A guide for Making Your Cruise checklist a Great One
A guide for Making Your Cruise checklist a Great One

Knowing how to pack for a cruise is one of the most common questions of first-time cruisers. One of the biggest mistakes that passengers make is overpacking. Remember that time when you’re trying to sit on your luggage so you could just zip them close?

Pay close attention because you don’t have any clue how the cruise system works and cruise lines are taking advantage of you. I’ll teach you how you can outsmart them but first let’s take a look at some of the basic tips on how to pack for a cruise.


How to pack for a cruise: Tips & Tricks

Tip #1 – Put all of your important documents like your plane tickets, cruise papers, jewelry, medication, gadgets, and laptop in your carry-on bag. Don’t put your important items in the luggage that you need to check in because this can get delayed. It would also help to bring some photocopies of your important documents.

Tip #2 – If you want to do some activities right after embarking then don’t forget to also pack some change of clothes in your carry-on bag. Usually, it takes hours before your luggage can be delivered to your room.


Tip #3 – Pack the heavier things (footwear, kits, etc.) first before packing the lighter ones.

Tip #4 – Pack your socks, belts, and other small items inside your shoes to save some space.

Tip #5 – Fold your jacket in half after you’ve turned them inside out and place them in dry plastic cleaning bags to lessen the wrinkles.

Tip #6 – If you have some trousers then pack them first at the bottom of your luggage but let the legs hang over the edge. Now pack your lighter clothes and items on top and after that just bring the legs over the top. This tip will keep the crease and you won’t get folded lines.

Tip #7 – Put a mark on your luggage with any colored tags so you can easily recognize your luggage. You’ll also minimize the chances of your luggage getting picked up by other passengers.

Tip #8 – Pack an empty cushy bag for your souvenirs but remember to get them when you get off the ship.

Tip #9 – Keep a close eye on the weight of your luggage because most airlines impose a 50-pound weight limit. Be prepared to pay around $90 if you go over the limit. The weight limit on your luggage can change so it’s advisable to call up your airline before you start packing.

Cruise lines are very good at persuading you to spend more money than you’ll ever need. That’s how they’re profiting. Everything on a cruise ship is created to get you to spend money. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

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What to pack for a cruise?

Before you grab your suitcases and start shoving random items in, take a look at the packing suggestions below to help everyone in your family prepare.


For Everyone

Travel Documents

Depending on which destinations your cruise is going to, you may not need all of the travel documents listed below. However, it is very important to check with your travel agent or cruise line beforehand to make sure you do not forget any travel documents necessary.

– Airline tickets or confirmation number for your e-tickets

– Passports and visa

– Proof of citizenship

– Vaccination certificate/records

– Driver’s license

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Wallet items

You want to make sure to make a list of everything that is in your wallet and photocopy them in case your wallet is lost while you are on vacation.

– Medical insurance cards

– Credit cards

– ATM card

– Pre-paid phone card (even if you have a cell phone – you may not get reception)

– Cash

– Travelers’ checks – put the receipt for travelers’ check in a different location

– Emergency numbers

– Current pictures of your children if they are accompanying you (in case they get lost)

First aid/medical

– Prescription medicines

– Small first aid kit with band-aids, antibiotic cream, aspirin, etc.

– Antibacterial hand sanitizer

– Bug spray

– Sunscreen

– Over the counter medicines such as Ibuprofen, Dramamine, and anti-diarrheal medication

Electronics

Camera with extra batteries

– Cell phone and charger (for when you are at ports)

– Travel alarm

– Flashlight

– Laptop

Other

– Books

– Notebook/journal

– Pen

– Guide book for places you’ll be stopping

– Sunglasses

– Reading glasses


For Her

For a female, there is a list of necessary items that would be beneficial to take on a cruise vacation. The following list goes into detail concerning those items.

– Enough tops and bottoms to last for the trip

– One or two evening outfits for formal nights

– Bras, underwear, socks, pantyhose

– Pajamas/robe

– Handbag or tote for day

– Evening bag

– Comfortable walking shoes, sandals, shoes for pool/beach, evening shoes

– Hats

– Jewelry

– Jacket

– Sweatshirt

– Exercise clothes

– Bathing suits

– Raincoat

– Hairdryer

– Curling iron/curlers

– Hair products

– Shampoo/conditioner, soap

– Comb or brush

– Toothpaste, toothbrush, dental floss

– Makeup, make-up remover

– Mirror

– Moisturizer, shaving cream

– Nail clippers, nail file, tweezers, razors: If you are going on the plane, these items need to be put in secured luggage underneath the plane.

For Him

For a male, there is also a list of necessary items that would be beneficial to take on a cruise vacation. The following list goes into detail concerning those items.

– Enough tops and bottoms to last for the trip

– One or two formal outfits

– Undershirts, underwear, socks

– Sleep outfits

– Comfortable walking shoes, sandals, shoes for the pool\beach, dress shoes

– Hats

– Jewelry

– Jacket, sweatshirt, raincoat

– Exercise clothes

– Bathing suits

– Hairdryer

– Hair products

– Shampoo/conditioner, soap

– Comb or brush

– Toothpaste, toothbrush, dental floss

– Moisturizer, shaving cream

– Nail clippers, nail file, tweezers, razor: If you are going on the plane, these items need to be put in secured luggage underneath the plane.


For Kids

It is very important to properly pack for your children when going on a vacation such as a cruise. The following list can help you make sure you do not forget anything while packing.

– Several changes of clothing – one more than you think you might need

– Shoes, sandals

– Socks

– Jacket or sweatshirt

– raincoat

– Swimwear, goggles, “swimming” or flotation armbands

– Cups with lids for young kids

– Appropriate snacks

– Reading materials

– Crayons/coloring books

– Deck of cards

– Handheld gaming system

– Hats

– Sunblock

Cruise packing list: 10 basic rules

Here are 10 basic rules you need to keep in mind when packing for your cruise:

  1. Make a list. Leave it out on the kitchen counter or somewhere accessible. When you think of something, add it to the list.
  1. Mix & Match Outfits. 2 tops to go with 1 pair of shorts/pants/skirts. The same goes for formal wear, if you bring one pair of black pants and one long skirt, you can use different tops for each formal night and nobody will notice.
  1. In your carry-on, always bring 1 pair of shorts, 1 bathing suit, 1 top, flip flops or sandals, 1 hat, underwear, camera, medications, book, sunglasses -see new air regulations.
  1. Limit shoes. For example, use one color of sandals that go with everything, 1 pair of black dressy shoes, 1 pair of running shoes, flip flops.
  1. Pack socks and underwear inside shoes and stuff some in-between clothes and in corners.
  1. Pack creams and bottles in plastic bags in case of leaking.
  1. Going from a winter climate? Leave your coats and boots in the car. Just bring a light jacket that can easily fit in the carry-on.
  1. If you are flying, remember that two checked suitcases and one carry-on are allowed per passenger. If you bring only one suitcase, make sure it’s not oversize and overweight because airlines charged extra for baggage exceeding the limit. I always use a medium-size one myself and everything fits!
  1. Roll each garment, it reduces wrinkles and packs easier. Except for pants, fold them at the bottom of the suitcase.
  1. In the cabin, store your carry-on inside your suitcase and under the bed.

Final thoughts

The most important thing that you can do when packing for your cruise is to create a packing list. Not only will a packing list ensure that you pack what you need, but it will also help you find your packed items once on board and may help replace lost items. Start with a list that covers everything that you need to take on your vacation and then split this list up according to what piece of luggage you packed it into.

Cruise Packing list FAQs

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