Travel Tuesday: 7 Items You Need When Taking A Cruise

If you are considering a cruise vacation this year, here is a list of 7 Items You Need When Taking A Cruise that will help your packing and eventual vacation go smoothly. Cruise ships are like little cities on the water, but your budget and peace of mind will mean these are things you want to have on hand. From things that save you time and money, to the important paperwork that required for travel, this list is an excellent start for a cruise newbie.

7 Items You Need When Taking A Cruise 2

7 Items You Need When Taking A Cruise

Copies of identification and passports. Not only will you want these items on your person, you’ll want to have a copy of this information on hand in your luggage if something is lost or stolen. You’ll also want to leave a copy of all of this information at home with a trusted person should something arise and they need to give you information. If you are a U.S. citizen, boarding a cruise ship at a U.S. port, travel only within the Western Hemisphere, and return to the same U.S. port on the same ship, you do not need to have a passport for travel. Simply present a government-issued photo identification, along with proof of citizenship (an original or certified copy of your birth certificate, a Consular report of Birth Abroad, or a Certificate of Naturalization). For more information on this exception, visit the U.S. Department of State Travel Website.

Motion sickness medications. Whether your physician prescribes an anti-nausea medication or the motion sickness patches to help with motion sickness, this is a must. Even if you rarely find yourself motion sick, the movement of a cruise ship can be a totally different experience that will catch you off guard. On board physicians can be costly, so avoid that expense by being prepared with medications you can bring easily on-board.

Basic first aid kit. From sunscreen to your regular prescription medications to that rare allergy medication you need only twice a year, it is a good idea to pack a basic first aid kit in your luggage. Sure, band aids and antiseptic ointment are important, but focus on things like antacids, pain relief, anti-histamines, anti-nausea and anti-diarrhea medications. Don’t forget sunscreen as well as a topical ointment or cream like aloe-vera in case you get a sun burn. These items can easily cost twice as much money on the cruise ship or in port and can add up fast.

Power strip and backup chargers. Cruise ship cabins come with only a few standard outlets, and if you are packing a camera, cell phones, tablets or laptop, you’ll need a few more outlets to charge items throughout your trip. Make sure to toss in a few of the battery operated or rechargeable battery chargers for our devices as well to add to your bag for day trips off the ship. You don’t want to miss out on perfect pictures because your phone or camera died.

Bottled water and other drinks. On board drink prices are insanely high. Bring an extra bag packed just with things like bottled water, soft drinks or electrolyte drinks. If you are able to drive to your destination this will be easy to do since you won’t have to check the baggage on a flight. If you are flying in and have some extra time, stop by the local grocery store to pick some drinks up before boarding. Most cruise lines allow you to bring a case of water (or other beverage) per person on board.

Comfortable shoes. Not only will you be walking around a lot on the ship, you’ll be off ship in ports doing various excursions. Your flip-flops may be fine for the beach back home, but the hours of walking in them may change your mind. Pack comfortable shoes to wear around the ship as well as when off ship in port. Consider bringing along a non-slip pair of comfortable boat shoes to keep your footing on-board.

Over door shoe storage bags. This may sound odd, but when on a cruise ship you’ll quickly find a lot of the cabins are very small. Bathrooms and counter space are even smaller. Someone once made this suggestion and cruise goers have continued to use it for years. Roll up a simple over the door shoe storage bag into your luggage and use in your cabin for everything from toiletries to actual shoes or accessories. You’ll reduce clutter and be able to find everything you need with ease.

These items you need when taking a cruise are just a basic list. You’ll be given an itinerary with ideas regarding clothing options, as well as information on what paperwork is needed for your trip by the cruise line when you book your vacation. Not sure where to start? Check out these tips from Cruise Ship expert Shirley Tong.

Mama E

Multitasking mama to 3 living in Miami. Blogging about parenting, lifestyle, cooking and traveling. Covering everything from diapers to dorm rooms. Ask me anything, I've done it all.

Comments (13)

  • I’ve only been on one cruise, but I really enjoyed it. I hope to do it again the future. I was worried about motion sickness, but luckily I was fine.

  • Your idea of using a shoe storage bag is brilliant – wish I’d thought of it!

  • I have never been on a cruise and I always wanted to for a honeymoon or vacation. I do suffer from motion sickness, I always get sick on boats, even the Ferry! LOL. I will have to invest in medication if I am to ever go on one. 🙂

    • Mama E

      If you get the opportunity to go on a cruise, look for special motion sickness bands – you can try it out on a ferry first.

  • This sounds like a wonderful list, never thought about what I would need for a cruise , but I guess
    I have a few things to think about now.

  • I love cruising. They are so much fun and so relaxing. It has been a while since I have been on one. This article is making me think about going again. Thank you so much for sharing this information

  • Thanks for the tips. A cruise is number 1 on my bucket list 🙂

  • Thanks for this list. Im leaving in March on a cruise and have cruised before but this is a great list to print out and remember

  • It’s outrageous how high the prices for bottled drinks can be. Thanks for the tips.

  • Loved reading your tips! I haven’t been on a cruise in years but one thing I wish I knew to bring was a power strip and backup chargers. I forgot my charger for my camera and had to rely on my cell phone (which takes horrible pics – always blurry). And speaking of cell phones, I wish I had also taken an extra charger because mine dropped out of my carry on bag. Thanks for all of the tips!

  • Thank you for this post. This is some good information for our cruise.

  • Thanks for posting these tips! I’ve only gone on one cruise and one tip that I wish I knew back then was to pack bottled water especially when exploring the islands.

  • Now I would have never thought of bottled water or drink mixes at all. I would think too you could use a refillable but I have never cruised so dont know if it is gray water on board or if they have a tank of clean each time. I for sure wouldnt want to drink gray water!


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