What to Pack for a Cruise – 26 Packing Tips & Hacks

What to Pack for a Cruise

26 Cruise Packing Hacks

We’re often asked what to pack for a cruise and completely understand why it’s a very sought after topic.  Cruise packing happens once every few years for the majority of us. Unless you’re an ice carver on the Lido Deck, you probably struggle with what to pack.  This isn’t surprising – you’re vacationing in the middle of the ocean with occasional, sporadic stops at vastly different destinations.  It’s an unusual way to travel. We’re here to help – with these Cruise Packing Tips and Hacks, you’ll be more prepared than the captain.

Before checking out the complete list, please watch our fun little video highlighting the 10 Best Tips on What to Pack for a Cruise!

Here are 26 Tips & Hacks on what to pack for your cruise. Enjoy!

 


what to pack for a cruise - coffee mug

Cruise Packing Tip #1 – Coffee Mug

Do you remember the last coffee you had on a cruise ship?  I bet your scalded fingers do. If I had a nickel for every ounce of coffee I lost walking up and down those stairs, I’d have enough to treat my third-degree burns.  And, you’ll have to make four or five trips there and back to get your regular caffeine fix. Bring your favorite coffee mug, fill ‘er up, and lounge around like Juan Valdez. Here’s my favorite cruise coffee mug found on Amazon.

 


cruise packing tip 2 - carry on

What to Pack for a Cruise, Tip #2 – Smarter Cruise Carry-on

Once you check your bags, you won’t see them again for roughly six hours.  If you plan to hit the hot tub, bring your bathing suit.  If you plan to hit the buffet, bring your dentures. Whatever you’ll need for the first half of the day, stick it in your carry on bag.

 


cruise packing tip 3 - extra clothes hangers

Cruise Packing Tip #3 – Extra Clothes Hangers

I need one hanger for my best tank top, but my girlfriend needs the closet to look like one of those long racks at TJ Maxx.  The cruise line will provide roughly eight hangers.  If you need more (particularly for the longer cruises), throw some extras in your bag.  The wire types take up the least packing space. I typically get a really cheap set of hangers so I don’t have to worry about bringing them home with me.

 


cruise packing tip 4 - bathroom door organizer

What to Pack for a Cruise, Tip #4 – Bathroom Door Organizer

The typical bathroom vanity and sink-top has enough room for three cue tips, a hair tie, and a travel sized toothbrush. If you plan to use any of the normal tools for maintaining acceptable levels of hygiene, you’ll want a bathroom door organizer. You can stick shampoos, lotions, aloes, hair dyers, curlers, and all kinds of stuff in there. For under $20, you can get a bathroom door organizer on Amazon.

 


what to pack for a cruise - power strip

Cruise Packing Tip #5 – Power Strip

The last cruise I was on had two reachable outlets. C’mon – it’s 2016… even my shoe-horn has a plug.  If you plan on running and charging phones, cameras, gaming consoles, hair dryers, curling irons, etc, you may want to bring a power strip. Here’s a nice compact power strip to bring on your cruise.

UPDATE: according to our helpful users, these may actually be banned by some cruise lines (particularly if they look like the pic above).

 


cruise packing tip 6 - dramamine

Cruise Packing Tip #6 – Dramamine

Motion sickness is one of the worst feelings you can have.  And the captain isn’t going to slow down because you’re hugging a toilet.  Even if you’ve never experienced seasickness, you might want to bring Dramamine or ginger pills just in case.

 


cruise packing tip 7 - wine

What to pack for a cruise, Tip #7 – Wine

The typical cruiser spends a LOT on booze. Check out the average alcohol consumption per cruise passenger.  People aren’t aware that most cruise lines allow you to bring some alcohol.  Generally, one bottle of wine per cruiser is acceptable.  If it’ll save you $80 between the two of you, why not bring it?

 


what to pack for a cruise - ear plugs

Cruise Packing Tip #8 – Ear Plugs

Cruises have to squeeze in as many humans as possible to keep costs down.  It’s creepy to think about, but there’s four strangers sleeping within 10 feet of you at night.  And if you’re lucky enough to have 80 pound soft-talkers on both sides, you might still encounter other noises.  If you’re near the ship’s nightclub, engine room, or any busy walkways, there’s likely to be some noise. Shove a couple of these in your listening holes, and let the ocean’s motions rock you to bed. You can get a cheap set of ear plugs for your whole family here.

