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How early should I pack for my cruise?

02 Apr 2024

Many cruise tips and hacks cover what to pack on your cruise. 

You probably already know to bring essentials like sunscreen, swimsuits, formal clothing, and medication.

But an equally practical question also arises as you’re planning ahead: when should you pack for your cruise?

The answer depends on multiple factors, such as the weather and length of your cruise, and personal preferences.

It’s important to find a good middle ground when you’re deciding when to pack away clothing and other essentials.

Packing for a trip

Too early, and you might end up needing items you’ve already packed away. 

Too late, and you could forget something while rushing.

What’s the optimal time to pack before your cruise? 

This guide will explore the best length of time based on where you are and what you’ll be packing away.

Factors to consider before packing

Things to pack for a cruise

The optimal time to pack depends on several factors. 

There’s no one answer for everything, but packing earlier has many benefits, such as reduced stress, more time to prepare, and limiting overpacking.

I recommend beginning to pack about 2 weeks before your cruise, but the best time for each person depends on personal preference and other factors.

The length of your cruise

Sun rising in Alaska

The duration of the cruise plays a significant role. 

If your cruise is a shorter one, such as a weekend cruise or only 3-5 days, you can pack closer to the departure date.

However, if your cruise is longer than a week, you’ll want to give yourself more time in advance to pack. That way, you’ll make sure you have everything you need for the long voyage.

Any special activities or occasions

You should also consider any special activities you’ll be participating in. Packing items like scuba gear, surf equipment, or hiking supplies can take extra time to prepare.

If the cruise is to celebrate an important occasion, you should also pack earlier rather than later. 

A birthday or anniversary might require that you plan ahead to pack gifts or decorations. Especially if any items are a surprise, make sure to pack early and carefully!

The climate and season

View from balcony in Alaska

When you’re packing for a cruise, the season and climate of your home and your destination all play an important role.

Generally, if it’s winter or fall at home, and you’re cruising to a warm destination, you can pack much earlier because you won’t need to wear any of the clothes you’re packing away.

The closer your home and your destination are in their current climate, the later you’ll want to pack so that you still have outfits to wear before you leave.

Either way, be sure that you research the weather at your destination and plan ahead accordingly.

How you’re traveling to your cruise

United plane at Fort Lauderdale airport

How you’re getting to your cruise can influence when you start packing.

If you’re driving, you have more leeway for how late you can pack. Not only do you choose when the car leaves, but you also have more time and space for bags.

If you’re flying, I recommend packing earlier and more stringently. You will have to make sure that your luggage fits both airline and cruise ship restrictions.

Hotel with shuttle

You’ll also need to arrive at your port ahead of time, so you may need to pack extra items.

Keeping in mind that all of these factors affect the right timing to pack, this is a general outline of how I recommend you begin.

Read more: 7 things to pack for a cruise (and 5 to leave behind), from someone who has cruised half a dozen times

Two weeks before: Make a packing list

Being organized and prepared helps you plan the best cruise experience possible.

First, start by making a packing list 1-2 weeks before your cruise.

Making a list early on will give you an idea of what items you need to obtain for the cruise.

You’ll be able to make sure you have everything you need while giving you plenty of time to purchase any items.

Suitcase open for packing

Especially if you need to purchase anything online, preparing at least a week before gives you plenty of time for those packages to arrive.

Consider the activities and attractions you plan to participate in. If you want to use the FlowRider surfing simulation, pack a tight, secure swimsuit. If your cruise has a “white night” theme, pack an all-white outfit.

And don’t forget about any activities you’ll be doing on port days. Make sure you bring a broad range of options.


Pack clothing that is both comfortable and appropriate for each occasion.

Also, be sure that you look into the cruise line's regulations so that you don’t bring any prohibited items or go over a weight limit.

After considering everything you need, create a checklist. This will ensure that you don’t overlook anything important as you pack.

1 week before: Pack away clothes


Packing clothing for a cruise is one of the most challenging parts of packing.

It’s important to choose versatile, efficient outfits that can be mixed and matched.

You should also opt for lightweight, wrinkle-resistant fabrics.

Personally, I like to take the weekend before my cruise to do laundry and pack away all the clean clothes I want to bring into packing cubes divided by type of clothing: tops go into one packing cube, bottoms into another, swimsuits in a third.

Packing cubes

This way, I don’t dirty any of the outfits I want to wear on my cruise, and I know that everything is already prepared for the trip.

In case I feel worried about keeping track of the clothing I’ve packed away, I take a picture of the outfits so that I know what’s already in my bag.

This also helps you match your outfits to the shoes, jewelry, and makeup you’ll pack later on.

If completely packing away clothes more than a week before the cruise makes you nervous, you can also just create a pile of everything you’ll be bringing along. 

Clothes in a closet

You can dig into this pile anytime, but it will stay there so that everything you’re packing is collected in one area.

Packing early also helps you check if everything you want to bring fits into your luggage. If something doesn’t fit, you’ll have time to adjust your list or obtain new luggage.

Some cruisers find that packing early also prevents them from overpacking because they’ll have more time to consider what they actually need and take out any unnecessary items.

5 days before: Collect travel documents and electronics

About five days before your cruise, collect all the essential travel documents and electronics you need.

Most of these items, especially laptops and phone chargers, can’t be packed away just yet, but try to collect them in one space so that you can confirm you have everything.

Forgetting essentials like your passport or headphones can ruin an entire trip. 

Sitting in Central Park with laptop

I like to gather these items into a basket that I keep on my desk. That way, everything is at hand if I need it, but also kept together so that I can confirm I have everything I need for my trip.

This is also a good time to collect the shoes you want to bring on your cruise. Depending on how many pairs you own, you might still need to wear them at home, but I still recommend collecting them in one place. 

Since the shoes you pack need to be versatile, it helps to have them planned out ahead of time.

The night before: Pack toiletries

The night before your trip, you can begin to pack toiletries, medicine, and jewelry.

While you might need items like deodorant or toothpaste for the next day, you can still pack them into a bag that you keep in your bathroom.

You must pack medicine the day before. You never want to forget your medication while rushing to leave!

Again, I recommend placing your important toiletries in a bag in your bathroom. Double-check with your packing list that you have everything you need.

The day of your trip: Pack makeup and last items

Toiletry bag

The day you leave for your cruise, pack away these important travel documents and essential items.

Reference your packing list so that nothing is forgotten!

This is when you can finally pack essential items that you use every day, like your phone or glasses.

Read more: 21 Cruise Cabin Essentials Everyone Should Pack

For those who wear makeup, I recommend packing it on the day of your trip. 

When I get ready before the trip, I do my makeup. As I finish each step, I’ll put the item I just used into my bag.

With this strategy, you can confirm that you’ve brought all the products and brushes that you really will use—and your makeup is done for the day!

What to Pack for a Mediterranean Cruise

16 Mar 2024

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.

7 things to pack for a cruise (and 5 to leave behind), from someone who has cruised half a dozen times

15 Mar 2024

The closer the date of your cruise comes, the more daunting packing can feel.

Packing suitcase

Whether you like to get your packing done early or put it off until the last minute, it’s important to know exactly what to pack.

There are obvious things you want to bring, of course, like swimsuits, casual clothing, shoes, and formal wear.

However, if you’re new to cruising, there are some items that you may not think about.

Things to pack for a cruise

You can’t bring the same items you’d take on a land vacation when it comes to a cruise.

After having been on six cruises, I’ve established a feel for the kind of things that are necessary—and those I could have left behind.

Here are 7 things you’ll want to pack for your cruise, and 5 items to leave at home

Read more: 40 essential things to bring on a cruise

Essential Items to Pack for Your Cruise

1. Sunscreen


Many locations on Royal Caribbean cruises experience strong UV rays.

Whether you’re enjoying the pool deck or an island excursion, you’re likely to spend lots of time in the sun on your cruise.

To prevent a nasty, painful sunburn, you’ll want to pack along some sunscreen.

Also, be sure that you check what type of sunscreen is required at your ports of call. 

Some locations ask you to pack reef-safe, mineral sunscreen to protect local reefs and wildlife from chemicals.

2. Jackets

Woman wearing jacket in Alaska

The beauty of a cruise ship is the way it blends many different atmospheres and elements all into one location.

However, this is also a challenge when it comes to packing!

Even if you’re cruising to a warmer location, you’ll also spend time inside, where the A.C. may run colder than you expect.

For those formal dinners and nights inside the theater watching a show, be sure that you pack a couple light jackets or sweaters.

3. Magnetic hooks


Did you know that cruise cabin walls and ceilings are magnetic? 

The walls and ceilings inside each stateroom are made of steel, meaning anything magnetic will stick to them instantly.

Bringing magnetic hooks along allows you to stick them directly onto your cabin walls and ceilings, creating hanging space and more room for storage hacks.

Read more: This cruise hack turns your cabin into a private area, which is ideal for light sleepers

4. Lotion

With all the pool-hopping and beach-lounging you’ll do on your cruise, not only is sunscreen important, but you’ll also want lotion.

Soaking in chlorine pools or salty beaches, and taking multiple showers can really dry out your skin.

Pack along some lotion to keep yourself moisturized and looking hydrated for the remainder of your cruise. 

For a product that combines moisture with sun protection, I recommend aloe vera. It’s a natural option that will soothe your skin if you happen to get a burn or rash.

5. A passport

Passport on the bed

Indeed, a passport isn’t always required on a cruise. 

On closed-loop cruises that begin and end in the United States, you can bring along a birth certificate and valid ID if you are a U.S. citizen.

However, having a passport is always a good idea in case of an emergency. 

If you get left behind, or the ship has to dock at an alternate port or undergo an unexpected evacuation, you’ll need a valid passport. 

If you don’t have one, you’ll have to stop at the nearest U.S. embassy.

Additionally, owning a passport opens up your options of ports to travel in and out of. Why not take the opportunity to try a cruise at an international port?

6. Medication


Royal Caribbean ships do have shops onboard with a few toiletries for sale. 

However, they won’t have full pharmacies available.

To avoid running out of essential medication—or stressing out and spending extra money trying to find more—pack all the medications you might need, even over-the-counter varieties. I recommend packing more than you think you need, just in case you're delayed returning home.

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

7. Close-toed shoes


Again, you might expect to need warm-weather or pool clothing on your cruise.

But don’t forget that a wide variety of activities are available on Royal Caribbean ships, from ziplining to bumper cars.

The types of activities onboard vary depending on which ship you are sailing on, so be sure to do some research ahead of time.

For events like ice skating, laser tag, and gym basketball, close-toed shoes are required. 

No exceptions will be made, so be sure you pack everything you need for your desired activities. 

Items You Can Leave At Home

1. Appliances

Confiscated items

Photo by Timmy Markwald

Before you laugh, you'd be surprised how many people try to bring kitchen and home appliances on their cruise.

I've seen rice cookers, humidifiers, electric blankets, heating plates and more all end up on the confiscated items table.

Not only are they not allowed, but they're unnecessary.

