A salty breeze blowing through your hair, far-off places waiting to be explored … your Windstar cruise is just days away and it’s hard to think of much else. Except for how to pack for your cruise, that is. What will you wear on board? How should you prepare for the shore excursions? Do you need a guidebook?
Our alumni cruisers recently provided their tips on our Facebook page to help you get the most out of your voyage, and we thought we would share those with you here in addition to giving a few tips of our own.
Fan Mary Nagy Youngman says, “No Godzilla bags for us — my husband and I travel with one carry-on each – Windstar is such a great yacht you don’t need all the fluff and a million shoes — just some shorts, a couple of capris, a couple interchangeable tops, one swim suit and a couple pashmina shawls, some great costume jewelry and one extra pair of shoes — and you can go almost anywhere! Can’t wait to pack again for another voyage.”
We couldn’t agree more. Aim to bring a few sets of tops and bottoms that can be mixed and matched so you get multiple outfits out of a few items. Be sure to bring light clothing that can be layered on or removed as the temperature changes. Don’t worry about dressing up unless you want to—Windstar is a luxury cruise line, but we don’t want formality to get in the way of true escape. Windstar’s laundry package makes it easy to travel light and enjoy the feeling of freshly washed and pressed clothing every day from our professional laundry.
Other items to consider are two swimsuits so you have a back-up suit to wear while the other dries; appropriate footwear including a pair of sandals, everyday shoes, and good walking shoes; and potentially some workout attire, as there’s nothing more relaxing than yoga on deck at sunrise.
We also received a great packing tip from fan Suzanne Ferrio who says, “We travel light —carry-on only. Definitely able to do this on a Windstar cruise with their resort casual attire, but I still always seem to return home with things I didn't use or wear. So, after our most recent cruise I created a reverse packing list — I wrote down each item I actually used as I unpacked it. Now when it comes time to pack for our Barcelona-Rome cruise next year I can use this list and know I’ll have everything I need and no space wasted on things I’ll never use.”
Besides your everyday toiletries and medications, we, along with Michaela Murray-Nolan says, “practically the only thing Windstar doesn’t supply is a camera to take amazing photos on, off, and of the ship!”
Don’t forget your charger and extra batteries too. If bringing an electronic reader, we also recommend downloading your favorite deck-side books prior to embarking on your cruise.
ID, travel documents, foreign currency, and credit cards (don’t forget to warn your card company that you’ll be traveling)
Now that we have the basics of how to pack for your cruise out of the way, fan Kelly Barrett Nuccitelli says, “I think the most important thing to pack for a Windstar vacation is the willingness to be whisked away on an amazing luxury adventure! Bring your ‘happy shoes,’ whatever those may be, and be ready to embark on an experience to remember!”
We recommend bringing an empty travel bag/backpack for the souvenirs you pick up when you dock. Whether your shore excursions take you to the traditional lace shops in Venice or the open markets in Istanbul, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to pick up souvenirs.
Get something special for your special someone. Bring a romantic gift for your partner and surprise him or her on a special night at sea. The memories you make on your voyage will last a lifetime, so make it count.
Fan Pat Mueller made a very thoughtful suggestion when she said, “I always pack as much as I can for the crew. There are so many crew members working tirelessly behind the scenes. Bringing gifts for the crew quarters is a great way to extend your thank you and it has been so rewarding. Packing Wii games, karaoke supplies, video games or sharing your favorite CDs, corporate gear i.e. hats, t-shirts, etc. takeover my luggage. The crew appreciates your thoughtfulness so much. What I pack for myself seems incidental. The extra effort to think about what you can pack for the crew will make your sailing extra special and warm your heart again and again. I feel like the Windstar crew is my extended family!”
Also pack an outlet for your inner artist. There’s nothing like fresh air and time off to get your creative juices flowing. Come prepared with a sketchpad or poetry notebook. And why not bring a journal to record your thoughts and observations about the trip?
Sight-see like a pro. Read up on the land excursions you’ll be taking in advance so you can be sure to make the most of your time on shore. This will also help you pack appropriate clothing and footwear. And don’t forget your binoculars. You never know what you’re going to want to view off in the distance.
Whatever you do, just don’t forget to pack your sense of adventure!
What are some things you can’t live without on a vacation? If you have any personal packing tips share them in the comments.