Packing For Your Europe Cruise. The Ultimate Cruise Packing List......

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Consumer Guide

Packing For Your Europe Cruise.

Everything You Need to Take on a

Cruise Vacation......

Northern Europe, Russia, Scandinavia, The Baltic's, The Mediterranean,

England, Ireland, Wales, Iceland, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Germany,

Netherlands, Estonia, Poland, Greek Isles, Italy, Spain, Greece, Turkey,

Croatia, Portugal, and the Canary islands

The Packing Challenge, Simplified


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Ultimate Cruise Packing List

Does your cruise visit Mediterranean destinations, or do you journey to Russia, Scandinavia the Baltic's. Or does your voyage take you to England and Ireland or are you on a river cruise tour of Europe's inland waterways. Packing for a cruise to Europe varies, depending upon where you are going, the type of cruise ship you select and how long you will be cruising.

Watch Your Weight ( the bags that is )
Unless you live near a cruise port in Europe, you are going to fly to a city nearest your port of embarkation for the start of your cruise, So, you will need to pack light, no more than 50 lbs per suitcase, per person. Exceed that weight, and you will pay extra for the privilege. You should check with your airline about the most up-to--date airline baggage rules, regulations and restrictions. We suggest one checked bag, and one carry-on bag per person.

The European Packing Essentials
These include all your cruise travel documents, plus passports ( valid for at least 6 months from the date of your return to the US ) and visas (if required); along with copies of both, another picture ID, like a drivers license or Government ID; ATM card; traveler's checks; credit cards; airline tickets and any other cruise vouchers, such as shore excursion or sightseeing tours purchased from a third-party. Most important is have an up-to-date list of the prescription medicines and copies of the prescriptions. If you need to refill them overseas, you will need those documents.

Casual or Chic Cruise Clothing
Cruises today are much more informal then in years past. Freestyle dining options and multiple restaurant choices onboard tend to give guests much more flexibility on what to wear for dinner. First, you should check with your cruise line for their dining schedule. Ask if one or more nights during your cruise formal attire ( dark business suit, tuxedo, formal evening dress wear ) is requested, optional or mandatory. If so, a garment bag is a good idea for transport of these items. Many people do dress up for dinner, but not in formal attire, so pack a suit or sports coat, as well as a couple of evening or cocktail dresses for the ladies.

Daytime Out and About
For Europe cruises, you'll be seeing the sights. Doing a lot of walking. Leave room for casual, comfortable clothing, and a good pair of walking shoes. Early mornings and for walks on the promenade deck at night, a light sweater or windbreaker is a must to take the chill off. If you cruise in Spring, pack a warm coat for cruises to Northern Europe, England, Ireland, Scandinavia, Russia, and the other Baltic states.


Let's Get Started

Packing for your Europe cruise vacation can be one of the worst parts of a cruise. The only thing we can think of that we dread more is unpacking when we get home! Through the years, we have learned that a packing list is essential. Maybe it's our advancing age or just that we have learned "the hard way" by forgetting some essential item and then having to purchase it at double (or more) the price on the cruise ship or in a port of call. One important packing tip -- If traveling with a companion or spouse, divide your checked items into two (or more) suitcases. That way, if one is lost, you will both have some clothing to wear! It would be terrible for your spouse to have all of his clothes and you to have nothing but your carry-on. Also, be sure to carry-on anything that you cannot live without for a couple of days (or more), just in case your luggage is lost or delayed.


Use the list below as a starter and modify it for your personal tastes. Some essentials and general items follow of this page, and I have a separate list for women and men.


  • airline tickets or e-ticket confirmation

  • cruise documents

  • passports and visas (if necessary) or proof of citizenship (check with your cruise line for requirements)

  • vaccination certificate (if required)

  • wallet and fanny pack

  • driver's license and auto insurance card - in case you decide to rent a car when ashore

  • medical insurance cards and medical history (especially if traveling alone)

  • another picture ID - if you don't take driver's license

  • credit cards - be sure to call credit card companies before traveling to alert them you are traveling outside your normal area ATM card

  • watch

  • pre-paid phone card

  • cash or traveler's checks (be sure to keep traveler's checks receipt in separate location)

  • 3 copies of airline tickets, cruise tickets, passports/visas, itinerary - pack 1 copy in carry on, 1 copy in checked luggage, and leave one copy with someone at home

