It’s no secret that cruise ship rooms are substantially smaller than a typical room at a hotel or resort. But that’s no reason for your family to feel overly cramped or confined! Following a handful of simple tips will help you make the best use of the space available to you. And, they can greatly increase your overall comfort level. Also, some simple organizational tools can help as well. Several inexpensive time-tested convenience items often recommended by veteran cruisers will help you maximize your usable space. Set out below are 10 easy tips to implement.
Planning holiday gift exchanges on Christmas cruises warrants some advance thought and planning — particularly if you are traveling with kids. After taking numerous holiday cruises with family and friends over the years, I have learned some otherwise simple lessons the hard way. You can now benefit from these prior errors and oversights. Here are a few tips to make gift giving on your family Christmas cruises go more smoothly.
Related Post: Why You’ll Actually Love Christmas On A Cruise Ship
1. Pack All Gifts Unwrapped On Your Christmas Cruises.
Rule No. 1: Pack all gifts unwrapped. This is particularly true if you will be flying to your embarkation port. Don’t assume that an x-ray machine will provide a sufficient inspection of your wrapped packages. If TSA agents feel like they need to take a closer look inside your gift boxes, your pretty bows and carefully applied beautiful wrapping paper will not fare well. If you would like to see some examples of TSA re-wrapping at work, check out the photos with this article: The TSA May Unwrap Your Holiday Presents If You Don’t Follow These Rules. The generous use of TSA security tape adds a special touch.
Also, all of your luggage and carry-ons will be inspected when you board the cruise ship. Although the inspections at embarkation don’t begin to compare to what you find at the airport, they still take place. Anything that looks like potential contraband (e.g., alcohol) will receive a closer look.
2. Pack Your Own Wrapping Supplies For Christmas Cruises.
If you are packing gifts, then you should also pack your own wrapping supplies. Do not, under any circumstances, assume that you will be able to buy any wrapping supplies on board the ship or at a convenient port. The odds are much more likely that you will come up empty-handed. So, unless you want to “wrap” your gifts in the paper/plastic shopping bags that the ship uses for customers’ purchases, plan ahead.
The easiest thing to pack are gift bags. They are quick to assemble once on board. They don’t require much in the way of extra materials. And, when flat, they can fit in most any luggage. But, if you prefer traditional wrapping paper, you need to remember to pack not only the actual wrapping paper, ribbons and/or bows, but also your tape and scissors. These are also items that you are unlikely to find readily accessible on-board. So toss a pair of scissors and a roll of tape in your checked luggage. Read More …
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Babies and toddlers are small people bundles who often require lots of stuff to get through a typical day. One of the challenges of taking a cruise with a baby is figuring out how to accommodate all of that additional stuff without hauling a large steamer trunk onto the ship. Here are some tips on strategic packing when you cruise with a baby.
You can make your packing easier by arriving at your port city early and buying some basic items at a local store. (But you should do some research in advance to find out how far your preferred stores are from your hotel or the port.) You can easily purchase many bulky items like diapers and wipes before you board (at major U.S. port cities). This cuts down on your packing. It also save you on checked luggage. Since you will consume things like diapers, wipes and baby food on your trip, you shouldn’t have to worry about excess bags on your return trip.
If a pre-embarkation shopping trip does not mesh with your plans, then you should plan to pack everything that your baby or toddler will likely need on your trip. Make a list identifying things that you would be very sad not to have for 3 days, e.g., items such as diapers, wipes, formula, and preferred baby medication. You should not assume that you will have easy access to purchase necessary items that you forget or use up once you are onboard your ship. Although you can often find usual sundries on board – they may quickly run out of your preferred item. Also, you will not always be able to find what you want when you want at any given port.
When packing for a cruise with a baby, focus on packing these seven essential items to streamline your load. Read More …