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How to Plan A Cruise

By Shelby Burr

Summer is officially here and it’s time to start planning for your epic vacation–in this case, your cruise vacation!

Going on a cruise comes with so many perks: unlimited food, music and entertainment, carefree traveling on the ocean blue, and stopping in new and exciting places you’ve never been to.

We want to make sure you have a great trip and that you’re well equipped for everything! That said, let’s walk through how to best plan a cruise and what to bring for your trip.


Let’s start by creating your map. By having an itinerary, you’ll be sure to navigate the ship and your amenities easily. The great news is, most cruise ships provide an itinerary for you! Your cruise will provide different options and adventures for you to enjoy on sea or on land. Once you pick what you’d like to do on the ship, they will provide you an itinerary on the ship. 

Just to add more to the fun, look up some great things about the ports you’ll be visiting and add some unique things to your own itinerary! You can find plenty to do that won’t require extra money for your cruise trip. 


This will change your entire trip if you do this the right way. If you forget to pack a pair of shoes, or you forget to pack that extra set of underwear, you will not be having the best time. Again, it could change your entire trip. Make sure you create a list for all of your clothing and footwear essentials. It’s always safe to try and pack two outfits each day, every day of the trip. You might spill something, or want to change into a different outfit after your adventures. Plus, some cruises offer sit down dinners that are more formal–and yes, people do dress up! Women wear gowns and men wear really nice suits or a tux!


When on vacation, it’s a blessing to feel refreshed each day. Make sure you pack your toothbrush, toothpaste, face wash, deodorant, makeup, etc. 

A few toiletries not everyone thinks to bring: Hand sanitizer, small travel tissues, q-tips, a travel sewing kit (this might come in handy), a small medicine bag (for allergies, sea sickness, tummy troubles, etc.) and SUNSCREEN. If you’re taking a tropical cruise you need to lather up. And get the high SPF stuff too. Protect your skin and your life expectancy by keeping the sun off of your epidermis. And, yes, even on a cloudy day out at sea you can get severely burnt . . . I know this from experience (sadly).


Bring your camera to capture great memories, great sights, and photos of pure joy and relaxation. This trip will bring so many great memories and you’ll truly enjoy looking back on this sweet moment. You may not want to carry your phone with you everywhere (plus, most of the time you’ll be without service), but you can bring a small, disposable camera! I wouldn’t recommend bringing too much high tech because you don’t want to lose it, misplace it, or have someone swipe it (not likely, but it could happen anywhere!). A disposable camera is also so fun because you won’t know how the photos turned out until later!

Head to your nearest grocery story to pick up a couple, and grab a few underwater disposable cameras for some fun too! If you have kids, give each kid their own camera and enjoy reflecting on all the printed photos later. It’s a great family bonding moment. 


Here’s one that not many people think about, but it’s so needed! When you arrive to different ports you’ll want to venture each new area. With each area comes cute, local, handmade things that you’ll want to buy and bring back to your friends, family, or even for house decorations! That said, you’ll need some cash handy to enjoy your shopping spree. And you can also sample and buy some local food and beverage that may not be included in your cruise package. Cash is handy! 

You have what you need to make some incredible memories during your trip! Enjoy this planning phase–it’s fun to imagine the trip and dream up what great things will come your way. Being one step ahead with planning your luggage, toiletries, cameras, cash, and itinerary will be a game changer and you won’t regret it! 

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