The Getaway
Essential Items to Take on a Cruise

Before you step onto the deck and sail away, make sure you're prepared. Don't spoil the fun by forgetting the things you need to make the most of your cruise ship experience. You should be focusing on the adventure ahead--not the belongings you left behind.

Hopefully, you'll bring back more than what you brought with you--including some new memories. Here's to smooth sailing!



01 Walking shoes

Smiling man talking on the phone on an open deck of a cruise ship on a background of the pool and blue sky Sviatlana Barchan / Getty Images

If you plan on moving around a lot on the ship or even taking shore leave if you're permitted, you should definitely invest in a solid pair of walking shoes. Trust us, your feet will thank you the day after.


02 A wristwatch

Handsome male in the city using his smart-watch app. Urban background LDProd / Getty Images

It's much easier to check your wrist than to pull out your phone, especially when traveling.


03 Hats

Little girls looking at the sea ozgurcankaya / Getty Images

Most people travel on cruises when it's warm--at least somewhere in the world! Having a hat along will help on days when you need it most. Whether it's hiding from the sun or covering up a bad hair day, hats work with almost any outfit.


04 Sunglasses

Woman relaxes during ferry crossing, sunrise Andrii Lutsyk/ Ascent Xmedia / Getty Images

Similar to hats, sunglasses are a staple when traveling. They're not just a fashion statement; they're a protective piece of clothing, too. Just don't take your favorite pair of sunglasses unless you can easily replace them.


05 Business cards

Two Female Business Executives Exchanging Business Cards at a Convention Center. GCShutter / Getty Images

Having a few business cards can easily allow people you meet to contact you. This comes in handy if you meet a couple or family you want to spend more time with or simply want to make a connection for future ventures. Get your cards within a few days from VistaPrint.


06 Spending cash

Close-Up Of Hand Removing Paper Currency From Wallet Patcharin Saenlakon / EyeEm / Getty Images

Maybe you see something on shore leave that you just have to have. Perhaps that merchant doesn't take credit cards, or you want to keep your financial information secure. A few notes on-hand solves this problem easily.


07 Outlet adapter

Travel power adapter with connectors for european, UK, and US power plugs on packed suitcase with clothings - travel preparation

Yes, something as simple as a hole in the wall can make a fun vacation a lot less interesting. To make sure you're always adaptable, invest in an outlet adapter--they're more affordable than you think.


08 Portable power bank

female tourist using portable power bank to charge her phone on a beach

If you want to stay out all day without having to take a trip back to the room, invest in a portable power bank. This handy device works as a backup battery for your smartphone, tablets, cameras, and more. Extend the life of your devices with a portable power bank." Our Choice: the Anker Power Core III


09 Extra memory storage

Young man is holding a tiny memory card in his hand, text space Patrick Daxenbichler / Getty Images

Pictures are worth 1,000 words, but how many of those can your camera's memory card store? If you're not sure, check out what you can do for extra memory storage. Sometimes it's having a few backup SD cards. Just make sure you've got what you need so you don't miss a second.


10 Medical information card

Over the shoulder view of Asian woman holding smartphone with a valid vaccination certificate for Covid-19 for travel during the pandemic. Packing her suitcase on bed preparing for travel in new normal d3sign / Getty Images

If you have medical conditions you think the authorities should know about in case of emergency, make sure you have a card on you at all times. You can even hand out these cards to your family members as well.


11 Streaming device

Young woman working with her tablet during a travel on a cruise ship, Mediterranean sea, Italy Giacomo Augugliaro / Getty Images

Sometimes it's nice to come back to your cabin and watch a show or two. If you have a laptop or tablet, bring it with you. You can record videos and take pictures as well.


12 Day bag

Woman traveler eating ice-cream in Fira Santorini island on Caldera sea background enjoying landscape. Summer vacation food. Maryviolet / Getty Images

It's a good idea to have a separate bag for trips on land so that you can keep things in it like extra money, business cards, cameras, hand sanitizer, and anything else you might want to bring along.


13 Snacks

young woman having fun and eating juicy fresh watermelon outdoor at sunset time with snuffler in summer time serts / Getty Images

Not everyone eats at the same time. That's why it's good to have a few snacks around in case you find yourself hungry with nothing to eat. If you have a dietary need, snacks can be a great way to ensure that you meet those needs as well.


