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Shade Sails – Stylish Summer Shade

Shade sails are large free-floating canvas structures that provide shade to a sitting area outdoors.  These versatile structures offer shade when a patio umbrella just doesn’t do the trick, especially in the hottest part of the summer months.  These structures come in a wide range of sizes and generally have a ring in each corner that is attached via different types of hardware that hold it securely in place and prevent it from moving too much in the wind.

What and When are Shade Sails Used For?

For those who have an outside patio or deck that is not covered with a structure of some type, shade sails offer the right amount of shelter to keep the harsh rays of the sun off of you during those scorching summer days.  This allows people to be able to access their outside patio areas and use them as an extension of their home when the weather is nice outside.

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What to Consider When Buying Shade Sails

When you decide that you want to purchase shade sails, there are a few things to consider.  First, the size and shape of the shade sail is important.  Do you want more coverage or only a specific area covered?  Depending upon the area that needs to be covered, you may need to purchase a larger sail or a smaller one.  Always measure the area and then start your search to see what size sail will work best for your needs.

Does the sail you plan to purchase come with the appropriate hardware?  If it does not then you will need to look for and purchase the right rigging system for your sail.  It is recommended that you purchase a sale that includes the right hardware so that you know it is going to stand up to the elements.  Most shade sails are designed to stand normal winds and rains and will remain intact until they are taken down.

Is the material UV rated?  In other words, will it filter out the dangerous rays of the sun and keep you and your family safe?  Not all shade sails are manufactured from UV safe materials, so you will need to ensure that this is the case if that is something that is important to you.

Benefits of Shade Sails

Although shade sails are not always recommended for protection from rain storms, they will offer good shelter if they are angled correctly.  Most shade sails are installed on a slight downward angle so that the rain water will run off.  A slight mist may come through the shade, but they generally water resistant, just not completely waterproof.  Shade sails are pleasing to the eye and people enjoy them as a centrepiece to their yard.

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What to consider when buying

When you are looking for a shade sail for your yard, there are several things to consider. 

  • the size of shade sail - you can purchase a rather large sail or a smaller one, it just depends how much coverage you need.
  • the shape of the sail – triangular is very popular, but a four point sail provides better coverage;
  • do the corners have double stitching? - double stitching is tantamount to the longevity and durability of your shade sail.
  • does the shade sail come with hardware? – hardware should be provided that is specific to the shade sail and allows for easy installation. Many sails need the various pieces installed and connected, so it is very important that you understand how allow the components fit together.  Make sure that instructions are provided.
  • decide fabric weight depending on what you want the sail for, lighter fabrics or loose mesh tend to allow a lot of UV rays in;
  • stainless steel caballing in the perimeter of the sail will be more durable and won’t stretch during the lifetime of the sail.

Installation and Care of Your Shade Sail

Proper installation of your shade sail is the best way to guarantee that it will last as long as possible.  Once the sail is installed it should be taught enough to support you if you hang from it with your bodyweight.   Most sails are designed to withstand light winds and weather, however if a tropical storm is expected or some other heavy weather, you should plan to remove the sail and put it away in a shed or garage to ensure it will not tear or otherwise be damaged.  Each time there is a serious weather event where the sail remains installed, examine it carefully afterwards for any tears or other damage and make certain that the entire anchor points are secured.

Shade sails should be connected to sturdy posts that are stable enough to support the sail.  If you use wooden posts they should be a minimum of 4 x 4 to support the sail.  The taller the post, the wider it should be, so if you plan to have 8 foot posts, they should be a minimum of 6 x 6.  Metal poles are also useful but must be powder coated or galvanized to ensure that they do not rust. 

Once the summer season is over, remove your shade sail and wash it with a mild detergent, allow it to dry, then fold it and store it in a cool dry place away from moisture.  If you plan to install the sail yourself, make sure that you have someone assisting you and holding the ladder, for example, if you are up high and leaning over to make connections.  If you want to install a shade sail on a dock you will need to use a pergola structure to secure the sail.  Whatever the sail is secured to must be completely secure and not moveable.  Turnbuckles must be lubricated to ensure that they do not seize.  This can be done on an annual basis and all hardware should be replaced if any components are damaged or are not operating properly.

