What to Pack for a Cruise

When you’re planning a vacation one of the most challenging things to plan is what to pack, but a free packing list for cruise ship travel can help you remember everything you may need to enjoy your cruise vacation without missing any necessities or must-have accessories.

On most vacations, if you forget a toiletry or run out of socks, you can stop by a store a pick up what you need with minimal problems. On a cruise, however, opportunities to purchase forgotten items are very limited and your only options may be highly overpriced souvenir stores. A thorough packing list can help you avoid forgetting items, and the best free packing list for cruise ship travel will also include items that are especially valuable to take on a cruise. At the same time, it is important to avoid packing too much, since cruise ship cabins are small and may not have spacious closet or drawer space for everything you’ve brought on board.

Here is your recommended list of items to pack for a cruise.


Cruise tickets
Driver’s license or other photo ID
Marriage license for a honeymoon cruise since document names may not match
Other travel documentation, such as airline tickets, rental car confirmation numbers, and hotel reservation details if needed
Vaccination certificates if needed for certain cruise destinations
Medical insurance cards
Emergency contact information
Addresses of friends and family to send postcards

Bathroom supplies:

Shampoo and conditioner (use travel sizes to save space)
Body wash
Deodorant or antiperspirant
Hairbrushes, combs, dryers, and other styling tools
Instant hand sanitizer
Bug spray if desired (particularly for tropical destinations)
Vitamins and any prescription medication
Medicine kit with small bandages, aspirin, and other minor medications
Razors (for men and women)
Tooth brush, tooth paste, and mouthwash


Casual shirts for daily wear (take one or two extra in case a change is needed)
Shorts or jeans for daily wear
Suitable attire for the cruise ship formal night, such as a dress, suit and tie, and appropriate shoes
Watches and jewelry
Belts if needed
Exercise clothes to enjoy the ship’s fitness center
Multiple swimsuits so one is always dry
Shoes for all occasions, including sneakers, formal shoes, footwear for dinner, and swim shoes or flip flops
Sweater or windbreaker for cooler evenings
Undergarments (bras, underwear, socks, etc.)
Sunhats or caps if desired


Cell phone and charger if desired
Camera with film or extra memory card
Personal music device if desired
Extra batteries
Portable alarm clock
Waterproof camera cover if desired
White noise machine such as a sound machine or small fan if desired for sleeping


Tote bag for cruise shore excursions
Small umbrella
Highlighter to note interesting activities in the cruise newsletter
Reading materials
Children’s toys if necessary
Refillable water bottle
Foreign language book or destination guidebook
Cash, particularly small bills for tips and souvenirs on shore

Feel free to print this list as a handy checklist for all your cruise packing needs.

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