14 Sandwich bags

Set for flight small bottles with cosmetics, sleep mask, earplugs, nasal spray on gray background. Top view, copy space matucha / Getty Images

While it might be a good idea to pack some of your toiletries in sandwich bags anyway in case of leakage, sandwich bags can be good for other things too. In fact, if you want to protect something you found while on your trip, a sandwich bag is the perfect solution.


15 Note pad

Young woman planning a trip, travelling by train agrobacter / Getty Images

Many people take cruises to gain inspiration. If you love to daydream and want to keep track of the genius ideas you think of while at sea, bring along a notepad.


16 Travel mug

Woman holding to go take out coffee cup Close up of hands and cup knape / Getty Images

If you're a coffee person, a travel mug is a must. There are plenty of options to choose from, including mugs that won't break your travel budget. Just remember to wash them once you get home.


17 Gloves

Woman hands in winter gloves Heart symbol shaped Lifestyle and Feelings concept with sunset light nature on background Everste / Getty Images

Winter gloves are best for cold cruises. Whether you're taking a trip around Alaska or just have cold hands, pack a pair of gloves with you on your cruise.


18 Scarf

Senior woman standing on beach holding scarf. iStockalypse LA California aldomurillo / Getty Images

Evening temperatures can drop significantly, even on tropical cruises. Pack a scarf along to keep your neck warm. If you wear it right, it could present a fashion statement as well.


19 Light jacket

A tourist on a deck of a cruise ship bluecinema / Getty Images

Taking a midnight stroll across the deck? Pack a light jacket with you, something you can throw on at a moment's notice but won't make you sweat.


20 Swimsuits

Parents with children (10-12) jumping into pool on cruise ship David Sacks / Getty Images

Unless you're terrified of water or just don't want to swim, swimsuits are practically required for cruises. If you like, pack a few different pairs, in case one gets damaged, lost, or ruined.


21 Formal attire

Couple embracing on deck of cruise ship Steve Mason / Getty Images

The caliber of formal attire you should bring on a cruise depends on your personal style. Some cruises offer fancy dining, and it's nice to get dressed up once in a while. After all, aren't vacations about enjoying yourself?


22 Stylish shoes

A young woman holding wine and enjoying the ocean view on deck of a cruise ship at sunset. guvendemir / Getty Images

Sure, this one's more for the ladies, but men, you can pack some cool shoes too. Whether you like to traverse the decks in stilettos or just want to set a fashion statement with some fancy sneakers, footwear is up to you.


23 Books for reading

Woman Relaxing with Book on Cruise Ship Steve Mason / Getty Images

Taking a cruise is about getting away from the real world, but that doesn't mean you can't pick up that book you've been saying you'll read for the past few months. Whatever genre you choose, pick a book you'll want to snuggle up with night after night.


24 Travel games

Board games, pawns, chessmen, dominoes and dice. MKucova / Getty Images

Especially useful for families, travel games pass the time. You could be waiting for dinner service or just want to spend some quality time together. Just remember that they're only a game and more fun is waiting for you just outside. Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza is a hit in our house.


25 Deck of cards

Playing cards with banknotes and coins for gambling JR Images / Getty Images

Card games are something a lot of people enjoy. You can take the time on a cruise to teach your friends and family a few games. Maybe the group you're traveling with likes a harmless game of poker. Even a game of solitaire, party of one, requires a deck of cards.


26 Electric blanket

Man sleeping on electric heating pad in bed at night, above view

So you over-exerted yourself swimming in the lap pools. Or maybe you walked way too far on shore leave. Either way, a heating blanket will calm your muscles and get you back into action for the next adventure.


27 Extra pillows

Serene, stylish interior bedroom with large sliding doors that lead out on to wooden decking. Two sun loungers are visible through the window. Vast lake can be viewed from the room and decking. Bed is covered with booster cushions. Sun shines through the window. Catherine Falls Commercial / Getty Images

Pillows are a staple for many people. Soft, fluffy, plush, or stiff, pillows make us comfortable. Pack your favorite pillow on your next cruise and you may find you'll sleep better than you thought.


28 Throw blanket

Blond woman covered with blanket on deck of a cruise liner looking at distance Westend61 / Getty Images

Like a light jacket, throw blankets are there when you need some warmth. They're also great for snuggling. If you have room, pack a throw blanket for those chilly nights.


29 Prescription medications

Cropped view of senior woman taking medicine from daily pill container. Horizontal shot. londoneye / Getty Images

Make sure you pack your prescriptions and any information you might need in case of an emergency. Weekly pill cases can also help.


