Traveling Natural | What to Bring on a Cruise.. for a DIVA !

February 27, 2015

*side note: I wish I knew the proper picture dimensions so my photos could stop getting crop out..

Mardi Gras is over, and so are my double bar shifts! *sighs of relief* But don’t feel bad for me because I am in for a week of R&R! I leave for a cruise next week and I cannot WAIT to get away. This break is very much needed. It has been almost a year since the last time I went on a cruise, but I still remember some of the things I learned about cruising before and during the trip, like how you should pack light.. Pack light? ME?! Seeing how I need options for any and everything in life, I can’t pack light. But I am determined not to pack my entire wardrobe for one week. I brainstormed ideas of what to bring to narrow down my choices but still give me room for unlimited self expression and thought why not share?! So here are some tips, tricks, and lessons learned from my last cruise on how to pack and still have room to be a diva.


It is a good idea to get travel sizes of your makeup favorites if available.

For my last cruise, I decided to leave my full coverage foundation at home and only wear BB cream the whole time. WORST IDEA EVER. I had never worn BB cream before and-along with not having my primer-it left my skin very shiny and oily looking. Also, after being in the sun for 5+ days, my skin color had changed and the BB cream didn’t match after a while. I missed my foundation after the first day, especially for pictures. It is best, in my opinion, to bring your daily essentials AND BB cream, if your daily essentials doesn’t include BB cream. Also, bring a foundation that is a shade darker for when your skin darkens. Use the BB cream for a nice beach day and your regular foundation for dinner and later in the afternoon.

As far as blush, I recommend bringing a blush palette. It gives you more options and less to pack. The one I am using for my trip is the e.l.f. blush palette in Dark. This also goes for eye shadow, too. Palettes use up less space and give you more options. It’s always a great opportunity to use those palettes you don’t touch anymore. Vacations are great for trying out those festive eye combos. Don’t forget your eye primer! They come in travel sizes, too! My favorite is the Urban Decay eyeshadow primer potion. I am also bringing my Benefit cosmetics the POREfessional primer to use under my BB cream.

I love wearing bright lipstick on a cruise, but I leave my MAC and Chanel lipstick at home. I usually stick to my Wal-Mart and beauty supply store lippies for vacation, that way, if I lose it, I wont be too disappointed. Time to roll out the dupes!

You also want to keep your makeup organized! It  makes it easier not to misplace/lose anything. Get a brush organizer and a makeup travel case. Carry your face and lip products in different bags.

LESSON LEARNED: Buy travel sizes. Bring everything you need for your daily foundation regimen as well as a lighter coverage BB cream or tinted lotion and use each accordingly. Bring a darker shade if you will tan a lot. Stick to palettes and cheap, but effective, lipstick. Have proper makeup organizers so you will not lose anything. Don’t forget your primer!


Time to protective style! – For this vacation, I am rocking senegalese twists.

Since I’ve gone natural, I try not to travel with my hair out. I tend to put my hair in braids because they’re easy to take care of and very versatile. I took a weekend trip to the beach with a twist out and ended up with a botched wash and go due to time constraints. Wash and go’s can also be effective for vacations if you know how to manage them. Just don’t forget to bring along your W&G products. If just don’t want to have to set aside time out of your fun to fuss with your hair. If you can get away without having to do anything to your hair the entire trip, go for it.

As far as products for protective styling…

I bring a clarifying shampoo and my cheapest rinse-out conditioner, in travel bottles, for contact with water during activites like swimming or scuba diving. I also bring my favorite oil for daily scalp greasing. A spray bottle is also close by for moisturizing my scalp with a little of my favorite light leave-in conditioner, also in a travel bottle. I also bring a small, light-hold gel for when my edges or my twists get a little too frizzy. If you put a lot of hair products in travel bottles, like me, make sure you label them so you don’t get the confused.

LESSON LEARNED: Protective style! Pack all hair products in travel bottles or buy travel-sized products. Bring a clarify shampoo, conditioner, oil, and spray bottle for use after water activities. Bring a gel for touch ups. Make sure to take care of your hair while in protective style.


Being a diva, I cant jus’t bring one outfit a day.. so you have to compromise..

I am trying (very hard I might add..) to only bring 5 pairs of shoes, not including swim shoes but including flip flops. Because I may be traveling during cold weather it is hard to decide which style to bring: open-toed or closed-toed. I try to bring the following: a brown pair, a black pair, and pair of sneakers, flip flops and an ambiguous pair (can go with black or brown outfits, maybe like a red pair or maybe gold or silver). Whether to go with open-toed or closed-toed is at your own discretion.

Your clothes should all be interchangeable. This way, you have almost unlimited options. Some cruises “require” you to have formal wear for on-board events. In that case, bring an outfit for those nights. But the majority of your clothes should be an “everything-goes-with-everything-affair,” especially if you are very indecisive. For example, for a 7-day cruise, I will bring 3-6 interchangeable bottoms with about 8-10 interchangeable tops and maybe two dresses/rompers. This may seem like a lot to some and maybe even a little to others, but I feel I can pack all of this and feel comfortable. Depending on what type of cruise you are on, you may even be able to get away with a bikini top as a shirt for one day (be sure to bring a t-shirt just in case).

And make sure you have at least one outfit for activities you already have scheduled, like a swim suit for swimming.

LESSON LEARNED: Bring 5 or less pairs of shoes. Make all your wardrobe pieces interchangeable, giving you more options. Make sure you have clothes appropriate fore every activity.


Less is more.

I always like to pack the inexpensive jewelry that I don’t normally wear and aren’t particularly attached to. Do not bring valuable class rings and precious jewels, please! You may lose them and never get them back. I like to stick to studs (which can be easily stored on the plastic they are sold on in the store) and chunky necklaces, which, for me, do not get tangled as easily). An easy way to keep your necklaces from getting tangled is to take some tape, make it into a ring, and hook your necklaces inside the tape. That way they don’t get tangled and you have a way to store them together. I also like to stick to one silver, maybe two gold, and two ambiguous or statement necklaces. And if you don’t have the type of necklace you want, you may be able to find it at one of the ports! If I bring a watch, I will bring one watch that can go with everything. I don’t bring too many rings or bracelets as they are extra baggage and small trinkets I don’t want to possibly lose.

As for hair accessories, aside from the normal pack of bobby pins and hair ties, I bring a few headscarves to add flair to my plainer outfits, but not many. They can also double as sarongs when wearing bikinis. Smaller hair accessories, like colorful bows and headbands, get tangled in packing easily and cause too much trouble unpacking on the ship.

LESSON LEARNED: Try not to trouble yourself with the smaller things. Bring a small, varied selection of items that can work with multiple outfits.


Always bring more bags to take souvenirs off the ship.

Have one purse that holds your important documents and goes with you everywhere, especially off the ship. I also bring one small brown and one small black bag because I need options, of course.. Don’t bother yourself bringing too many accessory bags if you dont need them.

Some ships will let you bring certain amounts of alcohol on the ship. Check their list of confiscated items and whatever isn’t on there, you can bring!

Always look at the FAQ to make sure you aren’t forgetting anything.

Thanks for reading ! This guide can also help for other vacations you may embark on. Just remember that, most importantly, its about having fun and enjoying the experience. I hope you all enjoy..

Also, have you followed me yet?


twitter: @NaturalNai


Here is a bonus pic of me on my cruise last year, enjoying Jamaica.


By J'Nai

Born & raised in New Orleans. Natural hair and beauty enthusiast. Part-time mixologist. Future Medical Professional.

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