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7 bathroom hacks to use in your cruise ship cabin

21 May 2024
Calista Kiper

Just like the cabin, your cruise ship bathroom is going to be small. But there are ways to make it better.

I've heard comedians joke that showering on a cruise ship is the most intimate experience they've had—with a shower curtain!

Cruise ship bathrooms usually lack storage space and have limited air circulation.

But before you start stressing about having a miserable time whenever you have to use the bathroom on your cruise, we have some hacks that will help.

Voyager of the Seas cabin bathroom

To make the most of your experience, you'll have to get creative and be prepared with some extra supplies.

Don't skip these tips for how to improve your cruise ship cabin's bathroom.

Here are seven bathroom hacks that will help you stay fresh and clean for the length of your cruise.

1. Use an air freshener

Cruise ship bathrooms can be tiny, and you’ll end up sharing them with your travel group for the length of the cruise.

With every person doing their business at least once a day, it’s easy for smells to build up in the air.

It’s easy to start dreading opening the bathroom door and being hit with a nasty scent. You might even begin delaying your showers to avoid smelling the bathroom for too long.

To avoid these smells lingering in the air, pack an air freshener or poo-pourri spray (This link contains an affiliate link, which costs you nothing extra to use).

By keeping this close by, you’ll improve the scent in the bathroom and ensure everyone has a pleasant cruise.

Read more: 40 essential things to bring on a cruise

2. Night light


You'll want to bring a night light to keep in your bathroom to avoid feeling like a deer in headlights.

On many Royal Caribbean ships, it's pitch black in the cabin once you turn off the lights at night, including the bathroom.  The bathroom light only has two modes: on and off, and the on mode is extremely bright.

To avoid being blinded when you go to the bathroom in the middle of the night, a night light is a great idea.

It can be disorientating to wake up to a completely dark room, and then turn the light on to use the bathroom. And trying to use the bathroom with the lights off? Always seems like a better idea than it is.

Pack a night light and you can use it over and over again on every cruise (This link contains an affiliate link, which costs you nothing extra to use).

3. Upgrade your experience by bringing your products

Royal Caribbean provides soap, shampoo, and conditioner in its cabins, but, unless you’re in a suite, this will come in the form of a drying, 3-in-1 product.

While you can always opt to use the provided soaps, I highly recommend bringing your own stuff.

Especially if you have dry skin, textured hair, or a sensitive face, you’ll want to bring along your own bathroom products.

These will help to enhance your experience, keeping you clean, moisturized, and healthy for the length of your cruise.

Plus, if you do end up needing more products while onboard, the items sold on the ship will come at a high price.

Before you leave for your cruise, try to pack all the products you usually use in the bathroom.

Here’s a list of toiletries you should consider packing: 

  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Body wash
  • Loofah
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste 
  • Dental floss
  • Mouthwash 
  • Contact lens and solution
  • Deodorant
  • Perfume or cologne 
  • Shaving cream and razors 
  • Feminine hygiene products 
  • Lotion
  • Detangling spray
  • Sunscreen
  • Tweezers 
  • Nail file and clippers 
  • Lip balm or chapstick 
  • Hairbrush and comb 
  • Hair products such as mousse and gel 
  • Hair ties and scrunchies

4. Hang and organize your toiletries

Shoe Organizer

Cruise ship bathrooms can be short on space, but (as mentioned before) you might have a ton of products you’ve packed along.

Most cruisers like to unpack everything for the length of their cruise (especially if it’s longer than 5 nights) but can become limited on counter space.

To keep everything within reach, and ensure that no one fights over cabinet space, bring along a shoe organizer or toiletry hanger (This is an affiliate link that costs you nothing extra to use, but makes us a small commission).

Other than a way to fit shoes in the cabin, bottles of shampoo, lotion, and conditioner can also fit well into a shoe organizer.

Special toiletries bags also have useful compartments for all the items you might pack, like toothbrushes and toothpaste.

Bringing an organizer that can hang up is a great alternative to save space; instead of taking up room on the counter, you can fill up a blank wall.

No hooks where you want to hang them? No problem. Bring some magnetic hooks, and they’ll stick to the steel walls anywhere in the cabin.

5. Use wrinkle-release spray for messy clothes 

Wrinkle release

Royal Caribbean prohibits you from packing irons or steamers onto its cruise ships. These items present a fire hazard, so they will be confiscated if you attempt to bring them onboard.

Laundry services onboard also come at an extra cost.

So, how do you get rid of any pesky wrinkles, especially after you’ve folded up clothes in your suitcase?


We recommend bringing a wrinkle release spray, such as this Downy Wrinkle Release (contains an affiliate link, which costs you nothing extra to use but supports this site).

Simply spray your clothes, hang them up, and wear them when ready!

Hanging your clothes up in the bathroom in some post-shower steam also helps smooth out those wrinkles.

6. Bring along a Tide pen to prevent stains

Harmony of the Seas vanity chair

Whether I’m going on a 7-day cruise or a day trip out of my house, I always try to bring a Tide To Go Pen.

This small, portable pen can be quickly rubbed on any stain to prevent it from setting.

On a longer cruise where you may not be able to do laundry, these pens are a lifesaver for preventing lasting stains on your favorite clothes.

They work best on food and drink stains, even for deep colors like red wine or pasta sauce. All you have to do is remove the cap, rub the pen on the stain, wait for the fabric to dry, and then blot off any extra solution with a napkin or paper towel.

Tide pens can truly rescue your clothes on a cruise.

Read more: I tried the best inside cruise ship cabin hacks to see how well they worked

7. Dry clothes on the provided clothesline

Another great laundry hack—especially for those wet bathroom suits that will quickly stack up—is to look for the clothesline inside your cabin bathroom.

All Royal Caribbean ships have a small clothesline that pulls out of the wall and attaches to the opposite wall, usually somewhere over the shower.

It might be hard to find the small knob but keep an eye out for this useful tool.

As a bonus hack, hang your clothes on hangers, and then place the hangers on the clothesline to save more space. 

7 bathroom hacks to use in your cruise ship cabin

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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