Like Baby Bear, I Packed Just Right

  • Post Cruise, Voyage of the Vikings 2019
  • Friday, Sept. 20, 2019, At Home

In my last blog post, I promised to report on what I forgot to pack on my recent 35-day Voyage of the Vikings. The short answer is “nothing.” At the most, I might have switched out a couple of items of clothing. But all in all I think my packing was just about right – not too much, not too little.

Just to recap, I knew I was sharing a cabin with my two sisters, so when in doubt I left it out. We also did some planning so we would avoid duplicate items like blow dryers. (Yes, there is one in the cabin, but we prefer to have one we know we like.) And even though it was August, we were in the North Atlantic. I wasn’t sure how cold it would be. In actuality, the coldest days were in the 40s, which isn’t really that cold. It does seem colder when you are on a ship in the wind, but not bitterly cold.

Elaine and Jo in Iceland

By layering my all-weather jacket (without liner) over a hoodie, I was just fine. On rainy days I used the hood on my jacket or perhaps my umbrella. Sometimes I used both my hoodie and my jacket hood to stay warm in the wind. My only wish was for fingertip-less gloves with mitten-like covers, for using my smartphone as a camera. I’ll look for a pair before my next trip.

I got by with six short-sleeved and two long-sleeved tops. I’m usually warm, so the short-sleeved worked fine on the ship, sometimes with a sweater. Yes, I got tired of wearing some of these tops, but no one other than me complained.

One pair each of shorts and capris would have been sufficient instead of the two each I took. I wore my two pairs of jeans a lot, especially when going ashore. I wore my long black slacks frequently for dinner, but not the white ones. Even though it was before Labor Day, white didn’t quite seem right in the cooler weather.

Speaking of dinner, the dress code was strictly casual beyond the gala nights. I frequently wore whatever I had worn for the day. For the six gala nights, I either wore a simple black dress or black slacks with a somewhat dressy top. And given the movement of the ship, everyone stuck with flats.

In addition to my dressy-ish flat sandals, I wore casual sandals and water-resistant shoes most of the time. Twice water came into my shoes during excursions in the rain, but I don’t regret not packing bulky boots. I occasionally wore sneakers, but could have gotten by without them. (Shame on me for not making the gym a daily habit….)

I really don’t mind repeats, but cruisers who want more variety would need more choices.

Because we had free laundry and there were three of us, we sent out a bag every two or three days. I don’t think we ever waited more than 24 hours for our clothes to come back washed, pressed and hanging. So we weren’t too limited while waiting.

My mom made my laundry bag when I went to camp

I actually worry more about forgetting key non-clothes items. One of my sisters realized in Boston the night before the cruise that she forgot her computer power cord. My other sister said, “Check the hotel’s lost and found.” And lo and behold, they had a Dell cord they were glad to give her.

This time I did take a few too many duplicates, like smart phone charging cords. At least they are small and light. I took some watercolor paper blocks I never used, as all my sketches went into my journal. I deliberately left my DSL camera at home and didn’t regret that. As I have written, I really wanted to focus on sketching instead of taking perfect pictures. It worked for me.

At the end of the cruise I made notes on my packing list about what I actually wore, what I missed and which specific clothing items worked best. Now I have a list of things like the gloves that I want for my next cruise. I guess it’s time to do some shopping.