60 Cruise Packing Tips & Hacks All Cruisers Need to Know

cruise packing tips and hacks

Sharing is caring!

Are you wondering what to pack for a cruise? Cruises are such easy vacations, but cruise packing takes some planning.

In this post, I share the very best cruise packing tips and hacks you need to know. Whether you’re a first time cruiser or cruise veteran, this cruise packing list will help you to keep organized and have everything you need for a cruise vacation.

I’ve included some genius cruise packing hacks that will help you streamline the process. You’ll find smart organization techniques and essential items and travel gadgets you may not have considered for your cruise vacation.

If you’re looking for a full list of Amazon cruise essentials, I’ll include some resources at the bottom of this post.

This post contains affiliate links which means if you click and buy that I may make a commission, at no cost to you. Please see my disclosure policy for details.

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Cruise Packing Tips, Tricks and Hacks

cruise packing tips - what to pack for a cruise

Things to Consider When Making Your Cruise Packing List

Before I share the top cruise packing hacks and tips, these are some things to think about as you create your own cruise packing list. All of these things will make a difference to what you decide to pack for your cruise vacation.

  • What will the weather be like? (hot or cold, or both?)
  • What’s your cruise line dress code? (for cruise wear planning)
  • Will you be flying or driving to the cruise port?
  • How many people are in your cruise cabin? (for cabin organizing)
  • What excursions and cruise ship activities do you have planned?
  • Will you be packing with checked luggage or carry-on only?

What to Pack for your Cruise – Cruise Packing List Must-haves

1. Passports and Government ID

passports and identification for cruise

Firstly, have your cruise documents and your passport or birth certificate on you (in your purse or wallet) as you board your cruise, and not packed in your suitcase! You can be declined boarding if you do not have the proper ID and documents, so do not under any circumstances put them anywhere in your suitcase!

Cruise tip: As soon as you get to your stateroom, put your passports in your small cabin safe, along with any other valuables and cash you’ve brought on the trip.

2. Cruise Documents

Be sure to have your cruise documents ready for embarkation day as you board your cruise.

After you complete your cruise online check-in and fill in health questionnaires, it’s a good idea to print out your travel documents. While you may be using the cruise line app for boarding, it’s always a good idea to have your cruise boarding documentation on hand.

As well, print out any shore excursion reservations, hotel reservations etc. to pack for your cruise. 

Cruise Packing Tips 25 Items Not to Forget
Please PIN to save to yoru favorite Pinterest board

3. Embarkation Carry-on Bag

One of the things that first time cruisers often forget, is to pack an embarkation day carry on bag. Basically, you’ll want to pack anything that you may need for the first day of your cruise, as it will take several hours for your luggage to be delivered to your stateroom.

Recommended: Nautical stripe carry on bag tote (check price & over 3400 5* Amazon reviews)

Related: 23 Essential Things to Pack in Your Cruise Carry-On Bag

4. Hard Shell Luggage

While there’s some debate about which luggage is best, hard of soft sided luggage, hard shell luggage wins out for cruise packing!

Since cruise passengers drop luggage off with the porters outside the cruise terminal, it is possible for rain and other weather to have an impact.

The hard shell will protect your luggage from the weather, and keep your clothing and other items dry.

Hard sided luggage with spinner wheels will also make it so much easier to travel before and after your cruise.

Recommended: Level 8 hardshell luggage (my favorite luggage brand – check Amazon reviews here)

5. Pack with Packing Cubes

Packing cubes

Use packing cubes or compression bags to maximize space and keep your belongings organized.

One of the best pieces of packing advice I ever received was to use packing cubes to pack for a cruise. They help keep cruise outfits organized and stay mostly wrinkle-free.

If you’re cruising with kids, it’s a good idea to have packing cube sets in various colors and sizes.

Recommended: packing cubes (5 piece set on Amazon)

6. Use an Air Tag (or other luggage tracking device)

A smart cruise packing hack that many travelers use these days is a placing a GPS luggage tracking device in all checked luggage.

