get back to your ship when you need to!

Drink packages are crazy now. We have so many tiers and choices, but the surprising thing is that you may not need it at all. Yes, alcohol bring your own beverages save on cruiseis pricey, and yes, the all-you-can-drink package may seem like a good idea. But it probably isn’t if you’re the average cruise-goer. Drink packages are usually a daily charge, even when you aren’t on the ship or drinking enough to make it a deal. If you really want a drink package, check out some of the cruise lines that are fancier and include drinks/food in the ticket.

Sodas are going to be pricey too, and it’s always a good idea to check out your cruise line and see if they will let you bring your own cans or bottles on board. Don’t pay for the overpriced drink opportunities if you can take advantage of supermarket prices at home! Just be careful. Most cruise lines will let you bring sodas on-board but won’t let you bring your own alcohol. Check your ship’s protocol ahead of time.

4. Don’t Pay for Port Parking

 port canaveral parking No matter where you’re finding port parking, the lots and garages are over-priced and crowded. All in the name of “convenience.” This, of course, is a matter close to Lots of Honor’s heart and we know exactly how much you can save by parking off-site for your cruise. For Port Canaveral parking, you can save up to $100 over the course of your trip. It depends on how many days you are sailing and which parking facility you choose. Make sure to take advantage of the free shuttle services usually offered! No matter what port you’re sailing from, the off-site parking is going to be just as safe and easy to use for a fraction of the cost. Put that money towards souvenirs instead!

5. Turn Off Your Internet and WiFi

save by unpluggingIt may be tempting to purchase access to the Internet or use overseas data for your phone, but you’ll find your trip much more enjoyable if you unplug. Not to mention, you’ll save a ton of money by doing so. You should use the packages offered for internet for work emergencies only. You’re probably going to be disappointed in the quality of the network anyway. Don’t waste your time on social media or email when you could be spending time with family! Rates can be as high as $0.75 per minute of usage, and your coverage is going to be spotty and snail-paced. It just isn’t worth it, so go ahead…log off!