Taking a cruise? Here’s what to pack (in addition to the essentials)

If you’re lucky enough to be going on a cruise anytime in the near future, here’s a helpful list. I spent a little time today looking online for creative things to bring onboard and found a host of really great ideas to make the trip even better. Thought you’d all enjoy, so here goes..

  • Ginger pills. These are sold in every pharmacy with the vitamins and many people swear by them for sea-sickness. Great benefit – they are side effect FREE and may work as effectively as prescription meds.
  • A couple wood or plastic clothes pins. Great for keeping those pesky drapes shut, hanging up drying laundry, etc.
  • Cable ties. These work even better than those small locks for keeping your suitcases locked securely. Simply pop a pair of nail trimmers or a small pair of scissors in your purse to snip open (and of course bring extras for securing bags during the cruise and on the way home).
  • Laundry bag. Bring one and you can use it as a hamper during the cruise and when packing for home you can just throw it into your suitcase without having to repack.
  • Plastic ziplock bags. Bring a few for toiletries, damp swimwear, etc.
  • Decoration for your door (and tape to hang it up). Not only friendly and cute, but instantly recognizable from down the hall! No searching for your cabin.
  • Small fold-up umbrella.
  • Watch or portable alarm clock.
  • Travel size hand sanitizer.
  • Post-it notes & pen. Helpful for leaving notes for your room steward.
  • Plastic refillable water bottle. Great for use in cabin as well as toting along on shore excursions.
  • Cell phone AND CHARGER.
  • Nightlight for cabin. Great not only for the kids, but for those of us who need bathroom breaks during the night.
  • Binoculars. Just in case you get lucky and see some dolphins or whales from the ship.
  • Power strip. I read many cabins have only one electrical outlet, so this is good if you need to plug in multiple things – hairdryer, curling iron, etc.
  • Small flashlight. In case power goes out you’ll be able to find your way in hallways.
  • Copies of important documents. People suggested making 2 copies each of passport, driver’s license, credit cards, etc. and leaving one in LOCKED luggage or on person and another copy at home. Sounds like a good idea.
  • Camera and extra batteries.
  • Small bag for last night. Not sure if you saw this in the small print of the brochure, but many cruise lines claim your luggage the night before you arrive back at port. So they recommend bringing some small bag or tote to carry all of your remaining essentials the last day.
  • Portable DVD player and DVDs.
  • iPod or portable CD player, if desired.
  • Swimsuit. As if you’d forget! But even on many northern cold-weather cruises there is indoor swimming and you can bet you’ll be interested.
  • Reading material. If you bring paperbacks you can finish, you can leave them onboard after departure for the crew to enjoy.


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