 


cruise packing tip 9 - roll your clothes

Packing Hack #9 – Roll Your Clothes

This obviously isn’t specific to cruising, but necessary to include.  If you’re still folding your clothes, you’re also probably worried about sailing off the edge of the Earth.  Rolling creates a denser space and allows more “I’m with stupid” T-shirts.

 


cruise packing tip 10 - belt in collar

Cruise Packing Tip #10 – Keep a Stiffy

If you’re worried about your collar getting crushed while in transit, stick your alligator (cow also works as does a synthetic if preferred) belt in there for support.

 


cruise packing tip 11 - luggage leaks

What to Pack for a Cruise, Tip #11 – Avoid Shampoo Blouses

It’s happened to the best of us.  You show up ready to party and your best silk shirt is covered in mouthwash.  By placing a piece of saran wrap inside of the cover, you create a tighter seal when closed.

 


what to pack for a cruise - inside out jacket

Cruise Packing Hack #12 – Inside Out Jacket

Your jacket can get wrinkled and dirty packed in there with your sneakers and floaties.  Turn it inside out to keep it clean and avoid creases.

 


cruise packing tip 13 - luggage tag

Packing Hack #13 – Business Card in Luggage Tag

Admit it, you can’t read your own handwriting. Neither can the guy working the tarmac that found your bag in a puddle next to the Delta Hanger.  Slide a business card card in your luggage tag to assure it’s legible.  It also looks pretty professional, which is an added bonus. I’m not guaranteeing a first-class upgrade, but it won’t decrease your chances. This is the best set we’ve been able to find on Amazon.

 


cruise packing tip 14 - jacket

Cruise Packing Tip #14 – Bring a Jacket

I don’t care what the forecast says – the meteorologist wasn’t referring to the middle of the ocean when he said it would be 80 degrees.  It gets cold and windy out there.  Bring a jacket, or at least a windbreaker so you’re not stuck below decks like a troll.

 


cruise packing tip 15 - cotton swabs

What to Pack for a Cruise, Hack #15 – Cotton Swab Holder

You don’t want to be sticking cotton swabs inside of your skull once they’ve been rolling around the bottom of that seven-year-old travel kit.  Stick them in an empty pill bottle to keep them organized and sanitary. Please make sure it’s clean so you’re not medicating your inner ear canal.

 


cruise packing tip 16 - fragile bags

Packing Tip #16 – Mark Bags as Fragile

This one may be a bit controversial. Marking your bags as “fragile” will result in better treatment of said bags.  An added bonus is quicker offloading time. For those that don’t think their possessions are worthy of the “fragile” classification, follow Cruise Packing Tip #7 to earn that sincerity.

 


what to pack for a cruise - Necklace Tangles

Packing Hack #17 – No Necklace Tangles

It once took two sea days to untangle a necklace. No more.  Thread your dainty necklaces through a common straw to keep them perfectly neat and tangle-free.

 


cruise packing tip 18 - drier sheet

What to Pack for a Cruise, Tip #18 – Drier Sheet Freshness

Your attic smells like a barn and you just pulled your luggage down three hours before heading to port.  If you’d like to make new friends that prefer non-attic-smelling strangers, stick a couple drier sheets in there to eliminate odors.

 


cruise packing tip 19 - protect your wine

Cruise Packing Tip #19 – Wine Armor

Now that we’ve established that you’re bringing a bottle of wine (see Tip #7), you’ll need to protect it from angry baggage handlers. Lodge it tightly inside of two shoes to make sure it’s well protected along the way. To see if your cruise line allows you to bring alcohol, check this Allowed Alcohol Cheat Sheet by Cruise Line.

 


cruise packing tip 20 - jewelry case

Packing Tip #20 – Mobile Jewelry Case

For small pieces of jewelry, keep them safe and organized in a daily pill container.  And, if super Type A, you can plan your nightly accessories and place them in the corresponding containers.  Just don’t swallow your earrings hoping to cure that hangover. You can find this for around $5 on Amazon.

