Six Things to Pack for Your Next Cruise

Written by: Melissa on January 24, 2017

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Whether it’s your first vacation at sea or you’re a veteran cruiser, at some point during your travel planning you’ll have to answer the same question: What should I pack? Beyond the obvious necessities–clothes, toiletries, and travel documents–there are several items you’ll find in my suitcase every time I sail.

1. Hanging Toiletry Bag
Space is usually at a premium in cruise cabins, especially in the bathroom. Usually you are limited to a few corner shelves and a very narrow countertop. A hanging toiletry bag is great for keeping things neat and accessible. It’s also very useful when I’m sharing a cabin, so I can easily move out to the vanity area if my travel companion needs to access the restroom.

2. USB Charging Hub
How many electronic devices do you travel with? Cell phone, tablet, wireless earbuds, FitBit—It seems like my list of gadgets is constantly growing! Multiply that per traveler, and suddenly you’re fighting over your cabin’s limited power outlets. I love to bring a USB hub. Not only can I charge a few devices simultaneously, but I can pack only the cords and leave the bulky plugs at home.

3. Packing Cubes
Although cruise lines have gotten better about turning the nooks and crannies of each cabin into potential storage areas, space is still somewhat limited. Cabins can have any combination of drawers, cabinets, and open shelving. I use packing cubes in my suitcase for every trip, but I especially love them on a cruise because it’s so easy to unpack and stay organized.

4. Waterproof Phone Case
Worried about your phone getting wet or sandy? Protect it with a waterproof case. Add your ID and credit card, and it becomes a wallet to bring on excursions. I’ve even used mine to take fun underwater photos while swimming and snorkeling. (Hint: Make sure you know how to operate your phone without the touchscreen, since it may not work under water!)

5. Wrinkle Release Spray
No matter how carefully I pack, I always end up with some clothes that arrive wrinkled. Irons and steamers are generally prohibited in your cabin, not all ships have self-service laundry areas, and paying for onboard pressing service adds up. I can usually get by using a wrinkle release spray, which works great for minor touch-ups on a variety of fabrics.



6. Refillable Drink Container
This is one item on my packing list that gets used every single day during my cruise! An insulated mug is great for keeping coffee hot, a poolside beverage cold, or for bringing water along while I’m exploring in port. I also avoid paying for bottled water on the ship, because I refill my container in the buffet area. (Just remember NOT to put your container directly up to the beverage dispenser. First fill a clean cup, and then pour it into your travel mug.)

If you’re like me, the last week before your cruise is a whirlwind of preparation and packing.  One of my favorite ways to shop for travel essentials is on Amazon Prime, and I love having two-day shipping for items I remember at the last minute!  Click here for your free 30-day trial.

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