What to Pack for an Amazing Cruise Vacation

April 01, 2015

One of the biggest advantages of going on a cruise vacation is that you only have to unpack once, no matter how many countries you'll be visiting. However, packing can be tricky, especially if it is your first cruise and you want to make sure you want to make the most out of it.

In the following, we will present you with a few tips on how and what to pack for an amazing cruise vacation.

Pack Light

It’s great that you won't have to live out of your suitcase while on a cruise, but, on the other side, storage space will be somewhat limited in your cabin – plus, most airlines hit you with extra fees if your baggage is too heavy. So make sure you pack light. If you happen to forget something you need, you will most likely find it in the ship's store anyway – or at the nearest port.

One important thing to remember is to consider where you'll be cruising (tropical, temperate or arctic region) and the kind of ship you'll be on.

Pack According to Dress Codes

Ships usually have certain dress codes for day and evening wear, but the good news is that, in recent years, they have become considerably more casual. During the day, pretty much anything goes, so pack your favorite T-shirts, jeans, shorts and so on. You can even stay in beachwear for women and swimsuit cover ups pretty much anywhere on the ship (except for sit-down lunches in the main dining room, where there might be restrictions).

As for the evening, what you should bring with you varies by ship and the place you want to dine in. In the main dining room, you will usually have to wear something at least semi formal, plus, on many ships, there are special formal nights held on week long itineraries. However, even at these events, you can often get away with a cocktail dress, unless you are on an ultra-luxury ship – where you will have to stick to the formal tradition and wear long or short finery.

There will be casual nights as well, but that doesn't mean it's wise to just show up in the dining room in your halter top swimsuits and sarong skirt. For such occasion, make sure you pack a nice pants suit or a sundress.

  • Special Tip: if you pack the right accessories, you can wear a simple black dress for formal and more casual events too, and you can wear it more than once without anyone noticing it.


Whether you'll be cruising in a warm or cold climate, you will still need a swimsuit – at least for the hot-tub, if the weather won't allow you to enjoy a little sunbathing. For tropical cruises, we recommend packing at least 2 or even 3 swimsuits, so that you always have one dry, especially if you like to go in the water a lot. Models with moderate coverage bottom are the best choice, as they are classy while still allowing you to feel sexy and flirty.

If you'll be going on excursions that entail a lot of swimming, we recommend packing a one-piece bathing suit. Whether you go for a more inexpensive option or choose a designer one piece swimsuits, both offer better support and don't risk falling off you when you dive in or the first wave hits you.

Finally, don't forget to pack a cover-up or a sarong as well!

Sundries and Other Items

You will have shampoo and soap in your cabin, and, in many cases, even lotion and conditioner. So, unless you only use specific brands, you don't have to bring your own. If you prefer powerful hair dryers, it would be a good idea to pack your own, as those in cabins are usually pretty weak.

If you will be travelling internationally, on a non-US ship, you may want to bring an adaptor for your cell phone, laptop and any other electronic devices. Also, keep in mind that cruise cabins usually only have a couple of outlets and, therefore, you should pack a small power strip, just in case.


No matter where you're cruising, don't forget to bring your camera and a pair of binoculars (you may come across wildlife and other interesting sights you still surely want to take a closer look at). Also, there will surely be shore excursions, so pack a pair of good walking shoes that fit the climate. And, no matter the climate, don't forget about sunglasses, to protect your eyes from the wind and sun.

Keep these tips in mind and remember to pack according to the weather, and your cruise vacation will definitely be a success!

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