Flight travel continues be be chaotic, and having a luggage tracking device such as an Apple Air Tag or Tile Bluetooth Tracker can be a life saver!

Recommended: Apple Air Tags & holders

7. Place Your Contact Information Inside Your Luggage

This low tech cruise packing hack can be very useful! Before closing up your luggage, write your name and email address, as well as your travel information on a large paper that you place inside your luggage.

Luggage tags can rip or fall off luggage. If this happens, if your luggage is lost or misplaced at an airport, it can be forwarded to your destination by the airline.

8. Shore Excursion Bag

Make sure to bring a shore excursion bag, that you can bring on beach shore excursions or other tours. 

For Caribbean cruises, a big beach bag or good size backpack is essential to pack towels, sunscreen and everything you need for cruise shore excursions.

If you’re on an Alaskan cruise, bring a lightweight water repellant backpack for port days in Juneau, Ketchikan and other Alaska ports.

Recommended: Mesh beach bag with zippers (see details & 4.5* reviews on Amazon here)

Recommended: Light foldable backpack (waterproof)

9. Cell Phone

While having a mobile phone isn’t a necessity, it’s a good idea with you as you travel. Many cruise lines are now using apps for check in and even for new muster drills. 

These apps are free and a great addition to the paper daily planners that cruise lines put in your cabin each night. You can see what you want to do any any given hour of the day, and plan ahead for activities and reservations. You may even have a messaging service that can be used between guests, like with Princess Cruises Ocean Medallion.

If you want to use internet while on your cruise for posting on social media or checking emails, you can purchase a cruise wifi package.

Cruise tip: Remember to put your phone on airplane mode, as soon as you sailaway from the cruise port.

10. “Cruise Approved” Power-bar (non surge protected)

non surge power bar

While there’s a whole list of cruise accessories you could pack and bring with you, one thing not to forget is a non-surge protected “cruise approved” power bar.

Most cruise ship cabins just don’t have enough outlets. Although newer build ships may have a couple of USB outlets, most do not. Given all our electronic equipment and chargers, most cruisers would agree that packing a power bar with USB ports is a cruise cabin essential.

Note, for safety reasons, you cannot use a surge protector, iron or steamer. Click here to see my recommendation for a Cruise safe power strip (amazon).

11. Cruise Outfits and Comfortable Shoes

Overall, pack what you are comfortable wearing, but do check your cruise line’s dress codes. Some are more casual (ie. Norwegian) and some are more formal (ie. Cunard), while others are somewhere in between.

No matter the dress code, make sure to pack cruise wear for the weather. If cruising in a cool climate, pack layers for the day if spending time outdoors. When cruising in the Caribbean, light clothing can be worn most of the time.

Don’t forget to pack shoes for daytime activities and evenings. You don’t need a pair of shoes for every cruise outfit, but you do want to pack comfortable shoes for the activities you plan to do.

Flip Flops

Don’t forget to pack at least one pair of flip flops for any cruise. You’ll want to have flip flops to wear at the pool deck, thermal spa, in your cabin and on your cruise ship balcony.

Related: What I Wore on a 7 Day Caribbean Cruise (Cruise Outfits)

Recommended: How to Pack Light for a Cruise

12. Formal Wear/Dressy Outfits

Ilana and Frank formal night cruise wear

Not all cruise lines have formal nights, however most do have an evening where passengers tend to dress up. For instance, Celebrity Cruises has “evening chic”, Carnival has “Elegant” night and Norwegian has “Norwegian night out“. 

These days cruise lines have relaxed the suggested dress codes, but many people do enjoy occasion to dress up a little. If you would like to participate, plan on bringing some fancier outfits.

For men this can be a tuxedo, suit or dress pants and dress shirt. For ladies an evening gown, cocktail dress and “little black dress” are all appropriate.

Read more: What to Wear on a Cruise Formal Night (and frequently asked questions)

Get The Ultimate Cruise Planner

Regular price: $27 Now just $17!

