What the heck do I need to pack? :


You'll soon start to wonder what items you need to pack. You start to think about what is available on-board or at the shops when you're on dry land. In general, you need to remember that the cruise lines do have stores for clothing, and personal type items. However, you're going to pay for the convience. Some of the items can be 25-50% higher (or more). Pay what you need but ty not to stuff in your bags more than you'll really need.


Keeping in mind that most airlines will only allow you two 50LB bags. So, you'll be limited to what you can stuff into the two bags. Don't forget that you'll also want some spare room in your luggage for the nik-knacks and other purchases you'll make.


For clothing, you'll most likely will want a few pairs of causual pants, a few pairs of shorts, a handful of shirts, sandals, sneekers and a swim suit for the everyday events. There is one or two formal nights where most guys wear a suit and the women wear a fancy dress. It's not required but it makes for part of the fun.


I should mention that the ship does have coin operated laundry machines as well as dry cleaning services. It ain't cheap but it is available.


Extra Little Tips:


Make a list

It sounds simple, but in the weeks leading up to our departure date you should write up a list. This way you don’t forget things on the fly… and can make sure you pack everything to take home at the end of the vacation. Also, if your luggage gets lost, you’ll have a list of everything you had packed.


Ziplock baggies

If you have anything that could possibly leak, such as shampoo or soap, place them into a Ziplock baggie. This will help keep any liquids from spilling out all over your other items.


Tape your toiletries

Anything with a lid or cap on it, tape the lids shut to prevent leakage. Don’t forget to tape the hairspray lid, as well.


Tags inside the bag, not just outside

If you place a luggage tag on the inside also, you’ll have that extra identification if your outside tag falls off.


Put unique mark on your bag

Everyone is using ribbons on the handle now. Try putting a unique sticker on it, buying a unique color, or even adding some paint to the luggage handle. This will keep yours easily identifiable from everyone else’s!




Snorkle, Fins and a mask?

Do you plan on going into the crystal clear warn waters of the Caribbean? Of course you do. In this case, you might want to think about packing a snorkle set. If the plan is to do this while on a paid shore escursion, most of the vendors will provide them as part f the package. If you are venduring our on your own (or want to extend your water play -- consider picking up your own set from any of the fine sports outlets in town.



Next Up... a Camera:


If you're like most of us You don't get to travel to the Caribbean every day. Well, at least not most of us. You'll want to take a camera to capture all of the great snap shots of the islands, and all of it's beauty. If you have a digital camera, consider buying a few extra memory cards in the 2-4 GB size. Depending on the mega-pixel size of your camera, this should give you at least 200-300 photos per GB memory stick.


Keep in mind that if you do a shore excursion that includes snorkling or other water activities, you'll want to consider a water proof case for your digital camera. eBay has a number of great deals (click here). Many of these will handle 20-30 feet depth.


Another alternative is to consider a disposable water-proof camera. These can be aquired at your local Wal-Mart or Target store for around $10 for a 24-27 frame camera. If you think you'll be wanting a water proof disposable camera - be sure and buy them ahead of time. Otherwise you'll pay twice the price on board or on the islands. Disposable underwater cameras are ideal for outdoor adventures where water, sand and rough use might come into play.










Liquor and Drinks


Hey -- should we pack a few bottles of our favorite magic mix? N o t ! !

Carnival, along with most other cruise lines will not allow you to bring personal liquor on board the ship. You can buy it on various shore excursions but you have to check it upon boarding. This is the same for any bottled liquor purchased in the ships discount 'Duty Free' shops. They'll hang on to it until your final departure. Another quick fact.... the airelines won't allow you to carry it on the flight home either due to the restrictions on any carry-on liquid. The bottom line, you'll have to pay for your individual drinks just like at any home town bar.



Luggage Tags

You want to make sure that all of your checked and carry-on luggage has a good sturdy luggage tags. You need the kind that won't get torn off while being man-handled by the airlines nor the cruise line folks. As most well traveled folks will tell you, you should also put your full name and address on the inside too.


Hundreds of airline bags


The photo below is hundreds of passengers bags that were found in a dumpster behind a pet store. Don't think your bags couldn't one of them. The folks that had good tags had their baggage returned... TAG IT!





First Time Cruiser?

If this is the first time you have been on a cruise, try the Carnival web site for information for First Time Crusiers.