 


cruise packing tip 21 - roll your scarf

Cruise Packing Hack #21 – Scarf Roll

On your next Alaskan cruise, keep your scarves protected using an empty paper towel container. Roll them up to avoid creases.  Once you get to your cabin, use your extra clothes hangers (see Tip #3) for easy closet storage.

 


cruise packing tip 22 - photograph luggage

Packing Hack #22 – Photograph Your Luggage

One time I was trying to explain my lost luggage to American Airlines.  “Square-ish and with my underwear in it” didn’t make the hunt go any quicker. Always take a picture of your luggage and keep it on your mobile device. Added bonus: when new friends show you pictures of their baby, show them a picture of your luggage for an interesting reaction.

 


what to pack for a cruise - copy IDs

What to Pack for a Cruise, Tip #23 – Keep Copies of Your IDs

Keep a digital and physical copy of your license and passport when cruising. It’s likely you’ll never need them, but the peace of mind feels good.  Not as good as that last shot of tequila, but whatever.

 


cruise packing tip 24 - pen

Cruise Packing Tip #24 – Bring a Pen

You’ll have embarkation and debarkation forms to fill out. Avoid the awkward circle of strangers all waiting for one pen by bringing your own. Also, it’s suggested that you don’t bring your best Mont Blanc because you know that guy that’s been coughing up the norovirus is going to ask you to borrow it. A few “throw aways” are ideal.

 


cruise packing tip 25 - earrings

Packing Hack #25 – Button Your Earrings

This is the last jewelry organization tip, I promise. Keep your sets of earrings together and neat using buttons. This assures your timeliness on your cruise’s formal night.  Hopefully this list will have you as efficiently accessorized as any human has ever been.

 


cruise packing tip 26 - use Ship Mate

Cruise Packing Tip #26 – Ship Mate Packing Checklist

All of these tips are useless if you forget to bring the mentioned items. The Packing Checklist is one of the many helpful features in the Ship Mate Cruise App to keep you prepared and excited for your trip. It’s free and you can find more info about Ship Mate here.

 


 

Did we leave any out?  Do you have any other tips on what to pack for a cruise?  Leave it below.

UPDATE:  we had hundreds of ship mates reach out with suggestions. A bunch were from our truly intense cruisers. We got such great feedback, that we created another post:  14 Cruise Products for Ridiculously Hardcore Cruisers.

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230 thoughts on “What to Pack for a Cruise – 26 Packing Tips & Hacks

  1. Love this list. I use a lot of these tips already!! we also bring a refillable insulated cup for cold drinks. even if you purchase a soda plan, the cups are still tiny. I always bring a power strip on vacation for all those cameras and cell phones (i keep the cell on airplane mode and use it for a watch, camera, alarm)

  2. I think perhaps power strips are banned because of fire risk. Especially one that’s overloaded or old. Otherwise some good tips

  3. I do not think that travel mugs/ reuseable drink bottles are a good idea to use. On my last cruise on Allure of the Seas in December I witnessed many cruisers refilling at drink stations where there are clearly posted signs stating not to do so. The reality is that not everyone is thoroughly sanitizing their reuseable beverage containers and are refilling them where they are NOT supposed to . Call me paranoid, but I would prefer to have less causes of something like noro-virus spreading than to risk literally flushing my vacation down the toilet. Other than that, I already practice some of the other great tips!

    • Reasonable concern. On my cruise, I didn’t see signs. But for hygiene, I filled one of the ship’s glasses or mugs at the drinks station, then poured it into my insulated mug.

      I drink slowly, so my drink stayed at the right temp and I had a very low risk of spilling, even if someone bumped our table while I was sketching.

  4. Hi Mike 🙂 I pretty much do most on this list but would like to add that I do pack a few large zip lock bags and put underwear and bathing suits in them. They can also be used to put your soiled laundry in for the trip home. Packing shoes or sandals into a used plastic grocery bag will keep your clothes clean when packed. Another is a small can of Off for those places where you might get bitten by sand fleas or other bugs. As for the coffee mug, I do bring it but only use it for the first and only coffee of the day. After that it gets thoroughly washed in hot water.