13. Hanging Toiletry Bag

The average cruise ship cabin is fairly small and has minimal storage space. I pack my toiletries in a hanging toiletry bag and it saves a lot of space in the cabin bathroom.

Recommended: Hanging toiletry bag (available in large & medium size)

14. Travel Size Toiletries

Cruise lines provide basic toiletries such as shampoo and shower gel in your stateroom. However, the quality of products varies by cruise line.

If you have specific products you like to use, it’s a good idea to pack your toiletries in leakproof travel containers.

Recommended: Travel containers (includes TSA approved leakproof bottles, containers & toothbrush covers)

15. Shoe Bags

Don’t pack dirty shoes straight into your luggage and next to your clothing. Shoe bags are great to keep your shoes protected, scuff free and are more sanitary.

Shoe bags are a great packing organizing tool for cruises and any travel. Stuff shoes with small items like socks, ties and more.

A cruise packing hack that’s an alternative to a shoe bag is using a plastic shower cap to cover the bottom of the shoe. These can be found cheaply at the dollar store, with other travel items.

Recommended: Shoe bags (check price & Amazon reviews here)

16. Wine

Check with your cruise line, however many cruise lines allow you bring a couple bottles of wine on board. There is a corkage fee of 15$, however when you consider what a bottle of wine will cost on the ship, this is likely worth it!

17. Travel Corkscrew

If you drink wine, I suggest you bring a small travel corkscrew (TSA approved), and keep it in your luggage for next time too. This really saves some time and energy for me when cruise packing!

Cruise tip: You can ask your room attendant to keep ice in your ice bucket every day and also for wine glasses to be kept in your cabin. Alternatively, you can also pick up glasses at any bar.

25 Cruise Packing Tips & Tricks
Please PIN to save to your favorite Pinterest board

18. Refillable Water Bottles

The water on board the ship is filtered and safe to drink, so bring refillable water bottles to sip from while on the ship by the pool and especially in port when going to the beach.

Keep in mind that you will not want to drink the water in most ports of call so this item is a must on your cruise packing list. At about 3$ a bottle, you’ll save a lot of money by bringing your own.

Recently some cruise lines, including Virgin Voyages, have banned single use plastic bottles. Having a thermal good quality water bottle is useful to have both on the cruise ship and in ports of call.

Recommended: Refillable Water Bottles (check price & over 3000 Amazon reviews)

19. Travel Coffee Mugs

If you’re a coffee lover, pack a thermal travel coffee mug. You’ll be able to fill your coffee mug at the cruise ship buffet or cafe, and enjoy a big cup at any time of day.

Recommended: Travel coffee mug

20. Wrinkle Release Spray and Tide To Go

These 2 laundry items are very useful when traveling, but especially on a cruise ship when you don’t have easy access to laundry facilities.

Make sure to pack travel sizes of Tide to Go stain removal stick and Downy Wrinkle Release.

Related:Do Cruise Ships Provide Irons and Ironing Boards to Guests? 

21. Bring a Pop up Mesh Laundry Bag

Laundry hamper in cruise cabin

A great way to keep your cruise cabin organized and store dirty clothes is to bring along a collapsible mesh laundry hamper. This one actually folds up super small so it’s easy and light to pack for your cruise. 

This is honestly one of my favorite cruise tips!

Recommended: Mesh laundry hampers (see 1000+ reviews on Amazon)

21. Pharmaceutical Items

Some of the most overpriced items on a cruise are often pharmaceutical or health products sold in the cruise ship convenience store. So, avoid buying these items onboard, and pack them from home instead.

You’ll need; waterproof bandaids, polysporin, immodium, pepto-bismal or tums tablets, re-hydrate tablets, pain reliever, throat lozenges, allergy medicine like benadryll, calamine lotion and cough candies.

This is what I bring and include on my cruise packing list, but I suggest you write out your own cruise first-aid kit packing list. 

