Cruise Checklist: 9 Essentials to Pack for Your Cruise

Affiliate Disclaimer

Statistics show that 40% of passengers report that they’ll return to a destination that they’ve already sampled during a cruise holiday.

While it may be fun exploring a destination of a second time, it’s worth carrying the right essentials for your trip.

Note: This post contains affiliate links which we could earn a commission from at no extra cost to you.

Most people love cruises because you don’t just get to see different attractions and destinations, they get treated to tasty food, and they enjoy the comfortable nights.

Packing for such trips happens once every few years, and given that most people tend to get overwhelmed with such tours, it can be challenging to settle on what to wear.

If you are going for a cruise, the typical packing checklist is predictable (some formal wear, sundresses, t-shirt, shorts), but still you can forget key items that have to be on your list.

Are you packing for your upcoming cruise? Take a look at our cruise checklist of essentials – you won’t want to forget anything on this list!

1. Pack Essentials On Your Carry-On

Once you board a ship, you’ll want to have fun right away. So, as your luggage is being delivered to your room, make sure that essentials such as reading materials, sunscreen, swimsuit, medication, sunglasses, and sandals are on your lightweight carry-on bag.

The advantage of the carry-on bag is that it not only acts as a home souvenir, but it’s a handy tote for everything you may need.

2. Formal Attire

While you may be dressed casually for most of the day, evenings will most likely call for formal attire. The ideal dress code could be a sundress for ladies, and a collared shirt and pants for men.

For ships that have formal nights, men should pack a suit(tie optional), and ladies should bring a cocktail dress.

It’s however essential to check on your cruise lines dress code, then select the outfits that make you feel comfortable and attractive.

When it comes to kids, girls can wear casual dress and blouse for casual nights and party dress for formal nights. For boys, a tuxedo is perfect for formal nights, and they can get a smart shirt and trousers for casual nights.

3. Don’t Forget The Basics

There are certain basics that every cruiser ought to pack because forgetting them may be an irreversible mistake. Most cruise ships don’t have an alarm clock, so you should carry one, or alternatively use your phone.

A power strip which is cruise compliant comes highly recommended as it makes it convenient for you to plug in different electronics (cabins don’t have enough outlets).

Also, don’t overlook essentials such as batteries for your camera, earplugs, and a motion sickness band. It’s always advisable that you start parking a few days before your cruise as you’re less likely to forget vital essentials.

4. Sweat The Small Stuff

Use empty pill cases to organize your jewelry, and a sunglass case or pencil case to hold loose cords and cables. This will protect your jewelry from getting lost or poking through a plastic bag. Also, your vital chargers and connectors won’t get entangled or lost.

You can consider turning an Altoids tin to a first-aid kit or sewing kit. Smaller containers like the Joes green tea mint can hold non-prescription meds such as naproxen and ibuprofen.

5. Travel Insurance

When on a cruise, it’s possible to get sick or your luggage to get lost. While you can’t stop such mishaps from happening, you can always be compensated for your inconvenience with travel insurance. It also comes with many insurance plans that you can take advantage of.

6. Brace Yourself For Sunshine

On your travels, flip flop, sunscreen, and swimsuit are mandatory, but you should always have an extra set. This way, you can swap when one is wet. Don’t forget to add a few pair of swim cover-up, T-shirts, skirts and casual shorts.

As you prepare for sunshine, you need to keep in mind that the conditions on the ship can get cold. So, don’t forget to pack a sweater or sweatshirt for indoor warmth.

7. Mix and Match

You can always get with bringing a few clothes on your cruise, but you’ve got come up with concepts that will allow you to create different looks. This means picking tops with complementary colors then match them with coordinating bottoms.

When packing, it’s always a good idea to use multiple packing folders to make sure that your outfits are well organized and easy to access when you set sail.

8. Have the Right Mix Of Shoes

You’ll hardly forget the flip flops, but it’s vital that you toss in dressy shoes for the formal nights. Don’t forget to and sneakers if you’re planning to try the onboard rock climbing wall or you wish to work out. Anti-slip, closed shoes are perfect for the active shore excursions.

9. Packing Cubes

If you’re on a cruise, many of your clothes will be lightweight, so few wrinkles from being stashed in packing cubes is no big deal. These packing sacks are not just space saver, but they can protect small valuables at the beach.

The Ultimate Cruise Checklist For An Exciting Trip!

Different essentials comprise your cruise checklist, but a carry-on bag shouldn’t be overlooked. If you have on-demand essential like light clothes, medication, or sunglasses, you need a place to keep them safe while on your excursion, and this is where the bag comes handy.

If you are sailing on a cruise line that has formal nights you’ve got to plan for your dress code.

A sundress or cocktail dress is perfect for women while men can go for collared shirts and pants or a suit with or without a tie. If you’re using different electronics, you shouldn’t forget to carry a power strip.

Other essentials such as seasickness pills, earplugs, and camera should also not be forgotten. Disposable items like an Altoids tin can be converted to a sewing or first-aid kit.

You can use containers such as the Joes green mint to hold non-prescription medicine such as ibuprofen and naproxen. If you’ve got loose cables and cords, jewelry or sunglass case, an empty pill case can be useful.

Have you been gearing up for the cruise of your lifetime? Check out our ultimate packing guide to learn more about packing for a cruise vacation.

A dedicated cruise blog keeping readers informed on the latest news, informative cruise-related articles, forums and keeping track of the very latest ships. Find out more about us here.


Free expert cruise tips and news from Cruise Hive! We'll send you the latest cruise updates daily to your inbox.

Don't Miss Any Cruise News!

We'll send you the latest cruise updates daily to your inbox.

Copy link