Cruise Tips: Tips for Packing For Your Cruise Vacation

Every day, more and more people are discovering the all-inclusive pleasures of a cruise vacation. More singles, families, couples, honeymooners, second honeymooners and groups of friends are sailing away on the vacation of their lives. Last year alone approximately seven million people enjoyed a cruise vacation.  To ensure you have a smooth trip, consider these cruise tips, including what to pack on a cruise, what to bring on a cruise and more.  And as always, remember to consult with a travel agent for your next cruise to ensure you have the best experience possible.


  • Pack different clothes for the different climates you foresee experiencing.
  • If you plan on working out, don’t forget some gym clothes.
  • Life aboard a cruise ship is laid-back and casual. Dress for comfort.
  • Bring two or three swimsuits.
  • Footwear should include walking/running shoes and sandals.
  • When cruising outside warm weather destinations, never underestimate the importance of a sweater/sweatshirt, a raincoat, a hat and gloves.
  • During “casual” dining, t-shirts, jeans and shorts are not allowed in the dining rooms.
  • During “informal” dining, women typically wear dresses or pantsuits, while men usually wear lightweight jackets.
  • During “formal” dining, women should be prepared to wear cocktail dresses or gowns, while men should consider wearing business suits or tuxedos (though not required).
  • Some cruise lines let you preorder formalwear, thus eliminating the need to pack it.
  • If you’re traveling to warm weather destinations, do not forget sunscreen and sunglasses.
  • Consider bringing a small amount of detergent for washing clothes within your own cabin. Almost all ships have laundry-facilities, but they can be costly – especially dry cleaning.
  • Most ships have powerful air conditioning. A sweater/sweatshirt may come in handy.
  • Bring a camera. Cruise photographers charge high prices to take your picture.
  • Pack enough prescription medication for the entire voyage (keep drugs in prescription bottles). Ships only stock general medications and ports may not have them available.
  • Do not pack your passport, visas, driver’s license, medications, cruise documents or airline tickets in luggage. Keep them in a purse, jacket or backpack.
  • Pack a written list of your medications, including the name of the drug, dosage and times taken, in case they are lost.
  • These items should be packed in your carry-on: perishables, liquor, cash, credit/debit cards, jewelry, business documents, travel and health insurance information, laptops, computer disks, cell phones, cameras, binoculars,videotapes, CD’s and cassette tapes.
  • Bring credit cards and travelers cheques instead of large amounts of cash.
  • Pack a water bottle so you can bring water from the ship onshore. Or just purchase bottled water at the ports of call.
  • Use hard-sided luggage. Do not use garment bags with hanger hooks protruding from the top.
  • Put a card with your name and address inside your luggage, as well as on the outside.