Read more: 31 Cruise First Aid Kit Essentials You Need to Have

22. Lanyards for Cruise Ship Cards

You might be wondering where to keep your cruise card? Having cruise lanyards for your cruise key card is a convenient way for cruisers to be a bit more hands free on a cruise.

With this must-have cruise essential, you won’t be losing your cruise card!

Recommended: Cruise lanyards (available in different colors)

23. Waterproof Phone Case

Consider bringing a waterproof phone case (great to pack for shore excursions) on a lanyard. You can take photos and videos with the phone case on, and avoid ruining your phone on a cruise!

Recommended: Waterproof phone case on lanyard (see 80,000+ Amazon reviews)

24. US small bills

Why bring small bills on a cruise? You won’t need cash to pay cruise ship tips or gratuities, as this can be charged to your credit card during your cruise. For your convenience, you can even prepay gratuities before your cruise if you like.

However, it’s a good idea to have small bills to tip the luggage porters as you drop off your luggage on embarkation day, or if they assist you for disembarkation. You may also want to tip for room service delivery, tour guides in a cruise port and have cash to make small purchases in a shore side market.

Keep in mind that US dollars are welcome in most Caribbean cruise ports. However, when you cruise in Europe or outside of North America, make sure to use the local currency.

Cruise tip: Avoid using your credit card in cruise ports, unless it’s for larger purchases. Even then, keep an eye on the currency being charged and that the amount is what was agreed upon.

cruise packing tips
Please PIN to save to your favorite Pinterest board

25. Credit Cards

It’s always a good idea to have a credit card or two when you’re traveling and visiting cruise ports of call. A good cruise travel hack is to apply for a credit card that has benefits like reward points and travel insurance.

26. Seasickness Medication

Make sure to be prepared for possible motion sickness on a cruise. While we all hope not to get seasick, seasickness medication or prevention should be on your cruise packing list just in case.

Years ago I used to bring scopolamine or motion sickness patches, although we never used them. If you are prone to seasickness, I do suggest bringing them as people report that they work really well. You can also bring seabands, which are great for the cruise ship as well as boat excursions.

Nowadays, I  bring some candied ginger as well as Bonine motion sickness medication, just in case.

Recommended: Natural ginger candies (check the reviews – these are awesome) 

Related: How to Prevent Seasickness on a Cruise: 10 Effective Remedies

Bonine vs Dramamine: Which is the Best Motion Sickness Medicine on a Cruise

27. Sunscreen & Aloe Vera

If you’re packing for a Caribbean or Bahamas cruise, make sure to pack reef-friendly sunscreen and aloe vera for potential sunburns.

Recommended: Reef-safe sunscreen (spf 50)

This is my favorite aloe vera gel! We used it on our last cruise when we got too much sun, and it was effective, non-sticky and moisturizing.

Recommended: Organic aloe vera gel (see price & amazon reviews here)

28. Lip balm

 Protection from the sun goes beyond our skin. Don’t forget to pack lip balm with an SPF for each member of the family, to avoid unwelcome swollen lips on a cruise.

I used this Neutrogena tinted lip balm on my Caribbean cruise and highly recommend it!

Recommended: Neutrogena tinted lip balm with SPF

cruise packing 101
Please PIN to save to your favorite Pinterest boards

29. Ziplock Baggies

Even though I love packing cubes and hanging toiletry bags, sometimes, a good old ziplock baggy is what you need. 

Pack a few bandaids in a baggy and throw them into your cruise shore excursion bag. Use baggies to pack a few snacks for your children from the buffet. You may even want to make a DIY wet bag and put wet bathing suits in large ziplocks after a beach excursion.

30. Water shoes

If you’re going to the beach, water shoes will be very useful. We brought water shoes for a shore excursion to Virgin Gorda, the Baths and have decided to bring them on every Caribbean, Bermuda and hot weather cruise from now on!

