June 19, 2024

Don’t Leave Home Without These Essentials!

Packing for a cruise can be a bit different than packing for any other type of holiday. I want to ensure you have the essentials for your next, or first, cruise. I will share the 20 top Cruise Essentials.

Cruising is one of my best ways to just relax and I have found a few things that help me relax a bit more while on a ship for several days. I have gone on a few cruises and each time I learn something new.

Each ship has different configurations and amenities so this list will cover a broad range of configurations.

The ship will be your home for the next few days, and you need to bring items that make your temporary home as comfortable as possible.

Everyone has different needs so let’s start with this full list and let you determine which items will work well for you on your next adventure.


There are items that can make your cruise a bit more enjoyable. This varies depending on your cruise and your needs. I will call out the essentials that I feel are needed on a cruise. I can’t live without some of these!


Don’t forget…You can’t travel on a cruise with your proper documents. If you’re leaving the US or coming in from outside the US, you need your passport, or you won’t be let on the cruise. Put in your carry-on bag.

Cruise Luggage Tags

You will need to print your luggage tags before you get on the ship. I put mine in a luggage tag holder like the one below to keep it preserved and safe. Also, print a spare set!

Luggage Tracking Tags

Your luggage can get lost in the process of getting to the ship.  I recommend a way of tracking your case and this is an inexpensive way compared to what losing your luggage would cost.

Android users: Use Tile Mate tags.


Power Strip – Power Outlet

I don’t go anywhere without my trusty power outlets. Some of the older ships may not have USB ports or maybe just have one or two.  I need at least 3!

Do a little research on the ship you are going to be on and you will learn what they provide in this department.

Back Up Charger Bank

You don’t ever want to get stranded with no juice for your equipment. This little charger bank will make certain you have enough power to keep you running. I never go anywhere without my power bank. I never know if the outlets are going to work or if there will be one when I need it. There is nothing worse than having a dead phone when I need it.

Over the Door Toiletry Organizer

I use this toiletry bag when I cruise and it makes getting ready so easy. It fits everything I need, and it closes up nicely. It has a hook to hang over the door. It comes in medium and large; I own the medium.


Portable Fan

I don’t go anywhere without a fan. Even to Alaska!  You just never know how the temperature will be regulated in areas. I use this one. I can set it on my bedside, and it keeps me cool while resting.

Travel Vanity Mirror

Putting on makeup and doing your hair can get a little tight in the cabin. This standup make-up mirror is a great option to consider.


Magnetic Hooks

Since the ship walls are made of metal it only makes sense to utilize them! Use these magnetic hooks to stay organized. A damp towel? PJs? They work great! Get the heavy-duty ones.


I sleep with a mask, so I don’t take these to use a night light while sleeping. It is when I get up to go to the toilet and I take the chance of stubbing my toe. The cabin gets very dark. I use this small nightlight to help me find my way. This one is a multifunction light and I love it.

Packing Cubes

If you have read my other post on packing, you will know that I swear by packing cubes. They keep me organized. And they make unpacking a cinch.

I just pop them into the drawers as is and they work great! I only hang the items that need to get the wrinkles out. This tip gets me to the bar much quicker!


The bathroom has a clothesline and people will usually just drape their items. I find it much more efficient to use these clothespins. I get more on the line, and they don’t dry with a crease. I also use these to clip the curtains for a tight seal and block out any light if I’m trying to take a nap.


Coffee Tumbler

I’m a coffee drinker and I like my coffee hot and fresh. AND I like to save money. Coffee is considered a specialty and an extra cost outside the buffet and main dining room. This cup helps me keep my coffee warm while I’m off to do other things on the ship. It also keeps my coffee in the cup and not on the deck.

Water Bottle

Always, always carry a water bottle on all your holidays. You won’t’ get free bottled water on the ship.  I fill up at the buffet and throw in some ice and I’m off to the pool.

Fly and Stay Cheap

Eco-Friendly Straws

You may or may not find plenty of straws on the ship. Most are trying to convert to paper straws to save the environment, but I have been on a cruise where they didn’t have straws!  I just can’t drink some drinks without a straw, so I bring my own.   

Lanyards / Cardholder

Some cruise lines still use the paper method for your cruise card. And you must have it on you when you leave your cabin. I recommend this item if you go with a lanard. I tend to carry mine in my crossbody bag that I take everywhere.

Some of the new ships have advanced technology allowing you to do everything from your phone on an application. You can even lock and unlock your cabin door via an app.

Fly and Stay Cheap

Beach Towel Clips and Bands

When you drape your towel over your deck chair it tends to not stay put causing you to struggle with it to keep it where it needs to be. It is so frustrating! Use Towel Clips or Towel Bands.

Waterproof Phone Case

If you are going to do any water activities where you will have your phone you need to consider how to keep it dry. There are many to pick from. Here is my favorite.

Plastic Zip Bags

The most versatile and essential item you can bring is a plastic zip bag. You may never need them, but then you find that you’ve used them all by the end of the trip. I use it for the smaller dirty items or even for packing the small items, so they are not lose in my case. I suggest you bring a couple of different sizes.

Beach Bag | Travel Backpack

You’ll need a beach bag or travel backpack that you can carry with you to the port. It will also help carry other items, like the sunscreen, water bottle, beach towel clips, and the towel itself, etc.

Those are my top picks for cruising. I hope they make your next cruise an even better experience.

Safe Travels!

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