There are some incredible deals for world cruises to be had these days, from 50 night journeys from London to Sydney with Cruise and Maritime Voyages to fully comprehensive three-month ventures with the likes of Cunard. Whether you’re making like Phileas Fogg and exploring the world in 80 days or simply taking in a segment of one of the best world cruises, knowing what to pack on such a lengthy voyage can be tricky. Take a look at our guide to get you on your way.When in doubt: go lightweight

Consequently, you are best off with a smart selection of sturdy, lightweight suitcases and carry-ons that are efficiently packed to maximise fairly limited space. The suitcases should be big enough to fit 10 days of clothing and small enough not to rack up oversized charges at the airline counters. Now, let’s consider what to do with that space.

Formal attire

The first step is to establish how many formal nights there will be onboard, before deciding how comfortable you are with repeating outfits throughout your cruise. Try to keep shoes to a minimum with a couple of pairs of classic heels that easily match your dresses. It’s also good to pack a selection of accessories to give clothes a new lease of life. Men can take advantage of tuxedo rental programs offered by many cruise lines including Royal Caribbean® – some of which even provide cuff links.

Keep it smart-casual

With many of the bars and restaurants onboard stipulating a smart-casual dress code, save space in your suitcase by limiting your wardrobe to this kind of attire. Create multi-functional outfits that can transition smoothly from poolside to dining table – think informal skirts and sweater sets rather than t-shirts and cut-off denim shorts.

Pack for all kinds of weather

On a world cruise you may find yourself spanning the hot and humid tropics one week and the cooler temperatures of the North Pacific the next. To prepare for the fluctuating temperatures – as well as the wet and the dry – pack light layers that can collectively keep you warm when the temperatures drop. Instead of bringing a bulky raincoat, just stash a small umbrella in your carry on. Also make sure these layers can be mixed and matched to adequately outfit your adventures around the ports of call.

Pool style

Whether you’re hurtling down the waterslide onboard Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas® or staying sprawled on a sunlounger with a cocktail in hand, remember to pack your favourite swimwear essentials so you can top up your tan in between ports. A couple of essentials include sunglasses, sun hats and stylish cover-ups.

Ditch the hardbacks

Even if you’re loyal to the old fashioned paperback novel, leave the heavy books at home and just take one tablet reader. Even better, simply rely on your ship’s library to provide you with classic novels and travel guides. With the extra space and weight you save you can fill your bag with wonderful souvenirs from around the globe.

Don’t forget your meds

If you take regular prescription medication, speak to your GP well in advance of travelling to ensure you have enough for the entirety of your trip. It’s also worth packing a small kit of over-the-counter medications such as paracetamol or ibuprofen should you enjoy one too many cocktails at the Captain’s dinner. Although available onboard, these often come with a hefty at-sea premium.

Electronic devices

From laptops and iPads to smart phones and mp3 players, make sure you pack all the relevant cables with your electronic devices and a suitable adapter. Similarly, it’s always a good idea to carry extra batteries with you as these can be pricey onboard – you might even like to take a power bank in preparation for longer excursions. If you’re packing a camera, ensure you have an extra battery and memory card so you don’t miss any winning snapshots.

The bathroom cabinet

If your hair and beauty regime requires an abundance of products, keep a note of everything you use over the course of a month before departure. Transfer lotions and liquids that you don’t use much of into smaller travel sized bottles to save on space, remembering to pack the all important sun lotion.

If you do happen to forget your toothbrush or bottle of shampoo, most larger ships offer an array of shops and boutiques onboard. Celebrity Cruises® for instance boasts a European-inspired piazza where you’ll find everything from prestigious designer brands to beauty products. There’s often a high markup on these items at sea, so if you can wait, replenish at your first port.

Make use of the laundry service

Thankfully all ships offer a laundry service of some description, so you’re in luck if you need to wash your favourite dress or run out of clean socks during your cruise. Different cruise lines vary in price for such services. For instance, luxury line Seabourn charging a flat rate for as many items as you can fit into the laundry bag while Carnival offer economical, self-service launderettes across their fleet of ships.

With a little forward-thinking and organisation, you can turn what appeared to be a daunting task into an exciting experience sure to get you in the holiday spirit.

Image credits: packing for a cruise by, smart casual cruise wear by, don’t forget the suncream by,ebooks are a must on cruises by . Featured image: the world is in your hands on world cruises by Entrer dans le rêve used under CC license

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