What to Pack For a Cruise in 2024 – Top 55 Cruise Essentials

Cruise essentials 2024

What to Pack For a Cruise in 2024 – Top 55 Cruise Essentials

Hello, fellow cruisers! Wow, time flies and we are already in 2024! Are you ready for the 2024 cruise season? As a frequent cruiser, I learned that the good organization is the key. Having a cruise packing list is a must even if you are cruising regularly, as there are always some things we may forget at the last minute. So, here it is – An ultimate cruise packing list for 2024 that includes all the must-bring items. Also, I’ve got a little gift for you at the end of the article! Enjoy! 🙂

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What to Pack for a Cruise – Top 55 Cruise Essentials

1. Travel Documents

Make sure you bring your passport/ID and boarding documents. Make sure you double-check with your cruise line the documentation required, to avoid potential issues upon embarking/disembarking in ports of call.

Also, bring a copy of your passport as in some ports of call you’ll be required to show your ID upon passing through the cruise terminal’s security gates. In some ports such as Nassau (The Bahamas), the port authorities may require cruise passengers to bring the original ID (not a copy). This information will be displayed in your cruise planner/on the cruise line’s app, so make sure you read it carefully.

Regardless of the duration of my trip, you should always have travel insurance. Accidents and unpredictable situations can happen anytime, so it’s smart to be fully covered, secured, and travel worry-free! When choosing the right travel insurance company, make sure they are reliable and that you can get assistance at all times. I personally use Visitors Coverage.

2. Passport Holder

A multiple-pocket passport holder is a handy travel organizer that will keep your passport and cards organized and safe. Upon picking one, make sure it has pockets for a passport, credit cards, air ticket and sim cards! The travel documents organizer typically comes in different colors and boasts a unique design ideal for personal use or a gift. Suggested: Passport Holder Cover Wallet Unisex 

3. E-Sim Card

If your cruise includes stops in other countries rather than just yours, I highly suggest you get a regional e-sim card. This way, you can stay connected at all times when you are exploring the ports. I have used Airalo e-sim cards and they were always super helpful! You can simply download their app from the Google/Apple store and follow the steps to activate it. It’s easy to use and cheap. Visit the Airalo website and download the app

4. Mediterranean Cruise Port Guide

If you are looking to maximize your stay in one of the Mediterranean’s stunning cruise ports, I suggest you purchase my Mediterranean Cruise Port Guide, an ultimate guide to 45 Mediterranean cruise ports that contains port information, practical tips, and top things to do in port. As a bonus, you will get money-saving tips, answers to the Shore Excursion FAQ, a cruise packing list, a travel itinerary planner & more!

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Ultimate Guide to Mediterranean Cruise Ports
Plan your Cruise Itinerary in Less than an Hour and Maximize Your Port
Experience!

5. Family Travel Document Organizer

If you’re traveling with your family and you want to keep all your passports and documents together, check out this elegant, multicolor family travel document organizer. It is smartly designed and will keep all your travel necessities in one place!

6. Waist Pack

Another travel document essential is a waist pack, the safest way to keep your valuables secure and organized, especially when you move around busy areas such as ports. This Adidas Originals National Waist Pack comes in multiple colors and is one of Amazon’s top-rated products.

7. Clothes/Accessories

Cruise wear and accessories to bring on a cruise widely depend on our personal preferences and needs. It may also depend on the cruise line we choose (some cruise lines may require formal wear for formal nights, there are theme cruises as well, etc.). Below I share the list of necessary and very basic things to wear on a cruise, practically as a reminder of clothes essentials to pack. Ladies can see my article Women’s Cruise Wear – Top Cruise Essentials for Ladies for more detailed information on what to pack for a cruise.

Allure of the Seas formal night
Formal night onboard Allure of the Seas

8. Extra Medication

Bring extra prescription medicines as well as vitamins and supplements (such as activated charcoal) to boost your immunity system. If you suffer from any chronic condition, consulting with your doctor before your cruise is highly recommended. In addition, on every cruise ship there is a medical facility but why waste time at the doctor’s when there are so many onboard activities you can enjoy instead? I also suggest you get the travel-friendly pill organizer to keep your medications organized.

9. First-Aid Kit

In addition to extra medication, you should bring an All-Purpose First Aid Emergency Kit which contains all the essentials for any potential emergencies. The kit consists of bandages, alcohol wipes, aspirin tablets, Ibuprofen tablets, scissors, tweezers, and dozens of other items and medications. If you travel with kids, this kit is absolutely a must.

10. Lanyard

You need to carry your cruise card/ship ID card with you at all times, so lanyard always comes in handy. Check out this 8-pack Cruise Lanyard with Waterproof ID Card Holder so you don’t need to worry about losing your card and wasting time at the Guest Services desk to get a new one.

