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Don’t Forget: 14 Things to Remember to Pack For Your Next Cruise

You’ve packed your bag. You’ve thought of everything. There’s no way that you’ll forget anything you’ll need.

Yeah, right.

No matter how many times we cruise, we always find something else that we wish we had brought. That’s why we compiled a list of things that are often needed, but easy to forget. From the cheap and easy items that you can get at a drug store on your way to the cruise to items that you’ll want to order well ahead of time, they all have one things in common — you’ll be happy you brought them along.

Beach Blanket

beach blanketIf you want to spend anytime on the beach, then you have to get this beach blanket. It’s micofiber cloth means that it packs up small and light — saving valuable space. What we like most is the size. It’s so much larger than simply laying down a couple of pool towels to keep you off the sand. $25 on Amazon

Waterproof Phone/Valuables Case


Waterproof bag

Whether you are hanging by the pool or don’t want to leave your valuables on the beach while taking a dip, a waterproof case is a must-have. Use it to keep your phone, wallet, keys, and anything else dry as a bone so you don’t have to worry just because you want to go swimming. You can get two bags for $20 on Amazon.

A Point and Shoot Camera


These days most people have pretty nice cameras on their phones, but there is still no beating the picture quality of a real camera. We have a Canon PowerShot SX260 model personally and love the zoom and the compact form. We can pull it out and snap a photo in just a few seconds, without having to fumble through our phone’s camera. It’s a little expensive — about $400 — but the memories are worth every penny.

Comfy Sandals


Ok, most people know to pack a pair of flip-flops on their trip. We just couldn’t pass up sharing these Reef sandals with the quilted top. They look like they would be the most comfortable flip-flops ever and the textured bottoms are perfect for walking around on slippery poolside decks. Best of all, the reviews for them are outstanding.

Money Belt

Money belt

Worried about carrying your passport and cash? Anywhere there are loads of tourists is going to be prime territory for pickpockets. This belt tucks everything discreetly under your clothes so you don’t have to worry about anyone taking your valuables without your knowledge. We own the one shown here, which cost us just $10 on Amazon. That’s cheap for peace of mind.

Collapsible Flasks


Also known as “Rum Runners” or “Cocktail Caddy” these collapsible  flasks are ideal for… well, use your imagination. They can discreetly hide alcohol in luggage and save you from having to go all the way to the bar when you want something to drink. Best of all, they are pretty cheap ($20 for a heap of them) so they pay for themselves after just one use.

Sunscreen (Lots of it!)



One of the things no one tells you about the Caribbean is that the sun is much stronger. While 30 minutes outside in the sun at northern latitudes might make you a little pink, it will absolutely roast you in the tropics. We recommend bringing sunscreen… and then bringing a little more. You can never be too sure. The last thing you want is to get roasted on day one and not be able to enjoy the rest of your trip. The big bottle above costs just $6.50.

Mosquito Repellant

Mosquito Spray

With the fears spreading about the Zika virus, you should definitely take the precaution to bring mosquito repellant. You won’t need it while the ship is sailing (there aren’t mosquitos in the middle of the ocean), but when you are in port, be sure to apply it as often as sunscreen to keep from getting the virus. The good stuff is a bit pricey. You can usually find it for about $9 a bottle on Amazon.

Wide-Brimmed Hat


Any hat is better than no hat, but we’d suggest something with more coverage than just a baseball cap. A cap with a nice wide brim can keep you cooler and also provide more sun protection. Best of all, if you are someone worried about how your hair looks while it’s getting whipped around by the breeze and salt air, then a nice hat covers things up. For $12, the one above is our favorite style for men. You can also shop women’s styles here.

A Kindle


It took us a long time to warm up to e-readers. We much prefer real books. But the convenience of a e-reader is huge on a cruise. Not only do pages not fly around in the wind, but being able to adjust the brightness of the screen is nice. (You’d be surprised at how bright a white page is in direct sunlight.) We like the Amazon Kindle because its screen doesn’t glare in bright sun like an iPad or other glossy e-readers.

Insulated Water Bottle

water bottle

When you’re by the pool or on an excursion in port, it’s nice to have a little something to drink. Unless you want to constantly buy bottles of water, however, then you’ll want to bring your own bottle to fill up. We like this one because the space between your water and the outside of the bottle keeps your drink colder for longer. $13 on Amazon

A Carry-all Bag


Have a couple of towels, a change of clothes, your hat, sunscreen, bottle of water, and a book? Whew! You’re going to need somewhere to put all that stuff as you head to the beach or the pool. This oversized mesh bag is perfect. It’s lightweight and will dry fast even if it gets a little wet. $30 on Amazon



They’re easy, they’re cheap, and they take up almost no room. Still, most people don’t think to bring some earplugs. Whether your partner snores or the cabin next to you is just a little too loud, these little guys are worth their weight in gold. They cost about $6 for 20 pairs.

Towel Clips

towel clips

One of our pastimes on the ship is to watch people struggle with laying their towel on their beach chair. With the ship constantly in motion, there is always a breeze on deck. Bringing a few clips like these can help keep your towel secure to your lounge chair and save you some stress. $12 for a pack of 4.

Please note that the links above are affiliate links. Should you decide to purchase anything through them, we get part of the proceeds. Still, these are all items we recommend, whether or not we receive any compensation.

7 Responses so far.

  1. shirley pinnick says:

    just went on a cruise needed a three-way plug and a fan

  2. Vanessa Figueiredo says:

    I also just went on my first cruise and agree to bring a strip plug. there are a total of 3 plugs. 2 over the desk and 1 in the bathroom. we brought walkie talkies to talk to each other and were able to request a fan from the front desk.

  3. Galveston Cruise Tips says:

    Venessa, thanks for sharing. We didn’t know you could request a fan from the front desk. That’s a great tip!

  4. Galveston Cruise Tips says:

    Vanessa, thanks for sharing. We didn’t know you could request a fan from the front desk. That’s a great tip!

  5. DaninMCI says:

    Don’t over pack. You may like to bring a small travel powerstrip if you have tons of electronics. Skip the bs items like the beach towel. The cruise ships have tons of them. You can usually bring them onshore as well as long as you don’t lose them.
    Rum runner bags, really? If you are such an alcoholic that you need this then bring it but don’t be shocked if the cruise line keeps it when they scan your bags.
    Do bring:
    Camera (or phone with camera)
    Hat for beach or shore trips
    Something to read if down time is your thing
    Some cash for extra tips and shore cash.
    Earplugs if you’re a like sleeper.
    Bug spray if you’re going on a shore excursion in jungle, woods, etc. Beaches aren’t usually too bad on bugs because most can’t fly in the stronger winds.
    Sunglasses are a must on warm weather cruises of course.
    Small motel size bar of soap if your a bar soap person. The ship will have liquid shower gel only.

  6. Leeanne OBrien says:

    Wow.. Vanessa.. I didnt know you could request a fan either…. and yes, a power strip is necessary.. I also bring ziplock baggie with dryer sheets in it and I put them in the closet and drawers..

  7. Kathy ,kelly says:

    Disinfection spray and wipes. There are smal travel packs of wipes. They don’t clean or disinfect rooms as well as they should. I’m not a germiphobe, but experienced. One cruise I did not disinfect our room and my husband got stomach flu by last cruise port. Seems several others also had it judging from trays outside doors. Before touching anything in room, wipe all handles, light switches, remote. Spray all soft surfaces.

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