Recommended: Water shoes (men’s & women’s sizes & styles)

31. Children’s Items

If you’re traveling with young children, bring what you would need for any trip: diapers, wipes, rash creams. Bring some children’s tylenol or your preferred medication as well. Do check with the cruise line as to what will be provided as food, and what you may need to bring and add that to your children’s cruise packing list.

Related: 7 Best Cruise Lines for Families

32. Sand Toys

There really isn’t much of a limit on what you can bring on a cruise, so if you’re cruising with young children, why not pack sand and beach toys? These can really keep the kids busy on beach days, and having fun on your cruise!

33. Towel Clips

cruise towel clips cruise

If you’re going on a cruise, you’ll want to pack towel clips to keep your towels from blowing away with the sea breeze.

I bought these towel clips a few years ago. Not only are they probably my favorite cruise accessory, but they are so useful! When it’s breezy on a cruise ship on sea days, or even on our beach days, I simply clip my towels to the lounge chairs and they stay in place.

There are a few options such as cute flamingo clips, or parrots and more!

Recommended: Boca Clips Beach Towel Holders

Towel Bands

Alternatively, you may want to pack towel bands, especially if you’re trying to pack light on your cruise.

Recommended: Towel bands (check price & reviews here on Amazon)

35. Microfiber Towel

While you don’t have to pack a towel for a cruise, there are many cruisers who swear that bring their own fast dry towel is a great cruise tip!

The cruise ship will provide you with towels that you can use on the lido deck as well as in cruise ports. However, they can be heavy and take time to dry when they get wet.

Consider packing lightweight microfiber towels that dry quickly (and stay sand free) for beach and water excursions.

Recommended: Microfiber towels (see different sizes – medium & larger is best)

36. Inexpensive Watch

Consider bringing along an inexpensive watch so that you can be sure to stay on ship’s time in the cruise ports of call.

Recommended: Digital waterproof wristwatch (great reviews & affordable)

37. Luggage Sleeves

Protect your luggage when you fly or cruise with a reusable luggage sleeve or cover.

Recommended: Luggage cover (see through)

38. Reusable Straws

Cruise lines have banned plastic straws in recent years. Consider packing silicone reusable straws if you’d rather not have the soggy paper straws.

These make a great gift for the cruise lover in your life that seems to have it all.

Recommended: Silicone straws (check price & 3000+ Amazon reviews here)

39. Pill Organizer Box

I love this pill box with several compartments for over the counter medication and vitamins. This pill organizer box has separate compartments in a handy folding design.

Recommended: Pill organizer box (check price, color options & 8000+ reviews)

40. Cruise Luggage Tag Holders

After you print your luggage tags for your cruise, make sure that you purchase cruise luggage tag holders for your cruise line. This cruise packing hack will ensure that your paper tags don’t fall off your luggage during the boarding process.

Cruise Packing Hacks to Save Space & Pack Better

Packing for a cruise with packing cubes

These cruise packing hacks will save space in your luggage, stay organized educe wrinkles in clothing.

41. Use Packing Cubes for Organization

Use packing cubes to separate different categories of clothing for your cruise. Daywear, evening and sleepwear can all be placed in their own packing cubes.

42. Roll clothing instead of folding

Rolling clothes is a great way to pack clothing and reduce wrinkles. Many people also claim that rolling clothing is also a space saver.

43. Use tissue paper between clothing items

Tissue paper can be placed between clothing make of linen or cotton to reduce friction, which increases the chance of wrinkles forming in the clothing.

44. Place socks, scarves and small items in shoes and handbags

There are a lot of small places to pack items. This includes shoes and handbags. Putting soft items in handbags will preserve the shape of designer handbags.

45. Pack belts in dress shirt collars

A commonly known packing hack is to place a belt in the collar of dress shirts. This helps to keep the shape of a man’s dress shirt and also saves space in luggage.

46. Use dry cleaning bags for blouses and formal dresses

Dry cleaning bags can be placed between dresses and other clothing, and rolled. It will prevent wrinkles in formal wear.