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Shade sails are an attractive and affordable alternative to covered decks and porches.  They are highly desirable because of their versatility and non-permanence.  Sometimes people decide that they do not want to have an area covered and it is much easier to remove a shade sail than an entire roof because it is easily removed.

What to consider when buying a shade sail 

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About BBQ Grills and Smokers

The first known practice of grilling took place in South America with the Arawaks who used a wooden structure known as a barbocao.  This method of cooking was also adapted by early Americans who used it to cook hogs slowly so that the meat was flavourful and extremely tender.  In modern times hamburgers and hot dogs have become the most popular items to be grilled on a barbecue along with corn on the cob.

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Historical Moments in BBQ:

Edward Kingsford was the inventor of the charcoal  briquette.  He was related to Henry Ford and was tasked with establishing a sawmill and a Ford auto parts plant in the northern region of Michigan, USA.  Kingsford notice that there was a massive amount of wood scraps from the Model T production line and he processed the scraps into charcoal under the name Kingsford charcoal.  Briquettes were eventually used in small portable grills.

The round style of portable BBQ which has a small spherical lid was invented by George Stephen who was a welder.  Stephen was looking for a solution to the wind constantly blowing ash on his food when he grilled it, so he used the bottom of a buoy and welded three steel legs to it.  He created a lid from a smaller sphere and created a BBQ prototype.  After taking the BBQ home and experimenting with it, he started a company called Weber-Stephen Products.  This “kettle” style BBQ is still popular today.

The first gas grill designed to be used outdoors was created by Don McGlaughlin who owned Chicago Combustion Corporation which is now known as LazyMan.  The gas broiler that he invented featured a grill that was built-in along with permanent coals or lava rock.  The open broiler design was later adapted into a portable grill in 1954 which also featured a 20 lb propane cylinder.

Modern Grills

Today’s BBQ grill typically uses either natural gas or propane as a fuel source.  You can cook the food directly on the grill or with radiant heat.  Gas grills are available in a wide range of sizes from small and portable to larger sized grills and may even be large enough to grill enough food for a crowd of one hundred people.  These larger size grills are often custom built and are portable by being towed by a car or truck.  Natural gas and propane grills can be converted to take the other type of gas if desired.  Most gas grills are designed in a cart style which includes a grill unit and a frame that contains a cabinet to hold the fuel tank.  There are generally wheels on one side, sometimes there is a side element for cooking extras and storage below.

Newer gas BBQ grills have a radiant burner located near the back of the grill which offers even heat over the span of the burner to be used with a rotisserie attachment.  The rotisserie is a long metal skewer that rotates with an electric motor and is ideal for grilling small meat cuts.

Some grills have a smoker box which uses wood chips to add a smoky flavour to foods that are grilled on the BBQ.  When items are to be smoked, lower temperatures are ideal and the items are smoked for a longer period of time.

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Infrared Grills

These grills work by hearing a ceramic tile which then gives off infrared radiation which cooks the food.  The heat that is generated distributes evenly across a cooking surface and can reach as high as 500 degrees C which can quickly sear items.

Charcoal Style Grills

These grills tend to use charcoal or briquettes as a source of fuel.  The fuel is transformed into embers which provide the heat that is needed to cook food.  Some people prefer the uniform size of briquettes while others like charcoal because it does not contain the fillers and binders that briquettes do.  Some charcoal grills are round, some are square while others have a more rectangular shape.  There are several styles of charcoal grills including:

  1. Hibachi – this is a traditional Japanese device used for heating, not cooking, but this name was adapted for a type of portable barbecue. These charcoal fuelled cooking devices are called shichirin.  This is a very inexpensive type of grill crafted from cast iron and containing a charcoal pan with two cooking grills over top that can be adjusted.  There is no lid.  These small devices are ideal for their portability.
  1. Pellet Grill. These grills utilize pellets for fuel.  Pellets are composed of vegetable oil and compressed sawdust and are small and puck like.  The pellets are stacked into a hopper and slowly fed into a firebox near the bottom of the grill controlled with a thermostat.  A pellet grill has a versatile temperature range.  It can be set to smoke meat, to cook it slowly or to grill at higher heats.  Top of the line pellet grills are designed to hold a constant temperature for over ten hours.
  1. Cart grill. These grills look similar to a gas grill but can be a kettle design or a rectangle shape.  The lid is generally hinged, and the entire unit is on a cart with wheels.  The charcoal pan can be lowered or raised and there is a drawer below for the collection of ashes and their easy removal.  The multiple features of the modern charcoal cart grill makes it just as convenient as a gas grill.
  1. This type of grill features wire and sheet metal in place of a cooking grid.  The grill generally has legs attached to its charcoal pan and does not have any type of venting system.  The heat can be adjusted by moving the cooking grip up or down.

