10 Things You Can’t Cruise Without

Heading out on a cruise and wondering what you need to pack? Practically every ship has shops onboard that carry essentials you may need or forgot to bring, but there are some items you don’t want to leave home without. Whether you’re a veteran cruisers or embarking on your first voyage, check out the list below of things you might want to bring so you’re fully prepared for the best vacation you’ve ever had! 

Make sure to consider packing these ten things for your cruise:

1. A Power Strip

There are never enough outlets in a cruise cabin. How do you plan to charge all your phones and devices for long days of lounging and exploring? A power strip solves this issue. If you are traveling on a European cruise line, bring an adaptor for the power strip to ensure it is compatible with conventional North American plugs.

2. Clothespins

A couple clothespins can serve many purposes and solve many problems on a cruise ship. For instance, tired of your towel constantly blowing off the back of your beach chair? A couple clothespins keep it taut and in-place when you get up to take a dip.

3. Travel Cups

If you have not cruised before, you have not yet experienced how small the coffee mugs truly are. Plus, there are no to-go cups offered at the buffet or coffee stations onboard, and instead you are provided with 6-8-ounce mugs with no lids. Bringing coffee to your cabin, mixing a cocktail in the room, or taking a drink up on deck is much easier- and less messy- with a travel mug. Once you have stained your favorite shirt crossing the deck with a cup of Joe, you will never forget your Yeti again.

4. Tape

It can be tricky trying to sleep when the seas are rough- especially when the cabinet doors bang open and closed all night long. Never leave home without a roll of duct tape or electrical tape in your bag for just such occasions. A quick snip of tape keeps the doors closed tight- and your cabin quiet.

5. Straws

Many of the cruise lines are promoting eco-awareness by banning the use of plastic straws on their ships. Some offer alternatives, like edible straws that taste horrible and that become soggy when sitting in a frosty drink too long. Reusable straws, such as metal ones, are frequently sold onboard, but who wants to deal with cleaning them on vacation? The solution is to bring along a pack of straws- paper are more environmentally friendly- to carry and use when enjoying any kind of drink on the ship. 

6. A Hat

Seems simple, but many forget to bring a hat with them on their cruise vacation. It’s even more important if you’re cruising to an exotic locale where the sun is shining all day long. No matter if it’s a baseball hat, a 10-gallon cowboy hat or whatever you have in your closet, a hat helps keep the elements off your head and face so you can have a more comfortable cruise and avoid issues likes sunburns. They’re also a great fashion accessory! 

7. Waterproof Lanyard

When you go ashore for excursions or beach time, keep your most important items in a waterproof lanyard securely. Even the best of intentions is no match for the waves and water, which can soak and ruin phones, cameras, passports, and documents during excursions or activities. Keep your stuff safe- not soggy- and use one of these cheap, plastic carry cases.

8. Pain Reliever

Planning to party at all during your cruise? Do yourself a favor and bring some over-the-counter pain reliever or antacid or you will pay dearly for small packages in the onboard gift shop. Same goes for any toiletry or hygiene item- available on the ship, but at a premium price.

9. Rubber Ducks

There is a recent trend emerging where cruisers leave rubber ducks onboard for others to find and keep or re-share. Cruising ducks have taken off since around 2015, though some frequent travelers have been leaving souvenirs behind for other passengers for much longer than that. The concept is to see how far these small, non-invasive ducks travel via passengers and crew onboard cruise ships. Some wear tags or small “passports” to indicate where they have been previously. You can cruise without rubber ducks, but why would you want to?

10. A Picture of Your ID

Finally, snap a quick but clear photo of your passport page and ID on your phone. While a picture is no substitute for legal documentation when it comes to customs, if you did become separated from your passport for some reason, a photo may come in quite helpful. Passports are among the most stolen items during vacations abroad; lock your passport in your cabin’s safe and bring your license or government ID instead when getting off the ship in port for the day.

Gather these things and tuck them aside or in your suitcase for your next cruise. While your trip may not be ruined because you forgot to bring tape or straws, the convenience, comfort, and cleverness of these items is what makes them ten things that you can’t cruise without!

-Kerri M.