9 Essential Items to Pack for a Cruise

travel packing suitcase islands {photo credit}

The month of May marks the beginning of a busy cruise season for most cruise lines. That means, there are a lot of you that will be embarking on a sea adventure of a lifetime very soon. Whether you’re cruising to the Caribbean, the Bahamas or Bermuda {among dozens of other exotic locations} you want to be prepared for anything, without over packing. From sunscreen to flip-flops, I’ve created a list of 9 items you won’t want to forget when you go on your next cruise.

  • Swimsuits – Unless you have no intentions of ever taking a dip in the ship’s pool or putting your toes in the ocean, don’t forget a swimsuit for yourself and anyone traveling with you.
  • Sunscreen/Sunburn Care – The very last thing you want is to get sunburned on day one of your cruise. Wear sunscreen and reapply often. Should you forget to apply and do get a little sunkissed, make sure you have some aloe vera or lidocaine spray to help with the burn.
  • Sun dresses or Maxi Skirts – When you’re walking around the ship after a few hours at the pool, just throw on a sundress or a maxi skirt and tank and still look cute as can be.
  • Flip-Flops and Strappy Sandals – Flip-flops are going to be great to slip on around the pool, on the islands and to walk around the ship. However, you can not wear flip-flops to dinner. Be sure to bring some cute strappy sandals to wear with your evening dinner attire.



  • Big Floppy Sun Hat – This might be my most anticipated purchase for a cruise. Who doesn’t love a big, floppy hat? The pictures that come from wearing a big, floppy hat are always super cute, too!
  • Your own Snorkeling Gear – If you aren’t going to pay extra for shore excursions, but want to snorkel on your own, bring your own gear. I have read on a couple of travel sites that renting snorkeling gear when you get to your destination island can be upwards of $100 per day. It may be worth it to you to spend $20-$40 in your hometown and buy your own. Not to mention you KNOW that it’s been disinfected and is clean.
  • Waterproof Camera or Waterproof Case for your Smartphone – While you’re lounging by the pool on the ship or along the shore of the beach, don’t miss a single memorable shot. Make sure you either have a waterproof camera or a housing for your phone so you can capture every memory!
  • Lanyard/Card Holder for ID and Cruise Card – You can find cute lanyards in stores and on handmade sites. It’s important to keep your ID and the card that allows you to make purchases on the ship handy at all times.
  • Soda, Water and Wine or Champagne – Be sure to check the policy for your cruise line, but most ships allow each adult to carry on one 750ml bottle of wine or champagne, and each guest to carry on a limited amount of water or soda.
  • BONUS: Don’t forget sea-sickness medicine. You never know. It would seriously be no fun if you were sea sick and stuck in your stateroom for your entire vacation. Ask your doctor for a prescription strength or buy an over-the-counter medication.

Are you planning a cruise this Summer? What is on your packing list? Tell us in the comments or on our Facebook page!

Feature image photo courtesy of Brook Ward on flickr.

About Melissa Hillier

Melissa lives in Florida with her husband and five kiddos. She writes about her family life at jonahbonah. When she isn’t chasing children you can find her behind her sewing machine or her camera. Connect with her on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

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