Let me make a few comments on your packing list and a few more suggestions,too. :
LAUNDRY DETERGENT: Make sure your cruise ship has self-service laundry (a.k.a.: A Laundry-mat/Coin-a-matic laundry) onboard before you pack it. It would make no sense packing it if you can't use it. I have been on only one cruise, and they did not have self-service laundry; but it wasn't on Carnival, so it might be different on your ship. However, on my ship they had full service laundry: for a price, you would drop your clothes in a bag, they would take it away, and bring it back with your clothes clean. Maybe you could ask if they have full-service laundry onboard, too. It may cost more, but it may be better. Because, there are many wonderful sights worthing seeing on a cruise; you may miss out on them if you spend allot of time seeing your clothes go round-and-round in the washer and/or dryer.
ZIPLOCK BAGS: As I remember my cruise, and think about what packing ideas I received; perhaps the one that worked best for me was to bring along lots of Ziplock bags. Get the largest ones you can find (1 gallon I think is the biggest). You should bring along empty ones..... However, you should catagorized your packing items (i.e. Medicines, Reading/Writing matierials, toiletries [if you don't have a toiltetrie bag], music [CDs, CD player, IPod, etc], and you should pack these items in different Ziplock bags according to their catagory. I did this and found it to work-out great. I could really find things quickly when I needed them. Also, in case one of your fluid items (Sunscreen, liquid soap, hand lotion, mouthwash, etc.) should loose it's cap and spill everywhere, the spill will be contained inside the Ziplock bag and it won't be such a nightmare of a clean-up job.
OVER THE DOOR SHOE HANGER: I heard this idea worked very well for someone who went on a cruise. As for me, I brought it along with me but could not use it. I could not find a place to hang it. The bathroom door had a stip of metal along the top of it. I suppose this strip of metal acted like a seal, to keep air from inside the bathroom (which may have bad smells) from entering the rest of the cabin. Also, there was not enough space in the closet to hang it there. So, I had to keep my over the door shoe hanger packed away; so it was useless.
CAMERA BATTERIES: Make sure to also bring the battery charger, too. And while you are at it, extra film (memory card for digital ones). Extra video tape for a videocamera (and it's charger too). A little-bitty tripod is a big plus, too. While there is debate on whether the picture quality of 35mm film or Digital is superior over one or the other. There is no debate at all that Digital photography is vastly superior to film in terms of practicality. I can go on and on on why that's true, but let me just say that on my cruise, I ended up taking more than 300 photos. Actually, I kept more than 300 photos and deleted 100s of more bad ones (sometimes on the spot). This would not be possible with film. And if I were to take 300+ photos on film, imagine how much it would have costed me with purchasing the rolls of film, having them all developed, and the space used-up in my bag? So all-in-all, I took a digital camera on my cruise and it saved me allot of money on film costs and allot of space while packing my bags.
So, if you don't have a digital camera now, going on a cruise would be a good reason to finally get one.
WALKIE TALKIES: I heard that they work great if you are cruising with a large group. I did not bring them with me since I was travelling alone. I also heard that some passengers get really annoyed when others used the walkie talkies in an inconsiderate manner. So if you bring them and will be using them on your cruise, make sure to use the walkie talkies descretly: keep the volume settings low; both on the walkie talkies and your vocal chords.
BIRTH CERTIFICATES: I brought my passport along instead. I found that it worked well. The only time I really needed it was when I checked-in at the ticket counter at the port (prior to boarding the ship), and at the end of the cruise when clearing Customs & Immigration. Maybe in both instances a birth certificate will be acceptable. But I hear (from Tom Ogg and others) that it might not be the case for long. They tell me that Uncle Sam may soon require a passport for all travel (cruises included). That's if you live inside the US, of course (it goes without saying if you live elsewhere).
When I disembarked the ship at the ports of call, the only forms of ID I needed was my SeaPass card (the card given to all passengers after checking in at the port) and my State Driver's License.