47. Use bubble wrap to wrap fragile and glass items

If you’re packing fragile items like perfume bottles, why not use bubble wrap you’ve saved from packaging?

48. Use a plastic shower cap to cover shoes

Cover the sole of your favorite shoes as you pack them in your luggage.

49. Pack dryer sheets to keep clothing smelling fresh

Dryer sheets are great to have in your luggage to keep your clothing smelling fresh. This is especially important as you pack up at the end of your cruise, and will likely have dirty clothing.

50. Pack a kitchen garbage bag for dirty laundry

Put your dirty clothes in a scented kitchen garbage bag before you put them into your luggage at the end of your cruise.

51. Lock luggage with a TSA approved combination lock for safety

Don’t fly without locking your locking your luggage with a TSA approved lock. You can also lock valuable items like laptops and luxury bags in locked luggage to keep your items secure in your cruise cabin.

52. Pack a Separate Pre-Cruise Hotel Bag

Remember to have a packing cube with change of clothes and other items you’ll need for a pre-cruise hotel stay.

53. Make Your Luggage Stand Out

Most of us have black or gray luggage, which isn’t easy to spot in a sea of suitcases. Use ribbon, yarn or duct tape on your luggage to make it stand out at the airport and cruise terminal.

Cruise Packing Hacks for Your Cabin & Cruise Essentials

Cruise-cabin-magnets-hooks & clips

These are some ways to organize and add more storage to your cruise ship cabin. Many cruise passengers use a few cruise cabin hacks.

If you’re looking for add to your cruise packing list, here are some of the best selling cruise accessories on Amazon, that may be useful to pack for your cruise. 

54. Over the Door Organizer

Use an over the door shoe organizer to hold toiletries, flip flops, umbrellas and other items and add vertical storage to your cruise ship cabin.

55. Foldable Travel Hangers

You can request extra hangers from your cabin steward. However, if you prefer to bring your own, you can bring some lightweight foldable hangers so that you can unpack quickly.

56. Magnet Hooks

Pack some magnet hooks to hand your hats, sweatshirts and even backpacks in your cruise cabin. Many cruise ship cabin walls are metal, so magnetic hooks are genius! Make sure they are heavy duty (50 lbs plus).

57. Sticky Notes

Pack sticky notes to leave notes for your cabin attendant or cabin mates.

58. Highlighters

Cruise lines have apps where you can your daily schedule. However, if you like a paper cruise planner (as I do), then bring a highlighter to mark the activities you want to check out.

59. Travel Fan

Cruise ship cabins can get hot and stuffy. Consider packing a small travel fan.

60. White Noise Machine

If you need white noise to sleep, consider packing a small white noise machine or download a white noise app on your cell phone.

First time cruisers should know that cruise ships can have noises that you won’t hear in a hotel room (like ocean sounds, hallway noise and creeks).

Would you like to see more about packing for a cruise? In this video I share more cruise packing tips you’ll enjoy!

61. Cruise Cabin Night Light

Cruise ship cabins get very dark at night, especially inside cabins. You may want to pack a motion sensor cruise cabin night light.


Get The Ultimate Cruise Planner

Regular price: $27 Now just $17!

Related & Popular Posts:

Final Thoughts on Cruise Packing Tips and Hacks All Cruisers Need to Know

In this post we went over what to pack for a cruise, as well as over 60 useful cruise packing tips and hacks for new and experienced cruisers. I’ve also included some of the most useful cruise items that can make your cruise easier as well.

I hope this post has been helpful to give you a good idea to know what to pack for your cruise vacation.

What are your cruise packing tips or must-haves items you bring on a cruise? Please let me know in the comments below.

Happy Cruising!


If you found this post helpful, please don’t keep it to yourself ;-). Share it on Facebook or Save for later Pinterest (share buttons at the top). Thanks so much!



  1. Becky C
    April 13, 2018 / 1:07 am

    Iโ€™ve read from a lot of travelers to use packing cubes. I myself havenโ€™t used them YET. I just bought some for our next months cruise. They really help avoid wrinkled clothes, and they keep everything organized.