30 Headache medicine

Young Asian woman sitting on bed and feeling sick, taking medicines in hand with a glass of water AsiaVision / Getty Images

Too much sun or too much fun, and you're stuck with a headache. Be sure to pack headache medication when you're preparing for a cruise. It would be a shame to let something so easily taken care of ruin the rest of the day or your night.


31 Wrinkle release spray

Wrinkled fabric Dario Pena / Getty Images

If you did end up packing those fancy clothes, you'll probably want some wrinkle release spray. It's an easy way to get out those wrinkles your suits, dresses, and pants picked up in that suitcase of yours. Just a spritz or two and you're ready for a night on the ship.


32 Facial tissues

Cute sick boy aged 2 with runny nose tries to blow his nose. Imgorthand / Getty Images

Tender moments? Those call for a tissue, something you'll want to pack even if you don't suffer from allergies.


33 Hand lotion

Cropped shot of an unrecognizable woman applying moisturiser to her hands LaylaBird / Getty Images

Different climates can make your skin react differently. Pack a tube or two of your favorite hand lotion. Don't let dry skin keep you from having fun on your cruise.


34 Antacid tablets

A colorful image showing four stacks of common antacid pills with scattered pills in the foreground and background. Brett_Hondow / Getty Images

Exotic foods are fun to try, but they may not always react well with your stomach. Make sure you tuck a package of antacid tablets into your suitcase. Your stomach will thank you.


35 Aloe vera gel

Closeup of a young woman using a skin moisturizer in the bathroom Antonio_Diaz / Getty Images

Sunburns are common on cruises. Take a moment to add aloe vera gel to your list. Aloe vera gel can heal a variety of wounds, so it's a smart idea to have it in your suitcase.


36 Earplugs

Little girls sleep in bed. One is snoring hard, sister is plugging her ears with earplugs.Early morning wake up,rise to kindergarten, school. Bedtime,sweet dreams.Kids correct daily routine for child. Irina Velichkina / Getty Images

Sometimes the world around us gets too loud. That's why earplugs were invented. Grab a package of earplugs and you'll sleep easier and be able to enjoy concerts and loud events without risking hearing loss.


37 Contact solution or an extra pair of glasses

Man wearing glasses in a comfortable home environment, holding a newspaper and doing a crossword puzzle. Space for copy. Focus on eyewear. Catherine Falls Commercial / Getty Images

Whether you wear glasses or contacts, having an extra pair or two with you can make all the difference. After all, it's the memories made visually on a cruise that stick with us the most. You don't want to miss out on that sunset.


38 First aid kit

Upper view of modern woman in white pants and striped blouse at modern home in sunny summer day packing first aid kit and SPF in open travel suitcase. CentralITAlliance / Getty Images

Minor cuts and bruises happen. That's just life. Bring along a first aid kit to take care of the small things, but make sure to reach out if you need further medical assistance. Proactive efforts are better than none at all.


39 Tweezers

Head and shoulders portrait of beautiful Mixed-Race woman plucking eyebrows looking in mirror during morning routine, copy space SeventyFour / Getty Images

You'll likely find yourself needing a utensil to grab something small at some point on the cruise. Like nail clippers, they're handy to have around and small enough to take up little space.


40 A small flashlight

Hand with portable flashlight on grey. Toxitz / Getty Images

Flashlights are great to have around, especially if they are small. Travel-sized flashlights are inexpensive and can help you navigate dark areas at night or even illuminate caves or underground tunnels you may be visiting.


41 An umbrella

Open black umbrella in wet weather. Autumn rain. Deep sorrow. Wet umbrella against backdrop of street. Sad mood. Raining in city. Heavy rain on summer green background. Feel sorrow and sadness iiievgeniy / Getty Images

For when the rain comes pouring down or the sun's rays beat down on your head, umbrellas are your friend. Pick up a travel umbrella for a few dollars and after you get back from your trip, stow it in your car.


42 Memento keeper

Lots of various souvenir magnets on the fridge in the kitchen Ozgur Donmaz / Getty Images

Cameras capture video and photographs of your trip, but it's the physical items you may bring back that breathe life into your experiences. Consider bringing along a box or container of some sort to store your mementos in as you enjoy your cruise.

Hooray! Your list is done, your suitcase is packed, and you're ready to go. Just don't forget to bring your sense of adventure and an open mind. Because life's greatest experiences lie just ahead.

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