30 Unusual Things to Pack for a Cruise

Unusual things to bring on a cruise

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Some if the most useful items to bring on a cruise are things you may have at home. These household items make up some of the most unusual things to pack for a cruise – but they sure are handy!

This list is made up of unusual items that are less talked about, but probably should be added to your cruise packing list. Some can be found around your home, at the dollar store, and of course, Amazon.

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Unusual Things to Bring on a Cruise

If you’re a coffee lover, bring a large insulated mug for the cruise ship.

1. Ziploc Bags

Dollar store plastic baggies
Pack a variety of sizes of plastic baggies for a cruise

Ziploc or other resealable plastic baggies are so useful to pack for a cruise vacation. I like to bring several sandwich size baggies as well as large size Ziplocs.

Small size bags can be used as a quick “waterproof case” for passports, paperwork and to store small items. Larger size resealable bags are great to keep wet bathing suits that haven’t had time to dry before packing for the last day of the cruise.

2. Baby Powder

A new cruise travel hack I learned recently, is that baby powder is great for removing sand from your feet and legs on beach days.

I brought a little baby powder with me on a recent excursion to Horseshoe Bay Beach in Bermuda. It was wonderful to clean our feet properly before going for lunch at a local restaurant.

3. Slippers

Many cruisers say they like to have some slippers with them, to avoid walking barefoot in their cruise cabin.

These cloud slide slippers are super comfy and can even be worn to the pool or lido deck!

Recommended: “Cloud” slippers men & women (check price & reviews on Amazon here)

4. Highligher

I use the cruise line app a lot, but having a highlighter to mark off the activities I want to do on the cruise line daily planner is still my preference.

If you also like the paper cruise planners, bring a pen and highlighter on your cruise.

5. Post-it Notes

Pack a few post it notes to leave a note for your cabin steward.

6. Anti Wrinkle Spray & Laundry Stain Stick

Cruise lines don’t allow you to bring clothes steamers or irons on board, as they are a fire hazard. Many cruise ships won’t have laundry rooms or irons readily available either.

Therefore, 2 cruise essentials may people pack for a cruise are Downy Wrinkle Release and Tide to Go Stain Sticks.

Recommended: Downy wrinkle release travel size & Tide to Go Stain Sticks

7. Non-Surge Protected Power Bar

non surge power bar
A non-surge power bar is a useful cabin essential to pack for a cruise

Don’t bring a power strip from home, as cruise ships prohibit bringing surge power strips onboard.

That said, since most cruise staterooms don’t have many electric or USB outlets, bringing a non-surge (cruise-compliant) power bar is so useful!

Recommended: Power bar non-surge protected (check over 7000 5* reviews)

8. Heavy Duty Magnet Hooks

Cruise essentials magnet hooks
Use magnet hooks to organize your cruise cabin and add storage

One of my favorite cruise cabin organizing hacks is to bring heavy duty magnet hooks to add extra storage to my stateroom.

Most cruise cabin walls are metal, so this trick usually works amazingly well!

Recommended: Magnet hooks (heavy duty – see Amazon reviews here)

9. Insulated Coffee Mug

If you’re a coffee lover, bring along a large insulated coffee mug for your cruise.

Recommended: Insulated coffee mug (verify price & see 18,000+ reviews)

10. Over the Counter Stomach Medications

Let’s face it, on a cruise we are eating and drinking more, or at least differently than at home. Pack some over the counter stomach medications just in case.

Think antacids, laxatives and something to relieve traveler’s diarrhea.

Related: How to Prevent Swollen Legs and Ankles on a Cruise

11. Seasickness Medication

Don’t forget something for motion sickness as well. Here are 3 popular and effective items many cruise passengers use to prevent seasickness on a cruise.

12. Towel Clips

Towel clips are great for lounge chairs on a cruise, but also handy to use as clothes pegs in the shower, where you may find a clothes line.

Recommended: Towel clips

13. Earplugs

Have trouble sleeping or sensitive to noise? Consider packing earplugs or even noise cancelling headphones for the cruise or even for your flight.

Recommended: Noise cancelling earplugs (see over 10,000 Amazon reviews here)

14. Folding Boxes

Dollar store folding box
Folding box from dollar store

There are lots of cruise items you can find at the dollar store! Folding fabric boxes are great to keep your flipflops or organize other items in your cruise ship cabin as well.

15. Shower Caps

A good cruise packing tip is to save plastic shower caps to pack your shoes in your luggage.

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16. Foldable Duffel Bag

If you tend to have more at the end of a trip than when it begins, bring along a compact foldable duffel bag. This is great for pre and post cruise hotel stays as well.

Recommended: Foldable duffel bag

17. Duct Tape

I admit I’ve never brought duct tape on a cruise. However many cruise travellers swear by it and use it to quickly repair or identify luggage.

18. Foldable Laundry Hamper

hamper and foldable box for cruise
Pop up hamper & folding box for a cruise

One of my favorite cruise travel items is a foldable laundry hamper. On recent cruises it’s being one our top cruise cabin essentials!

