When you think of things to pack for your cruise, you’re likely focusing on cute outfits and swimwear that you actually feel comfortable in. How many pairs of shoes and sandals? Where’s that pretty beach bag?
Go ahead and figure all that out. It’s important; unlike other types of travel, part of the fun of cruising is the wardrobe. Then…add the items below. Even better, gather them first! They’ll make your cruise smoother and even more enjoyable. Promise!
12 things to pack for your cruise:
- Safety Pins: You’ll be glad you tossed in a handful of safety pins. Besides the inevitable minor clothing repairs, use them to keep your towel secure on a pool chair; close gaps in window curtains; and connect the zippers on your tote or day bag to deter petty thieves. They make good zipper pulls, too. Be sure to bring some big ones; if you can find diaper pins, all the better.
- $1 and $5 bills: I wrote about this before…it’s wise to start stockpiling crisp bills a few months before you set sail. You’ll want to tip bartenders, dining room staff, pool attendants, etc. Besides the mandatory gratuity, I like to leave the stateroom attendant $5 a day. Everyone on a ship works hard. $how your appreciation!
- Insect Repellant: You need this! If your ship stops at its private island, or you head for a tropical excursion, or even just walk around the port, you can encounter bugs. No-see-ums are annoying. So are flies and ticks. Let’s not forget about Zika; mosquitos can do more harm than just make you itch. Pack your favorite repellant…and use it. It’s one of the essential things to pack for your cruise.
- Highlighter/Pens/Post-it Notes/Magnets: Office supplies on vacation?? Yep. You’ll want to highlight activities on each day’s schedule so you don’t miss a thing. Pens can be scarce, so bring a few. Post-it notes are perfect for reminders and for communicating with others. (Want to get fancy? Each person gets a different color!) Stateroom walls are metal, so use magnets to hang the schedule, tickets, or even clothes–get some with hooks for hats, etc.
- Power strip or multi-plug: What, you worry? About charging all your devices, that is. Outlets are kept to a minimum on ships for safety reasons. Bring a small power strip or one of those cool swivel plugs with USB ports to be efficient. No need to take turns–everyone can charge at the same time.
- Wrinkle Releaser Spray: Unlike hotels, cruise cabins don’t come with irons. Again, a safety thing. You may be able to borrow an iron and ironing board for a short time, or pay to have clothing pressed. But why not bring a small bottle of Downy Wrinkle Releaser Spray? Get it at your supermarket, Target, Walgreen’s, etc. It really is amazing!
- Water Bottle: Please do your part–keep those ocean, lake, and river waters clean and free of debris! As a responsible traveler, bring your own reusable water bottle and pass up the single-use bottles of water or other beverages. Every bit helps keep animals and the environment healthy. (Extra snaps for bringing a tote bag for purchases, too.)
- Pop-up Laundry Hamper: Staterooms are small. Okay, even tiny. Don’t give up an inch to unnecessary clutter. Put a small pop-up hamper in a corner or closet to eliminate an untidy pile of clothes. You can get one for about $10 that folds up to fit easily into a suitcase. Even a sturdy laundry bag will do.
- Ziplock bags: As far as I’m concerned, a variety of ziplock bags should be packed every time, no matter where you go. Use them to keep the daily schedules, brochures, trinkets, and other mementos you want to take home. Put your phone and camera in them when you head to the beach. Pack wet clothes in them, especially when you’re heading home.
- OTC Medications: Yes, the ship has a top-notch infirmary. But when you bring a few medications for common travel ailments, you are way ahead of the game. On a windy cruise earlier this year, Dramamine saved the day. You may have another favorite for sea sickness. Read this post and gather your meds…in a ziplock bag, of course!
- Jacket: Unless your itinerary is Alaska or Norway, you might not think to bring a jacket. But pack a light one, or at least a sweater. Sometimes the weather can turn cool, or air conditioning is set on “freeze,” and you’ll be glad you planned ahead. Don’t scoff…you’ll thank me.
- Water Shoes: Not all beaches are smooth sand. An inexpensive pair of water shoes can save your feet from cuts and scrapes that happen from walking on shells and rocks, especially in water. You’ll also need them if you do any water activities or excursions, such as kayaking.
Is there anything else to add to this list? Please share in the comments! Bon voyage!
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