Cruise Packing List: The Absolute Cruise Essentials


If you’re heading off on the voyage of a lifetime, you’ll need to put together a cruise checklist that will help you remember all the items you’ll be needing. If this is your first time on a cruise ship, you’ll need a few extra tips on what to bring with you, and what’s better left at home!

Whether you’re cruising to Thailand, the Maldives, or any other tropical island paradise, you’re in for an absolute treat!

What to bring on a cruise is not as hard of a question as you might think. But we’re here to help prepare you only take the cruise necessities with you! Here are the top things to bring on a cruise and tick off your cruise packing checklist.

What Clothes to Pack for a Cruise

Packing for a cruise can be a little tricky, (especially if you’ve never been on one before), but there are a few cruise must-haves that you simply can’t do without. Here are a few clothing items to take on a cruise that will help you along the way.

  • Skirts – When spending plenty of time in the sun, you’ll want to have a skirt or two that allow your legs to catch some rays, and catch a great tan! Skirts are also ideal to throw on over your swimming costume for a little extra coverage when walking around the ship.
  • Wrap – A lightweight wrap is the perfect thing to throw on after a swim. They keep your skin protected from the sun without making you too hot!
  • Sandals – While spending your days tanning and lazing in the sun, sandals are the perfect shoes to wear. They don’t make your feet too warm, and you can put them on while your feet are still wet as they’ll dry off quickly.
  • Comfortable Shoes – Most of the time you’ll be walking around the ship, you’ll be wearing comfortable sneaker type shoes, or any other shoe that aids in the comfort of your feet.
  • Formal wear – Take at least one formal outfit with you. Whether that’s a suit or heels and a dress, come prepared for at least one formal evening or dinner dance during the cruise.
  • Dress shirts – Most of the time that you’re on the cruise ship, you’ll be keeping it casual. What says casual like a dress shirt that’s breathable and perfect for all cruise activities!
  • Sunglasses – Protecting your eyes is so important, especially with the amount of reflection you’ll be encountering off the water. Be sure to take a good quality UV protective pair of sunnies with on your cruise trip!
  • Hat – Keeping the sun off your face is a great idea, especially if you’re going to be sunbathing for hours.

What to Pack for a Cruise

travel luggage

If you’re wondering what to take on a cruise apart from clothing, we’ve got a few more pointers for you! While your packing list for a cruise should stay relatively short, there are a few items that you simply must bring!

  • Carry-on Bag – When you first board the ship, your luggage will still be in transit to your room. But you more than likely would like to dive headfirst into all the wonderful cruise ship activities. Be sure to take a carry-on that contains items like your swimming costume and your sunnies.
  • Chargers – It won’t be much use if your phone or camera runs out of batteries a day into the trip. Be sure to pack your chargers or even a portable charger that will allow you to charge on the go.
  • Aloe Vera – We’ve all been in a situation where we stayed in the sun a little too long and ended up with red inflamed skin. You don’t want this to ruin your holiday, so be sure to take a bottle of Aloe Vera product with you to soothe your sore skin in case of sunburn.
  • Binoculars – Taking a trip on a cruise ship offers spectacular views! And if you have a pair of binoculars with you they’re even better. You may be able to spot a whale, or just take a closer look at ports you happen to be passing by.
  • Wrinkle Spray – Due to fire regulations, you won’t have access to an iron, so taking wrinkle spray with you is a great idea. There are not many people around that can rock the creased sweater look!
  • Microfiber Towel – Having a quick-drying towel is the best way to dry off quickly after taking a dip in the cruise ship pool.
  • Moisturizer – After all that time in the sun, your skin will be calling out for a healthy dose of moisturizer. Taking care of your skin is the best way to prevent wrinkles and will help your skin recover faster from over-exposure to the sun.
  • Small Change – While most of your expenses will have been paid for prior to leaving the port, don’t forget about those serving you during the trip. Be sure to take a decent amount of cash with you onto the ship, so you can tip those who have served you diligently.
  • Sunscreen – Protecting your skin from the harsh sun’s rays is so important, especially when you’re dealing with so much reflection from the water. Be sure to take strong sunscreen with you and make sure you apply it every day!

The Best Cruises to Take in 2024

watching the ocean from a cruise ship

Now that you know what you’ll be taking with you, it’s time to settle on a cruise of your choice. Here are a few that come highly recommended.

Cruise to the Greek Islands from Athens

This Greek Island Cruise is just 11 hours but enables you to experience some incredible sights along the way. Join 120 other passengers on a VIP cruise liner as you enjoy the spectacular scenery of luscious islands and enjoy the onboard entertainment.

You’ll visit the islands Poros, Aegina, and Hydra. Walk through the cobbled streets, lounge on exquisite Mediterranean beaches, and even explore an ancient temple and monastery.

Cruise to the Niagra Falls

This Niagra Falls Cruise lasts an entire day. Watch the majestic waterfall by day, and enjoy a romantic dinner aboard the ship by night. The falls are illuminated at night so the view doesn’t vanish with the waning light.

During the day, you’ll get the opportunity to explore the tunnels behind the falls, which provides incredible photo opportunities.

2-Day Halong Bay Cruise

The 2-Day Halong Bay Cruise will see you board a traditional junk boat before setting sail between thousands of small islands. You’ll get the chance to hop off at many of them and take part in kayaking adventures as well as swimming in the emerald waters.

While aboard, you’ll learn traditional Vietnamese cooking methods, so you’ll have not only a new experience but a new skill to take home with you. If you’re up for a little adventure you can join the crew on a night fish while they catch squid.

Full-Day Tivua Island Cruise

If you’re looking to explore Fiji the right way, why not take a cruise to Tivua Island. See dolphins playing joyfully in the water before hopping off on the island. There, you’ll get the chance to play beach volleyball, snorkel amid the reef, and relax on the pristine, white-sand beach.

In the afternoon you’ll enjoy a BBQ buffet lunch, so you’re sure to remain satisfied the whole day.

3-Day Halong Bay Cruise

If you’re looking for an adventure that’s a little longer than the previously mentioned cruises, then take a 3-day cruise from Halong Bay. This 5-star cruise is the best way to live the sweet life. You’ll have your own private room with a balcony that has spectacular ocean views (naturally) – so you won’t miss out on a thing.

You’ll visit many bays and alcoves contained within Halong Bay, and have the opportunity to hop off for a swim or a snorkel at many of the best locations.

Wrapping Up the Ultimate Cruise Packing List

Now that you know how to pack for a cruise, you’re sure to be a lot more comfortable during your upcoming trip. Feel free to use this as a printable cruise packing list to make your life a little easier, or take key pointers to make your own cruise ship packing list!

No matter where you decide to go, the things to pack for a cruise remain relatively the same. Making sure you have the right things to take on a cruise is essential before leaving port.

You’re now thoroughly prepared for setting sail on the high seas!

Matt Davison
Matt has done marketing for travel and tourism for over a decade. His first love is SEO, with entrepreneurship hotter on its heels than a girlfriend. When he is not looking up flights back to his next destination, you can find him in the garden, making excuses to walk Rusty, strategizing with the team and tinkering on sites until the early morning.