cruise packing list

The Ultimate Cruise Packing List

Essential Items for a Stress-Free Voyage

Are you excited about your upcoming cruise vacation? Cruises offer a unique and luxurious way to explore different destinations while enjoying a variety of onboard amenities. To ensure you have a stress-free voyage, it’s essential to pack the right items. Read on for our recommendations to include on your cruise packing list.

Your Cruise Packing Checklist

When planning, find out the ports stopped out and then the activities available at each destination. This will help you pack accordingly, taking into account any specific items you may need for excursions or local attractions. For example, you may need to include swimwear or hiking boots. Also, knowing the expected weather conditions will guide your clothing choices. As with any vacation, try to pack efficiently and avoid overpacking. Check the weight restrictions set by your specific cruise line as well as how many bags you can bring.

To help you get started, here’s a list of cruise essentials to bring on your trip:

Essential Clothing and Accessories

Formal Attire

  • Dresses or suits: For special events and dinner parties.
  • Dress shoes. To accompany your formal attire.
  • Accessories like jewelry. For dressing up a bit.

Casual Attire

  • Comfortable clothing: For daytime activities and exploring port stops. Make sure these can be mixed and matched.
  • Swimwear, cover-ups and beach towels: Bring a bathing suit to relax by the pool or on the beach.
  • Sun hat and sunglasses. You want to protect yourself from the harsh sun’s rays.
  • Comfortable walking shoes. For those longer days.

Evening Wear

  • Smart-casual clothing: For dinners and shows.
  • Lightweight jacket or wrap: For cooler evenings.
  • Party-themed attire: For any parties on select nights. Review the cruise itinerary first.
  • Accessories like scarves. If you want to add a little something extra.

Active Wear

  • Workout clothes and sneakers: For the gym or sports activities.
  • Hiking shoes and appropriate attire: For shore excursions.

Essential Travel Essentials

Travel Documents

  • Passport, visas and ID cards: Ensure you have a valid passport and any required visas well in advance of your departure. Carry a government-issued identification card or driver’s license.
  • Cruise tickets and boarding passes: Print out your boarding pass and have a copy of your itinerary for easy reference.
  • Travel insurance and medical documents: Carry a copy of your comprehensive travel insurance that covers medical emergencies, trip cancellations and lost luggage.
  • Backpack: For any day trips.

Money and Payment Options

  • Sufficient cash: For tipping and small souvenirs.
  • Credit cards. In case of emergency.
  • Local currencies. If there are no other options available.

Electronics and Gadgets

  • Cell phone and charger: Cell phone usage on a cruise depends on your cellular provider; check international roaming options and the ship’s coverage. Download the cruise line’s app before you leave to show you information like the daily schedule and excursion plans.
  • Camera. You wouldn’t want to miss a moment.
  • Power adapter for international outlets. So you can stay connected.
  • E-reader, tablet/Books or magazines: Relax by the pool or in your cabin with your favorite books or movies. Don’t forget the charger.

Medications and First Aid

  • Prescription medications: Pack enough prescription medications for the duration of the cruise.
  • Basic first aid kit: Include band-aids, pain relievers and any other items you may need in case of minor injuries or illnesses.
  • Motion sickness medication: Try SeaBands or Dramamine.

Essential Cruise Cabin Supplies


  • Travel-sized shampoo, conditioner and body wash. To help stay clean throughout the trip.
  • Toothbrush, toothpaste and floss. Keeping your breath smelling fresh.
  • Deodorant, razors and other personal care items. Personal hygiene is always a must.
  • Hand sanitizer. Always good to be protected from germs.
  • Sunscreen. For the days when the sun is out and strong.
  • Personal hygiene products. Something you’ll always need.

Miscellaneous Items

  • Clothes hangers: These include magnetic hooks — the cabin door/walls are magnetic — and over-the-door organizers to store your clothing efficiently.
  • Wrinkle release spray: Travel steamers and irons are prohibited. Combine a spritz or two with steam from the shower.
  • Laundry bag or detergent: Keep your dirty clothes separate from clean ones with a lightweight laundry bag. Most cruise ships have self-service laundry facilities or offer laundry services for an additional fee.
  • Ziplock Bags: Pack a few extra Ziplock bags for storing wet swimwear, organizing small items or keeping electronics dry.
  • Travel sewing kit and safety pins. You never know when something will tear.
  • Reusable Water Bottle: Stay hydrated while exploring ports of call or lounging onboard.
    Travel Pillow and Blanket. Allowing comfort anywhere.
  • Portable humidifier: This is location-dependent and can help your cabin feel less dry in the colder months.
  • Air freshener: To remove any unwanted smells from the bathroom.
  • Hairdryer or straightener. For a nice night out.
  • Nightlight. In case you need assistance during the night.
  • Luggage Locks. A little extra precaution never hurt.


  • Portable speakers or headphones: Enjoy music in your cabin or on the deck with a portable speaker. If you have them, also bring your noise-canceling headphones.
  • Snorkeling gear: If you plan to snorkel, bring your own mask, snorkel and fins.
  • Deck of Cards or Travel Games: Bring entertainment for socializing with fellow passengers or enjoying time with your travel companions.
  • Yoga Mat or Exercise Bands: Stay active during the cruise with lightweight exercise equipment. Check if the cruise has these included.
  • Binoculars: For wildlife viewing or to enjoy scenic landscapes.
  • Notebook: Write down any memories or ideas you have while on the cruise.

What Not to Pack for a Cruise

  • Power strip: Generally seen as a fire hazard. Some allow certain ones, though, like strips with surge protection.
  • Weapons and restraints: This includes toy guns.
  • Alcohol: Most cruises allow a bottle of wine or champagne but do not allow hard liquor. There are plenty of bars on board.
  • CBD and marijuana: Due to the ambiguity of state laws, most cruises ban CBD in any form.

What to Keep in Mind

  • Pack a day’s worth of essentials in your carry-on: Include clothes, toiletries, medications, headphones, snacks and a travel pillow, along with important documents, as your main bag may not be immediately accessible.
  • Pack some layers: some destinations can get cold, and you might need to cover your arms and head in certain locations.
  • Pack with packing cubes or vacuum-seal storage bags.
  • Consider taking any free shampoo and conditioner from the hotel you’re staying in the night before if you don’t want to bring your own. Cruises also supply you with soap and shampoo, with some offering conditioner and body lotion.


Packing for a cruise can be a daunting task, but with the ultimate cruise packing list, you can feel confident that you have everything you need for a stress-free voyage. Remember to refer to this cruise packing list as you prepare for your trip to ensure you haven’t missed any essential items. By tailoring the packing list to your unique circumstances, you’ll ensure a comfortable and enjoyable cruise experience. Check your cruise line’s guidelines and policies before packing to ensure a smooth and enjoyable journey. Bon voyage!