I can confidently say I’ve mastered the art of packing for cruises over the years! From the sun-drenched decks of the Caribbean to the vibrant shores of Mexico and the Bahamas, I’ve honed my packing skills to near perfection, ensuring our family enjoys every moment without a hitch.
Below, I’ll dive into exactly what is on my ultimate warm-weather cruise packing list. It’s not just about what to pack, but how to pack it (hint: I swear by these packing cubes). From my favorite sunscreen to the best motion sickness bands for little adventurers to the outfits I pack, join me as I unveil the secrets to a perfectly packed suitcase!
Ultimate Cruise Packing List
Want in on a little secret? How you pack and what travel gear you use is just as important as what you pack! A good suitcase and a set of packing cubes will keep you organized making it easier to find everything you need when you set sail.
Our entire family has been using the Atlantic Luggage Hardside Spinners recently. I am obsessed with the bright colors they come in, making them easy to spot. There is a wet/dry pouch built-in, the zippers are high quality for longevity, and the wheels roll with ease… best luggage we’ve ever had!
I use Shacke Pak packing cubes to keep us all organized. These make it easy to divide up each person’s belongings and quickly get them their things once we’re in our rooms.
Shop Must-Haves for Packing and Organization
These are the items typically needed when cruising. Of course, you will want to make sure you read through the specifics sent to you by your cruise line about what is needed for identification.
- Passports/Birth Certificates: Ensure your passport is up-to-date or bring a birth certificate for closed-loop cruises.
- Driver’s License: Needed for driving to the cruise or for excursions and purchases off the ship.
- Cruise Documentation: Printed and signed online check-in forms.
- Luggage Tags: Use the cruise line-provided tags on embarkation day for luggage handling.
- Flight Boarding Documents: If you’re flying to or from the cruise.
- Transportation/Hotel Reservation Confirmations: Printed copies can be handy.
- Third-party Excursion Documents: By opting for trusted third-party vendors for our excursions, we manage to significantly cut costs. It’s wise to reconfirm with these providers at least a week before your cruise. Additionally, ensure you have printed copies of confirmations, receipts, and a contact number handy.
- Medical Insurance Card and Travel Insurance Info: Always good to have in case of emergencies.
- Cash/Credit Cards: Essential for tips and purchases in ports.
- Cell Phones and Chargers: Download the cruise line’s app for onboard communication. We always have our portable chargers on us!
- Laptops and Chargers: For staying connected or work purposes.
- Portable USB Chargers and Cords: Keep your devices charged and ready.
- iPads/Tablets: Useful for communication and entertainment.
- Kindle: Perfect for reading poolside.
- Headphones: For personal entertainment.
- Camera, Charger, Extra Batteries, and Memory Card: Capture every moment.
- GoPro with Accessories: Ideal for water activities and excursions.
- Sunscreen: Bring plenty, as it can be expensive onboard.
- Hair Ties: Useful for windy deck conditions.
- Sea Bands or Dramamine: For motion sickness prevention.
- Over-the-Counter Meds: Painkillers and cold remedies.
- Toothbrush, Toothpaste, and Floss: Don’t forget the kids’ toothpaste!
- Deodorant: Stay fresh throughout your journey.
- Make-Up and Make-Up Remover: Waterproof options are your best bet!
- Moisturizer: You will want to keep your skin hydrated in sunny and windy conditions.
- Hairbrush/Comb and Styling Products: Anti-humidity products are a lifesaver.
- Curling Iron/Straighteners: The rooms usually have hair dryers, but you will want to bring other hot tools.
- Contacts, Solution, and Case: Keep your vision essentials handy.
- Daily Vitamins: We always pack quality vitamins for our trips to ensure our bodies get all the necessary nutrients and minerals, especially when exposed to different environments.
- Lip Balm: Prevent chapped lips.
- Feminine Products: I love traveling with a Diva Cup because you don’t need to change it often. It’s easily washable and reusable.
