Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Preparing for a Cruise

Donna Hull, from My Itchy Travel Feet, has agreed to help me with another blog post today as I continue to get caught up after being away from my office for a week. 

Preparing for a Cruise 

Earlier this summer, I shared my cruise packing tips with you. Today, Susan has invited me back to show Fifty, not Frumpy readers more about how I prepare for a cruise. I hope you’ll find my tips and tricks useful for your next sailing.

Before you go

Since I cruise about once a year, I use the trip as a reminder to replace old makeup—a healthy practice for your skin. And I also make an appointment with a skin expert or cosmetician for a makeup lesson to learn new trends. When making the appointment, explain your style and emphasize that you are looking for makeup tips for a mature woman.

If you’re going to change hairstyles, do so a couple of months before the cruise so that you’re practiced at maintaining the style. For longer cruises where you’ll need to schedule haircuts or color, take a photo of your hair looking its best to show the ship’s stylist (or one onshore if you choose to have your hair done in port). If you color your hair, bring the formula with you.

Who doesn’t try to lose a few pounds before a cruise? Raising my hand high here. But don’t forget about getting in shape for all of the fun excursions. You’ll enjoy walking the streets of Rome a lot more if you’ve been following a walking regime at home. And don’t forget about light strength training and stretching. You’ll be the one hopping in and out of tenders, zodiacs and bounding up the stairs without any achy muscles.

Traveling with a partner? Cross pack. When my husband and I cruise together, I make sure that each piece of luggage contains items for both of us that cover all of the dress codes on the cruise. And we each pack a carry-on with an outfit for each dress code—even formal night—so that if our checked luggage is lost, the cruise isn’t ruined for us. 

Fifty not Frumpy travel tip: write down items as you pack them. If your luggage is lost, it will be easier to make a claim. And you’ll know what needs replacing.

Must takes

When you’re anticipating wearing your favorite outfits, it’s easy to forget the practical side of things. Yes, I have forgotten these so here’s a reminder for all of us:

The weather won’t always be perfect so bring a raincoat. I prefer one with a hood. Umbrellas only get in the way and drip water on other people. Use a hooded raincoat instead.

Fifty not Frumpy travel tip: If you’re traveling to a gloomy or snowy climate, a bright colored coat or raincoat will help you stand out in photos.

Everyone needs a break from all the fun. Bring your favorite comfy outfit for hanging out in the cabin.

A pashmina is one of my favorite multi-purpose clothing items. Use one as a blanket on the plane or to wrap around your shoulders in over air-conditioned rooms. I bring two: a casual version for travel and a dressier pashmina that takes a basic black (or other neutral) outfit from ho-hum to wow.

 Affiliate links in this post may generate commissions for Fifty, not Frumpy.

I find that shampoos and conditioners provided by the cruise line dry out my hair, so does the ship’s water. Consider having a keratin treatment to protect hair before leaving home or schedule one in the ship’s salon if you’re traveling on a long cruise. 

Fifty Not Frumpy travel tip: pack a shoe bag to hang over the bathroom door to hold toiletries. This puts items in easy reach plus frees up counter space in those small shipboard bathrooms.

Stay organized

A good organizational system keeps me from losing things when traveling. This applies to a cruise or any other type of travel. I keep the same items in the same place every time, whether that’s in my purse or on the nightstand of the cruise cabin. If you follow this practice, you won’t leave anything behind when it’s time to go home.

And my last tip for getting ready for a cruise—have a plan of attack when it comes to eating healthy and exercising on the ship. Stay tuned, because that’s the next article that I’ll be sharing with you here at Fifty, not Frumpy.

Donna L. Hull writes about active travel for baby boomers at My Itchy Travel Feet, The Baby Boomer’s Guide to Travel. Going on a road trip? She’s currently offering a road trip checklist to new subscribers.

Thank you for joining us on this journey through midlife and beyond. The second fifty years are truly the best!

Susan Street is the President of

Visit me on Twitter.
Visit me on Pinterest.
Visit me on Polyvore.

1 comment:

Cheap Cruise Tips said...

Great Blog and Cruise wear tips. When is your next cruise?