September 22, 2023


For splendid leisure

I packed for my first solo cruise with a carry-on suitcase and a backpack. Here are 4 things I wish I’d packed, and 3 I’m glad I brought.

5 min read
mikhaila cruise

Mikhaila Friel on her initial port working day in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.Mikhaila Friel/Insider

  • In Oct, I invested 5 days on Cunard’s Western European cruise.

  • The voyage, which provided two days in Amsterdam, was my to start with solo-journey working experience.

  • I had some packing regrets: hotter clothing and a reusable h2o bottle would have occur in handy.

In October 2021, I put in 5 times on board Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth cruise ship.

Cunard's Queen Elizabeth ship in Amsterdam

Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth ship in Amsterdam.Mikhaila Friel/Insider

In Oct, I was a passenger on Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth, the British cruise line’s to start with ship to leave the United kingdom considering that the pandemic commenced. The voyage lasted for 5 evenings, and the ship ported in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, for two days.

The trip marked my to start with time on a cruise ship, as very well as my initially time traveling solo.

For the 5-evening voyage, I brought a carry-on suitcase and a backpack.

cruise luggage

Mikhaila Friel’s baggage, photographed ahead of embarkation.Mikhaila Friel/Insider

I introduced just two objects of baggage on board: a carry-on suitcase and a backpack. As I sat in the ready place in advance of embarking on the ship, I observed other passengers carried substantially much larger suitcases than I had.

I was hopeful that I’d packed all that I would need to have on the voyage. But there ended up a handful of issues I regretted not bringing.

I want I would brought warmer outfits.

Mikhaila in Amsterdam.

Mikhaila Friel in Amsterdam.Mikhaila Friel/Insider

Europe in the tumble can be pretty chilly, so I wore a coat all through my excursions in Amsterdam. Nevertheless, I want I would brought a larger collection of hotter outfits and components to don on out of doors parts of the ship that were being influenced by the wind, a thing I hadn’t thought of. A woolly hat and a pair of gloves certainly wouldn’t have absent amiss.

It would have been clever to provide a reusable h2o bottle on board.

Hydro Flask water bottle

A reusable water bottle.Hydro Flask

On the Queen Elizabeth ship, it was totally free to get drinking water at the buffet cafe and at the Britannia cafe. But if I wanted to buy a bottle of drinking water to my space or at the bar, I was charged a payment — $4.49 for a 2-liter bottle.

This could have been avoided if I’d brought a reusable drinking water bottle on board, which I could have had refilled when I dined at the buffet.

I regretted not buying seasickness tablets.

Mikhaila cruise

Mikhaila on the Queen Elizabeth cruise ship.Mikhaila Friel/Insider

Considering that I had under no circumstances been on a cruise before, I didn’t know if seasickness would be an challenge for me. As a preventative evaluate, I procured anti-nausea travel illness wristbands for £3.49, or all over $4.55, from Amazon immediately after reading through an post on the net that recommended them.

The wristbands get the job done by “pressing the distinct acupoints with unique plastic balls to accomplish stability, which make you come to feel relaxed,” in accordance to the Amazon page.

While on board, I finished up emotion seasick even when sporting the wristbands. I found myself wishing I had packed some alternate selections, this sort of as seasickness tablets from my area pharmacy or movement-sickness patches.

Following time I go on a cruise, I will deliver much more funds.

People exchanging cash.

People today exchanging dollars.Getty Images

At the finish of the voyage, I was billed a $57.50 assistance payment that was billed to the card that compensated for the cruise. (For whole disclosure, Insider paid for the cruise and the services fee, as per our reporting expectations).

A fellow passenger who has been on several cruises informed me that the demand is optional and that she constantly asks the business to eliminate it from her final monthly bill. She stated she does this due to the fact she prefers to individually suggestion a pick out number of personnel with funds. This is a little something I’d look at undertaking on my up coming cruise.

There had been a several merchandise that arrived in handy, like my transportable cell phone charger.

Ski trip packing regrets.

A stock picture of a transportable charger.F.J. Jimenez/Getty Images

During the two port days, I manufactured the most of currently being in Amsterdam and explored the metropolis. And on sea days, I loved routines on the ship, attended dance lessons, and expended time with new buddies.

The portable charger manufactured daily life a good deal less difficult, as I did not have to maintain managing back again to my home to cost my phone.

I am glad I manufactured an effort with my evening apparel.

Mikhaila formal cruise

Mikhaila through the black and white themed night, still left, and at the roaring ’20s themed night time, suitable.Mikhaila Friel/Insider

A person of the things that Cunard is most effective identified for is its themed official evenings, in which attendees are asked to gown in evening gowns or tuxedos. Throughout my voyage, there were two themed official evenings: a black-and-white topic and a roaring ’20s topic.

I made an effort and hard work each, and acquired a ground-size black robe for the black-and-white theme. For the roaring ’20s concept, I wore a gold sparkly costume that I already owned and accessorized with a headpiece and a beaded necklace that I ordered from Amazon.

Most friends adhered to the themes, so it made for a terrific ice breaker when chatting at evening meal.

I introduced my e-reader to aid me wind down at the conclude of the working day.

E-Learning Reviews Hand holding Amazon Kindle Paperwhite with ribbon bookmark purple gradient background

A Kindle e-reader.Hollis Johnson/Alyssa Powell/Insider

Even although I was a solo traveler, I identified that I almost never experienced a minute to myself on the cruise. I was often chatting with individuals, whether it was at meal or out on an excursion.

Having said that, there ended up instances when I needed to unwind for the day with out acquiring to make modest communicate. Getting a ebook to examine on my e-reader or a notebook to create in made for an outstanding prop, as it retained me wanting occupied if I felt far too weary to make dialogue.

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