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Attention, First-Time Cruisers! Here’s A Checklist On What To Pack For An Asia Cruise

Have an Asia cruise coming up this holiday season? Make sure you’re well equipped for days at sea and on your scheduled shore excursions. Organizing your stuff ahead is key, to make sure you’re all covered for this trip.

We recently boarded the Royal Caribbean Voyager of the Seas for a 4-Night Port Klang and Phuket cruise. Here, we’ve listed down all the must-brings to ensure a fun and hassle-free vacation aboard this cruise line. Read on.   


Photo courtesy of Royal Caribbean 



1. Travel documents

For our trip, we flew from Manila to Singapore, where the cruise ship was docked at the Marina Bay Cruise Centre Singapore. To expedite your check-in process at the port, log on to and complete the information required for online check-in. This way, you won’t need to fill out forms at the pier. Follow the steps and print out your SetSail Pass, which contains details such as your boarding date, check-in time range, and your assigned deck and room.

Take note that the SetSail Pass must be completed and printed out three days prior to sail date. Upon check-in, present your printed SetSail Pass, passport, and credit card for your purchases on board.

Do you need a visa to enter Port Klang or Phuket? No, because you will be given a SeaPass Card which you can present as proof that you traveled via Royal Caribbean.

Make sure you have your travel insurance as well.


Photo by Grace Libero-Cruz



2. A handy, carry-on bag

When you arrive at the pier, your luggage will be collected at the baggage drop-off, and will be delivered to your room several hours after. This means you need to pack your handy, carry-on bag (or backpack!) with the essential items you’ll be needing as you settle into your room and do early explorations inside the ship. Choose a bag that’s spacious and easy to carry around because, ideally, this is the same bag you’ll bring with you when you go around the ship or go on excursions.

I suggest you pack this bag with the following:

* One set of outfit, with undergarments (you may also want to bring a lightweight, packable, waterproof hooded jacket in case it rains)

* Easy-to-pack comfortable footwear (e.g. flip-flops, sandals, or flats)

* Toiletries

* Sunscreen

* Sunglasses

* Mobile phone, camera, power bank, and their chargers

* Medicine (especially one for sea sickness)

* Tumbler

* Umbrella

* Cap or hat


On your last night, you must put your luggage outside your room between 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. because they will be collected by the staff in preparation for disembarkation. So, this carry-on bag could serve as your overnight bag, packed with one set of outfit as well as most of the items stated above. 


As for this author, this woven bucket bag by Style Cat was so handy. It looks small but it can actually carry a lot of stuff. The bag was especially made for St. Ives whose skin nourishing and glow-enhancing products (face scrubs, lotions and moisturizers, and body wash) are sporting new looks. It features a raffia pompom accent and hand-embroidered apricot, coconut, lemon and tea leaves, which are key ingredients seen on St. Ives’ newest packaging. 



3. Credit card/debit card and cash in various currencies

Royal Caribbean ships operate on a “cashless” system. For purchases and services availed onboard, there’s an Onboard Expense Account system set up, where you’ll be using your SeaPass card as “credit card.” On the final morning of your cruise, you will receive a final statement of all the purchases you’ve made and services you’ve availed of. You may settle this through credit or debit card at the Guest Relations Desk. 

Consider the places you’re set to vist and their currencies. It’s highly recommended that you budget your money ahead, and have your Philippine peso exchanged to US dollars, Singaporean dollar, Malaysian ringgit, and/or Thai baht. Just set aside a reasonable amount you think you’ll spend for each place. At least, you won’t have to worry about having your money exchanged anymore, because you may find a hard time looking for a money changer especially when you're on a tight tour schedule. 

Here's a tip: If you're taking the same trip as ours—since Malaysia is the first on your itinerary—if you have leftover ringgit, you can actually use that in Phuket (say, to buy milk tea, pad thai, or some souvenirs). Take note, too, that all onboard prices are in USD.


Photo by Christine Roy on Unsplash



4. A varied set of outfits

You’ll need all sorts of outfits when you go on a cruise—tank tops, t-shirts, button-downs, jackets/cardigans, pants, shorts, skirts, and/or dresses. You’ll need casual and comfy clothes for the excursions, swimwear to experience the pools and jacuzzis in the ship, and formal attire for the Formal Nights. For 3- to 5-night cruises, the Formal Night usually falls on Day 2, also called the Captain's Dinner Night. For longer cruises, there can be up to three Formal Nights.

What happens on a Formal Night? From what we’ve experienced, it’s when the captain of the ship greets and welcomes the guests onboard, gathered at the ship's Royal Promenade (an area where exclusive designer boutiques can be found). There’s a photo op with the captain as well as overflowing cocktails and champagne, plus fun entertainment.

If you’re cruising via Royal Caribbean, you may want to pack rash guards and board shorts, too, for when you decide to try out the FlowRider.

Bring a scarf or pashmina, which will be especially useful when you go outdoors and explore the ship at night.

Since there is no iron in the ship due to safety reasons, consider packing clothes that need no ironing, or bring some wrinkle-release spray. 


Captain Pehr Pehrsson welcoming the guests onboard the Royal Caribbean Voyager of the Seas during the Captain's Dinner Night | Photo by Grace Libero-Cruz



5. The right mix of shoes

Since you’ll be wearing different outfits, you’ll need a varied set of footwear to match them as well. Bring a pair of flats, flip-flops, sneakers, and high heels.


Check out these cool sneakers by KEDS: Keds x Rifle Paper Co. Kickstart Embroidered Herb Garden Blush (P3590) and Triple Canvas Black (P3095)


Photograph by Grace Libero-Cruz (banner and thumbnail)