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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!  Thankfully, I’ve done the homework for you to determine what the BEST items are to ensure you have a great cruise experience!  

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I have 7 items you may not have thought of to bring on your next cruise.

Travel Lanyard/RFID Protecting Wallet

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.

This Zero Grid lanyard/wallet is perfect for your great cruise experience

great cruise experience

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?

A sparkly mermaid lanyard/wallet to hold all your valuables

great cruise experience


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.

Clever little nightlights to use in your ship's cabin. Especially for inside cabins - they are very DARK.

great cruise experience

Hot and Cold Travel Mug

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!

These hot and cold travel mugs are brilliant for a great cruise.

great cruise experience


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!

This baby will protect your cell phone for a great cruise experience

great cruise experience

Binoculars or Rather A Monocular Scope

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!

These compact binoculars are an unusual style - a monocular style with a cell phone attachment

great cruise experience


Comfy Shoes

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 Silisite shoe is my shoe of choice for a cruise.  It’s well-cushioned, breathable, adjustable to your comfort 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!

This is a great cruise shoe for style and comfort. great cruise experience

Fluorescent Luggage Tags

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!  That was brilliant.

Set of brightly colored fluorescent luggage tags

great cruise experience

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:

25 Fabulous Tips on What to Pack for a Cruise

How to Go on a Cruise without Going BROKE or Getting FAT!

Rookie Mistakes People Make on a Cruise

I have some great items you might not have thought of for you cruise


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.

Get Away Today has some terrific cruise specials for your next cruise.

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4 Comments on 7 Must-Have Items for a Great Cruise Experience

  1. Great ideas we are first time cruisers which starts on P&O Pacific Aria on 2nd to 9th November. Has been paid for 2 months and have spent hours and hours and days since paying for it. We have about 120 days to go.

  2. These are all really great choices. We bought a waterproof cellphone case when we were on our vacation in Maui for just the reasons you mentioned. Those florescent luggage handles are a brilliant idea!

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