    • April 13, 2018 / 1:27 am

      I just googled those. What a good idea! I know I’ve tried the plastic packing bags (ziplock I think), but since I pack my shoes in between my clothes I preferred my clothes more “flexible”. Perhaps I’ll try these. If you cruise shortly please pop back and let me know how you like them ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Janine Jensen
      April 23, 2018 / 2:35 am

      I love packing cubes!! Rolled clothes pack with ease. Check out YouTube for folding techniques.

      • April 24, 2018 / 1:54 am

        Seems I have to try these!! Next cruise for sure ๐Ÿ™‚

        • Lynda
          June 18, 2019 / 11:39 pm

          LHaggard I have cruised a dozen or more times. Last year the Celebrity Equinox and this year on the Carnival Freedom is booked. Enjoyed several different lines and never disappointed.

          • July 1, 2019 / 2:48 pm

            Hi Lynda,

            It’s great that you enjoy the different cruise experiences on different cruise lines.

            Have fun on the Freedom!


      • Chrissie
        June 3, 2018 / 11:31 am

        I always use packing cubes, they work really well for me ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป๐Ÿ˜Š

        • June 3, 2018 / 12:28 pm

          Well I will 100% be trying them for my cruise next month! Thanks for the tip :-)!!

        • Judith Barr
          August 18, 2018 / 2:24 pm

          I used packing cubes for the first times on my last cruise. I loved them. You can leave all your clothes in them and just put the cubes on a shelf or in a drawer. Just unzip and leave open in the shelf or drawer. So much quicker to unpack and pack now. I love them.

          • August 19, 2018 / 12:50 am

            Really? That sounds like such a time saver!! I actually hate packing up to go home, so especially for that! Thanks for the tip Judith ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Janine Jensen
    April 23, 2018 / 2:31 am

    Just returned from the Eastern Caribbean. I definitely overpacked. I must say, I brought 4 swim suits and wore all of them and lived in light weight board shorts, flowy tank tops and flip flops. Didnโ€™t need the fancy shorts at all. All you need is one LBD and play it up with accessories if you have 2 formal nights. Long summery maxi dresses were perfect for evenings and donโ€™t forget a light weight sweater. The ships air conditioning can be quite chilly.

    • April 24, 2018 / 1:56 am

      You’re right. A LBD really works! I too love my sundresses. I am a sucker for shoes though. One cruise I brought 17 pairs for 7 days… but that included flip flops, fancy sandals, heals, running shoes. In any case I know that was too much, even for me, lol. I’m better now!! Thanks for commenting ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. April 24, 2018 / 12:30 am

    Great info. I love to travel but have not yet been on a cruise. What would you say is the best part of taking a cruise? Thanks Nina

    • April 24, 2018 / 1:53 am

      Hi Nina,
      A cruise is definitely worth a try! Personally, I like so many things. It fits my need to have fun, relax, reconnect with my loved ones and travel and explore. If you love to travel but cruising makes you a bit nervous, perhaps try a cruise that leaves out of a destination you always wanted to visit. I this way you can plan 2 or 3 days in that city to explore more deeply. After that each day in a port is about 10 hours, so you can decide what you want to do. Perhaps browse my site for the Cruise Misconceptions post, as there is a cruise for everyone and one size does not fit all. Let me know if you need advice or have questions ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Kathryn
    April 25, 2018 / 10:23 am

    Thanks for your practical tips, one of the best Iโ€™ve read so far. Going on my first cruise around the Med for 14 days in a July and this will help a lot..

    • April 28, 2018 / 12:04 am

      Thanks for your comment Kathryn! I’m so glad to hear that you found the tips helpful. I have another post with Med Cruise tips that you might like too. Shoot me any questions about your Med ports if you like :-).

