Travel suitcase prepareing concept

Ready to set sail on a cruise vacation?

Whether you’re using Points to travel with one of our cruise partners or joining us on a ClubPartner Perk Grand Adventure, bookmark this story for when you start packing for your journey at sea.

Passport or Birth Certificate 

Since you’ll probably be visiting exciting destinations in foreign countries, make sure you check to see what identification you need on your cruise vacation. Also, make two copies of your identification to keep in a safe place with you (and back at home).

Bottle of Wine or Champagne 

There’s nothing better than popping open a bottle of bubbly and enjoying it from the privacy of your own stateroom balcony. Pack a bottle of your own to save yourself some money. Oh, and if your bottle has a cork, don’t forget a corkscrew!

Bring a bottle of wine on cruise vacations

Journal and Glue Stick

Record your memories by jotting down your favorite moments at each port you stop in. Don’t forget to pack a glue stick to attach tickets, receipts, and other memorabilia along the way. You’ll be creating your cruise souvenir on the go!

Carry-On Suitcase 

Since your stateroom could be on the cozy side, stick to packing everything in a carry-on sized suitcase. You’ll feel more at home with less clutter.

Appropriate Clothes for Meals 

Each cruise has its own itinerary, but many have dinners that have a dress code. It’s always fun to go shopping before going on vacation, so make plans to visit your favorite store to pick out a fresh, new outfit to sparkle at night.

Appropriate Clothes for Cruise Vacations

Snorkel and Mask

Ready to explore the ocean? Pack your own snorkel and mask to avoid the rental fee.

Waterproof Dry Bag 

It’s always a bit stressful leaving your valuables behind in the sand while you’re enjoying the water. Bring a waterproof dry bag to the beach so you can take your valuables along with you and not have to worry a bit about them getting wet.

Wide-Brimmed Hat 

The sun can be intense. Pack a floppy, wide-brimmed hat to wear by the pool or out on a sunny excursion.

Pack a wide-brimmed hat for cruise vacations


The evenings can get chilly, so this must-have is perfect to warm up your shoulders on a nice evening aboard. It can also double up as a stylish beach cover-up or as a splash of color in the background of your photos.

Carry-On Daypack/Backpack 

Fill a backpack with a few essentials for when you board the ship, like your swimsuit, a cover-up, sunscreen, and even a book. You can use these things right away while you wait for your luggage to be delivered to your room.

Later on, store your water bottle, chapstick, sunscreen and a snack in your bag when you leave the cruise ship on a land excursion.

Portable Charger 

Of course, it’s best to unplug on your cruise vacations but to keep your phone, tablet, and other devices charged, pack a charger you can use on the go. Don’t forget to charge everything the night before you disembark to travel back home.

Quick-Drying Cover Up

Since you might be moving from the pool to an excursion, pack a cover-up that dries quickly (and a pair of comfortable sandals).

Pack a cover up for cruise vacations

Aloe Vera 

Depending on your destination, you might spend full days out in the sun. Aloe vera makes for a great post-sun cool-down before getting dressed for your evening.

Sensible Shoes

Keep it simple. Pack a pair of slip-on flip flops for lazy days by the pool, water shoes (Keens) for paddling at the beach, a pair of sneakers for land excursions, and/or a nice pair of dress shoes.

Pants and Socks

Some cruise ships have ice skating rinks that require you to be dressed in long pants and socks. Even many land excursions require closed-toed shoes and socks for better comfort and protection.


Don’t forget to pack these! There are so many amazing views to encounter on the deck and from your stateroom window or balcony. 

Camera with a Great Zoom Lens 

Check out our list on the best travel cameras and plan to have one ready for the chance to zoom in on passing whales, rays, and other wildlife.

pack a camera for cruise vacations

Anti-Wrinkle Sprays

Most cruise ships don’t offer irons on board due to fire safety, pack anti-wrinkle sprays to get smooth out your evening outfits.

Over-the-Door Shoe Organizer

Keep your small bathroom counter clutter free by filling a shoe organizer with your sunscreen, deodorant, shampoo bottles, and other toiletries.

Ziploc Bags 

Ziploc bags come in handy on any vacation. They are great for wet bathing suits, sandy beach toys, and even a waterproof place to keep your phone. Stow a few of these in your carry-on bag.

Refillable Water Bottle 

Never go thirsty (and save money!) by bringing a refillable water bottle on board. The Hydroflask is an amazing choice – it can keep your liquids cold all day! 

Medication for Seasickness

Bring some Dramamine to prevent and combat seasickness along with natural remedies such as ginger chews and peppermint gum. Pack your own so you don’t have to pay a premium in the gift shop.

Cash for Tipping 

Have a bit of cash in your wallet to tip housekeeping and other services, both on and off the ship.

Cruise vacations should be all about relaxation, adventure, and fun. Make sure you are prepared when you pack for your exciting journey at sea! 

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