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Cruise Packing List: 40 Must-Have Items to Pack

Few trips can top the ease and excitement of a cruise vacation. But nothing can sour your high seas fun faster than forgetting something essential back on shore. Avoid cruise catastrophes with this ultimate cruise packing checklist.

As an avid cruiser, I’ve carefully compiled this packing list to include every item you’ll need on board and during port days. With the essentials covered, you can focus fully on voyage views, onboard amenities and island adventures.

Read on for the only cruise packing list you’ll need before embarkation day!

# Clothing and Shoes – 10 Outfits to Cover All Occasions

Pack versatile clothing you can rewear and mix-and-match throughout your voyage. Focus on lightweight natural fibers that launder well in sinks and dry quickly.

Breathable Sundresses – Pack 3-4 casual cotton sundresses to wear during port days. Choose solid colors and simple prints.

Tops & Shorts – Include 5-6 tops like breathable blouses, knit tees, camisoles and 3-4 pairs of shorts for lounging on your cabin balcony.

Swimsuits – Bring 2-3 full coverage swimsuits to alternate. Include a rash guard for sun protection during water activities.

Cover-ups – Sarongs, kaftans and lightweight wraps double as stylish cover-ups after swimming and sunbathing.

Cocktail/Formal Attire – Don’t forget a cocktail dress or skirt for elegant dinners. Men should pack 1-2 collared shirts and a pair of slacks.

Activewear – If you plan to use the ship’s gym, pack lightweight exercise clothes and sneakers.

Sandals – Pack sturdy walking sandals along with a cheap pair of flip-flops for the pool and showers.

Light Jacket – Bring a denim jacket, cardigan or rain jacket for windy decks and cool evenings.

Sleepwear – Include 2-3 pairs of pajamas or nightgowns. Robes and slippers are also nice touches.

Undergarments – Pack extra socks and underwear in case laundry facilities are limited.

# Cruise Toiletries – 9 Vacation Necessities

Contain mess and spills by packing toiletries in reusable travel bottles and waterproof pouches.

Sunscreen – Pack ample waterproof sunscreen in a high SPF for both face and body. Reapply often!

After-sun moisturizers – Soothing aloe-based gels will provide sunburn relief if you overdo it poolside.

Seasickness remedies – Bring motion sickness pills, wrist bands and queasiness relievers like Dramamine. Better safe than sick!

Toiletries – Pack your regular makeup, skincare, dental hygiene and hair products to maintain your routine.

Salon supplies – Don’t forget styling tools like travel curling and flat irons, hair dryers and accessories.

Shower shoes – Protect your feet with a pair of flip flops or water shoes for shared cruise bathrooms and showers.

Hand sanitizer – Bring small bottles for hygienic hand cleaning before meals and after touching railings.

Cold medicine – Pack OTC meds that treat headaches, congestion and coughs in case you catch a bug.

Bandages – Keep small bandaids, antibiotic cream and other first-aid basics in your bag for minor cuts and scrapes.

# Medications and Health Items – 7 Must-Haves

Don’t gamble with your health at sea. Be prepared with these handy medications and medical aids:

Prescriptions – Bring 2x needed medications in case of travel delays. Keep in carry-on.

Pain relievers – Ibuprofen, aspirin, acetaminophen for aches, cramps, headaches.

Antacids – Pack chewable antacids like Tums to ease occasional motion sickness or heartburn.

Anti-diarrheal medication – Cases like Imodium A-D provide relief from traveler’s diarrhea.

Electrolyte powder/tablets – Replenish fluids and minerals lost if you experience stomach issues.

Bandages and ointments – Adhesive bandages, antibiotic cream and other first-aid basics.

Motion sickness relief – Bring anti-nausea meds, relief bands and Dramamine as a precaution.

# Electronics and Entertainment – 8 Items for Onboard Fun

Stay connected at sea with these tech accessories and entertainment options:

E-reader – Light, portable e-readers make bringing multiple books easy and save suitcase space.

Digital camera – Capture incredible vacation moments with your DSLR or point-and-shoot camera. Bring extra batteries and memory cards!

Charging cords – Don’t forget cords for phones, cameras, e-readers. Consider bringing a backup power bank for extra juice.

Travel adapter – If cruising internationally, pack a converter and adapter for electronics.

Travel lock – Secure belongings in your cabin with TSA-approved luggage locks. Keep cash, passport and other valuables locked up during your cruise.

Dry bag or case – Protect phones, cameras and other electronics from water on shore excursions.

Travel journal – Write down memorable experiences and details from your voyage.

Deck of cards – Pass downtime on sea days playing Go Fish, Rummy 500 or poker. Great for kids too.

# Cruise Documents – 6 Must-Remember Items

Protect your visa, passport, cruise documents and other essential records in a secure travel wallet or organizer.

Passport & Visa – Ensure passport is valid for 6+ months beyond travel dates. Research visa requirements.

Cruise Documents – Bring paper or electronic copies of your cruise boarding passes, itinerary and shore excursion reservations.

Travel Insurance – Review your plan and keep documents handy in case of cancellations or medical emergencies.

Credit/Debit Cards – Inform your bank of travel plans. Bring 2-3 forms of payment in case a card is lost or demagnetized.

Cash/Travelers Cheques – Carry $100-200 of local currency for islands that are cash-only during port days.

ID Card – Bring a driver’s license or other government-issued ID as an extra precaution.

With this indispensible cruise packing list, you can sail away knowing you’ve thought of everything for an amazing hassle-free voyage. Smooth seas and sun-filled days await. Bon voyage!