As I’m closing in on 20 cruises there are a few things I’ve learned to always pack. Do some of them take up room? Yes. Have I opted not to take some over the years and regretted it? YES! So here’s my list of 10 items to ALWAYS pack for a cruise. Trust me….you’ll be glad to have them.
Watch or Alarm Clock – For whatever reason, cabins do not have clocks. Most of us can rely on our trusty cell phones to use as an alarm clock. However, I suggest you bring along a water resistant watch you can find at any big box retailer. That way you have a clock in the room and a watch to wear at the beach (you don’t want to miss your boat).
First Aid Kit – In addition to the band-aids and antibiotic cream you want to make sure and bring along cold meds, cough drops and ALL medications you might need. While the ships do have sundry shops the choices are limited and expensive. And with the exception of San Juan, Puerto Rico few ports have easily accessible drug stores.
Extra Storage – Cabins are small. Bring along an over-the-door shoe bag to hold extra toiletries and other small items. This way everything has its place and is easy to locate. This is especially important if you have more than two people in a cabin.
Hangers – This goes along with the extra storage space. In my opinion, there are never enough hangers. So pick up a pack at your local dollar store and bring them along.
Detergent/stain stick – Bring along a small bag of laundry detergent for rinsing out bathing suits. And that stain stick may come in handy as well. Although if it’s lobster butter on a tie take my advice and have your cabin steward take it to the onboard dry cleaner.
Hats – Yes you’ll remember to pack sunscreen. But don’t forget the delicate skin on your scalp. Take along a hat and wear it!
Power Strip – There are very few outlets in cabins and with all your electronics, a hair dryer, curling iron etc. you’re going to want some extra power.
Waterproof Neck Wallet – You can easily order these online. They serve two purposes. First, you don’t want a pick-pocket hitting you up while you’re in port. Second, they’ll give you peace of mind on the beach. You can swim to your heart’s content knowing your money, credit card, and ID are safe with you at all times.
Water shoes/Tennis shoes – Depending on what onboard activities are offered or what excursions you may take there’s a good chance you’ll need these. Yes, tennis shoes are bulky. But you don’t want to miss out on rock climbing or zip lining because all you brought were flip flops.
Cards or small board games – Weather is unpredictable. Or maybe you’ve just had enough sun for the day and need a little quiet time in your cabin. Enjoy some Uno or Yahtzee.
Jacket or sweater – Nights can be cool and breezy.
Foldable tote or duffle bag – Those souvenirs take up room when it’s sadly time to pack up and go home.
Plastic bags – Good for soggy bathing suits, cover-ups, and water shoes.