Cruises By Kate packing


  • Formal dining nights: (two per seven night cruise.) If you choose to participate, this is usually when they pull out all the stops with the chef’s “best menu.”  Ladies: fancy dress/pantsuit. Men: Tuxes not necessary, nice dark suit and a tie is fine. You can rent a tux onboard, but at a price.
  • Ladies: hosiery and feminine products if needed. Onboard they will be expensive.
  • Caribbean itineraries: Bring a sweater or two, as it can be chilly in the winter before you get further south in the Caribbean. Also the ship’s air conditioning can be really cold.
  • Alaskan itineraries: Layering for cold weather and rain gear. It rains A LOT.
  • Alarm clock —they are not supplied in your cabin.  Comes in handy on the morning of departure so you don’t oversleep.  (I don’t fully trust their wakeup calls.)
  • Rain gear for shore excursions.
  • Beach shoes.
  • Sunglasses
  • Bathing suit (2) so you can have one dry for next use.
  • Exercise clothing for fitness center.
  • Sundries, suntan lotion, batteries and film will be very expensive or unobtainable onboard. Pack them.
  • Hairdryer. If one is provided in your cabin, it’s usually not very adequate. Ask your Travel Agent if you will need an adapter plug. (usually not.)
  • Your suitcase will not be delivered right away to your stateroom. On large ships you may not get your luggage until dinnertime. If you will need something from it the first day onboard, pack it in your carry-on. Especially necessary medical items!
  • If you don’t like the taste of  tap water, buy some before you get to the pier and hide it in your carry-on or luggage before checkin. Onboard it’s very expensive. Same goes for chips and munchies. (However, room service is free for once in your life… enjoy it!!)
  • If you drink lots of soda, bring some cans of that as well inside your suitcase to save money.



  • You will receive your cruise documents a few weeks before sailing.
  • Make sure you read them very carefully, and have them filled out prior to pier check-in.
  • To save time at the pier, you can often check in online days before your departure.
  • Book shore excursions. Have Cruises By Kate book these for you ahead of time.(Same price as if you booked it yourself.) This will save you time standing in line on the ship and the risk of being sold-out.
  • Make sure you have your pre- or post- hotel reservations in order, as well as transfers to and from the ship. (NOTE: Cruises By Kate can arrange this for you upon request.)
  • Do not forget to bring your citizenship documentation if you don’t have a passport.
    • Travels to Caribbean, Mexico and Canada:  A birth certificate and photo ID will work prior to December 2006. After this time, a passport is mandatory!
    • Travel to all other countries, a passport is mandatory.
    • Non-US Citizens need to have their passport with them at all times.
  • Bring along your Travel Insurance information. Notify family members or friends of your insurance coverage, and feel free to give them your travel agent’s phone number and email address in the unlikely event of problems.



  • Find out your dining arrangements i.e. size of table, and if it is not to your liking change it with the Maitre’d the first day of the cruise. NO GUARANTEES, even if booked in advance.
  • Reserve a table for any Alternative Dining restaurants on the ship ASAP. These come with a small fee per person, and are worth it! 5-Star dining experience.

  • If you drink a fair amount of soda, you might consider purchasing unlimited soft drinks for the week. Usually runs $20-30. You can buy a sticker to put on your cruise card.
  • Book any shore excursions you didn’t book ahead of time  ASAP, they fill up quickly.
  • Spa services: If you want a massage, facial, etc. note that many times they run discounts on port days or the day you set sail. Sea days are the most heavily used at the spa.
  • Tipping: you can charge to your shipboard account by going to the purser’s desk, or have enough cash on hand to give out in person at the end. (Not mandatory, but please keep in mind these workers do not get paid any other way.)
  • Read your ship newsletter that comes to your cabin daily. It will contain important procedural information as well as activity and dining schedules.


Kate Rosenfeld,Personalized Cruise Vacation Specialist

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