You may be really good at packing but even the savviest cruise-goers are bound to forget some crucial items. Packing for a cruise trip is not the same as packing for other vacations. Cruise trips offer varying activities which cut across a broad range of outdoor activities and social events.
Here’s What to Pack for a Cruise
If you are stuck wondering what to pack for your cruise trip, or even if you are sure, check out this ultimate checklist which lists 100 things you can pack for a cruise plus packing tips as well. To find anything related to cruise packing check the biggest online store here.
Go through it and ensure you have each and every important item packed. Save yourself a headache, extra costs and the hustle of buying overpriced common items that you already own, during the cruise.
- Essentials – 3 Suggestions
- Clothes and Accessories – 32 Suggestions
- Toiletries – 19 Suggestions
- Electronics – 8 Suggestions
- Carry On – 38 Suggestions
Disclaimer: Just to let you know that by clicking on the links may lead us to receive a small commission on any purchases.
First and foremost make sure you have packed your travel documents and cash. We’ll start with the most important items to pack for your cruise first. Forget any of these and there could be trouble ahead!
Some regions you visit will require a passport to allow you entry. This is pretty much one of the most important things to have when you cruise. Actually, you shouldn’t really pack this, keep it on you or in the safe in the stateroom.
2. Cash/Credit Card/ATM Card
Do not forget to carry cash. You will need it when buying things on your city/port visits and to pay cab fares. Carry small bills and if possible change some of your cash into the currency of the destinations you will be visiting.
This is a no-brainer, carry your wallet to store your cash and important documents. There are so many good travel Wallets available, here are some.
Clothes and Accessories
This may seem obvious, but you would be surprised at how many people forget to pack essential clothing attire for a cruise vacation. Take a look at the list below to help you what kind of travel wear to pack.
Not unless you are planning to stay au naturel, pack enough underwear, undershirts, and bras to last you the entire vacation period. You can also wash these garments in the cabin sink, using a laundry kit.
Socks reduce friction between your feet and shoes when walking. You will be doing a lot of walking on your cruise, pack light soft cotton socks. if you don’t have your sea legs your feet can also hurt from being on the ship constantly. You’ll need some perfectly comfy travel socks.
You don’t want to sleep in your wet, dirty daytime outfits. Pack comfortable light pajamas for sleeping.
T-shirts are casual and very essential because they go with just about anything. Amazon actually has cruise related and fun t-shirts here.
8. Dress shirts
Most cruise lines have formal evening themes with strict dress codes. Ensure you carry at least 2 dress shirts for two formal wear evenings.
9. Casual shirts
Button-down casual shirts and polo shirts match well with shorts, jeans or khakis. Pack at least 2pieces each. Browse all of these Casual Shirts.
Jeans are flexible and worn for any activity/event except formal evenings and water events.
Pack casual light pants for daytime and offshore activities. You can’t go wrong with khaki and linen pants for your tropical-weather cruise.
Shorts For that tropical Caribbean or Hawaii cruise, shorts are essential for excursions and daytime outdoor activities. However, keep the short shorts limited only to the poolside and the beach to stay modest. Browse all the Shorts on Amazon.
13. Sun Dresses
Sunny dresses are simple yet gorgeous for vacations. Pack at least 3 dresses for a 7-day cruise vacation. Carry dresses that are easy to pack e.g. those that can be rolled when packing. Consider the colors as well and ensure they match with the shoes you carry to avoid carrying many shoes/ accessories for matching the different dresses. Check these trendy Dresses for a cruise.
Skirts allow free leg movement. Pack light nonconstricting skirts for your daytime activities.
It might sound bizarre to carry a sweater in the sunny Caribbean or a tropical destination cruise but the weather is not always sunny. You might encounter cold sea days and breezy nights on the deck. Therefore carry a sweater or a sweatshirt for such weather. Amazon actually has some really good travel Sweaters.
16. Formal Wear
Most cruise lines have one or two formal evenings. The cruise expects you to dress formally for dinner in such evenings. Ladies pack an evening dress or two for this purpose. Men pack a dark suit with a tie or a tuxedo. Most cruises rent out a tuxedo but it’s rather expensive, so just carry yours instead.
