Cruise Packing List
Cruising,  The Over 50 Lifestyle,  Travel,  Travel for Boomers

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

Toiletries

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.

Clothing

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

Electronics

  • 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!

Cruise Packing List
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Tricia worked in the financial services industry for over 20 years before deciding to divorce the corporate world in 2018. Tricia retired early so she could travel with her husband Jack (the Boomer) and Bo, their German Shepherd. They enjoy finding new experiences together and spending time with their family.

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