What to Pack for a Cruise (with Printable Packing List)

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What to Pack for a Cruise (with Printable Packing List)

Excited for that upcoming cruise, but not quite as excited about the thought of all that packing you’ll have to do for it? You’re not alone – nobody likes packing, after all. But with plenty of time, preparation (that means no leaving things ‘til the night before!) and packing tips, you don’t have to stress about things.

Or maybe this is your first time and you’re wondering what to pack for a cruise? Either way, you’re in the right place. We’ll run through what you should be packing and some top-notch packing tips to help make things easier, plus we’ve even created a downloadable cruise packing list for you to keep handy. So, let’s get started.

Packing for a Cruise

We know this looks like a huge list, but we’re not suggesting you bring everything we’ve mentioned – just the items that apply to you. If you’re not planning on going to the gym, then leave the fitness wear at home obviously. As for formal clothing, you might not even need to bring any depending on the line you’re travelling with either.

And obviously, the kids’ items will only apply if you’re a parent and you’re holidaying as a family. Just think of it as us covering all the bases, so there’s nothing that you might end up forgetting.

What to Pack for a Cruise: The Ultimate List

General Clothing

  • T-Shirts
  • Shorts
  • Dresses
  • Skirts
  • Tops
  • Underwear
  • Socks
  • Swimwear
  • Swim or beach cover up
  • Jacket or hoodie
  • Long pants
  • Long sleeve shirts
  • Hat/cap
  • Pyjamas
  • Fitness wear
  • Fitness footwear
  • Trainers
  • Flip-flops/sandals
  • Sunglasses
  • Backpack/daytime bag

Formal Attire

  • Shirts
  • Trousers
  • Belt
  • Shoes
  • Blazers
  • Tie
  • Evening dress
  • Formal blazers
  • Formal trousers
  • Formal tops
  • Shoes or sandals
  • Handbag
  • Jewellery
  • Any other accessories


  • Hand sanitiser
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Shower gel
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Mouthwash
  • Deodorant
  • Earbuds
  • Makeup remover/makeup wipes
  • Sunscreen
  • Moisturise
  • Hair products

Personal Items

  • Prescription medication
  • Over-the-counter medication
  • Glasses/contact lenses
  • Makeup
  • Plasters
  • Feminine products
  • Straighteners/curling irons

For the Cabin

  • Nightlight
  • Small fan
  • Earplugs
  • Phone charger

For the Babies, Kids and Teens

  • Wipes
  • Nappies
  • Baby Bottles
  • Feeding items (feeding mat, bibs etc.)
  • Sterilising Equipment
  • Travel Cot and bedding (if required)
  • Toys
  • Pram/Pushchair
  • Baby Bag
  • Dummy
  • Clothing (general and formal)
  • Swimwear
  • Shoes
  • Playing cards
  • Tablet
  • Games

Important Documents

  • Booking/boarding documents
  • Passport
  • Birth certificate (if applicable)
  • Travel visas (if applicable)
  • Insurance documents
  • Any other travel documents required by your cruise line
  • Covid results/vaccinations (if applicable)

Other Items

  • Cash
  • Camera
  • Waterproof phone case
  • Books or magazines
  • Crease releasing spray
  • Refillable water bottle
  • Earphones

Heading Somewhere Cold? Don’t Forget:

  • Hat
  • Coat
  • Scarf
  • Gloves
  • Hiking boots

Our Top Packing Tips

Getting tactical with your luggage might sound a little over the top, but when it comes to packing, you can get the most out of the space you have with all sorts of different hacks and hints.

Let’s see what you can do…

Downloadable Cruise Packing List_back
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Downloadable Cruise Packing List

To keep you on top of your packing, why not download our handy cruise packing list PDF? Print it out and tick off everything as you go along – that way you’ll avoid those dreaded moments where you realise you’ve left your must-bring shampoo at home!


Things People Usually Forget

Whether it’s your reading glasses, your socks or your swimming costume, there’s a chance there’ll be something you’ve forgotten to put in your holiday bag.

With that in mind, here’s what people tend to forget in their packing. Keep these in mind when it’s time to pack up your essentials.

Toothpaste and toothbrush

It’s not the end of the world if you forget to pack your toothpaste or toothbrush, but save yourself having to get one onboard (and having to stay away from others for the time being) by making sure it goes in your bag.

Phone and electric chargers

Phones, and their chargers, are absolute musts in this day and age. Being onboard a cruise ship minus a phone, or a phone that’s rapidly running out of juice, isn’t a position you want to find yourself in – replacement chargers aren’t as easy to pick up as bathroom products when you’re on your travels.

Glasses and contact lenses

There’s a lot you’ll want to see while you’re on your cruise. Make sure you’re seeing everything with crystal clear focus by packing your reading glasses and contact lenses – or keep them on you just to play it extra safe. Don’t forget your eyedrops either, you don’t need us to tell you how much of a headache your contacts can be if you don’t have them to hand. 

We hope you’ve found everything here helpful and handy. Don’t let a few forgotten items spoil your holiday – print off our downloadable checklist and make sure you have everything you need!

Looking for a cruise away on a holiday of a lifetime? Cruise Nation can definitely help with that – for deals and prices on cruises all over the world that you can’t find anywhere else, set sail to our homepage today and get ready to grab a bargain!

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