So you are going on a Caribbean cruise, how exciting! You are probably finding yourself counting down the days until you leave on this incredible vacation. Just picture it – the warm summer sun, the cool breeze blowing through your hair, cocktails poolside and all the tanning you can imagine.

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Have you stopped to think about what you need to pack for a Caribbean cruise? And not just the obvious items like a floral shirt and sunscreen lotion, but the items that you will really need on your trip? Over packing, or forgetting to pack some essentials can really ruin your trip. You don’t want to be caught unaware missing something you really need, all because you didn’t put much thought into what to pack.

Also Read: 25 Tips for Packing Less on a Cruise Vacation

Luckily for you, we have done all the hard work and tiring thinking to create a compartmentalized list that covers all the basics, and everything else that you will need on your cruise. Once you have your list sorted, it might help to have some packing tips in mind when trying to shove everything into your bag.

Passport Holder

The last thing you want to do is forget your passport. You will not make it onto the cruise and your dreams will be crushed. Keep your passport, and copies of your passport, safe with a reliable and sturdy passport holder.

Credit Card Holder

Not everything on the cruise will be free. Keep your credit card safe, but handy at the same time. A small credit card holder that is able to hold multiple cards will help you avoid carrying around a large wallet or purse.

Suitcase

You obviously need a reliable suitcase to fit all your holiday gear into. A wheeled bag with extendable handles will make lugging your luggage around much easier. A bag that has lockable zips is also a must; you want to keep your items safe. This one is worth checking out.

Combination Lock

A combination luggage lock is essential to keeping your belongings safe. A lock with a combination means you don’t have to worry about carrying around a key. A lock with flexible handles also makes it easier to attach to the zips.

Travel Mug

For some of us, coffee is life. Avoid being tired and dry when waiting in line to board your cruise ship. A no-spill, vacuum insulated coffee cup will keep your coffee hot and in the cup. You can also fill up your cup in the mornings to take your coffee on the go when traveling around the ship.

Power Bank

You want to be able to charge your phone when on the cruise, but sometimes you still want to be able carry your phone around with you. A powerbank can charge your phone while you are using it out and about on the cruise. You won’t have to worry about missing any Instagram moments because of a dead phone.

Cruise Lanyard

This might seem super simple, but a lanyard can make your stay on a cruise so much easier. You can attach your pass card to your lanyard and have it handy at all times, without the risk of losing it.

Waist Bag

Avoid carrying around a handbag or heavy backpack by just having one waist bag. It will fit in your cards, cash and phone. You will have easy access and be sure that your items are safe and sound.

Water Bottle

Don’t underestimate the sun and heat on a Caribbean cruise vacation. You need to stay hydrated and ready for anything. A stainless steel refillable water bottle will be your best friend. It will keep your water cool and you won’t be creating extra plastic waste.

Clothesline

When on a Caribbean cruise a clothesline can be handy to hang all the west swimming clothes from the time spent at the beach. Cruise lines do usually offer this in the shower area but having an extra one can be good for the balcony or just in case the cruise line doesn’t feature one.

Phone Charger

You want to be able to charge your phone overnight. Instead of taking your own phone charger on the cruise and risking it being lost, buy a small adaptable one that you can use for different phones.

Adapter

Your cruise ship cabin might not have all the plug points you need. A travel adapter will ensure you will be able to plug in all your electronic devices easily.

Snacks

There probably won’t be a fridge full of yummy snacks in your room for you to indulge on in the middle of the night. Keep some snacks next to your bedside for an extra treat and a healthy snack when you want.

Fan

A Caribbean cruise is sure to be sweltering hot. A portable fan will be so handy on the deck and in your room. It will give you that extra little bit of heat relief you need to make it through the cruise.

Pillow

There is no telling what your cabin room pillow is going to be like. To stay on the safe side, take your own travel pillow with. You can even use it to catch a snooze or two when out tanning on the deck.

Nightlight

The lights in your cabin might be too bright to use in the middle of the night, so a travel nightlight will be good to have for that extra bit of light or security you need when you wake up in the early hours of the morning.

Shower Organizer

If you are on a particularly long cruise, it might be a good idea to bring along a shower organizer. The bathroom in your cabin will probably be small, so a hanging organizer that holds all soaps and shampoos will help you maximize your space.

Magnetic Hooks

These Magnetic Hooks can be used in the cabin to maximize the limited storage space many cruise ship cabins have.

Ziploc Bags

Keep your toiletries from spoiling your clothes and keep your dirty clothes separate from your clean clothes using Ziploc bags. Their usage is seemingly endless! They also double up as waterproof cases in desperate situations.

Tablet for Netflix

You might find yourself wide awake in the middle of the night with nothing to do. Take along a tablet with downloaded Netflix shows to watch when you just can’t sleep.

Alarm Clock

Don’t miss out on any early morning yoga or afternoon cocktails because you slept in or your nap went on too long. A portable alarm clock will wake you up just in time for all those fun activities. They are small and easy to carry around.

Hair Dryer

For something we use so often, this is often left behind. A portable hair dryer is compact and easy to travel with and offers that extra bit of convenience after a shower. Dry your hair quickly and get back to enjoying your holiday.

Flip Flop Towel Clips

During those sunn sea days up on the open deck, a towel clip can come in handy. These clips can also be used for all kinds of things during a cruise.

Slip-Resistant Shoes

Cruise ship decks often get quite slippery from all the guests jumping in and out the pool and spilling drinks. Keep some slip resistant shoes on when walking about the deck and save yourself from an unfortunate holiday injury.

Sun Hat

Don’t be that lobster red sun-burned tourist. Prepare ahead of time with a sun hat that will protect your face and neck from the harsh rays of the Caribbean sun.

