The Savvyseafarer’s Tips on Prudent Packing, Shore Excursions and Seasickness
A once not-so-savvy seafarer and self-professed “fashion plate” who couldn’t leave home unless she packed two steamer trunks with enough outfits to clothe a small nation on every cruise. This, she finally learned, was not a good idea. Besides ticking off her male traveling companion, who continually carped about how he would be the lifting and stowing my bags from car or cab through airport terminals and beyond, she actually realized she only wore half of what she packed. Today, the savvier seafarer has a new set of rules, some of it due to those security regulations at airports I will only pack what fits neatly in one suitcase, especially if I am flying to the port of embarkation and want to carry my bag on the plane and not pay additional fees to check my bags. Packing Nitty Gritty With a little ingenuity, women’s cruise wardrobes can be a breeze to assemble. Dress as you would for a fine shoreside restaurant or tropical resort. Be as snazzy as you feel on formal nights in long gowns or cocktail dresses; take a few pretty gauzy or silk numbers for informal wear and pantsuits, resort chic dresses or slacks and pretty tops for casual evenings. To lighten your load go with lots of silk and mixed and matched tops and bottoms. During the day, especially in tropical areas, you will probably spend a lot of time sunning and lounging by the pool and will virtually live in your bathing suit. While short shorts are taboo in most dining rooms they are acceptable wear for daytime deck buffets or in the more casual eateries found on most megaliners as well as such small luxury liners as Seabourn’s fleet, Radisson’s ships and the Wind Star armada. For walking around port or daytime indoor activities you’ll want slacks, nice shorts, jeans, T-shirts, cotton or silk blouses and good walking shoes. If you’re into fitness, be sure to pack workout wear to use in the gym. The male wardrobe: The biggest obstacle for “him” is formal night. Tuxedos take up a lot of room and require extra accessories. Alas many ships have done away with this requirement but veteran seafarers often prefer to keep the trend. While Some ships actually rent out tuxedos, check with the line before you pack f this interests you. Most evenings men can get away with a sports jacket and appropriate shirts, tie and shoes for informal nights and pants and nice shirts for casual nights. Daytime wear is a snap, a bathing suit for sun/pool time, shorts or jeans, tank tops, T- shirts etc. for strolling into port, and workout wear. Most upscale ships (Celebrity, Princess, Seabourn, Silversea, Wind Star, Radisson Regent Seven Seas, etc) provide robes for use while on board as well unlimited toiletries such as shampoo, condi¬tioner, body creams, shower gels and even toothbrushes and razors–sometimes on request. Additional personal items you might want to consider include a portable radio/cd player, digital camera, MP3 player, IPods the usual techno tools, prescriptions (pack in carry on always)sunscreen if sailing in sunny climes.