2. Iron

Iron on a cruise ship cabin

Even though I just mentioned appliances, I feel obligated to specifically call out irons. To prevent any fires, cruise lines do not allow clothing irons or steamers to be brought onboard.

You will have to get creative or pay staff to launder or iron your clothes for you.

If you’re looking for a way to keep your clothes wrinkle-free while you travel, we recommend a wrinkle-release spray.

3. Alcohol

Bottles of liquor at a bar

You can pack up to 750 mL (one unopened bottle per adult in a cabin) of wine or champagne on your cruise.

Any other alcoholic products, such as beer or liquor, will be confiscated if you try to bring it onboard.

Security examines all liquids and confiscates any alcohol that they find. 

It’s not worth wasting that money on liquor when you know you can buy it onboard. 

Royal Caribbean wants you to purchase alcohol at cruise ship bars while you’re on the cruise. 

Whether or not you choose to splurge on the drink package, it’s best to wait for onboard options.

Read more: We asked our readers what one thing they regretted packing for their cruise

4. Beach towels


A cruise vacation will have plenty of watery activities to look forward to: cool swimming pools, luxurious hot tubs, and white, sandy beaches.

But you won’t need to pack your own beach towels.

Royal Caribbean provides complimentary beach towels on the pool deck for your use throughout the cruise. 

You can even bring them to your ports, as long as you return them at the end of the cruise! There is a $25 fee for each towel you misplace.

Perfect Day at CocoCay, Royal Caribbean’s private island, also provides towels free of charge.

5. Marijuana 


Even if it is legal in your home state, many countries have laws against the use of marijuana. 

No illegal drugs or substances are allowed to be brought on board, and this includes even products like CBD oils or edibles.

You could be denied boarding, kicked off the ship, or even banned from the cruise line if you attempt to pack marijuana with you.

Packing any marijuana is a risk you don’t want to take. 

Read more: I packed for a 7-day cruise and bringing this electronic was a total waste of space

21 Cruise Cabin Essentials Everyone Should Pack

12 Mar 2024

Whether you’re a first-time cruiser or a seasoned traveler, having the right items in your luggage can make or break your cruising experience. If this is your first time cruising, you might also be wondering what exactly you should pack to use in your cruise cabin.

Woman packing for her cruise

With limited luggage space, you want to ensure you’ve only packed the essentials that you need for a great cruise. This is especially true for guests that need to fly to the cruise port with checked luggage. In fact, most of the major airlines in the U.S have just recently increased baggage fees for checked luggage.

With this in mind, it’s crucial to be strategic with packing for your cruise. You’ll want to be prepared for all of the cruise adventures - or unexpected challenges - that come your way. With the right items, you’ll be well-equipped for an incredible vacation at sea.

Regardless of your particular sailing, you’ll be staying in a cabin onboard your cruise ship. From a windowless interior cabin to spacious suites, there are some quirky aspects of cruising that differentiate this vacation from staying in a standard hotel room or all-inclusive resort.

Packing list

Most cabins on a cruise ship are smaller and more compact than most hotel rooms. While you will be provided with the basics in your cabin, packing some of these essential items on our list will elevate your cruising experience.

Here is our list of 21 cruise cabin essentials that everyone should pack for their vacation. Some of these items are my personal favorites while others come highly recommending by other cruisers as cabin essentials.

Please note, the affiliate links to the products below provide a commission to our blog, which helps support our site. Purchasing from these links below will cost you nothing extra. You can also visit our Amazon storefront to see the cruising products and cabin essentials we recommend.

1. USB Outlet Extender


If you’ve never sailed in a cruise cabin before, you might be surprised to find that staterooms are often limited when it comes to power outlets. Older cruise ships in particular have very limited outlets for charging devices. Some cruise ships will only have one or two outlets available for the entire cabin to share.

Because of this, packing some sort of power extender is crucial. This will allow you and your travel party to charge or power all of your devices. Packing one of these USB outlet extenders with multiple outlets and charging ports will save you a massive headache in your cabin. I also pack a European travel plug adapter since most cabins will have a European outlet in the stateroom.

Cruise Power Strip No Surge Protector with USB Outlets - Ship Approved (Non Surge Protection) Cruise Essentials in 2024 & 2025 (White): Price: $16.99. 

[2-Pack] European Travel Plug Adapter, VINTAR International Power Plug Adapter with 1 USB C, 2 American Outlets and 3 USB Ports, 6 in 1 Travel Essentials to Most of Europe Greece, Italy(Type C). Price: $20.99

2. Magnetic Hooks

Magnetic Hooks

One of the most popular essential items to pack for your cruise cabin is a set of magnetic hooks. The walls of your cruise cabin are metal, which allows you to use anything magnetized on the walls.

With cruise cabins also being compact, it’s important to utilize your storage space. Those traveling with multiple people in a stateroom - or on a longer itinerary that requires more luggage - will need to optimize the closets, drawers and shelving for storage.

Cruisers go crazy for magnetic hooks as an essential packing item. While you will have plenty of storage for your belongings, these magnetic hooks allow you to hang your items from the wall.

Neosmuk Magnetic Hooks, 27lb+ Heavy Duty Earth Magnets with Hook for Refrigerator, Extra Strong Cruise Hook for Hanging, Magnetic Hanger for Curtain, Grill(Silver, Pack of 6). Price: $5.99. 

3. Medication

No one wants to think about the possibility of getting sick during your hard-earned and highly-anticipated vacation. Unfortunately, illness can strike anywhere. If you’re on a cruise, you’ll need to rely on the ship’s onboard shops for any over-the-counter medication needs. As you can imagine, these are astronomically priced and limited in selection.

One essential cabin item is a small supply of over-the-counter medication. I call this my mini pharmacy! Inside, I have medication for multi-symptom day and night cold, anti-nausea medication, pain relief, allergies, laxatives, anti-diarrhea and more.

Additionally, if you have prescription medication, you should always cruise with extra in your cabin. If your cruise is delayed for some reason, such as unexpected weather or medical emergencies, you won’t want to be without your prescription medication. The onboard medical center might be able to help in these instances, but it’s best to be prepared for the worst.

4. Small Fan

Amazon Fan

Another wildly popular cruise cabin essential is a small fan to use in your stateroom. Although your cabin will have air conditioning, guests rave about bringing a portable fan to use in the evenings. Keeping the fan running in the night allows the cabin’s air to flow better - and also provides a soothing sound for those that sleep with a fan at home.

It’s best to bring a fan that is battery operated if you’re worried about the number of outlets available in the cabin. Otherwise, a plug-in fan will work as well. Some cruisers prefer to have a fan with adjustable legs that can be placed throughout the cabin.

Snawowo Mini Handheld Personal Portable Fan, Baby Stroller Fan, Car Seat Fan, USB or Battery Powered, with Flexible Tripod Clip on Student Bed Desk Bike Crib Treadmill Camping Traveling(Dark Blue). Price: $16.99 

Gaiatop USB Desk Fan, 3 Speeds with Strong Airflow, 5.5 Inch Quiet Small Portable Table Fan, 90° Rotate Personal Cooling Fan For Bedroom Home Office Desktop Travel (Black). Price: $8.99. 

5. Packing Cubes

Packing Cubes

Along with most cruisers, I am a huge fan of packing cubes. Packing cubes allow you to neatly organize your clothes while also compressing items when zipped. Not only do these simplify the packing experience itself, but packing cubes are also a huge help when organizing your cabin.

Once onboard your cruise, you will receive your luggage delivered directly to your stateroom. I prefer to unpack my suitcase right away in my cruise cabin to feel settled and organized. Packing cubes make this a seamless experience. I simply remove the packing cubes from my suitcase and place the cube directly in a drawer or shelf in my stateroom.

Veken 8 Set Packing Cubes for Suitcases, Travel Essentials for Carry on, Black Luggage Organizer Bags Set for Travel Accessories in 4 Sizes (Extra Large, Large, Medium, Small). Price: $16.98 

6. Insulated Coffee Mug

While it’s common knowledge to travel with a reusable water bottle, some cruisers swear by bringing their own insulted coffee mug or thermos aboard. This allows you to bring back hot coffee from the buffet, coffee shop or restaurants down to your cruise cabin.

Coffee cups are available on cruise ships for guests to use. But, it can be hard to walk around the ship with a cup of hot coffee. Cruisers sailing on itineraries to cooler environments might be especially interested in purchasing a travel coffee mug for keeping coffee, tea or hot chocolate warm.

SUNWILL 14 oz Coffee Mug, Vacuum Insulated Camping Mug with Lid, Double Wall Stainless Steel Travel Tumbler Cup, Coffee Thermos Outdoor, Powder Coated Navy Blue. Price: $11.69 

7. Wrinkle release spray

Cruise ships do not allow guests to bring any steamers or irons in their cabins for fire safety purposes. Instead, you’ll have to get a little creative treating those wrinkly clothes. Many cruise guests bring a small bottle of wrinkle release spray to keep in their cruise cabin to combat wrinkly clothes.

With just a few sprays, wrinkles can be quickly and conveniently removed from your clothes. It’s not a perfect solution, but it’s easy and cheap enough. Regardless, you won’t be the only one onboard with wrinkly clothes!

Downy Wrinkle Releaser, Odor Eliminator and Fabric Refresher, Crisp Linen Scent, Travel Essential, 3 Fl OZ (Pack of 2). Price: $7.99 

8. Liquid hand soap


Keeping yourself healthy on a cruise should be a top priority. It’s important to wash your hands frequently throughout your cruise. Most cruise ships only provide a bar of soap in your cruise cabin for hand washing.

This bar of soap is totally useable, but I prefer to pack a small bottle of liquid hand soap to use in my cabin. I find that my hands feel cleaner when I use liquid hand soap in the cabin bathroom. It’s also just easier, in my opinion.

Softsoap Liquid Hand Soap, Fresh Breeze - 7.5 Fl Oz (Pack of 6). Price: $7.35. 

9. Electronics organizer

Organization is key for keeping your sanity in a cruise cabin. It’s easy for the cabin to feel cluttered given how small the space is. Because of this, I bring an electronics organizer for not only traveling, but to use within my cruise cabin.

If you’re someone with multiple devices that need to be charged, you are no stranger to the overwhelming ball of intertwined charging cords. I finally was fed up with having cords all over the cabin vanity, so I invested in an electronics organizer. This has been a game changer for me!

Electronic Organizer Travel USB Cable Accessories Bag/Case,Waterproof for Power Bank,Charging Cords,Chargers,Mouse ,Earphones Flash Drive. Price: $6.14. 

10. Hanging cosmetics bag

In the spirit of organization, another cabin essential is a hanging cosmetics bag. I’ve been cruising and traveling with a hanging cosmetic bags for more than a decade. These hang perfectly on the back of your cabin bathroom door so it’s not in the way for anyone.

Similar to the rest of your cabin, your stateroom’s bathroom will be compact. While there will be shelving and storage, this area can also get cluttered quickly. It’s so easy to travel and cruise with a hanging cosmetics bag. Highly recommend!

