Packing for a cruise can sometimes be a little overwhelming. Knowing what to take and what to leave behind presents an endless challenge. In line with my overall lifestyle strategy towards simplicity, I always offer the advice to just pack super light. But it is good to have a baseline of important essentials.

To make things easier, I have created a list of 10 things that I suggest you always take with you on a cruise. This list should make the packing process easier, and ensure you are totally prepared for every eventuality!

Protection from the sun and UV rays is vital. Getting sun-burnt on the first day of a cruise can potentially ruin the rest of your trip! Always take high-factor sunscreen with you. Look for foundations that are high in SPF coverage like IT Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream with SPF 50 which is one of my personal favorites!  Also here is an article on some other options.

Most cruise liners usually do not provide super good quality toiletries. They may have a dispenser in the shower with soap, but for me bringing a small container of my own shampoo, makeup and deodorant is an absolute must. I love Joico hair products so much for my thin, drying hair. Consider keeping these toiletries in your carry-on bag so that you can access them quickly and deal with the liquids restrictions if you are flying to your cruise departure point!

Travel Adapters
Different cruise liners use different electrical outlets. Many ships were built years ago and have only one style.  Research this beforehand in order to make sure you have travel adapters that will work.  USB adapters today are also important as so many electrical devices charge using this type of connection. There are lots of great travel adaptor options on Amazon.

A “real” camera is not a necessity on a cruise, but it can be fun to use. Moreover, a camera with interchangeable lenses allows you to take some amazing photographs to keep as memories. I love taking macro shots of flowers and plants and door details. But to be honest I depend very heavily on my iPhone camera!  A cheap waterproof camera too is great for underwater shots.

Sun Hat
As an extra protection from the sun, consider taking a sun hat. A hat will shield your head from the hot sun both on the cruise ship and during shore excursions. Protecting your head is important as it is one of the most vulnerable parts of your body concerning sun damage and heat exhaustion. But I love the glamour aspect too – hats for me are people smile magnets!

Packing the right footwear for a cruise is important. Of course, you must have suitable shoes for walking and exploring during the shore trips. But, taking a pair of flip-flops protects you on those slippery pool areas and serve as slippers in your room!

Portable Chargers / Power Packs
This is the one item that can literally save your life. Not only are adapters important, but so are portable chargers. Carrying a power pack can ensure your electronic devices such as smartphone and tablet remain powered. If an emergency arises, or you need help, you know that these devices can be used. I get quite compulsive about this and carry two or three!

One Nice Outfit
Part of the cruise experience can involve dining in style in one of the specialty restaurants on board.  A formal dining experience is a truly memorable occasion! Then there are the Captain’s Cocktail evenings!  So, taking a sparkly top or elegant party dress will give you the option to engage in a formal dining experience in style!

Simple items are often the most important! How many times have you been in a situation where you need a pen? For important notes, postcards home, details about timings, or even scribbling notes for your blog. I also take 2 safety pins. Sometimes it’s the small things!

Back-pack / Carry-on Bag
A small backpack is essential, and this final packing item has made all the difference for me personally. You can wear a lightweight backpack over your shoulder when exploring the cruise ship and fill it with your sunscreen, water thermos, scarf, and treats.

One tip is to be sure to put an ID tag on the backpack.  Most ships are cash free so even if you leave it on a chair in the café (like I did once) it always comes back to you!  Kindness is alive and well on cruises! This lightweight foldable backpack can also be taken with you for shore excursions.

This list of 10 things to always take with you on a cruise will hopefully help you arrive on board with the basics. Clothes and makeup are another story. So, you might want to check out my other articles on makeup and beauty products.

What are some things that you always pack for a cruise?

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