  5. I bring a small pad of paper (sticky notes) for my husband and I to leave each other messages. We don’t usually have cell coverage on the ship so this is the old fashioned texting!

  6. I also pack a “pop-up” clothes hamper to stand in the closet or out of the way corner so I don’t have to keep accessing my suitcase (which is usually stored under the bed) to separate the dirty clothes from the clean ones … when I pack at the end of the cruise I can pull the hamper next to the bed for easier repacking ~

  7. Pack 3M Command Damage-Free hanging hooks in a variety of sizes. There are never enough hooks for hanging up jackets, bags, hair dryers, etc. They can be hung in the bathroom, near the cabin/room entrance, in the closet, on mirrors and more. When you leave just remember to remove and repack them. Bonus: you will leave no damage to wall surfaces.

  8. WOW all great ides thanks for sharing….a friend of mine suggests always bringing along a small pump bottle of antibacterial hand soap for the bathroom, the little tiny bars don’t cut it for her. Im packing wet ones antibacterial hand wipes and pocket size hand sanitizer

    • I’ve been on several Royal Carribean cruises and they have hand sanitizers all over the ship. Before you go into the buffet there is a staff member standing at the door squirting some into your hands yelling “washy washy.” I’m leaving on my next cruise in two weeks.

    • That is one of my peevs… getting up in the middle of the night for a potty and getting retina burn from the bright lights. I use a small LED light that sticks to the door by a magnet. Its also motion sensor controlled. I wave my hand the light comes on and then shuts off a few minutes later,

  9. Great tips, but bringing your own hangers is not necessary. Every cruise I’ve been on, the steward has been more than willing to bring as many hangers as we needed!!!

    • Our steward did bring hangers–but they were the wire variety. This, after my hard plastic ones, which were in my checked bag, were broken in transit. Now, I pack inexpensive, bendable plastic ones.

      • On our 1st cruise, our room steward looked everywhere and could not find extra hangers for us. So now, I save those disposable plastic hangers that come from some clothing stores. They are really light weight and you can leave them on the ship to make room for the “treasures” you bring home.

  10. These tips were sooo helpful! Thanks so much! Here are few tips that have helped us. Bring some games like cards to play on the beach/deck/balcony. And bring Febreeze spray which can be used to freshen linens, clothes or even as bathroom spray.

  11. I like to bring the small, battery-operated tea light candles to use as nightlights in the bathroom or in different spots in the cabin.

  12. Great list – and great reader add-ons.
    Here are some of our adds — a flashlight or two for getting to the bathroom at night without waking everyone else up, plastic garbage bags for dirty clothes on the way home, a highlighter for daily activities sheets and a few clothes pins to keep curtains shut

  13. A few pieces of bubble wrap for that breakable souvenir and/or bottle of wine. Pack it on the outside pocket of your suitcase. I do this on every trip.

  14. Our first time crusing, both use cpap machines. I am guessing we may need extension cords. And reserved 3 bottles of distelled water.

    • My husband and I also use cpaps, we bring our own power strip and extension cords. The cruise ship charges you to rent theirs. I pack it in our cpap bags= no questions asked.

      • I have a Power Wheelchair and a Bi-Pap machine. I not only take a power strip, but 2 extension cords. The mat beside the balcony fits nicely over the cords on the floor so you won’t trip over them in the middle of the night . The Cruise Line will usually supply Distilled water for your breathing machine if you let them know.

  15. Could you please add 2 cruises I am booked on. Mar 7 2015 P&O Comedy Cruise and 30 Aug 2015 Carnival Singapore to Sydney. My app doesn’t have the Checklist app either. Shipmate is looking useless to me.

  16. Why bring alam clocks or flashlights when you mobile phone has these features? I bring S-hooks (various sizes) and use them to hang everything from my shower cap to my toiletries bag. I also use this trick in normal hotels. There are never enough hooks!

    • We took our mobile phones but when you cross different time zones it all goes pear-shaped when you set an alarm and the phone automatically updates and the alarm is either too early or too late.