BAGSMART Toiletry Bag Travel Bag with Hanging Hook, Water-resistant Makeup Cosmetic Bag Travel Organizer for Accessories, Shampoo, Full-size Container, Toiletries. Price: $18.39 

11. Air Freshener

One of the best parts of a cruise is all of the delicious food you’ll be enjoying. But, all of that food has to go somewhere. If you’re worried about having a stinky space, many cruisers recommend bringing a cheap air freshener to keep in your bathroom.

While you have many options for something like this, an old-fashioned car freshener can work best - like the ones that hang from your rearview mirror. Many cruisers swear by an air freshener in their cabin bathroom to facilitate a fresh smelling stateroom. At the end of the cruise, just toss it in the trash.

LITTLE TREES Car Air Freshener | Hanging Paper Tree for Home or Car | Vanillaroma Scent | Pack of 12. Price: $11.50 

12. Lanyard with key holder

When cruising with Royal Caribbean, you’ll need to keep close tabs on your SeaPass card. This is your onboard key that will allow you to enter your cabin and charge your onboard account, along with embarking and disembarking the ship at port stops. Without your SeaPass, you won’t be able to get very far.

One of the most popular cursing essential is a lanyard with a key holder. Keeping your SeaPass on a lanyard helps you to easily and quickly locate your card. I prefer to use a magnetic hook and hang my lanyard on this hook while I am in my cabin.

Cruise Lanyard Must Have Accessories for Ship Cards [2-Pack] in 2024 & 2025 Cruise Lanyards with ID Holder, Key Card Detachable Badge & Waterproof Ship Card Holders (Navy Blue & White). Price: $8.97 

13. Shampoo and Conditioner

Royal Caribbean only provides guests with a 3-in-1 showering product. This is advertised as a shampoo and body wash hybrid. Because of this, packing your own shampoo and conditioner is essential. This is especially important for the ladies out there!

I prefer to purchase travel sized shampoo and conditioner, but you can also fill up reusable bottles with products from home. This makes the cabin experience much better - or else you can expect to have pretty dry hair throughout your cruise.

TRESemmé Shampoo & Conditioner, Sulfate-Free, Travel Size - Moisture Rich Hair Treatment for Dry, Damaged Hair, Mini Shampoo & Conditioner for Hair Repair, Scented, 3 Oz Ea (2 Piece Set). Price: $7.99. 

14. Hydration packets

Liquid IV

Between all of the eating and drinking onboard your cruise, you might start to feel dehydrated. This is especially true if you are spending extra time in the sun, whether this is on the pool deck or ashore on the beach.

At the end of the day, staying hydrated is very important while cruising. Another popular essential for your cruise cabin is packing some liquid hydration packets that you can add to your water. I prefer LiquidIV or Propel packets because they are small and travel well. I also find that it replenishes my electrolytes quickly so I can get back to the pool deck!

Liquid I.V. Hydration Multiplier - Passion Fruit - Hydration Powder Packets | Electrolyte Drink Mix | Easy Open Single-Serving Sticks | Non-GMO | 1 Pack (16 Servings). Price: $23.74 

15. Portable white noise machine

One of the newest essential items that I bring on my cruises is a portable white noise machine. This allows me to sleep soundly without hearing all the ruckus of the cruise ship in the evening.

Whether this is the anchor early in the morning or rowdy passengers stumbling down the hallway, the sound machine helps to drown out the noise. This portable sound machine is powerful and the perfect size for travel. Now, I won’t cruise without it!

White Noise Machine Babelio Mini Sound Machine for Adults Kids Baby | 15 Non-looping Sounds | Timer | Easy to Pocket and Travel - White. Price: $19.99. 

16. Pop-up hamper


During your cruise, you might be surprised how quickly the dirty laundry piles up - with nowhere to go! To help with organization, many cruisers bring a small pop-up hamper to keep in their cruise cabins for dirty clothes.

I’ve tried this a few times while cruising, particularly on longer sailings where I know I will have a big pile of dirty laundry, and I loved it! This pop-up hamper is so small and conveniently fits on the bottom of your suitcase for ease of travel. Some might say this is a nice-to-have, but many say a pop-up hamper is an essential!

Mesh Pop Up Laundry Hamper with Durable Handles - Portable Collapsible Clothes Baskets for Dorm, Bathroom & Travel (Blue). Price: $6.99. 

17. Ziplock Baggies

Ziploc bags

Another essential item for your cruise cabin is a small pack of ziplock baggies! These are so versatile to use throughout your cruise. Anything from keeping your belongings safe during an excursion or packing away some snacks for your big adventure - baggies are great to have.

Having baggies on hand can be very handy in your cabin for a variety of reasons. I would suggest bringing different baggie sizes from sandwich to quart and gallon bags. You can also place your liquids inside a ziplock bag for use in your cabin or when traveling home.

Ziploc Food Storage and Sandwich Bags Variety Pack, New Stay Open Design with Stand-Up Bottom, Easy to Fill, 166 Bags Total. Price: $25.23 

18. Portable charger

Portable charger

With cabins having limited outlets for charging, it’s essential for someone in the cabin to bring a portable charger. This allows you to not only charge additional devices in your cabin, but you can also take this ashore during your excursions.

Having a small portable charger can help keep your phone fully charged to have throughout your day. In addition, I’ve even used these in my cruise stateroom so I do not need to be physically by the vanity for charging.

Anker Portable Charger, Power Bank, 10,000 mAh Battery Pack with PowerIQ Charging Technology and USB-C (Input Only) for iPhone 15/15 Plus/15 Pro/15 Pro Max, iPhone 14/13 Series, Samsung Galaxy. Price: $16.19 

19. Over-the-door shoe organizer

Shoe Organizer

While I haven’t purchased this essential cabin item myself, tons of cruisers are obsessed with packing an over-the-door-shoe organizer for their cabins. While you can certainly use this for storing your shoes, people use this for anything or everything!

With so many cubbies and compartments for storage, you can neatly store many of your cruising essentials without leaving them all over the cabin.

Amazon Basics Over the Door Organizer with 24 Pockets - Black. Price: $12.82. 

20. Motion-censored night light


If you’re someone who has a night light at home to navigate in the night, one essential item to pack is a portable, motion-censored night light for your cruise cabin. This night light will softly illuminate your cabin in the night when it senses motion.

Those booked in an interior cabin should especially consider packing this essential item. Interior staterooms have no windows, so these cabins are pitch black at all hours of the day! Having this kind of night light can ensure you navigate your cabin safely.

Night Light Motion Sensor [Battery Powered] with Rotating Base for Indoor Use in Bathroom, Hallway, Cruise Cabin & More. Price: $18.99. 

21. Laundry packets

On Royal Caribbean’s cruise ships, you won’t have access to any laundry facilities onboard. Your only option for laundry is paying for laundry service through the cruise ship where crew members will wash your dirty clothes.

If you don’t feel like shelling out the money for laundry, you should consider packing travel-sized laundry packets for your cruise cabin. I’ve done more laundry in a cruise cabin sink than I’d like to admit. In fact, I did all my laundry for 100 days in a cruise cabin sink while I lived on a ship for my study abroad program in college.

Tide Sink Packs Laundry Detergent Does 3 Loads (3 packs of 3). Price: $6.95. 

15 things cruise lines really do not want you to bring on ships

22 Feb 2024

In the excitement of planning for a cruise, there’s one important aspect you don’t want to mess up: packing.

Of course, you want to be sure to pack all the items you might need on your vacation.

But to prevent any mishaps, you’ll also want to look into the items that cruise lines prohibit you from bringing.

Each cruise line has its own set of rules, and if you end up packing a banned item, you could delay or even cancel your own vacation.

If you fail to follow cruise line guidelines, for example, you could delay the crew and your bags as they search your belongings.

Beyond the obvious—such as weapons and drugs—there are other items you should be mindful of before you head to the cruise port.

Even seemingly innocent items like extension cords could be banned onboard. 

Read on to discover the 15 items cruise lines really do not want you to bring onto the cruise ship.

1. Paint

Paint presents a risk to fire safety onboard. Royal Caribbean prohibits all dangerous chemicals, such as bleach or paint.

If it spills anywhere, the paint could cause damage to the ship. Cruise lines do not want you to make any permanent changes to the cabin door or stateroom’s appearance.

2. Your pet 


Icon of the Seas is welcoming guests with a family dog onboard, but this does not include your family dog!

Pets are not allowed onboard, with the exception of trained and pre-approved service animals.

No exceptions will be made, even for emotional support animals

Smuggling your furry friend onboard is also a bad idea. Recently, a cat smuggled onto Ovation of the Seas was discovered and almost euthanized, if it wasn’t for a crew member from Guest Services adopting it.

3. Weed


It might be legal in your home state, but marijuana is still prohibited on cruise ships. This includes weed in any form, even CBD products or oils.

Even if you use it medicinally, many countries that you will visit have laws against the consumption of marijuana.

Because cruise ships sail between many different countries, they have to comply with the laws of each one.

No illegal drugs or substances are allowed to be brought onboard, and the consequences for bringing marijuana on a cruise are not worth the risk.

You could be kicked off the cruise ship, banned from the cruise line, or even incarcerated on land.

4. Fireworks

If your cruise falls during the 4th of July, it’s natural to want to celebrate.

Royal Caribbean sets up plenty of decorations and events for the patriotic holiday, but there will be no fireworks onboard.

Any explosive or flammable items are prohibited onboard a cruise ship.

For everyone’s safety, leave the pyrotechnics at home.

Quantum Class ships, however, do have a virtual fireworks display in Two70.

5. Weapons

Be very cautious when it comes to bringing anything resembling a weapon.

Leave the guns, knives, nunchucks, crossbows, throwing stars, swords, brass knuckles, ammunition, and even toys like Nerf guns at home.

Cruise lines really do not want you to bring weapons onboard. Leave them behind, and enjoy a peaceful vacation instead.

Read more: 15 things you don't need to bring on a cruise

6. Extension cords

Cruise line staterooms are infamous for lacking outlets, especially near the beds.

Yes, you’ll want to problem-solve, but be careful what you pack!

Extension cords with a surge protector are not permitted on cruise ships, due to the risk of fire.

Typically, if you bring an item with a surge protector, the cruise line will confiscate it and return it to you at the end of the cruise.

Instead, bring a cruise-friendly power strip without a surge protector.

7. Pepper spray 

Self-defense items such as pepper spray and night sticks are not allowed on cruise ships.

Royal Caribbean makes an effort to prevent cruisers from packing anything resembling a weapon.

However, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about when it comes to personal safety.

Cruising is one of the safest forms of travel, with plenty of crew members and security onboard who want to make sure you feel secure.

As a matter of fact, you’re more likely to be injured on your way to the port than on your cruise ship.

In a worst-case scenario, the worst you’ll experience is probably some seasickness or contracting the flu. 

Pepper spray won’t do anything against errant waves anyway.