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Maintenance and Care of BBQs

If you purchase a reasonably expensive BBQ you expect it to last for quite some time.  The best way to accomplish this is to keep the grill clean and ensure that all of the surfaces are burned off after cooking.  What you need to do is crank up the heat to high and allow any food bits to burn thus removing them from the grill.  Once the grill has cooled down a simple wipe can remove the excess ash and dirt.  Never cover up a BBQ that has not fully cooled down or moisture can gather inside of the appliance and cause rust to form.

Many BBQ units can have a life extension with replacement parts.  If a part on your BBQ fails, simply purchase a new part and install it on your BBQ to ensure that it has a longer life.

How to clean your BBQ

Adirondack Chairs – The Necessity For Outdoor Relaxation

Adirondack chairs are a very simply designed chair which are traditionally made out of wood and sometimes synthetic materials.  These chairs are designed to be used outdoors on a deck and more specifically in a vacation home setting.  The first known Adirondack chair was created by Thomas lee in 1903 when he was on vacation in the Adirondack Mountains in Westport, New York.  He was vacationing at his summer home and decided that he needed some outdoor chairs so he decided to design his own.

The first step was to create the design and the next was for Lee to request that a friend of his (a carpenter) build some chairs.  The original design had 11 flat wooden boards with very wide armrests and a straight back and seat.  That friend, Harry Bunnell realized the massive commercial potential of the chairs and decided to file for a U.S. patent.  This was all, apparently, without Lee’s knowledge and Bunnell started to manufacture these “Westport” chairs under patent no. 794,777 in 1905.  He continued to manufacture these chairs for a further twenty years and they were generally painted medium dark brown or green and were signed by Bunnell.

The modern version of the Adirondack chair has a rounded back aid a contoured seat which were modifications made by Irving Wolpin who was granted a patent in 1938 for his updated design of the chair.

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Where and When are Adirondack Chairs Used?

Due to the fact that Adirondack chairs are so comfortable and versatile, they are usually best suited for outdoor use and can usually be found on a sundeck.  These chairs are inviting and are always ready to sit in at any time of the day or night.  Many people choose these chairs for their summer vacation homes because they are durable and solid chairs.

Traditional deck chairs tend to only last for a season or two of use, but the quality and durability of an Adirondack chair ensures that it will be around for decades.  Many people choose these chairs over lower cost chairs because they understand the quality and workmanship behind the chair and know that they are investing in a chair that they will have for a very long time.

What to Consider When Buying Adirondack Chairs

There are a few important considerations when you purchase Adirondack chairs.  Will you be leaving them outside all year around?  If so, you may want to opt for chairs that are crafted from the harder man made materials so that they are more durable.  Wooden chairs may need more care over the years.  You also want to think about the weight of those chairs if you need to move them around.  Heavier chairs are a lot more difficult to move around and store than lighter ones.  The price can also be an important consideration for many.  Remember that the more you pay for your chairs, the better quality they are likely to be.

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What are the Benefits of Adirondack Chairs?  Why are they so Popular?

Today’s Adirondack chair is manufactured from durable polymers and other types of hard plastic that are designed to be durable.  Instead of having to replace deck furniture year after year, these chairs are manufactured to be used for many years into the future and are extremely durable.  Many people love these chairs because they are so comfortable and they look very nice too.

When it comes to summertime, this is the one chair that truly conveys the meaning of relaxation just through the way it looks.  Although these chairs are highly affordable, they have long been associated with luxury vacation homes and many top resorts often feature these chairs on their relaxation decks.

