I recently got back from a cruise with Royal Caribbean and had the best time! It was a Dance Fitness Cruise! I took 24 classes and met some amazing people! Everyone did so many great things to help their trip run smoother! I wrote down all of their suggestions along with a few of my own! If you are cruising anytime soon, I hope these tips will helps things run smoothly for you!
Before Sarah and I boarded the ship, we stopped by a local drugstore and each purchased a 24 pack of water! I would recommend leaving a little extra room in your suitcase to slip these in before you get on the ship. The drinking water on the ship is not nearly as “chlorine-y” as it used to be though! So you can fill the bottles up if you would like! If you are planning on purchasing a drink package on the ship, you can skip this tip. Sarah and I did not purchase a drink package, so this helped save us some money!
You can also bring two full size bottles of wine on board before you leave! (Again, we were on Royal Caribbean, so check your ship before you do this!) No hard alcohol, but if you like to drink wine, this is a great option to do to save money!
I WISH I would have brought my Starbucks tumbler that I use every single day while at home! It would have been so nice to have it with me! My insulated tumbler would have been a huge bonus too! It is nice to carry a hot drink with you in a container that has a lid so you don’t worry about spilling! My suggestion is to pack an empty tumbler in your suitcase! I also like to drink my Bio Coffee every morning, so I brought enough of those to last the week. If you are particular about your drink’s taste, bringing a flavoring or instant coffee can help you survive the week easily! I plan to bring my Hydroflask this year!
Everywhere you go on the ship, you need your key card! On Royal Caribbean’s ships, you can purchase a WOW band too that you wear like a watch. But I would highly recommend having a card holder for the back of your phone to hold your key card and whatever other small object that you want to have with you! You could also bring a lanyard to keep around your neck if you prefer to keep your Sea Pass in there!
Yep, I brought my small steamer with me to steam my wrinkly clothing! Since you are not allowed to bring an iron on the ship and paying to have clothes steamed or ironed cost a fortune, I was so glad that I had this steamer with me! As a bonus, Sarah and I also used it to heat up water for our Bio Coffee to drink it in the room!
Besides the obvious Dramamine for motion sickness, make sure to pack other medicines you may need as well! A ship is full of so much recycled air, and many people can feel sick during the trip! To insure your health, I would recommend packing cough drops, vitamin C, ibuprofen, and anything else you can think of to help you stay healthy and have the best trip! And if you don’t want to be drowsy try Bonine. But don’t worry, if you forget to pack this and feel sea sick, you can go to guest services to request a complimentary pill!
I always like to bring a lightweight bag that will fit easily in my suitcase! This bag is perfect for toting everything I may need for the beach and takes up little room in my suitcase! As bonus, you can also use this bag to stuff dirty clothes in on the way home!
My packing cubes go with me on every trip! On the way to the trip, they are perfect for organizing outfits! On the way home, I use them to sort my white and dark dirty laundry to makes things easier for myself when I arrive home! I also use plastic gallon size bags when I am packing! I put one complete outfit (minus shoes) in each bag to make sure that I have everything I need. I save all the bags from the outfits to use during the week if needed! I always make sure my sunscreen is in a plastic bag when we go to the beach! I also like to bring an empty plastic bag to the beach to use for any trash we may have because there is not always a trash can nearby!
There is no telling how long it will take for your luggage to arrive to your stateroom! Always pack a smaller bag with any items you may want to have before your larger luggage is delivered – a bathing suit, a change of clothes, medication, sunscreen, etc.
In case you were not aware, a tip is added to your daily rate each day you are on the cruise! That amount is split amongst the staff. However, you do not HAVE to tip. If you go to guest services, you can ask them to remove the tip because you would like to leave your own. A couple of nights before the trip is over, you will have an envelope in your room. You can then give the tip specifically to the people that take care of your stateroom and serve you at dinner. You can also pre-pay your tip so it is one less charge on the ship.
But you guys, these people work SO hard! So plan on tipping!
I would highly recommend doing the online registration for your ship before you board! You can also print luggage tags to attach to your bags to make that process go faster too!
I didn’t do this for our cruise this year, but my friend, Jo, did! It is an amazing idea! After you pre-register, you can print tags for your luggage so that the attendants know where to deliver your bags. These plastic tags will make it so easy for you tag to stay in place, they protect it from getting wet, and they save you from bringing a stapler or roll of tape.
As you might imagine, there is not a ton of space inside the staterooms of a cruise ship! There is even less space in the bathroom! My friend, Aya, has a genius hack! Bring a hanging shoe organizer for all of your toiletries to save that precious counter space!! I also bring my hanging organizer on every vacation and hang it on the door! Hang it on the outside of the door so that two people can get ready at once!
My friend, Nancy, had this smart hack for cruising – bring some dryer sheets! This will help keep your dirty clothes from smelling too badly! Since we did a fitness cruise, our clothes were pretty sweaty and stinky! Totally going to remember this trick for next year! You can also bring some travel sized detergent to allow you to rinse out some clothes if needed! This is especially helpful for those clothes that were in the ocean!
Another tip that I am totally stealing from my cruise friends is bringing towel clips! The deck of the boat can be windy, and these clips keep your towels from blowing off of your chair! They can also double as a clothes pin to dry out any clothes on your balcony (if you have one)!
You will end up with a hefty bill if you don’t take the time to talk to your cell phone provider about international calls! For a small fee a day, you can still have access to calls and texts. I usually don’t do this because I have an iPhone and purchase the on-board wifi plan. With the wifi, I am able to still iMessage and FaceTime at no additional charge.
If you are cruising any time soon, I hope these tips helps make your trip run a little smoother! And also, I am planning on doing the fitness cruise again next year and would LOVE for you to come on it too! We had a blast! Mark your calendars – January 19-29, 2020! Come party with me on the Allure of the Seas! Just talk to Karma!!
Read all about what I wore here!
**This post contains affiliate links.**
PLEASE NOTE: I traveled with Royal Caribbean! While this stuff was fine on our ship, you will want to double check your ship’s policies! Not all ships allow water to be brought on board, etc.