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jcyan13

Newbie Cruiser - what should I pack/what should I pack for DH?

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Hello everyone,

 

I am a first time cruiser and will be going on a 4 day Carribean cruise in January with DH who might as well be a first time cruiser too because a) he hasn't been on a cruise since he was a kid, and b) the trip is a SUPRISE!

 

I am wondering what I should pack.

Is it humid on the ship and in the Caribbean this time of year?

Do I need to bring rain gear?

Is there a dress code for the dining rooms?

How formal is the formal night?

 

Oh... and what should I pack for DH? He left for deployment with nothing but a t-shirt and pair of shorts as civilian clothes! We will have to do some shopping...:p

 

Any help here would be appreciated.

 

One last thing. Is it better to pack light and buy things if you need them? Or pack heavy and have some choices?

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What a sweet surprise! I'm sure you'll have a WONDERFUL time!

 

It will be hot and relatively humid in the Caribbean in January. It's tropical, so it is always hot and humid, but January isn't nearly as bad as August! You'll need shorts, tee's, capris, skirts, whatever you normally wear in summer ... same for him - shorts, tees, sandals, whatever. You could take a poncho or something like that in case of rain, but even if it does rain it isn't cold.

 

Which cruise line are you sailing on? Each cruise has different acceptable dress for evenings. Some are formal, others are smart casual (dress for ladies, khakis/golf shirt/tropical shirt or shirt and tie for men), others are casual.

 

I always try to pack to mix & match things so that I don't have a heavy bag, and also so I have some room for souvenirs! The ships always have shops with the real essentials (aspirin, etc.), but they are expensive. You can buy cheap tee-shirts, etc., on the islands - but they'll be pricey on the ship.

 

Hope this helps, and have a great time!

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Thank you!

 

You're telling me an umbrella will be uselss right? lol

 

We will be on a Carnival ship. Are they pretty formal?

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No, Carnival is not that formal (in my one experience w/ Carnival). Plenty of cocktail dresses, but also less formal dresses were seen at dinner. Not many, or really any that I recall, long formal dresses on formal nights.

 

Bring plenty of warm weather gear and swimwear, of course. Nice casual wear for casual dinners (dressy capris, dresses, pantsuits, etc..). Hubby can wear khakis or linen pants/slacks with nice shirt for casual dinners. Dark suit for formal nights.

I always bring a widebrimmed hat in the Caribbean...my head gets sunburned on my part! Sunglasses, sunscreen..etc are necessary too.

 

As for toiletries..always come prepared! The shops are expensive for those items and not always the brands you may like. I always bring Pepto, Advil, Dramamine (just in case), neosporin, a few bandaids, etc.. And if you are expecting that monthly friend, bring your own!! Tampons and pads (if you even find pads in the shops) are so pricey!! I bought a small (10 count) pack of Tampax and Kotex pantyliners (I hate that brand on top of it all) -- and it was about $14 for both!! Talk about pain on top of my pain!!;)

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Carnival is the most casual of all cruiselines and the 4 days cruises are even more casual than the usual week long ones. I've never been on Carnival, but this is what we hear over and over on this board.

 

First thing you should do is read your cruise brochure or the online site. It states all the dress codes. Most ships request no shorts or tank tops on men in the dining room at night and no jeans on anyone.

 

Formal night appears to have quite loose interpretations of what's formal running amuck. A cocktail dress for you and a suit for DH would probably put you in the "well dressed" catagory.

 

For daytime, what you usually wear in the summer daytime is appropriate. Shorts or linen pants or casual skirts, tee's, sandals, etc. Then swimsuits, water shoes, etc.

 

For dinner, the other non-formal evenings, wear what you'd wear to a nice but casual restaurant on a summer night - sundresses, pretty top with nice pants and sexy sandals are good looks. Sometimes the ships are over airconditioned, so bring a cardigan or shawl if you tend to get chilly.

 

Have a great time!

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I'm wondering about footwear for DH. He would wear Reef flipflops the entire time if he could, but I'm guessing flipflops do not count as formal wear in anyone's books.

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Flip flops will be perfectly acceptable for your husband. The only exception would be for dinner if you plan on eating in the dining room. Then a pair of shoes would be more appropriate. Also, if you are planning some excursions that involve walking or if he is planning to use the gym he might want to bring along a pair of athletic shoes or something with some support.

 

Enjoy your cruise!

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For Carnival, "boat shoes" or loafers for your DH would be fine for casual nights. If he wears a suit on formal night (as my DH does), I would suggest the appropriate color dress shoe. I agree Carnival is very casual, but I just think flip flops in the dining room are a little too casual -- but that is my opinion. I would go barefoot everywhere if it were my choice (yes I'm a Southern girl) -- but I know that's not appropriate!

 

Otherwise, the Reef's are fine for all other activities on the ship and in port.

 

And yes, I found the 4 day Carnival cruises were VERY casual. Did not even see many full suits on formal night -- some in just shirts with ties. I think if you're going to go that far, you might as well wear a dinner jacket!:o

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Bring flip-flops for daytime, shoes for dinner. You'll need both casual and a formal pair for DH. That's it for shoes!!!!

Shorts are fine for daytime--swimsuits are even better!!!!

It's only 4 days--don't overpack!

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.... but I'm guessing flipflops do not count as formal wear in anyone's books.

 

 

You guessed right! :D

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Thank you ladies!

 

I can't wait to go shopping. I"m kind of glad he forgot all his clothes now! :)

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Is it really a Caribbean cruise or just the Bahamas? I am asking because the Bahamas can be cool in January. I know the water is too cold for me to swim in the ocean at that time of year.

 

I would bring a wrap to wear in the evenings and a sweatshirt for on deck early mornings.

 

I agree that flip flops do not belong in the dining room.

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Is it really a Caribbean cruise or just the Bahamas? I am asking because the Bahamas can be cool in January. I know the water is too cold for me to swim in the ocean at that time of year.

 

I would bring a wrap to wear in the evenings and a sweatshirt for on deck early mornings.

 

I agree that flip flops do not belong in the dining room.

 

We're stopping in Key West and Cozumel. Are they warm this time of year? Can you swim in the ocean this time of year in Miami even?

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We're stopping in Key West and Cozumel. Are they warm this time of year? Can you swim in the ocean this time of year in Miami even?

 

Not for me but I live in FL. Maybe in Cozumel but we were just in Cancun and the water was a bit chilly for me in the ocean. Pool was fine when the sun was out full strength at midday. Miami / Key West no way.

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Not for me but I live in FL. Maybe in Cozumel but we were just in Cancun and the water was a bit chilly for me in the ocean. Pool was fine when the sun was out full strength at midday. Miami / Key West no way.

 

We swim in Fort Lauderdale when we visit my mother in February. You can always tell the locals in their winter clothes and the crazy tourists in shorts and bathing suits.:)

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We swim in Fort Lauderdale when we visit my mother in February. You can always tell the locals in their winter clothes and the crazy tourists in shorts and bathing suits.:)

 

Bwahaha! So true! I did a spring break in Panama City Beach. Only I wasn't drinking massive quantities like everyone else so I realized -- hey, it's kind of COLD here. Everyone else was running around in bikinis with a beer. I was either sitting in the hot tub or wearing a sweater. lol, lame I know!

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