Cruise Packing Tips
• Never pack anything in your luggage you couldn't stand losing forever.
• Tape your name, address, phone and cell numbers inside your luggage.
• Always carry your cruise documents on you and not in your luggage or carry-on bag.
• Stuff a small collapsible light weight bag or two into your suitcase. At the end of your cruise, use
the bag for your laundry or those souvenirs' you bought.
• Before your go, take a picture of your luggage inside and out. This will make them easier to
identify your belongings if they are lost.
• Although you can purchase many items on ship or in cruise ports, you will often pay a heavy
premium, and may not find exactly what you need.
• Try to pack clothing that is re-usable on the cruise. For example, a men's blazer may be used on a
formal night if packaged with the proper shirt & tie. The same blazer can be used with an open neck
shirt or a less-formal shirt and tie for an informal night. A formal skirt can be mixed with
different blouses and/or jackets for varying effects.
• Formal nights are not necessarily extremely formal. Some passengers, who enjoy dressing up, will
go all out with tuxedo's, long gowns, etc. Many women wear cocktail dresses, fancy dresses, or
suits. It’s like getting dressed for a nice wedding. Young boys can wear nice slacks with a shirt and
• Many ships have self-serve laundry and ironing facilities in addition to the available washing and/or
dry cleaning. Sometimes it makes sense to do a load or two during the cruise rather than pack
enough of everything for your entire trip.
• If you choose to travel with expensive jewelry, use the purser's safe when you're not wearing it.
Although room safes are available on many ships, only valuables locked up in the purser's safe
are covered under the ship's insurance (check you cruise contract, usually supplied with your
cruise documents). Frankly, we'd recommend leaving your very expensive and/or priceless jewelry
at home, or in your bank's safe deposit box.
• If you're planning to buy t-shirts, hats, etc. on the ship or ports of call, why not wear them on your
cruise? You'll cut down on the amount of clothing you'll bring, and you won’t need to plan for extra
space on your trip home. If you under-packed (unlikely), you can purchase additional clothing
during the cruise.
• In the tropics, use light cotton clothing as often as possible. You'll be cooler and more comfortable.
• Plan your carry-on load carefully. A larger carry-on bag is useful so that you can comfortably carry
a change of clothing. Keep your carry-on bag safe and never leave it unattended.
• Carry all documents, medicines, essentials, and valuables with you in your carry-on. If your main
article of luggage is lost or misplaced, can you exist with what you're carrying?
• Do not plan to find space for a garment bag. Better to carefully pack your clothing in a suitcase
than to jam it into an overhead compartment. When packing, try rolling everything, you would be
surprised at how much more you can get in and they will not come out with wrinkles!
• Instead of bringing full-size toiletries, like a full bottle of shampoo, save or purchase smaller plastic
Bottle’s and bring only what you need. Try sealing plastic bottles in zip-lock bags for added
• Zip-lock baggies, preferably the thicker freezer-type, are great for keeping things dry, especially
when you go to the beach. You can stuff your credit cards, driver’s licenses, cash, etc. in them and
keep them safe inside your bathing suit. We recommend double-bagging them and you won’t have
any problems with leakage.
• There are several reasons to bring your cell telephone with you on the cruise:
1) If you run into delays, you can call parents and relatives.
2) You can use your telephone on the ship before it departs, and while it is still close to land. Many ships
now have service at sea, check with your cellular provider for options as well.
3) You can make calls on the day you return
4) Many ports have cellular service so that you can make calls. However Roaming charges could apply if
out of the US. Some common cruising areas have surprisingly good coverage, and if you have free
roaming as a part of your service, the call might even be free
5) You never know how a cell phone will help you in transit should an emergency arise. It gives someone
else the ability to call you, which is sometimes invaluable.
• If you really depend on a hair dryer, plan to bring your own. Even if the ship provides them, you
may not find them to be powerful enough to handle your needs, particularly if you have long or
• A few emergency items are useful, particularly the flash light. It's nice to know that you have an
extra light for your room, and it could come in very handy should your ship develop some
temporary generator malfunctions. You’ll also want to take a nightlight if you’re staying in an inside
Top 10 Cruise Packing Tips
Camera. Sunscreen. Swimsuit. Okay, now that we've got the basics out of the way, here are a few must-have cruise items that'll help make your vacation more comfortable, enjoyable and memorable.
