Princess recommends no more than two bags per person, no bigger than 140cm x 60cm x 40cm and no more than 32kg. However I have also been told there is no weight restriction on luggage. You’ll drop off your suitcase/s at the luggage check-in near the front gate (You will need to walk a short distance with it from where you get dropped off) and take any carry-on luggage with you to the terminal. At the end of the cruise you’ll collect your luggage from the terminal and need to walk with it to the carpark (Taxis may be able to come onto the pier) – So remember to only pack what you can carry/wheel without assistance.
Cabins and bathrooms are also quite small, so keep that in mind too, especially if sharing with another Hatter. There is not much storage space in the bathrooms. Shallow suitcases may fit under the bed for storage. Your suitcase/s will be delivered to your cabin sometime after the ship sets sail. When disembarking you leave your suitcases out beside your cabin door the night before and they are collected by staff.
To make finding your luggage easier when disembarking, try tying a colourful ribbon onto the handle, wrapping decorative duct-tape around the case. Perhaps even use one of the free printable Hatter luggage tags!
You’ll want to have a carry on bag as well as your luggage because your luggage will likely not be delivered to your cabin until the evening, so anything you’ll need during the day (medications, swimwear etc.) pack into a carry on bag. Your cabin might still be being cleaned when you board, but you may be able to leave your carry-on bag in there if you don’t want to carry it all around the ship, or come back later and the cabin should be ready.
What to bring – Clothing
- Underwear, socks, night clothes
- Comfortable walking shoes, dressy shoes for dinner
- Comfortable clothing for day. Dressier clothing for night (especially formal night) – Preferably Hatter colours!
- Cardigan/jumper etc. for if the weather is cold. Raincoat just in case
- Swimwear for the pools
What to bring – Toiletries and extras
- Toothbrush & toothpaste
- Air freshener for the bathroom
- Medications, sea sick medications, sunscreen, umbrella, sunglasses
- Basic first aid supplies – if you think you may need a bandaid, antacid, sunburn cream and things like this, it might be worthwhile to pack your own mini first aid kit.
- Chargers for any electronics
- US plug (Non-surge protected) powerboard or double adaptor (cabins have 1 powerpoint with US socket)
- Soap, shampoo and conditioner are provided, but you can bring your own – especially if you like your own conditioner. To avoid bathroom clutter perhaps plan with your cabin-mate to share to avoid doubling up.
- Queens – bring some business cards for your chapter in case you’re asked about the RHS (There are free printable info flyers you can print)
- Magnet hooks/clips to hold items on the walls, such as your cruise card lanyard
- Travel mug/water bottle if you’d like to be able to refill and carry drinks around.
- Books to read or colouring books to do (if you have any spare time)
Note on powerboards/double adaptors – You will need one that converts your AU electrical plug to the US socket the cruise ship has. You cannot bring a surge protected powerboard as the ship’s power is not “earthed”, so this can cause surge protected units to catch fire! I’d suggest not buying cheap (“$2 shop”) plugs/boards – pay the extra to buy from reputable brands. If you have devices that charge via USB, look for powerboards/double adaptors that have USB ports, so that you can charge multiple things at once.
Food to bring with you
While food is included in your cruise fare (so you’ll want to make the most of that!), one of the things the ship doesn’t really cater for is savoury snacks (crackers, chips, muesli bars, nuts etc.) So if you think you’ll fancy something like that (especially if you are gluten free), you might want to bring some of these with you. Just bring them in prepackaged unopened packets, and bring along some ziplock bags or containers so you can portion them out onboard if you like.
Alcohol and drinks you can bring on board
Each passenger can bring 1 bottle (up to 750mls) of wine with them (in carry-on luggage) without charge, which you may consume in your cabin. Any additional bottles you bring on (and if you drink that 1st bottle in the dining room) will have $15 corkage charge added. Some people have reported they are charged the corkage fee on additional alcohol upon boarding, others have reported they haven’t been charged so long as they only consumed it in their cabin. They are however supposed to charge for each additional bottle over the 1 per person allowance. If you bring alcohol onboard at one of the ports we visit, the alcohol may be taken from you and get delivered to your cabin on the final night of the cruise.
Luggage – what NOT to bring
(Other than the obvious no weapons etc.)
- Hair dryers, clothing irons, kettles – are not permitted due to fire hazards – there is a hairdryer in the cabin for you to use. Hair straighteners/curlers should be allowed, but some passengers have reported having these confiscated (pack into checked luggage for less chance of this happening)
- Surge protected powerboards are not allowed (as these are a fire hazard with ships wiring), non-surge protected ones are allowed. It is recommended to pack these into your checked luggage rather than carry on.
- Food/drinks that are unsealed. While you can bring on prepackaged food still in unopened containers, any homemade food or opened packets may be confiscated. Opened drinks may be confiscated as people commonly try to smuggle alcohol onboard by putting it in mouthwash/water bottles etc.
What to wear
- Please wear Hatter colours for the whole cruise, but especially at dinner and during shore meetups with other hatters.
- It may be hot, but sea breezes onboard may be chilly. So make sure you pack cool clothing as well as a few items for when it gets cooler. Layering is good.
- Wear comfortable non-slip shoes, especially if we have rain and the deck is wet.
- The official dresscode for the cruise line is “Smart casual”. Shorts, tshirts and thongs are not permitted in the dining rooms, but can be worn around the ship.
- Our cruise will contain 1 “formal night” – this is where guests are asked to dress up very formally. For example they ask guests to wear evening dresses and tuxedos. So bring some bling, tiaras etc.
- Queens bring crowned during the coronation – please bring your own crown (and cloak or Queenly garb if you have it). Please note we will not require a pillow for kneeling or carrying your crown, you’ll wear your crown to the coronation event.
- A watch – you may not want to take your phone around with you as you might not get coverage. So bring a watch to know the time.
- Onboard all you’ll need to carry with you is your cruise card, and also any items like a camera, medications and lippy. So a small cross-body bag is useful to carry these little things with you. You will be provided with a lanyard to wear the cruise card.
Other Packing Tips
Bring an ‘over-the-door’ shoe organiser (without the metal door clips, as these can damage the doors) and attach this to a coathanger (use pipecleaners or ribbon to loop through the eyelets). You can then hang this in the wardrobe to store all your underwear and small items and as a bonus you can pack everything into this at home, fold it up and put it in the suitcase, then simply hang it up when you get there and you’re unpacked!
An over door organiser can also be handy in the bathroom for storing lotions and potions – the bathroom door should have hooks on the inside to hang this from.
Roll clothing rather than folding, as it avoids wrinkles. Irons are not permitted to be brought onboard but there are irons in the self service laundries you can use.