Packing. Need to have a tab for first time cruisers

From Cruise Radio. com

When you cruise, there’s a lot you need to remember to pack. Formal clothes, swim clothes, your kid’s clothes, toiletries, sunscreen and… well, you get the idea. Most cruisers tend to remember these items. But, it’s the little things you remember to bring that make the biggest impact.

5 cruise packing hacks:

1. Anti-bacterial Soap. For your bathroom. Most cruise lines provide a small bar soap. They’re OK, but it’s a better idea to bring your own anti-bac soap from home to place in the bathroom during your cruise. Whether you bring an extra from home or pick one up at Target or Bath and Body Works, this item is a small way to protect big against any possible viruses or illnesses. Extra tip here – bring a bottle that can open and close for easier transport.

2. Water Bottle. Nalgene. Thermos. Tervis. You have a lot of options in the water bottle department. Whatever your favorite, don’t leave home without it. I didn’t do this on my first cruise and I had to buy water on every single shore excursion – at sometimes $5 a bottle – and we ended up with close to 20 cups in our room from the lido deck drink fountains. After spending that much on water, I got wise and starting bringing a water bottle with me. I could fill it up for free and take it with me on my shore excursions or to the beach. On sea days, I could also fill it up and carry it around from activity to pool and back. This is actually one of the first items I usually pack for my cruise.

3. Hair Clips. Not actually for your hair – though they’re good for that too. These can be used to clip on curtains – especially in ocean view cabins. Or to hold the shower curtain close. They’re also handy for holding your towel to your lounge chair. Don’t be fooled by these clever tools; they’ve got unlimited potential for making your cruise experience better.

4. Extra Camera Supplies. Batteries, SD Cards, Chargers. Cruise vacations provide memories that last a lifetime. And our cameras capture those memories permanently. So, you wouldn’t want to run out of battery power or memory space at a critical time – say when the monkey jumps on your daughter’s shoulder in Belize and she doesn’t freak out. Bring extra batteries, and extra SD card or two and if your camera can be charged – plug it in every night.

5. Ziploc Bags. Bring different sizes of these with you. They’re small, foldable and lightweight. When you need them, they’re big in value. Keep your wallet, cell phone or camera dry and sand-free. Put wet bathing suits and towels in them to keep your bag dry. Put a sweating water bottle in one. Basically, don’t leave home or the ship without them.

There you have it, 5 little things that will make a big difference on your next cruise. Do you have any must-have little items when you sail? We’d love to hear what you bring on your cruise to make things easier.

9 Answers

This is a great set of ideas, well thought out!

The formal clothes might scare some people since the rules are pretty lax on Carnival. I like the other suggestions though.

Thanks Pink!

I do take clips to keep the drapes closed to keep out the early morning sun, zip locks for beach weather proofing and I'll down load the SD cards if I need to on the lap top.

you are so right our first cruise I packed way to much formal and overall dressy clothing next cruise I'll know better and I will feel more at ease. The one thing I have learned its all about fun on Carnival

I usually pack too many clothes, but I am never at a loss for anything to wear -- and I don't have to do laundry on vacation!

Here's the problem - I'm about 5' - 100 lbs soaking wet and my husband and son are about 6"3" - twice my weight. My entire wardrobe fits in a child's "Going to Grandma's" bag while 2 pairs of size 13 shoes put them over the weight limit! Regardless, I wind up with way more luggage than them but I like to be able to choose clothing as the mood strikes me.

For most people, cruising is not a regular thing so you might as well take what you want!

Pack what you want, but remember that you have to lug the bags through airports, airlines charge for luggage, and there are weight restrictions on the luggage for the safety of those lifting it at the airports, and cruise terminal. Packing for a cruise is the same as packing for a resort for me, and only differs from other vacations because I pack a couple of nicer tops to wear with capris and maybe a dress for the MDR.

I'm getting better. I used to way overpack. I've scaled down to one suit case and a carryon. I used to also take a garment bag.


* is not a booking agent or travel agency, and does not charge any service fees to users of our site. Our partners (travel agencies and cruise lines) provide prices, which we list for our users' convenience. does not guarantee any specific rates or prices. While prices are updated daily, please check with the booking site for the exact amount. is not responsible for content on external web sites.

Back to Top