Almost all fun activities on a cruise involve water; you will definitely swim during your cruise so, carry at least 3 swimsuits. Do not forget however to carry cover-ups, try to keep modest especially when moving around the deck and eating areas. Buy from a range of fashionable Swimsuit Cover-Ups here.
A not so fun fact is that it may rain during your cruise. So, pack a jacket/coat or a raincoat. If your cruise itinerary involves visiting a cold region, like Alaska then packing a raincoat or jacket is a must. Search a selection of great travel Rain Jackets.
While sunscreen offers you adequate sun protection, your scalp is often left bear. Carry a wide-brimmed hat, a cap or bandana to protect your scalp, eyes, and shoulders from the sun. Find Sun Hats to help protect from the Sun.
Carry a pair of emergency sunglasses in your suitcase, just to be sure you have a backup. The sun and sea surface reflect a lot of light, and you will need sunglasses to protect your eyes.
Scarves are great for keeping you warm in the night’s breeze on the ship’s deck. A great way to pack your scarf is to roll it and pack it inside an empty paper towel roll. Pack your gym gloves or gloves to keep you warm if your itinerary involves visiting cold regions such as Alaska.
Don’t be surprised to learn that it may rain during your cruise; this is a possibility even in tropical destinations. So for that not so perfect vacation day, carry an umbrella to keep from getting drenched in rain. Yes, you can even buy travel Umbrellas online!
23. Laundry Kit
A laundry kit with travel size packet detergents and a sink stopper is an amazing ingenuity. You can hand-wash light clothing over the cabin’s sink using the detergent. We’re surprised at how many travel Laundry Kits can be purchased.
24. Anti-wrinkle Spray
Long gone are the days of packing an iron for vacation. An anti-wrinkle spray will keep your clothes straightened and without creases. Here’s a set you can get.
25. Stain Remover
Stains left overtime on garments tend to set in; stained laundry sitting through a two weeks’ vacation might get ruined. That’s why it’s a good idea to pack a stain remover, to pre-treat your stained clothes. Check all of these Travel Stain Removers.
26. Laundry bag
A nifty idea is to pack laundry bags to keep your dirty clothes from associating with the clean ones. Laundry bags will also organize your suitcase and save you extra costs charged by airport luggage check for minimizing their work. Plenty of different Laundry Bags can be found on here.
27. Mini Sewing Kit
You’ll be surprised at how many cruisers find themselves asking the onboard shop staff if they sell Sewing Kits! An essential part of keeping clothes in order. Check small travel Sewing Kits.
28. Walking shoes
Consider your comfort when packing walking shoes, sneakers offer the best comfort. You will be walking a lot during excursions, so consider getting inner soles for your shoes to stay comfortable during those long walks. Pack your boat shoes, flat shoes or sneakers for walking. Find a collection of Walking shoes online for your cruise.
29. Dress shoes ( good for dancing)
Pack a pair of dress shoes to accompany your formal evening attire. Ladies don’t carry very high/sharp stilettos, but good comfortable heels to dance in like wedges.
Sandals and flip-flops are great leisure shoes. Consider flip-flops with thick soles as most foreign terrains are quite rough. Also, consider flip-flops with a good grip that you can walk with over water covered areas without slipping. You’ll see everyone wearing Sandals or Flip-flops during the voyage, check some here.
31. Water shoes
Pack a pair of good water shoes to wear around the pool and during water activities. For certain shore excursion you’ll need Aqua Shoes, check them all here.
A belt doubles up as collar support for keeping your dress shirt’s collar stiff by preventing it from collapsing under the weight of other items in your suitcase.
Carry a jewelry case for your jewelry to keep them from tangling with other items. Keep your necklaces untangled by inserting a drinking straw on one end to keep them straight. Keep your earrings together with the help of a button.
34. Fanny Pack
A modern slim body-hugging fanny pack will help you carry your passport, medical card, phone, cash and other valuables when out on city tours. So many creative Fanny packs can be purchased online.