Proper Care of Your Adirondack Chair

Every Adirondack chair is designed to be used outdoors.  These chairs are available in a variety of materials and each of those materials has a special care regime.  For the Adirondack chair manufactured from Western red cedar, this stable material is naturally resistant to the weather.  It is designed to last for a lifetime.  Many older Adirondack chairs have been painted with a high gloss paint over their wood coating in a traditional colour such as red or green.  Primary colours are generally the main choice for these chairs.

From season to season, these chairs tend to weather very will and have minimal shrinkage.  The chairs that are made from wood can also be found in oak, pine, teak and fir.  If you have a wood chair, you should think about the local weather in your area.  Do you have a lot of hot and sunny weather or is it routinely wet and cool?  Do you leave your wood chairs out all year around or do you store them for the winter or cover them during the off season?

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Important Care Steps

Exposure to the hot summer sun can change the look of wooden chairs.  Paints can crack and chip and the colour of natural wood chairs can change from that exposure.  It will never change the structure of the chair, but your chair may “gray” and it is up to you to decide if you want to renew it or allow the chair to keep that gray appearance.  

  1. Wood Chairs – oil the chairs with a quality oil and varnish if you want to keep the natural look. A good weather finish should be the best quality one that you can purchase.
  2. Painted Wood Chairs – the paint may need to be touched up if it is cracking and/or peeling. Sand the chairs down to clean and bare wood and then use a good quality primer to prepare the chair.  Paint the chair with a bright colour to renew the chair.  Wood finishes will last between 1 and 3 years depending on the quality.
  3. Oil Based products will last much longer on a wood chair but are generally much harder to clean up and are not so great for the environment. Choose paints that have a natural oil base such as linseed oil or tung oil.
  4. If you live in a wet climate choose a product that contains a mold inhibitor. A paint that can withstand marine conditions is a great choice.
  5. Plastic chairs should be washed with mild soap and water to remove dirt and grime and keep the chairs looking new.

    Once you purchase Adirondack chairs for your outdoor area, you are going to wonder how you got along for so long without these chairs.  They are durable, comfortable and make your home or vacation home look amazing.  They don’t require much care to keep them looking great and are always ready to offer up the best seat in the house.

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    Caring for your Adirondach chairs

    Floating Shelves, What You Need To Know

    Shelving is an item of furniture that is useful because it is completely practical for arranging items and storing them easily, whether the need for storage is in your home or in your garage.  You can easily keep items organized and visible for handy use as and when they are needed.  There are many different types of shelving that one can purchase or build at home if they are so inclined.  The option to make shelves on your own is one that is good if you have a specific need or design in mind.

    Floating Shelves are a type of shelf that are affixed directly to a wall surface without any visible support.  They are called “floating” shelves because they are not part of a larger shelving “unit” and stand alone on a wall.  It is much easier to place a floating shelf because it does not take up much space on a wall.

    floating shelf

    Considerations for Purchasing Floating Shelves

    Most floating shelf units will be sold with some type of mounting hardware.  The main consideration you will have is the function of the shelf and then you will consider size, colour and material that the shelf is created from.  Do you want a natural wood look or do you want something more modern?  Glass is another commonly used material for floating shelves.  Choose shelves that are sturdy enough to hold the items you want to place on them but are not too heavy to place on the wall safely.

    Some stores sell shelves in groups of two or three while others sell single shelves.  The thing to watch out for would be a discount when purchasing in “bulk” if you buy more than one shelf at a time.

    Installation of Shelving

    As with any type of shelving, you are going to need to be able to drill into the wall directly into a stud.  For this you will need to be able to locate the wall studs and have a drill or other piece of equipment that can drill a hole.  Studs can hold weight when you load the shelf whereas simply drilling a hole into the wall is not going to accomplish anything except that the shelf will fall from the wall and the items on it may be damaged.

    Measure the area on the wall where you want to place shelving and decide how many shelves you would like as well as what sizes you need.  Use a level to mark the exact location of the shelf before you start making holes.  Installation of floating shelves usually means using a bracket of some sort and then mounting the shelf onto it.  Generally speaking, the screws and brackets that are provided with the shelf in a “kit” are not of very good quality.  It is definitely worth it to purchase separate items that are going to last and keep the shelf in place for as long as you want it in place.