  17. We bring small suction cups, adhere to inside of door to hang our sea passes so we don’t forget them when we leave the room. Also bring jumbo ziplock bag (4 ft) hang on bathroom door for dirty clothes

  18. I didn’t see this listed, but I’ve always done it: Leave a copy of your itinerary with a family member or friend. It’s one of those “just-in-case” things.

    I have a few more adds as well:
    1. Baby wipes
    2. A small sewing kit – I made mine using a bobbin with basic (neutral dark and light) thread colors, a few straight pins, two hand-sewing needles, two safety pins, and four buttons (two light, two dark). This can be stored in an empty pill bottle and takes up no space at all. Your nail clippers can double as scissors for snipping threads.
    3. Black electrical tape – I use it to seal the caps of anything that can spill and the adhesive doesn’t leave any type of residue.
    4. Clothes pins (to hang up your wet bathing suit, etc)
    5. A list of any allergies you have and a list of all your prescription medications and keep a copy of this on you (in your purse/wallet/pack/etc.). You might want to signify your religion as well, since your beliefs may affect the type of medical treatment you need or wish to receive/not receive (not trying to start an argument but this very situation happened on the last cruise I took).

  19. An addition to the sticky notes – Get a bright color and stick one on the exterior of your cabin door. Finding your cabin can take a while… especially if you have a few adult beverages under your belt. Something that will draw your eye really helps! If you write a note on it for your roommate, staff will leave it alone.

    • The group we traveled with had a couple birthdays during our cruise. We brought some scotch tape and a few simple decorations for the doors. This was a fun way to find friends rooms. You could always use the same picture for everyone’s door to find your friends rooms instead of memorizing room numbers.

  20. We bring our Space Bags so that as we have dirty laundry, we put the laundry in the bag and store under the bed in a suitcase. Then as we pack our suitcases for heading home, we squeeze out the air and it saves more room for the souvenirs!

  21. If you have a balcony cabin and want to dry swimsuits in the fresh air, that can be done over the back of the chairs ….. but normal pegs are often not large enough to go over the chair backs. I took some tooth type plastic hair clips that would open very wide over the chair back and hold the swimwear firmly if there is a breeze.

    • Dental floss is great instead of thread as a temporary repair on heavy-duty items. I would redo it when I got home, but some travel bloggers have used it for permanent repairs.

  22. Binder clips (2 inch is best) to use instead of clothspins. They hold tighter and can fit over almost anything.

    Duct tape. You can re-wrap a small amount around a marker cap if you don’t want to take a big roll. Luggage fixes, clothing fixes… Endless uses.

    Small pocket chart (can be found at any teacher supply store) is great for holding smaller items on the wall like door keys, tip money, chapstick, or anything else that you want readily accessible. Most small ones have a single hook similar to a clothes hanger, but command hooks work well too.

    Sticky notes for messages to cabin mates or requests from the steward that can be stuck on the mirror.

    Mesh bag for dirty clothes in the cabin, but a big trash bag for the trip home.

  23. # 2 is a no brainer, especially for experienced travelers. Will definitely use some of these on our next cruise – Alaska 2016 for our 25th Anniversary!

  24. I laminate our luggage tags to prevent lost luggage.
    We take sticky notes so our children can keep us informed of where they are at all times. They put time and where they will be and if they go somewhere else they drop by the cabin and leave another note.
    Most cruise lines will confiscate travel irons and power strips.

  25. I always bring wooden clothes pins to hang wet stuff. You can get them from the dollar store.
    Travel size febreeze
    Wrinkle release spray
    Chair clips for towels at the pool
    A beach bag
    Put your shoes in cheap plastic shower caps
    Great tips – I’m going to use some for sure in April !!

  26. A small pair of binoculars are handy to have, especially if you have a balcony. We also take an eyeglass repair kit. My husband’s lens popped out of his glasses while he was on our balcony. Luckily, the lens did not go overboard, but the teeny tiny screw was never found. The gift shop, nor any of the ports, had anything to fix it. He used a needle and thread from our travel sewing kit to hold it together until we got home.

  27. Small plastic container with suction cups to stick up in shower for razors, etc. these items can slip through wire shelves in most ship showers. Can find at Walmart, or any Dollar store.

