Get the most out of your time at sea and enjoy peace of mind before you go with our comprehensive holiday packing list for cruises.
Going to see the world! © 16210667@N02
If you’ve never been on a cruise before, working out what to pack can be a serious challenge.A variety of factors go into determining what you should bring with you for a cruise, the biggest of which are:the length of your cruise and the climate you’ll travel in.
Our packing list below assumes you’ll be onboard for at least one week, and that your cruise will be in a warm climate. If you’re going on a cool weather cruise, make sure you check our Holiday Packing List for Cold Weather for clothing and accessory recommendations.
Things You Need On Every Trip
Below we’ve listed items specific for a beach trip. For items that you need on every trip regardless of the weather, see our main holiday packing list.
Do I Need Travel Insurance On A Cruise?
- While most cruise companies will reimburse you for delays and other issues that fall within their responsibilities, travel insurance provides important protection for the cost of medical care, lost items and more during your cruise. World Nomads, which is recommended by Lonely Planet, offers competitively priced travel insurance for cruises and other holidays.
Clothing and Footwear:
- Check the ship’s dress code – Some cruises have a smart casual or formal dress code for dining areas. Check your cruise’s dress code before you pack so that you know what type of clothing is expected and can pack accordingly.
- Swimsuits – You’ll want to make the most of the warm weather, so pack at least two swimsuits. This way, you’ll be able to swim in one while the other is drying back in your cabin.
- Walking/Casual Shoes – Although you’ll probably wear sandals for most of your cruise, a pair of walking or casual shoes is worth bringing for when you reach your destination and feel like exploring.
- Beach Sandals – Bring a pair or two of beach sandals to wear while you relax beside the pool or for when you stop at a beach destination. If you plan on walking, forego the usual jandals and buy a pair of supportive sandals like the Birkenstock Arizona or Gizeh.
- Sports Shoes – Pack a pair of sports shoes in case you feel like using the gym on your cruise. Lightweight sports shoes double as comfortable, supportive walking shoes when you stopover at a destination.
- Sports Clothes – If you plan on working out, pack a couple of pairs of workout clothes so you always have one set available. Check the fitness centre’s dress requirements before you pack, as not all cruises allow guests to wear sleeveless shirts.
- T-Shirts – Pack at least four t-shirts, singlets or similar lightweight shirts. This way, you’ll have something light and simple to wear every day, assuming you do your laundry twice a week.
- Shorts – Bring at least four pairs of shorts, so you can wear each pair once without ever having to do your laundry more than twice a week. Cotton and other lightweight fabrics are recommended, especially if you’re cruising in summer.
- Beach Attire – Pack at least one beach cover-up so you’re fully prepared whenever you stop at a beach destination. Even if you never leave the ship, you can wear it beside the swimming pool onboard.
- Socks and Underwear – Bring at least four days worth of socks, bras and underwear so you only need to do your laundry twice a week. Don’t forget a sports bra or two if you’re planning on using the gym.
- Formal Clothing – If your cruise has a formal dinner or other events with a dress code, pack at least one set of formal clothes to wear. For men, a suit or blazer and trousers is your best bet; for women, a dress or blouse and dress slacks.
- Other Hot Weather Clothing – If you’re going on a long cruise, it’s worth packing a little more than you need. Our Holiday Packing List for Hot Weather covers all the essentials for a comfortable trip in a tropical or summer climate.
Health and Personal Hygiene:
- SPF 15+ Sunscreen – Pack a sunscreen with an SPF rating of at least 15. Neutrogena SPF 45 Drytouch Sunscreen is one of our favourites — it’s non greasy and lasts for 80 minutes in water.
- Aloe Vera Lotion – If you plan on spending a lot of time near the pool or on the beach in direct sunlight, make sure you pack some aloe vera lotion. Banana Boat After Sun Lotion is a great affordable option for hydrating your skin after a long day out in the sun.
- Insect Repellent – Although you won’t need it onboard, pack a bottle of insect repellent so you’re protected if you visit the beach. Sawyer Premium Picaridin Insect Repellent is effective for up to 14 hours against mosquitoes, ticks and other annoying tropical pests.
Does your cruise stop at several beach destinations? If so, read our Beach Holiday Packing List to make sure you’ve got everything you need before you leave.
Entertainment and Technology:
- Books – Cruises are all about rest and relaxation, and there’s no better way to relax than with a good book. Pack a book (or two, or three) to keep yourself entertained while you relax in your cabin or by the swimming pool.
- Tablet – If you prefer to read on a tablet, pack your Kindle, iPad or Android device. Since most ships have limited or very expensive Internet access, make sure you download any and all apps you plan to use before you leave.
- Smartphone – Depending on the location of your ship, you might not have a signal for most of your cruise. It’s worth bringing your smartphone with you anyway, since it can double as an alarm clock and camera.
- Computer – Cruise ship Internet is expensive, but it’s still worth bringing your computer if you need to work, email friends and family or just browse the web. Don’t forget to bring a travel adapter if your computer’s power plug isn’t native to the ship.
Remember The Essentials:
- Make sure you’ve got your passport, flight tickets, travel vaccinations and all the other items essential to every trip abroad – see our essential holiday packing list to doublecheck you’ve got everything!