    Small Space Living

    Floating shelfToday’s homeowner is more likely to live in a much smaller space and has a greater need for more innovative types of shelving.  With small space living, every square inch of a home is precious and must be used to its highest potential. Floating shelves really fit the needs of small space living because they do not take up much room while providing a much-needed storage area or place where items can be displayed.  For those who are renting an apartment, it is often important to ensure that the walls do not sustain much damage or the renter could end up having to cover that damage cost out of their own pocket.

    Floating shelves are usually reasonably priced enough that one might even consider leaving them in place when they move so that no holes are left in the wall afterwards.

    Floating Shelves for Every Room

    Floating shelves are great for the living area, bathroom, bedroom, kitchen or any room in your home, really.  They are nice to look at while serving a purpose of organization and general tidiness.  These shelves can be easily removed if needed and placed in a different location.  It is all up to you to decide what is aesthetically pleasing and floating shelves tend to be a good choice since they don’t have the large and ugly brackets that many shelves need to hold them up so they will not detract from the décor in your room.

    Certain types of shelves just work better in certain rooms.  For example, if you have some items that you want to store in the bathroom but your bathroom is really small, there may be only certain areas where you can place a space-saving shelf, and that is where a floating shelf will come in extremely handy.

    The floating shelf is not specifically designed to hold extremely heavy items such as heavy books and/or heavy decorative items.  These types of shelves can really break up the length of a large hallway and can be handy for items that are always in demand such as hats, school bags, shoes and keys.  Shelves look best if they are organized in a tidy fashion, adding another dimension to the room.  If everything that you own is crammed onto a shelf then it can start to look unkempt.  That is obviously not the result that is people are looking for when they install a shelf.

    The division of spaces in a studio style apartment is important and shelves can help to achieve that division while still keeping the feel of the open plan.  In fact, floating shelves can be installed near furniture to hold a lamp or remotes for electronics while the same style of shelf can be installed in a dining area to hold extra items needed for the table when guests arrive.

    The installation of floating shelves in a dining room can also add another use to a typically underused room.  The shelves can be organized in such a way that they can hold a computer and a keyboard or provide an area where quiet reading or studying can be undertaken.

    A little bit of planning and forethought is great before shopping.  That way you know what the shelves will be used for, how many shelves you will need and what types of material these shelves should be made from.  The right shelves can add another dimension to any room.

    The benefits of floating shelves

    Packing For A Cruise: The Ultimate List

    What do you need when packing for a cruise?

    Appropriate Clothes and Accessories
    Electronics and Devices
    Important Paperwork
    Medical and Wellness Items
    Other Essentials
    Extra Packing Tip

    For most of us, packing for a cruise is something that happens once every few years. So unless you’re a cruise line staff member you’ll probably struggle to figure out what to pack. Of course, this comes as no surprise – a vacation in the middle of the ocean coupled with several sporadic stops at different destinations will obviously be challenging to pack for. Cruising is not the most usual method of travelling, hence has a different set of rules for packing.

    Packing for a cruise is a bit more complicated than throwing an arbitrary pile of clothes and a couple of accessories into a suitcase. You will need to take a number of things into consideration such as climate variations between the home ports and ports of call, the cruise line’s dress codes, expenses for additional luggage (when flying to the home port) and so on.

    It seems like a lot of work to pack for a cruise already, doesn’t it? Don’t despair though; we’re here to help you pack. With our list of essentials to bring on a cruise, you will be more prepared than the captain when you’re done packing. Here are the essential things to pack when going on a cruise:

    Appropriate clothes and accessories for your cruise

    Shoes. Although you’ll spend most of the time basking in the sun and island hopping, you should not limit your footwear to sandals. Often, cruises will include excursions that require a lot of walking or activities such as zip lining and rock climbing. There could be events that require you to dress a bit more formal as well. Throw in some sneakers and some dress shoes in your luggage as you’ll most probably need them.

    Watch. If you don’t plan on carrying your cell phone, remember to bring a watch with you for time keeping.

    Lanyard necklace. Your cruise liner will issue you a cruise ship ID that will serve as your room key and security pass when disembarking and boarding at different stops. It’s cheaper to carry your own lanyard for your ship ID than to buy one on board.

