What to Pack

In the old days of ocean liner crossings, passengers boarded their ships with multiple steamer trunks in tow. These days, most of us don’t want to travel with more than one suitcase.

But many transatlantic cruises last two weeks or more, which can make packing for the trip a challenge. Bring items that you can mix and match to create different outfits. For women, a few simple outfits can be varied each night with different jewelry, scarves, shawls or other accessories.

Check if your ship has onboard self-service laundry facilities or offers laundry or dry-cleaning services. There will be a fee, and washing dirty clothes may not be at the top of your vacation to-do list, but it can help cut down the number of items to pack.

Being comfortable is a top priority during your transatlantic cruise -- casual wear is the standard daytime attire for most cruises. Bring low-heeled or rubber-heeled shoes for walking on deck and a pair of dressier shoes for formal dining. Check the ship’s dress codes for options suitable for nighttime. Many cruise lines include some formal dinners or themed events in the evenings, so include a few more elegant options, such as a suit or cocktail dress, where appropriate.

It can get chilly on the Atlantic Ocean -- pack a light jacket or sweater for strolls on deck. Your transatlantic cruise may have a few port calls, and it’s a good idea to check local weather before boarding. Bring swimwear and sun protection if you plan to hit the beaches of a Caribbean or Mediterranean isle, for example, and comfortable walking shoes if you sign up for shore excursions that call for a lot of touring by foot.

Remember to pack all your medications, prescription or otherwise, in a bag you can carry onto your flights. And, of course, don’t forget your camera to capture your vacation moments.

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