Packing List For A Cruise, 55 Essential For Your 2024 Cruise Vacation


Cruising is totally my favourite way to travel, if you are here because you haven’t cruised before then you are in for a real treat? What a wonderful way to visit the best cities, villages and Islands in the world. However before you start packing for your next cruise you might want to take a look over our Essential Packing List For Your 2024 Cruise Vacation.

This post will give you lots of tips and hints to make sure you have everything you need to have a stress free cruise. But also make the most of space in your cruise cabin. Plus ensure you have everything you need to look gorgeous.

There are a few things you need to consider before packing for your cruise. Such as thinking about the cruise itinerary, how many sea days and port days you have, and are there any formal nights? I have broken this post into sections to help you organise and plan what you need to pack for your cruise cabin, port and sea day bags and tips for getting your cruise wardrobe just right. Also check out our family cruise carry on packing guide and formal night guides.

Essential Packing List For A Cruise Vacation (1)

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Ultimate Packing List For A Cruise

Packing List For A Cruise Cabin

  • Hanging shoe storage
  • Magnets
  • Packing Cubes
  • Anti Crease Spray
  • Power Strip
  • Long Phone Charging Leads
  • Coffee Cup
  • Spare Battery Packs
  • Spare Camera Batteries
  • Pegs
  • Safety Pins And Mini Sewing kit
  • Small Medical Kit

Hanging shoe storage

Shoe storage hangers are great for increasing storage in you cruise cabin. They need not only be used for shoes! Hangers are a great way to save space in small wardrobes on cruise ships and on the back of doors in bathrooms for suncreams, lotions and shower gels. Also if you are like us and take all the shoes, this keeps them together and all in one place.


Magnets are so handy to display cruise planners, notes, tickets and more on the walls. Otherwise planners end up in a huge pile. Anything we may need I use a magnet and keep it secure and tidy on my cruise cabin wall. They are also great to attach to the back of your cruise door decorations to secure them to your cruise door. Also a plastic Wallet is handy to keep paperwork in.

Balcony Cabin On The AmaMagna, A Guided Tour and cruise packing guide

Packing cubes

If you have never used packing cubes they are life changing on the packing front. I pack all of our clothes in separate cubes, this keeps them as crease free as possible, but also organised. When you get to your cabin you simple transfer the cubes to drawers. It really does make life easier.

Anti Crease Spray

You can not use an iron in cruise cabins, it is strictly prohibited. Now this causes a bit of a dilemma, you have few choices to keep you cruise clothes crease free. I pre iron and roll my clothes into packing cubes, hang anything that needs hanging immediately and send hubbys shirts to be ironed on the ship. (We iron one for the first night, send the rest off)

If any items are creased I give it a light spray with anti crease spray and hang in the bathroom whilst I shower, this resolves any crease problems.

Power Strip

Cruise cabins are notorious for having limited plug sockets, this is a great way to be able to charge phones, laptops, cameras and e-readers. A power strip will eliminate this, however just check the voltage first.

Long Phone Charging Leads

Extra long phone charging leads coming in handy as there is not always a plug socket near your bed, whilst you don’t want trailing leads on the floor its useful if you want to sit on the bed and phone surf or catch up with emails.

Coffee Mug

You can get tea and coffee to go all over the ship, it’s mostly in cardboard cups which can be hot to carry and also go cold quickly. I fill my thermal mug to take back to my room, or go for a wander.

Spare Battery Packs

It’s so great that so many cruise lines are going all digital, with the use of an app you can communicate, book dining, order drinks and book shows all through your phone. However, as wonderful as this is, it drains your battery. Especially if like me you use your phone as a camera too. Take 2 battery packs, one to have on charge, one to carry, trust me you will use them all the time.

Spare Camera Batteries

My camera batteries always run out, have a spare and take a charger.


Only a handful, however they come in super handy if you want to hand your swimsuit in the shower.