35. Collapsible Totes and Light Backpacks
Totes and light backpacks are also great for carrying back home all the memorabilia you purchased during the trip. Plenty of Cruise totes can be purchased online. This Cruise Tote on Amazon folds up to fit in the palm of your hand when not in use.
Here are toiletry items you can pack for your cruise vacation. Some items are provided by the cruise line in the stateroom but many cruisers prefer to take their own so they know what they are using. The onboard gift shops also sell some toiletry items but they are more expensive than on land.
36. Toothbrush / Dental Floss
You would be surprised at how easy it is to forget such essential items such as a toothbrush or dental floss. While you can find these at the cruise’s gift shop, they are often overpriced and limiting in brand variety. Get a foldable travel toothbrush from Amazon for $5 and above.
Same as the toothbrush, pack travel size toothpaste that goes for as little as $6 on Amazon.
Cruise lines will offer you soap but if you are picky or allergic to some soaps, carry your own.
Pack your own deodorant to avoid buying an overpriced and probably not your brand type, from the cruise.
40. Shampoo/Conditioner/Body Lotions
Again, most cruise lines will offer these items, but if you are picky, pack yours.
Carry your combs and brushes to keep your grooming at par.
42. Hairstyling appliances
Pack your hair straighteners, curlers, and basic hairstyling appliances, most cruise ships will only provide you with a low-wattage hair dryer.
Places such as the Bahamas and Caribbean are much hotter than you would think, therefore, carry a lot of Sunscreen to avoid painful sunburns or looking like a lobster. Sunscreen on the ship can be expensive so it’s best to get from Amazon before you leave.
44. Aloe cream
But just in case you do get sunburnt, pack aloe cream to relieve the effects of the burn.
It is very windy on the ship; you need to moisturize regularly to keep your skin from drying out and getting damaged.
46. Contact Lenses/Solution
Carry extra contact lenses and contact solution or glasses for when you lose the ones you are wearing.
47. Shaving Supplies
Carry your shaver, shaving cream and aftershave to stay well-groomed.
Bag Pack your makeup, you have onboard events to attend that will need you all dolled up. Keep your make up organized and accessible in a make-up bag.
49. Feminine Hygiene Products
Changes in time zones might interfere with your menstrual cycle, pack an emergency tampon/ sanitary pad set. Carry your panty liners as well, to stay fresh and comfortable in different weathers.
50. Birth Control
Avoid oops moments and life-changing accidents by packing your birth control pills.
51. Nail File / Clippers
Nails can chip and break during a cruise due to all the activities, keep them well-groomed with nail files and nail clippers.
52. Hand Sanitizer
This is a must-pack, you will be touching a lot of shared surfaces such as staircase railways, menus and other different surfaces that could be riddled with disease-causing germs, make sure to carry hand sanitizer to stay safe. Find handy travel Hand Sanitizer right here.
53. First Aid Kit
Carry a first aid kit, with items such as bandages, cold medicines, pain relievers, vitamin C, sea sickness medicine, alcohol swabs, antibiotics, digestion aids and constipation medicine. A first aid kit can save you and your family a lot of money and a trip to the cruise’s infirmary.
54. Insect Repellant
Tropical regions are hosts to mosquitos, and while there aren’t mosquitos in the sea, pack an insect repellant for those city visits and outdoor excursions.
We all to stay with our electronic devices during the cruise so don’t forget to pack the items to back them up like chargers, adapters and memory cards. Find all electronic items for your cruise.
Carry your cell phone and your cell phone’s charger. Be wary however of roaming charges and steep internet costs on board your cruise line.
Pack your camera for taking all the fun pictures of your cruise vacation.
Download movies and music to your laptop/tablet from home to watch when bored during the cruise. Streaming movies on the cruise ship is very expensive because of the high internet charges.
58. Electronic Chargers
Carry chargers for all your electronics your phone, laptop, e-reader, camera, portable game players and others. Amazon has some of the best range of Travel Charges available.
There is a lot of site-seeing even out in the ocean. Get inexpensive binoculars such as Bushnell binoculars from Amazon ranging from $16-$200 and enjoy discovering distant lands, birds, sea creatures and beautiful sites.
