Get the most from your time at sea and enjoy peace of mind before you go with our comprehensive vacation 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 challenge. A variety of factors go into determining what to bring on 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, be sure to check our Vacation Packing List for Cold Weather for clothing and accessory recommendations.
Things You Need On Every Trip
We’ve listed items specifically for a cruise trip. For items that you need on every trip regardless of the location or weather, see our Essential Vacation Packing List.
- Face mask – COVID is still very active in many countries and you may be required to wear an SFP2 facemask on the ship and in some indoor spaces. It’s also a good idea to carry a small bottle of hand sanitiser when you travel.
- Considering travel insurance for your trip? World Nomads offers coverage for more than 150 adventure activities as well as emergency medical, lost luggage, trip cancellation and more.
Clothing for Cruises
- 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.
- Sports Clothes – If you plan on working out, pack a couple of sets of workout clothes so you always have one available. Check the fitness center’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.
- 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 pants 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 Vacation Packing List for Hot Weather covers all the essentials for a comfortable trip in a tropical or summer climate.
Pool and Beach Items for Cruises
- 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.
- 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.
- Does your cruise stop at several beach destinations? If so, check our Beach Vacation Packing List to make sure you’ve got everything you need before you leave.
Footwear for Cruises
- Walking or 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.
- Sneakers – Pack a pair of sneakers 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.
Health and Personal Hygiene on Cruises
- SPF 15+ Sunscreen – Pack a sunscreen with an SPF rating of at least 15. Neutrogena SPF 45 Drytouch Sunscreen is one of our favorites – 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.
Entertainment and Technology for Cruises
- 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 expensive internet access, make sure you download any and all apps you plan to use before you leave.
- Cell Phone – Depending on the location of your ship, you might not have a signal for most of your cruise. It’s worth bringing your cell phone anyway, since it can double as an alarm clock and camera.
- Laptop – Cruise ship internet is expensive, but it’s still worth bringing your laptop if you need to work, email friends and family or just browse the web. Don’t forget to bring an appropriate 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 Vacation Packing List to double check you’ve got everything!