Cruise travel has got to be the most pampered way to see the world, one cocktail at a time. While hard core backpackers are out climbing mountains and fighting third world bus systems, many people prefer to lounge on the main deck, get a tan, and get in early for the dinner buffet. I've worked closely with several cruise specialists in my career as a travel agent, and would like to offer the following cruise travel tips:
Pack plenty of clean napkins. Those hand sanitation napkins are the swiss army knife of cruising. You can use them to remove stains, rather than dealing with laundry services. Also, if used before every meal, they may help prevent you from catching a bug.
Prepare for more sun you ever thought possible. Think about it, most of the activities on a cruise involve exposure to the sun. Protect yourself by bringing a wide brimmed hat, sunscreen (at least SPF 15) and shades that provide 100% UV protection.
Avoid purses and large day packs. If you spend the day at port, try not to brandish your brand new camera or moneybelt. This makes you a target for local pickpockets.
Pack precisely. The key to good packing is to strike a balance between loose and too tight; either extreme will leave you with a wardrobe full of wrinkles. Here's a bit of advice: pack a dryer sheet in with your clothes.
Post-Its. One of my more obscure cruise travel tips. Post-Its allow to communicate with other passengers, housekeeping, and other guest services. Leave a message inside your room to let your shipmates know where and when to meet.
Extra bags. These are right up there with the hand napkins in terms of usability. They are great for storing wet shoes, dirty clothes, and provide added protection for packing valuables.