packing tips for cruise to Canada and New EnglandWe recently returned from a late May/early June cruise to Canada and New England.
7-Day Canada and New England Discovery CruiseThis was our fourth time to sail on this 7-day itinerary in four years.
Obviously, we like the ports on this cruise. We’ve learned a few things from our various experiences.

One of the key take-aways: the weather can be variable in these ports. During our most recent cruise, temperatures ranged from 85+ degrees F in Boston, to a high of 45 degrees F in Sydney, on Canada’s Cape Breton Island. We also experienced rain in Quebec City, followed by a hot, sunny and humid afternoon.

Holland America ms Veendam cruise ship in Sydney, Cape Breton, CanadaThe key to enjoy this cruise is to come prepared for a range of weather conditions.

10 Things we’re glad we packed for our Canada and New England cruise

Flying to Boston, and then back home from Montreal, we wanted to check only one bag each weighing less than 50 pounds. Our two Eddie Bauer Expedition Drop Bottom Rolling Duffels worked well.

packing tips for cruise to Canada and New EnglandOur shoes went into the bottom zip-open part of these rolling duffel bags. Then our clothes and other miscellaneous items — organized into various packing cubes — filled the top part of the duffels.

We also each carried on a briefcase (Mr. Jones) or backpack (Mrs. Jones) that stored our computers, iPads, phones, charger cords, medicine, and anything we couldn’t live without.

We also packed these 10 items.


1. Plastic cruise tags holders for our luggage – after resisting for years we bought these from Amazon for less than $7. As were waiting for our Lyft driver to take us from the hotel to the cruise port, Mr. Jones quickly attached these to our bags, with the paper luggage tags that we had printed slid into place. This method is far superior to stapling paper tags, or asking (and often waiting at the port) for luggage tags.


2. Crossbody bag – while my backpack holds all of my electronics and everything important to me while traveling, I don’t want to carry all of that each day in port. This bag has lots of each-to-access compartments for my phone, driver’s license, ship ID/key card, money, credit cards, etc., while still being lightweight enough to carry while walking 6 – 8 miles (which we did in some ports.)


3. GlocalMe 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot — We travel frequently but we need to stay in touch with work, clients and family members. This mobile mi-fi device (that’s about the size of an iPhone) lets us carry portable, affordable  wi-fi with us in port (and on the ship when it’s in port or near port.) If you’ve ever used data on your smartphone when out of the U.S., you know how expensive it can be.  With this device, you purchase data in advance for the countries you will be traveling in.  So far this year, we’ve used this device in Portugal, Spain, Italy, China and Canada.


4. Rain jackets — We wish you beautiful, sun-filled and rain-free weather on your cruise to Canada and New England. We suggest, however, taking a lightweight rain jacket that can be used over other layers to keep you warm and  dry on cool and/or rainy days.


5. Cuddl Duds— long-sleeved, thin stretch t-shirts that make the perfect first layer with jeans in variable temperatures.


6. Cotton turtleneck — this was my base layer for the coolest, rainy days of the cruise.


7. Lightweight down vest — this packable vest keeps me warm when its cool, and is easy to layer over a t-shirt or turtleneck, and under a light rain jacket. I love the pockets for storing my phone when walking without a jacket.

8. Lightweight Gloves — mine are HEAD lightweight touchscreen gloves that keep your hands warm and allow you to use the touchscreen of your smartphone without taking them off. This might be overkill, but if you hate cold hands…


9. Shorts — yes, I wore shorts during the same 7-day cruise that I wore a turtleneck, with a down vest, raincoat and gloves.  In Boston, it was 85 degrees F and shorts weather. In Halifax it was cold and in Sydney, it was rainy and cold. I was glad to be prepared for both.


10. A Portable Makeup Train Case — this lightweight but sturdy case kept all of my make-up protected and orderly when packed in our rolling duffel bags. Once on the ship, it provided easy access for using my makeup.

Have you cruised to Canada and New England? What items did you pack that made your cruise better?

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