February 20, 2018

How To Pack For a 7 Day Cruise With Only a Carry-On

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About a month ago we were fortunate to go on a weeklong cruise. Our family has a tradition of going on one of these adventures anytime someone in the family graduates. My brother graduated with his Master’s in December (WOO JOHN! I’m so proud of you Bubba!) so we all hopped on a giant boat and cruised down to Mexico to celebrate.

Because of this awesome graduation tradition, we have gone on quite a bit of cruises (and people wonder why we stay in school! 😉 ). That being said, I’ve become really efficient at packing for these trips. I also have only ever brought a carry-on suitcase and backpack. With a parent in the airlines, we’ve never been able to bring anything larger than a carryon since we fly standby. Furthermore, I just don’t think a giant suitcase is necessary for one human for only 7 days.

In case you’re a first time cruiser and don’t know what to expect, let me start by explaining what usually goes on while cruising somewhere warm. For us, this is pretty much how the schedule goes daily:

If we are at sea:
  • Wake up
  • Workout
  • Breakfast at the buffet
  • Shower
  • Hangout at the pool, tan, relax, or explore the ship
  • Lunch at the buffet
  • More pool time, tanning, relaxing, playing games
  • Shower + get ready for dinner
  • Dinner in the dining room (aka see how much you can cram into your stomach until you feel sick)
  • Entertainment show of some sort depending on what is offered
  • Bed
At port:
  • Wake up
  • Get ready
  • Breakfast at the buffet
  • Go on an excursion or just get off the boat and explore
  • Possibly pool, tan, relax depending on the time
  • Get ready for dinner
  • Dinner in the dining room
  • Show
  • Bed

Of course every day can vary but that’s generally how it goes for us at least. I’m sure some people have completely different schedules. We really use these trips to relax as much as possible. Some days there’s a whole lotta of nothing going on for us.

Now, as for what I pack in my suitcase I try to keep it pretty straight forward. I pack lots of dresses because it’s one piece and BAM! I’m dressed. There are usually one or two nights that are considered “formal nights” meaning men in button down and slacks, women in a nice dress, etc. Some people get really really fancy for these dinners but it honestly really depends on the cruise. This one had two formal nights so I packed two formal dresses and 1 pair of heels and got along just fine.

What I pack in my carry-on:

To wear during the day:
  • 3 casual dresses/swim covers
  • 3 tops (usually neutral colors)
  • 2 rompers
  • 2 pairs of shorts (1 jean, 1 neutral color)
  • 1 skirt
To wear in the evening:
  • 4 semi formal outfits (3 dresses, 1 romper)
  • 2 formal dresses
  • 8 pairs of underwear
  • 5 swimsuits (this really isn’t necessary but of all things this is most important to me!)
  • 3 sports bras
  • 2 pairs of pajamas
  • 1 nude strapless bra
Workout clothes:
  • 3 workout shorts
  • 3 workout tops
  • 4 workout socks
Extras in my backpack:
To wear on the plane (winter edition):
  • Jeans/casual bottoms but not sweatpants type of deal…
  • Comfortable top
  • Jean jacket/something versatile like it – this is super useful in case it gets chilly on the boat!
  • Booties – I LOVE these!

One last thing to mention – cruises normally provide laundry services so that’s always an option! We did end up doing our laundry once to wash our workout clothes because they stunk… Bad.

I hope this helps! As usual, let me know if you have any questions!

with joy
jordan jean


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