8. Irons

Iron on a cruise ship cabin

For fire safety, cruise lines are very strict about any items that produce a flame or generate heat.

This includes heating pads, clothing irons, electric kettles, coffee makers, and toaster ovens/microwaves. 

It’s very unlikely that you will need any of these items. For example, you can pack wrinkle-release spray or pay staff to iron clothes for you.

When it comes to heating appliances, Royal Caribbean does make an exception for grooming products such as hair straighteners.

9. Sunscreen 


While sunscreen is permitted onboard cruise ships, double-check before you pack whatever’s in your medicine cabinet.

Yes, of course, you want to be protected from the bright sun! 

However, many ports of call, including Cozumel, Mexico, and St. Thomas, are prohibiting sunscreen to protect their reefs and marine life.

Some locations only allow reef-friendly, biodegradable sunscreen, while others prohibit it completely.

Make sure to do your research before you pack any sunscreen.

10. Rollerblades

Wheeled items such as rollerblades, roller skates, skateboards, and Heely’s are prohibited onboard cruise ships.

This is for guest safety since cruise ships can rock and shift with the movement of the ocean and wind.

Additionally, passageways should be kept open and safe for all cruisers. No one wants to have a bad fall or crash in the middle of their vacation!

11. Knives

While some cruise lines do allow small pocket knives, Royal Caribbean is not one of them. They are very strict when it comes to anything that could be used as a weapon.

All knives are prohibited, and so are large scissors.

The only exception would be personal grooming objects and scissors with a blade smaller than 4 inches.

Read more: Things that can get you kicked off a cruise ship in an instant

12. Drones

Royal Caribbean is actually one of the few cruise lines that allows you to bring a drone onboard.

However, while onboard the ship, you must store the drone safely in the stateroom. If you do use the drone while onboard, Royal Caribbean will confiscate it until the end of the cruise.

Cruisers can only use drones on land and are responsible for obtaining the proper permits with local authorities.

Additionally, you are not allowed to use drones on Royal Caribbean’s private destinations such as Perfect Day at CocoCay and Labadee, Haiti.

13. Alcohol

English beers

You are prohibited from bringing alcohol such as beer or liquor onboard. 

Security will examine all liquids, and throw away any alcohol that they find. If they find any prohibited alcohol on embarkation day, it will not be returned to you!

Royal Caribbean wants you to purchase their alcohol while onboard, but this doesn't mean that you have to splurge on the drink package.

Guests can pack up to 750 mL (one unopened bottle per adult) of wine or champagne on embarkation day. You will have access to these two bottles throughout the whole cruise.

However, if you purchase any alcohol on the ship or at a port of call, security will keep it safe for you until the last day of the cruise.

Alcohol will still be available for purchase onboard, whether or not you choose to purchase the drink package.

14. Pre-cooked food


Whether it’s home-cooked or leftover from a restaurant, cruise lines will not allow you to bring unpackaged food onboard.

If you try to bring open, pre-cooked food onboard, security will throw it away.

Additionally, you’ll have no need to pack food beforehand. Your fare will include access to many complimentary dining locations.

You can, however, pack pre-packaged snacks in your luggage.

15. Camouflage clothing

camouflage shorts

While this isn’t a cruise line regulation, knowing if your cruise travels to the Caribbean is important.

In many Caribbean countries, it is illegal to wear camouflage clothing or accessories because it is part of the military uniform.

Don’t pack any camouflage items if you’re traveling to these countries: Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago.

Although enforcement varies, you could be detained, fined, or imprisoned. Authorities will likely remove the item and you risk being sent home.

The 15 best-selling cruise ship products our readers can't stop buying in 2023

30 Dec 2023

With so many great travel products to choose from, how do you know which are the best items to purchase and pack for your cruise?

We recently asked our readers, “Name one item you bought for a cruise that you now can't travel without”. We received hundreds of responses from our readers with their favorite cruise purchases of 2023. Our readers loved everything from packing cubes to portable fans to pack for their cruises.

While your cruise cabin will have the majority of what you need for a comfortable stay, there are some must-have items that you should consider purchasing. These include many gadgets, tools and devices that you can bring onboard your cruise ship to enhance your experience.

We’ve compiled a list of the top 15 best-selling cruise ship products for 2023 that our readers can’t stop raving about! If you are looking to expand your cruise travel must-have products before setting sail in 2024, take a look at the list below.

As a note, we have provided affiliate links these Amazon products. Our site receives a small commission when you purchase items from these links - at no extra cost to you. The small commission helps support our site.

In addition, RoyalCaribbeanBlog now has its own Amazon store front! Here, you can see all of the popular Amazon items that we recommend for your cruise travel needs. Everything from outfit suggestions to cruise gadgets and devices are linked here. We also receive a small commission when you purchase from our Amazon store front.

1. Portable USB fan

Amazon Fan

I was surprised to see this as the top response from our readers! Many commented how they pack a portable USB fan to keep in their cabins while cruising. A small, USB-charged fan like this helps provide airflow in the cabin, which is great for sleepers who prefer to sleep with a fan on. Cruise cabins do not have fans, so packing a small one in your luggage is a great idea.

Here are two portable fans powered by USB that have rave reviews. The first one has adjustable tripod legs so you can clip it wherever you need. The second item would work well on a nightstand or cruise vanity.

Link: snawowo Mini Handheld Personal Portable Fan, Baby Stroller Fan, Car Seat Fan, USB or Battery Powered, with Flexible Tripod Clip on Student Bed Desk Bike Crib Treadmill Camping Traveling(Dark Blue) | Price: $22.99

Link: Gaiatop USB Desk Fan, 3 Speeds with Strong Airflow, 5.5 Inch Quiet Small Portable Table Fan, 90° Rotate Personal Cooling Fan For Bedroom Home Office Desktop Travel (Black) | Price: $8.99

2. AirTags


In a post-pandemic cruising world, many travelers are purchasing and using AirTags, which are small tracking devices that connect to Apple products. The small tag can be placed inside luggage while traveling to your cruise embarkation port. You can track your items right on your phone so you know exactly where to find your belongings at all times. 

AirTags work on a single battery for about one year, so no need to recharge. The devices connect using bluetooth, so you can be sure to know exactly where you luggage is while traveling and cruising. I even like to use these after handing off my luggage to the cruise porters so I know for sure that my luggage was boarded on the ship.

Link: Apple AirTag - Single | Price: $23.99

Link: Apple AirTag - 4 Pack | Price: $78.99

3. Magnetic hooks


One of the best-selling cruise products is a pack of magnetic hooks! This was one of the top responses from our readers as an item they simply cannot cruise without.

Since cruise cabins are made of magnetic walls, these magnetic hooks can be used to hang a variety of things, such as coats, hats, lanyards, umbrellas, etc. With cruise cabins being so small, it’s important to be as organized as possible to keep the stateroom from getting cluttered.

Link:  Neosmuk Magnetic Hooks, 27 lb+ Heavy Duty Earth Magnets with Hook for Refrigerator, Extra Strong Cruise Hook for Hanging, Magnetic Hanger for Cabins, Grill (Silver White, Pack of 10)

Price: $7.80

 4. Motion-activated nightlight


Many readers shared they always bring a motion-activated nightlight on their cruises. If you’re someone who stays in an inside cabin when cruising, you have likely have done the ‘zombie walk’ to the bathroom in the middle of the night.

Without any window or balcony, an inside cabin stays completely black throughout all hours of the day. Even if you cruise in a cabin with some natural light, it can be difficult to navigate the small and unfamiliar space in the night. Packing one of these portable, motion-activated night lights can help you safely walk around your cabin in the night. Here are two popular options from our readers.

Link Night Light Motion Sensor [Battery Powered] with Rotating Base for Indoor Use in Bathroom, Hallway, Cruise Cabin & More White  | Price: $17.99

Link:  WYZE Rechargeable Night Lights with Dusk to Dawn & Motion Sensors, Warm & Soft White Step Lights for Bathroom,Hallway, Bedroom, Kids Room, Kitchen, Stairway, 3 Pack | Price: $35.98

5. European adapter

European Adapter

Another top-selling product from cruise fans is this 2-pack of European USB adapters. Many cruise ships have limited charging outlets, especially older cruise ships. However, almost every cruise ship has a European outlet to use. Instead of letting this outlet go to waste, purchase one of these adapters so you can easily charge your devices.

In fact, I personally never cruise without this adapter! It’s one of the best cruise products that I purchased in 2023 and even gave these as gifts to my cruise-loving family members.

Link: . [2-Pack] European Travel Plug Adapter, VINTAR International Power Plug Adapter with 1 USB C, 2 American Outlets and 3 USB Ports, 6 in 1 Travel Essentials to Most of Europe Greece, Italy(Type C)

Price: $22.99

6. USB charging hub


Similar to the European adapter, our readers can’t stop purchasing these USB charging hubs and cruise-approved power strips. Having enough chargers for all of your devices is a necessity when cruising.

If you’re like me, this means charging upwards of four to five devices each night between my phone, laptop, watch, iPad, etc. Those traveling with multiple people in the same stateroom will undoubtedly want to pack one of these products! Here are three of the most popular items on our Amazon storefront to ensure you have enough outlets for charging devices during your cruise.

Link: Cruise Power Strip No Surge Protector with USB Outlets - Ship Approved (Non Surge Protection) Cruise Essentials in 2023, 2024 & 2025 | Price: $17.99

Link: Anker Charger, 60W 6 Port Charging Station, PowerPort 6 Multi USB Charger for iPhone 15/Pro/Pro Max/14/13, iPad Pro/Air/Mini, Galaxy S23/S22/S21, Note 20 Ultra, LG, HTC, and More | Price: $29.99

Link: Cruise Essentials,6 Ft Power Strip with 3 Outlets and 4 USB Ports(1 USB C), Non Surge Protector for Cruise Ship, Travel, Home Office, ETL Listed, White | Price: $13.98

7.  Packing cubes

Packing Cubes

This would be the number one item on my cruise essential list! I simply cannot travel without packing cubes once I started to use them last year. Our readers also loved purchasing packing cubes in 2023, as it was one of the top-selling products from our Amazon storefront this year.

Packing cubes help you stay organized in your suitcase, while compression packing cubes can also help you save space in your luggage. Once you’re onboard your cruise, simply remove the cubes from your suitcase and place in the drawers or shelves of your cruise cabin. It couldn’t be easier! These are three of the most popular packing cube sets in 2023.

Link: Veken 8 Set Packing Cubes for Suitcases, Travel Essentials for Carry on, Black Luggage Organizer Bags Set for Travel Accessories in 4 Sizes (Extra Large, Large, Medium, Small) | Price: $16.98

Link: Veken 6 Set Packing Cubes for Suitcases, Travel Organizer Bags for Carry on Luggage, Suitcase Organizer Bags Set for Travel Essentials Travel Accessories in 4 Sizes(Extra Large, Large, Medium, Small) | Price: $16.99

Link: PFEYRPK Lightweight Compression Packing Cubes for Suitcases, Compressible Expandable Travel Packing Organizer with Clear Toiletries and Backpack Bag, Travel Essentials for Carry on Luggage 7 Set | Price: $19.99

8. Travel white noise machine

white noise machine

This is one product that I am eyeing for my 2024 cruises and it’s one product that many of our readers considered a must-have item! Similar to a fan, many cruisers like to sleep with white noise playing.

