Paper, Planes & Pinot

In Other Words… Stationery, Travel, and All Else that Matters

Travel Thursday – Cruise Tips

Let me start this post off by saying that I am by no means a cruise expert.  I have only been on 3 cruises – 2 during college Spring Break and 1 with family post college.  What i can say is that I am a self-proclaimed expert at having a good time.   Hopefully, this post helps you have a ridiculously good time on any cruise you go on.  So let’s get started…


I hate wearing the same outfit twice while on vacation.  Surprisingly this is not because I have some sort of phobia where I think that my clothes are dirty after wearing them once.  The reason that I don’t want to repeat outfits while on vacation is that I want to have different outfits in all my pictures.  Duh.

With this being said, while on a cruise you will need multiple outfits every day. As an infamous over-packer, I definitely need to plan out each outfit.  If you are an over-packer, I suggest you do the same.  If you do not you will end up like me on my first cruise.  I brought on a complete set of luggage for 1 week – meaning a carryon luggage, checked baggage and a garment bag.

Daytime Outfits.  These are the easiest to pack for.  A bikini and cover up are all that are needed on days at sea.

Excursion Outfits.  If you are going on an excursion, pack accordingly.  I tend to get off the boat and find the nearing beach with a bar on it, so my “excursion outfits” are the exact same as my daytime outfits.  For those of you that want to explore or go hiking make sure that you pack what you need!

Dinner Outfits.  When you get your itinerary make sure you check out if there are formal nights on your cruise for dinner.  Formal nights bring me back to college; I wear something that I would wear to a sorority formal (i.e. short and slutty).  All other nights for dinner I still wear dresses, but they are more casual.


Formal Night with the family.  Everyone in traditional Filipino outfits except for me.

Formal Night with the family… everyone in traditional Filipino outfits except for me

Casual Evening

Casual Evening outfit

Post Dinner Outfits.  Especially on formal nights, you might want to change into something more casual after dinner.  This could be a skirt or shorts and a tank–something that you are comfortable wearing while boozing and pursuing the cruise ship!


If you have never gone on a cruise, be warned: upon boarding, your suitcase will be checked and taken to your room for you after it has gone through inspection.  This means that you will need to pack an extra bag with everything you need once you board [READ:  your swimsuit, sunscreen, and sunglasses].

Now that you stored your essentials in a separate bag, I suggest getting on the ship as early as you can.  Why?!  Because you are on vacation. That’s why.  If you are on newer ships, resist every urge you have to walk around and explore.  You have the rest of the cruise to do that.  Get yourself a mojito and a lawn chair by the pool before they are all taken.

As you can see, I take the above advice very seriously.

Claiming poolside seats upon boarding the ship

Claiming poolside seats upon boarding the ship


So when in college, my Spring Break budget was diminished after I paid for the actual cruise.  So how did us college kids get drunk? We brought our own alcohol on the cruise.  Here are some things that I have heard that work [DISCLAIMER:  I do not endorse you sneaking on alcohol, I am a risk averse Asian!]:

  • Simply filling up a Nalgene and bringing it on the ship full of vodka.
  • Filling up a shampoo bottle or mouth wash bottle with alcohol.  If you do try this method, make sure to wash out your bottles MULTIPLE times before filling up with alcohol.  If not, you may end up taking shots of bourbon that taste soapy.  If you happen to use a mouth wash bottle you can try dying the alcohol green!
  • Cruises do allow you to bring in wine bottles for a fee.  If you are able to uncork your bottle seamlessly do this:  drink the wine, fill back up with alcohol, and then re-cork.  I have heard that this works best with Yellowtail bottles.
  • Putting on a  large sports bra and filling up plastic bags with alcohol.  Free alcohol and breast implants!
  • Emptying a tampon box and filling it back up with test tube shots.  Re-glue the tampon box shut.

My family trip was quite different.  Since my parents paid for the cruise the beau and I decided that we could splurge and buy the all-inclusive drink package.  Now, we definitely got our money’s worth.  I kept tabs on our drinks and we ripped that ship off, BUT it came at a price (aka dehydration).


Dehydration at 10am

The worst was probably the mornings.  Being hungover all I wanted was a water.  Unfortunately I wanted to get my money’s worth so I would have about 4 mixed drinks at 8am.  Come 10am I was dying and the day was just getting started.  At that point I caved in and got water.  This alcohol vs water issue in the mornings was a daily struggle for me.

Ladies, the all inclusive package is going to wreck your pre-cruise body.  The good news is… who the eff cares!  You will never see these people on the cruise again, and most likely if your friends and family are anything like mine, everyone else will be too drunk to judge you!


There is free food all over the ship.  It is available at all hours of the day.  Even room service is free meaning you can order food to your room FOR FREE!  During dinner you will get a menu and you can literally order anything on (and off) the menu.  You can have 3 entrees if you want!  On the last cruise I went on, our server for the week was Filipino, so we had Filipino off menu specialties brought to us!

The only thing wrong with the food is that it is good.   Hear me out… literally everything is good so you just keep eating.  When I went on a cruise last year I legitimately gained 5lbs in one week.  The dress that I packed for the last day barely fit because of my weight gain and my alcohol swelling.

Now, since the food is free, order it yourself.  Don’t grab someone’s leftovers off of a busboy tray.  Confession.  I did this once.  Joke was on me since the ‘ice cream’ on the plate was actually Caesar dressing.  A spoonful of that with a stranger’s chocolate molten cake with Caesar dressing was not the most tasty.


Also there WILL BE multiple Fro-yo machines.  LIVE. IT. UP.  You are on vacation.

The Rest

So if you want to take part in excursions, DO IT!  I am always super busy so I like relaxing and just being by the beach reading White Girl Problems while I pay pennies for drinks.  If you decide to take part in vacation excursions read the reviews online.  Make sure that you choose something that you will get your money’s worth with!

There are shows on the cruise.  If you are with a large group, I recommend going to the comedy shoes all together.  You will have a blast!  Try to get someone in your group IN the show.  That makes it all the more better.

The BEST advice I can give you about going on a cruise is to go with people that YOU KNOW you will have fun with.  You will be stuck on a ship with this group for a week so make sure its with the crazies crew you know so you have ridic stories to tell!

Best memories ever from one of the only excursions I have done

Great memories ever from one of the only excursions I have done


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This entry was posted on June 26, 2014 by in Planes and tagged , , , , , , , , , .
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