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5 Things I Learned Overpacking for a Cruise

Ovation of the Seas, cruise ship

In January, I utterly overpacked for a cruise.

I had by no means been on a cruise like this earlier than (properly, longer than 2 nights), and after speaking it over with my boyfriend about all the totally different activities we’d need to partake in, he stated: “Just take all of it.”

I paused for a second to let my brain process this uncommon (for me) concept.

“Positive, what the heck!”

The cruise was leaving and coming back to Sydney; it was only a simple practice experience to the port for us, and no flight to worry about. No restrictions on toiletry sizes. If there was ever a time to splurge on luggage, this is able to be it.

The Ovation of the Seas cruise ship by Royal Caribbean.

Over the course of 8 nights, we might benefit from the swimming pools, the seashores, journeys to the fitness center, sightseeing in Vanuatu and New Caledonia, exhibits within the theater, casual meals, dressy meals, and never one, however two formal nights on the boat.

I would wish bathing go well with(s), workout gear, athletic footwear, flip flops, dressy footwear, and cozy footwear. Solar clothes, cardigans for cool AC, a jacket in case of rain throughout port visits, and so much more…

Sure, I packed far more than I do, for any sort of journey, and I still managed to get all of it into a carry-on suitcase and small backpack!

(Can we please take a minute to have a giggle over the very fact I overpacked and it was still approach less than most people pack for trip!)

Being the ultralight packer that I am, I thought-about this one other packing experiment. And boy did I study and reaffirm some massive points. Let’s have a better take a look at the experiment before leaping to the juicy learnings in the direction of the top of this publish.

What I Packed for an 8-Night time South Pacific Cruise

stuffed suitcase for the cruise

My suitcase that’s fairly full and overpacked, particularly when adding on a small backpack with laptop and additional bits.

My specific South Pacific cruise went from Sydney to Vanuatu to New Caledonia and again to Sydney, a total course of 8 nights on the ship with 2 port visits. It befell during mid-January, the summer time season in the Southern Hemisphere, with a forecast of principally sun and some solar showers on our first port visit in Vanuatu. Dinners included multiple informal and dressy nights, and the prospect to partake in TWO formal evenings.

Right here is every thing that I packed for this journey:

Sporting/Not Packed: Prime + lightweight shorts + Naot strolling sandals, small purse, sunglasses

5 x Clothes (2 formal, three mild sundresses)
2 x Shorts (1 jean, 1 light-weight)
1 x Black Denims
6 x Tops
2 x Swimsuits + further bikini prime
2 x Exercise outfits (2 leggings, 2 tanks, 2 sports activities bras, 2 socks)
1 x Mild long sleeve prime
1 x Summer time cardigan
1 x Merino wool wrap cardigan
1 x Mild packable jacket
1 x Swimsuit coverup
1 x Pajamas (shorts + cami prime)
1 x Summer time robe (for lounging in the room)
12 x Underwear (extras for the fitness center)
three x Bras
2 x Clutches
four x Footwear (trainers, flip flops, dressy wedges, kitten heels)
1 x Waterproof pouch
1 x Stuffable backpack

Electronics: Laptop computer + charger, Plug adapter, iPhone, USB telephone charger, backup moveable battery pack

Toiletries: All of the fundamentals + additional creams and sprays for my fragile bleached hair + primary make-up package (eyeliner, mascara, Burt’s Bees Lip Shimmers)

Meds: Ache drugs, stomach meds, anti-nausea meds, nutritional vitamins

Extras: Sun shades case, full-sized bottle of spray sunscreen, tube of sensitive skin sunscreen for face, baseball hat, clothesline, hair brush + round brush, pouch of jewellery, passport, nail polish, fragrance (in atomizer)

How I Overpacked for the Cruise

naot dorith walking sandals

My favorite footwear proper now- the Naot Dorith sandals- that in all probability might have been used for dressing up and *perhaps* even formal nights, knocking out 2 different pairs of footwear.

Lengthy story brief, I packed so much, and undoubtedly greater than I needed in the garments and footwear division.

  • I easily might have accomplished with 1 workout outfit that I rinsed and hung to dry in between periods. I ended up going to the fitness center 3 occasions for lower than an hour every go.
  • I simply might have accomplished with 1 formal gown, even when we did attend/take part in both formal nights. Heck, a solid-colored maxi/sundress would have dressed up properly sufficient for the night time.
  • I didn’t put on the kitten heels, and the dressy (blingy) wedges labored perfectly for the formal nights. My cute Naot walking sandals might have even finished the trick, knocking out 2 additional pairs of footwear from the combination.
  • I didn’t wear the jeans, the packable jacket, the merino wrap cardigan, the summer time gown, the swimsuit coverup, or one among my swimsuits solely. I might in all probability have achieved with out the jean shorts as properly.
  • The waterproof pouch still has the tags on it that I didn’t take off before packing!

