Packing for a Viking Ocean Cruise: What NOT to Pack

September 29, 2017 | By | 6 Replies More

Photo credit: PixabayFor first-timers, our advice on packing for a Viking Ocean Cruise…

Preparing for any trip involves planning—as well as careful pruning:

Not only do you need to figure out what to take but you need to determine what NOT to take. 

To do a good job, don’t wait until the last minute. Try to think through where you’ll be, what you’ll be doing, and make lists as reminders to guide your packing.

The perils of overpacking

Cramming too much in your suitcase increases the odds of incurring additional airline fees for oversized or overweight checked bags. Heavy bags are tricky to manage, too. As we age, carrying and lifting suitcases can exact a toll on back and shoulder muscles.

Once onboard, it can be difficult to easily stow an overpacked bag under your bed. Although there is ample storage space onboard Viking Ocean Cruises, bringing too much stuff only makes it harder to sift through your belongings to find what you want.

Oops…I left it home

Of course, there is a downside to extreme minimalism or sloppy packing. Perhaps, you’ll leave your sunglasses or swimsuit home, or will forget to bring a sweater for chilly evenings.

A few years ago, we were on a shoulder season cruise in the Mediterranean. I could have kicked myself for leaving my swimsuit at home when the weather unexpectedly turned warm and sunny! It was impossible to find one to my liking in the department store in Marseille—although I tried.

Packing too little means you may have to do without, or pay the price of purchasing (and finding) replacements while traveling for things you already have at home.

What NOT to take

Here is our advice on six things definitely NOT to take:

1) NO formal evening attire

Photo credit: Pixabay

There are no formal nights on Viking so there’s no need for long dresses for women or dinner jackets for men (even neckties are discretionary). Instead the dress code is “elegant casual,” which can mean anything from a sundress in the Caribbean—to slacks and a blouse for women cruising in colder climates.

In fact, there are few hardfast rules for evening dress except to limit shorts and workout attire to daytime use only. Male passengers generally opt for trousers and a collared shirt (short or long-sleeved) in the evening, generally without a sports jacket or tie. A black colored polo shirt is always great look for men. 

2) NO hair dryer

Braun Hair Dryer on Viking Star (Photo credit: Jerome Levine)

Braun Hair Dryer on Viking Star (Photo credit: Jerome Levine)

Every ocean (or rivership) we’ve ever been on has had a hair dryer tucked in a drawer or closet (although you often have to search for them). I loved the Braun Satin Hair model in my Viking Ocean stateroom so much that I would like to purchase a similar model for home use.

Straightening or curling irons are another story. Neither hotels nor cruise ships have caught up with the popularity of these hair tools. So if you depend on them, bring your own. Make sure you bring a European-style adapters for the plugs, and that the tools can run on 220V current (for use near the makeup table in your cabin).

3) No adapters 

Bedside outlets on Viking Star

Bedside outlets on Viking Star (Credit: Jerome Levine)

Electrical outlets in Viking Ocean staterooms run on either 110V and 220V so there is no need to bring other adapters—even though you’ll be visiting different countries.

In each cabin, there are two 110V sockets above the desk and one on each side of the bed. There are also USB ports to charge your cellphone or tablet so all you need to bring are the cables.

4) No shampoo or conditioner

Freyja Toiletries on Viking Ocean Cruises

Freyja Toiletries on Viking Ocean Cruises (Credit: Jerome Levine)

Shampoo and conditioner have to be packed extra carefully when you’re flying because these liquids can easily leak onto your belongings and are subject to TSA 3-1-1 rules if you bring them in a carryon.

Unless you are wed to a particular product, there is no need to bring shampoo or conditioner onboard with you. Viking Ocean Cruises provides lovely Freyja shampoo and conditioner (designed exclusively for Viking) in nice, easy-to-handle sizes (rather than mini-bottles). Also note: They come with large print labeling so those over 40 don’t need to take their peepers into the shower.

Leave the body lotion, shower gel and shower cap at home as well; they are also provided by the cruise line and replenished as needed.

5) Snacks 

Norwegian Waffle at Mamsen's (Credit: Jerome Levine)

Norwegian Waffle at Mamsen’s (Credit: Jerome Levine)

No need to bring any foodstuffs because you’ll never be hungry. Aside from three meals a day, snacks are always accessible– whether you miss a meal, wake up late, or simply have a craving between meal hours.

Mamsen’s is a small Norwegian-style counter tucked in the beautiful Explorer’s Lounge on Deck 7, serving small plates with dishes like smoked salmon, steak tartare and shrimp salad and Norwegian waffles. The Pool Grill serves up burgers, hotdogs and salads throughout the afternoon. The Viking Bar on Deck 1 has sweets and savories available through midnight. And there’s an extensive Room Service menu available at no extra charge 24 hours a day.

6) No umbrella

Viking has thought of that, too. You’ll find two large red umbrellas in your stateroom that you can use if the weather is inclement.

Umbrellas on the Viking Star (Photo credit: Jerome Levine)

Umbrellas on the Viking Star (Photo credit: Jerome Levine)

You’ll find some additional cruising tips in our previous article on MoreTimeToTravel:


Viking Ocean Cruises

Viking Luggage Tag (Credit: Jerome Levine)

Also on MoreTimeToTravel:

Viking Ocean Cruises carves out a special niche for over-50 travelers

Disclosure: We were invited guests of Viking Ocean Cruises but any opinions expressed in this post are our own.

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Category: TIPS

Comments (6)

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  1. Janice Chung says:

    You got me on #1, 3 and 6! I thought formal/dressy was the norm on all cruise ships! Guess not. Oh not to bring adapters! More room in my suitcase! And finally the umbrella. My travel one is small but having not to bring one would be great. Super post, Irene.

  2. Lauren M says:

    In my experience, this is great advice! Thanks for the reminders.

  3. Marsha Dumo says:

    I’m bring my hair styling tool and want to plug it in to 110v in the bathroom. Will the ship have a adapter for me for the bathroom or is there a 110v plug in there? Thanks

    • I suggest that you call Viking Cruises to make sure—but if I recollect correctly, although there were ample 100V outlets, you may not be able to use any appliance in the bathroom except for an electric shaver. Depending on your stateroom, you will probably have a desk or dressing table with a 100v outlet where you can fix your hair.

      Have a great time on your cruise!

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