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Packing for Caribbean sea days

Sea days in the Caribbean can be as relaxed or as active as you like. Still, it’s important to be comfortable. The winter months (November to March) are drier and cooler in the Caribbean, but you’re still looking temperature of at least 24-28°C, so packing a selection of light layers in protective but cool fabrics is always a good idea. The temperature rises in April, so keep this in mind if you book one of Queen Elizabeth’s Caribbean cruises, sailing in the latter part of the season.

 

Even on sea days, swimwear can come in handy. Each of our Queens offers a choice of pools, whirlpools, and the blissful sanctuary of our Mareel Wellness & Beauty spa, with its rejuvenating hydrotherapy suite and relaxation lounge. Whether you choose to take a dip or just soak-up a few rays on deck, we recommend bringing two or three items of swimwear with you. Skin protection is also essential. Sunglasses, hats, and suncream should all feature highly on your Caribbean cruise packing list.

 

Packing for Gala Evenings

 

On each Caribbean cruise you take with us, we’ll lay on at least one Gala Evening. While these special nights on board our Queens offer you a chance to dress-up in your most glamorous eveningwear, the important thing is that you feel comfortable. Evenings in the Caribbean can be hot and humid, and although your ship is comfortably air-conditioned, you might still want to bear this in mind when choosing your Gala Evening attire. Tuxedos, suits, ball gowns, and cocktail dresses are all guest favourites on these nights, but for a Caribbean Gala Evening you may want to opt for lighter materials such as cotton, silk, and chiffon, over heavier fabrics. If you prefer to dress more casually, several on board venues welcome relaxed dress on Gala Evenings, so there’s no need to dress-up in your finery if you don’t want to.

 

Packing for Transatlantic Crossings

 

Some of our Caribbean cruises combine calls to several islands with a Transatlantic Crossing, which introduces a whole other aspect to your packing. Temperatures will be much cooler for this leg of your journey, particularly if you’re sailing in the northern hemisphere during winter, so along with all of your lightweight summer clothing you’ll also need to also pack a few warmer and longer layers. If you’re sailing on Queen Mary 2, why not consider booking a sheltered balcony stateroom on deck 4, 5, or 6? These special rooms are designed with the balcony cut into the hull of the ship, so you can still enjoy the sea air while being sheltered from the elements.

Packing for Caribbean shore days

Every shore day in the Caribbean brings the opportunity for adventure and discovery. In addition to light layers and sun protection, it’s a good idea to pack a range of footwear styles to accommodate the different activities you might do ashore. A sturdy pair of walking boots will be needed if you plan on exploring any of the Caribbean’s wild and unspoilt landscapes, such as St Lucia's Pitons or rainforests. A comfortable pair of trainers, perhaps with some sweat-wicking socks, are perfect if you only plan on walking around town, or you could opt for a pair of supportive sandals if you prefer. Flip-flops will serve you well for the beach and your ship’s pools on board. You can even bring your own flippers and snorkel to go scuba diving if you wish – although you should have no trouble hiring these ashore.

 

Caribbean cruise packing essentials

 

It’s important to ensure you pack all of the essentials you need to travel, as well as any additional items you rely on day-to-day. These include your passport and boarding passes as well as any medications you take, all of which we recommend carrying on board in your hand luggage. We do have medical centres on board our ships, however their supplies are limited, so be mindful to allow enough medication to last you until you get home – and maybe a little extra, just in case.

 

You may also benefit from bringing maps of the local areas (although many ports provide these on arrival) or a pair of binoculars to spot far-off wildlife and landmarks while you’re sailing on your Cunard Queen. As it can be very hot and humid in the Caribbean, it’s important to stay well-hydrated throughout the day, so a refillable water bottle you can take ashore with you is also a good idea to pack.

 

Our last recommendation is a comfortable personal backpack or tote bag that you can easily roll up into your luggage. Whether you’re shopping for souvenirs on board in your ship’s boutiques or at a local market ashore, it’s always a good idea to have a bag handy that you can carry everything back in.

What not to pack

There are some items you simply won’t need to pack for your Caribbean cruise. Every stateroom and suite on board our ships includes a selection of Penhaligon’s body wash, shampoo, and hand soap, as well as tea and coffee, and a hairdryer. Towels are also included in your suite or stateroom, and at each of our pools on board, so there’s no need to eat into your packing space with these bulky items.

 

We also have a list of prohibited items that we cannot accept on board for health, safety, and security reasons. Please ensure you consult this list, particularly if you plan on bringing electrical items.

 

We also request that Caribbean visitors do not pack any clothing with a camouflage print or similar design. Several islands forbid this clothing for anyone who is not military personnel. It is also polite to dress modestly when visiting religious and government buildings, so keep this in mind when you book your tours and bring a cover-up with you if you’re unsure.

Explore the Caribbean with Cunard