Being a first time cruise goer, knowing what to pack can be a little daunting. There’s so much to think about. Especially since you will be on the ship for an extended period of time. Plus, depending on where your cruise takes you, you’ll need to think about dressing appropriately – warm, cold, dressy, casual.
Sure, if you didn’t think to pack something, you can probably it onboard or at a port. However, you’re going to end up paying a lot more for it. If you can pack all of the essentials, you’ll save a lot of money and frustration.
Cruise Packing Checklist
Here’s a cruise packing checklist that I used in preparation for our trip. Feel free to print it out and use it for your next cruise. Add to it, mark it up, check it off as you go.
If you’re following along, you know that my husband and I are currently on a 7 day Western Caribbean cruise through Carnival. We are on day 2 at sea and will be at our first port tomorrow. Stay tuned for posts on the rest of our trip, coming soon!!
Now that we’ve been on the ship for a couple of days, there are definitely some things that I wish I would have packed. I used the above packing list but for a few of the items, I didn’t think we’d need them or was trying to pack light and skipped a few things.
Here are a few things that I’ve found would have been beneficial to pack.
1. Binoculars – when out at Sea, we are surrounded on all sides by nothing but water. Yes, this is a ‘duh’ moment but until you truly experience it, it’s hard to comprehend. There was a few times while sitting on our balcony that we wished we would have brought binoculars. Just to see what we can see. I also think that they’d be awesome to have on our excursions too.
2. Travel cup – Carnival does allow you to bring a certain amount of soda, water and alcohol with you when you board. That’s another thing that we wish we would have done. We could have/should have stocked up at a local store before we boarded. Carnival does have a great program for unlimited soda. We did take advantage of that and also purchased a travel cup. It’s actually a good deal and has come in handy. So if you don’t feel like bringing your own on board, no worries. I do not drink a lot of soda so I didn’t get the “bottomless bubbles” but I still would have liked a travel cup to use for water, lemonade and iced tea.
3. Ear plugs – for the most part, our room has been very quiet. Unfortunately, you may sometimes run into loud neighbors walking to and from their room and a set of ear plugs can come in handy. As well as on the plane to and from the cruise.
4. Travel snacks or sugary snacks – if you have a sweet tooth, make sure you pack a few things to tide you over. Really the cruise is always feeding you and you can always find something to eat. There’s also a candy store on ship so if you get a craving, you’re still covered.
5. Lanyard – on Carnival, you get a “Sign to Sail” card. This card is used for all on board purchases and as a room key. When you’re in your swim suit, there’s not always a convenient place to keep this card. We were able to purchase a lanyard on the ship but again, would save you some money if you bring one with you. I have so many at home that I could have packed.
The list of things that we wished we would have packed is really not that bad. I think overall we did a great job of packing and that cruise packing checklist really came in handy.
Have you been on a cruise before? What were the things that you wished you would have packed but didn’t?