Packing for a Heatwave, Headed to Spain on Azamara Quest Cruise

Spain, here we come!  In a few days we will be sailing on the Azamara Quest on their 10-night Wine and Culture cruise from Southampton to Lisbon. Seven ports, all during a heatwave. How should I pack?

When I write, I usually refer to Jane and myself as a couple. Yes, we are traveling together as a unit. As a guy, I understand what men wear. Women’s clothing is still a mystery to me. In this article I will reference how I am packing.

We will be visiting Bordeaux, a wine focused French city. The wine industry in Bordeaux is more straightlaced compared to Burgundy. The major chateaus are owned by banks, insurance companies, luxury goods firms or aristocratic families. Oporto, the second to last stop on our voyage has a historical British presence in the port wine trade. I am assuming they are a little more formal. The four ports in the middle are French or Spanish resorts or tourist destinations. Things might be more relaxed.

This list does not include absolutely everything. Essentials like pajamas, bathing suit, toiletries, socks and undergarments are not listed.

  1. Straw hat. If I’m going to be in the sun, I definitely need a distinctive straw hat. I can either bring one from home or buy one at Primark in London or Southampton for about $10.00.
  2. Sunglasses. There will be glare, especially off the water. The Ray-Bans get packed.
  3. Seersucker shirts. These are long sleeved, collared shirts made of a lightweight fabric that looks permanently crinkled. Definitely resort wear.
  4. Dress shirts. The usual in white, but also a lightweight cotton one in pale yellow that only comes out on the hottest day of the year.
  5. Polo shirts. The plan is to pack two. They come in handy, especially during the day onboard.
  6. Tee shirts. It took me forever, but I finally found those striped tee shirts associated with the gondoliers in Venice. One or two will get packed. They are long sleeved, which is good for covering up from the sun and for wearing under a jacket.
  7. Slacks. I’m not a big fan of jeans on vacation. These are European resorts. I plan to pack one pair of linen trousers, a tan microfiber pair that’s almost weightless, one white pair of slacks (the ship has a scheduled party when everyone is asked to wear white) and one pair of tan chinos, which I will wear on the plane.
  8. Shorts. Thanks to a generous friend (who is now a lot thinner) I am the proud owner of several pairs of Bermuda shorts. Two pairs will get packed. Tan and another color.
  9. Shoes. One pair of Gucci style loafers (Cole Haan makes a great version at a fraction of the price) and one pair of espadrilles. If I don’t bring the espadrilles, Primark usually sells them for under $10.
  10. Jackets. I will wear one and pack another. Both are linen, ideal for hot weather. One is blue and the second is yellow. If they get wrinkled, I assume they have dry cleaning and pressing services aboard the ship.
  11. Belts and ties. One designer dress belt and one casual belt. I will pack a tie or two in case people dress at some of the onboard dinners.

I have probably forgotten something important. No problem. There are plenty of reasonably priced clothing chains in Europe. Hypermarkets too. Fortunately, the ship has self service laundries. More to follow.

Ed. Note: See Azamara sailings: Azamara QuestAzamara all ships

See also Research Matters: Preplanning for our Azamara Quest Cruise – All Things Cruise

Cover photo: Lovely pool deck aboard the Azamara Quest

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