How to Pack Wrinkle Free for a Cruise

How to Pack Wrinkle Free for a Cruise

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How to Prevent Wrinkles on a Cruise (without an iron or steamer)

If you’re going on a cruise you’re likely thinking about the cruise outfits that you’d like wear and pack. Day wear, evening wear and formal wear – getting dressed up while on a cruise is part of the fun.

So how do you pack wrinkle free for a cruise and prevent wrinkles once on board?

While on land vacations, you might simply iron your clothes in the hotel room, preventing wrinkles on a cruise is more of a challenge.

It may surprise you to know that you won’t find an iron in your cruise cabin. Since irons and steamers are a potential fire hazard, you can’t bring them from home either.

However, there are solutions. In this post I’ll share a few favorite tips on how to keep clothes from wrinkling in your luggage on the way to your cruise. As well, we’ll talk about how to smooth wrinkles and creases in clothing once onboard.

This post contains affiliate links which means if you click and buy that I may make a commission, at no cost to you. Please see my disclosure policy for details.

Keep your cruise outfits wrinkle free with 9 easy tips

how to prevent wrinkles on a cruise

How to pack your clothes without wrinkles

1. Rolling method

Even before boarding your cruise ship, you’ll want to use a packing method that minimizes wrinkles.

You can use a rolling method or bundling, which both reduce creases and wrinkles in clothing. You may want to combine this with packing cubes, which really help to keep clothing organized and compartmentalized.

As an example, if you have 4 light sundresses, lay one over the other and roll them together. You can roll them fairly tightly and they won’t have wrinkles. You can do the same for t-shirts, tank tops, and other items of clothing.

Alternatively, you can bundle clothing by placing a shirt or two in the center and folding inwards to create a the start of a bundle. After that you can fold other items including shorts or pants around the shirt. This method can be good for men’s clothing, but may not work as well as rolling for women.

2. Packing cubes

On recent cruises, we’ve had great success with packing cubes (Amazon link). One of the ways packing cubes can be helpful in preventing wrinkles is that all items stay in their place and aren’t shuffled around in the suitcase.

 

Recommended: Packing cubes (see various sizes and colors on Amazon)

In particular, packing cubes are great to help separate the items you may want to wear for travel days or a pre-cruise stay in the embarkation port. They are awesome as well for your cruise carry on bag to keep all your embarkation day essentials.

**At the end of this post, I’ll share a link to my blog post and review of 2 different kinds of packing cubes.

How to Prevent Wrinkles on a Cruise
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3. Garment bag

While not a necessity, especially if you’re trying to pack light for your cruise, a garment bag is really the best to transport suits, dress shirts and formal dresses onto your cruise ship.

A garment bag was an inexpensive luggage purchase that we were very happy we made (see below for what we purchased). My husband and son’s suits were crisp from the pre-ironing I did at home before we packed, and my own cocktail dresses were wrinkle free!

 

Recommended: Garment bag (check price and reviews on Amazon)

Tip: Make sure to iron or dry clean all items of clothing before you pack them into your luggage. You may also want to find clothing that’s wrinkle resistant.

4. Use plastic dry cleaning bags

Save those plastic dry cleaning bags and use to go over suits and dress shirts or dresses, either in your garment bag or regular suitcase. This is a little tip that really works in no-wrinkle packing!

9 Ways to Prevent Wrinkles on Cruise Outfits
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5. Pack on hangers

Full disclosure – this is not a tip that I personally use to keep my clothes wrinkle free on a cruise. Mainly, it’s because I’m an overpacker and will try and use every inch of luggage space I have for extra shoes (just being honest 😉

However, I’ve heard this tip from quite a few excellent packers in the Life Well Cruised community on Facebook

Here’s what you do: hang your dresses and other clothing items on hangers at home, and then place them into your suitcase as is. You can place some dry cleaning plastics or dress shirt plastic wrap from the store between your outfits.

Once you get your luggage delivered to your cabin, simply unpack and hang those cruise outfits. This is an awesome cruise hack, to get unpacked really quickly!

How to remove wrinkles easily while on a cruise

6. Use wrinkle release spray

For years, one of my cruise packing essentials has been a travel size Downy Wrinkle Release. This little simple spray is a miracle worker.

There are a few tips I use to have better results, as wrinkle release spray will not be as effective as an iron.

How to use Downy Wrinkle Release and get good results

  1. Ideally, try and use the Downy wrinkle release spray an hour or two before you’ll be getting dressed.
  2. Simply hang the clothing item and spray lightly from about a foot away. You’ll want the item to dampen only slightly.
  3. Give the item a light stretch both lengthwise and side to side. 
  4. Spray again and repeat if necessary.
  5. Let the item hand for at least 15-30 minutes or until 100% dry

 

Recommended: Travel size Downy Wrinkle Release (see price on Amazon here)

DIY Wrinkle Spray Recipe

If you prefer not to use a store bought wrinkle spray, there’s an easy homemade recipe that many people use that’s very inexpensive to make.

Ingredients:

1 cup distilled water and 1 tablespoon of fabric softener. Some recipes add a few drops of vinegar, but then you smell like vinegar… 

Place the water and fabric softener in a reusable small spray bottle and voila. You’ve got a homemade wrinkle release spray!

How to pack wrinkle free for a cruise 9 tips
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7. Shower steam method

This tip is an oldie but a goodie! However what’s even more effective than shower steam to get wrinkles out of your outfits on a cruise, is combining the shower steam method with a couple sprays of wrinkle release spray.

8. Use a self service laundry room, if available

While some cruise ships have laundromats for passengers to use, many cruise ships don’t. In some cases, this can vary by cruise line as well as by ship. You can find this out by checking your cruise ship’s schematic both online or in a cruise brochure.

Carnival cruises have self-serve laundrettes where you can use an iron and ironing board. Disney, Holland America, Princess and Cunard may offer this on certain ships as well.

Many premium cruise lines such as Viking, Crystal, Silversea and Oceania have self service laundry facilities.

While popular cruise lines such as Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Norwegian Cruise Line and MSC don’t have laundry rooms available for guests.

When a laundrette is available, you can use an iron, as well the washing machines and dryers, which in some cases will have a fee.

9 ways to prevent wrinkles on a cruise
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9. Use the cruise ship’s dry cleaning and pressing services

I have use the pressing service more than once, as for a few dollars, it’s just easy and saves me time. This was especially true for suits and cocktail dresses, when I used to pack them in my regular luggage.

Now that I bring a garment bag, which we carry on at embarkation, I don’t even need to think about it. However, all cruise ships have a pressing and dry cleaning service, in case you need it.

In some cases, there may be a discount or even a free service available as a perk for past passengers.

Read next: As a follow up to this post, I suggest reading What to Wear on a Cruise (when dress codes are changing) and/or Pros and Cons of Packing Cubes for Cruisers.

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Final thoughts: How to keep your clothes wrinkle free on a cruise

I hope these tips on how to pack wrinkle free for a cruise have been helpful. We’ve definitely found that using a garment bag and packing cubes helped a lot and saved me time tackling wrinkles once on my cruise!

Remember, you’re on a cruise to relax and enjoy, so do your best but don’t over stress about a few wrinkles that may remain. Most people people won’t even notice – so as long as you feel good that’s what matters!

Do you have any tips to share about how to keep clothes from wrinkling when you’re travelling to and from a cruise? Please let me know in the comments below.

Happy cruising!!

Ilana XOXO

P.S. If you’ve enjoyed this, please don’t keep it to yourself ;-)! Please share it on Facebook or save for later on Pinterest. Thanks so much!

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