Binoculars

There is a lot to see when out at sea. Watch passing ships or spy on nearby islands with compact binoculars. Don’t miss a thing!

Waterproof Jacket

You still want to be able to enjoy the deck even in bad weather. A waterproof jacket will save you from the rain, and keep you dry when exploring in wet weather.

Sunscreen

Whatever you do, do not forget your sunscreen. Even if you tan well, a high factor sunscreen will protect you from the sun’s rays and prevent any sunstroke or damaged skin. Spend as much time in the sun as you can, only if wearing sun protection.

Sunglasses

The sun can be just as harsh on your eyes as it is on your skin. Protect your eyes from the harsh sun and also allow yourself to see more when it is bright outside. Polarized lenses will also cut out a lot of the glare coming from the ocean.

Tanning mat

Keep yourself comfortable when tanning on the deck with a funky and comfortable floor mat when all the deck chairs are taken.

Beach Foot Pads

Protect the bottom of your feet with these beach foot pads. They are waterproof and can also stop you from slipping.

Snorkeling Gear

Take along some of your own snorkeling gear for when traveling to the islands. You can explore the reef and aquatic life with your own gear.

Full Snorkel Mask

A new trend for adventurous beachgoers are the full face snorkel masks. They don’t take up much room in the luggage and easy to use.

Comfortable Shoes

Try and explore as much of the Caribbean as you can. Take walks in the local land and find all the cool locations. Comfortable walking shoes will be key to helping you enjoy your time exploring.

Water Shoes

Very important for water-related shore excursions in the Caribbean are Water Shoes. Activities like cave tubing, river falls and boating sports require this kind of footwear.

Rashguard

Rashguards are essential when doing water activities in the Caribbean. They are a good way to protect from the sun rays which can be damaging in the Caribbean.

Disposable Waterproof Camera

Take a waterproof disposable camera with you onto land. This way you won’t risk it being lost or stolen, and you can still snap away to your hearts content.

Simple Sportswatch

All you need is a simple waterproof sports watch when in port. Perfect for those port days during a shore excursion or spending time at the beach.

Dry Pouch

Keep your money, cards and phone safe when traveling to and from the cruise ship with a secure dry pouch.

Lightweight Backpack

Don’t lug around a heavy travel bag when exploring the Caribbean. Instead, pack a few belongings in a lightweight backpack that will be comfortable to carry around.

Insect Repellent

Keep the bug bites and mosquitoes away with a simple travel bug spray. Can be very important when on jungle shore excursions in the Caribbean.

Motion Sickness Relief

Some people suffer from mild to extreme motion sickness on a cruise. A motion sickness band helps eliminate this sick feeling without having to take any pills.

Painkillers

You might have a big night one night and feel tender the next morning, or just be hit with an unexpected headache. Be prepared with pain medication as it can be expensive on the ship.

Heartburn Relief

Those big cruise ship meals might wreak havoc on your stomach and cause some heartburn, have some medicine handy to avoid being uncomfortable.

Calming Tablets

Going on a cruise can be nerve-wracking for some, especially newbies. Take some herbal calming pills to help you relax and ease the anxiety.

Toiletries

Toothbrush

It is a good idea to buy a travel toothbrush for your trip. Don’t worry about losing it or it getting dirty while you’re away.

Toothpaste

Travel toothpaste will be enough for your cruise and will save space in your toiletry bag. Can also be used if staying at a hotel before or after the vacation.

2in1 Shampoo and Conditioner

A 2in1 travel conditioner will be all you need to wash your hair on your trip and will cut having to carry two bottles down to one.

Aftersun

Keep some aftersun handy to cool down in case you do suffer from sunburn during your trip. Cruisers often go back onboard as lobsters after spending all day at the Caribbean beach.

Brush

A small travel brush will be sufficient for your trip and will be good enough to use for a few days. It can easily slot into your bag.

Shower Gel

Keep your own small travel shower gel with you to wash away all those sweaty cruise days. The cruise ship does usually provide this but isn’t usually so good.

Packing Tips

Avoid carrying five bags that have been badly packed and overloaded. Follow some easy and simple tips for efficient and effective packing.

Roll your clothes – This is a rookie error that many new travellers make. Instead of neatly folding your clothes and laying them out in your bag, roll them up instead. Rolled clothing takes up much less space and the clothes are less likely to become creased.

Make a packing list – We have taken care of a general packing list for you, but personalize it and have it on hand before attempting to pack anything. This will ensure you don’t leave anything behind.

Know the limits – Always check if there are baggage limits. You don’t want to arrive at the cruise only to have to pay for extra baggage or having to leave some behind. Cruise ships aren’t as strict as airlines with baggage, but always check to be sure.

Pack heavy items closer to the wheels – This helps distribute the weight correctly in your bag and makes it easier to lift or wheel along the deck.

Pack your own bags – While it might be tempting to get your mom to pack your bag, be sure to do it on your own. Not only because you’re an adult, but at least you will know where everything is and not have to dig through layers of clothing and toiletries to find a pair of underwear.

Use a toiletry bag – Have a separate small toiletry bag for all shower gels, toothpastes, toothbrushes etc. The last thing you want is for your shaving cream to explode all over your new swimsuit and slippers.

Have a secure lock – No matter how safe the cruise line claims to be, it is always a good idea to have a combination lock on your suitcase. It will keep everything inside safe and secure from prying hands, and you won’t have to worry about losing the key.

Also Read: 10 Items You Never Thought To Take on a Cruise

Enjoy your trip

Hopefully, this list will give you everything you need to enjoy your Caribbean cruise. Don’t forget to pack along your sense of adventure and fun as well!

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More than 50 items to add to your cruise packing list for a Caribbean cruise vacation. Also we've got some handy packing tips.