I am so excited to be going on my first cruise to the United Kingdom in October! I am looking forward to a great adventure exploring much of the United Kingdom via cruise. Additionally, I am excited to see what a longer length cruise will be like to Northern Europe for the first time.

This cruise is a 10 day voyage, making a roundtrip journey to and from Southampton, England. We will be visiting England, Scotland, Ireland, Northern Ireland, as well as the Isle of Man on this cruise.

The United Kingdom is known for being a relatively rainy destination, and because we will be there in the fall, we are anticipating clouds and rain throughout our cruise. However, we are so excited to see and experience this beautiful region of the world during the prime time for cozy autumn traveling!

This cruise will be with Norwegian Cruise Line onboard their older ship: Norwegian Star. This will be my second sailing with Norwegian Cruise Line to Europe this year. Earlier in the year, I embarked on a thrilling standby adventure for a 2-night cruise on Norwegian Sun.

Here is how I am planning and packing for this exciting cruise to the United Kingdom with Norwegian Cruise Line!

Jackets, Sweaters and Raincoats

Automatically, the first thing that comes to mind when packing for a trip to the United Kingdom is a good raincoat and sweaters!

I plan on bringing multiple raincoats, including a trench style raincoat, as well as a more activewear style rain jacket.

I am hoping that by having two different style of raincoats I’ll be able to have a nicer, dressier coat to wear around on our days in London, Edinburgh, and Dublin, as well as a more casual activewear raincoat to wear if we decide to go on a hike in the Scottish Highlands or on our visit to the Isle of Man.

Having multiple rain jackets will hopefully give me several ways to style outfits while also having functional choices of what to wear while staying dry on some predictably rainy days!

Because it will be relatively chilly on our trip, I am planning to bring sweaters that will keep me cozy and warm underneath the rain jackets. For a 12-day trip, I plan on bringing up to 5 larger sweaters. I anticipate that having warm and comfortable outerwear will be really important on this trip. I also plan on bringing items that I can rewear multiple times during the cruise.

It can be rather complicated or challenging to do laundry on a cruise. It often comes at an additional expense to guests as well. Because of this ,I plan on bringing all coats and larger sweaters that can be worn throughout the course of the journey with minimal washing being needed.

Shoes and Boots

As with any trip, shoes can be one of the most important things to pack!

For a rather unique trip like this, I plan on packing a variety of footwear. For example, I think waterproof boots will be the most worn pair of shoes during this cruise, so I plan on packing two pairs of waterproof boots. I also will be bringing a pair of tennis shoes and a pair of nicer flats to wear onboard at night.

With the different types of shoes I am bringing, I am hoping that I’ll be both prepared for every occasion as well as have clothing options I feel confident in wearing throughout the duration of the journey.

Leggings, Dresses, and Outfits for all Day

Arguably the most important part of packing for a colder weather cruise trip is the ability to layer clothing.

Bringing clothing items that can be layered in a multiple of ways can help from overpacking. For example, I will be bringing some casual dresses that I can wear sweaters over and leggings to stay warm. I usually try to be a relatively minimal packer (but not always!) and therefore am pretty picky about the clothes that make it into my suitcase for a trip.

I personally like to bring clothing items that can be functional while also being good for a variety of activities throughout a cruise. I am going to bring clothes that are comfortable for long days of exploring that are also nice enough to wear to dinner later when we’re back onboard on the ship.

Because I like to layer as well as pack clothes that can work in a variety of different ways, it means I tend to gravitate towards more neutral colors. I wear neutral colored clothing a lot in my daily life (my husband jokingly says my favorite color is beige), and I usually gravitate towards neutrals during traveling as well due to their versatility.

However, I also completely understand that the colors and types of clothing that get packed greatly depends on the cruise itinerary!

For example, the style and types of clothing I will be packing for this trip to the United Kingdom will be much different than if I was packing for a cruise to the Caribbean, where I would be more likely gravitate towards fun colors.

Phone, Camera, Devices and Chargers

In the age of technology, we all have devices we are taking with us on our vacations!

Of course, I will be bringing my phone and charger, but I will also be bringing a kindle, iPad, and camera. A kindle can be great for reading on the long plane rides and during a relaxing moment on the ship, while my iPad is a great place to download movies to watch on the plane or even at night in your cruise stateroom.

It is important to know that many cruise staterooms have multiple different kinds of outlets in which to charge devices. Oftentimes, staterooms will actually have more European outlets than American.

Because of this, I highly recommend packing an outlet converter for your devices if you are someone traveling on a cruise from the United States or Canada, or even if you are coming from Europe.

Having an outlet converter can be so helpful throughout your journey! Make sure to research which types of outlets will be onboard your particular cruise ship in order to be best prepared.