Cruise ships can be noisy, especially when you cruise during peak times, like spring break. This small, portable white noise machine is the perfect solution to keep you sleeping soundly in the night. This one below is a battery operated and reviews state that it lasts a few nights on each charge.

Link: White Noise Machine Babelio Mini Sound Machine for Adults Kids Baby | 15 Non-looping Sounds | Timer | Easy to Pocket and Travel - White

Price: $18.99


9. Over-the-door shoe organizer

Shoe Organizer

Cruisers raved in our comment section about how much they love packing an over-the-door shoe organizer for their travels. With cruise cabins being so small, it’s crucial to stay as organized as possible.

Packing an over-the-door shoe organizer helps keep clutter off the floor. You can hang up more than just shoes, as many claim to put anything and everything in these small compartments.

Link24 Pockets - SimpleHouseware Crystal Clear Over The Door Hanging Shoe Organizer, Gray (64'' x 19'')

Price: $8.87


10. PooPouri Spray


This one needs little explanation. All of that delicious cruise food has to go somewhere! You’ll likely be sharing your cabin bathroom with at least one other person, if not multiple people. 

We know that sharing a small space on a cruise ship can be tough enough, even when your cabin is clean. Having some of this travel-sized Poo-Pourri spray can help keep your stateroom smelling fresh and inviting for all.

Link: Poo-Pourri Before-You-Go Toilet Spray, On-The-Go, Travel Size Variety 10 mL - Original Citrus, Lavender Vanilla and Fresh Air 0.34 Fl Oz (Pack of 3)

Price: $9.97

11. Hanging cosmetic bag

hanging cosmetic bag

Another top selling cruise product from 2023 was a hanging cosmetic bag. Organization is key in your cruise cabin, if you haven’t picked up on that yet. With limited bathroom space, I love to pack a hanging cosmetic bag that hangs from the back of the bathroom door.

This hanging cosmetic bag is easy to travel with. It folds up conveniently and also has waterproof storage compartments. All of your cosmetics will be in one location from your suitcase to your cruise stateroom.

Link: BAGSMART Toiletry Bag Travel Bag with Hanging Hook, Water-resistant Makeup Cosmetic Bag Travel Organizer for Accessories, Shampoo, Full-size Container, Toiletries.

Price: $22.39


12. Luggage tag holders

Luggage tag holders

Luggage tag holders continue to be one of the top-selling products for cruisers. Every cruise line requires guests to print out luggage tags to be placed on suitcases that will be checked at the cruise terminal.

Instead of using tape or staples, place the printed luggage tag into these plastic luggage tags. This will ensure your tags stay put on your luggage and do not get ripped or damaged. These from Amazon are specifically designed for Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises.

Link: Highwind Cruise Luggage Tag Holder for Suitcases | Compatible with Celebrity 2022 Royal Caribbean Luggage Tag Holders Travel Essentials Cruise Lanyard - 4 Pack

Price: $7.99

13. Pop-up hamper


One simple product can make your cruise cabin exponentially more organized! Many readers responded that they cannot cruise without packing a pop-up mesh hamper. No one wants to think about laundry while cruising, but you also don’t want a huge pile of dirty, stinky clothes on the bottom of your closet.

Instead, consider packing one of these small hampers. These mesh hampers pack super easily at the bottom of your suitcase and pop-up once you’ve reached your cruise cabin. You can keep all of your dirty laundry in the hamper, just as you might do at home.

Link: Collapsible Mesh Pop Up Laundry Hamper with Wide Opening and Side Pocket – Breathable, Sturdy, Foldable, and Space-Saving Design for Laundry Clothes and Storage. (Black

Price: $7.99


14. Small liquid hand soap


Most cruise ships will only provide you a small bar of soap to use for hand-washing in your cabin. But washing your hands is crucial on a cruise to ensure you have clean hands to stay healthy. My family has been packing liquid hand-soap for years and we love the ease and convenience. 

Many readers responded to our poll that they love to pack some liquid hand-soap for their cabin. It’s a small luxury, but totally worth it. You can even buy reusable bottles to bring on your cruises.

Link: Softsoap Liquid Hand Soap, Fresh Breeze - 7.5 Fl Oz (Pack of 6) | Price: $7.35

Link: Owlyee 2oz Foam Bottle (3PCS) Empty Foaming Pump Dispenser for Hand Soap, Lash Cleanser, Shampoo to Travel (60ml, Green) | Price: $7.99


15. Motion sickness medication


While it might not be likely that you will get seasick on your cruise, it’s best to be prepared for the worst. Cruise ships can encounter rough seas or storms unexpectedly. Whether you’ve earned your sea legs or not, it’s a good idea to be prepared for seasickness.

Many of our readers commented that they pack seasickness medication like Bonine and Dramamine. Make sure you purchase a non-drowsy formula to use during the day, such as the options linked below. In addition, some find that Seabands work well to combat motion sickness.

Link: Non-Drowsy Bonine for Motion Sickness Relief, Sea Sickness, Car Sickness, Nausea and Vomiting, with Meclizine Hcl 25mg, Raspberry, Travel-Sized 16ct (Packaging May Vary) | Price: $5.94

Link: Dramamine Non-Drowsy, Motion Sickness Relief, Made with Natural Ginger, 18 Count | Price: $6.98

Link: LYJEE Motion Morning Sickness Wristbands for Anti-Nausea, Car Sea Sickness, Acupressure Relief Bands for Pregnant Women Adult | Price: $7.98

I went on four cruises and found the best way to protect Black hair on vacation

05 Dec 2023

We live in a world that has not always provided the resources or public perception for us to best care for Afro-textured hair.

Because of this inherent bias, it can be hard to begin a natural hair journey. 

Committing to your healthiest natural hair is a life-long process that takes work and requires you to find the resources you need to care for your hair wherever you are. 

As someone who has worn my hair naturally my whole life, I knew that beginning to cruise would mean its own journey of discovering how best to care for my hair.

After having been on my fourth cruise, I’ve been able to explore and experiment with what styles work best for my hair while cruising. 

I’ll start by explaining the main challenges cruising poses for natural hair and then provide the solutions I’ve discovered from my experience.

What are the challenges of caring for natural hair on a cruise?

The elements

Cruises are an amazing way to get up close and personal with nature. On ships, there are pools with water and lovely views of the ocean. 

On ports, you can experience everything, from beaches to mountain hikes to jungle adventures.

Depending on the cruises’ ports-of-call, your hair could face many different climates and elements.

At the very least, you will be exposed to wind, water, and salt—all elements that can challenge your hair-care journey.

The wind can muss up and tangle your hair. Salt is known to be damaging and drying, and you’ll want to hydrate your hair or even wash it out if exposed. And depending on your hairstyle, water can ruin the look!

Time limitations

Taking care of natural hair can be time-consuming. Afro-textured hair is beautiful but often requires a more gentle hand. 

Especially for those with longer hair and women who prefer more complex styles, caring for our natural hair can take up a lot of time.

Natural hair has a tighter, coarser curl pattern that requires more attention and careful detangling.

Moisture retention is also a concern, requiring frequent deep conditioning and moisturizer.

Although it depends on the individual experience, a wash day can take one or more hours. 

Personally, when I wear my thick, natural curls out, doing my hair can add 20-30 minutes to my morning routine.

Therefore, it’s important to be mindful of the hairstyle you choose to wear on your cruise so you don’t cut into any precious vacation time.

Packing space


In addition to taking some extra time, certain products are essential to pack along for your natural hairstyles. Daily, many people use moisturizers, edge control, and detangling tools.

On a wash day, many more products could be required.

It’s best to prevent washing your hair while on a cruise since wash day can take so much time and energy. If you do expect you’ll need one—whether you’re taking a longer cruise or expecting your hair to get dirty—it’s important to bring all your own supplies. 

The provided 3-in-1 body and hair wash on Royal Caribbean ships will only strip your hair, and a good conditioner and leave-in product are always essential for a good wash-and-go. 

To best care for your curls, select a gentle shampoo, a leave-in conditioner, and preferred styling items like gel.

Products also need to be packed securely to prevent leaks.

Satin pillowcases, bonnets, and scarves are also important to protect your hair at night.

Although hair dryers are present in ship bathrooms, you’ll also want to consider packing your own preferred methods of drying your hair, whether you prefer a diffuser, a microfiber towel, or air-drying. 

It’s important to plan ahead and pack carefully to keep your natural hair looking beautiful. However, certain hairstyles can minimize the amount of products you need to bring along.

Read more: 40 essential things to bring on a cruise

I tried different ways of wearing my hair on my four cruises

Calista boarding Wonder of the Seas

I went on my first cruise in August and learned so much from that experience. 

On that cruise, I decided to wear short, natural braids without any braiding hair added. This was a great hairstyle, as it was lightweight, short, and required very little product.

The only downside was that this style is a little less protective since it relies on my natural hair.

While I respect people who always wear their natural hair out and limit protective styles, this hasn’t worked for me on a cruise.

On my second cruise, I wore my natural hair, beginning with a braid-out and wearing it loose for the rest of the cruise.

This was tough. Wearing it out meant I still had to wake up and style my hair every morning, and even when I changed outfits.

In addition to that, my hair got wet, both in the ocean and pool, and I didn’t bring enough hair supplies to wash it while on the ship.

I had to spend two days with dry, tangled hair, keeping it in buns.

Thankfully, my second cruise was a shorter, 3-night sailing, so I could survive the few days without a wash. I just kept adding leave-in conditioner and detangling my hair daily. 

After that cruise, I learned my lesson and concluded that protective styles are the best way for me to protect my hair, save time, and prevent needing a wash day.

For my third cruise, I wore braids again, and they saved me time getting ready in the mornings. 

However, my hair again got soaking wet while I was snorkeling, causing the braids to look frizzy and old. I had to take them out as soon as I got home. 

On my fourth cruise, I once again wore long braids, and this time was careful to keep them dry. This meant that I didn’t do many involved water activities, but my hair stayed looking nice!

Based on my experience, I recommend short and simple protective styles

In the future, I think the best way to keep my hair healthy, maintainable, and looking good throughout the cruise—while still enjoying activities to the fullest—would be to wear a protective style and bring along a swim cap to prevent it from getting too wet. 

Protective styles such as braids allow you to save time, look good, and protect your hair from the elements. 

When I wear braids, I only have to pack a few items: edge control, mousse, and a couple styling tools. If they do get wet, hair dryers are already available in the staterooms. 

On my cruises, I most often see other Black people wearing braids, but there are other protective styles, too!

If you have locs, there is a built-in protective style that needs no extra work to be cruise-ready.