  • contact numbers to report lost/stolen credit cards or traveler's checks

  • emergency numbers at home

  • prescription drugs and any other essential medications in carry on bag

  • glasses, contacts, contacts cleaner

  • extra reading glasses

  • sunglasses

  • reading sunglasses

  • guidebooks and other port of call information

  • foreign language phrase book or dictionary

  • maps

  • reading material - books to read while on the plane or lounging by the pool

  • journal or notebook and pen/pencil - for making notes to tell your friends back home about your experiences

  • business cards with email address to give out to new cruise friends

  • currency conversion chart

  • plug adaptor and converter

  • cell phone and charger

  • Tablet and charger

  • home and email addresses of friends/relatives back home - for sending postcards, emails, or gifts

  • laptop computer

  • binoculars

  • disposable underwater camera - for snorkeling or beach days

  • digital camera and manual

  • extra memory cards for digital camera

  • batteries for digital camera

  • battery charger

  • extension cord with multiple plug-ins

  • duct tape or strapping tape

  • MP3 player for walking on deck or on treadmill

  • small travel alarm clock - battery operated

  • lighted dial clock for cruise ship cabin

  • extra plastic cable-lock ties for securing luggage for return trip (better than locks, but one-time use only)

  • extra luggage name tags (in case yours are lost on the outbound trip)

  • zip loc bags of all sizes and garbage/laundry bags

  • small flashlight

  • night light

  • corkscrew (be sure to put in checked luggage)

  • Swiss Army knife or something similar with screwdriver head, etc. (be sure to put in checked luggage)

  • small umbrella

  • collapsible travel pillow for those long airplane flights

  • ear plugs or "ear planes"

  • small first aid kit (band aids, Q-tips, vaseline, dramamine, antibiotic cream, bandages, anti-diarrheal medication, cortisone

  • cream, aspirin/tylenol/advil)

  • Crazy glue

  • playing cards

  • sports gear (e.g. snorkeling gear)

  • bug spray (not for your cabin on the ship, but for those pesky mosquitoes and "nonos" ashore)

  • sun screen/sun block and lip sunblock

  • germicidal hand cleaner

  • hand lotion

  • rubbing alcohol or foot lotion for soothing tired, hot feet

  • hats/caps/visors

  • insulated large coffee mugs

  • empty folding tote bag - for souvenirs or the beach

  • clothes pins

  • sewing kit and scissors (pack in checked luggage)

  • travel-sized Woolite

  • handi-wipes


Scroll down. There are more packing tips below...

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News Flash:

Women Pack More

Clothes Than Men

Women going on holiday take twice as many clothes as they actually need, a new survey has revealed. For years, husbands and boyfriends have been bemused by the amount of clothes their female partners crammed into suitcases. And now a new survey commissioned by P&O Cruises has confirmed what they always suspected - that half the garments never get used.

However, a leading psychologist today said that the 'over-packing' should not be seen as a fault as it demonstrates women's ability to plan for every eventuality.

Cary Cooper, professor of organizational psychology at Lancaster University, said that women only packed too many clothes because they had greater foresight than men. "Women are planners and they look at every eventuality. They are also likely to think 'better to be safe than sorry'. This is why they pack so many clothes when they go on holiday. And what's wrong with packing too much? It's better than packing too little which is what men are likely to be guilty of'' he said.



• Groups, Friends,

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Planning a wedding, friends & family cruise,

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Perhaps a reunion? Get 8-16 people

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Women's Cruise Clothing Packing List

  • bras (include strapless if needed for evening wear)

  • panties

  • lingerie/night gown/pajamas/robe

  • compression stockings (for airplane flight to prevent swollen ankles)

  • exercise/walking socks

  • trouser socks or pantyhose

  • camisole/slip

  • purses (day and evening)

  • belts

  • scarves

  • gloves and stocking cap(if expect cold weather)

  • walking shoes

  • walking sandals

  • rubber sandals for reef walking and beach

  • evening shoes

  • costume jewelry and extra watch

  • swim suit

  • swim suit cover-up/pareo/sarong

  • thongs/flip flop shoes

  • work out clothes and jog bra

  • dress/outfit for informal nights on ship

  • dress/outfit for formal nights on ship

  • dress/outfit for casual nights on ship

  • shorts

  • tops of all types (sleeveless, short-sleeved, long-sleeved)

  • capri pants

  • slacks

  • windbreaker jacket

  • sweatshirt

  • evening sweater

  • raincoat with hood

Women's Sundries and Miscellaneous

  • blow dryer

  • curling iron or curlers

  • comb/brush

  • hair gel

  • hair spray (non-aerosol)

  • shampoo

  • conditioner

  • shower cap

  • bar soap in plastic container

  • deodorant

  • toothbrush

  • toothpaste

  • dental floss

  • mouthwash

  • tweezers

  • make-up mirror

  • make-up and make-up bag(list can be endless!)