11. Refillable Water Bottle

On most cruise ships the water is officially potable, however, I highly recommend using your refillable water bottle on a cruise. It’s a smart idea to purchase a drink package in advance because bottled water can be expensive. To avoid using plastic, you can purchase this leak-proof Insulated Filtered Water Bottle with a Straw that fits easily in your bag/purse.

12. Antibacterial Wipes

When it comes to hygiene, cruise lines maintain a high standard but you should always have your antibacterial cleaning wipes that you can carry with you outside in port. 

13. Cruise-Approved Power Strip

This Ship-Approved Power Strip comes with No Surge Protection, which is fully cruise ship compliant. The device has 3 standard electrical ports and 2 USB ports for a total of five plugs at the same time. It’s compact and lightweight, ideal for travelers and cruisers! 

14. iPhone Fast Charger Cable

Charge your iPhone in only 30 minutes with a MFi Certified 2-Pack iPhone Fast Charger Cable compatible with smartphones, tablets, laptops, and music players. This compact, portable charger is a perfect travel companion and ranks among the top cruise essentials to pack for a cruise. For Samsung-compatible fast chargers, I suggest you take a look at the SAMSUNG 25W USB-C Super Fast Charging Wall Charger which comes with a 1-year product warranty. 

15. Power Bank

A portable charger is one of those things I never go without, especially if I am about to take a lot of photos and videos. This Anker 325 Power Bank features advanced charging technology and is compatible with iPhone, Android and other devices (20% faster charging for iPhone).

16. Portable External Hard Drive

To efficiently store your data and photo/video content, take a look at the Toshiba Canvio Basics 2TB Portable External Hard Drive which comes in an elegant matte color and features 1TB, 2TB, and 4TB capacity. It’s lightweight, compact and super practical, which makes it perfect for both amateur and professional users. 

17. Wireless Earbuds

Listen to your favorite music with TAGRY Bluetooth Headphones Wireless Earbuds which feature a digital power display, USB-C and wireless charging as well as a smart touch control. Depending on your budget and preferences, you can also go for the top-rated Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Generation) Wireless Earbuds

18. JBL Speaker

JBL speakers have made my life onboard so much more enjoyable! Listen to your favorite music on one of the Caribbean or Mediterranean beaches, or play light music in your stateroom while you enjoy breakfast on your balcony. You can opt for a small or medium-sized speaker, depending on how loud you want to play your music and how much space you have in your luggage. Recommended: JBL Go 3 Eco

19. Waterproof Water Pouch

The ProCase Universal Waterproof Case Phone Dry Bag Pouch is a must-have cruise essential if you’re planning any water-related activities on your vacation! This 2-pack phone case features a secure locking design perfect for keeping your smartphone, money, and travel documents safe. If you’re planning to snorkel, have a look at this fully submersible 2-pack AiRunTech Waterproof Pouch with Waist Strap, touch screen friendly with three waterproof seals.

20. Magnetic Hooks

The storage space in cruise staterooms can be quite limited, so I suggest you get extra strong Neosmuk Magnetic Hooks, 25 lb+ Heavy Duty Earth Magnets with Hooks that you can hang on steel surfaces. When I worked on cruise ships, I used to hang these hooks on a cabin wall or a fridge, and they made my onboard life so much easier!

21. Towel Clips

For those of you planning to spend time on pool decks or a beach, ECROCY Beach Chair Towel Clips are super practical. It can be pretty windy on pool decks on sea days and outside in ports, so these tiny towel clips will secure your towel and keep it from blowing away.

22. Windproof Travel Umbrella

A light, compact windproof umbrella that can easily fit in your backpack comes in handy regardless of your itinerary. I’ve experienced rain in the ports where I least expected it, so I always carry a small travel umbrella in my bag!

23. Travel Backpack

Whether you are into outdoor activities, need space for your laptop, or simply bring the daily necessities with you, a backpack is a must. A water-resistant Matein Travel Laptop Backpack has multiple storage spaces and pockets and features a USB port where you can charge your phone. It comes in different colors and suits both women and men!

24. Water Shoes

If you are planning to join any of the water-related activities on your cruise, it’s recommended you bring water shoes. You can often purchase them in the ports’ terminal shops (especially in the Caribbean) however these can be more expensive than online. I suggest you get lightweight and compressible SIMARI Water Shoes for gym or outdoor activities such as kayaking, jogging, volleyball, boating, etc. 

25. Packing Cubes

Packing cubes are super practical to organize and sort the things inside your luggage. They save space and prevent movement inside the suitcase. These Veken Packing Cubes come in different sizes and colors and are made of waterproof fabric. A laundry bag and shoe bag come with it. 

