7 cruise packing essentials and tips to keep them safe

7 cruise packing essentials and tips to keep them safe

CRUISE PACKING TIPS: When packing for a cruise, here are seven essential items to bring with you and how to keep them safe and secure.

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Pack shampoo, hair conditioner and body wash since some cruise lines don’t include these items and even if they do, they’re often of basic quality unless you’re on a high-end cruise line. Buy refillable bottles or sample sizes to save space. If you also prefer a bar of soap instead of liquid body wash, pack your own as only some cruise lines provide bars. Pack toiletries in plastic so they don’t leak on anything and ensure twist tops are tight or snapped shut. Label them since shampoo, conditioner and sunscreen are generally all white creams and look alike. If traveling with family, consider combining all liquid toiletries in one plastic bag for airport inspection, rather than everyone in the family having to present them separately.

Insect Repellent

Insect repellent is another essential item to bring on your cruise especially for destinations that are very different from home that  have bugs you’ve never heard of or seen. Mosquitoes, sand flies, and other biting insects can be a nuisance if you’re spending time on the beach or in the water. Just walking across grass might stir up a home of stinging ants. Also bring a bite first aid cream, liquid or gel so you can act quickly if you do get bitten. Choose an effective product that’s small so you have it with you at all times.


If you take any medications, pack them in your carry-on bag rather than your suitcase in case your luggage gets lost. Put medicine in a special pouch that’s preferably clear for easy visibility in case you need to access them quickly or in low lighting. You may also be required to gate-check your carry-on bag for very full flights and so a designated pouch will ensure you can extract it easily and take it on board. Also bring a copy of your prescription descriptions to make refills easier. If you’re prone to seasickness, or cruising during a season of especially rough weather, include it in your essentials. However, ship shops usually have plenty in stock, as well as the medical facility on board – but they could be closed when you need them most such as in the middle of the night.

Swimsuits and Cover-ups

A swimsuit is a must-have item for any cruise, whether you’re spending time on the beach or in the pool. Consider packing a few different styles for different types of water activities from swimming and snorkeling to enjoying fast waterslides or simulated surfing and need clothing that’s secure. Also pack a good cover-up to wear, so you can visit the buffet for a quick meal without having to change. Pack a plastic bag for wet swimsuits so they don’t leak on any electronic items or stain other clothing.

Hat and Sunglasses

A hat and quality sunglasses are essential for keeping your head and eyes protected from the sun. Make sure to pack a wide-brimmed hat if you’re going to be spending a lot of time in the sun just in case your sunscreen isn’t strong enough. Sunglasses are important especially if you’re going to be on the water as extreme glare can cause vision problems. Fashion sunglasses might not offer the best protection so “buyer beware'” The ship shops generally sell a range of hats and sunglasses, but prices may be higher than what you’re used to paying and in a different currency where the exchange rate is higher. Pack sunglasses in protective cases so they don’t get crushed and roll-up wide-brim hats will save space.


A camera is a must-have item to record all those great memories. Pack your camera and GoPro in secure cases. If you’re only using your smartphone as a camera, buy a waterproof case so you can protect it from water and sand. Also don’t forget batteries, battery charger, memory cards, a tripod or selfie stick if required. Drones may require special permission to bring on board and many cruise lines and destinations don’t permit them at all. So do extensive research on drone use for the cruise line or country you’re visiting or it could be confiscated at the airport, at the ship or at the destination.

Eliza Brooks is a writer and blogger who enjoys exploring the world and sharing what she learns about the culture of the locations she visits. She’s employed by Rhino Hitch, a firm that provides drop hitches for vehicles in the tourism industry.

Also read What to pack for a Greek Isles cruise

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