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Avec Amour : What to Pack for a Cruise

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

What to Pack for a Cruise

We are gearing up for a 4 day cruise for my friend Taylor's 30th birthday. I'm so excited! But after our cruise last year, I'm thinking about what to pack for this cruise (without overpacking).

Growing up, we went on cruises for several family vacations. I have to say, it really was the BEST vacation to me as a teenager. We had total freedom on the ship, tons of activities for our age group, and we got to island hop & tan. From my parents perspective, I understand why they chose cruises: they are crazy affordable (especially for Florida residents) and incredibly easy to plan. Think about it - you book one thing (the cruise) and you get to see several different countries. PLUS your lodging, food and entertainment is covered. It really couldn't be more simple.

In my adult life, I've been on two different cruises. One was a week after I graduated from college with these loves.
We were all so tan in 2008.
The second one was last year. We took a cruise with 4 other couples and it was a BLAST!

From my experience on cruises, you definitely need a wide variety of clothing as your activities are across the board!

  • Formal dinners (cocktail dress, black tie)
  • Casual dinners (sundress, business casual)
  • At sea days (pool, relaxing, casino, shopping)
  • Island hopping (hiking, tours, walking, beach, etc)
  • Travel days (to and from the ship)

Last years' cruise was when I realized I was consistently overpacking. For 7 nights, I brought a HUGE suitcase that was packed to the brim. It was WAY TOO MUCH. I knew it had to change. 

For the last year, I've packed in nothing bigger than a carry on and it's completely changed how I travel.

Now that we're about a week out from the cruise, I'm thinking about what to pack and cringing about my huge suitcase last year! So here lies the question: what to pack for a cruise without bringing your entire closet? 

Here's what I'm thinking for inspiration....

Little Mistress strapless maxi dress, $105 / U Knits sleeveless dress / Topshop strappy black dress / Mela Loves London cocktail dress, $42 / H M shirts top, $24 / Abercrombie Fitch white racerback tank top / T By Alexander Wang linen tank top / VILA black jacket, $71 / Roxy swimsuit cover up / Distressed jeans, $42 / Current/Elliott shorts / American Eagle Outfitters wide cropped pants / Adidas clothing / We Are Handsome tankini swimsuit top, $130 / Melissa Odabash bandeau top, $140 / L Space lspace swimwear / Tory Burch suede shoes / Asics sports shoes, $240 / Metallic flat sandals / Beach Collection metallic bag, $32 / Michael Kors leather purse / Diamante necklace / Maya brenner jewelry / Alexis Bittar yellow gold earrings / Michael Stars fedora hat / Faliero Sarti scarve, $205 / D&G mirror sunglasses, $985 / LEATHER CLUTCH GOLD

Some power players on this packing list:

  • Sandals that can be casual or dressy. They transition from the pool to casual dinners.
  • Dresses that go from day to night. My little black dress and floral maxi can be dressed up with heels and a blazer or scarf. 
  • Bathing suit cover ups that double as a dress. I can lounge by the pool and hop back inside without feeling awkward or under dressed.  Can also be worn on-island.
  • Scarf & long sleeved shirt/cardigan. These ships are COLD. You might be in the sunshine during the day, but don't be fooled - dinner and a show will always be sub zero. 
  • Swim suits that mix and match. I would never bring less than 2 suits on a tropical vacation (putting a cold, wet suit is the WORST). Choosing pieces that mix & match will give you options.

I'll be taking a slimmed down version of my Florida packing list & making sure every item can be worn two ways. I really want to pack light and get creative. It's the beach, after all - no reason to overpack! Packing carry on only for a cruise should be a simple.

With the temperatures dropping in Nashville I am looking forward to soaking up some sun. Our island stops are Nassau & Freeport - have you been there? Any must-see/must-do sights or activities in the Bahamas?


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