Cruise Packing List

Wondering what to pack for your cruise holiday? This post covers our cruise essentials that we always remember to pack.

We have previously discussed advice for packing for your cruise. In this post we want to highlight things we feel are unique to cruising and items you may want to consider adding to your own checklists.

We will add and update this list based on your feedback – so if you have any suggestions please pop them in the comments section below.


Handy Bits

USB Wall Charger 

One of the top tips all cruisers recommend you bring is a power strip as power outlets are sometimes limited in your cabin. Power strips are handy but bulky. We have found lately that we are charging more and more using USB. Our phones, camera,  portable charger and kindle are all charged via USB.  The USB wall charger is compact and saves space in your case making it easy to pack.

Power Strip 

If you prefer to take a traditional power strip we recommend one that is compact and travel sized. Ones with standard plugs and USB outlets are even better.

Check if your cruise line allows them as these are prohibited on some lines whilst others prohibit items that are in “Poor condition”. Unplug it every time you leave your room as with any electrical device.

Portable USB Charger 

We use our phones for photos, maps, social media and occasionally to make calls so we never want to be left stranded in port with a dead phone.  We always pack a portable USB charger.

Towel Pegs

Not only are the pegs handy for hanging washing, they also keep your towel clipped to your sunbed as it can get breezy on deck. Go colourful and wild, we particularly like these flamenco pegs. 

You can also peg your curtains together if there is a gap in them and especially if it’s a little bumpy in the night and they are swaying.

Ear Plugs 

Ships can creek when moving and if your cabin is next to any busy walkways or lifts it could make for a restless night’s sleep if you’re a light sleeper. We always pack ear plugs just in case.

Sewing Kit with Safety Pins & Scissors

These are handy to have. We have had scenarios where we have needed a sewing kit on a formal night and been left stranded in the cabin because of it. Make sure the scissors and needles are less than 4 inches / 10cm. Remember to put them in your checked baggage if you are flying.

This 70 piece set on amazon is great value for money and has everything you will need.

Beach aft


We always take a highlighter and like the ones with multiple colours. It’s handy for highlighting what you would like to do and the ships daily guide and the different colours can represent different people in the cabin.

Portable Night Light 

Cabins are dark at night, especially if you don’t have a window. We take a night light and pop it in the bathroom. Then there is no messing around trying to find the toilet light and accidentally turning all the cabin lights on or feeling around for a torch that may have rolled away in the night.

Flask, Travel Mug or Water bottle 

Although you cannot directly fill from the fountain to the mug they are handy to have to take drinks back to your room or off the ship with you on port days. Simply fill a cup and transfer to your bottle. We like the Britta filters flasks.

Travel Binoculars

These are handy for when you are looking out to sea from deck or your balcony. We like the compact ones that are not expensive as they fit easily in our case and our bag when we get off the ship.

Portable Fan 

If you are not used to the hot or humid weather these fans are handy for when you are on or off the ship. The USB charging fans mean you don’t have to mess around with batteries. Fans with Water Misting also help with the humid weather.


I always take an inexpensive watch on my cruise. I swear by my Casio that I have had for nearly 5 years now. It is incredibly cheap, so if I ruin it with sun lotion, sand, salt water etc. I am not fussed. It is also waterproof meaning I can wear it all the time; in the pool, at the beach, in the shower… you name it. Having it on my all the times means I never miss any activities or the ship leaving whilst in port!

You are possibly thinking “Well I can just use my phone”. You will be travelling through multiple time zones and your phone can get mixed up with the time zones. Sometimes the ship’s time is different to the time zone you are in, even when you are in port! Plus you don’t always want to have your phone on you when you are at the beach or pool as these are expensive and easily damaged.

beautiful beach
Photo by Ben Hewitt (C)Benedict Hewitt Photography

Water shoes 

Water shoes are great if you are on a rocky beach, water park or, like me, the bottom of the sea just freaks you out! They also keep your bare feet been burned by the ground when it is hot. They are relatively inexpensive and easy to pack.

Some excursions also require you to wear water shoes. While you can borrow them you may prefer to use your own for hygiene reasons.


 Travel wallet

A travel wallet is handy for any holiday. We like it as it’s a great way to keep all our essential documents, cards and money together. You can purchase various types from a little as a few pounds to more expensive luxury brands.

Neck Wallet

So not very stylish but definitely more stylish than a Bumbag (fanny pack). With neck wallets, you can keep all your essentials hidden under your top but still to hand. They are good if you are at a port and worried about pick-pockets or prefer to travel without a bag.

Photo by Ben Hewitt (C)Benedict Hewitt Photography Lanyard or Card Holder

This is a must have for our cruise. They do sell these on board but they are expensive and you can pick them up for next to nothing. We find they are incredibly handy so your card is on you all the time. If you don’t like the card been around your neck try the snap back version that will clip to your belt.

Hanging toiletry bag

This is a great way to save space as bathrooms on-board can be small. I also like all the different compartments to keep things organised.

Pop up the laundry basket.

The one thing that annoys my when travelling is having my dirty clothes get mixed up with my clean clothes. We take a pop up basket as it keeps the room tidy, keeps your dirty items together and makes it easy to transport to the laundry room if you are doing a wash on-board.

Zip-Lock Bags 

These are handy for almost anything. Keeping your electrical items dry, storing toiletries in the event they burst, storing food, holding money… the list goes on.

Coat Hangers & Hanger Hooks

If you have lots of shirts or dresses to hang you may wish to take some extra coat hangers as you don’t get that many in your room. Hanger Hooks are also a handy way to make more hanging space in your closet.

Hanging organiser or Shoe hanger.

Space is limited in your cabin and so its storage. Hanging organisers are handy and give you more storage without taking up little space in your case.  Some cruise liners don’t allow the “over the door” type so alternatively, we have an “in the closet” hanger also. You need to make sure it also made from fire retardant material.


Toiletries, Laundry & Hygiene

Bodyglide anti-Chafing stick

This may not be the most glamorous of packing tips but it’s a handy addition when you are in humid weather to stop chaffing.

Driclor Solution

Driclor is an anti-sweat high strength antiperspirant that absolutely stops you sweating in the applied area.

Laundry Detergent 

If the cruise ship has a self-service launderette we take detergent with us. We just pop some in a zip-lock bag

Wrinkle Free Spray 

If the cruise ship does not offer irons we pack wrinkle free spray to remove creases in our clothes.

Miami Beach

Room Freshener

Cruise Cabins are small and if you are in an inside or window cabin there is no direct fresh air. We like to bring room freshener and choose a different scent each holiday.  The scent is also a nice reminder of our holiday. Our favourite is the Sea Island Cotton by Bath & Body Works.

Hand Sanitizer

Hygiene is a big priority on a cruise so we also like to take hand sanitizer. We like the ones with the clip as these are portable and small to pack.

What do you pack for your cruise?

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2 thoughts on “Cruise Packing List

  1. Everything fit into my bag with plenty of room to spare, and I probably wouldn’t pack much differently if I did a cruise like this again!

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