  28. I follow almost all of these suggestions!
    Here’s a few more that I include:
    -A small supply of various medicines-cold/cough, heartburn, etc. since these are so pricey on the ship. Then you have a small amount to get you through to your next port.
    -Collapsible hanging shoe and sweater organizers for the closet.
    -Pre-printed labels with cabin number, name and address that can be slapped on luggage debarkation tags. Saves time so that you can enjoy more of your last night on board!
    -A flat bed sheet. Doesn’t take up much space and comes in handy if going to the beach on port days.
    -a small collapsible cooler to use for buckets of beer on board or to have at the beach. Keeps drinks much cooler than their open air buckets!

    • I always use a plastic shower curtain rather than a bed sheet for the beach – the sand doesn’t stick to it and it’s just as light!

  29. I use most of these tips after reviewing cruise boards for years but some will be used in a few weeks when we go on cruise #9.

    On our last few cruises we put a sign on the outside of our door with our first names and where we are from and asked others to “Sign In”. Almost everyone is polite but of course there is always that one, so be ready to cover up what needs to be.

  30. I loved all of the tips. I am going to go thru them and see which ones will be the most beneficial ( or I will have to add another set of luggage ), I am leaving in a few days for my 20th cruise and I am still learning.

  31. Good list and great comments. I only have one helpful addition: Static Guard. Very helpful for the obvious reasons and more. Hair can get a little frizzy and flyaway with the added humidity, but a tiny bit on the brush can help without adding grease, weight, etc.

  32. Thank you cards (12 in a pack) $1.00 cost from Dollar Tree for the crew who went above and beyond. You can write you own words or buy prewritten cards and leave a few $$$ to say you appreciate the service.

  33. Take a travel size can of Lysol to spray down the life jackets, etc. Nothing like a smelly life jacket that has been worn for the muster station drill by thousands of people.

  34. Thank you for all the suggestions.

    I have found that packing some cardboard helps if you purchase photos onboard. That way you don’t have to be concerned about bending in your suitcase or carryon.

  35. So many great ideas and helpful hints. I am going on my first cruise next month and all is very helpful. Thank you everyone,

  36. Pingback: Friday Favorites: Cruise Tip Round-Up - The Hometeam

  37. We bring lanyards with a clip on the end which you wear like a long necklace. The customer service desk will punch a hole in your ship card, and you can wear it when you don’t have pockets.
    You can buy them online, but many of us have them from conferences, etc.

  38. Pingback: 13 Cruise Products for only the Most Intense Cruisers

  39. I didn’t see the Grand Bahama Cruise Line on the list here. But I am taking my first cruise in Oct. for my 60th b-day. I have stayed up all night reading all these comments and have 4 pages of notes, lol. My big question is ….How much clothes should I bring??

  40. You can purchase mesh laundry bags with a zipper at the $ store I roll all our clothes and put them in the bags nothing moves around in the suitcase.

  41. Use those leftover lanyards from the casinos also. And they can double as a small bungee cord to hold items together, mini clothes line, etc. I have found them at thrift stores. Great idea to reuse and make a donation at the same time.

  42. Pack your carry-on bags wisely. Pack a change of clothes and important meds or toiletries in the bags you will take on the plane and personally transport on board. Don’t assume your favorite toiletries will be in your cabin. Most importantly keep all important documents with you.

  43. All cruises don’t allow clothes iron. I use my hair straightener as my clothes iron, it take all or most of the wrinkles of my clothes.

  44. Most safes onboard Carnival cruises use any credit card magnetic strip. You can take an expired card and remove numbers and have a hole punched at same time as your ship card and add it to your lanyard.

  45. We are in and of the enclosed deck areas all day. The new magnetic sunglasses holders are inexpensive and allow you to hang your sunglasses anywhere on your clothing or swimsuit. Your glasses don’t get scratched and banged around like they do on a lanyard.

  46. baby powder will take the sand off your feet and legs after time at the beach. Dry your legs first, then put some baby powder in your hand and rub the area. Afterwards, you can rinse the baby powder off.

