October 11, 2017

That Time I Went On Another Cruise...

Husband and I were gearing up for our 2nd cruise that was coming up on October 29th. This time we set sail on the Norwegian Breakaway out of NYC. For us, there were bonus savings because we can drive there instead of flying! We actually took the Megabus so we don't even have to pay for parking.


In preparation for our trip, here is a list of cruise-cabin must-haves that I will be bringing:...

Bar Shampoo:
I started using bar shampoo for environmental purposes, but as a bonus, it's also great for travel because I don't have to worry about having a certain size in a carry-on, or the possibility of exploding in my suitcase. I realize that cruise ships actually have shampoo on board, but they don't have conditioner! And when using a shampoo like this with natural ingredients, you don't need conditioner! 
I swear, I'm not a hippy, my hair is so much healthier since switching to this. My hair is long and thick and Husband's is short and thin. He also likes it.

There are a ton of shampoo bars out there, but this JR Liggett's Tea Tree & Hemp Oil one I can personally endorse. I did find some others to leave my hair with a residue I didn't love. It's a manageable size to just grab and take with you (wrapped in wax paper), or you could cut it in half to take a smaller amount. 

Primary use is as a night light in the bathroom, but can also be used for romantic lighting. Also available at the dollar store.

At least one of these games
Or any travel-sized game... but I got one of these, loved it, and bought several more. Our favorites are Rum and Hue. These pack-of-gum-sized games are perfect for when you're waiting for trivia to start, or for your room service food to be delivered. 

Every day you will receive a paper itinerary of the events on board. Highlighters help you plan your day so that you don't miss anything you really want to do.
Pencil highlighters are environmentally friendly and wont dry out! But bring a sharpener.

Or maybe one of each. I brought a splitter and extension cord on my last cruise and was happy to have both. Cabins typically have one or two outlets so the splitter was perfect. I also used the extension cord for when I was in bed and using a device I was charging. If bringing a power strip, get one that is not a surge protector as those are not allowed for some reason.
Personally, I take both an extension cord and this USB/plug splitter. The splitter is also a surge protector, but it doesn't look like one, so I haven't had a problem (so far).

Magnetic hooks:
The walls on cruise ship cabins are metal, even though they don't look it, so magnets are your friends! Hooks allow you extra spots to hang your lanyard, towels, etc.
Just be careful not to pack these next to credit cards or electronics. 
*On some ships, the plastic coating on the walls is thicker than other ships, so make sure your magnets are very strong (stronger than the ones below), and anticipate that they might not work as well as you want them to.
Large Hook Strongman Magnets
Use regular magnets to hang up any papers you don't want to get lost. Most cabin doors are also metal, so you can use magnets for decorating your door or leaving notes. (*Disclaimer* I take no responsibility for anything stolen off your door. ) These ones are so cute! So, maybe get boring ones if you're going to use them on your door.
push pin magnets
Reusable bag:
These can be purchased in most supermarkets for $1 each, or get them for your whole crew online! Take just one of these into port with you and you won't need a single disposable plastic bag! This keeps your cabin from getting cluttered up by the disposable ones, and *BAM* you have extra storage for all your treasures since airlines won't count these as a carry on!
reusable bags

Wine opener:
For cruise lines that let you bring some wine on board, if you open it in your cabin and bring a glass to dinner, you don't have to pay the corkage fee (Note: do NOT bring the open bottle. Some servers will charge you the fee!). You can ask your steward for an opener but it's likely you get one of these which requires a significant amount of upper body strength to use. Bring your own if you don't want to risk hurting yourself or your bottle of wine!
Champagne stopper:
I have a couple of these that were the packaged stopper on Yellowtail champagne, and they work surprisingly well. I haven't used the kind you can purchase separately, but I always pack one of these when I travel, incase we need to celebrate... just about anything! Pick some up, or purposefully select Yellowtail, and then reuse theirs with (almost) any brand (I know... *vintage* is the proper term).
champagne stopper

Jewelry Organizer:
(Mostly) for the ladies... Keep your necklaces from tangling and earrings from getting lost with a small travel organizer. I like this plastic one because it takes up minimal space and is lightweight.
Jewelry Organizer

Travel Dopp Kit:
When selecting a Dopp Kit, instead of picking one that just has one compartment, pick one that unzips into an organizer! I don't use one because cruise lines are fitting a lot of storage into their bathrooms, but Husband uses one and loves it. (Most) cruise bathrooms come with hand soap, shampoo, and body wash, so pack accordingly.
Over-The-Door Organizer
These are intended to be used for shoes but are so useful for keeping your small stuff organized and off the small amount of desk space you have.
I was skeptical about this tip, but once I brought mine on one cruise I discovered how much easier it was to keep my small space tidy by using it. One with mesh pockets is ideal so you can easily see where everything is.
over-the-door organizer

It's really easy to get heart burn with all the food and drinks you're likely to indulge in every day. It's worth packing at least a small amount because it's way more expensive from the onboard shops... and they're not open 24 hours aka when you need them most.
travel tums

Similiar to tums, you don't want to be without this when you need it. You just never know when you might get food poisioning in a port. As you might suspect, I speak from experience.
pepto bismol

Rum Runners:
For sneaking on "water." Officially, I don't condone what these are used for, or use them myself, but I've heard they work.

Small Flasks:
These are actually for salad dressing, but work great for bringing a bit of booze up to the pool deck (or wherever) with you to put in a soda (or juice, etc). Again, I'm not encouraging anyone to smuggle it on board, but you can buy a bottle of your favorite spirit by calling room service and then use these to take it around the ship.
A bottle will be steep compared to liquor store prices (about double what you see in the duty free store), but will be less per serving compared with buying each drink. You'll likely also want the soft drink package to maximize your savings.
For bringing your "water" with you around the ship.

More stuff you should bring!:
Couple's Packing List
Sundeck Necessities

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