60. Video/mp3 player
Music is always a great companion. Download your favorite music and videos to your mp3 player, to enjoy your music while on the cruise.
Listen to your music, or watch your videos privately and without disturbing others.
At sea, there is no network coverage and you may not have a network signal on your phone. Get walkie-talkies to communicate with your friends or families who might be on the cruise with you. Here’s where you can buy Cruise Walkie-Talkies.
You may not receive your luggage until hours later; therefore pack the things you need urgently on the first day of the cruise in your carry on. Carry valuables such as jewelry, your camera and memory card, passport/Visa / ID, a paper/pen, cash, credit card, insurance card, direction map, guidebook, address book and house keys in your carry on.
If you are on medication, carry your medicines in your carry on for ease of access.
Invest in earbuds, they will come in handy if your room is near noisy areas such as the engine, a nightclub, noisy neighbors, or a snoring partner.
65. Travel Blanket
Carry a thin microfiber blanket for your flight to the cruise. These are great for traveling to the cruise, find some at Amazon. Carnival Cruise Line also revealed their new Blanket for its VIFP members.
66. Travel Pillow
You don’t want to start your vacation with a stiff neck. Therefore, carry a travel pillow for the long flight to your cruise starting point.
67. Eye Mask
Get some good shut-eye with an eye mask during the flight to the cruise and even during your cruise trip. Don’t be bothered by lights in your room, in case you are sharing it with a partner.
68. Lip Balm/Chapstick
Dry and cracked lips are what you will end up with if you forget to carry a lip balm or a chapstick. It gets very windy on the ship’s deck, and lips can get damaged by constant lack of moisture.
69. Change of Clothes
Carry a change of clothes in your carry on, for it might be hours till you receive your luggage.
Carry food, snacks and any medication you need during the flight to the cruise departure point for ease of access.
While out at the sea, you can enjoy reading a book. However, to save space, carry an e-reader with plenty of books to read.
72. Power Strip
Most cruise ships cabins have only a single outlet, and you are probably planning to carry multiple electronic items, you need a power strip with several outlets. Just make sure that it’s cruise compliant like this cruise power strip on Amazon.
73. Dry Bag
Keeping your valuables such as phone, cash, and camera dry can prove a challenge when out in the open waters. Invest in a good dry bag to keep your items dry as a bone despite water exposure. Buy quality dry bags from Amazon ranging from $17-$40.
Most cruise lines except Carnival cruise, allow one bottle of wine per person. However, that’s as good as it gets, you cannot bring any other alcohol on your cruise vacation.
75. Wine Bottle Protector
Invest in a wine bottle protector, to keep your wine bottle from breaking. Buy one from Amazon at $11.
76. Refillable Water Bottle
Pack a refillable water bottle, great for carrying water during excursions and beverages from eating areas. You can get quality water bottles at Amazon.
Just like wine, most cruise lines allow you to bring on board soda and water. This helps keep your budget in check as soft drinks are expensive on board unlike at your local grocery store.
Similar to water and soda carry your own snacks such as popcorn, candy bars, crackers or healthier alternatives for kids. Skip the overly priced and limited variety of snacks that are available at the shops on the ship.
Note: For food and drink items, get your cruise’s guidance.
79. Alarm Clock
An alarm clock going off during your vacation may be the last thing you want to hear. But you should make an exception for a cruise vacation, most cabins are located deep in the interior of the ship, where telling whether it’s day or night is almost impossible. An alarm clock will help you wake up in good time so as not to miss any fun activities you have signed for on the cruise. There are good small travel Alarm Clock options here.
80. Extra Storage
Cabins are usually small places, and you need extra storage ideas to organize and manage your things during your vacation. Shower suction hooks are good for hanging towels and wet clothes in the bathroom. Over the door, shoe holder offers extra storage, use its pockets for storing your things, so that it’s easy to locate everything.
81. Extra Bag
Pack an extra bag or a small suitcase to carry all the things you purchase during your cruise.
82. Antibacterial Wipes
Sometimes there are virus outbreaks and diseases spread in destinations visited by a cruise. Stay safe by packing antibacterial wipes to disinfect your hands regularly.
