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Must-haves when packing for a cruise

24th February 2013

Packing for a cruise isn't quite like packing for your usual holiday. While all cruise packages will be slightly different due to the individual destinations, ship and style, here are some basic tips to help you pack for your unique journey at sea.

Have the essentials in your carry on:

When you board the ship, make sure your important documents like your tickets, passport, travel insurance and any medical information are easily accessible in your hand luggage.

This is just in case any of the relevant officials need to check your information. You might also want to take a change of clothes, your swimsuit and any other items you think you may need for the first few hours on board, as it can take this amount of time for your checked luggage to arrive at your room.

Know the dress code

Each ship and journey will have its own dress code. Often, during the day you will be free to wear casual wear, such as shorts, t-shirts, sundresses and shirts.

Many cruises, however, will have some semi-formal and formal nights, where you are expected to come to dinner wearing dressier attire.

A semi-formal night can be interpreted as jackets and ties for men, and dresses or pant suits for women.

A formal night requires suits and ties or tuxedos for men, and cocktail dresses for women.

You'll also want to be prepared for any theme nights, which you will be advised of before you leave. That might be a 70's evening, tropical island attire or a James Bond theme.

To save on luggage space, pack mix-and-match outfits that you can wear in different ways. Remember, you can do laundry on-board.

The extras

Always take into account the type of climate you're travelling to and bring items such as wet weather gear, sunscreen, a sun-hat, sunglasses and a pair of sandals.

As some days will be spent lounging by the pool relaxing, be sure to bring a sizeable tome, or an e-reader device that gives you access to many books.

With all the essentials covered, sit back, relax and watch the world go by...from the comfort of your cabin.