Packing has become pretty automatic for us, but as we prepare for a sailing on Independence of the Seas we figured we should slow down and take a look at just how we pack for a short Caribbean cruise... read more
Cruise Packing Tips & Information
Packing for a cruise can be both exciting and stressful. In this series, we share how we pack for a cruise, what items you should be sure not to miss, and even what you shouldn't bring along. You may also want to check out our first time cruiser series for a wide variety of information and tips.
Checkout our Cruise Packing List
Have questions for us? Reach out on Twitter or Facebook, and join us as we talk ship on our weekly Periscope broadcasts from ports or cruise ships. We also run a Facebook group where you can ask questions and get tips from a variety of seasoned sailors.
We all make mistakes, but some come with a bigger serving of irony than others - yesterday I made one of those mistakes. It cost me time and sleep, and contributed a lot of stress, but it could have been worse. What was my mistake? Well, despite writing, ranting, and preaching cruise tips ad nauseam, I failed to take my own advice and forgot something when preparing for our Cuba cruise... read more
Airlines and other carriers restrict the size and weight of bags, have limits on the number of carry-on bags, etc. What about cruise lines? There is no shortage of advice about how to pack for a cruise, and we have a great cruise packing list you can use, but how much you can bring onboard? Let's look at how much of your world you can bag up and bring on a cruise and what cruise line policies say about how lightly you need to travel... read more
We love travel tech, and have talked about how we pack for cruises. If you’re looking to invest in luggage for your next trip you may have seen bags with built in batteries – but we think you should avoid them. In addition to some conceptual flaws we’ve noticed, you may soon have trouble flying with these bags... read more
One of the things I prefer about a cruise vacation over traveling by air is that your luggage travels with you. The risk of getting separated from your bag is much slimmer on a cruise than on a plane, but that doesn’t mean the risk is zero. Plus, you may be transferring bags from cabs, hotels, shuttles, and planes just to get to the cruise terminal. Luckily there is a simple step you can take to reduce the risk of being separated from your bag... read more
Bringing extras with you on any trip can mean baggage fees and other inconveniences, and we're often struggling to pack less - not more. There are, however, some items you can bring along which could save you money. In many cases they're even things you already have at home... read more
Packing for any trip can be stressful, and while packing for a cruise isn't drastically different than packing for other trips, there are some things you should keep in mind. We've put together a list of items you should consider packing for your next cruise. You'll note we didn't include clothing, as the line your sailing, dining preferences, itinerary, time of year, etc can all drastically impact those rather personal choices. That in mind, we wouldn't hate it if you checked out our awesome cruise t-shirts.
Cruise Packing List
In addition to the below list, make sure you check out our Cruise Packing Series for more tips and helpful information, including a list of items you should bring along which could save you money.
Travel Documents and Paperwork Packing List
- Airline tickets or e-ticket confirmation
- Cruise documents
- COVID vaccine and testing documents
- Passports or other proof of citizenship – Do you need a passport to cruise?
- Photo ID (in addition to passport, as a backup)
- Copy of prescriptions and list of all medicines you are taking
- Credit cards – Wondering about paying for things abroad?
- Cash (especially for tips) – Who should I tip on my cruise?
- Copies of the front and back of credit cards, travel documents, etc
- Business/contact cards with email address to give out to new cruise friends
- Luggage tag holders (to keep you from having to tape and staple printouts)
Electronics Packing List
- Mobile phone & tablet
- Charger for mobile phone & accessories (consider a USB power hub) – How can I keep in touch on my cruise?
- Plug adapter and/or converter for foreign ports and to add outlets in your stateroom. – Power strips are banned from ships, what are alternatives?
- Binoculars (especially if sailing Alaska or Norway)
- Lanyard w/ pouch to carry your room key, ID, etc
Medicine/Personal Care Packing List
- Essential medications (in carry-on)
- Hand sanitizer – Does your hand sanitizer kill Norovirus?
- Bug spray (depending on excursions)
- Sunscreen (even if sailing Alaska) – Why are some sunscreens banned in Mexico, Hawaii, etc?
- Glasses, contacts, contact cleaner (consider an extra pair)
- Travel sized soap, deodorant, etc
- Waterproof dopp kit (for safe and easy packing/unpacking)
Other "Necessities" Packing List
- Electrical tape (to cover lights if you require complete darkness at night)
- Magnetic hooks to hang items for storage or drying from your stateroom ceiling
- Ziploc bags – Why should I carry ziplock bags?
- Snorkeling/sports equipment - Have you tried a full-face snorkel?
- Empty folding tote bag (for souvenirs or the beach)
- Reusable straws (if you don't like paper straws now used on most ships)
- Glasses strap (required on some ropes courses and other attractions)
Looking for gear that can save you time, space, and money? The CruiseHabit Shop has what you need at fantastic prices. We've also got great cruise shirts so you can stand out on deck.
There are a lot of gadgets out there – and I’ll admit, that sometimes I buy them just to play with. A couple of experiences on recent cruises made me really see the value in one of these gadgets though, and it might just be invaluable to you one day... read more
Packing is an important step when preparing for your cruise, but of course all your stuff needs to actually make it onto the ship. There are several options for this, as similar to when you fly, bags can be carrier on or checked. There are advantages and disadvantages to each – both at the start and end of your cruise... read more
When you pack for any trip, it’s important to keep in mind the things that are absolute musts, and at the top of that list should be any prescription medications that you need. Cruising, however, usually involves leaving the country, and countries may have differing rules about prescription medications, especially, though not exclusively, controlled substances. How you should pack your medications, what you should consider before you travel, and medical decisions you make abroad are all important parts of your trip-planning... read more
The beauty of social media is that anyone with a smartphone or tablet can get involved. Want to share your day? You're just clicks away. How do I do this from cruise ships, or on the beach? Because I do this every week, sometimes with somewhat challenging conditions, I've built up a collection of gear to make it a better experience for everyone, which has lead to many questions about what microphone I'm using, how I'm supporting the camera, etc. Check out my collection below, where I explain why I use what I use. I've included links to the exact pieces of gear on Amazon so you can up your game and share your adventures! read more
Packing for any cruise is a balance. You don’t want to miss anything that will make your trip better, but you also don’t want to carry things with you that you don’t need - especially if you’re flying to your cruise. As a frequent cruiser, some of the things I see folks pack on cruise ships shock me. Whether missteps of first time cruisers, differences in priorities, or edge cases, we’re going to share 8 things that most of you don’t need to pack on your next cruise. read more