31 Cruise Cabin Essentials Every Cruiser Needs

Cruise Cabin Essentials

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If you’re going on a cruise, you probably know that most cruise ship cabins are pretty small and compact. Packing a few useful cruise cabin essentials can make a huge difference, often adding more space and storage to your stateroom.

In this post, I’ll share some of the most popular items cruisers use to keep their stateroom more organized and comfortable!

On recent cruises, I tried out some amazing new items that I wish I bought sooner. I’ve also included some great recommendations of cruise accessories and travel gadgets that many seasoned cruisers swear by!

31 Useful Cruise Essentials for Your Cabin

Celebrity Summit Inside Cabin 6 x 4
A beautifully appointed, but small, cruise cabin

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1. Magnetic Hooks

My favorite cruise cabin hack is to use magnet hooks to add extra storage to your stateroom. Most of the time, your cruise cabin will have only 1 or 2 hooks somewhere near the front door or the bathroom.

Since most cruise cabin walls are metal, bringing your own magnet hooks on a cruise will allow you to add space to hang your sunhats, sweatshirts or jackets, and even a backpack on your wall. Whether you have an inside cabin or a balcony cabin, these magnet hooks are genius!

Make sure the magnetic hooks are heavy-duty, as they do need to be strong enough to hold your items.

Strongman Tools Strong Magnetic Hooks Heavy Duty Magnet Hooks for Hanging - with Neodymium & Non Scratch Adhesive - Magnetic Hook for Cruise, Wall, Locker, Hanger and More - 6 Pack Set, 50 lbs

Recommended: Heavy Duty Magnetic Hooks (see 4500 4.5* Amazon reviews & price on Amazon here)

2. Magnet Clips

Magnet clips cruise cabin

Keep cruise cabin clutter off the desk or counter space by placing paper documents, shore excursion tour tickets and other items onto magnetic hooks mounted on the metal cabin walls. Simple magnet clips just make everything feel more organized and clutter free.

Recommended: Magnetic Clips (see price & reviews on Amazon)

3. Over the Door Organizer

An over the door organizer is a handy cruise accessory to keep toiletries, sunscreen and other essentials and is truly a cruise passenger favorite!

Are you cruising with your family? Then, I have a time-saving cruise packing tip for you (especially if you’re cruising with young kids). Consider packing your over the door organizer at home before your cruise. Then have it ready to hang when you do your unpacking on embarkation day.

My good friend does this and loves how easy it is to set up and unpack once in her cruise cabin!

Cruise On Large Mesh Over Door Hanging Organizer 34 Pockets - White Cabin Organization Shoe Holder & Cruise Essentials Storage (24'x60')

Recommended: Over the door organizer (cruiser favorite with 34 pockets!)

4. Non-Surge Protected Power Cube

These days, many cruisers bring a non-surge protected power bar or cube to add extra electric and USB outlets to the cabin. However, cruise passengers have to be careful to only bring those that are non-surge protected.

I like this non-surge protected power cube with 3 electric outlets, 2 USBC outlets and 1 USBA outlet. This power cube is compact and easy to pack.

Cruise Approved Power Strip Non Surge [6 Outlets] 2 USB-A, 1 USB-C, & 3 AC Outlet for Carnival, Celebrity, Princess, Norwegian, Holland America, MSC, Virgin Voyages & Major Cruise Lines in 2024 & 2025

Recommended: No surge protected power cube(gets 5* Amazon reviews)

5. International Travel Adapter

Even if you’re not cruising to Europe, you may want to bring a travel adapter. Most cruise ship cabins have both a US electric outlet and a European electric outlet.

I used this travel adapter for my Mediterranean cruise and on several cruises to add an extra electric outlet. It’s a lesser known, but super smart cruise cabin hack!

International Travel Adapter Universal Power Adapter Worldwide All in One 4 USB Perfect for European US, EU, UK, AU 160 Countries (Blue)

Recommended: Travel adapter

Related: 60 Cruise Packing Tips & Hacks All Cruisers Need to Know

6. Hanging Toiletry Bag

Hanging toiletry bag

A hanging toiletry bag is not only a cabin space saver, but a great way to keep organized when traveling. When using a hanging toiletry bag in your stateroom or bathroom, it keeps all your toiletries off the counter and saves you time on unpacking and packing again.  

BAGSMART Toiletry Bag Travel Bag with hanging hook, Water-resistant Makeup Cosmetic Bag Travel Organizer for Accessories, Shampoo, Full Sized Container, Toiletries, Smokey Blue

Recommended: Space-saving hanging toiletry bag (available in different colors on Amazon)

7. Hanging Jewelry Organizer Case

This hanging jewelry organizer case can be hung on your stateroom wall with your magnets, saving space in your cabin. This useful new cruise travel item helps to keep organized, even if you’re packing light.

