Cruises are such wonderful experiences, but especially if you are new to cruising, it’s often difficult to figure out what you do or don’t need. It’s interesting to figure out the right balance between comfort, style and luggage space for a great cruise experience! Thankfully, I’ve done the homework for you to determine what should you pack for a cruise.
If you are wondering what to pack for a cruise, here are some rather unusual items I’ve searched up for you. I generally try to travel with just one large suitcase and one carry-on per person, so I try to be pretty selective about what I bring along, but these were some fun choices that really enhance your experience for a great cruise.
What You Should Pack for a Great Cruise Experience
This is hands-down my most popular item for a great cruise. I’ve probably sold a couple hundred of these from my other cruise posts. I’ve used them on every cruise or any type of trip I’ve been on and they are SO helpful. They are large enough to hold your ship ID, your cell phone, and your credits cards and cash (in an RFID protected pocket). I even keep a pocket-sized map of the ship in mine (get one at the Purser’s desk).
Here is the more practical version by Zero Grid. It keeps all your valuables handy and safe. It comes in four different colors and you can wear it around your neck, under a shirt or at belt level. You’ll want them for your entire family.
But if you’re a glamour puss like me, you might want a more “sparkly” version. There are actually several different choices, but this mermaid design is the one that most caught my eye. What could be more perfect for a cruise?
I found this super cool nightlight on the advice of one of my readers. This item was specifically designed for a great cruise, but it’s also something you could use at home AFTER the cruise. They are battery operated, motion sensitive, and self-adhesive. They come in a three-pack, so you could stick one under each side of the bed and one in the bathroom. Especially if you have an inside cabin, they are VERY dark, so you’ll be very happy to have these babies in your cabin.
Yes, there are unlimited beverages on board a ship, however, they often come in tiny little cups. I don’t know about you, but I like a BIG CUP of coffee in the morning with plenty o’ cream & sugar. And when I’m an excursion or lying by the pool, I want a decent-sized cup of nice cold water. These nifty travel mugs are like Yeti mugs (without the ridiculous price tag!) and they will keep your drink hot or cold for HOURS. They come in 9 powder-coated colors, don’t sweat or leave rings, and from the reviews, they don’t leak. That’s a winner in my book!
While on a cruise, you are surrounded by water – on excursions, by the pool, getting in and out of the tenders, or even from simple spills at the table. It would be disaster to have a waterlogged cell phone, especially if you are using it for most of your photos.
I bought one of these waterproof phone covers in St. Thomas and I found it very helpful. You can still see the screen and use the phone to some degree. Supposedly, it is waterproof to 100 feet. I didn’t test that, but I did try it in the pool and it worked perfectly! Comes in four BRIGHT colors with a neck strap or wrist strap. Fits any normal sized phone – just probably not the TABLET-sized monstrosity my husband lugs around!
If there is one thing I ALWAYS forget on a cruise, it is binoculars. One of my biggest frustrations is that I really want to see some dolphins or other sea creatures. It drives me crazy to know that all this cool stuff is going on right under the surface and I can’t SEE it. If I had some binoculars, maybe I could have better luck with seeing a dolphin or even a whale! Actually, I’d be thrilled to even see a school of flying fish!
I particularly liked this monocular model because it’s very compact, plus it has an attachment to enlarge the view onto your cell phone so you can take pictures. That’s brilliant and perfect to make for a great cruise for you and your family!
Comfy shoes are something I recommend in ALL my cruise posts. These ships are so huge that you end up doing 5 to 8 MILES of daily walking just around the ship. I like a pretty shoe as much as the next gal, but I don’t like blisters on my feet at the end of the day.
A model like this inexpensive Sketchers GoWalk 3 Shoe is my shoe of choice for a cruise. It’s well-cushioned, breathable, has a non-slip sole and comes in several different colors. You can wear them with or without socks and it looks like you could fit an orthotic insert in them if needed. Trust me on this comfy shoes make for a great cruise experience!
You haven’t lived until you’ve had the FUN of trying to find your suitcases in a warehouse-sized building full of virtually IDENTICAL luggage. Especially if you have dark-colored luggage, these crazy fluorescent luggage tags are absolutely brilliant! They come in a set of five for several different bags and you can choose from three eye-catching colors. They also cushion your hands and you can hide your name and address inside the cover for better privacy. On our last cruise, we used these to find all our luggage in less than five minutes!
BONUS ITEM – Hilife Travel Steamer
Especially with the popularity of formal nights on cruises, you want to have your party clothes looking spiffy and unwrinkled from your suitcase, so this travel steamer is absolutely perfect to freshen up your fancy formal clothes. And it’s the perfect size to tuck into your carry on. My link will get your a 30% discount.
So, there you go. I hope these items will help you to have a great cruise experience with your family. In the meantime, here are a couple of other cruise posts you may enjoy as well:
Check out our friends at Get Away Today for their best cruise deals and helpful tips. They’ve even got a layaway program to help you save up for your next cruise. Tell them Adrian at AdriansCrazyLife sent you.