I packed for a weeklong cruise with just a carry-on and a backpack. Here are 10 items I'm glad I brought and 9 things I wish I had with me.
I took my first cruise on Royal Caribbean's Wonder of the Seas, the largest cruise ship ever.
For the seven-night Caribbean cruise, I brought only a carry-on suitcase and a backpack.
I liked packing light but had some regrets. I wished I had earplugs and a bar of laundry detergent.
I recently took a seven-night cruise to the Caribbean with just a carry-on suitcase and a backpack.
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It was my first time traveling by cruise ship and while packing light made the trip easier, I did forget a few critical items.
One of the best things I packed was a magnet to help make my stateroom stand out amid a long hallway of identical blue doors ...
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... But I wished I downloaded some movies and shows to watch on my phone in my room since the cruise Wi-Fi wasn't strong enough for me to stream.
During my cruise, I enjoyed a few beach days. For long days in the sun, I was glad I packed sunscreen ...
... However, I wished I had remembered to bring some aloe vera gel for the day I forgot to apply it and got burnt.
Some beaches in the Caribbean, like Tulum, Mexico, don't allow sunscreen in the ocean to protect wildlife, my excursion guide said. So, I was glad I brought a rash guard to protect my torso from the sun ...
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... The ocean water was so clear that I wished I had brought a waterproof case for my phone to take pictures, too.
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This sunhat also came in handy to block the sun ...
... But I wished I brought an adjustable cap for windy days on the top decks when my sunhat wouldn't stay on my head.
Even though the weather was hot during the day, this sweater came in handy for cool, windy nights and mornings ...
... But I only packed one pair of pants and had to wear them every night. I should have packed a couple more.
I should have brought a windbreaker, too, to keep me warmer on the top decks in the morning and at night.
I wished I'd brought a bar of detergent to wash my clothes since I packed light and laundry services on the ship cost extra ...
... At least I brought the right shoes: sneakers for walking around ports and waterproof sandals for the pools and beaches.
Thankfully, I also remembered to bring a waist pack to carry a few things when I didn't feel like lugging my backpack around.
I was also glad I brought a digital watch to keep on ship time, the time zone that cruise ships stick to even while docked at ports that are in different time zones ...
... But I wish I had downloaded guidebooks for the ports I visited to get a better idea of things to do.
I wanted to try my best to avoid illness and was glad I packed vitamins ...
... and also medicine to combat motion sickness, which I experienced frequently.
More than anything, I wished I had earplugs to help me sleep during rough nights at sea, which sounded like thunder in my stateroom. It was especially loud since I was at the front of the ship, where seasoned cruisers said movement on ships feels the strongest. Next time, I'll come prepared.
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