Bring useful little gadgets from home to make your cruise life better. For instance, an over-the-door shoe holder is perfect place to store all the items that wind up in your pants pockets. And you’ll need somewhere to hang your wet clothes. Self-adhesive shower hooks, with little suction cups, work well, as do bungee cords or small coils of rope. Other neat items to bring onboard include:
* USB thumb drive, extra memory cards. Download photos each day to your thumb drive, so you don’t lose them. Another option is to bring a memory card for each port you plan on exploring.
* Small flashlight, plug-in nightlight. You’ll need the flashlight for dark stairwells or unlighted paths on shore. A plug-in nightlight is helpful for finding your way to the bathroom after lights out.
* Earplugs. Never know who will be your next-door neighbors aboard ship. Bring earplugs in case they like to party late into the night. They’re great for the plane flight, too.
* Plastic Ziploc bags. Perfect for protecting your stuff on water excursions, large plastic bags also can prevent liquids from escaping into your luggage. Bring 6 or 8 to share with your new friends.
* Binoculars. Whether you’re gazing at whales in the ocean or checking out the bodies on deck, you could probably use a set of binoculars. Go ahead, bring ‘em – they’re too costly to buy on the trip.
* Small backpack. Whether on board ship, or in port, you’ll want somewhere to store money, room pass, books and glasses when you’re out of your room. Just a fanny pack might not be enough.
* Small, soft-sided cooler. Save money by buying beverages in bulk aboard ship. The steward will keep you in ice, and it’s another great way to make friends. Cheap enough to discard after use.
* Door and balcony decorations. Most stateroom doors look the same, particularly late at night. If your door is decorated, it’s easier to give directions to your new friends. Looks great from the shore!