  5. April 26, 2018 / 9:28 am

    I rarely drop comments, however i did some searching
    and wound up here Cruising this Year? Simple, Easy and Practical Packing Tips for the Best Cruise –
    LifeWellCruised.com. And I do have a few questions for you
    if it’s allright. Could it be only me or does
    it look like a few of these responses look like they are
    coming from brain dead visitors? ๐Ÿ˜› And, if you are writing on additional sites, I’d
    like to keep up with everything new you have to post.
    Could you list of the complete urls of your social pages like your
    Facebook page, twitter feed, or linkedin profile? https://www.silicone-wristbands.co.uk

  6. June 12, 2018 / 12:27 pm

    I always have to make the packing list for my family, this makes life a lot easier! Great information!

    • June 15, 2018 / 1:27 am

      Hey Jessica, I am so glad it was helpful for you! Thanks for taking the time to comment xoxo, Ilana

  7. Jody
    June 16, 2019 / 9:29 pm

    Please do to leave a case of water with the porters if you are cruising Disney Cruise Line. All drinks must be carried on.

  8. Sandy
    July 25, 2019 / 12:56 am

    I have been using packing cubes for a few years now. They are a must! You can pack more and keep everything super organized!

    • July 25, 2019 / 1:15 pm

      Thanks Sandy for sharing that. They definitely see to make life so much easier when packing for a cruise.

      I’ll have to take your advice and try and find some I love!


  9. Jen
    December 6, 2019 / 9:38 pm

    I finally bought packing cubes before our last trip to Arizona last year…what a difference! I’m cruising next month on a mother/daughter birthday trip with my mom, and can’t wait to see how efficient I can be for our cruise ๐Ÿ™‚
    Thank you for all of your hacks and tips. I feel very prepared….now to get all of this stuff packed into a small suitcase!

    • December 10, 2019 / 2:32 am

      Hi Jen,

      That’s awesome! Great to hear the packing cubes work so well!

      Thanks for your kind words – I’m glad you’re feeling prepared for your mother/daughter cruise. It sounds really special!

      Have an amazing cruise!


  10. Debra Stansfield
    May 14, 2021 / 10:00 pm


    I am a light sleeper and I need complete darkness when I sleep. I never travel without this as I find this works on cruises as well as in hotel rooms. My discovery?

    I take 10 to 12 large “chip bag” clips with me and use them to keep curtains tightly closed thereby keeping out ALL light.

    So for all you light sleepers out there, try this hack.

    • May 16, 2021 / 1:32 pm

      Hi Debra,

      That’s a smart hack! It could definitely be used on cruises (for ocean view & balcony cabins) as well.

      Thanks for sharing


  11. Emily Bastien
    May 23, 2023 / 12:17 pm

    Ilana – We will soon be on our 16th cruise and I would like to share: I use large zip-lock bags to pack separate items – undies, socks, short sleeve shirts, sweaters etc…( you get the idea) and when I unpack, the bags go right in the drawers and/or shelves – don’t have to worry (especially when packing for disembark) both goes fast. Also my husband is left handed so everything is layed out as per… closet, bathroom shelves.. he is on the left. I unpack- he hangs the clothes- you would be surprised how fast you accomplish that duty and ready to roam the ship. Also these filled bags fill in for slipping between slacks ( I have no wrinkles upon arrival). I hope this idea is as useful to some as it is to me. PS: when I zip the bags, try to get as much air out of them – takes less room in luggage!

  12. Marilyn Merrill
    June 28, 2023 / 9:45 pm

    I use 2 colors for cubes, cube pack everything and then split his and mine between two suitcases. Unpacking is easy and if one suitcase is lost, we still each have some clothes.

  13. Marianne
    June 28, 2023 / 9:55 pm

    I leave one suitcase (unzipped) under the bed and as dirty laundry accumulates during the cruise, I pack it into this suitcase. When disembarkation rolls around, much of your packing is done. Once you get home, unpacking is easier because all the laundry is in one suitcase. This works for my husband and me, canโ€™t speak for a family situation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.