Safety Pins And Mini Sewing kit

You never know when you might need one, I take a mini kit everywhere we go.

Small Medical Kit

I always make sure i pack anti sickness tablets, none of us are travel sick, but you never know! Eye drops, my eyes always itch on a cruise, I think its the air conditioning, savlon and indigestion tablets.

Mini Suites On Norwegian Encore

Sea Day Packing List For A Cruise

It helps to have a couple of bags packed a ready to go, one for sea days and one for port days. This prevents you from forgetting essentials and having to repack your bag every time you get off the ship or head to the pool. I tend to use 2 different colored Longchamp Le Pliage large travel bags with shoulder straps (This is not a affiliate link, I love these bags) I have had one of them for 10 years, they are wipeable, foldable, and lightweight.

Packing 2 bags, one for pool and and one for port means that you can just swap bags and hit the pool after a day exploring.

  • Swimwear
  • Pool Bag, packed with everything you need to for the pool
  • Overdress
  • Deck shoes
  • Sunglasses /Reading Sunglasses
  • Sunblock lip balm
  • Sunscreen
  • After Sun
  • Book
  • Ipad (For reading the news)
  • Smart casual clothes/sundress (For speciality lunches)
  • Gym gear (I always forget mine!)
Princess Cruise Ships By Age Newest To Oldest, Cruise Packing Guide

Packing For Port Days In The Sun

When packing for port days you need to consider the country you are visiting, are there any religious protocols you might need to follow? Will you be hiking, or just wandering? Will you need local currency? Also make sure you notify your bank you will be using your card in several countries as our card once got stopped as a precaution.

  • Camera
  • Sunscreen
  • Sun hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Pen and small notebook (You never know)
  • Comfy shoes / hiking boots
  • Shorts/ shirts or dresses
  • Small umbrella
  • Lightweight jacket or something to cover your shoulders should you need too
  • Small pack of hand wipes
  • Pack of tissues
  • Antibacterial gel
  • Wallet with local currency including loose change.
  • Plasters
Essential Packing List For A Cruise Vacation

Packing For Port Days In Autumn/Winter

  • Camera
  • Walking boots
  • Waterproof jacket with a hood
  • Wooly hat
  • Lightweight warm fleece
  • Sunglasses
  • Pen and small notebook
  • Small umbrella
  • Small pack of hand wipes
  • Pack of tissues
  • Antibacterial gel
  • Lip balm
Packing For Port Days In Autumn:Winter

Evening Wear Packing List For A Cruise

We have an extensive guide to cruise formal night, however here are a few tips of what you will need.

  • Evening Makeup (I always forget to pack this)
  • Check how many formal nights there are, you will need an outfit for each
  • Shoes to match
  • Bags to match
  • Check for any special themed nights ie white/red night
  • Cufflinks (We always forget these)
  • Bow Tie ( If you are doing dinner suits)
  • Necklace
  • Earrings
  • Dress Watch
  • Hair grips if you intend to put your hair up
  • Hairspray
  • Hair gel for the men

I hope these cruise packing hints and tips have been helpful? There’s so much to remember when cruising, it’s the best way to travel, but does require a little organisation and planning. However, once there you can kick back, relax and enjoy seeing the world.

Ultimate Cruise Packing List For A Cruise Vacation


  • Sarah Christie

    Sarah also writes for Mini Travellers Family Travel Blog and Extraordinary Chaos Craft and Lifestyle Blog. Both are award-winning blogs with a travel and family focus. She is married and has two boys, aged 18 and 22, who all love cruising as a family. Nothing is better than waking up every day in a new port with new and exciting things to explore. She aims to share how cruising as a family with young adults is the perfect choice for family travel. Her boys are sporty and love the activities, sports and dining options cruising offers. Sarah has worked with brands such as Walt Disney World, Mark Warner, Ikos Resort, Center Parcs, Laura Ashley, Belling and Next.

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