Top Deck What To Pack – If you’ve finally landed your first cruise contract, congratulations! By now you’re probably wondering what to pack when working on a cruise ship.
Having worked on and off yachts for over three years on six yachts, I have put together this must-have starter list to help any new sailors looking to advise.
Top Deck What To Pack
A general introduction before I begin: don’t forget to consider your current situation in the boat and what your needs are.
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Be sure to ask your employer or employment partner if you’re unsure about anything because they’ll have more specific insight into your situation than others already posting online.
(My job on the ship was a youth worker/counselor who was an underpaid custodian of 1500 children and puppeteers if anyone was wondering.)
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Let’s start with the basic questions that often come up when deciding what to pack for work on a cruise ship:
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There are a good number of employees who carry two large suitcases, but I think it’s excessive and not very fun when you have a roommate’s luggage.
But in general, the average thing people carry, and what I would recommend, is one large bag (50 lbs/23 kg limit), one small bag (carry-on size), and a backpack (your birth control). ).
Remember that the destination you fly to at the start of your contract may not be the same destination you fly home from and this may result in additional baggage fees not covered by the airline. if you can prove more than what i suggested. .
Example: Even if you get an extra baggage allowance from the US to Europe by the time you arrive, you might be on the return flight after the ship crosses into the US, so you’re liable for multiple baggage fees.
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The most suitable luggage would be something that can be inflated like a wheelie bag or one that can stay inside to better save space.
I do NOT recommend hard suitcases (pictured above) as I have seen almost every roommate struggle to fit them under the bed.
Because they don’t slide down like soft-shell suitcases, sometimes the only place to store them is against the toilet wall, taking up valuable real estate.
If you must bring a hard shell case (it’s probably the only one you have, in which case I wouldn’t suggest spending the extra money to get one just for this deal), an important tip when it comes to storage. in your room is to open it completely like a book and place it under the open bed.
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It’s not the best way to store it, but at least it’s out of sight and your roommate won’t hate you for taking up more space in the room.
It is very likely that you will be traveling for hours on several flights to get to your ship. And while I hope for nothing but the best for you and your belongings, statistically speaking, there is a high chance that one of your belongings will be lost.
I have seen this happen to many crew members, where they have to board the ship with nothing but what they have on their backs.
I always travel with a few pairs of underwear in my carry-on (even in my carry-on) because it’s been on almost every flight I’ve taken over the years. Last time, they asked me to check where I was. A small suitcase that is carried due to running out of space in the trunk.
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We crew members or the crew store can always help provide extra shampoo or deodorant if your stuff doesn’t end up on board with you, but underwear and medicine are a little different.
TL; DR: make sure you pack these things on your person, directly on your back, in your duffel bag (especially a backpack) and never see these things again:
TIP: Take pictures of all your documents and luggage and save them in a cloud account so you can always find these things if they go missing.
TIP: Packing cubes make packing easier. I use them to organize clothes and label them (uniform, pants, etc.) so I never have to guess where it is when I need it. This is especially helpful on your first day when you may not have much time to pack and get ready for work.
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If you are a new hire, you may not receive all of your uniforms until you come on board.
In that case, save a good chunk of luggage space for it so you can take it home after the deal.
Your employer or employer will send you a list of all the other uniform items you will need to bring, and unfortunately, this list will be more than you really need.
Just remember that the list they give you is general for all ships and some ships use certain things in common and others don’t.
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It’s just something you have to absorb and accept as the new kid, you’ll be carrying extra crap that you can’t use in your first deal.
Even if you are the most disciplined, responsible person who always does laundry every week, sometimes that is not possible on a ship.
From tedious programs to a limited number of washers and dryers, just because you want to do your laundry at a certain time doesn’t mean you can.
If your feet aren’t happy, your body won’t be happy, you won’t be happy and your guests won’t be happy.
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Remember that space in your room and luggage is limited, so you’ll want shoes that can be used more than once (or just don’t go to the gym, which works again).
Depending on your status, you may be allowed to stay in guest areas as long as you wear appropriate clothing.
But chances are, if you’re allowed, formal wear will also be part of your uniform since you’ll likely have evening activities around the ship with guests.
TIP: Ladies, again, you don’t need several pairs of heels. Find a pair (closed toe) that goes with your smart casual outfit, usually nude or black.
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Check your itinerary, but chances are you’ll stop at a port, perhaps in the Caribbean. If you plan to go to the beach, take sandals.
As I noted earlier, if you work in entertainment or other front-of-house departments, you may be required to wear evening wear as part of your uniform.
For Royal Caribbean, the night dress code for the last night of crew on other ships was “all black”, so I made sure to always wear a black dress or a cocktail dress, both of which were present. – again – can be worn several times.
TIP: If your position isn’t hospitality, I recommend only wearing one formal outfit because you probably won’t need it often enough to justify spending $100+ on a second one.
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And Royal, the only scheduled night on the cruise that required us to wear a dress above the knee. Cocktail dresses were permitted on subsequent regular nights within the same itinerary.
Check your itinerary for the whole deal and quickly check the weather you’ll see at the places you’ll be visiting.
Remember that you can start your contract at the same time and end in a completely different place. Sometimes it can happen even in the same boat.
Also, my rule of thumb is to pack things that can be worn almost as much as the other clothes I wear.
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If you’re feeling overwhelmed or unsure how to reduce the amount of clothing you plan to pack, a quick search on Pinterest for “capsule wardrobes” can help.
Here’s an example of the personal clothing I usually pack for a 5-month deal in the Caribbean:
TIP: Pack small travel size bottles of shampoo, conditioner and lotions as they end up adding a few extra pounds to your bag and you can buy the full range of these items at most ports.
Keep in mind that you probably won’t have the time or energy to spend more than 10 minutes getting ready in the morning, so if you’re a makeup artist, I recommend bringing only the essentials—whatever that might be for you.
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While I don’t usually take my makeup off at work when I’m around the kids (except for a quick dab of concealer or foundation on my rosacea cheeks), I had the tools to look my best during the season. of evening activities around the ship.
This little dryer goes with me everywhere and everyone I live with has asked to borrow it.
Even if you like to dry your hair naturally, there will be times when you really want to
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