August 4, 2012

Guest Post: What to Pack For A Cruise by Just Another Smith

Hello! I'm Andi from Just Another Smith, where I blog mostly about what I'm wearing. I am so excited to be guest posting for Kimberlee today.

Calvin Klein Dress, Caribbean Ocean

I think we can all agree that vacations rock! I'm a big fan of pretty much any type of vacation, but in the past few years, I've been converted into a cruise enthusiast. In 2008, I went on my first cruise (to Alaska), and I was very nervous that I would be seasick the whole time, or that it would just be boring.  I was completely wrong! My husband and I went on another cruise in 2010 (in the Caribbean this time), and now I think cruises are one of the best vacation options. There are several things I could tell you about why cruises are awesome, but today, I'm just going to give some advice for what to wear and how to pack.  

Plan ahead:  I am not a planner. I am the kind of girl that looks at my closet every morning and might try on 10 outfits before I decide what to wear that day. This does not work on vacation. Before I start packing, I make a list of each day, what we are doing during the day, and for dinner, and then decide what I should wear. This helps cut down on bringing extra/unnecessary things, and reduces the amount of "getting ready" time each day, so you get to the fun vacation activities sooner.

Pink Twill Tank, ck Shorts,  St. Thomas Windmill
Keep it Simple: On the days you stop somewhere, make sure to dress appropriately for whatever excursions you are taking. I think it's best to keep things simple when you are traveling, so I don't pile on the accessories, and I save my high heels for dinner.

Adidas visor, gap tank, aeropostale skirt, jcp cardigan, Ketchikan, AK forest

Bring several swimsuits: Even on the cruise to Alaska, we spent a fair amount of time in the pools and hot tubs.  It is pretty amazing to be lounging by the pool and cruising by glaciers!

Cruising in Alaska
Bring layers:  I think this is a good rule for any vacation, but just know that the indoor parts of the ship can be pretty air-conditioned, so you should have something to throw over your shoulders to stay warm. If you are cruising in Alaska, some days might be sunny and in the 70s, while others might be quite cold and windy. Be prepared - you don't want to be staying warm in your room and miss seeing glaciers and whales!

Gap dress, Old Navy cardi, Reaction shoes, Butchart Gardens
Share your suitcase: This is perhaps the best piece of advice I have for you. If you are traveling with someone, put half of your stuff in each suitcase. On the trip to Alaska, my husband and I each packed our own suitcase, like usual. When you get on the boat, they take your bags and deliver them to your room. Unless they deliver it to the room across the hall, and those people don't think to mention that they have the wrong suitcase until the next day. The first day on the boat, I didn't have a swimsuit, or the proper accessories and undergarments for my dinner dress. Not awesome. Now we always share suitcases, so if one gets lost or delayed, we still both have something to wear. Make sure you pack items that go together in the same suitcase, so you have full outfits! For example, I took 2 pairs of dress shoes to the Caribbean - one black and one brown. I packed one suitcase with all my brown shoe dresses, and the other with the black shoe dresses.
Gap dress - worn with brown shoes that you can't see

Go Formal: I don't know about you, but I don't get a lot of excuses in my regular life to wear my fancy dresses. Dinners on the cruise are a great reason to get all dolled up. Yes, there is a buffet and some other options where you can just wear shorts and a t-shirt, but I recommend taking advantage of the excellent food and service available to you. I have several fun cocktail dresses that I only wear a couple times a year, so I can just wear one each night of a 7 day cruise and call it good!   

Formal night - Calvin Klein dress, Loft shawl
And here are a few other tips, free of charge:
  • Wear sunscreen!  Even in Alaska, I got fried!
  • Spend a few extra days wherever you catch the boat.  There are probably cool things to see and do.
  • Splurge on a balcony room.  It's totally worth it.
Special thanks to Kimberlee for letting me guest post! I will leave you with one of many sunset pictures I have from cruises.  Isn't that beautiful! 

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