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What to Pack for a Europe Cruise to the Mediterranean
Cruise ships in the Mediterranean (Photo: Ravil Sayfullin/Shutterstock.com)

What to Pack for a Europe Cruise to the Mediterranean

What to Pack for a Europe Cruise to the Mediterranean
Cruise ships in the Mediterranean (Photo: Ravil Sayfullin/Shutterstock.com)
Kim Karis
Contributor
Erica Silverstein
Contributor
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A Mediterranean cruise packing list is necessarily different from your Caribbean one. The Mediterranean is brimming with sights to see and things to do; you'll be spending more time walking the soles off your shoes than splashing around in a bathing suit. Whether you're visiting more western ports in Italy, France, Monaco and Spain or heading east to Greece and Turkey, you must be prepared for the culture and activities prevalent in Europe.

If you're wondering what to pack for a Mediterranean cruise, here are the top nine items to put on your packing list.

Passport

Passport and Travel Documents (Photo: Alexey Stiop/Shutterstock)

RIFD-blocking technology

), and also take a photo of your passport's info page with the cellphone or camera you're bringing with you.

Sleep Aids

Depending on where you depart from, flights to Europe take about six hours at the least. Many travelers like to use that time to sleep, so when they arrive for their cruises they're well rested and have, hopefully, eased some of the effects of jet lag. Take a neck pillow, an eye mask, earplugs,

noise-canceling headphones

or even sleeping medication with you on the flight for a nice long nap.

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Translation Books

You'll encounter a lot of languages on a Mediterranean cruise (French, Spanish, Italian, Greek, etc.), and it's nice to learn a few basic words to help you communicate with the locals. Bookstores sell travel books filled with common phrases in a variety of languages or you can buy a few for your

Kindle

to study up. If you're looking to save space in your luggage, you can also download a number of translation apps to your cellphone before you leave.

Guidebooks

Ravenna (Photo: GoneWithTheWind/Shutterstock.com)

your tablet

. Alternatively, you might want to download any of a number of travel apps ahead of time to use offline while you're away.

Proper Attire

Europeans tend to dress stylishly, so consider packing some nicer travel clothes for your Mediterranean cruise than the Caribbean staples of shorts and touristy T-shirts. Plus, pack appropriate clothing for the activities you plan on doing in ports.For example, some of the historic sites in Europe, particularly churches, have strict dress codes. It's a good idea for women to come prepared with shawls,

pashminas

or light sweaters, and pants or below-the-knee skirts for visits to these kinds of places. Formal attire is required if you plan on exploring Monte Carlo's famous casino, and if you head to the top of Mount Etna -- even in the summer -- bring a warm jacket, hat and gloves.

Supportive Shoes

All of the sightseeing you'll be doing in the Med involves a lot of walking and being on your feet. The streets in Europe are often constructed with cobblestones, which can make for sore feet in a hurry without good shoes to wear. Hard-soled footwear and cushioned socks are ideal (we swear by comfy brands such as Merrell and

Clarks

).

Secure Day Pack

One of the best things to bring on a Mediterranean cruise is a day pack to stash your wallet, guidebooks, snacks, hat, sunglasses, camera and water bottle while you set off across Rome or take a bus tour to Nice. Given that pickpockets lurk on Barcelona's La Rambla and Romas, aka Gypsies, have been known to grab the wallets off unsuspecting tourists, we recommend a cross-body, theft-proof bag (such as

this one from Travelon

to give you peace of mind.

Bubble Wrap

Chateau Kirwan Gardens and Chateau in the Medoc, in Bordeaux France (Photo: Meandering Trail Media/Shutterstock)

bottle protector sleeves

for wine or olive oil you'd love to gift. You don't want to come home from a wonderful vacation to find your clothing doused in red wine or your new bowl cracked in half.

Local Currency and/or an International Credit Card

Having a credit card that charges low, or no, fees for use overseas is always a plus, but it's a good idea to have some of the local currency on hand, too. The best place to get local currency is at an onshore ATM, where you're likely to get a better exchange rate than at an exchange counter. Do be aware that most overseas ATMs require a four-digit pin for cash withdrawal.

Store your cards in a

travel wallet

with RFID-blocking technology that prevents outsiders from skimming your data.


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Updated May 07, 2020

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