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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.

Disney Fantasy in Falmouth Jamaica


Always use a checklist when preparing for your cruise - don't be like Billy.

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

How many bags can I bring on my cruise?

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

An Easy Way To Keep Your Luggage Safe - Ric's Free Luggage Contact Sheet Download

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

Cruise Packing List

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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

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

Medicine/Personal Care Packing List

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.  

Bringing Prescription Medicines on Cruise Ships

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

Billy's Cruise Ship Video & Streaming Gear

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

8 Unnecessary Things Guests Bring on Cruises

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