Cruise Packing List

Ultimate Printable Cruise Packing List

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Why an ultimate printable cruise packing list? Whenever I would travel I would forget something every time. Because you can not necessarily run to CVS to pick up what you forgot! That inspired me to make this list for when we cruise. Especially if it is your first cruise you are not really sure what to expect! This comprehensive list will make sure that you are covered in every area of your trip!

There will be certain items you will always want to keep with you. A big heavy purse is not ideal as there will be lines and wait times while you board. I also recommend a backpack purse. I found a really nice leather one at Nordstrom last year and everything fits in it, including my camera with a telephoto lens. These are great to take the load off your shoulder with a purse and carry things like a wallet and camera equipment while you are in port. You can also fit a small crossover bag for times when the backpack is not appropriate like at dinner.

Cruise Packing List
Photo by Bruce Mars

The printable cruise packing list will cover both your carry on and checked bag. Often it can take hours for your checked bag to arrive so it is important that your carry on has some essentials to cover you for that time.

Carry On Cruise Packing List

  • Tickets and Travel Insurance. If you used a travel agent, then you will want to have their card or contact information as well.
  • Travel Documents – Passport, Driver’s License and Visas
  • Wallet with at least two credit cards and a debit card. Make sure you have notified the banks that you will be traveling. They will want to know when and where you are headed.
  • Cash for tipping. You will need plenty of $1 and $5 bills.
  • List of emergency contacts with home, cell and work numbers.
  • Prescription medications and make sure your prescription is visible and in the original bottle.
  • Make up for touching up. Small travel brush.
  • Change of clothes and bathing suit so you can go to the pool when you arrive!
  • Chargers for any phones or other equipment you bring like laptops, iPad or E-Readers.
  • Spare glasses, readers, sunglasses and contacts. I like to keep two pair of readers and sunglasses in my purse or bag. Also, if you plan on doing watersports like paddle boarding, make sure you have a leash on your sunglasses in case you fall in the water. They can get lost!
  • Camera – I bring my camera everywhere with me. I have a camera bag that I pack in my main luggage with additional lenses and batteries. Then I keep my camera in my backpack or carryon.
  • Jewelry – I wear all of the jewelry I will need while I am traveling. I do not want to lose anything, so I try to bring the bare minimum.

Make sure you are thinking about the weather at your destination. Sometimes people who are coming from colder climates will layer T-Shirts and then cover up with a sweater rather than bringing a winter coat to a small cabin. On the other hand, if you are cruising in winter you may need a windbreaker or sweater for cooler nights.

Checked Bag Cruise Packing List


Sometimes your cruise ship will provide the basics: shampoo, conditioner, body lotion. Unless you’re going on a luxury cruise, you may want to bring your own.

  • Bar soap/body wash
  • Body lotion
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Hair spray or styling spray/gel
  • Deodorant
  • Toothbrush, toothpaste, floss
  • Sunscreen
  • Nail file and clipper
  • Travel size mouthwash
  • Contact lens solution
  • Eye makeup remover
  • Insect repellent if you plan on being off the ship anytime.
  • Lip balm with an SPF and for the dry air in the stateroom
  • Lotion with aloe
  • Flat or curling iron
  • Hairdryer – Some older ships still have wall-mounted dryers otherwise you will need to bring one.
  • Barretts, hair clips and ponytail holders
  • Hairbrush and comb

Makeup and Skin Care

Packing tip: If you like to stay fully made up every day, try to bring the bare minimum. Some people like using a makeup bag and others like to use zip lock bags and sperate out their brushes, etc. This allows you to hide you make up in hidden little spots like shoes or compartments within your luggage over a bulky makeup bag.

  • Day and night treatment skin products
  • Mascara
  • Eye Liner
  • Eye shadow
  • Foundation
  • Blusher
  • Powder Compact
  • Makeup brushes and eyelash curler
  • Concealer
  • Eyebrow pencil and brush

Medications & Hygiene

  • As we stated above, all medications must go into your carry-on bag, with the prescription label and in the original container.
  • Make sure you have enough of your prescription to last a week beyond the cruise.
  • Sanitary items for women, bathroom wipes, travel-sized Clorox wipes for surfaces, hand sanitizer for both on the ship and shore excursions
  • First aid supplies – assorted band aides (4 or 5 will work), Q-Tips, antibiotic ointment, alcohol wipes, ibuprofen or whatever you take for pain relief.
  • Seasick pills like Bonine (doesn’t make you drowsy). Check for any contraindications if you are on other meds and check with your physician.


Of course, this will depend on how many days you are traveling.

