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Must-Have Cruise Items to Add to Your Packing List

Whether you have cruised before, or this is your first time, check out our must-haves list for some new ideas! 

Disney Wish and Royal Caribbean Liberty of the Seas in Nassau, Bahamas

Everyone's cruise needs are different, but this is a general, all-itinerary list of hacks to make your cruise more comfortable. I will follow up with a must-haves list for kids too, so check the blog again before you sail! 

I surveyed the other Kingdom Konsultant Agents who are avid cruisers like myself, and these are our must-haves. 

1. Collapsible laundry hamper and a trash bag - Keep your dirty clothes separate from your clean clothes, and off the floor. I love the pop up kind because they are cheap, and easy to pack flat in your suitcase. I empty all my dirty or wet clothes into a trash bag before repacking my suitcase to debark the cruise. Then, when I arrive at home, I take that right to the laundry room. It also keeps the rest of my stuff smelling good. You can have your laundry done on the ship if you'd like, for a fee. 

2. Luggage tag holder - You'll look like a cruise pro with a luggage tag sleeve. I used to laminate my tags with packing tape and attach them to the bag handle. This looks much neater and they are reusable too. You won't have to worry if your tape is going to hold up. I always take a photo of my bag and what's inside as well in case I need to file an insurance claim for damage or loss.

Luggage tag holder

3. Waterproof phone case with neck strap  - Whether you're sitting at the pool, in the jacuzzi or going on a snorkeling excursion, you want to protect your phone from getting wet! There are so many to choose from out there. Test it before you leave by putting some paper in the case and holding it under water. I love to take videos while swimming and snorkeling with my phone in the case. I've gotten some neat pics and videos of fish, sharks, and rays. 

Waterproof phone lanyard

4. Card lanyard - You'll need your room key card on you at all times. Unless you're cruising on a ship that has wristbands (Disney Wish Magicbands, Princess Medallions, etc.) it's easiest to wear your card on a lanyard, or clip. Some people like the retractable clips, but my family uses the neck lanyards. I ordered a pack of 6 on Amazon, but you can get them on board with the cruise line logo or favorite characters. Some cruise lines like Carnival automatically punch a hole in the card for you, but others like Royal Caribbean do not. If you don't want to take it to Guest Services to get it hole punched, bring a lanyard with a clear sleeve. 

5. Comfy bag for port - When you get off the ship at a port stop, having a comfortable bag for towels and whatever else you want to bring is important. I have a big tote bag that I can fit a couple towels in, a water bottle, snorkel and mask, sunscreen, portable phone charger, and swimsuit cover up. a backpack works well, or even a waist bag if you're just going shopping. You may have to carry the bag a far distance from ship to island, so comfort is key. 

Card lanyard, shades, and a tote bag - all ready for a day in port!

6. Powers Strip or multi-device charger cord -  The staterooms have minimal outlets! Some rooms only have one (newer ships are adding USB ports!) If you have multiple devices to charge you will need a power strip, or multi-outlet plug. On my most recent cruise I brought one charger that split into 3 different ends. It had 1 Apple and 2 C chargers. The other outlet was open for something else like a curling iron or external charger. Do not bring a surge protector, they aren't allowed on ships. 

7. Battery powered LED nightlight or flameless tea lights - staterooms are pretty dark at night being at sea with no light pollution, especially if you're in an interior stateroom. A nightlight is essential, unless you want to use your phone flashlight. I like a dimmable LED nightlight. A flameless LED candle puts off a soft glow for the bathroom at night as well. 

8. Hanging travel organizer - A toiletries organizer keeps your bathroom counter clear, and saves you time digging through suitcases to find a Band Aid. Use the towel hooks on the back of the bathroom door, or hangers in the closet to put them up. I like to put Q-Tips, Band-Aids, eye drops,  hair ties, tweezers, razors, and travel sized toiletries in mine. When you arrive, just hang it, unzip, and your bathroom's ready. 

9. Insulated refillable mug/water bottle - These are great for taking a cold drink to your pool lounger or having a cold drink with you to walking around the island. You can buy these on board as well. I like to bring a travel sized bottle of dish soap and a sponge (or one of those dish scrubbers you can fill with soap) to wash the mugs in the room.

10. Goes without saying but...Sun protection! (hat, shades, sunscreen, aloe, rash guards)  Caribbean sun is STRONG. You may not realize how strong the sun is even in January near the equator. Let me tell you from experience, it's deceiving! My family wears the UV protected rash guards while snorkeling or swimming in the ocean, and uses hats and sunscreen even walking around on board. Aloe is sold onboard, but it's expensive. Don't let your trip be ruined by sun poisoning or painful burns. A wide brimmed hat looks cute on the beach and offers useful protection.

Rash guards at the beach - you don't have to worry if you missed a spot with your sunblock

11. Portable charger -  I keep one with me when I leave the boat, because I take a lot of videos to share on social media! If you're good at conserving your battery all day, this may not be for you, but it's always come in handy for me while traveling. There are many types available to choose from. 

12. Poo-Pourri  -  Hey, it's a confined space. You'll thank us later!

13. Conditioner  - Some cruise lines do not provide hair conditioner. They DO typically provide shampoo and body wash, or a 2-in-1. If you have favorite hair care products, definitely bring them. Ask your agent if your cruise provides toiletries if you aren't sure.

14. Door Décor - Hanging décor on your stateroom door is a fun way to celebrate your cruise occasion. If it's someone's birthday, anniversary, graduation or first cruise, you can let everyone know with some magnetic signs. You can hang a sign or decorations with magnets only. Most cruise lines discourage using tape. Even if you're not celebrating, it's a good way to mark your room so you can easily find it after your Mixology class!

15. Apple Air Tags or Tile Mate - Track your luggage, your children or your husband!  If your tracker is within 50 – 400 feet of your phone, it will be able to identify if it is near you. Devices need to connect to the internet to register where the Bluetooth tracker is. So unless someone has an iPhone or phone with the Tile app installed AND is actively connected to the internet, it won’t register its location. We highly recommend getting the internet plan on your cruise too! Family and friends at home can easily reach you in case of an emergency, you can watch the weather, or your favorite streaming shows on your cruise!

What else should we add to the list?? Drop us a comment here or on our Facebook page and let us know!

Remember, this list doesn't cover the obvious necessities like travel documents, medication, clothes, or toiletries. Your Kingdom Konsultant Agent will supply you with a complete list of what you need for your cruise.

 If you are thinking of cruising in the future, send us an email at A cruise expert will contact you with more information and price quotes. We are looking forward to working with you!

Bon Voyage!

Summer Squires
Summer loves to cruise with her 4 kids and has sailed on Disney, Royal Caribbean, and Carnival Cruise Line. She can help you experience a memorable cruise! Email her at


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