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Your Cruise Must Haves

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I'm in the process for packing for my upcoming Brilliance of the Seas cruise next week, and started thinking of all of the essential gadgets and accessories I've acquired over the years and thought I'd list some of my must-haves for any trip I go on.  Please share yours as well.

 

1.  External Battery Pack/Charger

 

This is a must have for me to keep my iPhone and iPad charged when going all-day or when flying long distances and power outlets are not available.  It's a bit heavy, but it will keep my phone and tablet charged for days.  http://www.monoprice.com/Product?p_id=10392

 

2.  Luggage Tag Holders

 

These are the new improved version--http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00M5MDAS0?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creativeASIN=B00M5MDAS0&linkCode=xm2&tag=royalcacom-20--but they're essential for me.  You simply print and cut out your paper luggage tags and place them in the holder.  There no need to fold, staple, laminate, tape, etc. these as they're ready to go as is.  I've used these successfully for my past several cruises.

 

3.  Zip Ties

 

Cable or zip ties are great for securing your luggage.  Choose a bright color or one that isn't too common, such as these http://www.monoprice.com/Product?p_id=5777.  I've been using zip ties for years to secure my bags as I don't need to worry about a key and don't need to worry about the strength of the luggage lock.  What's great about these is that you immediately know whether someone has been in your luggage or not.  They're also easy for the TSA to remove if they need to inspect your bags.  I simply carry a small pair of scissors in an outer pocket of one of my checked bags, but can always use a nail clipper if need be.

 

4.  Packable Backpack

 

I haven't used this on a cruise yet, but I have on one trip and found it to be exceptional.  http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00DHIZ7CI?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creativeASIN=B00DHIZ7CI&linkCode=xm2&tag=royalcacom-20  The reason I like this backpack is because I can throw it into my luggage, it doesn't take up much space, and I can pull it out and use it for excursions.  Last cruise I tried to simply use my carry-on computer backpack.  However, it was too heavy and it made my life onboard the ship miserable as I had to unpack all of my electronics and cables, put them into drawers, and then I was always looking for those things.  This way, I can keep my computer backpack packed and use this instead.

 

Let me know what your must haves are.

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Ha ha well I guess I have a different perspective, which is what makes this board fun.  Thanks for posting Doc!  Here's my priority list for essentials

 

1. Six bathing suits (so I have a clean one each day) 

2. Water socks (for rocky coastlines and riverbeds)

3. Hiking sandals (I hate shoes)

4. Lots of reading material and crosswords for sea days (hope I can find a quiet place away from the outdoor big screen TV, ugh)

 

Yay!  Can't wait. 

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Ha ha well I guess I have a different perspective, which is what makes this board fun.  Thanks for posting Doc!  Here's my priority list for essentials

 

1. Six bathing suits (so I have a clean one each day) 

2. Water socks (for rocky coastlines and riverbeds)

3. Hiking sandals (I hate shoes)

4. Lots of reading material and crosswords for sea days (hope I can find a quiet place away from the outdoor big screen TV, ugh)

 

Yay!  Can't wait. 

Good point.  Perhaps I should have said "packing essentials" or "gadgets" as I meant beyond the onboard stuff. :)

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Great topic DocLC! I learned of the luggage tags from these message boards last year and loved using them. Thanks for pointing out the updated version. Here are a couple of mine:

 

1. Camelbak Groove Water Bottle (With Activated Carbon Filter)

http://smile.amazon.com/Camelbak-Groove-Liter-Ounce-Graphite/dp/B00437XJDQ/ref=sr_1_19?s=sports-and-fitness&ie=UTF8&qid=1437704795&sr=1-19&keywords=camelbak+water+bottle

 

I like using this around the ship rather than buying bottled water. It's BPA-free and has a carbon filter built in. One caution, this is fine for use on the ship, but don't use on shore in countries where you "don't drink the water". I don't think it would destroy the bacteria that makes us gringos sick.

 

2. Amazon Kindle (or equivalent)

http://smile.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=kindle&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Akindle

 

Cruises are a great time to relax and read a book. If you load up your Kindle before the cruise you can pack a lot of books into this small device. For reading by the pool these have screens that you can read in direct sunlight, unlike your iPad. I find there is nothing more relaxing than sitting on the Promenade Deck (the outdoor deck that runs the length of the ship, usually deck 4 or 5) while reading a book and watching the sea roll by. Wow, can't wait.

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Here are a few things we bring to make life on a cruise a little easier. As a matter of fact, these are dedicated cruise items; kept in the awaiting suitcases. We could go on another cruise faster than the fire department arrives if you called 9-1-1

 

1. Flameless LED tealights. Sold at Target and dollar stores across the country. Super cheap and the ideal night light in case you to use your cabins washroom in the middle of the night.