You will want to pack the following clothes for each member of the family!
- Shirts: One for each day.
- Shorts: 2-3 pairs for a 7-night cruise.
- Athletic Wear: For sports activities onboard. My boys always end up finding a basketball court!
- Jeans: One pair for cooler evenings.
- Sundresses: Several options for dinners and shows.
- Swimsuits and Cover-ups: At least two options.
- Underwear and Bras: Enough for each day, including strapless options.
- Pajamas: 1-2 pairs.
- Nice Outfits for Dinner: Most cruises have a wide variety of dining options these days, so depending on what your plans are you may or may not need formal clothing. Check your itinerary and restaurant guidelines, and then pack accordingly!
- Light Jacket or Sweater: For cooler indoor areas and evenings on deck.
Outfits I actually packed on our last cruise!
- Jewelry: This is an easy way to elevate
- Flip Flops/Sandals: For pool, beach, and casual wear.
- Tennis Shoes and Socks: For active excursions or gym visits.
- Sun Hat and Sunglasses: Essential for sunny days.
For a smooth and enjoyable cruise with babies or toddlers, here’s what you should pack!
- Bottles/Sippy Cups: Pack several as they tend to get lost during travel.
- Pacifiers and Pacifier Clips: Bring extras to avoid being caught without one.
- Bibs: These are especially important if you’ve got fancier dinners planned and want to keep your little one clean!
- Baby Wipes and Diaper Cream: They are usually available onboard to purchase in a pinch but I always pack a few more than I think I’ll need.
- Diaper Bag: Essential for carrying baby supplies.
- Changing Pad: For sanitary diaper changes.
- Dish Soap & Scrubber: Handy for cleaning bottles.
- Baby Formula/Food/Snacks: Bring what your baby regularly eats; the dining areas have limited options for infants.
- Toddler-size utensils: I have found cruises don’t often have these available.
- Sling/Carrier: Easier to manage than strollers in crowded and narrow spaces.
- Stuffed Toy/Lovey: Helps comfort your child in a new environment.
- Sleepsack: We like to keep our sleep routine as close to home as possible.
- Children’s Medications/Vitamins: Pack essentials like infant fever reducers, as onboard options are limited.
- Car Seat: Necessary for port travels! Jack has been using the WAYB Pico.
- Swim Diapers: Infants in swim diapers are not allowed in pools on certain cruise lines but you will still want them for splash areas and in port.
- Goggles: My kids always end up wanting goggles to go in the water.
Shop for Littles
Extras for Cruising Pros
- Lanyard: Handy for carrying your key card.
- Wrinkle Release Spray: A travel-friendly alternative to ironing.
- Laundry Bag: Separate dirty clothes from clean ones.
- Magnetic Dry Erase Board or Sticky Notes– If you have older kids that might be going in and out of the cabins, bring a dry-erase board or post-it notes! It’s helpful when you have no phone service.
- Sand-Off Mitt: While it might not seem exciting, I always pack this handy mitt to easily remove sand from my body after a beach day, as I really dislike the feeling of sand sticking to me.
- Empty reusable Ziploc Bags: I grab snacks like extra cereal, grapes, and blueberries at breakfast for little ones to snack on throughout the day
With this ultimate warm-weather cruise packing guide, you’re not just tossing things in a suitcase; you’re setting your family up for a successful vacation. It’s all about those savvy choices – from trusty motion sickness bands for the kiddos to that oh-so-necessary sunscreen, and, of course, those chic yet comfy ensembles that scream vacation vibes! So, embrace these tips, pack with intention, and set sail towards endless fun and sun-drenched memories.
You Might Also Like:
Pin for Later – The Ultimate Cruise Packing List for Warm-Weather Destinations
- Jack and Liv’s Montessori-Inspired Playroom Tour - February 6, 2024
- Universal vs Islands of Adventure: What’s the Big Difference? - February 3, 2024
- The Ultimate Cruise Packing List for Warm-Weather Destinations - January 23, 2024