BAGSMART Travel Hanging Jewelry Organizer Case Foldable Jewelry Roll with Hanger for Journey-Rings, Necklaces, Bracelets, Earrings, Soft Pink

Recommended: Hanging jewelry organizer case (see different colors & 2000+ amazon reviews)

8. Foldable Hangers

It’s not uncommon for a cabin to have limited hangers. You can request extra hangers from your cabin steward. However, many frequent cruisers say they prefer to simply bring a few foldable travel hangers so they can unpack without waiting.

12 PCS Travel Hangers - Cruise Ship Essentials Portable Folding Clothes Hangers Travel Accessories Foldable Clothes Drying Rack for Travel (Black)

Recommended: Foldable travel hangers (check price & reviews on Amazon here)

9. Pou-pourri Room Freshener Spray

Poo-Pourri

Cruise staterooms are definitely tight quarters, with 2 or more people all sharing one bathroom and cabin space. A little Pou-pourri bathroom spray goes a long way to help keep your cruise cabin smelling fresh and is a true cruise essential.

Poo-Pourri Before-You-Go Toilet Spray, Original Citrus, 2 Fl Oz - Lemon, Bergamot and Lemongrass

Recommended: Pou-pourri spray (check price & 30,000+ 5* Amazon reviews here)

10. Pop up laundry hamper

Laundry hamper in cruise cabin

This foldable mesh laundry hamper keeps dirty clothes out of the way. You may want 2 of these, so you can store one under the bed once it’s full. We used this on our last cruise and it was a huge help!

Recommended: Mesh pop up laundry hamper

11. Portable Clothesline

These days it’s rare for cruise ships to have passenger laundry rooms. If you’re planning to wash or dry a few clothing items during your cruise, this portable clothesline with clothes pegs is a life-saver!

Retractable Portable Clothesline for Travel,Clothing line with 12 Clothes Clips, for Indoor Laundry Drying line,Outdoor Camping Accessories

Recommended: Portable clothesline (check price & 5000+ great Amazon reviews)

12. Laundry Detergent Sheets

Hand wash a few items in your bathroom sink, and save time and money on cruise ship laundry. These eco-friendly laundry detergent sheets are great for travel!

Eco-friendly Laundry Detergent Sheets, Travel Size Liquidless Soap Sheets NeatClear | No Mess & Space-Saving, Great For Travel, Apartments, Dorms | Fresh Linen Scent 32 Laundry Strips (32 Loads)

Recommended: Laundry detergent sheets (cost effective & space saving)

13. Portable Fan

Cruise cabin temperatures can be hard to control and many cruisers find staterooms can get hot and stuffy, especially at night. If you like the air circulating a bit in your stateroom, this battery operated mini-fan is a must-bring on your cruise!

efluky 3 Speeds Mini Desk Fan, Rechargeable Battery Operated Fan with LED Light, Portable USB Fan Quiet for Home, Office, Travel, Camping, Outdoor, Indoor Fan, 4.9-Inch, Black

Recommended: Portable fan – battery operated (check reviews and pricing on Amazon)

13. Digital Alarm Travel Clock

A simple, no frills digital alarm clock is a popular cruise cabin essential for many cruisers. Having a dedicated clock in your cabin can be very useful, especially when cruise ships ask you to move the time forward or backward by an hour, as has happened on our recent cruises.  

Digital Travel Alarm Clock - No Bells, No Whistles, Simple Basic Operation, Loud Alarm, Snooze, Small and Light, ON/Off Switch, 2 AAA Battery Powered, Black

Recommended: Digital Alarm Travel Clock

14. Cruise Cabin Nightlight

Whether you cruise in an inside cabin, oceanview or balcony cabin, having a motion sensor nightlight is very practical.

Your room will be very dark at night, and leaving a bathroom light on may not be practical. This motion sensor nightlight is used by many cruisers. It has a rotating magnetic base, which can attach to the metal surfaces and cabin walls.

Night Light Motion Sensor [Battery Powered] with Rotating Base for Indoor Use in Bathroom, Hallway, Cruise Cabin & More White

Recommended: Cruise cabin nightlight with battery

15. Sunrise Alarm Clock

For those cruising in windowless inside cabins, a sunrise alarm clock is a great way to wake up! Many cruisers swear by this natural light way to wake up.