Miscellaneous Gear

I plan on bringing some miscellaneous things on this particular cruise that I might not bring on a different cruise.

For example, I plan on bringing a small travel sized umbrella. I am hoping that this, combined with the rain jackets, will help keep me dry in the event the weather is as wet as anticipated.

I also plan on bringing a small scarf and warm socks for some added warmth. Additionally, I will be packing a pair of sunglasses because you never know what the weather could do in the United Kingdom in October!

On my last few cruises, an item that I have found to be very helpful is a reusable water bottle. Having a smaller reusable water bottle can be a great travel staple because passengers of the cruise can refill their water bottle and keep it with them in their room. Whether its a cruise to a warm destination or a cold destination, hydration is always important!

Toiletries & Products from Home

When traveling anywhere I think it is important to bring any specific toiletries or products you need that you know you like on your trip with you. This can help prevent stress or time it would take to try and search these products out once you arrive at your cruise destination.

For example, if you like a certain type of toothpaste or shampoo, I highly recommend bringing these things with you on your trip and buying them ahead of time. Additionally, there could be limited opportunities to purchase certain items on your trip or onboard the cruise ship. Even if these products can be purchased onboard, they are usually more expensive.

Speaking from experience, it can be quite the travel hassle to forget an important item like toothpaste and then attempt to find it later on in your travel day. Luckily, when this happened to us we were able to buy a couple tubes of toothpaste at the airport on the way to our cruise, but they were very expensive comparatively to buying at home.

Remember that if you are flying to your cruise destination, any liquids that are in your carry-on luggage must be 3.4 oz or less. If you are bringing liquids in a checked bag then you are permitted to exceed this limit.

Driving to your cruise port allows you the most flexibility with liquids. You can bring anything that you can fit into your bags without having to worry about weight limits.

Cruise ships themselves do not typically have a liquid threshold for passengers.

Travel Accessories

There are some specific items that I personally consider necessary for traveling.

Earbuds and headphones are a must for me when traveling while on my way to a cruise. They help block out the loud noise of the plane and can be helpful when sleeping on the ship if it gets noisy. Additionally, I have found a sleeping eye mask to be extremely helpful when attempting to sleep on airplanes. Blocking out any and all light can really help me fall asleep faster when I am flying.

I never travel without a small dispenser of hand sanitizer and a pack of antibacterial wipes. It’s no secret that traveling can expose us to sickness, and in order to combat this the best I can, I find it comforting to always have supplies on hand in order to sanitize the surfaces around me.

I also always travel with a small supply of first aid and pharmacy supplies. This can include bandaids, pain medication, vitamin C, decongestant, and other things we might need in case of an emergency or if we aren’t feeling well while traveling. These little emergency kits have come in handy when traveling before, so I highly recommend assembling your own emergency kit prior to any cruise and bring it with you onboard.

Which Bags I Will be Using

For this cruise to the United Kingdom, I plan on using several different bags and pieces of luggage for our voyage. I will be bringing with me one larger checked bag, one roller carry-on bag, and one larger tote bag purse to be used a my personal item.

We will be flying to our cruise port in Southampton from the United States and therefore much of my packing strategy for the trip revolves around this. I normally really dislike checking a bag when I fly. I tend to get nervous that my luggage may be delayed and that I could board my cruise without my belongings.

However, because this cruise is over a week long and I will be packing bulky cold weather clothes, a larger checked bag will be required.

I plan on packing my passport, travel documents, kindle, phone, and other important items in my larger tote bag to make sure that they stay close to me at all times during our travels to and from the cruise.

I also plan on bringing a small crossbody purse that I’ll use during the day when we’re off the ship exploring!

I know not everyone likes to use them, but I am personally a big fan of packing cubes. Packing cubes really help keep things organized, especially when on a longer trip and when staying in a smaller cruise stateroom. You can find affordable packing cubes at stores such as Target as well as Amazon.

Making Room for Treasures

I am someone that really enjoys bringing back a souvenir or two from cruise travels (I like to call them “treasures!”). I tend to always look for a book from each place I travel to, as well as gifts to give family members and loved ones back home.

I plan on using my smaller roller carryon suitcase as the bag in which to transport anything I buy back to the United States after our cruise.

On our way over to the United Kingdom, I plan on putting a change of clothes or two in the carry-on suitcase, just in case my larger checked bag gets delayed for any reason. But otherwise this bag will be relatively empty.


Packing for a cruise vacation, or any trip, can sometimes feel like a daunting task. However, I recommend looking at it as the first exciting step towards your next cruise adventure!

Packing for a cold weather cruise versus a warm weather cruise can be quite different. A cold weather cruise might require more items, bulkier clothing, and cold weather accessories such as scarfs. However, researching what to pack for both types of trips can be very helpful prior to an upcoming cruise.