Ten Tips for Cruise Shopping

Pack for Adventure

When it comes to vacations it’s hard to beat the experience of taking a cruise.  With so many activities and dining options on the ship you and your family can stay entertained without ever setting foot on land.  From multiple pools to rock climbing walls, elegant dining, shopping in the promenade, watching a show, and going to the spa – a cruise combines the activities of multiple vacation options into one complete package.  Combine that with exotic destinations and you can create the vacation of a lifetime.

With so much to do on a cruise every member of the family will thoroughly enjoy themselves and the chances of hearing, “I’m bored” are slim to none.  For first time cruisers the main challenge is figuring out how to shop and pack for the trip.  With so much to do – what should you bring?  With that in mind we have created a list of suggestions to help you shop for your cruise:

1.  Check your itinerary:  Find out where your ship is stopping and review the excursions that the cruise line offers at each port.  You may want to go on a zip line or snorkeling.  These excursions may lead you to pack a pair of hiking boots so it is ideal to plan ahead.

2. Swim Wear. Every member of the family should bring a minimum of two or three bathing suits.  With several pools on deck, and many beach destinations to choose from, there are swimming and sunning opportunities galore.  For women make one of your options something that is more sturdy. If you decide to go on a water adventure you don’t want to worry about a string bikini flying off!  Depending on the time of year buying a swimsuit may be a challenge so if it isn’t bathing suit season visit an online retailer, just makes sure you buy in advance in case you need to change sizes.  Figure conscious or more modest women should visit Spanx and consider bringing a swim wrap as well.  With their new collection of slimming swimwear you can feel confident lounging by the pool.  For your bikini needs visit South Beach Swim for a wide variety of styles.  For men DogFunk.com and Pac Sun will have board shorts year round.  BoardShortsWorld.com will even let you pick the length.  More traditional guys can always go with the old faithful – Speedo.  For kids, and adults with sensitive skin, consider Coolibar.  They have a line with SPF 45 built in to protect you from that nasty burn.  Neptune, Lands End, and Speedo also have good kid’s selections.  Be sure to checkout Get Wet Active Wear for men and women’s beachwear, tropical or casual attire.

3. Shoes. Make sure to pack a variety of shoes.  You will need two pairs flip flops for the pool and walking around, sandals for sundresses and slacks, walking shoes for exploring town, running shoes if you want to use the track or go on an athletic excursion, and dress shoes for formal nights.  Since shoes can take up a lot of packing space I found a site that sells a variety of clear shoes that can go with most of your outfits.  Call them jelly shoes for grownups.

4. Dress on a Budget.  If you are on a limited budget, and have planned your trip in advance, purchase summer clothes to take in August.  With back to school clothes coming out all the summer gear will be on clearance.   Online retailers like Venus, Ebay, and Overstock.com are also fantastic places to look for deals.

5. Resort Wear. Casual and comfortable attire reigns on board the cruise ship.  Casual does not mean sloppy – far from it.  You can still be stylish and comfortable.  Make sure to bring shorts, summer tops, plenty of sundresses, and light sweaters for the evening.  One of my favorite designers for resort wear is Tommy Bahama.  They have men’s and women’s clothing that is diverse enough to wear on your trip and at home.  Women should check out Everything But Water.com and men should also visit the Island Company.com.  For kids pack plenty of shorts, and t-shirts or polo’s.

6. Exercise Clothes.  If you plan on taking advantage of the gym or track pack something to exercise in.  With amazing treats and five course meals being offered at night – a workout may be just what you need to shake off the morning fog.

7. Evening Wear.  Women should bring cocktail dresses, formal gowns, sparkly tops and slacks for the evening.  Men should bring a tuxedo, two suits, slacks and jackets for dinner.  This is your opportunity to be glamorous so have fun choosing your evening wear.

8. Hats. Protect your head and your face from too much sun exposure.  There are lovely full brimmed straw hats that can provide shade while still looking stylish.  Baseball hats are always an option but with the sun beating down they can be hotter than the straw version.  For added protection for the entire family visit Sunday Afternoon.  Their products have SPF protection built right in.

9. Sun Protection. Unless you already live in Miami your skin is probably not used to the constant sun.  Make sure to protect yourself by bringing several pair of sunglasses and waterproof sunscreen.

10. Make Up & Hair.  Cruise ship guest are busy.  Your makeup and hair will have a lot of work to do keeping up.  Buy durable products that can last all day such as: waterproof mascara, loose powder, bronzer, Acqua waterproof makeup products, frizz serum for your hair, and plenty of hair bands to sweep it up into the old reliable pony tail.Enjoy shopping for your cruise and if you arrive and realize you forgot something there are shops on board you can visit.  When the ship docks at port you can shop until your heart’s content.  The only thing you need to worry about is bringing your credit card.

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