  • Underwear, bras and shapewear
  • Dress socks/stockings, athletic socks
  • Sleepwear
  • Swimsuits: I bring 2 swimsuits if we want to go to the jacuzzi at night. Nothing worse than putting on a cold wet suit and they are easy to fit.
  • 2 Cover-ups. One for the beach and one for the pool.
  • 1 or 2 sets of workout clothes/yoga pants/sports top
  • 2 or 3 pairs of women’s shorts or capris
  • 1-2 casual pants/skirts
  • 4 or 5 T-shirts/blouses/tops for women
  • 1 to 3 casual maxi dresses or sundresses
  • 5 or 6 pairs of men’s shorts/casual pants/khakis if they are opposed to wearing them more than one day or if you plan to spend no days at the pool/beach
  • 2 pair of men’s baggies or bathing suits.
  • 7 T-shirts, polos or casual shirts for men. I like to bring a variety of each.
  • Jeans are okay but not in any of the more formal dining areas.

Formal Night Attire

In addition to the formal night, there are also restaurants onboard that you can opt for that may require a jacket. Tip: Make your specialty restaurant reservations immediately upon boarding! You will not get prime times if you wait!

  • Women:  One or two dressy outfits – dressy pants and blouse, cocktail dress.  Some women still wear long formal dresses but not as often unless it is a luxury cruise.
  • Men:  One sport coat or dark jacket, 1-2 ties, collared shirt, nice khakis or matching dress pants.

Shoes and Wearable Accessories

  • 3-5 pairs:  Sandal, sneakers, dress shoes, comfortable walking shoe. Optional – sturdy closed-toe shoes for horseback riding or hiking, flip-flops for pool, beach and inside your stateroom. Honestly, I have ridden in flip flops which is not the right way to do it but no one said anything. Also, I bring fancy sandals that can go to the pool or to dinner. Think black patent leather with gold trim.
  • Lightweight sweater or pashmina for air-conditioned common areas.
  • Sun hat/cap/visor that can have weight put on it.
  • Belt
  • We always bring a collapsible umbrella.
  • Bring “layer-able” clothes just in case it gets cool.

Packing Tip: I try to bring color-coordinated outfits so I can mix and match outfits for a new look and I also need fewer sandals/shoes


  • Mobile phone
  • Phone chargers including plugs and cord (Carry On)
  • Laptop or iPad/Kindle and chargers (Carry On)
  • Outlet extenders. Even if it for your USB cords. There are not many plugs and between phones, cameras and kindles you could be fighting for space.
  • Camera (Carry On)
  • Camera battery charger, additional batteries, lenses, filters and camera case
  • Underwater camera or GoPro
  • Selfie stick that can double as a tripod
  • Travel size Bluetooth speaker and charger if not compatible with the phone charger.
  • Camera cord to download your photos each night or a flash drive to put them on.
  • An additional memory card. Or upgrade the one you have.
  • Lightweight binoculars – Especially if you do not have a telephoto lens.

Additional Packing Tips: Before you finish packing you want to make sure that you have all your chargers and accessories. Once you have everything lined up you can pair each device with its charger and accessories so you leave nothing behind. You can also pack your printable cruise packing list to show exactly what you checked off and recheck it as you pack!

Alcohol and Oddities

Each cruise line has its own and varying policy for BYOB concerning beer wine and liquor.

  • Some cruise lines allow you to hand-carry one or two bottles of wine onboard your ship.
  • Check your cruise line’s website for details or ask your travel agent
  • Bring paper or metal straws. The last time we cruised there were no straws! I for one use a metal straw at all times but I did not really think about it when I went on my last cruise. I must have a straw. Next time I will probably bring my Yeti as well. There is nothing worse than your iced tea sweating by the pool in a plastic cup.

I love using this printable cruise packing list and I hope it works for you too! Happy cruising!

Here is the link to the TSA Liquids rule which still applies for cruises!

Looking for some luggage for your next trip? Check out our review of Chester Luggage made with military-grade products, TSA approved locks, super stylish and a 10 Limited Warranty!

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59 responses to “Ultimate Printable Cruise Packing List”

  1. Tamera Avatar

    This looks really thorough! I’m going to keep this in mind for when I go on a cruise.

  2. Alex Avatar

    What a great checklist. You’ve covered everything!!

  3. tarund Avatar

    thanks for such a great checklist. im taking the missus for a cruise during valentine’s – got any pointers to make sure its a good time?

    1. Tricia Snow Avatar

      Yes! Make sure you check everything out on the cruise the first day. Get the layout down and learn where everything is so you are not wasting time looking for stuff later! Have a great time!

  4. Raquel Avatar

    Such an inclusive list! Thanks for putting it all together for easier packing 😊

  5. Nomads RTW Avatar
    Nomads RTW

    That’s a pretty thorough list! we have not been on a cruise yet, but at some point, we will.

    1. Tricia Snow Avatar

      I hope the list comes in handy when you do! Thank you!

  6. Angela Avatar

    Great checlist. On my first cruise I way OVER packed, this is helpful so people do not make my mistake!

    1. Tricia Snow Avatar

      Thanks Angela! I am so glad you found it useful!

  7. Clara Avatar

    Those are really thorough, compartmentalized lists you have got there. They’re just generally good lists for most forms of luxury travel. Thank you for sharing.