Crochet styles, weaves, or even sew-ins would also work. 

I personally don’t like the heavy, hot feeling of weaves and wigs—especially on tropical or beach vacation cruises. However, I have also seen other Black people wearing them on cruises, so it’s all a matter of preference!

I personally prefer braids, but also want to try other protective styles, such as Bantu knots, twists, and head wraps.

Of course, you don’t have to limit yourself to just one hairstyle.

On my first cruise, I laughed at a friend who took out his cornrows halfway through the 7-night sailing. 

In hindsight, there’s nothing wrong with switching it up!

You could plan multiple different hairstyles, and you even have the option to get braids done at various Caribbean ports where natural hair services are offered.

We asked our readers what one thing they regretted packing for their cruise

03 Nov 2023

Packing for a cruise isn't always the easiest thing, especially in the struggle of trying to not overpack.

Packing for a trip

On a cruise, you want to be careful to bring everything you might need, but you are also limited in the luggage you can carry along.

Read moreUltimate Cruise Packing List

You also never want to have too many items to organize while on your cruise. Having an overpacked suitcase or a messy stateroom will make your vacation more stressful!

Sometimes, you don’t fully realize the best strategy until the cruise is over.

The same goes for items you needed to pack, and items you didn’t need.

To get more insight on the best packing ideas, we asked our following on the Royal Caribbean Blog Facebook page what one item they regretted packing on their last cruise.

We received hundreds of responses and collected some of the best advice so that you don’t bring anything you regret.

Read more: 10 worst cruise fails by our readers


Book beach

Having some fun reads with you can make a quiet vacation more entertaining, but paper books take up lots of luggage space.

User Michelle Knapp Habrych wrote that she took “Too many books!”

“My suitcase was overweight at the airport and I had to do some rearranging!”

Packing lightly is especially important when you have to take a plane to the cruise port. You’ll want to be careful that your luggage is within airline standards and that you don’t have to pay extra for any overweight bags.

To avoid having Michelle’s problem, try bringing only a few paper books or loading up digital ones on a device like a Kindle or your phone.



Many readers commented on our Facebook post that they regretted bringing a lot of shoes, and I have to agree with them.

Formal shoes, especially, will barely find their way into your cruise wardrobe. 

Amy Stewart Smitherman commented: “I always overpack them and I usually end up not wearing them.”

Shoes can take up a lot of space, get dirty fast, and be tricky to store in your suitcase. Plus, when you’re traveling to a warmer climate or spending time on the beach, you will only need some open-toed and waterproof shoes. 

If you pack cleverly, you can make do with a couple adaptable pairs of shoes.

Read more: What to bring on a Caribbean cruise? 23 essentials to pack



It’s true that the air conditioning can run cold at night, and you will find yourself at more formal dinner venues on your cruise, where you could want to upgrade from shorts to a pair of jeans. 

Especially for any travel in the airport, it might make sense to pack a pair of jeans or two. 

However, jeans are another heavy, bulky item that doesn’t mix well with water or hot environments, as Katrina Dockter reminded us.

Consider leaving the jeans behind and packing some light slacks or flowing pants. 


Wine brought onboard

Although most cruise lines restrict the alcohol you can bring onboard, Royal Caribbean allows you to pack your own bottles of wine. This sounds like a great way to save money and still get tipsy on your vacation.

However, user Emily Lestock Ransom said she regretted packing some.

“[The wine] took up too much space and weight,” she commented. 

Although it sounds like a tempting option, carrying one or even multiple heavy, fragile bottles of liquid in your suitcase is a risk you might want to forgo. 



Ricky Homeier commented that he regretted bringing towels on his cruise.

Don’t forget that Royal Caribbean will supply all the linens you need!

Towels will be provided daily in your stateroom bathroom, and you can always request replacements from your stateroom attendant.

Beach towels are also available on multiple stations on the pool deck of your cruise ship, provided that you use your keycard to check them out. This ensures staff can track and charge for any missing towels.

Towels are even provided everywhere on Royal Caribbean’s private island, Perfect Day at CocoCay



A resounding number of cruise fans agreed that they packed too many clothes, including user Leigh Hanson.

It’s one of the most common pitfalls when packing for a cruise.

What types of clothes will you need on a cruise?

There are so many different events, venues, locations, and activities available that you want to be sure to pack for everything.

Additionally, laundry comes at an extra charge, so most cruisers want to avoid needing to re-wear clothes. 

The best way to ensure that you’re prepared but not overpacked is to pack a variety of outfits but limit the amount.

For example, pack one formal outfit and one sporty outfit. No need to bring multiple formal dresses or several pairs of sports clothes.


American Express website on laptop

I can relate to commenter Brandon Forlenza-Owens, who said he regretted bringing his laptop and “never even touched it.”

For the length of your cruise vacation, bringing a laptop can be a redundant option. People looking to relax will want to stay off any work on their computers.

Additionally, it’s cheaper to purchase WiFi for one device, and use any essentials on a phone. 

For those looking to watch any TV shows or movies, Royal Caribbean has movie nights most days of the cruise. 

And newer Royal Caribbean ships feature a smart TV in the staterooms, where you can Chromecast any shows directly from your phone.


Cash on cruise ship

While we do recommend that you bring cash on your cruise, you may not need as much as you except.

“I didn’t need as much cash as I brought,” Mary Jo Hughes Kean wrote on our Facebook post.

Cash will not be required on your cruise ship at all, as you can pay for any purchases with your SeaPass card.

You can, however, use cash for any extra tip you wish to give to crew members. 

However, you will want cash to tip the porters on embarkation day. 

We also recommend that you bring $50-$100 in cash on shore days for each port you visit. 

Shoe organizer


Some cruisers like to pack along an over-the-door shoe organizer.

Others, however, regretted bringing one. 

User Stephanie J. Ross packed one along for extra storage in the bathroom, but “there were other hooks inside the door, so there was nowhere to put it.”

She wrote that it was fortunate they didn’t need the extra storage, but the organizer “took up a chunk of space in my luggage.”

Whether you’re needing space for shoes or other items, an over-the-door organizer may not be the best way to sort them.

Your cruise ship will only have a couple doors from which you can hang an organizer: the main door and the bathroom door. If hooks are already there, or if the organizer gets in the way, you may struggle to find a place to hang it.

Additionally, an over-the-door organizer can take up a lot of luggage space.



If you’re unfamiliar with the range of activities offered on Royal Caribbean ships, you might think of packing games and cards to amuse yourself.

Danielle Hough Borrayo commented that she regretted bringing games, cards, and Dominos.  

“Had visions of hanging out with family playing games. There was so much else to do together that we never even touched them.”

With all the activities offered on Royal Caribbean ships, from pool times to trivia nights to the casino, bringing your own games will only be a waste of space.

In addition to onboard entertainment, most ships also have their own game room with board games, cards, and books, so there is no need to bring activities from home!

Formal clothes

Along with being careful to pack a reasonable amount of clothes, it’s important to also be careful that you don’t pack too much of the same type of clothing. 

Kathy Volkening found this was true when it comes to dress clothes; “never wore them.”

Although you may hear about Royal Caribbean’s formal night and other elegant dinners, it’s more realistic to expect that you will not wear dress clothes very often. 

When it comes to clothing, the water activities, the casual atmosphere, and your personal comfort can outweigh the desire to dress gracefully. 

Be realistic when packing, and bring clothes you know you’ll feel comfortable in. 

Gym wear


Optimism is a beautiful trait, and many cruisers employ it when they expect to use the gym on their cruise. 

Royal Caribbean ships do feature a quality fitness room, where gym attire is required to enter. 

Many cruisers expect that they will take the opportunity to exercise, but end up relaxing, or spending time at the ship’s many activities. 

User Sapphire Rose commented that she regretted packing gym wear. 

“Using the stairs in heels is a workout day and night.” 

In addition to using the stairs, you’ll have access to swimming, walking tours, kayaking, ice skating, and other sporty activity that don’t require gym clothing. 

If you don’t regularly hit the gym at home, you might want to leave the sports clothing at home, and practice realism by reserving that packing space for something you will actually use. 

Cleaning supplies


If you’re considering packing cleaning supplies for your cruise, don’t waste space on them. 

Juliana Murphy regretted packing a vacuum and a steam mop. 

First-time cruisers might have learned from other types of travel to bring their own cleaning supplies. Locations like hotels, Airbnbs, and hostels don’t always live up to your ideal of cleanliness. 

it’s hard to travel for people who value neatness!

However, crew members on your cruise ship will work tirelessly to ensure you have a clean and healthy environment. 

You will see staff cleaning the amenities such as stairs and bathrooms everyday. 

And even in your cabin, you will never need cleaning supplies. A stateroom attendant will clean the room daily, even changing towels and linens at your request. 

As far as traveling goes, cruise ships are some of the neatest locations I’ve experienced. And helpful crew members are always ready to provide anything you need. 

What to bring on a Caribbean cruise? 23 essentials to pack

11 Oct 2023

What are things to bring on a Caribbean cruise that you might not bring on other cruises?


The Caribbean is a region that includes a multitude of beautiful islands and coastal areas, all near the Caribbean Sea and large systems of coral reefs.

The Caribbean is also known for balmy weather and comfortable temperatures, making the region a preferred cruising destination.

So, if you’re planning to join a host of cruisers who choose the Caribbean as their destination, how should you prepare? 

No matter what area of the world you’re traveling to, it’s important to pack appropriately. We offer a full cruise packing list on our blog, but it’s important to be specific about the area of the world you are visiting. 

Read more: I've been on 12 Caribbean cruises, and I see passengers making the same 14 mistakes. Here's how to avoid them.

Since every place is different, you’ll want to prepare specifically for your journey.

Valley Church Beach in Antigua

What items are important to bring to the Caribbean? We’ll go over a selection of 23 important things to pack on your Caribbean cruise.

Read moreWhat to bring on a cruise to Alaska

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

1. Sunscreen


Places close to the equator, like the islands of the Caribbean, are subject to stronger UV rays. 

And you’ll spend plenty of time in the sun on your visit: on the ship’s deck, at the beach or a pool, or exploring an island excursion.

The heavy exposure to the sun can leave you at right for a bad sunburn. Getting a severe sunburn could ruin even the best visit to the Caribbean, forcing you to stay indoors while you heal and miss out on the fun.

Be sure to plan ahead by protecting yourself with a strong, high-SPF sunscreen, such as Banana Boat Sport Ultra SPF 30.

It’s also best to pack reef-safe sunscreen to protect local coral reefs from being bleached by the chemicals inside your sunscreen. Mineral sunscreens are a great option to protect the environment around you.

2. Aloe vera


If you forget a high enough SPF sunscreen and end up with a bad sunburn, aloe vera gel is a natural healing method for soothing the burn, healing skin faster, and getting rid of that redness for any vacation photos. 

This could be important for a visit to a Caribbean island, as you’ll likely want to make the most of your time on the island instead of heading home to grab a salve.  

