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The Extras to Add to Your Family Cruise Packing List

Ready to head on a cruise? Here are some must-pack items to add to your cruise packing list!

And don’t forget to read my blog post with all the things you need to pack and my full printable cruise packing list.

Now that I’ve finally completed my commentary regarding our family Caribbean cruise aboard the Norwegian Cruise Line ship, Norwegian Pearl, I wanted to share some tips for when you next pack for a cruise. You’ll find below a list of items that were either a lifesaver for us or something we wished we would have packed. (affiliate links included below)


Low Denomination Bills

Make sure you don’t just take some $20 bills from the ATM on your next cruise. The low denomination bills ($1, $5, $10) come in handy for tipping drivers and negotiating prices in ports.


Everybody aboard the ship gets an ID keycard, including kids. These are used for room keys and for getting on and off the ship. They also are used for charging privileges, however, you can prohibit kid’s charging permissions. I recommend getting a lanyard that has a pouch holder. You can also find them at your local party supply store and even the dollar store sometimes.

Multi-Port Wall Outlet

If you’re a family who relies on electronics (ipods, ereaders, tablets, etc.), you’ll likely need a few extra plug outlets in your stateroom. Outlets in the rooms can be limited and when everyone wants to charge up their devices, there may be a shortage.

Be sure you DO NOT get a surge protection device – such as a power strip. These are banned from cruise ships due to fire safety. Instead, look for a multi-port outlet plug that doesn’t have surge protection.

Water Shoes

This was something we didn’t pack and wished we had. At Great Stirrup Cay it was really rocky in the water. Our whole family was envious of those who were wearing water shoes. And again at Dunn River Falls in Jamaica, you had to have water shoes to climb the falls. They had rental water shoes, but you could save some money by packing your own.

There are lots of options, like these Speedo Women’s ZipWalker Water Shoe available at Amazon. You can also find these in most stores during the summer, but Amazon is your best chance if you’re not cruising in the summer.

Water Bottles

We were so happy we thought to pack water bottles with us on our cruise. We’d fill them up in the Cafe before heading ashore, and have fresh water to sip on while exploring the ports. Note, that some cruise lines don’t want you filling water bottles directly at the spout, instead, you’ll need to use a cup and pour the water into your bottle.

These Nomader collapsible water bottles work great. They can collapse down to make them easy to pack and have straps that can be fastened onto bags. They also have a variety of colors, which is great for a family so each member has their own bottle! Insulated bottles are convenient for hot weather, but they do take up a lot of room and are difficult to put ice into.

Waterproof Digital Camera

We’ve used some simple point-and-shoot waterproof cameras on past cruises, but now we rely on our GoPro.

I’ve also used a LifeProof Waterproof Case and Catalyst Case for my iPhone. These are waterproof cases for your phones and they’ve worked perfectly for me when I’ve used them. Just be sure to go through the set-up testing as directed before using it for the first time.

Over-the-Door Shoe Organizer

This has got to be the best tip I can offer for a cruise packing extra. We use this Over-the-Door Shoe Organizer in our home for winter hats and mitts, but I grabbed it and added it to the zipper pouch of my suitcase when we were getting ready to leave. It was such a lifesaver!

We hang it with magnets on one of the metal doors and each person had a “row”. Don’t use the metal hooks included with the organizer as they can scratch the cabin room doors.

We store flip-flops, lanyards, electronics, and other stuff in the pouches. It really helped keep things off the floor and make sure all our little things had a home in our home away from home. You can see it in use in the second photo of our stateroom.


When you’re heading off the ship to visit a beach you’ll probably want to wear your swimsuit when disembarking. A cute cover-up is the perfect way for ladies to wear their swimsuit and still feel comfortable riding in taxis or walking around town. These also work well for grabbing a snack after taking a dip in the pool.

Day Bag

Each time you head off the ship you’ll probably want to bring some things along with you so a day bag is a must. I really like these shoulder sling bag styles. You’ll be able to store your wallet, camera, and a small water bottle for excursions.

I hope this list has helped you get ready for your cruise vacation. And if you don’t have a cruise planned yet, bookmark this page and come back when you’ve got one booked. Check out my Customizable Packing List for packing all your other cruise necessities.

You can also read my posts about:

And take a peek at our cruise on the Norwegian Pearl: “Part 1: Car Rental & Arrival”, “Part 2: Stateroom & Dining“, “Part 3: Ports of Call“, and “Part 4: Activities Aboard“.

Heading on a cruise? Don't start to pack until you see these extras to add to your family cruise packing list!
don’t forget to add these to your family cruise packing list

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Wednesday 15th of February 2017

I always pack a couple of plastic skirt hangers (the ones that sometimes come with a garment purchase are fine). These are great for hanging rinsed out garments in the shower.


Wednesday 15th of February 2017

I need to update my post because we've used suction cup hooks in the shower for the same thing, but love the hanger idea!

The Terminal Traveler

Sunday 28th of August 2016

Excellent list! I would add in a nightlight if you have kids. While opening the bathroom door slightly works too, but not if you hit rough seas.


Sunday 28th of August 2016

Thank you -- and that's a great additional must pack item!


Tuesday 5th of April 2016

We have travelled with a shoe organizer for years -- both cruising and for hotel stays. We carry a lightweight towel to protect the door. In a pinch, we used socks! The command strips have heavy duty hooks now, which would also likely work for the organizer.

One other item I won't travel without is a small roll of duct tape. On stormy waters one night, the shoe organizer and the curtains had way too much movement. A couple of rolls of strategically-placed tape, and viola! No more noise from the organizer hitting the door or flashes of light from the curtain sway. The tape has also been used to repair a broken latch on a camera, to emergency hem a pair of pants, and to fix broken suitcase handles and zippers.


Sunday 10th of April 2016

Thanks so much for sharing Jonene! The duct tape is handy to know about - and the command strips!