Photo Credit by Flickr, lilit

There's all variety of packing lists available on the Internet, including on the CruiseMates web site. So, this is not a packing list. Rather it's a conglomeration of things everyone should take with them, along with their packing lists.

1.- A Good Attitude is the absolutely most important thing one needs to take on their cruise. This may sound simple; after-all everyone should be excited they are heading out on well earned vacations. But far too many people carry their stress in their carry-ons. You can see it during the check-in and embarkation process, when the impatience of some shows in their clenched teeth, jut out jaw, faces. They allow this stress to control the beginning of their vacation, which often carries over well into the cruise.

In most cases a good attitude will carry you through any glitches you may encounter on the way to a perfect cruise vacation. It allows you to slough off the small off. And a good attitude will also allow you to enjoy the company of your fellow ship mates, and all the staff and crew you spend your time with.

2. A Passport - There seems to be a considerable amount of resistance by people to getting a passport. It may be because people view it as a non essential cost, but a passport is simply the easiest and most widely accepted piece of identification a person can have. Mentally amortizing the cost of your passport over the term limit your country has set for it makes that cost seem much more reasonable, which it really is. The fact that passports are universally accepted, and supply the least hassle in situations where identification is required makes carrying one an absolute must in my view.

3. travel insurance - Life is full of unexpected occurrences. Some of them are pleasant, some of them are not, and travel insurance is there to assist in making some of the unpleasant ones more manageable, and more tolerable.

There's hundreds of articles around about travel insurance, but I can't stress enough how important it is to purchase! If you don't purchase travel insurance, you are self insuring. Simply- that means you are going to be stuck with the responsibility of paying for anything that happens that would have been insurable.

Once again the resistance to purchasing travel insurance seems to be mainly financial considerations. However, with many third party insurers being available, the price of coverage is much lower than you think, and offers peace of mind, and much needed assistance in the event difficult situations arise.

4. Money - Whether it's cash or a credit card (with available credit), or a combination of the two, you should expect to spend more than you might budget for. One of the most difficult questions to answer is: How much money should I take?, and that's because it's dependant on how much each individual drinks, gambles, shops, and how many organized excursions one wants to participate in.

In my experience, over the years, I've generally worked with counting on $100 per person per day of the cruise, as flexible spending money. That is $1400 for a couple on a seven day cruise.

Some folks will spend more than that on drinks alone, and certainly any large ticket item shopping will send you way over that number.

5. Duct Tape - while you may never have to use it, it can fix almost everything except for a lack of #1 thru 4.

- A View From the Kuki Side of Cruising