After sailing on numerous cruises the past 25 years - I've acquired some packing tips that I hope you'll find useful!
Consider the Destinations
This seems like a no brainer - but this goes beyond checking the climate for the places you'll be visiting. Will you be visiting religious sites that require more modest attire (knees, shoulders or heads covered)? Some destinations are more casual - such as Alaska, and you may find European countries a bit dressier than the U.S.
Length of Cruise/Cruise Line
Each cruise line has its own guidelines for evening attire and dress codes in their dining rooms (and certain areas on the ship). If you like to dress up be sure to check how many evenings on your cruise have more formal nights. Most cruises also have casual dining options if you prefer.
Type of Luggage
I've found that a garment bag is my favorite piece for cruise packing! It's easier packing evening clothes this way as dresses and jackets come out with less wrinkling. I also prefer luggage with wheels as this is so much easier navigating the airports and boarding the ship. Pack an extra bag for your purchases! Don't get hit with an extra bag fee at the airport for going over the 50 pound weight limit.
How Many Shoes
Aaaah shoes - they take up so much packing space! I recommend you pack 1-2 pair for evenings that will mix and match with all your outfits. You will most likely being walking quite a bit on a cruise and in the ports you visit - take comfy shoes! Also - don't be tempted to take a brand new pair. I've learned my lesson a few times on that - hobbling around the South of France and Monaco with blisters was not my best travel day! 😉
When you arrive at the cruise terminal - luggage handlers will be taking your bags to be delivered to your cabin at a later time that day. Being without your luggage for at least a few hours - pack a carry on to take on the ship with you. Be sure to include any valuables, electronics, medications or anything you may need until you receive your luggage. I suggest a backpack or small rollie that's easy to move around the ship with.
Until the next adventure - bon voyage!