Pack Mule

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Monday Fun Day…maybe not so fun, mostly busy.  Work, work, with a side of work.  It is a short work week for Scott & I.  We are both off for Thanksgiving.  Now we aren’t lucky like my Dad whose job gave him the whole week off.  Good for you Dad!

I have found that while people watching at the port on embarkation day, massive amounts of luggage is being carried, dragged, and rolled.  People, people, you are not pack mules.  Drop the luggage and learn to downsize on your packing.

This has been a hard lesson for me but I do get better every trip.  Scott travels so much for business that he is a pro at packing.  We take 1 small suitcase for Scott’s items, 1 medium suitcase for my items and room for purchases we make on the trip, and Scott also carries a backpack.  The backpack is mostly for port days.  It holds the camera, bottled water, light jackets, sunscreen, and bug spray.

Here is a basic list of items:

On your person you should make sure you have the following:

  • Cruise documents/receipts/excursion documents
  • Credit card/debit card/cash
  • I.D./passport/birth certificate
  • Insurance cards


  • Pajamas
  • Underwear/bra/pantyhose
  • Bathing suit/cover up – if you plan on swimming quite a bit bring more than one
  • Jewelry/watch
  • Sunglasses
  • Socks & Shoes – I wear shoes that don’t require socks.  Don’t forget your dress shoes and socks.
  • Jeans – I bring a pair of jeans for days that might be a little chilly
  • Shorts/capris
  • Shirts
  • Dress clothes – Since we usually have two formal nights and do the steakhouse, I like to bring a skirt and different tops that go with it. This way I don’t have a bunch of dress clothes. Scott brings two pairs of kakis and a couple of dress shirts (he only wears them to dinner and then puts his t-shirt and shorts back on).
  • Light jacket/sweater


  • Camera/bag/charger
  • Cell phone/charger
  • Power strip/extra outlet
  • Curling iron/flat iron/hot rollers/blow dryer – I’m a low maintenance kind of girl so I only bring a curling iron and use the blow dryer that is provided by Carnival.

Toiletries & First Aid:

What I do is get a travel size of any product I find I use on a regular basis. That includes things like Tylenol, Tums, and a mini first aid kit.  If you wear contacts don’t forget all of those items needed.

If you have been reading the blog then you know that we bring magnet clips, clothes pins, pop up laundry hamper, shoe organizer, and binder clips.  We also bring our Carnival large bottled water carrier and movie blankets.

I cannot stress enough the importance of not over packing. I have found that a good trick for me when getting ready for a trip is to preplan.  I take all of the clothes that I have worn over a 7 day period and place it in a pile.  I then look at each item and decide if it’s something that I would wear on the cruise or not.  If the answer is no, I remove it from the pile.  If the answer is yes, it either stays in the pile or a comparable item that I want for the cruise replaces it.  If there is a specific item I purchased just for the cruise I add it to the pile. If there are items such as swimsuits that aren’t in the pile I add them. I take the remaining items and fill the medium suitcase.  If it doesn’t fit with room for souvenirs then stuff is removed.  I no longer just grab the biggest suitcase right away. I now pack to fit the size I want to carry or pull.  If it’s too bulky to comfortably pull in and out of the house then more than likely I’m not going to like moving it around a parking lot, port or ship.

You can find plenty of packing lists online to print.  I have tried that several times and ended up over packing. Only you know exactly what you absolutely need every day. Remember there are laundry rooms on the ship if you need to wash a couple of items, just saying. Happy packing!


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