  • make-up remover

  • cleanser

  • moisturizer and freshener

  • nail polish and remover

  • nail clippers and file (be sure to pack in checked luggage)

  • razor and shaving cream

Men's Cruise Clothing Packing List

  • underwear (briefs or boxer shorts)

  • undershirts

  • pajamas and robe

  • compression socks (for airplane flight to prevent swollen ankles)

  • exercise/walking socks

  • black dress socks

  • belts

  • gloves and stocking cap(if expect cold weather)

  • walking shoes

  • walking sandals

  • rubber sandals/shoes for reef walking and beach

  • evening or dress shoes

  • "docksider" casual shoes

  • tuxedo jacket and pants (or dark suit)

  • tuxedo tie, suspenders, and cummerbund

  • tuxedo cufflinks/studs

  • sport jacket

  • regular ties

  • tuxedo shirt

  • dress shirts

  • swim suit

  • swim suit cover-up

  • work out clothes/T shirts

  • shorts

  • casual shirts

  • slacks (casual and dress)

  • windbreaker jacket

  • sweatshirt

  • raincoat with hood

Men's Sundries and Miscellaneous

  • comb/brush

  • shampoo and hair products

  • bar soap in plastic container

  • deodorant

  • toothbrush

  • toothpaste

  • dental floss

  • mouthwash

  • tweezers

  • nail clippers and file (be sure to pack in checked luggage)

  • razor and shaving cream (or electric razor and supplies)

End of article


Leaving Home Checklist

To ensure peace of mind while you are away, why not run over this last-minute checklist of things to do before you go?

 > Have the post office hold your mail.
 > Stop your newspaper delivery, or have a friend or neighbor

    take them in for you.
 > Leave copies of your passport, airline tickets, travelers checks

    and any credit cards you plan to use with a family member or

    trusted friend.
 > Distribute your ship communications cards to friends and

 > Place a card with your name and address inside your luggage,

    as well as on the outside.
 > Bring your travel and health insurance information and have it

    handy at all times.
 > Verify that your identification and travel tickets are in your

    carry-on bag and will be available at all times.


More Packing Tips For Cruises

• Never pack anything in your luggage you couldn't stand losing forever.

• Tape your name, address, phone and cell numbers inside your luggage.

• Always carry your cruise and airline documents on you and not in your luggage or carry-on bag.

• Stuff a small collapsible light weight bag or two into your suitcase. At the end of your cruise, use the bag for your laundry or those souvenirs' you bought.

• Before your go, take a picture of your luggage inside and out. This will make them easier  to identify your belongings if they are lost.


• Always ask your cruise agent about any specific clothing needs for your particular ship. Some ships have special requirements that may affect your packing plan.

• Although you can purchase many items on ship or in cruise ports, you will often pay a heavy premium, and may not find exactly what you need. For example, film for your camera will cost significantly more once you leave home and you may not find the size or speed you require.

• Try to pack clothing that is re-usable on the cruise. For example, a men's blazer may be used on a formal night if packaged with the proper shirt & tie. The same blazer can be used with an open-neck shirt or a less-formal shirt and tie for an informal night. A formal skirt can be mixed with different blouses and/or jackets for varying effects.

• Formal nights are not necessarily extremely formal. Some passengers, who enjoy dressing up, will go all out with tuxedo's, long gowns, etc. On most seven-night cruises, this is not necessary. The majority of men wear a suit or blazer with white shirt and conservative tie on formal nights. Many women wear cocktail dresses, fancy dresses, or suits. It’s like getting dressed for a nice wedding.
Young boys can wear nice slacks with a shirt and a tie. The more expensive the ship, the more likely that formal wear will be worn.

• Many ships have self-serve laundry and ironing facilities in addition to the available washing and/or dry cleaning. Sometimes it makes sense to do a load or two during the cruise rather than pack enough of everything for your entire trip.

• It's quite possible to avoid getting dressed up during a cruise. How? Simply plan to eat your evening meal in the Lido restaurant during formal nights, or have room service that night. You can even have a snack and a nap at dinnertime, and enjoy the midnight buffet in casual attire. If you're interested in a totally casual cruise, ask your cruise agent how the line you've chosen handles casual evening meals. By the way, Lobster tails are commonly served on one of the formal nights. If that's important to you, ask your waiter which night the lobster will be served.

