Sydne Summer, the fashion blogger known for her chic yet achievable style tips that she shares on Sydne Style, grew up in Miami, where cruising is the norm. But she hadn’t been on a cruise since she was a child—until she recently joined Royal Caribbean International on Jewel of the Seas for a trip to Europe. “Everything was a surprise when I got to the ship,” she says, and that element of discovery was her favorite thing about the experience.
“What’s so cool about European cruises is, you get a taste of everywhere—I compare it to Restaurant Week,” Sydne says. “You’re exposed to so many different things and places that you wouldn’t be able to reach in the same amount of time if you were traveling by plane or by train.”
For this trip, she opted to immerse herself in the cruise line’s unique shore excursions, short day or half-day trips that take guests on a journey to experience the local culture. When you arrive on the ship, you can choose and even customize excursions based on your area of interest. “Before a trip, I do so much research on where I’ll be and what to go see,” Sydne says. “But when you book shore excursions, it’s all taken care of for you, which leaves a surprise factor. All I needed to prep in advance were my outfits.”
A major packing tip she came away with? Bring a pair of sneakers, comfortable wedges and flats, since you may be walking a lot in the Old World, as well as a backpack. “They’re so fashionable right now, and you can get a cute one to bring on your excursions that won’t cost too much money,” she says.
Another of the Los Angeles-based fashionista’s biggest tips for vacationers is to take advantage of the laundry services on the ship. It saved her the need to pack too much of any one thing (find out more of her packing suggestions for a Mediterranean cruise here).
Sydne will make use of her own advice when she takes her next cruise—which she’s already thinking about. “It’s such a great way to explore new regions, so I’d love to do it in a new area of the world,” she says. “You really can get a taste of everything … so it’s great to do with a group or your favorite travel buddy.”
Click through the photos to see highlights from her trip. And to book your own European adventure, discover your options here.
All photos courtesy of Sydne Summer; follow her on Instagram at @sydnesummer.