    • the ship has beach towels you can use. There’s no need to bring towels from home, they take to much room in you’re luggage.

  47. I bring a cheep night light for the bathroom. This way I do not need to turn on the lights in the bathroom, in the middle of the night, causing that blinding glare.

  48. The clear plastic bags with zippers that hold full size sheet sets are ideal to put toiletries and personal care items in and they fit perfectly on the small bathroom shelves, and contents are easily seen and the zippers keep the items secure in case the ship starts rocking…

  49. Don’t forget your water shoes as they’ll come in handy when going in and out of water at the beach, pool, etc. They are light weight and flexible, which means they don’t take up a lot of room in your luggage.

  50. When traveling as a couple put half of your clothes, underwear, shoes, etc in each others luggage. If one bag is lost or delayed you’ll have something to wear until the other bag catches up.

  51. Fantastic tips. Sticking bottle in your shoes is the best idea ever. I am going to show your article to my husband. He will love it. I can`t believe I have never thought of putting bottle in the shoes. You made my day. Thank you.

  52. I think we have to pack a little bag of various over the counter medication, band aids, ointments and anything else you think you might need on your trip. I always do the same for my trip.Thanks…

  53. I have never known that one bottle of wine is permitted. Thank you for sharing it. I love your tips. They are soooo useful. I am going on a cruise with my husband next week. I hope it will be fun. Best regards!

  54. A waterproof container that wraps around your neck to keep phone and cards/cash dry is something I purchased for the water excursions I have planned 🙂 Thought that might be useful

  55. We print out the decks plans and take blue tack. It is handy to see at a glance where the places you want to go are in the privacy of your own cabin. We also take highlighters to highlight the areas we need or that are of interest to us.

  56. A great cruise hack is to bring sticky notes. Write where you’ll be and put on the outside Of the door. This is much easier than carrying around walkie-talkies listening to other people’s conversations.

  57. We bring Zip lock bags. Then on sea days we load them up with snacks or dry cereal (or a PB&J sandwich) to take to port so we don’t have to stop every 6 minutes because one of the kids are hungry. Often, we can skip lunches and return to ship for dinner–no added costs. As a side note, once in Hawaii we brought some bananas. The snorkel crew had a FIT when they saw bananas in my bag (actually yelling at me!!). They said it’s a bad omen (or something??) to bring a banana on a boat. Being totally perplexed, I explained I got them OFF of a boat. I think it’s something to do with a fishing boat (however we were not fishing). Anyway…so not to upset the locals, don’t bring bananas 🙂

  58. We always take a couple of wire coat hangers and pegs, great for socks and undies, we hang them in shower overnight then on the back of chairs on the balcony or from the roof or window, there is always somewhere a wire hook can wedge into! This cuts down on luggage also. We also buy a plastic bucket or small tub to soak clothes overnight then rinse in the shower in the morning. Very handy for long trips with weather changes (we just did Alaska then Hawaii in the same trip!

  59. Thanks for all the great ideas. Leaving in a month for our cruise! I always take a night light on all vacations. I also always bring a small portable fan. It drowns out any unwanted noise and I need the fan to sleep these days.

  60. I pack a roll of paper towels too. And we found a great compact charger that has 5 outlets and 2 usb ports. We’ve never had a problem. We also bring a case (or two) of bottled water, depending on the length of the cruise. On our upcoming cruise, I plan to bring some coconut milk creamer, since they do not have it onboard. We will see if they allow me to carry that on, with a mini ice pack.

  61. I always take a small can of WD40 when travelling.to lubricate the bathroom door hinges. Most squeak or squeal on ships or hotels. I don’t want to wake my wife if I get up in the night.

  62. The best cruise hack I ever found is book a cabin mid-ship or forward and use the spa/ gym showers and restrooms. My adult son and I did this on our last cruise and left the cabin restroom to my wife. The spa/ gym has full size shower stalls and restroom stalls and has plenty of counter space for hygiene. There is also all the towels you want. We never had to wait for shower or toilet. I would think most guys could take their school age son with them to do this. There was enough room to shower and dress unseen by public. It was way more private than a public gym shower area. A small bag is all you need to take clean stuff in and bring soiled stuff out. Don’t forget your comb like I did the first day!

