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Ultimate Cruise Packing Checklist Plus Cruise Itinerary Planner Printable

By Life, Family Fun Team


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What to Pack for a Cruise

Whether you are a first-time cruiser or a seasoned cruiser, you always need to be prepared when packing for a cruise. This cruise packing checklist and itinerary planner (with free printable) will come in handy for your next cruise vacation.

Taking a cruise is crazy fun. It’s seriously like no other vacation out there.

Imagine spending days upon days surrounded by the bluest waters that you’ve ever seen, and traveling to some beautiful destinations. A cruise vacation truly is a favorite vacation of ours.

Costa Maya Port Cruise

Sounds pretty amazing, right? This is exactly what a cruise is. It’s jam-packed and full of so much fun. 

Carnival Breeze Deck Party

Things you may not think to pack 

Remember to pack all your essentials because once you leave the port, there’s no option of “running to the nearest Walmart” to pick up things you might have missed.

When it comes to packing for a cruise, don’t forget about these items!

1. Outlet adaptor

So many of the cruise ships are set for international travel and the electric outlets more than likely won’t work for any of your electronics. Pack an outlet adaptor, or two, for your cruise. 

2. Sunscreen & Aloe

When you’re on a giant cruise ship for days on end, there’s a good chance that you’ll be soaking up plenty of rays. Don’t forget sunscreen because you’ll want to protect your skin.

There’s nothing worse than getting a horrible sunburn and having to miss out on the rest of the fun. If you get burnt, it’s always a good idea to have some Aloe Cream or Gel handy too.

Pack a bottle or two or sunscreen so that everyone in your family doesn’t have to worry about getting burnt. Plus, purchasing sunscreen on a cruise will cost double the price!

3. Passport holder

When you’re traveling in international waters, you’ll need to have your passport or proper travel documents with you at all times.

Luckily, there are some super handy passport holders, like this one, that make it easy to have with you wherever you may go.

Make certain to find one that’s waterproof as well because you never know when you might get the urge to jump in that crystal clear blue water without taking off your belongings. 

4. Comfy Shoes

Be prepared to walk everywhere on your cruise because you’re going to want to explore.

Even more than that, when that cruise ship docks, you’ll be getting in your steps, too.

Packing some comfy shoes is key to not letting your feet hurt you from exploring everywhere that you want to. 

Comfy Shoes


(Ask my hubby how he enjoyed walking in his flip flops when we explored Chichén Itzá for the day. It was not exactly a wise decision on his part!)

5. Water Shoes

Water shoes really come in handy. I cannot count how many times in the past, I have forgotten to pack our water shoes and then booked an excursion that required them!

Thankfully the cruise ships sell them but expect to pay at least $20 per pair! 

6. Hanging Shoe Organizer

Speaking of comfy shoes and water shoes, you probably packed more shoes than you needed for this cruise! That is why I highly recommend bringing a shoe organizer for the cabin door.

If you are anything like me, having a ton of shoes laying around the floor may drive you crazy! Especially in a tiny cabin. It really comes in handy and helps to keep the room tidy. Not to mention, it prevents you from tripping over any shoes thrown on the floor.

7. Dramamine For Motion Sickness

Some people get seasick, some people don’t. If you don’t know if you do or not, don’t wait to find out.

Head to the local store and pick up some Dramamine for your trip. It’s super cheap and it’s so handy to have on hand just in case you need it. 

Don’t forget to pack these cruising essentials:

8. Waterproof Backpack

This is a must. Especially if you’re traveling on a cruise with kids! More than likely, everyone will be heading out and about to explore the cruise ship and that means that there will be lots of items like sunscreen, towels, and books that need to be kept together all in one location.

A waterproof backpack is your best bet for that, without a doubt. Don’t waste your time trying to keep track of everything when you can easily just keep it all together in one spot.

9. Reading Material or Waterproof Kindle

There’s always a ton of activities going on during a cruise, but there is downtime as well. For those times, pack lots and lots of reading material.

Load up your Waterproof Kindle or head to the store and pick up a few of the latest best-sellers to help occupy your time.

