This summer my family is taking our second cruise as a family and just like any experience in life I learn something every trip. Now having a third child I’ve discovered that planning early can’t hurt so in our master closet there is a section marked with a sign saying “Don’t touch – cruise clothes only!” I’m kidding about the sign, but there really is a cruise section with clothes, swimsuits, and dry cleaning plastic bags covering formal evening attire. I am on a mission to be 100% prepared. Here’s something important to note, if you do board and find that you forgot something there is nothing to worry about. Truly, your passport is the most important thing you need to bring. If you forget sunscreen, hats, toothpaste, basically anything of importance the ship has it in the gift shop. Don’t forget you can also shop in ports. In fact, the port towns are counting on it. In the meantime though, I’m doing my best to pack thoroughly and light. I have a bad habit of over packing and end up with too much and, I’m discovering, my kids are taking after me. Do a search online and you will find dozens of cruise packing lists and they all have some great ideas. With that said, here are some fun ideas for ladies who may also be going on a Caribbean cruise:
1. Swimsuit coverup that doubles as a shoulder wrap. Chilly Jilly makes writing about this combo easy because these wraps are amazingly versatile. There are several choices The Wrap ($35), The Oversized Wrap ($39) and the Wrapper Blanket ($45). The Wrap and Oversized both work as a cute swimsuit coverup and a shoulder wrap which is heavenly. The blanket is perfect for watching poolside movies in the evening. On my previous cruises I found that I would be chilly in the evening either from the ocean breeze or too much sun – problem solved via Chilly Jilly. What I especially love about these wraps is they come in a cute silk pouch to make for easy packing. My only issue now is prying it from my tween’s hands.
2. Lounge pants. The other item that I am packing – and wearing during my travels to the cruise ship – are the Chilly Jilly Lounge Pants ($45). That is, if I don’t wear them out before the cruise. I’ve been wearing these pants daily. They are extremely soft, flexible, and a conversation starter that usually begins with “Cute pants!” Height challenged ladies, listen to this…the Lounge Pants come in sizes small, medium, and large but the best part is they have a fold over waistband and a long inseam that can be cut to length for a smooth, unfinished hem. Yes, you can cut them yourself and adjust them to your height. No seamstress needed. As for cruising, the pants are lightweight, easy to dress up (formal night) or dress down (wear to a yoga class) and did I mention how soft they are? To top off the cuteness, they also come in an adorable pouch like the wraps.
3. Minimal shoes. The last time we cruised I packed a pair of shoes for every outfit. I’ve always packed like that. I can’t help it. I love shoes! This time though I’m going to be a little more practical. My suitcase will carry my flip-flops, workout shoes (Brooks), and my Metallic Pewter Tieks ($185) for evenings since they match pretty much everything in my suitcase and they’re very comfortable. I can wear Tieks all day long. When I was trying to come up with my shoe packing plan I was surfing Cruise Critic and found an entire thread dedicated to Tieks and whether they are worth the hefty price tag. I take for granted that these ballerina shoes fit me (despite my love of shoes, I have a hard time finding shoes that fit me well), but through the thread I found out that some people with high arches find the shoes uncomfortable. If that describes you some of the ladies recommend Hidden Arches by Dr. Scholls saying this product has saved the day. Regardless of what type of shoes you plan to pack on any trip it’s important to break-in your shoes because you do a lot of waking on and off the ship.
4. Hair accessories. This shout-out goes to the gorgeous IVChic line. During my honeymoon, 13 years ago, I wore a pretty pearl hair band that I wore around my ponytail casually and for dress-up. I’m not sure what happened to it but I’ve always wanted to get something similar because I loved the way it completed my look. When I heard about IVChic I went to the website and fell in love. Gorgeous hair jewelry choices fill the pages and make for ideal accessories for any outfit. I opted for the Denver ($22) – a leaf accent stone braid tie. Being that I tend to tie my hair up when I go to warm destinations this will be the perfect accent for my locks.
5. Designer pill box. Yes, this is a real thing and it is gorgeous. Inspired by Dawn created a pill box holder that allows the active lady to keep her daily vitamins or medication in this cute and stylish pill box case. The best part, your pills won’t pop out of your case and spill all over your luggage. The Inspired by Dawn Rx 7 pill box case ($34) is fashionable and practical! Isn’t it cute?
Wow. That’s a lot of fun ideas for your next cruise. Do you have any other ideas?
Disclosure: I was not paid to do these reviews but I did receive samples for review purposes. As always, all thoughts, opinions, and suggestions are my own.