Read more: 22 unpleasant cruise ship problems you aren't prepared for

Amazon makes their own house brand aloe vera that should do the trick.

3. Insect repellent


You’ll be spending lots of time outdoors, so don’t forget an insect repellent.

Bringing your own bug spray to repel insects will prevent you from having painful bug bites and keep you focused on your fun excursions ahead.

You can buy a travel-size insect repellent to ensure it's handy to keep around.

4. Beach bag

Hyc00 Travel Duffel Bag

A large bag, such as a tote bag, is a helpful addition if you're planning on seeing the beach on your Caribbean stop.

A beach bag should be big enough to hold towels, swimsuits, extra clothes, water, snacks, sunscreen, and more.  We like the Tainehs Mesh Beach Tote Large Bag.

Make sure that you bring one with enough space to pack everything you need ahead of time.

5. Your seasickness medicine of choice


Whether you use Bonine, Dramamine, seasickness patches, or even ginger candies, it’s important to remember your seasickness medicine.

This is always helpful for your time spent on the cruise ship, but don’t forget that your boat adventures could continue in the Caribbean!

If you have a tender to take you ashore or any boat ride as part of your planned excursions, seasickness medicine will keep you feeling healthy.

6. Sunglasses or sunhat


Don’t only protect your skin from the sun—keep your eyes safe, too!

Wearing sunglasses will protect your eyes from UV rays and allow you to enjoy the beautiful sights on your trip.

If you wear glasses or would like to keep items off your eyes, try a sunhat instead for some extra shade.

7. Your own snorkel gear


If you’re planning on snorkeling at all in the Caribbean, consider bringing your own snorkeling gear.

This will save you money and time as you won’t have to purchase an extra set of gear. You’ll be able to jump right into the clear water and start searching for reefs and tropical sea animals. 

Especially if you’re planning multiple trips to the Caribbean, having your own snorkel gear is a great investment. 

9. Passport or ID 


While some Caribbean islands are U.S. territories (like the U.S. Virgin Islands), most of them are separate countries. 

Like with any international travel, this means that you will need to be prepared to deal with immigration on your visit. 

To be properly prepared, bring a passport or at least a valid ID and make sure that you are allowed on and off the island.

10. Breathable clothing

It's most likely that the weather will be hot and humid on your trip to the Caribbean. You should be prepared to sweat!

The best dress for this type of weather is flowy, breathable clothing (not necessarily short and tight).

Read more: Best travel clothes for women on shore excursions

Look for casual and lightweight pieces such as palazzo pants, open shirts, skirts, and other light clothing. 

Fabrics such as cotton, silk, and linen are best.

11. A swimsuit cover-up 


Of course, you'll want to go swimming and spend a lot of time by the beach on your trip. 

But don't forget about all the other fun excursions you can experience: shopping, tours, restaurants, parties, museums, and more.

To prepare for all the onshore experiences you'll have, be sure to at least bring a swimsuit cover-up or even a change of clothes.

Packing a simple cover-up like a T-shirt, jacket, or dress will ensure that you are appropriately dressed for any occasion you decide to join in.

12. Sandals or flip flops


If you’re not planning on doing much walking or sporty activities, I recommend some warmer, open-toed shoes like sandals or flip-flops. 

Shoes that are easy to slip on and off are best for beach days. And open-toed shoes will help your feet stay cooler in the hot weather. 

These Weweya sandals are very comfortable while still being stylish and should work well at the beach or in the sand.

Ultimately, pack a well-made, waterproof pair of open-toed shoes to help you stay dry, keep cool, and shake off sand.

13. Water bottle


We mention this item a lot in packing lists, but it's worth mentioning again for excursions out onto ports.

While you can, of course, purchase water from wherever you’re visiting, prices can be high in touristy areas. And it’s often inconvenient to stop your vacation to try to find a store.

Instead, keep yourself moving and saving money by bringing a packed water bottle ahead of time. You can fill it up at the Windjammer and other complimentary locations onboard, then bring it off the ship with no issues.

And since the weather will most likely be warm and sunny, it will be important to stay hydrated.

If you’d like to pack ice along in your water bottle, a Yeti or Hydroflask will keep your water cool all day long.

14. Walking shoes 


Some of my favorite shore excursions have been tours of different islands. 

On these tours, you can walk around and listen to the guy and explain some of the history and background while also seeing the sights and historical buildings around you. 

It's a great way to get some fresh air and some much-needed exercise in the middle of a sedentary cruise.

However, you'll want to be sure that you have the right kind of shoes for this excursion. Picking out a good set of exercise or walking shoes will help you have a great experience and keep your energy up during your tour.

15. Waterproof bags

Ziploc bags

From disembarking the cruise ship to relaxing at the beach, you'll still be interacting with the water for most of your trip. 

It's important that you keep your essentials safe by using a waterproof bag or at least a waterproof phone case.

Read more: 5 things I purchased for a cruise that I regretted buying

16. Rashguard

rash guard

A long-sleeved athletic shirt, like a rashguard, can serve as a multipurpose tool for many needs. It can protect you from rashes, sunburns, chafing, and even jellyfish stings!

This is also a great option for water sports like surfing or jet skiing, which you’ll want to take advantage of on a visit to the Caribbean.

17. Sweater

This option isn't quite so intuitive, but pretty soon, you'll understand why it’s on the list. 

Tropical cruises can be quite warm during the day, but you'll find that the air conditioner pumps quite high on the cruise ship at night. 

It can get surprisingly chilly indoors on your cruise ship, so be sure to bring a sweater or a cardigan so that you aren't too cold while indoors. 

I find that the cabin and nighttime dining locations can be the coldest places on your cruise.

18. Long sleeve shirt and pants

Pile of belongings

Another lesser-known way of beating hot weather is by wearing long sleeves and long pants. 

Light-weight, long clothing can be most effective for protecting you from the sun and fending off bugs like mosquitoes.

If you’re doing any hiking or climbing, especially into the rainforest, consider wearing long sleeves and pants to protect yourself.

Your skin will thank you later!

19. Poncho 


Many tropical places experience a rainy season or a hurricane season that features heavy storms with lots of wind and rain.

In the Caribbean, this season could fall anywhere between May and October, with frequent, short thunderstorms on summer afternoons.

Considering that these storms arrive almost 6 months out of the year, it’s best to plan ahead by bringing a poncho or other rain gear. 

You never want to be stuck inside your cruise ship because you didn’t prepare for the weather!

20. Umbrella 

Personally, I don’t like wearing a poncho. 

They get hot and heavy when you’re experiencing a humid tropical rainstorm.

If you’re like me and prefer something lightweight that you can hold, an umbrella is a great option to help prepare for the rain. 

Read more: We asked our readers what one thing they wish they packed for their cruise

21. Water shoes


To help you prepare for all your possible water activities—from kayaking to boat tours—consider bringing a pair of water shoes.

This mesh footwear will protect your feet while allowing any water to flow through them instead of just pooling inside your shoe.

For more intense water activities, they’re a great way to make sure your feet are protected without getting soaked or slippery.

22. Power bank


Without a doubt, having a phone on you is important for any kind of travel.

You’ll be able to use it to find directions, get information on shore excursions, take photos of your beautiful surroundings, and even read books by the beach.

And having your phone go dead in the middle of a trip onto a foreign island could be the death toll to a lovely port day, depending on how much you were relying on it.

To prevent being cut off from your source of information, pack a phone charger or, even better—a power bank. I like this Anker portable charger as a good option.

Bringing a power bank will allow you to charge your phone anywhere without having to spend the time to find a compatible port. 

Many power banks fit right into your bag. I like to charge my phone in my bag as I’m leaving the ship and then unplug it when the charge is high and I’m ready to use it on the island. 

23. Portable fan


To help beat the heat, consider bringing a portable fan. Handheld fans that are small enough to fit in a bag still provide enough power to fan your face when it gets scorching.

Remember that you'll spend time on deck on the cruise ship on hot beaches, where you want relief from the heat. 

A handheld portable fan can be a helpful addition that provides instant relief and cool air.

The best Amazon Prime Big Deal Days deals for all your cruising essentials

10 Oct 2023

Amazon’s October Prime Deal Day is finally here - just in time for your upcoming cruise travels this fall and winter! You can snag some awesome deals for all of your travel and cruising essentials. 

Amazon prime Big Day Deals 2023

Throughout the year, Amazon will host massive sales with steep discounts on thousands of items. You might imagine Black Friday as the best online shopping day of the year, but Amazon’s big October sale, called Amazon’s Big Deal Days, is one you shouldn’t miss. Thousands of travel and cruising essentials will receive substantial price slashes - up to 75% off. 

If you’re in the market for new luggage or headphones for your cruise, there are some great options to consider during the October Amazon Prime Day sale. With so many options on sale, you might be feeling a little overwhelmed trying to find the best deals. In fact, I was also a little overwhelmed scouring deals for this article list! 

Amazon’s Big Deal Days begins today, October 10, and will continue for 48 hours through October 11. This is a very quick sale, as most of Amazon's sales are, so you’ll want to make sure you purchase any items you're eyeing before they sell out. 

For this big sale, Amazon Prime members receive the best discounts. However, you can also consider activating a 30-day free trial for Amazon Prime to take advantage of the good deals.

Here we have compiled some of the best deals on Amazon for our favorite must-have cruising products. These are items that we recommend for your upcoming cruise vacation - many of which are popular in the travel and cruise industry. Some are even beloved by our Royal Caribbean Blog followers!

As a note, we receive a small commission when you purchase any items during Prime Day from the links below. This costs you absolutely nothing extra, but the small commission helps support our site.  As an Amazon Influencer, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Packing Cubes

I am a huge fan of packing cubes. While I heard other rave about them for years, I just hopped on the bandwagon last year. Now, I won’t travel without them! You can easily stay organized while also squeezing more into your luggage. It’s also extremely easy to unpack when you get on your cruise, as you can just remove the cubes from your suitcase and place them in the cabin’s drawers and shelves.

These have been the best selling packing cubes for our Royal Caribbean Blog followers - and for good reason. Here are the best deals we found for packing cubes on today’s Amazon Big Deal Days. 

If you’ve been holding out on purchasing packing cubes, consider snagging this 8-piece set of cubes from Veken. For 43% off, you can have an entire set of packing cubes for your next cruise. This is a highly-rated set of packing cubes. You can also find multiple colors. There is currently an additional 20% off coupon you can apply, which will bring down the price even more. 

  • Link: Veken 8 Set Packing Cubes for Suitcases, Travel Essentials Bag Organizers for Carry on, Luggage Organizer Bags Set for Travel Accessories in 4 Sizes (Extra Large, Large, Medium, Small), Black
  • Price: $16.99 (Originally $30)
  • 20% additional coupon also applicable

If you prefer the 6-piece set of packing cubes, Veken is also having another sale during Amazon’s October Big Deal Days. Some of the colors are not on sale, so be sure to look at the price before purchasing. 