Wake Up Light Sunrise Alarm Clock for Kids, Heavy Sleepers, Bedroom, with Sunrise Simulation, Sleep Aid, Dual Alarms, FM Radio, Snooze, Nightlight, Daylight, 7 Colors, 7 Natural Sounds, Ideal for Gift

Recommended: Sunrise alarm clock (see reviews on Amazon)

16. Electronic Organizer Bag for Chargers & Wires

Electronics wire & charger case

Cables, chargers and wires are best when organized, both in your cabin and when traveling to and from your cruise. This electronics organizer bag is perfect! We’ve used it and it gets great reviews as well.  

BAGSMART Electronics Organizer Travel Case, Small Cable Organizer Bag for Essentials, Tech Organizer as Accessories, Cord Organizer for Phone, Power Bank, SD Card, Black

Recommended: Electronics organizer bag (see different colors & price on Amazon here)

17. Portable Phone Charger

portable phone charger cruise accesories
Long lasting portable phone charger was a cruise must-have!

We couldn’t do without our portable phone chargers on our last cruise. If you take photos and videos, or have an internet plan on the cruise ship, it’s a good idea to have one at least. This is the one I used and loved (Amazon) – it even charged 2 mobile phones at ones.  

INIU Portable Charger, Slimmest 10000mAh 5V/3A Power Bank, USB C in&Out High-Speed Charging Battery Pack, External Phone Powerbank Compatible with iPhone 15 14 13 12 X Samsung S22 S21 Google iPad etc

Recommended: Portable phone charger (check over 9000 reviews on Amazon)

18. Compression Packing Cubes

While packing cubes are more of a cruise packing hack than a cruise cabin essential, I’ve recently discovered the true value of these must-have items. In fact, compression packing cubes are invaluable for cruise cabin organization!

You can pack your packing cubes at home, and then unzip and place them directly into shelves and drawers on your cruise.

These compression packing cubes help to keep organized and pack more efficiently!

BAGSMART Compression Packing Cubes for Travel, Compressible Packing Cubes for Carry On Suitcase, Lightweight Travel Essentials (6-Pack (1L+2M+2S+1Shoe Bag) Pink

Recommended: Compression packing cubes set

Practical Cruise Cabin Items You'll be glad you packed
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19. Hanging Packing Cubes and Portable Shelves

This hanging packing cube and travel organizer is a smart way to organizer your cruise cabin closet. Pack once at home and simply hang it up when you get into your stateroom on embarkation day.

Bukere Hanging Packing Cube for Travel, Portable Shelves Organizer Bag for Luggage Suitcase, Travel Essentials, Compression Carry-On Closet Storage, X-Large Capacity

Recommended: Hanging portable shelves and packing cubes travel organizer

20. Cruise First-Aid Kit

Packing some basic first aid items and over the counter medications are essential. This cruise first aid kit is done for you!

First Aid Only 299 Piece All-Purpose First Aid Emergency Kit (FAO-442)

Recommended: Cruise first aid kit (see what’s included & read over 70,000 reviews on Amazon)

21. Magnet Dry Erase & White Board

Using post it notes or dry erase white boards to communicate cabin mates and cabin attendants is a common practice for many cruisers.

In fact, some people like to decorate their cabin doors with white boards, where fellow passengers may leave messages as they pass by.

VUSIGN Small White Board Dry Erase, 8.5'' x 11'' Magnetic Dry Erase Board, Mini Whiteboard with Markers for Kids, Students, Fridge, Wall, Locker, Black

Recommended: Magnetic white board

22. Insulated Coffee Mugs

If you’re a coffee lover, be sure to bring a good quality insulated coffee mug. After all, coffee tastes better on a balcony with an ocean view!

SUNWILL 20oz Tumbler with Lid, Stainless Steel Vacuum Insulated Double Wall Travel Tumbler, Durable Insulated Coffee Mug, Powder Coated Navy, Thermal Cup with Splash Proof Sliding Lid

Related: Insulated coffee mug

23. Cruise Lanyard

Where will you keep your cruise card? The best place is on a cruise lanyard that you can hang on a small magnet hook on your cabin wall.

Cruise On Adjustable Lanyard | Includes ID Holder, Key Card Retractable Badge & Waterproof Ship Card Holder | Blue & Pink [2-Pack]

Recommended: Cruise lanyard with detachable clip

24. Travel Size Shampoo and Conditioner

Cruise lines provide shampoo and soap, but the quality of toiletries can vary greatly. It’s a good idea to pack your own toiletries on travel size containers.

