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What to pack on a P&O cruise

Kristy McPhillips

Posted on August 30 2019

What to pack for our P&O Cruise!! My family and I are about to go on a cruise for the first time with P&O and we are super excited, with under 3 weeks to go it is time start seriously considering what to pack!

Reading the cruise recommendations and googling other sites I have pulled this together for myself – so I thought I would share!

I was given a great tip by a cruise veteran and I think she was only 20 years old! Pack a backpack with swimmers and your important items for the day you board. You will check your luggage prior to boarding but your suitcases may not be delivered to your room for hours after – that is valuable pool or sunbaking time I might miss out on!

The Sash & Belle Perry tote will be perfect for the cruise, it is lightweight, can flatten down if needed, can be carried cross-body and fits ample items inside ie drink bottle, jacket, book, sunscreen, umbrella, snacks!

When the sun is out keep it casual

Swimwear is only permitted around the pool and open deck areas, the rest of the time you must be dry and dressed. A nice maxi, sundress or swimwear cover-up will be perfect for this. Men, you may not be allowed in the dining area with sleeveless shirts. They say decks can be slippery so low-heeled, rubber soled shoes are recommended. Don’t forget to pack more than one swimmers, for when one is drying

Remember to pack socks and sneakers to work off those buffet meals in the gym, walk around the ship or when onshore exploring.

After 5.30pm

Smart casual clothing is required in the public lounges and restaurants, which means skirts, dresses, pants and blouses for women. For men it’s long trousers and a polo or collared shirt. You may not be allowed in these areas if you are not dressed appropriately….could be an expensive shopping trip on board if you don’t pack these things.

I’ll be packing my favourite Sash & Belle cross body bags! Which will be the Eden (in tan), Sarah in blush pink and Chloe (because it converts to a clutch bag as well)!

You may get a little chilly in the air conditioning so pack a light jacket.

Cocktail evenings

For cruises between 3-7 nights (which is our cruise) there will be 1-2 cocktail evenings. A suit and a little black dress will do nicely. If you want to have fun with formal nights, pack your favourite cocktail dress, dapper hat or fascinator, playful ties, jewels and cuff links.

If you refuse to wear a tie on vacation, or can’t be bothered packing a garment bag with fancy dresses, choose room service or the buffet for dinner, where the evening’s dress code isn’t in effect.

P&O Parties

There is always a few themed parties on board, so when in Rome…… make sure you log in early to your cruise control page so you know what themed parties there will be. I know we have 3 on our cruise 1) Bianco – The P&O White Party, 2) Gatsby Party and 3) Back to School Party. With under 3 weeks until we go I better get shopping! Love having this excuse to shop!

Bianco party

Just make it white!

Gatsby party

For men, a white long-sleeve shirt with braces or suspenders, suit pants and a bow tie is a classic option and don’t forget your 1920’s hat!

Ladies can bring out the sparkly dresses with long black gloves, or keep it casual in a little black dress with heels. Don’t forget jewels in your hair or a headpiece!

Back to school party

The party is designed to set your inner child free. Costumes aren’t essential but you can dress up as your 18-year-old self or favourite teacher from high school. Accessories can include glow sticks, backpacks, headbands, ribbons in your hair or anything else reminiscent of your days as a student.

Onshore excursions

If you are planning on snorkelling when onshore you will need to pack your own snorkel and goggles, also I hear the wetsuit material shoes are perfect for walking on the beach and in the water because of the broken coral in the sand.

What you wear ashore depends on the time of year, climate, landscape, intended activity and cultural customs. It’s a good idea to check weather forecasts and country-specific dress codes before you depart. You may need to wear more modest clothes for visiting temples and churches.

Be prepared for rain too, pack a travel umbrella or rain jacket

What NOT to pack

The usual as you would expect – but also …….Irons, kettles, coffee machines, baby bottle warmers, candles, heating devices, illegal drugs, illicit substances, flammable liquids, weapons (including knives of any kind), hoverboards (Flyboards or similar devices), remote control devices of any kind, such as drones.

Also, make sure your personal grooming devices, such as hair dryers and straighteners, curling irons and shavers are in a safe and proper working condition or they will be confiscated and only available for collection at the end of the cruise. This is the same for laptops, phone and camera charges

Unfortunately you can’t bring alcoholic beverages on board, plastic or glass bottled drinks (including water), Tetra pack drinks (but don’t worry there will be plenty on board). You can pack a maximum of 12 canned drinks loosely packed in hand luggage.

Don’t try and sneak them on board – all of your luggage is x-rayed!

Also, don’t forget to pack sea sickness tablets and bands !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Just in case

Here is a summary for you:

  • Check your cruise itinerary for themed nights
  • Pack your passport if you are cruising to another country
  • Choose interchangeable pieces of clothing that can be used with multiple outfits while conserving room in the luggage.
  • Freshen up an outfit with eye-catching accessories such as jewelry, ties, scarves, belts, shoes.
  • Use dry cleaning or self-serve laundry facilities where available to reuse clothing and conserve luggage space.
  • Pack at least 2 pairs of swimmers
  • Pack a light jacket, rain jacket, comfortable walking shoes
  • Pack several very comfortable, loose outfits in case of weight gain from decadent cruise dining!
  • Pack shoes that will provide adequate traction on wet decks or unstable surfaces.

I hope also get to pack for a cruise one day or maybe you are a cruise veteran and can share some tips with me!


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