Even before it is time to pack, you want to start making your packing list. This cruise was on the Breakaway. NCL is known for Freestyle Cruising, and what this means is that there are not any formal nights. You can be as dressy or as casual as you want, with some minor exceptions. You cannot go to any of the restaurants with wet bathing suits, and if you are in a swimsuit, you should wear a cover-up in the buffet even. You have to wear shoes and shirts in restaurants.
They recommend long pants in the specialty restaurants and the Manhattan Room, we saw them enforcing the no shorts on men at the entrance to the Manhattan room. For this cruise, I took some nice polo shirts, one pair of slacks, and shorts. My wife took a nice skirt and blouse combination, pants, shorts, and tops. Whatever you are going to wear, I would make a list before packing day arrives.
Besides clothes, several other things can and will make your life easier on board. To start with, we always take a medium length extension cord with the ability to plug in multiple devices. I travel with a CPAP, and with chargers for phones, cameras, toothbrushes, shavers, etc., there is always a need for more plugs. YOU CAN NOT TAKE EXTENSION CORDS WITH CIRCUIT BREAKERS.
We take a roll of duct tape to secure the extension cord, and also for miscellaneous other uses. On the CC site, there is a great deal of discussion of the value of duct tape. Another item that we take one or two of is the over the door shoe holder. On this trip, we took two and used both of them. They are invaluable for holding small items that you use often. We also took a couple of small led tea lights; they are not bright, but in a dark (pitch black) cabin, they make it easy to find your way to the bathroom without turning on a light.
I am particular about sweetener, so I took along some stevia. We also took along a large cup each. The cups on board are usually tiny. Mine was a 32oz. coffee cup and I used it for coffee and iced tea. My wife took a 24 oz. cup for tea and flavored water. We would fill these on the buffet and then had what we wanted to drink around the ship.
Another thing to take is zip lock bags. These come in very handy for taking food from the buffet to your room. We used several each day. They do not have plastic straws on the ship, so if you like plastic straws; take a reusable one with you.
One of the things we forgot was my sunglasses. My wife packed two pairs, and I intended to take at least one pair, and then didn’t get any in our bags. Another item that we missed was emergency rain ponchos. You can get them relatively cheaply, and one day it started pouring about the time we were going to head out on an excursion. We were fortunate in that there was a pharmacy in the port where we could purchase them, but they were more expensive than in the US.
I also forgot our selfie stick and realized that for much of what I was filming, I would need to use a directional or a lavalier microphone.
You should advise your bank and credit card companies that you will be traveling out of the country. We failed to notify the card company that we used for the cruise, and that resulted in a freeze on our onboard account until I could take another card to the front desk.
One other mistake I made was not putting an out of reach message on my phone and out of the office on my email. I did not answer my phone while onboard, and could only check my email without paying for it in Mexico, so that meant that for much of the cruise people that tried to contact me had no way to know why I didn’t reply.