What to take on a cruise

Everything you need to pack for a cruise.

Pack like a pro

You've chosen your cruise destination and now you'll need to know what to pack for your upcoming holiday. In our guide you'll find:


  • Tickets
  • Money (cash and cards)
  • Passport
  • A copy of your travel insurance policy
  • A list of emergency contacts at home and in the destinations you'll be stopping at

Medication and supplies

  • Any prescription medication in its original packaging, with a copy of your prescription or a letter from your doctor
  • Vitamins in their original packaging
  • Sunscreen
  • Aloe vera in case you get sunburnt
  • Lip balm with SPF
  • Insect repellent


  • Camera
  • Smartphone
  • Tablet
  • Laptop
  • Ebook reader
  • Binoculars
  • Power adapters and chargers (a transformer if necessary)
  • Hair dryer, straightener or curling iron (if you're not going to be satisfied with the low-powered ones you'll have in your room)
  • Electric shaver


  • Books
  • Magazines
  • Puzzles or crosswords


  • Swimsuits
  • Shorts
  • Skirts and dresses
  • Jeans
  • T-shirts and polo shirts
  • Light pants
  • Formalwear if your cruise includes formal nights (check ahead for the dress code – some cruises require evening gowns and cocktail dresses for women, and tuxedos, dinner jackets or dark suits with ties for men)
  • Wrinkle-free clothing (most ships do not allow irons in rooms due to safety concerns)
  • Hats
  • Sunglasses
  • Scarves
  • Exercise gear
  • Casual clothes
  • Jumpers or jackets, especially if you'll be cruising in cold weather locations
  • Flip-flops or sandals 
  • Comfortable walking shoes or sneakers
  • Dressy shoes

We compare 35 comprehensive travel insurance policies from 30 insurers to help you find the best policy for your needs in our travel insurance reviews.


  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Toothpaste and toothbrush
  • Hairbrush or comb
  • Body wash or soap
  • Sponge
  • Face wash, toner, moisturiser
  • Hand cream
  • Shaver and shaving cream


  • Water bottle
  • Tote bag
  • Snorkel and flippers (if your cruise does not provide them)
  • Goggles

Carry-on bag

When you embark on a cruise, your luggage is likely to be carried to your room at some point on your first day. To ensure you make the most of the day before you get your luggage, pack a small carry-on bag with the things you're likely to need straight away.

  • Passport
  • Swimming costume
  • Sunscreen
  • Hat
  • Change of clothing
  • Medication you may need

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