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It wasn’t that long ago that I was a cruise virgin. Booking our first cruise with two small kids in tow created a list-making monster. I spent many hours searching for ideas and recommendations on what to pack for a cruise because this Mom was determined to be prepared so my family could maximize the fun. All of my searching, planning and packing paid off because the first time we left port, my family and I were hooked.
We are cruisers.
Since then, we have sailed on the Carnival Dream, the Carnival Conquest and the Disney Wonder on both 4 and 7 night vacations. With some experience under my belt, I thought I would share with you the items that I found most useful to place on your cruise packing list.
- Hanging toiletry bag: Tight spaces in most cruise ship bathrooms calls for exceptional organization. Bring a hanging toiletry bag which will keep the counter top clear and all of your items together in the case of rough seas.
- Surge protector with USB ports: Cruising with tweens and teens means bringing a lot a few electronic devices. Every cruise ship room we have stayed in had limited outlets, so a surge protector with USB ports will keep you all charged and connected.
- Over the Door Shoe Organizer: Keep the closet clear and hand your shoes on the bathroom door for easy accessibility.
Items to Pack for Cruise Sea Days:
- Downy Wrinkle Release: Irons are generally not aloud on board cruise ships. While one may be available in a laundry room aboard, who wants to spend time ironing?
- Waterproof phone case with lanyard: Protect your tech from the water activities on the ship or on your excursions.
- Light jacket: Attending the on board shows and comedy events is a ton of fun, but the theaters can get chilly.
- Highlighter: Every day, you will receive an itinerary of ship activities. Use a highlighter to select your family’s don’t-miss options.
- Water shoes: The ship deck can get hot especially near the pool and water slides. These will come in handy for excursions, too.
- Motion sickness bands or medicine: Nothing can ruin a trip faster than nausea. Most ships offer some sort of motion sickness medicine but it’s easier to come prepared. We had great success with Dramamine for Kids.
What to Pack for Cruise Port Days and Excursions:
- S’well water bottle (Sport Collection): If you’re cruising the caribbean, it’s going to be hot. Fill your water bottle with ice and water before leaving the ship. These bottles kept my water icy cold for a full day on a very hot July day.
- Personal fan or mister: Did I mention it is hot? This was a lifesaver to keep whining at bay when we visited the Mayan Ruins.
- Mosquito repellent: Some excursions may take you into wooded areas or jungles. You will definitely want bug spray. And sunscreen, too.
- Sunglasses: Wear them.
- Croakies: After almost losing his beloved sunglasses twice on a speed boat excursion, my hubby is now a fan of croakies.
- Backpack: If you’re a Mom, chances are you will be carrying all of the above items for the family. Invest in a quality backpack.
What items did you find invaluable on a cruise vacation? Leave your suggestions in the comments below!