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Don’t Head Out to Sea Without These 13 Cruise Essentials

You’re about to take a vacation in the middle of the ocean, with odd stops here and there. This kind of travelling is quite different from flying or road-tripping, so it calls for a unique method of packing. Whether you’re a first-time passenger or an established cruiser, it’s easy to forget important items while getting ready for your big trip. Before you set sail, double check to make sure you’ve packed these thirteen cruise essentials.


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If this is your first cruise, you’ll want to bring Dramamine. It’s common to experience motion sickness on a boat, and you don’t want to be feeling ill in your room for the entire trip. Even if you’ve never experienced seasickness before, it’s still a good idea to bring some just in case.


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Your cruise line will provide you with an ID card at the start of your trip that serves as your room key, debit card, pass to get back on the ship after a land excursion. Keeping the card on a lanyard is a great way to make sure you don’t lose it.


Exploring a new location is one of the most exciting parts of any cruise. It’s common for cruise lines to travel internationally, so you’ll want your passport and other forms of ID on hand to get through customs.

Power strip

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If you plan on bringing a lot of gadgets with you, you’ll want to have an extra set of plugs. Double check that your power strip does not have a surge protector, because some cruise lines will confiscate those on arrival.

Small Backpack

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For the days you spend off the boat, you’ll want a small bag in which to keep your belongings. A drawstring bag is an easy way to keep your wallet, portable chargers, and swim accessories in one place.

Proper Shoes

If you overpack on anything, you’ll want it to be shoes. Good pairs of flip-flops and gym shoes are crucial for a cruise—these huge ships require a lot of walking.

Formal Wear

It’s likely that your cruise will host a formal dinner on one or two nights during your trip. They tend to be strict about the dress code, so swim shorts and flip-flops aren’t recommended.

Ear Plugs

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Even though cruise ships are big, the rooms are close together in order to fit as many vacationers as possible. It’s common to hear loud noises from neighboring rooms, walkways, and party areas, so keep a pair of ear plugs around in order to facilitate a good night’s sleep.

Portable Chargers

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For the days when you’re not on the boat, bring portable chargers with you so all your gadgets can be used throughout the outings.

Over-the-Door Organizer

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Cruise cabins can be small, and there’s often not much space to lay out your things. Invest in an over-the-door organizer to hold toiletries, shoes, and other small items.

Swim Accessories

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Chances are you’ll be spending a lot of time by the pool and on the beach. Pack sunscreen, goggles, and a stylish beach towel for ultimate fun in the sun.

We recommend using an app like ShipMate to ensure that you’ve packed every cruise essential. You don’t want to be buying replacement items on the boat—they’ll cost way more than they do at home. Save your money for those tax- and duty-free souvenirs instead. We hope you have great trip!

This post contains affiliate links. Affiliate disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases from and other Amazon websites.

Written by Logan Voss

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