The Cruise Packing Hack you won’t Find on any Popular Packing List!
It turns out that the number one most important item to pack for your cruise doesn’t appear on any of the widely circulating packing lists, including my own (geared toward minimalists or those who need to pack light). But now that I’ve discovered it, it’s secured a spot at the top of my list AND in the coveted zipper pocket in my carry-on backpack where I keep valuables on cruise embarkation day like passports, cash, credit cards, and Tums. So, what is it?
The Single Most Important Item to Pack for your Cruise
What the Heck is that Thing and Why is it so Important?
That’s a pants waist extender with an accompanying belly band. These were originally designed for pregnant women as a way to transform normal buttoned pants, shorts, and skirts into maternity wear, thus saving the money and hassle of buying new clothes for an expanding stomach. However, they also have an off-label use for cruisers, both male and female, as a way to expand the waist of buttoned pants, shorts, and skirts to accommodate a rapidly growing food baby. This is critically important as packing both casual and formal bottoms in multiple sizes can strain your suitcase and your budget. And if you’re thinking of just packing your current size and hoping for the best? I ask you this (and encourage you to answer as if you were hooked up to a lie detector test while strapped to an electric chair): When given the option of warm chocolate melting cake with vanilla ice cream or a fruit plate for dessert, which are you more likely to order?
Either you’re dead (ZAP) before you ever have the chance to sprint directly to the buffet on embarkation day because you LIED and said you’d only order one warm chocolate melting cake with vanilla ice cream when you’d actually order three (I don’t know why I even included fruit as an option – that’s just absurd) or you need these:
How do the Cruise Waist Extenders and Belly Band Work?
Two different extender sizes are recommended (and included for $13.97 if you purchase them HERE), one for the first few days of your cruise that can accommodate an extra 4.7 inches of carby buffet food and MDR favorites and one for mid cruise allowing an extra 6.3 inches because you’ve been training for a several days and can now safely handle three breakfasts to get your day started right. Then attach them together at the end of your cruise for an extra 11 inches that will barely contain the debarkation day baby you’ve affectionately named “bacon.”
Don’t forget to pair the extenders with a belly band (pictured below) in case your shirts are now too short to fully cover the massive girth trying to escape from your wide open fly. It will stretch to grow with your expanding waistline and even offer back support so you can comfortably walk from your first dinner in the MDR to your second dinner at the buffet and back to your cabin to order a quesadilla and some chocolate cake from room service.
While you won’t look anything like the model above with the barely pregnant fake belly they attached to her (seriously, look at the first photo again…totally fake) after achieving perfect waves in her hair that wouldn’t last two seconds on a windy cruise ship, at least all your clothes will fit into one suitcase and you won’t have to stress about your button popping off as you stand in line at the soft serve machine. And with that…
Homework (10 points): Share your favorite cruise foods to the comments (but be warned, you might need the pants extender just reading about them)!
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*I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you when you purchase waist extenders and belly bands through links on my site. All funds go to support my cruise eating (and the less important work of the blog). Thanks for your support!