things to pack for a cruise

I just came home from a cruise on Royal Caribbean.  With this being my 3rd cruise, you would have thought I had a packing list ready and knew the items I would need vs. things I could leave at home.  Truth is, there were many extras I never needed and other things I wish I had with me.

Of course all cruise ships are different, but this is a common list of the most important things to pack for a cruise:

  1. Sunscreen. The sun shines whether you are in the Caribbean or headed to Alaska, though the exposure may be a little different.  You can feel the sun’s rays from the second you step out the door to walk on the deck.  Apply and re-apply.
  2. First Aid Kit. Cuts and scrapes may need a bandage. Your head may need Tylenol. You definitely want to pack some motion sickness medicine, too.  You never know when you will need these items, and they are almost triple the “regular” price at the gift shop on board. 

    Photo Credit: Royal Caribbean
    Photo Credit: Royal Caribbean
  3. Camera, batteries and chargers. The views are amazing and there are lots of photo opportunities while at sea and on land.
  4. Sunglasses and hats. Protect your eyes and head from being in the sun. The top deck can be windy and hats may be helpful for keeping your hair in place.
  5. Light jacket. Even though it’s 80 degrees outside, inside can be cooler.  It’s better to have a wind breaker or sweatshirt with you, in the event you need it.
  6. Shoes. You will need walking shoes, sandals/flip-flops, dress shoes and possibly water shoes.
  7. Swimsuit and cover up. There are many swimming pools and hot tubs on board, with even more lounge chairs for catching the sun!  10 Things To Pack For a Cruise
  8. Lounge Chair Clips. If you are planning to lounge on the chairs around the deck, it’s best to put a towel down first.  trust me The lounge chairs are sitting in the sun all day, and the plastic gets hot.  Lay a towel down first, securing it in place with a few clips!
    *Beach towels are provided near the pools.
  9. Clothes. Check your ship’s itinerary for dinner dress codes.  Most cruises have both casual and formal nights, where you are expected to dress appropriately.
  10. Miscellaneous: ink pen, hair dryer, reusable bottle (for water), shampoo, conditioner, body wash, razor, dry bag for camera, socks, door decorations, highlighter for schedules, lanyard for Sea Pass card, etc.


Disclosure: I gathered this information from traveling on a Royal Caribbean cruise, as part of a press trip through Brandcation.  Partial expenses were paid. All opinions are my own.

Thanks to my partial sponsor, Ethaka travel! Take a look at their website and visit them on facebook and twitter!


  1. I love lounge chair clips–we have the same ones! ๐Ÿ™‚ Great tips on what to bring on a cruise. It’s always so hard to know what is necessary or not. Sunscreen is definitely a must!!

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