 

2. Magnets. The first thing that will get posted to the wall is the business card of the room attendant. Next will be all the party invites. Perhaps a written message or two. One magnet will be left behind holding our room attendants tip.

 

3. Clothesline and a couple clothespins. We have about 25' of that cheap nylon paracord we use as a clothesline on our balcony. We mount it so that the bathing suits, cover ups, and water shoes hang behind the glass of the railing. We are careful not to make a flamboyant display of laundry. Our stuff drys a lot quicker outside rather than in our shower.

 

4. Walkie Talkies. Despite all the opposition to them, they come in real handy occasionally; just for my wife and I. They do make a lot of sense. Our $20 Beofeng walkie talkies are awesome.

 

5. Wireless Speaker. A small bluetooth speaker is perfect for afternoons on the balcony or playing in the background when getting ready for dinner.

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Terrific topic, so here is my top-five-list:

 

1. Binoculars - I could sit on the balcony and watch the horizon for hours.

 

2. Books - I could not travel without any "real" books. I also use kindle, but I will never gip up old school reading. And I always buy at least 2-3 books at the airport before boarding.

 

3. Pills for stomach and anti-sickness - on our first cruise we experienced the Noro-virus on board and that was not so amusing. 

 

4. Enough earphones for my iphone/ipad - I am always searching those and never have enough at hand.

 

5. My Pipe - Enjoying a pipe after dinner is a real pleasure for me an I never got negative response from nonsmokers. 

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Packable Backpack

 

I haven't used this on a cruise yet, but I have on one trip and found it to be exceptional.  http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00DHIZ7CI?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creativeASIN=B00DHIZ7CI&linkCode=xm2&tag=royalcacom-20  The reason I like this backpack is because I can throw it into my luggage, it doesn't take up much space, and I can pull it out and use it for excursions.  Last cruise I tried to simply use my carry-on computer backpack.  However, it was too heavy and it made my life onboard the ship miserable as I had to unpack all of my electronics and cables, put them into drawers, and then I was always looking for those things.  This way, I can keep my computer backpack packed and use this instead.

 

Let me know what your must haves are.

Great idea! I was thinking about getting something like this for the day trip excursions or as a carry on in the airplane. 

Just bought this one! Good call. I'll use it on my cruise next week!

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I had no idea that they had cruise luggage tag holders. I guess I should have guessed....very nice product. ...of course, this still doesn't diminish my displeasure with the fact that the cruise line quit giving us the nice self-adhesive tags a while back. I'm still pretty unhappy about that one... :)

 

I always take a power strip with me. I hadn't thought about one with USB slots. I guess I'm just used to carrying my recharge cords along.

 

There are a couple that are old time standards (not original ideas by any means) - over-the-door shoe caddies, magnetic clips (to hold some of the reams of paper that you collect throughout the cruise...since the walls are metal these clips can hang anywhere) and a collapsible laundry caddy or laundry bag to hold your dirty clothes. Previously I just let mine collect in the bottom of the closet...makes a frightful mess by the end of the cruise.

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So far, I really like it.  Super light weight, gets good reviews, has multiple pockets, and has a lifetime guarantee.  I just waterproofed mine last night as it's only water resistant to prepare for the raining weather we'll likely have in Norway next week.

 

Hope you enjoy it and find it useful.

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The luggage tag holders are quite nice.  You can get by without them but they are piece of mind.

my last cruise the tags were close to being torn off. I think the holders will give me a little more piece of mind that I have done all I can to not have my luggage lost

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Some great ideas - I mail luggage tags holders to clients and they love them
Also bring some dollar store glowsticks to use as nightlights & flip flops

Command hooks (they come off easy) to hang bathing suits, and small purse on

Space compressible bags (Seems like my clothes grow as I travel)

 

I also have been doing this for years-

I bring old tennis shoes, or shorts, tshirts that I am willing to part with and

I leave them either in the trash, or in a bag with a note for the crew and

say "all yours".  And I throw away the $1 flip flops so no sand in my bag

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OT Does anyone know anywhere else you can buy these? Amazon won't ship to Australia.

 

 

Thanks!
 

2.  Luggage Tag Holders

 

These are the new improved version--http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00M5MDAS0?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creativeASIN=B00M5MDAS0&linkCode=xm2&tag=royalcacom-20--but they're essential for me.  You simply print and cut out your paper luggage tags and place them in the holder.  There no need to fold, staple, laminate, tape, etc. these as they're ready to go as is.  I've used these successfully for my past several cruises.

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They're a Canadian company as far as I remember, so you could always call them direct. I believe Cruise Critic also sells a version through their online store, but I don't know where they ship. Of course, we could always hold out for the RCL Blog branded luggage tags. ;)

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Where have those luggage tags been all my life!!! What a great idea, I think Doc's suggestion- RCL Blog branded luggage tags is the bestest idea in the whole wide world... shipping to Ireland is cheap enough....  :rolleyes: 

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