WIPES: I suppose you were reffering to "baby wipes". But make sure you bring something for the grow-ups too. In this case, I am referring to those stain remover wipes. I think one brand is called "Shout" and it comes in a moistened towellete form inside these AlkaSeltzer size packetts. I also brought along some Hydrogen Peroxide I put into those tiny empty shampoo-like bottles they sell at the drugstore. Anyway, those Shout stain wipes came in handy; both for me and another passenger that shared my dinner table. She stained her dress at dinner, so I ran to my cabin and returned with the wipes. She used them, it worked, and she was so grateful to me.
Here is an additional suggestion of mine:
COINS: If you are into gambling on the slot machines in the casino onboard the ship, bring along a few rolls of coins (dimes, nickels, quarters, any even dollar coins) for that purpose. If you plan to travel to and from an airport to get to the cruise ship, make sure you run the coins separetly through the X-ray machines. This is where a Zip Lock bag would come in handy. Otherwise, you shouldn't mind your friendly airport screener looking through your bag. Any large amount of coins will block the X-rays and appear dark on their X-ray monitor, requiring them to search your bag. Also, don't worry to much about your film being ruined by their X-ray machines. At least the smaller X-ray machines used at the checkpoint. I work at the airport and numerous times have sent my film (before I switched to digital) through their machines. Never once did I ever see any X-ray damage on my film. Not even a small trace of it. You won't have to worry at all about Digital. Also, getting back to the subject of coins: They also might come in handy when using the self-service laundry machines onboard. But, as I said, you will need to look into that.
WATER BOTTLES AND SODA CANS: Eventhough they might make your baggage "Crazy Heavy" as you said, bring at least a few, because they are "Crazy Expensive" onboard the ship. So, when you see some soda cans and water bottles in your cabin, I wouldn't touch them if I were you. On my cruise, I thought it was so nice of them to have these cans and bottles placed on the table in my room. So I opened a few and started enjoying them until I saw the price list nearby
Each can of soda $1.75!! Each 20oz bottle of water $3.50!!! I hear that the prices on Carnival may be a little less, but only slightly.
Even though they may discourage or prohibit it, I am sure there are places onboard where you can discretly refill your water bottle(s) (at the very least: the sink in your room).
Last but not least, here are a few more tidbits of advice and information I can give you:
- Speaking of "Crazy Expensive" try not to use the phones in your cabin to call home. On my cruise they costed nearly $8.....PER MINUTE!!! It may not be much cheaper on Carnival. Instead, I waited until I got to Nassau (one of the ports of call on my cruise) before I phoned home. I found a much cheaper rate there (51 cents/minute).
- One of the most unpleasant surprises on the cruise for me, involved all the literature they left in my cabin. On the first day, when I entered my room for the first time, they had all this literature spread-out on the table (next to the very overpriced soda cans and water). There was a 3-ring binder with photos of the cleaning staff and blank sheets of stationary. There was booklets and maps of and about Nassau and CocoCay (the ports of call). There was even a small book about the Bahamas in general. I placed this literature inside the desk drawer underneath so that I could have space on the desktop. I DON'T KNOW IF CARNIVAL IS DIFFERENT, BUT: What they didn't tell me was that the cleaning crew re-collected all of this literature on the last night. After packing-up all my baggage that night, I went through the desk drawers to see if I missed anything. I then noticed all of that literature had vanished
. I thought I was loosing my mind, and might have packed-up that literature inside my baggage. I opened my bags and went through all of it searching for this literature. To no avail. I then went searching for the cleaning staff. I finally found one, and she told me that they took the literature. I only wish they told me in advance that they needed the literature back. I would have gladly had the literature waiting for them in a conspicous place (i.e.: on top of my bed). It would have saved me all this time, confusion and frustration looking for the literature through all my bags. It would have save them time (and me some privacy) by not having them rumage through my things to find the literature.
Anyway, I had better stop hogging this message board and give somebody else a chance to write to you. Just remember, the most important thing to pack on your cruise is a happy attitude. You'll never have a good time otherwise. So, I hope all of this can be of some help to you. Have a great time on your cruise.