And let’s not overlook that I didn’t crack my laptop open as soon as. Not as soon as! You may assume you’ll have some down time over the course of 8 days, however not so much when on a cruise ship where activities are scheduled all day day by day.

5 Issues I Discovered (and Reaffirmed) at the Finish of This Packing Experiment

wearing same clothing while traveling

Despite the fact that I packed choices, I nonetheless found myself sporting the identical issues again and again. Notice the swimsuit prime and unfastened tank-top whereas 1) hanging out on the deck, 2) on the brink of carry out the Thriller dance, and three) sightseeing in Vanuatu.

1 – Packing for a cruise is a frightening experience.

A cruise condenses so many various experiences into one relatively brief journey. Not solely are you fascinated with formal nights and fancy dinners, lounging subsequent to swimming pools and seashores, hitting the health club, and exploring new lands, however you’re also contemplating probably the most annoying part of it all: the very fact you’re secluded, typically for days, in the midst of the ocean.

That type of trapped feeling, mixed with the very fact my boyfriend needed to “really experience it all”, added additional stress to the packing expertise. Regardless that it didn’t have to.

Identical to when touring to land-based destinations, you should purchase most essentials on the cruise ship (or while in port). And for things like shore excursions, the ship and native businesses have assumed you will want/purchase/lease extras for them.

2 – If I can fit this much stuff into carry-on sized luggage, then anyone can downsize to carry-on only baggage without drama.

Ladiessss, I had so many footwear and so many articles of clothes, plus all the extra “extras”, and it all still match into carry-on sized baggage. In case you are questioning whether or not or not you possibly can travel with carry-on only sized luggage, take this as your answer: YOU CAN DO IT. Ali even went on an Antarctica cruise taking only carry-on sized baggage.

three – Forgetting one thing you assume is major in all probability isn’t major at all.

My boyfriend forgot his gown footwear. Once we made this discovery whereas unpacking into our cabin, we each received a bit flustered at forgetting one thing that would make or break a suit-wearing expertise. At the finish of the day, he obtained all formal-y in a go well with jacket and tennis footwear, and you recognize what? It didn’t have an effect on our experience one bit.

four – Nobody cares, except you.

Leaping off the last level, no one cares in case you are sporting a go well with with tennis footwear on a cruise ship. No one cares in case you put on the same gown to both formal nights. Nobody cares whether or not you forgot to placed on make-up before leaving your cabin, or in case you have straightened hair. Nobody cares if your toenails are painted, in case your skin smells like Dolce & Gabbana’s Mild Blue (my faaaaaaavorite), or if your health club attire appears totally different from the day earlier than.

No one really cares about this stuff… besides you. So why not give yourself a break and unburden your self of preconceived notions of what it’s worthwhile to do while on vacation, proper? And in case you are fearful about some of these issues while touring, simply ensure you’re doing so for the proper reasons.

5 – Simply because it matches in a small bag doesn’t make it straightforward.

Keep in mind how I stated I match all these things right into a carry-on sized bag and backpack? Positive all these things can be allowed on a US-based airline/flight as cabin baggage, but let me inform you this…

It was NOT the simplest thing to lug round, regardless of its comparatively compact measurement. My suitcase felt heavy. I used to be irritated pushing it throughout uneven roads and footpaths, lifting it on and off the practice, and simply packing and unpacking all of the issues.

Packing smarter for me is all the time about packing lighter, not just smaller, and that’s the reason I stress it so much on this website.

I’m not gonna lie…

There is a good kind of feeling opening up the closet while touring and having a great deal of options that may cowl nearly any state of affairs. It was enjoyable with the ability to gown up with my companion in crime, and to do so with selection. It was great to not have to consider washing (or hand-washing) clothes in the midst of the thrill, or needing to spend cash on things we forgot to pack (apart from that darn aloe after I obtained sunburnt fairly dangerous – doh!).

Still, at the end of the day, a lot of what was lugged with me for the experiment went unused, and more was pretty much deemed pointless. Whereas there’s a aid at having all bases coated, I’m not so positive choices will ever outweigh (a minimum of for me) the annoyance of packing, transporting, unpacking, repacking, and transporting again stated stuff once I travel.

P.S. Have a learn of those cruise hacks, or this publish on packing for a cruise.

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cruise overpacking lessons
overpacked for a cruise

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