25 Fabulous Tips on Packing for a CRUISE

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14.  Bring a day pack for excursions.  I just grab any kind of a thin, flat bag that will lie flat in my suitcase.  Its just right for a water bottle, towel, sunscreen, a few snacks, etc. to bring on an excursion and if you buy too many souvenirs, it’s perfect for an extra carry-on.

15.  A pack of cards, or a handful of dice don’t take up much room and are helpful to pass the time for both kids and adults.

16.  Those pill reminder containers aren’t just handy for medications, they are also great for earrings and other small items.  I’ve heard of using a straw to keep your necklaces from getting tangled.  Just unhook it and slide it through the center of the straw and rehook it, slice the side of the straw if it’s too long.

On the next page, I have a great bonus tip to teach your kids to pack their own suitcases.  

17.  Sunscreen of course, but also some aloe cream for when you forget to wear the sunscreen.  The sun down near the equator is MUCH hotter than many people are used to.  I even sunburned my tushie while snorkling. I guess that particular area doesn’t see the sun very often!

18.  Even if you are headed to the equator – packing a light jacket, or even a heavy jacket is a MUST, plus an umbrella.  Especially when you are out at sea, it can get surprisingly windy and chilly.

19.  At least two bathing suits – they don’t dry well hanging in your cabin.  If you leave them out on a balcony, you may get to see Flipper carting it out to sea after it blows away.


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  1. Great tips! We also like to bring a laundry hanger thing that we can just hang in the shower to dry bathing suits etc. Hope you had a great trip! Found your post at the #SITSSaturdaySharefest

  2. Highlighter is a great idea for any vacation where you have activity options. I’ve never thought of that one, but will be adding to my suitcase!

    • Surprisingly, I had never thought of bringing it anywhere BUT a cruise, but I sure could have used one at last months Build Your Blog Conference. There were 4 or 5 class options every 2 hours and I kept forgetting which ones I’d picked. I’m going to add it to my conference packing list.

    • By the way, you should totally come next year. It’s only $99 if you get an Early Bird ticket and you can come and be one of my roommmates.

  3. Thank you for sharing all of these tips. We are going on our first cruise in June. It won’t be a typical one, but I’m sure I can apply a lot of the information you have shared here. Pinning this for later!

  4. Jean davis says:

    Great tips! I also take water bottles so I can fill up on the lido deck and carry them to the other ship activities. Otherwise you get thirsty and succome to purchasing drinks (OR you have to walk a mile to get a drink). Also, instead of buying the soda card, either made do with the free iced tea and lemonade, or take along flavor packets for the water. Fanny packs are good for excursions also. I will be using some of your ideas on my retirement cruises, thanks!

  5. Some ships do not have outlets in the bathroom. I find that battery-operated tea lights make good night lights. Depending how bright they are, you may want two in the bathroom.

    If you are on a ship with inside balconies, it is fun to put up window clings to identify your room from below.

    • You know, I never thought about using those little battery operated ones. I think I’ll add that to the post. That way you aren’t taking up one of your valuable outlets and they are very small and don’t take up any extra room. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Catherine Young says:

    I can’t tell you how happy I am to have come across your blog! We are going on our first cruise in two weeks, taking my parents on RC Oasis for their 50th Anniversary, we are very excited but nervous and your well thought out and very detailed list really helped to put some of my fears to rest….thank you so much for sharing this valuable information!!!

    • Thank you! I’m so glad you appreciated the tips. Cruises are so much fun, but it’s kind of nice to have a little advance warning about what to expect. Did you check out my other post on how to save money on a cruise and how to manage the buffets without doing too much damage to your waistline? They definitely will try to get you to spend money on stuff you don’t really need, but if you’re smart about it, you won’t have a big bill at the end.

  7. Brilliant tips! I never went cruising, and your advises are extremely helpful. I am so glad you shared them. It’s very good idea to involve the kids in packing, I am gonna try it with my daughter next time. I am curious what she gonna pack. Greetings

  8. Thanks for the great packing list! Love your practical suggestions and easy to look at webpage. :o)

  9. I think the suggestion about bringing medicines was right on. We have taken snack foods, candy, gum, and pop on board. And on Carnival, if you go to the Purser’s desk, and ask, they’ll provide you with “carnival” playing cards, for free, or they did last time I cruised with them. We’ve also taken a soft side cooler, and our steward kept ice in it for us. Cruises are a great value. Additionally, my brother went to a store called Gabriel Brothers before his honeymoon cruise, and purchased a tux. Gabe’s is the ” Big Lots” of department stores, And I think he paid about $50. for it.

    • $50 bucks for a tux is a great value and he’ll be able to use it again and again. Unlike our clothes that go out of style quickly, men can wear a tuxedo forever.

  10. Something to add about the cards. Most ships with Casino’s have huge stacks of cut decks that they cannot use anymore and often they will just give them to you if you ask, at most they may charge you $1-2.

    • That’s a great tip. Thanks for sharing. My sons collect decks of cards, so they would have been happy if I’d brought them home some.

  11. Great tips!!
    I am going on my 4th cruise April 16th but i always like to see what tips other people have. Very helpful tip putting a magnet on your door to help you find it! I don’t know how many times i tried my room card on other peoples doors!!

    • That’s funny! I wonder how many people were freaking out thinking someone was breaking into their room! This time, my cabin was right by one of those metal strips in the hallway. For the first day, I kept thinking people were rattling the doorknob, but it was just people clicking their wheely bags over the metal strip. Fortunately, I’m the soundest sleeper ever – I used to live down the street from a fire station…

  12. These are all great tips, thank you for sharing!

    • That’s great, especially coming from a cruise magazine. Feel free to share some of these tips with your readers. I popped over to your site – you’ve got some fantastic photography. I just wish I could take photos like that.

  13. Thanks going on allure of the seas in december , these tips are really good ! Definitely taking a landyard and ziplock bag !

    • You are going to have such a wonderful time! I almost went on a different blogger’s cruise on the Allure of the Seas – it looked like a wonderful ship! Hope you enjoy your trip.

  14. I LOVE this list – I will do it all, except the toys!! But a deck of cards? Yes! Thanks for sharing this. Oh, it will be so helpful

  15. Stopping by from SITS blogging. Thanks SO much. We’re cruising soon and I needed this checklist.

  16. Wow, it seems like you do have this under control. Haha. I hope you have a great time on your cruise!


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