Cruise Packing Picks!

So, my handsome husband and I are finally going on our honeymoon!

Okay, so we just got married in March, and we have a very good reason for delaying our honeymoon until early May, as my husband is in college for a second degree in Computer Science.  Nor did we want to cruise over Spring Break :).

That’s right- our honeymoon is a 7-day Eastern Caribbean cruise on the Freedom of Seas, and we’re totally stoked.

I don’t think delaying your honeymoon for awhile is such a bad idea- after all, I would hate to rush to another state to board a cruise ship or an airport to board a flight when I’m super tired from a wedding.  Of course, a few people were still shocked to see me at work on the Monday after my wedding (well, it WAS a workday.  And Clay was at class and work.  What was I supposed to do at home?).

Now, only a few weeks out, cruise anticipation is totally getting to me.  I obsessively check Cruise Critic every day to read about the ship, the ports, the food, EVERYTHING.  I think I was on Cruise Critic more than Facebook this weekend, and for me, that says a LOT.

This will be our third cruise.  Initially, cruising was his idea.  I just went along and figured hey, it’s worth a try.  Well… I ended up HOOKED after our cruise on the Carnival Destiny, and now I’m too spoiled to take land vacations.  If I can’t sail there, I probably won’t be going there…. just sayin’.

I’ve learned a lot from the two cruises I’ve been on, so here are a few awesome items not to forget  for a cruise :).


I’m fortunate to have good skin.  I can lay out by the campus pool for an hour and come back with a beautiful tan and no burning.  Hubby, on the other hand, hangs his arm out of a car window on the 15 minute drive to campus and comes back with a painful sunburn.

Even if you tan well, you definitely need a higher SPF in the Caribbean.  I went on my last cruise with a fairly good base tan and was still a little red after the first day.  If you use SPF 30 regularly, get SPF 50 for a cruise.  Don’t forget to reapply often, and don’t use expired or old sunscreen.

Vera Bradley Tech Case

I got one of these a few years ago for my digital camera and really love it!  It’s pretty good at protecting a digital camera or ipod from the depths of your purse, and it has a handy wrist strap.  Of course, being Vera Bradley, it comes in tons of cool patterns and designs.

The tech case also has an interior pocket for memory cards or earphones, or, when you’re on a cruise- the card that you use to enter your room, get off the ship, or buy stuff.  I take tons of pictures, so I carry my camera and card everywhere I go in this thing :).


Of course, my handsome hubby isn’t into picture taking (but at least he reluctantly poses for me!) and wants to keep his hands free so that he can climb rock walls or dive into pools without worrying about totaling a camera or losing his card.  So… you can punch a hole in the card and hang it on a lanyard.

Clay would totally love this awesome University of South Carolina one, not to mention it’s always a good conversation starter and you meet other fans when you wear college gear.

Lanyards are also great for pulling on if hubby’s don’t want to dance in the dining room or roll their eyes when you ask their opinion on that purse you want to buy.  Not that I would know about that…

Ca$h Money

Okay, so you can use the ship card to pay for items on the ship, but you definitely need to take cash, too.  Specifically, $1 and $5 bills for tips.  You should definitely tip when you order room service and also tip for porters who carry your luggage, cab drivers, etc.  It’s good to have cash on hand to buy things in port, but definitely make sure you have small bills for tips and when you can’t make change.


Watches are not really my thing. I wear bracelets and hair elastics on my wrists pretty much all the time, but on a cruise or vacation, you’re not always close to a clock. You gotta know what time happy hour starts, when to turn over while tanning, and of course, when to be back at the ship before departing :).  Don’t count on your phone either- as it tends to adjust to the time on shore rather than the ship’s time.

Before my last cruise, I bought a fairly cheap watch at Target.  It’s not the cutest watch in the world, but it had the #1 quality when looking at watches in a store… it was set :).

I really like this watch with the interchangeable bands.

Obviously, I take tons of other stuff on cruises- good thing Royal Caribbean sent us like 10 luggage tags for our suitcases!

What items could you not live without on vacation?

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8 Responses to Cruise Packing Picks!

  1. Brooklynn says:

    Before going to the Caribbean you’ll want to acclimate your skin to the harsher and more frequent sun rays. Getting a base tan in your natural climate is a good idea. Be wary of using a high SPF because you’re more likely to get a ban sunburn- studies show that the high SPFs let less sun through and you don’t get as much of a base tan. As a result, when the SPF wears off, your skin is even more vulnerable (and there are some chemical properties than contribute to this as well) and you can burn worse. Exposure to sunburn- not necessarily sun exposure in general- makes you more at risk for melanoma.

    I have very fair skin and I actually went to the fake-n-bake (tanning bed) for a few weeks before my Caribbean cruise. I went for something like 5 sessions of 4 minutes each, and had a light base tan. The result was that I could use a 30 or 45 SPF and didn’t get a burn, and wasn’t worried about having to re-apply religiously or avoid water (as it removes move sunscreens, as does perspiration).

    I hope your honeymoon is full of fun, food, and romance!

    • proudpatriot07 says:

      Yeah, I’m looking at buying SPF 30 or so for the cruise- I used that on my last cruise and it worked well, no burning. As far as here in SC, I usually use 15. I do use a higher number on my face, but I have a special face bottle for that :).

      I seriously agree with you, though, on the super high numbers. My hubby seems to get some burn no matter what, even using a high number. I highly doubt SPF 110 is THAT much better than SPF 50. It makes me think they are preying on skin cancer fears to make money selling an SPF that high.

      I’m glad you didn’t burn on your cruise either! Thanks for reading my blog :).

      • Brooklynn says:

        I think you are absolutely right about the SPF! There are some people who do not tan at all- one of the girls I mentored over the summer did not produce pigment- and there is a sunscreen called Blue Lizard that is almost pure Zinc Oxide (I believe that is the active ingredient). If Clay really doesn’t tan at all (if he’s redheaded, that might be a clue) then you could look into Blue Lizard. It worked for my girl and is dermatologist-approved. I know that Neutrogena is “dermatologist approved” but it is not tested for people with sun allergies or melanin issues.

        Best of luck! Congratulations, by the way. And I took my cruise on Freedom of the Seas and LOVED it! We did the San Juan-St. Maarten-St. Thomas route. I know that there is a new ship called the Genesis or something like that, but is holds somewhere around 10,000 people or more? That just seems like too much for a girl who likes quiet, private time!

      • proudpatriot07 says:

        Yeah- ours is cococay, St. Maarten, St. Thomas. I wish we were going to San Juan, tho! Maybe next cruise? Really can’t wait for the Freedom of the Seas though :). It will be the biggest ship we’ve been on, both our others were pretty small compared to it.

  2. Lindsay says:

    There are lots of benefits to delaying a honeymoon – I kind of wished we could have had a brunch the next day and visit with friends/family more, but of course I also did not mind taking off work for two weeks in the south pacific! I certainly don’t blame you for avoiding the spring break “kids”. 🙂

    Have a wonderful time!!!!!

  3. time for happiness says:

    I am so excited for you! This will be so much fun and you seem so prepared 🙂

  4. You are going to have to take tons of pictures. You will have so much fun Amy. I agree about VB, I’m kinda obsessed with my wristlet.

  5. Zaneta says:

    How fun!! I’d say postponing your honeymoon wasn’t a bad thing at all!! 🙂
    Can’t wait to hear all about it and see some pictures! 🙂

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