I always pack a “Just in Case” bag when I cruise. In my many years of travel, I have dealt with some unusual, unexpected and often funny situations. Try finding an ankle brace on a small Greek island when you have 7 hours in port, and your knowledge of the language extends to ‘hello’ and ‘where is the toilet’.

So now, when I cruise, I like to be prepared. I pack a few things that make my experience more relaxed and enjoyable.

My “Just in Case” bag contains things that I personally consider absolute essentials. Things that I might have trouble finding in a new city or town.  These include that very useful ankle brace, a spare pair of glasses, duct tape and zip lock bags. And call me crazy, but it also contains a spare tube of my favourite Estee Lauder Frosted Apricot lipstick. Let’s get our priorities straight!

I also pack some items that make my cruise experience more comfortable and relaxed! It’s true that we always want to travel as light as possible, but here are some ideas for things that you might want to include in your “Just in Case” bag.

Here are a few things you might want to include in your “Just in Case” bag.

Be Creative in Creating Space

There are two things usually missing in your ship’s cabin. Extra hangers and somewhere to hang jewellery, scarves and hats.  To solve this conundrum, I bring a few magnetic hooks. Since the walls of most cruise ships are metal, these work perfectly!

I also bring a few plastic suction hooks for sticking on the mirror in the bathroom of back of the door. They are perfect for lightweight items like a necklace or scarf.

A Little Privacy Please

I sometimes take an inexpensive shower curtain and put the suction-cup hooks mentioned above on the ceiling. This creates an instant room divider. This gives a little more privacy especially if you are sharing a room with grandchildren. My grandson used every towel in the room to create a private space on his top bunk.

Create a Mood

I love soft lighting. Clearly there will no candle burning in your cabin, but you can create the same wonderful ambience with a few battery operated tea lights. They are flame less, safe and leave a lovely glow as a night light. A little Hygge is good for the cruising soul.

Think Outside the Box

There are so many fun ways to make do while cruising. Using shampoo to wash clothes is one example. Unless you are rolling in mud during a shore excursion, your clothes are not going to require excessive scrubbing. So just rinse things out and hang them on the washing line in the bathroom that most cruise lines provide.

Use a Shoe Organiser in an Unexpected Way

You can buy these really lightweight shoe storage organisers and use them as a way of reducing the use of counter space in your small cabin bathroom.  You can just hang it on the door and label the compartments. First aid supplies, toothpaste, sewing kit, shampoo or anything that you would take counter space for.

Hangers, Hangers, Hangers, I Need More Hangers!

Let’s be honest, there are never enough hangers in cruise cabin cupboards!  Being able to hang up everything so that it is visible, can save so much time, not to mention wrinkles. One idea is to pack half a dozen lightweight wire clothes hangers instead of plastic ones and then recycle them at the end of the cruise.

Decorate Your Cabin

Call me silly but I always take a few things to decorate my cruise cabin.  If I am going to be living in any space for a week, I love adding just a bit of colour to the walls and windows.

You can use scarves of course, but I always take a small crystal that I hang from the window or mirror with a plastic suction hook. You can also take a colourful sarong or sheet and hang it anywhere your heart desires. Here’s how I decorated my cabin on a River Cruise with Viking.

Ask for Ginger if You Feel Seasick

Most people include seasickness pills in their “What if” bag. It is unlikely that you will get seasick on one of the modern cruise ships. but it’s good to be prepared – just in case. Ginger has been considered a natural remedy to treat nausea and motion sickness. So, I always tuck some ginger chews, gum or candied ginger in my suitcase. Most supermarkets will have ginger, but “ginger” is not one of those 7 essential words we tend to use when visiting a new country.

Create Your Own Spa Day Experience

Finally, most cruise ships have fabulous spa facilities, and I love a good massage as much as the next woman. However, you don’t need to feel deprived if you budget does not stretch to include this wonderful luxury!  There are so many lovely spa treatments that you can bring on board with you. Facial mask sheets and creams are an unusual and relaxing way to treat your skin. I always take a few of my favourite Pukka Love Tea to create a special spa experience.

Never Lose a Cruise Ship Key Card Again

Unless you have a secure pocket or carry your handbag everywhere, losing your key is a challenge. One easy solution is to pack a lanyard. It’s a thing you wear around your neck, usually to hold ID badges. You can pop your room key card onto your lanyard and wear it around your neck. You can get them in fun colours and patterns too!

So that’s 10 ways to make life on a cruise a little more fun and organized. Cruising is a time to relax and unwind, but with just a few small additional things tucked away in a “Just in Case” bag, it will be even more enjoyable.

What special items do you always take with you on a cruise? Is there one item you cannot live without when you cruise? Please share your comments below and help other women learn from your cruise experiences.

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