9 Things to Leave Behind When Prepping For Your Next Cruise
Photo by Chris Owen
Packing and preparing can be one of the most enjoyable parts of travel or one of the most hated.
As we consider airline luggage fees, where we will be going, what we need to have on hand for that particular climate and more, there are a number of items that are indispensible, and others that should be left behind. Regarding the latter, some are obvious and some may surprise you:
1) Candles — For many years, we brought along candles to burn in our stateroom, just for a bit of a homey feel. Cruise ships no longer have candles in their dining rooms, and they are banned in passenger rooms as well. Attempt to bring them onboard now and security guards will probably confiscate them.
2) BYOB — Most cruise lines really don’t want you to supply your own tipple. Obvious reason: They want to sell you drinks. Better reason: If you bring your own booze, the ship’s bartenders can’t monitor your consumption. Falling off the barstool at home = humiliating. Falling off the cruise ship = near certain death.
3) Toilet Paper — The vacuum toilet systems used on cruise ships can’t take a whole lot more than they are intended for. Use the provided TP, as ultra cushy, thick and plush Charmin from home will surely cause a maintenance call.
4) Too Many Clothes — Fear of “formal night” is usually the reason for an overstuffed suitcase, but this anxiety is lessening as dress codes relax. Still, be careful about that. On a recent sailing of a cruise line that promotes relaxed onboard ambiance, I left formalwear at home only to find out that less-spiffy dressers onboard were very much in the minority. Not talked about much: the difference between the “published dress code” and “reality dress code.”
5) Your Business Cards (And You Are a Travel Agent) — Cruise lines like that travel agents send business their way. To a point. Once onboard, cruise lines have people there to help make onboard bookings, often with a bonus extra value for booking onboard. They don’t want independent travel agents messing up that prime time to sell a cruise. Not long ago, I saw a travel agent being escorted off our cruise ship. And not in a good way.
6) Over the Door Hanger For Extra Storage — If this is necessary, you need to rethink your packing list. Again, formal nights are not the prom anymore, dress codes are more relaxed and fewer clothes are needed.
7) Complaining Aunt Susan — If the thought of traveling with your complaining friend or joy-robbing family member causes a moment of pause, don’t invite them.
8) An Empty Wallet — Regardless of the cruise line sailed, there will be additional out of pocket expenses, even on all-inclusive lines. If nothing else, expenses for doing anything on your own off the ship will be on the list. Gamblers: In reality, you do not always win. I know that’s tough to hear, but it really is true.
9) Your Clever Comedy Routine — No longer funny at the craps table, in line to board the ship or in just about any public venue: comments relating to bombs, blowing things up, fire and weapons.
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