When packing for a cruise, I always try to keep things to a minimum. Even in sunny climates, it is important to be prepared for changes in weather and sea conditions.  I have written about my packing list for a winter cruise but now I’d like to write about packing for a summer cruise.  Even though we can carry on more than one suitcase, we must get to the ship, and I am still a carry-on girl!

Like many of  you, I have tried endless numbers of bags and suitcases and think I’ve found the perfect solution – for me.

In Search of the Perfect Piece of Luggage

Like many of you, I have searched high and low for the perfect carry on suitcase. After some experimentation, I now take a turquoise Kenneth Cole Reaction Out Of Bounds 20-Inch Carry-On Lightweight Durable Hard-shell 4-Wheel Spinner Cabin Size Luggage. It is a hard cover carry-on size bag with two sides that works perfectly for me.  One side is sealed, and I used that for electronics, my “just in case’ bag, makeup, shoes etc. The other side for folded clothes and hats. Cost is around $60.

My Secret Carry on Weapon

Because I often fly Easy Jet where you can only travel with one bag, I use a WINMAX Packable Daypack. I put my laptop and important medications, a change of clothes, chargers etc in the day pack and carry it separately to the airport.  It is so incredibly light you can hardly feel it and when not being used it folds into a tiny pouch 24 cm x 15 cm.  Then when I get to the airport I tuck it into my suitcase and board the flight. When I get to the cruise ship, I take it out and carry it as hand baggage until my room is ready. For shore excursions it is perfect for packing a sweater, water bottle, maps and other day trip essentials. It costs around $14.

Makeup Secrets for Summer Cruising

There really are only 6 beauty items I take with me when I cruise in the summer. You don’t need to take a lot. Here are the items i consider absolutely essential – not counting small travel sizes of shampoo, conditioner, nail clippers, tweezers and toothpaste. You might even want to consider travel size dry shampoo to help with luggage weight!

Beauty Wipes

It does not really matter what facial wipes you use; these little babies are perfect for removing makeup after a dusty or sunny day on a cruise. I always tend to look for one with plant-based ingredients that are not harmful for my skin. Aveeno has a lovely product. Here is an article of a review of 20 different options.

Facial Oil

I don’t use moisturiser on my skin anymore. I have switched to a facial oil called Growing Younger Gracefully and I use that as a primer and night time serum as well. I have mentioned this facial serum several times and I take it with me whenever and wherever I travel.


In the summer many women forgo foundation, but I love to take my IT Cosmetics, Color Correcting Full Coverage foundation. It has SPF of 50! Yes 50% SPF with a full spectrum of UVA and UVB sun screening.  It is wonderful to use and you can watch one of my You Tube Sixty and Me makeup tutorials here to see how it looks in a summer makeover!

A Makeup Palette (Eyes and Lips)

My personal favourite is Erre Due Color Palette which I purchased in Greece. It has the most beautiful selection of eye shadow color (including green and purple) and a wonderful bright pink blush. If you can’t find that one you might try  Maybelline City Kits All in one Eye and Cheek Palette.  Here’s a link to a gallery or beautiful makeup palettes!

Mascara and Lipstick

This is down to personal taste, but for me they are the only two other makeup items I ever need. My lipstick of choice is Estee Lauder Frosted Apricot. I have been wearing it now for 40 years and love it! Funny how a bright ‘coral’ colour was chosen in 2019 as the Pantone choice for the year.  Mascara should probably be waterproof, especially if you are looking to do some swimming and snorkelling on your cruise.

Hats, Hats Hats

Hats seem to complete the cruise look and I love taking one with me and then picking up another on the cruise. They do scrunch up into small footprint and amazingly bounce back to life when unpacked.  On a recent trip to Portugal I bought two hats – both 5 euros on a street stand. There is nothing that makes a cruise a cruise without a fabulous hat. It keeps you safe from the sun, and gives you a certain look, a mysterious “joie de vivre”

One Thing to Be Sure to Always Pack on a Summer Cruise

So, in a nutshell that is how I approach summer cruise packing. I haven’t mentioned clothes in this article, because quite honestly that is another very detailed conversation. I’ll be back to do that. Having said that there is only one item of clothing that I would be lost without on a cruise and that is a sarong. A long colourful piece of material can be tied in endless and beautiful ways. Here is a fun video that shows 33 ways to tie a sarong. Perfect!

What summer cruise packing tips do you have to share? What are one or two items that you try never to forget?

Happy Cruising everyone!


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