• If you choose to travel with expensive jewelry, use the purser's safe when you're not wearing it. Although room safes are available on many ships, only valuables locked up in the purser's safe are covered under the ship's insurance (check you cruise contract, usually supplied with your cruise documents). Frankly, we'd recommend leaving your very expensive and/or priceless jewelry at home, or in your bank's safe deposit box.

• If you're planning to buy t-shirts, hats, etc. on the ship or ports of call, why not wear them on your cruise? You'll cut down on the amount of clothing you'll bring, and you won’t need to plan for extra space on your trip home. If you under-packed (unlikely), you can purchase additional clothing during the cruise.

• In the tropics, use light cotton clothing as often as possible. You'll be cooler and more comfortable.

• Plan your carry-on load carefully. A larger carry-on bag (within airline carry-on requirements) is useful so that you can comfortably carry a change of clothing. Keep your carry-on bag safe when you're in the airport; never leave it unattended.

• Carry all documents, medicines, essentials, and valuables with you in your carry-on. If your main article of luggage is lost or misplaced, can you exist with what you're carrying?

• Do not plan to find space for a garment bag on an aircraft. Better to carefully pack your clothing in a suitcase than to jam it into an overhead compartment.

• Instead of bringing full-size toiletries, like a full bottle of shampoo, save or purchase smaller plastic bottles and bring only what you need. Try sealing plastic bottles in zip-lock bags for added protection.

• Zip-lock baggies, preferably the thicker freezer-type, are great for keeping things dry, especially when you go to the beach. You can stuff your credit cards, driver’s licenses, cash, etc. in them and keep them safe inside your bathing suit. We recommend double-bagging them and you won’t have any problems with leakage.

• There are several reasons to bring your cell telephone with you on the cruise: 1) If you run into delays, you can call your cruise agent, airline, limo service, etc. without standing in line for a telephone; 2) You can use your telephone on the ship before it departs, and while it is still close to land; 3) You can make calls on the day you return. A cell phone is great for calling a cab or a ride from home, or making arrangements with friends who are already ashore; 4) Many ports have cellular service so that you can make calls directly without finding a phone booth. Cellular rates are usually much less than the ship's satellite rates. Some common cruising areas have surprisingly good coverage (The Bahamas, Bermuda, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and Grand Cayman, to name a few), and if you have free roaming as a part of your service, the call might even be free; 5) You never know how a cell phone will help you in transit should an emergency arise. It givessomeone else the ability to call you, which is sometimes invaluable.

• Since many ships are installing e-mail and internet capabilities, you may wish to bring along a list of important e-mail addresses and web site URL's. Although this can get expensive, you might find it worthwhile, particularly if you keep close track of an investment portfolio or have important e-mail messages.

• If you really depend on a hair dryer, plan to bring your own. Even if the ship provides them, you may not find them to be powerful enough to handle your needs, particularly if you have long or heavy hair.

• A pair of personal communications devices (as kids, we used to call these walkie-talkies) is useful in keeping track of your traveling companions on the ship. As ships become larger, it becomes more difficult to keep track of one another. This is a perfect tool for young teenagers (check your batterysupply!). Some ships even offer them for rent during the cruise.

• A few emergency items are useful, particularly the flash light. It's nice to know that you have an extra light for your room, and it could come in very handy should your ship develop some temporary generator malfunctions. You’ll also want to take a nightlight if you’re staying in an inside cabin.

• For Alaska and Northern Europe: Replace shorts, t-shirts, and short-sleeve shirts with warmer counterparts. Although you may wish to have one set of warm-weather clothing for afternoon wear on a warm day, you'll be more comfortable with warmer clothing.

• For Alaska: You can dress down just a bit. Jeans are acceptable/desirable for daytime wear. Bring rain wear, waterproof footwear, wool socks, a warm sweater, a wind-proof shell, warm gloves, and a stocking cap. Although you may not NEED this much if the weather is warmer, cold (low 50's), windy and rainy weather is not uncommon along the coast of Alaska.

• For Northern Europe: Temperatures can be cool during the summer, particularly in the evenings. Baltic cruises tend to be dressier. A warm sweater and gloves might be useful, particularly in late August. Absolutely bring an umbrella!

• For the Mediterranean: Summer temperatures are similar to the Caribbean. Spring/Fall are cooler and more formal. Winter Cruises in the Med can be very cool, although snow/ice are not likely.

• For Bermuda: Weather is beautiful from May through October, although cruising to/from New York or Boston can be quite cool in early and late seasons. Bermuda is in the Gulf Stream, while New York and Boston aren't, so be prepared for a change in weather!

• Most cruise lines do not permit you to carry alcohol on board due to customs regulations.


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