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What to Pack for a Mediterranean Cruise

16 Mar 2024
Calista Kiper

On a Mediterranean cruise, you’ll visit breathtaking landscapes, ancient monuments, and diverse cities.

Taking a cruise around the Mediterranean allows you to experience multiple destinations and cultures, all in one trip!

But with this variety of access to beaches, landmarks, and museums, what should you pack?

When you’re visiting multiple different countries and types of destinations, it will be important to pack wisely.

Not only that, but a Mediterranean cruise involves international travel and will take a longer trip than other itineraries.

To conserve space and have the best vacation possible, you’ll have to pack carefully!

What should you bring to those popular ports like Mykonos, Barcelona, Athens, and Malta?

We’ve created a guide for all the essentials you’ll need to pack on your Mediterranean cruise.

Read more: 7 tips for a great Mediterranean cruise

Please note that we’ve linked items on Amazon containing an affiliate link. This affiliate link costs you absolutely nothing extra, but Royal Caribbean Blog makes a small commission if you purchase it.


Unlike closed-loop cruises, where you can get along with just a birth certificate and ID, you will need a passport for your Mediterranean cruise.

Since this is international travel that requires you to cross multiple borders, you’ll be dealing with immigration.

Make sure you have a passport valid for at least 6 months to be permitted on the cruise.

And if you don’t currently have one, start applying now! The current processing time for a new U.S. passport is 6-8 weeks. 

Apply as soon as possible to avoid any delays.

Walking shoes

More than at any other destination, you can expect to walk when you visit the Mediterranean.

Whether you’re exploring a city, wandering a museum, or simply traveling from port to city, a lot of walking will be involved. 

Not only that, but the streets can be old and have uneven cobblestones, requiring you to have a steady foot!

Pack a couple pairs of good quality walking shoes that you can wear out over your cruise.

Good shoes are essential for pacing yourself over a Mediterranean itinerary.

If you’re not careful, you’ll end up exhausted and burned-out, with sore feet.

Read more: 115 Item Ultimate Cruise Packing List (Printable PDF)

Reusable water bottle


We usually recommend that you pack a reusable water bottle to save purified water onboard.

But, on a Mediterranean cruise, you’ll also want a water bottle to bring off the ship.

As mentioned earlier, you’ll be doing a lot of walking! 

And instead of stopping at restaurants or shops every time you need a drink, you should pack your own water along with you. Stay hydrated on those long treks to keep up your strength.


Europe family

You’ll want to pack several pieces of multipurpose clothing for your Mediterranean cruise.

The weather can be scorching hot during the day, but chilly and dark at night, or in the ship’s A.C. 

Packing layers is key.

To give yourself options while conserving luggage space, bring pieces like scarves. A scarf has multiple uses: covering your head in the sun, warming your neck in the cold, or covering up your body when necessary.

In countries like Greece, Italy, and Spain , women are required to cover their legs, shoulders, and cleavage when visiting sacred spaces like churches.  In many locations, men are also asked to cover their shoulders and legs.

Bringing along a scarf ensures that you can throw on a cover-up whenever necessary. 

Stay prepared so that you can visit all the sites that you find!

Bag with a zipper

Hyc00 Travel Duffel Bag

European countries are infamous for pickpockets and thieves. 

You certainly don’t want to have your essentials stolen while on a trip. Nothing sounds worse than losing your phone, wallet, or ID in a foreign country.

But as long as you stay alert and avoid making yourself an easy target, you won’t have anything to worry about.

Bring along a sturdy bag that closes security (like with a zipper) and make sure that you keep it on your person at all times.

Also consider packing your most valuable items close to your body, like in a fanny pack that goes under your shirt.

Portable charger

Having your phone available and fully charged is always key on any trip.

And when you’re traveling to the Mediterranean and going out on long shore excursions, the need for a powered phone becomes even more important.

You’ll need your phone for local information, directions, and sharing all those beautiful pictures.

Especially when cruise ships have limited charging ports onboard, I like to bring along a portable charger or power bank.

That way, you can bring it along in a bag and keep your phone fully charged at all times.

We recommend Anker’s portable charger for its durability and ability to charge an iPhone multiple times.

Read more: The best travel tech gadgets for a cruise ship vacation

Credit card

AmEx card corner

Whether you’re buying souvenirs, paying for a tour, or just trying to get something to eat, you’ll need to have the right type of payment on hand.

European transactions can be different from American, so do your research ahead of time to make sure you’re bringing the right payment!

For starters, most European countries no longer rely on cash. Using a credit or debit card is quicker and preferred at most locations.

When you pack your credit card, also be sure that it is the right kind.

I was surprised to find that my American Express credit card was not accepted on my Mediterranean trip. Thankfully, I brought along a few other types just in case.

Visa or Mastercard is almost always accepted. 

To save money, I also recommend checking if you have a card without any foreign transaction fees.

Linen clothing

Europe family

If you’re traveling to the Mediterranean in the summer, you’ll want to pack lightweight clothing.

Read more: What is the best time to cruise the Mediterranean?

Anything made from materials like polyester or satin will feel heavy, sticky, and sweaty in the heat. Remember that you'll be walking a lot, and spending lots of time outdoors!

Pack high-quality cotton and linen clothes. These will feel light and breezy on your skin, and they can also roll up tightly to fit into your luggage.

Jackets and sweaters

Planning on visiting the Mediterranean during the fall or winter?

The region can get more chilly than you’d expect!

Temperatures can fall into the 40s and 30s, with cloudy, rainy weather.

Bring along sweaters, cardigans, and rain jackets if you’re traveling during these months.

Since daytime temperatures can still rise to the 70s, having layers to wear on top of T-shirts and blouses is your best bet.



For your long Mediterranean trip, make sure you bring along all of your essential medication.

There’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to find your favorite on the cruise ship, or even on land.

For example, medication we might commonly find over-the-counter in the U.S., like cold, flu, and pain remedies, often requires a prescription in Europe.

And your name-brand favorites most likely come under a different name and strength than you’re used to.

Changing your prescriptions in the middle of a trip can lead to bad side effects.

To prevent any issues in the filling of your medication, bring along extra for your journey.

I usually bring allergy medicine, pain relief, motion sickness medicine, antacids, and Bandaids.

Calista Kiper graduated from Wheaton College, IL, with a B.A. in English Writing. 

Growing up traveling around the world, she developed a passion for diversity and cross-cultural communication. From her first cruise on Wonder of the Seas, she has delighted in the intersection between travel, diversity, and writing in the cruising world.

Calista spends her free time reading, cooking, and researching the latest human-interest stories. 

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