Cruise Packing List

This post covers the cruise essentials that we recommend you pack on your next vacation.

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 cruise packing list.

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.

See also our equipment list for details about our camera and lenses.

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Handy Bits

USB Wall Charger 

This portable USA wall charger to 3 USB outlets. Allows you to charge up to 3 USB devices at the same time at one plug socket.

Portable USB Charger 

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, but 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 earplugs 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 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.


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.

Chillys Water bottle 

Use less plastic these fab bottles are reusable and keep drinks cold for up to 24 hours and hot for up to 12 hours.

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.


Men’s waterproof watch
Women’s waterproof watch

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, saltwater 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.

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.

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

Storage & Organisation

Photo by Brandless on Unsplash

Beach Bag

Perfect for any beach day. We like to have the beach bag so that we can keep our essentials in it and then just grab the bag on the way out

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.


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

Packing Cubes

Packing cubes help you keep your packing organised and by having your luggage organised they also allow you to pack more.

Hanging toiletry bag

This is a great way to save space as bathrooms on-board can be small.

Strong Magnetic Hooks

Cabins have magnetic walls. These magnetic hooks hold up to 25lb – perfect for hanging extra clothes, coats and other items.

Cruise Luggage Tag Holder

Zip Seal & Steel – Royal Caribbean & Celebrity Cruise (Clear – 4 Pack) keep your bags protected.

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

Alcohol-Free Sanitizer Wipes

Sanitizer Spray

Like hand Sanitizer, these keep you healthy during your cruise and are handy for families too.

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.

Bug Repellent

Repel flies, gnats, ticks, mosquitoes and other bugs.

Sea Sickness Patches

Relieves Nausea, Dizziness & Vomiting from Motion Sickness, works for up to 72 hours. Fast Acting and No Side Effects. These 14 Sea Sickness Patches also come with 1 Pair of Anti-Nausea Wristbands

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.

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 for each holiday.  The scent is also a nice reminder of our holiday. Our favourite is the Sea Island Cotton by Bath & Body Works.

What do we pack for our cruise?

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