1. On the first day...
For the first day of your cruise, pack a small carry-on bag with your travel documents, a change of
clothes, bathing suit, workout clothes, and any medications you may need. That way you don't have to
wait for your checked bags to arrive in your stateroom.
2. Onboard attire...
Shorts, t-shirts, slacks, trousers, casual skirts, blouses and sundresses are all perfect during the day,
whether indoors or out.
3. For lounging by the pool...
Pack two bathing suits (an extra suit in case the other is wet) and a pair of casual shoes (e.g., flipflops,
sandals, sneakers). You'll also need some casual shorts and a couple of t-shirts or a cover-up
for getting to and from the pool areas.
4. Onboard fitness center...
If you're planning to visit the onboard fitness center, be sure to bring extra shorts, t-shirts and socks
that you won't mind working out in –plus a pair of tennis or running shoes/sneakers.
5. Dinner attire...
Suggested guidelines for these nights are:
Casual: Sport shirts and slacks for men, sundresses or pants for women
Smart Casual: Jackets and ties for men, dresses or pantsuits for women
Formal: Suits and ties or tuxedos for men, cocktail dresses for women
6. For fun...
There are four very important types of books you'll want to consider packing:
Poolside pleasures - nothing beats a great read in the sun
Journal - keep an account of your adventure for sharing and reminiscing
Address book - send your friends a postcard to make them jealous
Binoculars are another often forgotten, yet indispensable travel item. Be sure to pack a pair for
magnified excitement onboard and onshore.
7. Save space...
Be sure to leave some room in your luggage for all those souvenirs and mementos.
Some space saving ideas include:
Bring shirts and pants/skirts that mix and match, turning three outfits into five or six.
Wear your heaviest shoes during embarkation and disembarkation so you don't have to pack
Pack small items inside larger ones for efficiency.
Bring an additional empty bag for those acquired extras.
Remember, sport shorts, T-shirts, and bathing suits are not considered appropriate attire in the dining rooms at dinner.
8. Onshore attire...
You'll need comfortable walking shoes, as well as a hat and sunscreen for protection from the sun.
9. What Not To Pack
Weapons, illegal drugs, and other items that could interfere with the safe operation of the ship or the
safe and secure environment of our guests and crew are prohibited. The United States Transportation
Security Administration also recommends that you do not pack fragile or expensive items (such as
jewelry) in checked luggage.
The following are examples of items that guests are not allowed to bring onboard.
These and other similar items will be confiscated upon being found.
Alcoholic beverages, illegal drugs, flammable liquids, explosives, and dangerous chemicals will not be returned.
• Firearms & Ammunition, including realistic replicas.
• *Sharp Objects, including knives and scissors.
• Illegal Drugs & Substances
• Candles & Incense
• Coffee Makers, Clothes Irons, & Hot Plates
• Baseball Bats, Hockey Sticks, Cricket Bats, Bows & Arrows
• Skateboards & Surfboards
• Martial Arts Gear
• Self-Defense Gear, including handcuffs, pepper spray, night sticks.
• Flammable Liquids and Explosives, including lighter fluid and fireworks.
• HAM Radios
• Dangerous Chemicals, including bleach and paint.
• **Alcoholic and Non-Alcoholic Beverages
*Personal grooming items such as safety razors are allowed. Scissors with blade length less than 4
inches are allowed.
10. Don't Pack Valuable Jewelry. Blend in - Don't Stand Out.
Vacationers are common targets for thieves and luggage often gets lost along the way, so don't pack
anything you cannot afford to lose or replace. Criminals and con-artists look for people who stand out
with flashy jewelry.
Leave all that stuff home and dress so you fit in with the locals. Pack any valuable items you bought
while on your cruise in your carry-on.
Too many checked bags end up as lost luggage.