There’s nothing quite like sitting out on the cruise deck, reading a book and hearing the waves crash against the side of the ship. 

10. Deck of cards

During the evening hours, who says you can’t have a ton of fun games to play in your cabin? Create an epic cruise ship card night for you and your family, like a game of Rook! Or if you are hanging out by the pool all day, a deck of cards is always fun to play by the poolside.

11. Camera

Let’s face it! Smartphones nowadays take excellent photos, unless you have an ancient one. We know leaving our cell phones out in the heat for too long can be a big problem. And sometimes, the cell phone photos just don’t compare to a high-quality DSLR when you are capturing moments like this… 



12. Waterproof Camera Phone Bag

Speaking of cell phones, it is always a good idea to pack a waterproof mobile phone bag. Your phone is your life, right? The last thing you would want is for it to get wet. Trust me, I have seen it happen on vacation. It’s even happened to me! It is always best to protect your phone, even when you think nothing will happen to it.

These must-have items for your cruise cannot be left behind:

12. Cash

Many people tend to overlook the power of cash…and while it can be a bit of a pain to carry with you on the ship, rest easy knowing that you will have a safe in your cruise cabin to store items such as that.

The reason that cash is important is when you are exploring certain islands or countries. Some islands have vendors selling nice souvenirs that you might want to purchase. Okay, maybe not quite like these souvenirs below…but I’m sure you will find something you would want!

Chichen Itza, Mayan Ruins sovenirs

Handing over your card (especially a debit card) in another country can be nervewracking. Plus, you may have to pay extra just for using it. If you can bring a bit of cash for purchases, it’s much better in the long run. 

13. Medications

This is important for your own personal health reasons. Don’t forget to pack your medications that you are required to take every day. When you’re out in the middle of the ocean, you can’t just run to the local pharmacy and pick up what you need.

Double and triple-check that you have all your necessary medications before you leave your house. 

Cruise Ship Hacks Everyone Needs to Know:

When it comes to going on a cruise, you’ll want to remember these cruise ship hacks!

  • Certain cruise lines allow you to bring up to 2 bottles of wine with your onboard. Make certain you call ahead and find out what the rules are for carrying on your own wine.
  • Board the cruise ship as early as possible on the day of departure. They have their buffets open and serving food during that time.
  • Bring a carryon with you for a change of clothes just in case. Sometimes your luggage is delivered after your allotted dinner time. 
  • While alcohol is an extra fee when you’re on a cruise ship, there are actually several different ways that you can score some wine or drinks for free. There is usually some sort of toasting or happy hour where you can snag a drink or two on the house!
  • Another great way to get a free drink is to attend any type of exhibits on the ship. Many times they’ll have complimentary drinks for those who are interested in seeing what art is for sale. 

Going on a cruise is seriously so much fun! We are avid cruisers who sail at least twice a year! Relax and enjoy your time and know that you’re about to embark on one of the most fun vacations and journeys of your life. 

If you ever have any questions, please do not hesitate to email me. I am happy to answer all your questions and concerns. I love helping others plan their cruise vacations.


Rest easy knowing that traveling on a cruise ship is fun and relaxing as long as you plan ahead and have the key items mentioned above! Once you leave the port, it’s all smooth sailing from there! 

Related Articles:

Don’t forget to grab your free Cruise Packing Checklist Pack and Itinerary Planner, which is packed with several pages that includes a cruise outfit checklist, cruise checklist, cruise to-do list, trip planner, and more!

Cruise Packing List Free Printable

What are your must-bring items when packing for a cruise?


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Cruise Packing Checklist

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2 thoughts on “Ultimate Cruise Packing Checklist Plus Cruise Itinerary Planner Printable”

  1. Hi! Where can I find your free ultimate cruise packing lists? I keep clicking the link but it just takes me back to the same article. Thank you!

  2. Hi! Same here as Sonia replied! Where can I find your free ultimate cruise packing lists? I keep clicking the link but it just takes me back to the same article. Thank you!


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