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Top 10 Things to Bring on a Transatlantic Cruise

Layers
Whether you will be travelling in spring or autumn, taking the Eastern or Western route, you might experience both warm and cool kinds of weather. Pack layers for rain and cold weather as well as light breathable layers for sunny days. You might have sunshine and warm temps in port then cold and rainy days at sea – or even the opposite. It’s best to be prepared so that you don’t have to resort to buying overpriced cruise line items from the gift shop.

Packable coats are always a good idea for packing. These lightweight down or polyester fill jackets pack up small to fit in your luggage but keep you warm when the weather turns cold.

Books
Whether you prefer ebooks, paperbacks or audiobooks it is a good idea to gather reading materials before you leave for your transatlantic cruise. Days at sea are perfect for catching up on reading on a deck chair or curled up on the sofa in your stateroom. Or if you have a balcony laying out on your own private space with the sun beating down while reading a nice book listening to the water.

People on my transatlantic cruise were reading all afternoon while lounging in the hot tub.

Games
Many cruisers love to play games like dominos, bridge and poker. It’s a great way to be social without having to constantly come up with scintillating conversation. Just don’t forget to pack the playing cards, pontoon, snap, black five. The lists is endless

Insulated Mug
On my last transatlantic cruise I noticed many cruisers with insulated beverage containers. They would fill them with hot coffee or tea to take back to their staterooms and sip away. Some also used them to simply sit at a table at the buffet, to keep from having to get up every time they needed a fresh cuppa. Some sea days the buffets can get quite busy, and you don’t want to give up your window seat for fear someone else will grab it.

An insulated mug can also be great for iced drinks if you prefer them to coffee or tea.

Lanyard
If you’ve cruised before you know that you have to use your keycard for everything from accessing your stateroom to checking in to activities. You always need it handy and the slippery thing can easily fall out of your pocket.

Frequent cruisers like to keep their keycard on a lanyard around their neck. It can easily be used to swipe, or slip it off to use to keep the lights on when you are in your room. As soon as you arrive onboard, head to guest services to have them punch a hole in the card, where you can lace the lanyard hook through the card.

Of course you can use any lanyard you might have lying around but frequent cruisers have cool blinged out versions with sparkles and patterns.

Earplugs
Light sleepers beware, a cruise ship is not always the quietest place. Sure you are miles from anyone in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, but you might have 4000 other people onboard with you. They may be loudly talking, coughing, slamming doors or other annoying noises at any hour. Your upstairs neighbors might be dragging chairs across the floor or running down the hallways.

Even more distracting might be waves splashing, creaking of the ship and other mechanical sounds. These might not bother you but just in case it is smart to have a good set of earplugs just in case.

Noise Cancelling Earphones
Related to the above item, a nice set of earphones can also be a sanity saver on a long transatlantic voyage. Maybe your roommate just won’t stop talking or you start to get annoyed with the noisy activities and conversation all around the ship.

A noise cancelling headset can be used to get a bit of alone time even when surrounded by other people. They send out the message that you don’t want to converse and can be used just to get a bit of peace and quiet even if you aren’t listening to anything! Of course you can also download music, audiobooks and podcasts to keep you entertained as you people watch or stare out to sea.

Packable Backpack or Tote
Transatlantic cruises often have a few days in port and you’ll want to go sightseeing. Perhaps you want to bring along some water, a warm layer or clothing and your camera. Make it easy on yourself and pack a small tote or backpack to toss the essentials into for a day of sightseeing. You probably don’t need something super heavy duty, a small, packable backpack is more than enough

Slip On Shoes
Whether the weather is warm or cool you will be happy if you have a comfortable and easy pair of shoes to slip on when you are headed to breakfast at the buffet or the hot tub. Choose something that is comfortable but has a good grip for those wet decks.

Credit Card
A good credit or debit card is a great thing to have on these transatlantic cruises that stop in several international ports. You might spend the day in a place that uses pounds one day and euros the next, or go from kroner to dollars. Why collect cash and coins from each location when you can just use a good credit card with no foreign transaction fees.

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