What to pack for a cruise

“Booked a cruise and wondering what to put in your suitcase? We’ve got a few top tips for you”

Browse our cruise deals and start working on your packing list… What clothes should I pack? Packing for a cruise isn’t too different to preparing for a holiday on dry land…

  • What to pack for a cruise

    Booked a cruise and wondering what to put in your suitcase? We’ve got a few top tips for you. Browse our cruise deals and start working on your packing list…

    What clothes should I pack?

    Packing for a cruise isn’t too different to preparing for a holiday on dry land. Think flip flops for the pool, and shampoo and conditioner for the bathroom. If you’re booked on one of our warm weather itineraries, it’s unlikely your laundry bag will quickly fill up with dirty clothes – you can spend all day on a sun lounger in your swimming costume if you want to. Just make sure to bring something to cover up with at lunch, and a light jacket in case it gets breezy. Plus, prepare for the evening dress code at the onboard restaurants.

    Do Marella cruise ships have a dress code?

    Yes – each of our restaurants has a dress code, and this can differ depending on the time of day. But don’t worry, we’ll always let you know what is when you’re onboard. In the evening, you’ll need to follow the smart casual dress code.  For men, that means full-length trousers and a polo or open-necked shirt – but on Marella Discovery 1 and Marella Discovery 2, and Marella Explorer 1 and Marella Explorer 2, you can swap trousers for smart tailored shorts. At the weekly Captain’s Gala Reception, men will need to wear dinner jackets, tuxedos, or a suit and tie, while women dress in cocktail or evening dresses. From November 2018, you can choose between smart tailored shorts or trousers, a skirt or dress, and a shirt or polo shirt. Jacket and tie are optional, but you’ll need to leave your trainers in your cabin – smart shoes are required. And, on gala evenings, formal nights, and Dress to Impress nights, you’ve got the chance to get suited and booted. Pack your best frock, bow ties, and dress shoes.

    Do I need to pack anything different to wear when visiting ports?

    If you book onto one of our shore excursions, make sure to consider what’s culturally appropriate to wear. For example, if you’re visiting a religious building you might be asked to cover your legs, shoulders, and hair. Or, if you’re cruising in tropical climes like in the Caribbean bring a waterproof jacket in case of rain. Make sure you bring some comfy shoes with you too, as your excursions might include lots of walking.

    What plug adaptors will I need?

    The plug sockets onboard our ships will either be European or a US two-pin plug, so we’d recommend bringing adaptors for both.

    Will I need to bring towels?

    Feel free to leave your beach towel at home – both pool towels and bath towels are provided for you. If you need any more during your stay, just ask your Cabin Steward.

    Do I need to bring a hairdryer?

    No – we’ve got you covered there, too, with every cabin including a hairdryer. You may want to bring a small travel iron with you though, as irons aren’t provided.

    Will I need to bring toiletries?

    You’ll find a small bottle of shower gel in your cabin, but beyond that you’ll need to bring your own toiletries. If you forget anything, or don’t fancy lugging your bathroom cabinet with you, head to the onboard shop. You’ll find all the toiletries you need, from hairbrushes and tweezers, to toothpaste and paracetamol.

    How do I pay for things onboard the ship?

    All of our ships have a cash-free system, so while you’re onboard you don’t need to carry any money with you. Everything is priced in sterling and charged to your cabin account, which you can settle at the end of your cruise in cash, travellers’ cheques or by debit or credit cards. If you do decide to settle your bill in cash, we’ll ask for up to £200 deposit per cabin per week. You won’t need cash for tips or service charges either, as unlike most other cruise lines, we don’t think they should cost you extra. We’ve included them in the price of your cruise, so you’re not expected to tip any of our crew – unless you really want to.

    What else do I need?

    Make sure you bring cash for when you’re visiting the ports or on excursions. If you’re visiting lots of destinations on your cruise and need multiple currencies, stop by our onboard currency exchange desk to get cash changed up. Or, sign up for one of our TUI Multi-Currency Travel Money cards, which can have up to eight currencies loaded on it, including US dollars and euros.

    Find out more about the TUI Multi-Currency Travel Monday cards

    Do I need to bring my passport?
    Yes – boarding a ship is just like boarding a plane. You’ll need to bring your passport with you, and you’ll go through security scanning just as you would at the airport. It’s best to keep your passport with you at all times, as you’ll need to show it each time you get off the ship to visit a port.

    Feeling prepared?

    Take a look at our newest ship, Marella Explorer – and read our blog to meet some of the staff onboard. Plus, customise your cruise checklist with our holiday checklist and include only the things you need.

Author: Lizzie Butler