83. Folding/Wire Hangers
If you are going on a long cruise it is a good idea to bring extra hangers to hang out the extra outfits you carried. Wire hangers are good because they are thin and don’t take up a lot of space in the suitcase, though you might also want to try space-conserving foldable travel hangers from Amazon starting at $8.
84. Cork Screw
Unless you want to spit bits of wood every time you sip your wine, pack a corkscrew in your suitcase. Don’t carry it in your carry on, to keep it from being confiscated.
85. Luggage Tags
The stapled paper tag on your luggage might get lost during luggage onboarding. Don’t lose your luggage, buy proper luggage tags at Amazon, they have some really cool cruise ones.
86. Silicon Travel Bottles
For your lotions, shampoos, and conditioner get silicon toiletry travel bottles from Amazon and pack your essential toiletry liquids with ease.
87. Packing Cubes
Get more organized and conserve suitcase space using packing cubes. Packing cubes come in several pieces which help you store shoes, laundry, electronics, swimming gear, toys, clothes and other cruise paraphernalia separately and in order. Amazon offers packing cubes from $20.
88. Toiletry Bag
The last thing you want is to get is a leakage accident in your suitcase from mixing clothes with toiletries such as shampoos and lotions. Avoid this by getting a quality leak-proof toiletry bag. Also put plastic wraps on your liquids before placing the caps on, to avoid spills.
89. Cosmetic Train Case
Get an easy to pack cosmetic train case from Amazon to pack all your makeup, jewelry and hair styling appliances in order.
90. Snorkel gear
You don’t want to rent out an item that goes in the mouth such as snorkeling gear. As such don’t forget to pack snorkeling gear or if you don’t have, buy the highly rated Cressi Palau Saf Set.
91. Coffee Tumbler
There are many steps and hallways in a ship, you don’t want to keep burning your hands with hot coffee getting zero of it into your mouth. Pack your coffee mug to ensure you get your daily dose of caffeine. Find a Coffee Tumbler to purchase for the cruise.
92. Beach Blanket
Let’s face it, joining two or three towels together will still not prevent sand from getting on your body. Instead invest in a thin beach blanket easily found on Amazon, which won’t take up too much space in your suitcase.
93. Inflatable Toys for the Kids
Kids easily get bored. Pack inflatable beach and swimming toys for them to play with.
94. Inner Soles
You will be doing a lot of walking, whether you are exploring a city, or moving up and down the ship. Ensure to invest in a good pair of inner soles for your shoes, so that you don’t compromise your comfort during your vacation.
95. Extra Memory Cards
It would be a bummer to have to delete some pictures to create room for more. Get extra memory cards so that you take as many photos as you like. Memory Cards can be cheap these days, check prices.
96. Thumb Drive
A neat trick is to photocopy all your important documents such as visas, passports, ID, medical card, cruise itinerary and save them to a thumb drive. That way you will have copies in case the originals get lost. You can also store more pictures on the thumb drive to create room in your memory card.
97. Ziploc bags
Ziploc bags are absolute must-have, they keep your personal items dry when exposed to water. They also carry snacks and store wet clothes to keep them from mixing with dry clothes.
98. Night lights
Another uncommon but great item to pack for your cruise trip is a night-light. Cabins are extremely dark during the night and night-light guides your way when you wake up to go to the bathroom, saving your toes unnecessary pain. For extra convenience, get one with a motion sensor and magnetic base to easily stick on your cabin walls. This cruise cabin night light on Amazon offers both features.
Get a lanyard for your key card and wear it around your neck at all possible times. Choose your favorite color and design from this assortment of popular cruise lanyards on Amazon.
Time zones change from region to region. Carry a wristwatch to keep perfect time, otherwise, you may return to the cruise ship an hour too late.
Conclusion On What to Pack for a Cruise
They say “By failing to prepare, you prepare to fail” and we here want you to succeed at your vacation and have an enjoyable, relaxing time at it. Therefore we have provided you with a list of 100 things to pack for your cruise trip.
Now that you have packed, counterchecked and purchased all the essential items you need for your cruise, go ahead and enjoy it.