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A TYPICAL 4-Day CRUISE: Helpful Tips for Packing

Day One: Embarkation

  • Things to keep in mind:

  • You might have to go through long lines to check in so wear comfortable shoes.

  • You will have to go through a metal detector similar to airports so don’t wear a lot of metal.

  • They will take lots and lots and lots of photos. Take as many as you can, then wait until several days go by before you begin purchasing any so that you can get the best shots.

  • Pick up a ship “map” at the front desk when you get on board.


  • Your luggage may not arrive in your cabin until after 5:30pm and dinner is at 6:30pm, so plan accordingly.

  • CLOTHES: Normally, depending on the temperature, I wear capris, sandals, a comfy t-shirt (our group shirt), and a light sweater (if needed).

  • I bring a backpack or carry-on bag with items to freshen up before dinner (plus other things that wouldn’t fit in my suitcase). Some people pack their swimsuit so they can immediately change and go to the pool.

  • CLOTHES: Dinner on this first night is very casual. I usually change out of the t-shirt into a slightly better top and perhaps different shoes, but I will still wear my same capris.

Day Two: At Sea

  • Things to keep in mind:

  • The Lido deck will be full. It is a great time to explore the ship.

  • Check out the “Fun Times / Carnival Capers” newsletter for events going on throughout the day.

  • Along with the various buffets on the Lido deck, dining options include the main dining room. During breakfast and lunch they seat according to “first come / first serve” so you will be at a different table with new people. AND there is no dress code for breakfast or lunch (well, no bathing suits allowed, but a nice cover-up works). I find it a MUCH easier option than the crowds on the Lido.

  • DAY CLOTHES: Shorts, t-shirts, capris, flip-flops, bathing suit and cover-up, and anything goes! Be comfortable. You are on vacation.

  • ELEGANT NIGHT -- GREAT night for photos!

  • Business casual, Sunday best, Cocktail Hour, or a Night at the Opera – totally up to you.

  • I will do a nice dress with shiny shoes, blingy jewelry, and poofy hair. Love it!

  • It can be cool at night so I always bring a wrap.

Day Three: Cozumel (or Port Day)

  • Depending on what excursion is planned, remember to bring the following items:

  • Use a comfortable, lightweight bag to bring water, bug spray, sunscreen, sun glasses, antibacterial hand wipes, and your I.D. (leave a copy of your ID in the safe).

  • CLOTHES: Again, depending on the excursion, I will wear/bring shorts, t-shirt, walking sandals, baseball type cap, and bathing suit and cover-up.

  • The blue towels in your room are for the pool and excursions. Just be sure to bring them back to your room and the steward will replace them.

  • CLOTHES: Dinner is business casual (no shorts or t-shirts). I usually wear either a light summer dress or a pair of slacks and a nice top.

Day Four: At sea

  • Again, same as the first day at sea.

Day Five: Debarkation 8:00am – 10:30 am

  • This is THE hardest part of the cruise. LONG lines to get off the ship and luggage to haul around. You have to go through customs, etc. Best advice?


  • It can get hot in the terminal so it is always a good idea to stick a small bottle of water in your backpack or carry-on bag.

  • Set your luggage outside your door the night before, leaving your essentials in your backpack or carry-on bag. Carnival provides special luggage tags on the last night of the cruise so that you can place them on your bags. This is so much better than trying to hall your luggage down the stairs (because the elevators will be packed!) and around all the walkways to get off the ship. The porters will have it waiting for you by customs (in special numbers spots), where you will pick it up and proceed to the next line.


  • Shoes –

  • 1 pair, comfortable for walking

  • 1 pair of flip flops

  • 1 nicer pair for dinner (sandals ok)

  • Shirts/Tops –

  • 2-3 t-shirts

  • 2 dinner tops

  • Light sweater or jacket for evenings

  • Bottoms –

  • 2 pairs of shorts

  • 1 pair of pants for dinner* (Jeans are too hot)

  • Dresses – OPTIONAL:

  • Elegant night dress

  • Lightweight Summer casual dress

  • And then, of course, all of the other items needed on a daily basis.

  • **see full packing list

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