Before you take the plunge, double check your cruise packing list.
So you have secured your tickets and double checked the dates for your cruise. Maybe it is your first time taking to the seas, or perhaps you sail them quite regularly. Regardless, the first step to enjoying your cruise vacation is packing right.
Packing for any kind of trip can be a tedious, dreaded activity. But it doesn’t have to be. With the right kind of list, packing for your cruise will be a breeze. Save yourself the stress of the uncertainty of what to bring, and take a peek at our ultimate cruise packing list. We’ve included the essentials, some helpful tips, and a few tips on what to leave at home.
Here Is Our Perfect Cruise Packing List
Flying to Your Cruise Departure Point
When packing for the cruise, you might also have to consider airline regulations if you are flying to the cruise starting point. Bring a checked bag with you for extra room for souvenirs and anything else you might want to bring. Also don’t forget to weigh your suitcase to ensure it meets the airline checked bag requirements.
What Type of Cruise Is This?
If you are going solo, your packing is going to be a little simpler than packing for the whole family. Are you going on a luxury cruise with Norwegian Cruise Line or taking the tribe on a dream Disney Cruise? Before you start your list, it is good to narrow down the type of trip you are looking for and how many people are going.
A Disney Cruise will likely include more tiaras and sparkly ball gowns, and high-class dinners with princesses.
A luxury cruise includes all-inclusive dinners, drinks, and exciting activities. This might be a little more laid back if that’s what you like.
An adventure cruise is going to include a lot more nonstop thrill action, and likely require more special gear. This is a good cruise to double check any required packing lists.
How Long Is This Cruise Going to Be?
Then length of your cruise also largely affects your packing style. This primarily regards how many clothes to bring with you. You can choose a cruise length any where from 1-15+ days. For trips under five days, you can get away with packing just a few basic clothing items to mix and match throughout the trip.
What Should I Wear on a Cruise?
Both women and men should aim to pack a good variety of comfortable clothes for a cruise. Whether these clothes are casual or dressy depends on your trip itinerary. If you want to include a few high-class romantic activities, then it is a good idea to bring some dress clothes.
Otherwise, the majority of your trip will be a lot of walking around port of lounging by the cruise ship pool. This is your vacation time, so it is better to air on the side of comfortability. If you don’t absolutely need a dressier item, save that space for some extra souvenirs.
For the ladies, a few light dresses are a comfortable and versatile way to stay stylish. Bring a few swim suits, a beach cover up, and flip flops for the pool and any beaches you visit. Comfortable walking shoes are very important for the days at port. Try to avoid bringing any kind of shoe that makes your feet sore.
For the guys, it is also a good idea to keep it as comfortable as possible. Lightweight shorts or pants are a good option, along with some basic tees or polos. Bring along a cap to keep the sun off your face, and of course don’t forget the comfortable shoes. Your feet will thank you for this.
Now the amount of clothes you pack depends on the trip length, and also the washing machine accessibility. Not every cruise includes free washer and dryer access, so be sure to call ahead of time so you know what to expect. A lot of cruise ships charge a set fee per laundry bag. If you can get by without perfectly clean clothes, you’ll save some money.
Check what kind of cruise you are going on as you plan your wardrobe. Certain adventure cruises include exiting activities, which may require additional clothing. Skim the itinerary to see if you will need any special gear such as a rain jacket, wetsuit, or hiking poles.
What to Bring with You to Port
The days where you explore the shore are an important part of your cruise experience. Be sure to bring comfortable walking shoes, a sizable water bottle, and a safe way to store your money and IDs. These will keep you in check as you explore so many new sights at each destination.
Of course, you need to check the climate ahead of time so you know what to expect. Caribbean cruises are generally hot and humid, while other cruises might offer a little more weather diversity. Check the weather forecast while you are packing so you are not uncomfortable during days at port.
The time of year is also an influential factor in your cruise port experience. For climates that are less predictable than Caribbean temps, research typical yearly expectations. This helps you not to be caught off guard and adds to your cruise packing list.
Bring Some Fun Stuff Too
Keep in mind what activities you will be doing on the cruise. You might want to bring some special accessories to enhance the experience. If your cruise includes a lot of tropical destinations, don’t forget items such as your snorkel and mask. Don’t forget your beach towel and leisure book to read either.
Here Are Some Extras
There are always a thousand little things that you don’t think of until last minute. Mesh bags for dirty laundry or loose articles of clothing help keep your items organized. Travel size air freshener, stain remover, and extra hangers are all also good things to remember. Suitcase locks and a small fanny pack to keep your documents secure are also good security investments.
A lanyard is also a helpful accessory to keep on hand. This helps your room key to not get lost in the shuffle as you go about your day. A simple clothesline gives you a spot to hang your swim suits to dry after a day at the pool or the beach. This simple method saves you a few dollars from using the cruise dryer as well.
What Not to Bring
In the midst of tossing items into your suitcase, you might not think about what you shouldn’t be bringing. Avoid any stress related to bringing the wrong thing by leaving these items at home.
Don’t bring any standard grooming products with you. Cruise ships typically provide shampoo, conditioner, and soap for their guests, so save yourself the suitcase space.
Don’t bring any expensive jewelry with you on your trip. The constant travel and location change increases the chance of your valuables getting lost or stolen.
Don’t bring anything that the cruise prohibits. A sure fire way of starting your trip off on the wrong foot is bringing a restricted item. When in doubt, don’t. Be sure to check with the specific cruise guidelines before you embark to check that your items are good. Some standard items prohibited on cruise ships include fire hazards, chemicals, and weapons.
Make your own personal cruise packing list and check it twice before you leave.
Hopefully you have procured a suitcase big enough to bring everything you might want with you on your cruise. As you pack your items, double check that you have all that you need to make this cruise vacation a fun one.
Related Article: 10 Best Cruise Ships for Every Kind of Traveler