26. Ziplock Bags

These multiple-size Ziploc bags are ideal for storing snacks, sandwiches, smaller electronics, or clothes! Recommended: Ziploc Gallon Food Storage Bags

27. Over the Door Organizer

Over-the-door organizer that you can keep in your stateroom is one of the most useful cruise essentials. It will save you space and keep your cosmetics, clothes, shoes, and other stuff organized, sorted and easy to reach! Recommended: Univivi Door Hanging Organizer

28. Toiletry Bag

Cruise ships typically provide complimentary shampoo and conditioner in stateroom bathrooms, however, bring your toiletries as these are probably not the ones you use. A hanging toiletry bag is a very handy item to help you save space in your stateroom and organize your toiletries, accessories, cosmetics and makeup.

29. Binoculars

Whether you go wildlife spotting in Alaska, Australia and the Caribbean, or you simply want to enjoy beautiful ocean views from the deck, a pair of compact binoculars is a must travel essential! Recommended: Occer 12×25 Compact Binoculars with Clear Low Light Vision

30. Motion Sickness Pills

If you are prone to seasickness, a pack of Dramamine Motion Sickness Pills will provide powerful, fast relief from motion sickness when you are on the water. Guest Services desk onboard the ship usually has some, but to avoid queueing make sure you get a pack before the cruise.

31. Insect Repellent

Outdoor shore excursions and activities in nature are less fun without a bug repellent! The climate can be very different in ports and to be on the safe side, be sure to always bring a pack of insect repellent with you. An alternative option is a waterproof mosquito repellent bracelet, adjustable and very practical for outdoor activities.

32. Portable Fan

A portable fan can significantly improve the airflow if you are staying in a small or inside stateroom. SmartDevil Portable Clip on Stroller Fan is small and super flexible, which makes it perfect for limited spaces such as a cruise stateroom.

33. 4-Wheel Spinner Suitcase and Carry On

Cruise terminals can be long and it’s super helpful to have 4-wheel multi-directional spinners to ensure smooth maneuvering. Upon embarking on a cruise ship you’ll wait for your luggage to be delivered to your stateroom for several hours, so make sure you carry hand luggage where you can store only essentials. Amazon Basics 21-inch Hardside Spinner comes in various colors and is perfect for packing an extra pair of clothes, snacks, toiletries and travel documents.

34. Luggage Set

If you are traveling with family or want to have identical luggage of different sizes, SHOWKOO Luggage Sets feature top quality which makes the luggage more durable, lighter and impact-resistant! Each set contains 4 pieces of luggage and comes in different colors.

35. Snorkel Gear

If your cruise vacation involves snorkeling or diving, it is a smart choice to bring your snorkel equipment. You can always rent or purchase it in port or onboard, but you’ll probably pay for it more. I always prefer to bring my own, it’s safer. Recommended: Zeeporte Mask Fins Snorkel Set

36. Eco-Friendly Sunscreen

Whether you plan to go to the beach or hang out by the pool, don’t forget to bring sunscreen to avoid getting sunburnt. I use reef-friendly sunscreens with high SPF, such as Sun Bum Original SPF 50 Sunscreen Lotion, one of the top-rated sunscreens that I highly recommend!

37. Portable Lockbox

Cruising means sharing your living space with thousands of fellow cruisers. Although it is not recommended to carry valuables onboard and outside in port, some guests still do it, so a Master Lock Portable Small Lock Box comes in handy. Although cruise ships are equipped with security cameras, storing your valuables in a portable lockbox safe will keep your mind at peace, especially on a pool deck. A portable lockbox is also handy to avoid being pickpocketed on crowded beaches or touristy places in port.

Want to see how one of the world’s largest ships looks on SEA DAYS? Check out my YouTube video on Allure of the Seas!

38. Waterproof Dry Bag

Keep your stuff away from getting wet on activities such as kayaking, fishing, camping, and boating. The Earth Pak Waterproof Dry Bag comes in different sizes, it is compact and easy to maintain. Equipped with a waterproof phone case, it features high-quality material that will keep your gear dry and safe for many years to come.

39. Digital Smartwatch

A digital smartwatch is a must-have gadget that can help you keep track of the time while you’re on your cruise. You may be changing time zones and hours depending on your destination, and a digital watch makes it easy for you to adjust it and keep an eye on it at all times! Garmin Venu Sq, GPS Smartwatch keeps the battery for up to 6 days and features a sleep monitor, time display, GPS, stress tracking, notifications, and heart rate monitor. 

If you need it for fitness, my top recommendation is the Fitbit Charge 5 Advanced Fitness and Health Tracker! It comes with awesome features such as built-in GPS, stress management tools, sleep tracking, 24/7 heart rate and more! 

40. Tripod

If you are a solo traveler, travel vlogger, or just want to make amazing photos and videos on your cruise vacation, make sure you bring a lightweight selfie stick tripod combo. I use ATUMTEK Selfie Stick Tripod suitable for both iPhone and Android devices, as it’s lightweight and super practical to carry in your bag.

