What to pack for a cruise by an experienced cruiser!

We are on official count down.  In a couple of months we are going on our first cruise holiday as a family!  Although we are always excited before a family holiday this is a particularly exciting holiday for Richard and I as we met whilst both working for P&O Cruises.  We have so many fantastic memories of our three years working at sea and we cannot wait to share this part of our life with our two sons.

What to pack for a cruise by an experienced cruiser!

Over the next few weeks we will be busy preparing for our holiday and deciding what to do whilst in the various ports BUT my priority right now is deciding what clothes to take and hitting the shops for a new cruise wardrobe!

As anyone who has cruised will know, most cruise lines have a dress code policy.  We are cruising with P&O Cruises and so I know there will be formal, informal and smart/casual nights during our time at sea.

Thinking back to my first day working at sea brings back cringeworthy memories.  Having never stepped foot on a cruise ship before, I had absolutely no idea what to pack.  P&O Cruises had provided me with a uniform to wear during the day but at night I was to wear my own clothes and adhere to the dress code for passengers.

What to pack for a cruise by an experienced cruiser!

A few images from my time working at sea. Top image, Captain Carr’s leaving party during the world cruise. Gents in uniform, ladies in formal dresses. Bottom left image – On the bridge (the ships control room). Bottom right – Dispatching passengers on tour in Norway.

The formal dress nights posed no problems.  I had packed several, long slinky dresses for the welcome evenings and cocktail parties I was expected to attend as one of my roles as a ships officer.  For informal nights and smart/casual nights however I was clueless and packed my regular going out clubbing clothes!

After being introduced to my new colleagues in the Shore Excursions department a couple of my team kindly offered to help me unpack.  They were soon rolling around on my cabin floor laughing at the mini skirts, tight tops and high-heeled shoes I had brought onboard!  Thankfully the Captain didn’t have the opportunity to kick me off the ship for indecent outfits as news spread like wild-fire.  Soon many of the ships female crew and officers were offering clothes for me to borrow until I had the chance to buy some more suitable outfits in port.

I therefore spent the first few weeks of my time at sea running off to indulge in clothes shopping at every opportunity!  If my first contract had been in Europe it would have been fairly straight forward, as I was in the Caribbean it was a little more problematic.  I soon found out that Caribbean women are known for having lovely curvy bottoms which I certainly have not been blessed with!

What to Wear Whilst Cruising

I wish I had seen this Cruise Packing Guide before going to work at sea.  If you are planning a cruise in the future you will find this very handy…

What to pack for a cruise

Source –  www.jdwilliams.co.uk

In my opinion, this cruise packing guide is pretty much spot on.  I will certainly be packing a few long cocktail dresses for the formal nights and more casual dresses i.e. summer short dresses and maxi dresses for smart casual nights.  As I will be running around, chasing my sons Charlie and Harry whilst in port, I am therefore more likely to wear shorts or linen trousers with a nice top whilst sightseeing rather than a short skirt and midriff top as suggested above.  I certainly agree though that it is good to look stylish and comfortable for when exploring city ports.  (Particularly in Italy where the locals really know how to dress stylishly!)

Have you cruised?  Please feel free to share your top tips below on what to pack for a cruise!

Britannia image copyright P&O Cruises

 

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9 thoughts on “What to pack for a cruise by an experienced cruiser!

  1. Pingback: Blogger cruising favourites on Plan a Cruise Month | Trips100

    1. Lisa Post author

      With ships the size that they are Sonia (you need to think of them as floating towns with all the facilities you would expect in a town – theatres, restaurants, bars, shops) I don’t think it feels like you are on a cruise ship! I experienced sea sickness during my first ever contract but very quickly got used to the ships movement.

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