Recommended: Foldable laundry hamper (see over 40,000 great reviews)

19. Anti-Chafing Balm

Anti-chafing balm is great to have and pack for Caribbean Cruises, Bahamas Cruises or warm weather cruise. If you’re walking quite a bit, it’s a useful item to bring as well.

Recommended: Anti-chafing balm HERS & HIS

20. Protein Bars & Other Snacks

Consider packing a few protein bars, snacks or granola bars for shore excursions or even if you have delays in travel.

21. Water-proof Phone Case

A water-proof phone case is one of the most genius travel gadgets I’ve ever seen! We used it and keep our phones, money and other items dry on a recent cruise excursion on Oasis of the Seas.

Recommended: Waterproof phone case on lanyard

22. Lanyard

Years ago I just didn’t get the lanyard. However, my hands are often full and having my cruise card on a lanyard is just plain easier. Plus, I never lose my cruise card anymore!

Recommended: Lanyard for cruises

23. Sewing Kit

Small sewing kits can be found at the Dollar Tree, or you may have one at home that you can pack in your luggage for your cruise.

24. Mini-First Aid Kit

Make sure to pack a small cruise first aid kit, with a few bandaids, over the counter medications, antibiotic ointments and other important items.

Related: 31 Cruise First Aid Kit Essentials You Need to Have

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25. Wine

Many cruise lines allow you to bring 1 bottle of wine, per adult onboard on embarkation day. If you don’t have a cruise drink package, bringing wine from home will save you money.

26. Collapsible Water Bottles

Bring along a refillable water bottle to keep hydrated. If you’d like to save some space, these refillable water bottles are great to bring on beach days and shore excursions.

Recommended: Collapsible water bottles for travel

27. Travel Fan

If you get hot, especially at night, you may want to pack a small battery powered travel fan. These are really useful for inside cabins on a cruise.

Recommended: Battery powered travel fan

28. Motion Sensor Nightlight

Cruise ship cabins are really dark at night. Bring along a motion sensor nightlight – definitely an unusual item that is brilliant!

Recommended: Motion sensor night light (check price & 1000+ amazon reviews here)

29. AirTag

An Apple Airtag is becoming essential for people who are travelling these days. Put an airtag in each piece of luggage and you will always know where it is!

Recommended: Apple AirTag (see reviews & check price on Amazon here)

30. Thank you Cards

Thank you cards or note cards are so useful to add a nice note to crew members, along with a tip at the end of your cruise.

Recommended: Cruise crew member thank you cards

Bonus: Luggage Tag Holders

Cruise lines will provide cruise passengers with printable luggage tags. However, they require folding, stapling, and even possibly taping. Still, they sometimes fall off.

Luggage tag holders are sturdy and reusable. They also make a great gift for cruisers for the holidays or anytime.

Cruise luggage tag holders (by cruise line)

Here are the luggage tag holders by cruise line (Amazon links):

Video: 13 Unusual Things to Pack for a Cruise

In this video I go over and illustrate some unusual household items to bring on a cruise.

Related & Popular Posts:

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Regular price: $27 Now just $17!

Final Thoughts on Unusual Items to Bring on a Cruise

Sometimes the simplest things are really useful to pack and bring on a cruise. many of the times in this post can be found in your own home, your local dollar store or are genius cruise accessories found on Amazon.

If you’ve been on a cruise, do you pack any of these things for your vacation? Please let me know in the comments below.

Happy Cruising!


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  1. July 9, 2022 / 1:01 am

    I bring pretty much all of that. No duct tape and no fan But I do bring a travel sound machine for white noise It’s the best thing ever. I know they say your phone has apps for that but we put our phones away on vacation plus you’re not draining the battery

  2. Margot Townsend Young
    July 17, 2022 / 3:43 pm

    Pack friends’ addresses – folks may not be able to recall addresses and ZIP codes for those to whom they want to mail a postcard.
    Question: Does the cruise ship staff sell postage stamps?

    • July 26, 2022 / 3:46 pm

      Great idea! Hmmm unfortunately I am not sure about this. I’m sure you can but one in port though

  3. Debbie
    July 17, 2022 / 8:27 pm

    We’ve been traveling with small battery powered candles (4-6) with extra button batteries. We place one or two at the step up into the bathroom and a couple strategically placed to keep us safe. We also use them in hotel rooms. Nice ambience too!

    We prefer Hollister M9 Odor Eliminator or MediChoice Biological Odor Eliminator for bathroom aromas. They really work for eliminating odors not just covering them up with perfume. As a former hospital nurse, I can attest these really do work!

  4. Michele Marie
    May 27, 2023 / 1:01 am

    Air fresheners, whether it’s for the room air or the toilet smell. We bring Magic Candle air fresheners (the hang-up cardboard type) and Poo-Pourri Lavender Vanilla for the loo. Your list is pretty well-complete with what we bring. We also bring our binoculars from home (not that we spy on the neighbors with them !!!).

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