I think I’m officially a cruise junkie! (Includes a Cruise Packing/To-Do List)

I went on my first cruise in January of this year, 2022. My sister and I had a grand time and were even upgraded to a balcony room for no apparent reason. We did not ask questions! But we sure did enjoy the luxury of seeing the sun on the horizon and feeling the ocean breeze on our faces in our pj’s right outside our door. A favorite beverage with this view? Yes, please!

We laughingly coined that cruise “the cruise to nowhere” because, well, it was. There was a life-threatening emergency with a staff member during our first night at sea. To our surprise, after a lovely night of being rocked to sleep by the gentle sway of the waves, we woke up with views of where we set sail from just the day before. Fortunately, it was reported that the individual survived and would be okay. With that, though, and some bad weather, we ended up not porting anywhere. Turns out, floating around the ocean, relaxing on a big, fun boat with delicious food and drinks for a few days is truly not horrible.

My second cruise (half price from the events of “the cruise to nowhere”) happened earlier this month. We did port in Cozumel this time and I got to fulfill a dream of riding horseback on the beach. Okay, it was more of a donkey-horse, but that was part of the fun! I had a great time with my sister again, as well as a few extended family members.

My next cruise will be with an even larger group of family and friends and is scheduled for January 2023. I expect it will not disappoint.

I’ve learned a few things in the two whole cruises I’ve been on, haha!, but my number one tip, for anyone considering, is to GO! Try it once and expect the good. Book a shorter cruise and say “yes” to the relaxing. Say “yes” to the gentle sway of being rocked to sleep at night (or an afternoon nap) like a mother rocks her baby. Say “yes” to the fun. Say “yes” to the adventure!

A few other tips to keep in mind, from my experience and the stories of others:

  1. Check for holidays/specific events that might keep you from enjoying your cruise.
  2. Fourteen pairs of shoes for 5 days is totally okay! I mean a girl (and some guys) needs options, right?
  3. You’ll inevitably overpack. It’s okay, they don’t weight anything. It’s glorious!
  4. Do research on the various cruise lines. Some are more for partying, some are more for kids, and some are a little more upscale. You might choose to pay a little more for upscale if the party scene is not your thing.
  5. You can spend as much or as little money as you want while on the boat (doesn’t include flights or excursions). One of my cruise buddies spent $600, while another disembarked with only spending .19.
  6. If the cruise line has an app, download it before you sail. (See #7.)
  7. You will not have cell service. Either plan to be disconnected or purchase the ship’s wifi package. Don’t end up with a rather large cell phone bill. I made that mistake for you. LOL
  8. Unpack in the closet and drawers, then slide your suitcase under the bed. The cabins are small so you’ll want all the floorspace you can get.
  9. Have photos taken at the photo stations on formal nights – even if you don’t plan on buying any. Sometimes that one photo will be worth the $20-25 price tag.
  10. If you don’t pack it, your travel buddy will likely have it, you can get it on the ship or in port, or you’ll be fine without it.

One thing I discovered is that cruise travel is very different than any other type of travel. With that in mind, I’ve combined my sister’s packing list and my own into one and compiled it into a printable pdf. It’s not all-inclusive, and some items might possibly not make sense, but it’ll definitely get you started. Click here for my CRUISE PACKING/TO-DO LIST.

Are you a cruise ‘no’bie, newbie, or a cruise junkie?
What cruise travel tips would you add?

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