  • Link: 6 Set Packing Cubes for Suitcases, Travel Organizer Bags for Carry on Luggage, Veken Suitcase Organizer Bags Set for Travel Essentials Travel Accessories in 4 Sizes(Extra Large, Large, Medium, Small)
  • Price: $16.99 (Originally $27.99)
  • 15% additional coupon also applicable

Another fantastic deal for packing cubes comes from OlarHike. highly-rated set of packing cubes comes from with 8 pieces. There is currently a 50% off coupon for the black set, with other colors available offering varying discounts. 

  • Link: OlarHike 8 Set Packing Cubes for Travel, Luggage Organizer Bags for Travel Accessories Travel Essentials, Travel Cubes for Carry on Suitcases
  • Price: $12 (Originally $24.99)

Those needing extra space might want to consider these compression packing cubes. These I can personally attest to. I have a purple set and I absolutely love them - they’re currently packed in my suitcase for my next cruise laster this week. I am always shocked by the amount of space saved. 

  • Link: Gonex Compression Packing Cubes, 3pcs/4pcs Expandable Storage Travel Luggage Bags Organizers. Organizers
  • Price: $23.99 (Originally $32.99)

There is another sale for a 4-piece compression packing cubes I found on sale for  45% off. This set includes 7 pieces and includes a toiletry bag for carry-on luggage too, so it’s a great deal for everything included. 

  • Link: PFEYRPK Lightweight Compression Packing Cubes for Suitcases, Compressible Expandable Travel Packing Organizer with Clear Toiletries and Backpack Bag, Travel Essentials for Carry on Luggage 7 Set
  • Price: $19.99 (Originally $39.99)


We’ve compiled the following best deals for Amazon Prime Day electronics for all of your cruising needs. Everything from organizers, chargers and converters are on sale. 

One of the top deals for electronics is a set of Apple AirPods. Apple rarely has sales on their products so snagging this deal is a fantastic find! I also have a set of these Apple AirPods and they are the best headphones I’ve ever owned. Wireless headphones are an essential for cruisers and travelers these days.

The sale applies to Apple AirPod Pros with noise canceling for just $199, which is 20% off the original price.

  • Link: Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Generation) Wireless Earbuds, Up to 2X More Active Noise Cancelling, Adaptive Transparency, Personalized Spatial Audio, MagSafe Charging Case, Bluetooth Headphones for iPhone
  • Price: $199 (Originally $249.99)

There is also a sale for 2nd Generation AirPods. These are being sold for just $89 during October’s Amazon Prime Day. This is 31% off the original price - another great deal for Apple!

  • Link: Apple AirPods (2nd Generation) Wireless Earbuds with Lightning Charging Case Included. Over 24 Hours of Battery Life, Effortless Setup. Bluetooth Headphones for iPhone-
  • Price: $89 (Originally $129.99)

One of my cruise essentials is to bring a portable charger, which helps to keep electronics charged on the go. I’ve also found a portable charger can be useful overnight with the lack of outlets available on older ships. Most of the older cruise ships only have one or two outlets for everyone in the room to use, so this comes in handy. 

  • Link: Portable Charger Power Bank 25800mAh, Ultra-High Capacity Fast Phone Charging with Newest Intelligent Controlling IC, 2 USB Port External Cell Phone Battery Pack Compatible with iPhone,Android et
  • Compatible with iPhone,Samsung,Android.
  • Price: $19.99 (Originally $49.95)

Unless you’re sailing on a new cruise ship, again, you might not have enough outlets available to charge all of your devices. This is our go-to USB expander that plugs into European outlets on cruise ships. It provides 3 additional outlets and 2 USB port. Honestly, I take this on every single cruise and it works great - even better, it’s on sale for 28% for Amazon Big Deal Days!

  • Link: Cruise Power Strip No Surge Protector with USB Outlets - Ship Approved (Non Surge Protection) Cruise Essentials
  • Price: $17.99 (Originally $24.99)

Another cruise essential is an extra long iPhone cord. This one is on sale and measures 6 feet long! An extra long cord is perfect for your small cruise cabin, especially if there is only one available outlet on the vanity. This allows you to charge your device while using it in your bed or on the couch. 

  • Link: 3 Pack Apple MFi Certified Charger Cable 6ft, Lightning to USB Cable Cord 6 Foot, 2.4A Fast Charging,Apple Phone Long Chargers for iPhone 13/12/11/11Pro/11Max/ X/XS/XR/XS Max/8/7/6
  • Price: $11.49 (Originally $18.99)

One of the best selling products for our followers during the last Amazon sale was this cheap electronics organizer. I am a huge fan of my electronics case as a place to keep all of my cords and chargers organized. This has helped so much with staying organized in my luggage and onboard in my cruise cabin. This one is on sale for just $7.54, which is 46% off the original price. 

  • Link: Electronic Accessories Case, Universal Cable Cord Holder Organizer/Electronic Case, Waterproof Portable Cable Organizer Bag, USB Flash Drives Bag, Cable case Bag, USB Case Organizer,USB Charger Bag
  • Price: $7.59 (Originally $13.99)

Cruising Essentials

Here’s a list of all your favorite cruise essentials that are on sale for Amazon Prime Day this year. From magnetic hooks to beach bags and collapsable laundry baskets, you can find some of our favorite cruise essentials below. 

One of the best selling products for our followers of all time is this set of cruise luggage tags. These allow you to print your luggage tags for your Royal Caribbean or Celebrity Cruise and place the tag inside a plastic holder. This prevents the tag from getting damaged or torn off, making it easier for your bag to make it to your stateroom. During this sale, the tags are 63% off!

  • Link: Cruise Luggage Tags for Royal Caribbean & Celebrity Cruise Essentials in 2023-2024
  • Price: $5.99 (Originally $15.99)

Another cruising essential is a set of Magnetic Hooks. In fact, these are considered a cruising essential for many people because the hooks are easy to use in your cruise ship cabin thanks to the magnetic walls. Now, you can easily hang jackets, hats, bags, etc. on your cabin walls. Even better, these are on sale for Amazon Prime Day at 31% off! 

  • Link: DIYMAG Magnetic Hooks, 25lbs+ heavy duty magnetic hooks cruise for hanging,
  • Price: $10.99 (Originally $15.99)


Finally, having a hanging travel cosmetic bag with a hanging hook is a huge space-saver in those tiny cruise ship cabins. These bags hang perfectly on the back of your cabin’s bathroom door, allowing you to save counter space. Bagsmart has one for 22% off. 

  • Link: BAGSMART Toiletry Bag Travel Bag with Hanging Hook, Water-resistant Makeup Cosmetic Bag Travel Organizer for Accessories, Shampoo, Full Sized Container, Toiletries
    • Price: $22.99 (Originally $29.47)

I find that the perfect shoes for cruising are Rubber sandals - like these on sale!. These sandals are very comfortable while still being stylish. They are also quick to dry when you’ve spent your day at the pool deck or the beach. In the evening, you can wear these  onboard while you attend all of the events and entertainment.  

  • Link: Weweya Sandals for Women and Men - Pillow Slippers - Double Buckle Adjustable Slides - EVA Flat Sandal.
  • Price: $21.98 (Originally $39.99)

Luggage Deals 

Regardless of whether you are planning to fly to your next cruise or you live close enough to make the drive, you still need luggage regardless. This year, I’ve decided to invest in higher quality luggage (upgrading from the TJMaxx luggage section). Amazon’s Big Deal Days has quite a few different luggage options for sale, so be sure to check them out below. Here are some of the best deals we found.

One of the top luggage deals is this Samsonite Carry-On. This one is an expandable carry-on measuring 21 inches. The hard side spinner available for 17% off. We’ve taken many cruises with just a carry-on, so having a solid suitcase for cruising is a must! 

  • Link: Samsonite Freeform Hardside Expandable with Double Spinner Wheels, Carry-On 21-Inch, Black
  • Link:
  • Price: $149 (Originally $179.99)

If you need more than just a carry-on, it’s also a fantastic time to buy luggage sets so you can have matching pieces. This is a 3-piece luggage set from Coolife that has received rave ratings for 50% off. There are many colors available, although a brighter color will be easier for you to spot in the cruise terminal. Even better, these suitcases have TSA built-in locks. This means you can ensure your items are safely stored at the airport and cruise terminal. 

One of the best deal on luggage that we found is this 2-piece hardshell luggage set from Rockland. For 62% off, you can purchase this matching set with a 28-inch carry-on sized suitcase and the matching carry-on. The set comes with thousands of positive reviews, too.

  • Link: Rockland Melbourne Hardside Expandable Spinner Wheel Luggage, Blue, 2-Piece Set (20/28)
  • Price: $102 (Originally $340)

Another great deal from Coolife is this stylish 3-piece luggage set — which has some of the best luggage deals during Amazon’s sale. This set includes a carry-on spinner, along with a matching weekender duffel bag with a sleeve to attach to the trolley. The set also includes a matching cosmetic bag. 

  • Link: Coolife Suitcase Set 3 Piece Carry On Hardside Luggage with TSA Lock Spinner Wheels (White, S(20in))
  • Price: $90 (Originally $299)

Cruise Accessories and Bags

You’ll definitely want to pack a variety of bags for your cruise vacation, including a beach bag, clutch for dinner and a bag to use for in-port exploration. Here are some of the best deals for Amazon Prime Day that would be perfect for your cruise!

For your cruise, you should consider packing a lanyard with an ID holder. Having this kind of ID holder will allow you to carry your cruise card around without needing to worry about it falling out. This one has a zipped pouch, so you can also put some cash, credit cards, hand sanitizer, ID and more. For Amazon Big Deal Days, you can get this one for 50% off.

  • Link: Vera Bradley Women's Cotton Zip Id Case and Lanyard Combo.
  • Price: $21 (Originally $42)

You’ll want to have a nice beach bag to use for your cruise if you’re heading somewhere beach, like the Caribbean. This is perfect for your excursions, beach days and pool lounging on the ship. For 42% off, this beach bag is a great purchase and comes highly rated!

  • Link: Tainehs Mesh Beach Tote Large Bag 2023 Upgrade for Women with Multiple Pockets for Family Travel Swimming Waterproof Pool Bag
  • Price: $11.49 (Originally $16)

You probably already know that fanny packs have been making a strong comeback! These pouches are perfect for cruising because they allow you to conveniently carry all of your belongings. This one is highly rated and comes in tons of colors - perfect for men and women

  • Link: MAXTOP Large Crossbody Fanny Pack with 4-Zipper Pockets,Gifts for Enjoy Sports Festival Workout Traveling Running Casual Hands-Free Wallets Waist Pack Phone Bag Carrying All Phones.
  • Price: $11.99 (Originally $20)

Finally, for my cruising ladies, I always pack an evening clutch for nights onboard. I hate having to lug around a backpack or large purse. This one is super cute, partial and perfect for your upcoming Caribbean cruises.

  • Link: Aovtero Straw Clutch Purse Women Crossbody Bag Summer Beach Shoulder Bags Envelope Wallet Handbags.
  • Price: $12.99 (Originally $23)



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