  63. We take a small (mini composition book) from Dollar Tree to make notes about everything that happens on the trip. I found it is hard to remember things like the great waiters and other people you might meet that you want to have later.This little notebook is only 1.00 at Dollar Tree (for a pack of 3) and is a great way to remember names in order to properly thank these wonderful people. I also take a few different sized ziploc bags and put souvenirs and beach things, shells, coral ect. If you use ziploc bags , you can write on them and know which port everything comes from. We also take a disposable camera (just in case), My mother in law set hers down one time and it “disappeared”. This way you can at least take pictures anyway, and no one really wants your cheap disposable one 😉 Lastly one of the best gifts we were given for a previous trip was a “solid” air freshener for the bathroom. It smells good all of the time and you don’t have to keep spraying it and gagging everyone else in such a small space. The one we use is made by Scentsy and comes in a tin 🙂

  64. We have found that there is no need whatever to take extra coat hangers. The cabin stewards are quite happy to supply you with however many extras you need in your wardrobe.

  65. Pingback: What to Pack for a Cruise – 26 Packing Tips & Hacks – inCruises Partner

  66. Great ideas, just wanted to add as far as dirty laundry goes, you can get the mesh laundry bags for $1 at Walmart or any Dollar store. They work great to keep your laundry together and you can just throw it in an empty luggage bag when you go to leave.

  67. We went on a 5 day cruise during thanksgiving. Like most people we ate A LOT! And we felt terrible. I would recommend packing some probiotics and some fiber, to keep yourself from being bloated the whole trip. Our ship had yogurt on the breakfast buffet but it didn’t contain probiotics.

  68. One problem that I encountered is that you need a wireless connection to pull up the deck plans in ShipMate. Therefore you need to pull them up before you put your phone into airplane mode. Then you will have them as long as you don’t close the app.

    Also we bring a number of Ziploc bags in various sizes. The 2-gallon size is great for doing in-cabin laundry, size the bathroom sink is usually big enough for a pair of socks.

    There is no need to bring Dramamine or Bonine (unless you have a preference for one) as the customer service desk will provide these for free. They realize that the alternative is having the cabin stewards clean up the mess.

    I travel with a CPAP, and have always found that the electrical outlets are on the opposite side of the cabin from the beds. I run an extension cord across the floor and under the bed, and tape it down with low-residue duct tape to prevent tripping over it.

  69. Good list except
    .coathangers. stuart will give you more if you need them
    .seasicknes tablets. Get them at service desk when you board
    .batroom door organizer. Depending on the hooks they are sometimes not happy be ause of possible damage
    .powerstrips. some cruise companies will ask to remove them as you are putting 4 or more devices on 1 socket really. We have 2 slit into 2 sockets.

  70. I always take a collapsible mesh laundry basket. Fold it flat on top of the suitcase to hold the clothes in place while i do up the inside straps; then stick it in the closet, throw in the dirty clothes, then carry it along to the guest laundry when needed. I carry lots of quart and gallon size plastic bags too. Never know when you are going to need them, or for what!

  71. I bring a small (empty) water spray bottle. Each night I select what I am wearing the next day and lightly spray water on the wrinkles and by morning it looks like I freshly ironed them. It also works wonders on my husband’s suit for formal night!
    No more packing wrinkles!!

  72. So, if you bring on a bottle of wine how can you avoid the cork fee? Can’t I just keep the bottle in my room?
    Also, if you take the drink package for soda and wine are you allowed only so many glasses of wine per a day?

    • I brought a bottle of wine and a cheap corkscrew on our first cruise last year. They were both in my carry on, and made it through security. The corkscrew probably wasn’t allowed but oh well 😜

  73. My husband and I are taking a cruise to New Zealand from Sydney in November 20161. I wanted to add, when traveling in Australia and Europe, bring an international plug adapter. The Australian plugs have 2 opening and it won’t fit american charges or other american devices. Be aware also that some cruises will have this type of volt plugs. When you are on this side of the world volt is usually 110v and americans volt is 220v. We have one adapter in each of our suitcases, and one in the carry one when we travel.

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