Ready to head on a cruise? Here are some must pack items to add to your 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)
CRUISE PACKING LIST EXTRAS
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 the kids’ cards are snipped to prevent charging. This cute Disney Princess Lanyard is available at Amazon. You can also find them at your local party supply store and even the dollar store sometimes.
Multi-Outlet Power Strip/Surge Protector
If you’re a family who relies on electronics (ipods, ereaders, tablets, etc.), you’ll find a power strip especially helpful. Outlets in the rooms can be limited and when everyone wants to charge up their devices, there may be a shortage. With a power strip, you’ll be good to go. Pick one up at your local Target or buy this Belkin 6-Outlet Home/Office Surge Protector at Amazon. Make sure you check with your cruise line to verify these devices are allowed.
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.
We were so happy we thought to pack water bottles with us on our cruise. We’d fill them up in the Garden Cafe before heading ashore, and have fresh water to sip on while exploring the ports. These Contigo AUTOSEAL Water Bottles work great. They have a self sealing feature and a carabiner clip built into the handle which is great for clipping to your beach bag. Many colors are available, which is great for a family too! My new favorite water bottle is the Bobble Insulate Stainless Steel Bottle since it can help keep your water cool on those hot caribbean days, but also works for hot drinks, like coffee, if you want to enjoy a warm drink out on the deck without it cooling off fast!
Waterproof Digital Camera
Our daughter actually owns the Kodak Sport Waterproof Digital Camera with 5x optical zoom which we used at the beach and during our snorkeling tour. My in-laws had the Fujifilm FinePix XP100 Digital Camera which they used during our trip. Both cameras did a great job. We’ve used disposable waterproof cameras before, but I really recommend you look at investing in a waterproof digital camera for your trip. You can find lots of options on Amazon, like the two listed above. I’ve also seen the Fujifilm one at Costco.
Lately I’ve been a big fan of using a LifeProof Waterproof 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 hung it over one of the closet doors and each person had a “row”. We stored 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.
Many cruises are starting to ban these due to the scratches occurring from the hooks. An idea is to attach one to a hanger or two for hanging on the room hooks, or pack some magnetic hooks that can stick to the metal doors.
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.
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. And take a peek at our own experience during our family cruise aboard the Norwegian Pearl: “Part 1: Car Rental & Arrival”, “Part 2: Stateroom & Dining“, “Part 3: Ports of Call“, and “Part 4: Activities Aboard“.