Home Cruise Tips 20 Essential Cruise Items To Pack

20 Essential Cruise Items To Pack

by Patrick O'Halloran

Over the many years we have been cruising we have learnt a few things. Mostly which of those little essential items will make your cruise that little bit smoother.



What could you possibly need a highlighter for you may ask? Well, they are very handy for highlighting (obviously) activities and events in the daily cruise planner that you may be interested in.

Towel clips for the deck or beach

Flamengo shape clips for towels

If like me you are always having issues with keeping your towel on your sunbed, especially if it’s blustery on deck or at the beach then towel clips are a godsend. They are relatively cheap and now come in some fabulous shapes and designs.

Bug spray

Especially important for any tropical ports of call you may be visiting. Need to keep those little critters and bloodsuckers at bay.


cat sleeping in her bed

I have lost count how many times I have walked into the coffee table in the middle of the stateroom when I have got up to use the bathroom late at night. A small night light will prevent bruised shins.

Power strip for more outlets

Every regular cruiser knows that there is usually a huge lack of power outlets in the cabin.  Bring a small power strip for extras. Some now even have USB ports. Can never have enough of those these days.

Water shoes for various excursions

Water shoes / swimming shoe in red neoprene

Depending on the ports you visit and excursions you plan, you may want to bring some water shoes.  No one wants to hop back to the ship with cut and bleeding feet because they walked on some sharp rocks or even worse…stepped on a sea urchin. Ouch.

Wrinkle release spray

It’s not permissible to bring an iron on board so what do you do? Easy. Wrinkle release spray. I know here in the UK it’s not readily stocked in stores but you can buy online. In the US we always visit Target before getting on a ship so we can stock up. How to use? Simply spray, wait a few minutes and then smooth flat with the palm of your hand or pull gently to see those wrinkles disappear. True it won’t get rid of really stubborn wrinkles but it does a good enough job on most.

Reusable water bottle/container


Instead of buying water bottles each day you head into port or for your stateroom, bring a reusable one from home.  We purchased a couple of groovy stainless steel tumblers from Tervis last year. They are sturdy and keep drinks hot or cold for some time. Perfect for coffee on those early start excursions or ice cold soda on the pool deck.



Probably a given this one. I don’t particularly like wearing them but as I am follicly challenged I need something to protect me from those ultraviolet sun rays.  Plus a hat can be a trendy addition to your wardrobe that you can mix and match with other outfits.

Safety Pins

There are countless uses for taking some safety pins with you on your cruise. I recall them coming in handy when my tuxedo cumberband got a little snug after all that delicious cruise food and needed loosening slightly. So to be prepared for any situation and take a few with you.


For the occasional scratch or cut a plaster can always prove useful.  I never leave home without.



For similar reasons to taking a hat and protecting your eyes from the fierce sun, sunglasses can be a funky fashion accessory too.

Comfy walking shoes

For those long walking tours or visits to ancient monument where the ground is often uneven then a good pair of walking shoes are a must. I recommend a lightweight pair. I have some great Skechers that I could walk forever in.

Lint roller

A silicone reusable lint roller will prove invaluable for removing that dust, dirt or hairs that always seem to appear on clothing just as you are heading out of your cabin for the evening.

Over the door storage hanger

Whilst some cruise cabins are amazing in the amount of storage they have some are not so well designed. If you are on a long cruise you might need that little bit of extra storage too. Enter the door storage hanger. Ideally, it should be foldable and/or rollable so it takes up little space in your luggage. We find space for shoes can be a challenge so if you can find a hanger with shoe pockets…even better.  If you’re travelling with more than say, two people, this is a must-have.



It depends on your ports of call and the time of year but you may want to bring an umbrella.  Northern Europe, Alaska or even Down Under at the wrong time of year can be prone to precipitation. Even the Caribbean, where of course it’s referred to as liquid sunshine, could leave you a little damp. They fold fairly small and compact these days so it’s worth packing one.


blank Sticky note and magnet on refrigerator , two paper sheet background.

Strange you might think. However, magnets are perfect to leave little notes for your cabin-mates on where you’ll be, etc.  Magnets are good for hanging the daily activities newsletter on your wall, as well as anything else you find important. The cabin walls are metal so your stuff can go just about anywhere.

Disinfecting wipes

Handy almost anywhere but especially when you are out and about off the ship and soap and water not readily available.

Ziplock bags

Opaque plastic zip lock of inhaler, injection and tablet medicines in Thai hospital isolate white background

Visiting the beach? Ziplock bags are handy for storing those wet bathing suits and keeping the rest of your bag dry. Useful for a multitude of other things too. keeping sand off your mobile phone or even your wallet/purse.  Keep a few in your bag.

Flash Drive/SD card

Perfect for backing up all those precious photos and videos you will take. I always take a couple. A backup of the backup…then again I am paranoid about losing pictures.

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Patrick O'Halloran

Cruisers, Bloggers, Cocktail Drinkers.

Latest posts by Patrick O'Halloran (see all)

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the #1 Itinerary 17th February 2019 - 12:40 PM

Great post 😁

Patrick O'Halloran 17th February 2019 - 3:18 PM



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