How to Pack for a Cruise

Unlike packing for single destination vacations, knowing what to bring on a cruise can seem daunting. With different ports of call, fluctuating temperatures and lack of space for bulky suitcases, being a proficient packer is essential. Assuming you already know to pack the basics – swimsuits, coverups – we won’t repeat the obvious, but here are some packing tips that may come in handy before you say “Bon Voyage.”

The Carry-on Bag

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Probably THE most important item of your trip. Your carry-on may be the only item you have access to on your first day. Often times, luggage doesn’t arrive in the cabin until later in the day.  Consider wearing a nice outfit onto the ship and packing a bathing suit and cover up in your carry on. You can always change into your bathing suit for the day, and if for some reason there is a problem with your luggage, you still have an appropriate outfit to transition into the evening.  Remember, your luggage will have to be placed outside your room the night before your cruise ends, so pack your carry on at the end of the trip with the same mentality, minus the swimsuit. You will need an extra outfit for the day you depart unless you have some stylish PJ’s. In your carry on you will need:

Prescription medications

Motion sickness pills

Medicine for upset stomach

Ziplock bags for wet bathing suits or shoes

Pain relievers

ALL travel documents, passports, credit cards



Travel size sunscreen, lotion, hairspray, perfume or cologne

Antibacterial wipes

Phone Charger



Pretty much anything you can’t live without.

Beach Tote

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If your cruising to tropical destinations, your beach tote should include:

Bottled water


Underwater cameras



Passports/Visas/Cash/Credit Cards


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For city and walking tours backpacks are a convenient way to carry your items and even souvenirs. Don’t forget:

Passports/Visas/Cash/Credit Cards



Antibacterial wipes

Lightweight, waterproof jacket


Contact information for the U.S. Embassy in destination


Closed toed shoes/walking shoes

Slip-resistant sandals

Water shoes

Formal attire

Waterproof windbreaker jackets (We like this one for men and this one for women)


Socks (Why are socks so easy to forget?)

Workout attire


Lightweight scarf


Portable handheld fan/mister

Additional power bank

Waterproof phone or passport holder

Wine (per allotted amount)


Air freshener (bathrooms are quite small)

Bottled water

Photocopy of your driver’s license and passport (packed in a separate suitcase)

Contact numbers to the embassy’s where you will be traveling


Waterproof dry bag

Bug spray




Collapsable water bottle

Also, remember to pack your toiletries in over the door hangers as space is very limited. For more helpful packing tips download PackTeo App for Android users or the Packr for iOS.

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