  8. Shirley Avatar

    I love the metal straw and Yeti cup tips!

  9. Heather Avatar

    This is fantastic. I am a list maker, so this will come in very handy. I tend to overpack, so this may help me in that area too. There is no need for me to bring my whole closet. LOL!

    1. Tricia Snow Avatar

      I know, I am really working on that now. I always feel like I need options and then I don’t wear half of what I bring!

  10. Julie Avatar

    Even thought I’ve been on several cruises, there are some things I never thought of bringing.

    1. Tricia Snow Avatar

      Great! Thanks, Julie!

  11. Jen Avatar

    Such great tips! Cruising is my favorite way to travel.

    1. Tricia Snow Avatar

      One of my faves too! Thanks, Jen!

  12. Amanda Avatar

    Great printable cruise packing list! Very detailed. I will have to come back to this when we take a cruise!

  13. Hera Avatar

    Wow, this is really comprehensive! No wonder I’m always forgetting stuff. I never use a checklist, but I think I need to as I’m no Spring Chicken that can recall all this stuff, ha!

  14. Missy Avatar

    That was a very detailed list. Loved that you had categories too.

  15. Lori Nielsen Avatar

    Great list! I especially need the electronics section, as I often forget one or more items.

    1. Tricia Snow Avatar

      Me too! Thanks, Lori!

  16. Pam Avatar

    Great list! I love my metal straw and bring it with me on most vacations, but I could see forgetting it when packing for a cruise – excellent reminder.

    1. Tricia Snow Avatar

      Thanks, Pam! I think next time I will bring my own Yeti too. All of those plastic cups are just as bad as the straws!

  17. Taci -life Beyond zebra Avatar
    Taci -life Beyond zebra

    Woah! What an extensive list! I think you really covered anything you could possibly need on a trip.

    1. Tricia Snow Avatar

      I agree! It does not mean you have to bring it all but if you want to it is on there! lol

  18. Sheila Avatar

    This is a great list of must have’s for cruising. When I took my first cruise I sure could have used this info. I had a few friends who cruise a lot help, but I still forgot things.

    1. Tricia Snow Avatar

      Great! I love to hear from people that have cruised that this would be helpful!

  19. jen Avatar

    This is the first article on this topic I’ve seen that actually breaks it down into sensible and manageable lists. Well done!

    1. Tricia Snow Avatar

      Thank you, Jen! I appreciate the feedback!

  20. Stacey Avatar

    This is a great list! I haven’t done a cruise before, but I hope to someday. I make lists for when we travel anywhere. Usually, I’m somewhere where I can buy something if I need to, but on a ship that would be trickier!

    1. Tricia Snow Avatar

      Definitely …. and top dollar too!

  21. Kristi @ Way Beyond The Norm Avatar

    That’s a very extensive list. But I’m sure it will help lots of people getting ready for their cruises.

  22. Susan Avatar

    On a recent cruise, I decided to pack a small trial sized bottle of homemade bathroom spray. It really came in handy for a couple times when we came back to our room and it had a funky smell. Not sure what it was, maybe just a result of where we were on the ship, but it helped a lot!

    1. Tricia Snow Avatar

      That is such a good idea! We had that issue the last time we cruised as well so I can relate.

  23. kmf Avatar

    I’m a list maker so this would definite come in handy when I go cruising!

  24. Nomads RTW Avatar

    That’s a very thorough packing list! Nice job. We haven’t tried yet a cruise, but we reckon we will at some point 🙂

    1. Tricia Snow Avatar

      Thank you! You will love it!

  25. Iuliya Avatar

    I’ve never gone on a cruise before so this informative post is very helpful!

    1. Tricia Snow Avatar

      You should go! You will love it!

  26. Lucy On Locale Avatar

    I love a good packing list. Thanks for sharing!

  27. Leeanne Avatar

    I never thought you should bring your own shampoo and conditioner and soap on a cruise. Good to know. I also, like the idea of bringing my own wine -if possible. The tip about straws is good too. We use metal at home so I would just bring those.

    1. Tricia Snow Avatar

      Yes! I have gotten a lot of good feedback on the straw issue. People who do not live on the coast may not know places are banning them

  28. Kez Avatar

    I took my dad on a cruise in Asia a few years ago, but neither of us had packed formal wear. We ended up getting invited to dinner with the captain!

    1. Tricia Snow Avatar

      What a great story! I love it! My husband forgot my shoe bag on our honeymoon leaving me literally with the shoes on my feet. FLIP-FLOPS! You can imagine the jokes that are made to this day.

  29. Andres Escoto Avatar

    Great advises when going on a cruise, also some of this advice are great whenever you are traveling to any place, like for example calling your bank to advise them about your traveling plans and have cash also available.

  30. Sara Kendall Avatar

    What a great checklist for any cruise! Bookmarked your post for future reference.

    1. Tricia Snow Avatar

      Awesome Sara! Glad we could help!

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