Morfone 16 Pack Travel Bottles Set for Toiletries, TSA Approved Travel Containers Leak Proof Silicone Squeezable Travel Accessories 2oz 3oz for Shampoo Conditioner Lotion Body Wash (BPA Free)

Related: Travel size toitetry containers (over 14,000 amazon reviews)

25. Clorox Disinfecting Wipes

Disinfecting wipes are important to bring to sanitize your cruise cabin surfaces. We also use them for shore excursions to disinfect surfaces on shuttles and travel to and from our cruise ship.

Clorox Disinfecting Wipes, Bleach Free Cleaning Wipes, Household Essentials, Fresh Scent, Moisture Seal Lid, 75 Wipes, Pack of 3 (New Packaging)

Recommended: Clorox disinfecting wipes 

26. Highlighters

Pack a highlighter to mark off items in your daily planner (ie. Cruise Compass). While activities and entertainment options are available on the cruise line app, many cruise passengers still like to have use a paper daily cruise schedule (sometimes you’ll need to request it)

27. Pens

Hotel rooms and cruise ship staterooms rarely provide pens anymore. These days, a pen and small note pad should be on your cruise packing list.

28. Ziplock Bags

Dollar store plastic baggies

This sneaky tip will help you get around room service fees. If you think you’ll like a late evening snack, use small ziplock bags for sandwiches, cookies, crackers, cheese, grapes or anything else you may like.

29. Small Plastic Containers

Similar to ziplock bags, many cruisers like to bring a couple small plastic containers to store foods and snacks in the cabin mini-fridge. You can pick these up along with other dollar store travel items.

30. Cruise Staff Thank You Notes

Say thanks to your cruise cabin attendant, waiter or other cruise staff with a thank you note. I like to leave a cash tip and write a short note of appreciation.

Cruise On Cruise Staff Thank You Cards from [6 Pack]

Recommended: Cruise crew thank you note

31. Small Bills for Tips

US dollar bills

Don’t forget to pack some small bills. I like to bring about 25 one dollar bills, as well as some 5 and 10 dollar bills. I keep small bills in the cabin desk drawer so I always have tip money ready for room service delivery.

Video: How We Organized Our Cruise Cabin (must-have essentials)

 

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Final thoughts on Cruise Cabin Essentials Every Cruiser Needs

If you use your cabin storage space well and keep organized with a few must-have cruise cabin accessories, you’ll be a happier cruiser!  These are some of the most popular and useful cruise cabin essentials, that many experienced cruisers actually use.

What items do you use and like best for your cruise cabins? Please let me know in the comments below.

Happy cruising!

Ilana

P.S. If you enjoyed this post and found it helpful, please don’t keep it to yourself ;-). Feel free to share on Pinterest, Facebook or Twitter (share buttons at the top). Thanks so much!

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6 Comments

  1. JAMES HOOVER
    March 30, 2022 / 2:35 pm

    HELLO
    DO YOU HAVE ANY INFORMATION AND OR REVIEWS OF THE ROYAL CARIBBEAN GRANDEUR OF THE SEAS.
    HOW CAN I FIND UPDATED VIDEOS OF THE SHIP AND HOW THE BEDS ARE ARRANGED INSIDE AN OCEAN VIEW ROOM. THIS IS OUR FIRST FAMILY CRUISE EVER.

    THANK YOU

    • April 25, 2022 / 12:41 pm

      Hi James,

      I don’t have specific information about the Grandeur of the Seas. If you google your cabin, you may be able to find images that are on the internet. You can also call your TA or the cruise line – the beds may be pullman beds (on top of main bed) for this type of cabin. The cabin steward should be able to tuck them back into the wall or ceiling during the day.

      Have a great cruise!

      Ilana

  2. Dale Wilson
    May 29, 2022 / 4:21 pm

    Why did your bed look so lumpy? I love listening and watching you!
    First cruise is in September, Holland America from Boston to Montreal!
    Learning from you I feel pretty confident! Thank you for the hours of learning!
    Ms Dale Wilson

    • June 13, 2022 / 11:56 am

      Hi Ms Dale,

      Hmmm I’m not sure. However I’m glad you’re finding the videos helpful. That’s a nice small ship, great for your itinerary!

      Enjoy,

      Ilana

  3. Debrah Warner
    July 1, 2022 / 1:58 pm

    Where do you pack the magnetic clips and hooks. Do you need to be careful not to have the magnets around electronics like a laptop?

    PS. I made you a beautiful Cruise Lanyard. I respect your privacy, but would love to send it to you. If you would like it, you can email me a shipping address. Thanks for all the awesome tips!!!!

    • July 11, 2022 / 1:35 pm

      Thanks so much Debrah! I usually pack these in my regular luggage. I’m not really sure how they would be near a computer but that’s something to consider.

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