No matter how much research I do about my latest holiday destination, I always end up packing too much. And, more often than not, it’s not even the right stuff! Am I the only person who never packs enough underwear, but always packs too many clothes (that I never get around to wearing)? It drives me nuts!
Cruise South Africa: Packing tips
Since we were cruising on the MSC Sinfonia for 7 nights, it was inevitable that we would end up with a packing nightmare on our hands because, we had never cruised before and didn’t know what to expect, and we had to come to terms with “dressing for dinner” and packing accordingly. (No, we’re not used to changing our clothes for dinner).
So, in order for you to not have the same difficulties, I thought I would document what I learned. You will obviously need to use common sense when it comes to packing for a trip taking place in Winter rather than Summer, but I know I’m talking to sensible people.
My first tip is that you take more than one swimming costume and cover up with you . I tried to do the entire trip with one swimming costume and sarong, and neither managed to dry overnight. Is there anything more disgusting than pulling on a damp cozzie?
If you’re cruising for 7 nights, take at least 3 swimming costumes. I trust you will extrapolate up, or down accordingly. If you take a cover up or two, you won’t have to trudge back to your cabin, in order to go for lunch.
Whether you choose to have dinner at the buffet (I feel like I should do an entire blog post on the food on board) or in one of the fancier restaurants, you will want to have a shower and find fresh clothes to wear. The dress code at the buffet is pretty much anything as long as it’s not a swimming costume and towel, and all restaurants require that you wear shoes.
Just a tip, the buffet is fine for lunch. Go to the restaurant you’ve been assigned for breakfast and dinner. You’ll thank me, I promise.
Another aside: if you have selected to eat at the 1st sitting for dinner which is at 6pm (we did), you will find it hard to get to the 7pm show in time. The 2nd sitting is at 8:30pm which is a lot more conducive to a 7pm show and an 8:30pm dinner.
This is the reason we suffered with the buffet for so long. We wanted to eat before the show and then put kids the to bed. We tried having dinner but then found ourselves with time to kill before the 9pm theatre show. It was a lose-lose situation, either way.
Most nights, you are expected to dress smartly for dinner at the restaurant but on Gala evenings, jackets and ties are expected, so the ladies get a chance to shimmer and shine in evening wear. While lots of people bring out the bling, no one looks at you funny if you just dress wear something more fancy than your Hawaiian shirt and shorts.
These are literally the only two kinds of things you NEED to pack. Shorts and t-shirts are nice to haves for excursions and pyjamas are entirely up to you. You will pretty much live in your swim wear and a cover up. In cooler weather, you might want to throw in a hoodie for cooler weather. But that’s it.
Our cabin had 4 x 2 prong plug points. This should be sufficient to charge your devices and style your hair. If you feel like you’ll need more, take along a multi plug.
If you’re worried about missing out on your favourite sitcoms or sports matches, your in-room TV does offer a handful of satellite channels so you won’t be completely lost. Our favourite channels were actually not DSTV related. Channel 22 and 23 showed us where we were and what you could see from the bridge.
Is there anything I’ve missed? Let me know what you’d like to know and I will answer your questions in the comments field below :).