    Formal outfits. The majority of cruises will include a couple of formal dinners, make sure to pack a tuxedo or a dark suit, or an evening dress.

    Sweaters and jackets. No matter what the weatherman says, make sure to pack a jacket or sweater just in case the weather predictions were wrong – which they often are.

    Hats. Make sure to carry a hat to protect yourself from the sun if you’ll be visiting a sunny destination or one to keep you warm when you stop at cold ports.

    Sunglasses. How frustrating it would be squinting all day in the hot sun. It’s one of the most important items to carry for eye protection from the sun and you’ll look like you’re on holidays too!

      Electronics to pack for your cruise

      iPad / Tablet / Device.  Most cruises these days have WiFi available. Electronics can be taken onboard a cruise ship and are great for entertainment for kids, for catching up online, on the news or for online reading and entertainment. Always ensure they are labelled and stored securely in your cabin.

      Alarm clock. If you don’t carry your mobile phone, remember to carry an alarm clock as many cruise cabins don’t have them.

      Power strip/board. If you need more than two power outlets for your gadgets, make sure to bring a power strip with you. (Please note that some liners may not allow you to carry power strips, so make sure to confirm with yours before carrying one.)

      Surge Protector. Surge protectors offer some level of protection against power spikes and offer more outages for all your electricals on board.

      USB Charger. A USB charger will ensure your mobile phone and cameras are always charged and available for all your photo taking opportunities.

      Digital books and movies. If you’ll be carrying your E-reader or tablet, make sure to download any media you need before you board the ship as data charges are generally steep at sea.

      Thumb drive. Scan and store digital copies of important documents such as your passport on a thumb drive as back up.

      Walkie talkies. Cell phones will either incur high roaming charges or not have coverage while you’re on a cruise. Walkie talkies offer a good alternative especially for people travelling in a group.

      Chargers and backup batteries. Make sure to carry extra batteries and all the different chargers you need for the different devices you’ve packed. Otherwise, they’ll not be of much use to you once they run out of charge.

      Flashlight. You may need a flashlight so as not to disturb your other guests in the cabin at night or even in an emergency if the need arises.

      Travel Speaker. For your own entertainment and enjoyment a travel speaker is great to play music while relaxing in your cabin.

      Important paperwork to carry on your cruise

      Identification documents. Ask your cruise line about the documents and paperwork you will need for the trip. A passport, for example, might be required if you’ll be making a stop in a foreign country.

      Passports. You will need this for checking in and out of international ports. Without a passport you cannot access the ports you visit.

      Travel insurance. Make sure to purchase travel insurance for your trip to protect yourself from issues such as baggage loss, port changes or mechanical breakdowns.

      Credit Cards. These are a great necessity for financial security and general expenditure without the worry of carrying cash and loose change.

      Medical Insurance Cards. Always Important to carry for any medical emergency that may occur and personal identification.

      Thank You Card. This is always a great idea to carry to thank the hardworking staff who serve you day and night.

      >> Need to buy cruise products online? We've got Ample. <<

      Medical and wellness items to take on a cruise

      Medication. Make sure to carry any medication that you are currently taking or that you think you might need such as aspirin. A few first aid items such as bandages might also come in handy. Although some of these items might be available on board, they cost much more than they would in your local pharmacy. 

      Sea sickness remedies.  Bring something to help with sea sickness, even if you have never experienced it – you never know when you might need it.

      Antibacterial wipes or gel.  These will help you maintain proper hygiene while on the go.

      Mosquito repellent.  A mosquito repellent gadget or bug spray will come in handy if your ship makes a stop at a place where there’re mosquitoes – generally anywhere tropical.

      Ear plugs.  Sometimes your cabin might be located near a busy walkway, the ships engine room or nightclub – all of which are pretty noisy. Bring some ear plugs to ensure you’re not kept up at night by all the ruckus outside.

      Sunscreen.  As you will most likely be spending a lot of time in the sun, make sure to bring some sunscreen to keep your skin protected.

      Shaving stuff.  You don’t want to look dishevelled on a cruise, always ensure you have a shaver for hygiene purposes both for men and women.

