• Despite what many people think, packing for a cruise isn’t too different from packing for your usual sunny break. Think suncream, your camera and your swimming shorts and you’re pretty much set to go. But there are a few things that are a little different onboard, and whether you’re a seasoned cruiser or a ship newbie, you’ve probably got a few questions. Here’s our ultimate guide on what to pack for a Thomson cruise.

    What clothes should I pack?

    By day, when you’re chilling by the pool, wear whatever you feel comfortable in. Whether it’s your favourite Hawaiian shirt teamed with flip flops, or a sundress with sunglasses, it’s completely up to you. If you’re heading to the restaurants for a bite to eat at lunch, you’ll need to cover up, so make sure you bring something to slip over your swimwear. It’s also a good idea to pack a light jacket or cardigan with you for when you’re outside and the ship is in motion, as it can get a little breezy.

    By evening things take a more smart casual approach. For men, that means full-length trousers and a polo or open-necked shirt.

    For the weekly Captain’s Gala Reception, you’ll want to pull out all the stops. We’re talking dinner jackets, tuxedos or a suit and tie for the men, and cocktail or evening dresses for the women. It’s an optional event that happens onboard Thomson Celebration, Thomson Dream, Thomson Majesty and Thomson Spirit. For TUI Discovery and TUI Discovery 2, you’ll have the chance to wear your fanciest outfits for a ‘dress to impress’ night.

    For those who don’t want to glam up and head to the formal nights, don’t worry – they’re not compulsory. Feel free to dine in the self-service dining areas instead.

    Lastly, if you’re heading out on some of the shore excursions, you’ll need to consider what’s suitable to wear. For example, if you’re heading to a church you might be asked for your legs and shoulders to be covered. When visiting Mosques or other holy sites, women may be required to cover their legs, arms and hair while men might be asked to wear long trousers and a sleeved top. Make sure you bring some comfy shoes with you too, as your excursions might include plenty of walking.

    What plug adaptors will I need?

    The plug sockets onboard our ships will either be European or a US 2in plug, so we’d recommend bringing adaptors for both. The only places you’ll find UK plug sockets are our Balcony Cabins on Thomson Dream, and behind the TV in your cabin on Thomson Celebration.

    Will I need to bring towels?

    No – both pool towels and bath towels are provided for you. If you need any more during your stay, just ask your Cabin Steward.

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    Do I need to bring a hairdryer?

    No – we’ve got you covered there, too, with every cabin including a hairdryer.

    Will I need to bring toiletries?

    We include a small bottle of shower gel, but beyond that you’ll need to bring your own toiletries. If you forget anything, or don’t fancy lugging everything with you, then the onboard shop sells anything you might need, from hairbrushes and tweezers to toothpaste and paracetamol.

    What money do I need to bring?

    All of our ships have a cash-free system, so while you’re onboard you don’t need to carry any money with you. Everything is priced in sterling and charged to your cabin account, which you can settle at the end of your cruise in cash, travellers’ cheques or by debit or credit card. If you do decide to settle your bill in cash, we’ll ask for up to £200 deposit per cabin per week, and there’s a 2% surcharge for using a credit card or for exchanging travellers’ cheques. You won’t need cash for tips or service charges either  as, unlike most other cruise lines, we don’t think they should cost you extra. We’ve included them in the price of your cruise, so you’re not expected to tip any of our crew – unless you really want to.

    However, you will need money when you’re out and about exploring the ports or on excursions. If you’re on a cruise which visits lots of destinations with different currencies, you can either take advantage of our currency exchange onboard, or take our Thomson Multi-Currency Travel Money card which can be used for up to eight currencies including US dollars and euros. Find out more about how the card works over on our blog post.
    Do I need to bring my passport?

    Yes – you’ll need to bring your passport to board every one of our cruises. It’s best to keep it with you at all times, as you’ll need to show it again when you get back on the ship too.

    Can’t find what you’re looking for?

    If you have any further questions you can give the team a call on 0203 451 2752 (calls to 0203 numbers cost the standard rate from UK landlines. Calls from mobiles may be higher, so please check with your network provider). Or, you can ask us a question on our Thomson Cruises Facebook page or see if the question has already been answered on our website for FAQs.