Sunglasses – The Cruise Essential You Need to Pack for Your Next Voyage

Climate change is making travel increasingly inconvenient, from high temperatures causing rail misalignment to flights encountering severe turbulence due to changes in wind speed. However, it’s not just land and air travel that bears the brunt of summer heat. If you’re going on a cruise in the warmer months, the decks on a ship can burn your feet, higher-floor cabins may be uncomfortably humid, and there are plenty of cruise destinations that can get unbearably hot – the Caribbean, for example, experienced a historic heat wave this year where indices went as high as 43°C (110°F).

When the sun is blaring down on you during a cruise, you don’t just deal with uncomfortable humidity; you also deal with its harsh glare and all the risks that come with prolonged ultraviolet (UV) exposure. So, while everyone knows sunglasses are a cruise packing list staple, here’s why they’re actually a non-negotiable.

Why are sunglasses important?

On a ship, where outdoor time means sun exposure from all angles, sunglasses aren’t just a fashion accessory. They’re invaluable in an environment that’s particularly taxing on the eyes. News personality Anderson Cooper spent time on a boat in Portugal without sunglasses for only two hours – and ended up blind for 36 hours due to a condition doctors concluded to be photokeratitis. This happens when reflective UV exposure from water or sand burns the cornea, which can cause extreme pain. Your eyelids and the skin around your eyes also have an elevated risk of basal cell carcinoma – a non-melanoma skin cancer – from the excessive time under the sun that’s typical of long-haul cruises. A whopping 95% to 99% of skin cancers in Australia are caused by sun exposure, making sun protection measures like sunglasses essential. Plan ahead and purchase your sunglasses online to reduce your risk of forgetting them at home.

Why should I buy sunglasses online?

Some cruise ships may have boutiques for sunglasses on the go, but they limit your options regarding available brands and designs. Plus, you won’t be able to customize your lenses to fit a prescription. This is why buying sunglasses online before a cruise is more convenient, allowing you to choose from a wide variety of options. Stick with a classic, versatile silhouette like the Ray-Ban RB3016 Clubmaster, or treat yourself to a luxurious designer pair like the Versace VE4361 Biggie to elevate your cruise looks. Options for prescription lenses and polarisation ensure that your new pair reduces eye strain and UV risk. Watch out for special offers like Black Friday deals or subscriber-exclusive discounts to get the most bang for your buck. And don’t forget to put your new shades on before boarding the ship.

What are some tips for buying sunglasses online?

These days, online sunglasses retailers have Virtual Try-On features – this gives you an idea of which frame shapes best suit your face. You could even virtually try on glasses while wearing the outfits you plan to wear on the trip to ensure your ensemble is on point from head to toe. In a previous post, we mentioned that sunglasses not only reduce the risk of cataracts but also protect the sensitive skin surrounding your eyes. During your try-on, check to see if the shades have an oversized or wraparound fit. This increased surface area gives your eye region more UV protection on the ship and during shore excursions.

Finally, don’t forget to supplement your sun and eye protection repertoire with wide-brimmed hats, lightweight UV-protective clothing, and, of course, layers of sunscreen. Blue Lizard’s Sensitive Lotion SPF 50+ provides broad spectrum protection from 98% of the sun’s rays. It’s free from chemical UV filters that may irritate the skin, minimizing skin reactions that nobody wants while on vacation.

On a cruise ship, it’s all about sightseeing – and protecting your eyes from sun damage is the best way to enjoy the view.

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