      Other essential items to carry 

      Luggage scale.  Don’t be caught out paying for excess luggage. A compact luggage scale is great for travelling with to know how heavy your luggage is on exit.

      A foldable duffle bag. Carry an extra foldable duffle bag just in case you go a little wild with your souvenir shopping.

      Dry bag or plastic bags. These will help keep your electronics safe when you need to pack them in the same bag as your wet bathing suit or clothes.

      Extra coat hangers. There will be a couple of hangers in your cabin, but this might not be enough especially if you’re taking a longer cruise. Carry a couple of your own – ideally wire hangers as they take up less space.

      Day pack. A tote or small backpack will be quite useful for carrying sunscreen, water bottles, cameras, books and other items as you move around the ship or stop-over port.

      Toiletries and necessities. Your cruise liner will provide you with some basic toiletries such as shampoo and soap at the very least. If you’re picky about these items, make sure to pack your own. The same applies for hair dryers. Most cabins will come with low wattage dryers, bring your own if you’d prefer something more powerful.

      Bathroom door organiser. There’s typically very little storage in a cruise liners bathroom. If you’re going to have any additional toiletries, get a bathroom door organiser to increase your storage and keep everything organised. 

      Storage Organisers. Considering the sizes of many cabins, storage organizers help keep toiletries and personal items in one compact place.

      Packing Cubes. The small ultra lightweight zippered bags are perfect to neatly and compactly store all your travelling needs. They come in different sizes according to your luggage needs.

      Binoculars. Great item to bring for viewing off the deck or viewing islands/places in the distance and other ships or sea life like whales and dolphins out at sea.

      Coffee mug. If you’re a coffee lover (or a lover of any other hot beverage, for that matter), you’ll find a coffee mug pretty useful for ferrying your hot beverage around while keeping it hot.

      Detergent. The majority of cruise liners will offer laundry services, but these are seldom free. Carry your own travel-size detergent for cleaning undergarments and swimsuits if you’d like to save on laundry costs.

      Other items, not so essential

      Soft Drinks (soda). Can be taken aboard Australian cruise ships. You may want to store some drinks for yourself in your cabin or to take off ports in a backpack or when you’re relaxing in your cabin.

      Air freshener. In small cabins an air freshener is always a great idea to freshen small bathroom spaces or cabin spaces.

      Zip-lock bags. Zip-lock bags allow you to carry small items and items that may leak in your bags and compartments. It’s a safe way to make sure deodorants; perfumes, make-up or medications are kept compact and safe.

      Stain Remover. The worst thing is wearing an item of clothing with stains on it. A stain remover will ensure your clothing is kept free from stains.

      Dryer sheets. Keep your clothes from getting lost in shared washers and dryers by using dryer sheets, not to mention having them kept clean, static free and smelling fresh.

      Wrinkle eraser. To get the wrinkles out of your washed and packed clothes, especially formal gear taken onboard a cruise ship, as cabins don’t often supply ironing equipment.

      Clothes pegs/pins. You’ll need pegs for hanging items of clothing and swimming gear to dry out and pins for pinning things with like clothing.

      Wet wipes. You never know when you’ll need a wet wipe. Great for when you have children travelling with you and for any messy situations that occur and you’re nowhere near a bathroom.

      Sticky notes. For busy families coming and going in and out of cabins, sticky notes are a great idea to leave reminders and notify others of where you are or what’s happening.

      Highlighter pen. When you need to jot down information or highlight important notes on your travel info, take a highlighter, because they don’t carry these onboard.

      Pop Up Hamper.  A collapsible travel hamper is compact to pack in your luggage and is great for storing extra items like clothes or even dirty laundry in your cabin and store things in when you’re exiting.

      Extra Packing Tip

      Pack everything you will require on the first day on board the cruise ship in your carry-on bag. Your checked luggage could take as long as six hours to be delivered to your cabin, and having some essentials with you in the meanwhile will spare you some headaches. Additionally, if your luggage is misplaced or gets lost during transit, you’ll have the things you need most as you wait for the issue to be sorted out.

      Of course, none of this matters if you can’t remember it, so make a personal checklist that includes everything you want/need to carry. Lastly, enjoy your cruise and Bon Voyage!

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      What to pack for a cruise

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