Cruise Essentials – 50 Brilliant Things to Bring on a Cruise

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Cruising is so much fun and thinking about what to bring on a cruise is one of the best ways to create some excitement before your trip. Putting together your cruise essentials can start a few months before you set sail. Allow yourself enough time to get all the things to bring on a cruise ordered online, out of storage and packed up ready to go.

Whether you’re a new cruiser wondering what the essential items for a cruise are or an experienced cruiser looking to freshen up your cruise essentials packing list, we’re sure you’ll find something useful on our cruise essentials list! What to take on a cruise depends somewhat on the destination, how light you prefer to pack and the duration of the cruise. All of the things to take on a cruise we’ve listed below are useful items but it’s up to you to decide what cruise travel essentials you’ll pack for your trip.

Start thinking about cruise essentials to pack and laying them out on a spare bed or in a storage box in a quiet corner of your house. Use our cruise essentials checklist to mark off items as you find or purchase them.

You don’t need to purchase every single one of the cruise ship essentials we’ve mentioned but a lot of these items are very helpful. We have covered cruise packing essentials to organize your luggage, useful items for organising your stateroom, essentials to take on a cruise to avoid seasickness

Cruise Essentials

Top 10 Cruise Essentials - What to Bring on a Cruise

Our Top 10 Cruise Essentials

These are the top 10 essentials to pack for a cruise. Everyone should have these items (or a variation of them that suits your needs):

  1. Waterproof phone case – FFor keeping your phone, cash and sailing card safe when you’re swimming or at the beach
  2. Lanyard – For wearing your cruise card around the ship
  3. Seabands / Seasickness medication
  4. Highlighters – For highlighting your daily cruise schedule
  5. Lysol disinfecting wipes or Lysol to Go spray – For sanitizing your cabin on arrival
  6. Powerstrip without surge protector – Surge protectors are not allowed on board
  7. Conditioner – You’ll be swimming a lot and they often don’t have it in cabins
  8. Sunscreen / Aftersun – Bring a spray sunscreen for your body, a face sunscreen and aftersun lotion
  9. Bathing suit coverup / UV swim vest
  10. Packing cubes – For organizing your suitcase


More Essential Items to Take on a Cruise

  • Dramamine
  • Ginger candy
  • Poopouri
  • Downy Wrinkle Release (travel size)
  • Travel coffee cup
  • Refillable water bottle
  • Earplugs or portable sound machine – If you’re a light sleeper or in case of noisy neighbors
  • Travel alarm clock
  • Wine bottle – One 750 ml bottle per adult
  • Wine bottle protector
  • Soda – 12 cans per person
  • Tide to Go – Stain remover pen for emergencies
  • Tide pods – Carnival has laundry rooms on board if you need them
  • Travel laundry sheets – For handwashing in your room if necessary
  • Hand sanitzer – Travel size
  • Beach towel clip
  • Rain poncho
  • Travel umbrella
  • Binoculars
  • Anti-chaffing balm
  • Bug spray
  • Small first aid kit
  • Eyeshade
  • Portable speakers
  • Refillable perfume atomizer
  • Tea bags or instant coffee if you’re fussy about what you drink
  • Antacid tablets
  • Duct tape
  • Download a few Netflix shows or movies to your ipad
  • Powerbank

Tip: These cruise essentials make great gifts for your travel companions or to give to cruise lovers over the holidays.


Essential Cruise Accessories for Organizing Your Cabin

  • Small dry erase board / Magentic
  • Magnetic hooks
  • Magnetics
  • Ziploc bags
  • Plastic document wallet
  • Bungee cord – For holding open your balcony door
  • Overdoor shoe organizer – For adding additional storage in your room
  • Post It notes

Tip: Keep all these items to take on a cruise packed in a storage box for any future cruises you take. It will make packing for a cruise easier next time!


Cruise Wardrobe Essentials

  • Aqua shoes – If planning on an excursion that requires them
  • UV swim vest
  • Bathing suit coverups
  • Packable sunhat or sunvisor
  • Cheap sunglasses you can wear in the ocean or pool

For a full list of cruise clothing essentials for your specific cruise type, check out our cruise packing lists. We go into great depth on the cruise essentials clothing you’ll need for the various cruise types.

Tip: Read our guide to fun things to bring on a cruise for more ideas!


Cruise Packing Essentials

These packing essentials to bring on a cruise will help you organize your luggage.

  • Travel wallet / organiser
  • Packing cubes
  • Cruise luggage tags
  • Hanging toiletry bag
  • Garment bag
  • Laundry bag or pop up hamper
  • Prescription medication organizer
  • Folding backpack
  • Tote bag
  • Beach bag
  • Cooler
  • Travel toiletry bottles
  • Wet-dry bag – For traveling home with wet swimsuits


What do you think the best items to bring on a cruise are? If you’ve got any questions about what to take on a cruise ship or want to share your ideas on the best things to bring on a cruise, leave us a comment below.

If you want to chat more about what to bring on a cruise ship, you can join our Facebook group to chat with other cruises. It’s a great way to get ideas on the best things to take on a cruise.


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Cruise Packing Tips

We created Cruise Packing Tips to share our extensive knowledge on how to pack for a cruise. As seasoned cruisers who loves to pack just the right amount for each trip, we will help you get your cruise packing list down to a fine art.

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