41. GoPro Camera

If you plan to snorkel, dive, or join other adventurous shore excursions, be sure to bring a GoPro HERO12 Waterproof Action Camera that comes with a head strap, handler, Enduro battery and carrying case. If you are into more professional photography and video, check out the Panasonic LUMIX 4K Digital Camera with a high-resolution viewfinder and a 3-inch LCD, image stabilization, and other amazing features. 

42. Digital Luggage Scale

The Etekcity Luggage Scale is a must-have travel essential! This tiny, lightweight, high-precision travel digital hanging scale has a weight limit of 110lb/50kg. No need to explain why we need it, especially after a cruise vacation! 🙂

43. Mesh Popup Laundry Hamper

Collapsible, portable and easy to handle, pop-up laundry hampers are perfect when traveling with kids or going on a long vacation. You can store your dirty clothes and keep things organized, or you can use them as a toy basket for your children’s toys.

44. Wrinkle Release Spray

Ironing is not allowed onboard the ship, so you can either pay for your clothes to be washed and ironed, or you can bring a wrinkle and odor remover to keep your clothes fresh, ironed and scented. You can also use it for curtains, pillowcases, and sheets.

45. Eyeglass/Dental Repair Kit

There are no dentists onboard, so it’s highly recommended to bring a small basic dental repair kit that can help you temporarily repair lost fillings, caps, crowns, or inlays. This is extremely helpful if you are taking a longer cruise.

In addition, if you are wearing glasses, it’s practical to have an eyeglass repair kit on you, just in case you break or damage them. Check out this Magnetic Eye Glasses Repairing Kit which comes with eyeglass screws, screwdrivers, a tweezer, a cleaning cloth, screw caps, and more!

46. Toiletry Bottles Set

Saving space in your luggage or stateroom when you go on a cruise is one of the major things to keep in mind. Travel-size toiletry bottle set allows you to bring small quantities of your favorite cosmetic products without taking up a lot of space!

47. Pou-Pourri

Cruise ship staterooms may have an unusual smell, especially the inside cabins that don’t have balconies or windows. To feel more comfortable in your room, get a Poo-Pourri spray that you can use in your bathroom or any other living space.

48. Tablet/iPad/Laptop

Although I don’t like to bring lots of smart devices when cruising (it’s a vacation, after all!), you can do so if you wish or you need it for work! Recommended:

49. Kindle/Book

A cruise without a good book wouldn’t be complete! Although I prefer the smell of paper and reading in traditional style, a Kindle will save you so much precious space as it’s thin and super practical.

50. Microfiber Beach Towel

Cruise ships provide towels, but you can bring your quick-dry microfiber towel ideal for the beach, camping, or other outdoor activities. HOEAAS 2 Pack Microfiber Camping Towels are super absorbent, soft, easy to carry and lightweight. 

51. Earplugs

Earplugs are a must-have if you’re a light sleeper or have a room in a noisy area of a cruise ship such as low decks or directly under the pool deck or buffet. Recommended: Mack’s Ultra Soft Foam Earplugs, 50 Pair

52. Hand Sanitizer

Even though cruise ships follow strict health standards and keep a high cleanliness level, it’s important to take extra care and bring a pack of hand sanitizers. Choose the size that can easily fit in your bag and in case you travel in a group/with a family, consider purchasing an economy pack that contains several hand sanitizers so that everyone can have one!

53. Oral-B Electric Toothbrush

Did you know that an Oral-B Electric Toothbrush provides you with 100% better gum health compared to a manual toothbrush? Oral-B is the top-rated dentist-recommended toothbrush brand worldwide and I personally always have it onboard. 

54. Luggage Tag Holder

All cruisers need to have luggage tags to board the cruise ship on embarkation day because the cruise ship needs to know in which stateroom to drop your luggage off. You usually get the luggage tags before your cruise, so you have enough time to print them. There are several ways of attaching the tags to your carry-ons and checked-in luggage, however, having a luggage tag holder will make things easier and simpler.

55. Cruise Packing List

I’ve got a cruise packing list for you! Just email me at katarina@adventourbegins.com and I will send you a printable list of Top 30 Shore Excursion Items to your email, as a little gift and a thank you for reading this article! 🙂


Adventour Begins is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. When you click on and/or make a purchase through a link to an Amazon affiliate link placed on our website, we may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.

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Ultimate Guide to Mediterranean Cruise Ports
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Ultimate Guide to Mediterranean Cruise Ports
Plan your Cruise Itinerary in Less than an Hour and Maximize Your Port Experience!
Ultimate Guide to Mediterranean Cruise Ports
Plan your Cruise Itinerary in Less than an Hour and Maximize Your Port Experience!
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