Complete Cruise Packing List for First Time Cruisers

Written By Alla Levin
June 20, 2020

Complete Cruise Packing List for First Time Cruisers

Are you getting ready to go on your first cruise but aren’t sure what to do? Read this article for a complete cruise packing list.

You just booked your first cruise. Congratulations! Now you’re probably wondering what to pack?

Making a cruise packing list ahead of time will make your trip easier and ensure you don’t forget anything.

Not sure where to begin? Don’t worry, we’re here to help you.

This article will provide tips for packing for a cruise. Below we have listed seven must-haves.

Some are obvious but others are game-changers you wouldn’t have considered.

Add High SPF Sunblock to Your Cruise Packing ListComplete Cruise Packing List for First Time Cruisers

We listed sunblock first because, in our opinion, this is the most important item to pack for a cruise.

Sunblock can make the difference between the vacation of your dreams and be stuck in your cabin with a bad burn or sun poisoning.

Chances are your cruise will be closer to the equator and there’s no sun cover in the middle of the ocean, meaning you’ll be exposed to a higher UV index.

Buy “water-resistant” sunblock with an SPF 30 or higher. Don’t worry, you’ll still get color.

Some cruise lines require guests to use “biodegradable” sunscreen to protect local coral and sea life.

Check if your cruise requires this or you may not be allowed on an excursion.

Pack Water-Friendly FootwearWater-Friendly Footwear

Proper footwear is important for any vacation you go on. Whether its spending eight hours at a Disney theme park or hiking around the Grand Canyon, you need to protect your feet.

Footwear needs are quite different for a cruise. You can pack sneakers if you plan on working out in the ship’s gym, otherwise, you’ll want non-slip water shoes or comfortable close-toed sandals.

A cruise ship can be slippery. Between spray from the ocean, rain, and deck pools, you need to be careful. Most excursions are also on the water and you don’t want to get hurt.

There are many ways to enjoy the water on your cruise.

Royal Caribbean’s private port resort in Haiti, for example, offers water sports like jet skis, kayaking, paddleboards, water canoes, and more.

They also have the Dragon’s Splash Waterslide and Arawak Aqua Park.

We recommend packing a reliable pair of non-slip shoes or sandals so you can have fun without worrying.

Get Dewrinkler Spray for Formal Nights

Did you know that cruises host a formal night where guests dress up for dinner? Women wear gowns or dresses and men are encouraged to wear a suit and tie.

Formal nights are voluntary, of course, but they give couples a chance to spend a romantic evening together.

Guests are typically asked at the beginning of the cruise whether they want to make reservations for the formal night.

The dining room is still accessible on other nights (for a more casual dinner) or you can grab a bite at one of the buffets.

If you decide to dress up for dinner, you’ll need to pack your formal wear and a bottle of dewrinkler spray.

Some cabins may offer irons and ships do have concierge laundry services, but bring your wrinkle release spray just in case.

You can still use it on all of your other clothes after you unpack.

Waterproof Your Smartphone or CameraWaterproof Smartphone

While on a cruise you will constantly be surrounded by water. This means you’ll want to protect your electronics.

Buy a waterproof camera to chronicle your trip. Most people use the camera on their smartphones to shoot pictures or videos, so you’ll need a high-quality waterproof phone case.

The last thing you want to do is drop your phone in the pool and not be able to take any pictures for the rest of your trip.

And here’s another tip on smartphones. You won’t get any cell service in the middle of the ocean. Ships do offer Wi-Fi but it typically costs extra to use.

Consider Packing Motion Sickness PillsDramamine for motion sickness

No one knows how they’ll react to being out on the high seas. Motion sickness is a real condition and can hit anytime on your cruise.

You can pack medicine like Dramamine for motion sickness. Even if you don’t think you’ll need it, pack it just in case.

Other tips to avoid motion sickness include: getting a cabin in the middle of the ship, choosing a voyage with fewer days at sea, and avoiding screens or books.

If you feel sickness coming on, focus on the horizon, and breathe deeply. Staying calm is important.

Use a Shoe Organizer to Stay Tidy

This type may sound weird, but it can help you stay organized.

Think about when you stay in a hotel room and your belongings end up all over the room. The same will happen in your cabin.

Buy a cheap over-the-door shoe organizer for your closet.

You won’t be filling it with shoes, instead, you can use the pockets to store your watch, sunglasses, sunscreen, goggles, books, or anything else that might be misplaced.

Having one of these will help you get out of the door faster in the morning and decrease your overall stress.

Cruise Pro Tip: Resealable Plastic BagsResealable Plastic Bags

Having a box of resealable plastic bags is every cruise passenger’s secret weapon.

They only cost a few dollars but can they can be used to safely store everything from phone chargers to your passport.

There are some things you don’t want to get wet on your cruise.

When it’s time to go home, you can reuse the bags to pack your cosmetics and seal off wet bathing suits from the rest of your clothes.

Looking for Travel Inspiration?Travel Inspiration

We hope you were able to finish your cruise packing list after reading this article. Besides listing all of the really important items, we also wanted to include things you hadn’t thought about.

Check out the travel section of our website. It’s full of fun and informative articles to inspire your next vacation.

Our topics range from camping and road trips to international getaways and music festivals.

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