Chances are that if you are about to take a cruise then you’re likely worried about what to pack for the trip. For that, Cruzely has you covered with a list of 39 things to pack for your cruise.
But just as importantly, there are several items that you simply don’t need to pack.
The good news is that cruise lines are lenient on how much luggage you bring aboard the ship. There are no hard rules and limits like you find when you fly. However, that doesn’t mean there are no issues with packing items you don’t need.
Remember that the more you pack the more you’ll have to carry around with you as you make your way from home to the ship. Having an extra suitcase to bring — or simply a bag that’s much heavier than it needs to be — can be a major hassle when you’re trying to get to the ship. As a general rule, the less you can pack to bring on the trip, the better.
To help you figure out what you need to bring and what you can leave at home, we’ve rounded up nine items that you don’t need to pack for your next cruise. Leave them at home and have more room for souvenirs!
Headed to the beach or the pool? You have to bring a towel, right? Wrong. In fact, the opposite is true. In the cabin you will be supplied with towels just like staying at any hotel. But don’t bring those towels poolside or with you into port.
The cruise ships offer towels near the pools that you can check out. These are much larger beach towels (compared to the towels in the cabin ) that are perfect for laying out or drying off. Simply check out as many as you need and then return them when you are done. There’s no charge unless you don’t return the used towels. You can also bring them ashore.
Not having to pack towels in your suitcase save a ton of space and weight… plus you don’t have to worry about getting a towel from home dirty and sandy at the beach.
We realize that some people have special hair dryers that they can’t live without. If you have to bring it, then pack it. For everyone else, however, a hair dryer is not needed. Every cruise cabin has them included, usually wired into one of the drawers in the main area of the room.
Keep in mind that these are the typical small hair dryers you find in hotel rooms when you travel. Don’t expect anything too fancy. However, they are more than capable of doing the job, which means you don’t have to pack a hair dryer from home.
A Different Outfit for Every Day
Truth is, no one really notices what you wear on a cruise. If you wear an outfit on Day 2 and wear it again on Day 4, with thousands of passengers on the ship no one is going to notice what you’re wearing. In fact, they are more than likely doing the same thing and getting multiple wears out of the same outfits. That’s why it’s silly to have a different set of clothes for every day of the cruise.
Instead, you can easily get by with a few changes of clothes (usually half as many as the number of days in the cruise). So if you are on a week-long trip, then 3-4 shirts and shorts are plenty for the vacation.
If you do get something dirty there is also laundry services available on the ship.
Soap & Shampoo
The good news is that if you have a brand of soap or shampoo at home that you just have to use, you can carry full bottles on your cruise ship. There isn’t a “3 ounce” rule like you see on airplanes.
That said, just like any hotel, the cruise cabins have shampoo and soap provided in the bathrooms. There’s no need to waste space in your bags carrying on these items.
There’s no doubt that food is plentiful on the ship. If you are thinking you’ll get hungry for a snack in between meals, don’t worry about it. There is somewhere to grab a snack 24 hours a day. As well, there is always room service if you wish to order in.
That said, if there’s something specific that you like to munch on then you will want to pack it. If you have a favorite snack, chances are slim that it’s served on the ship. But if you just like to grab a bite to eat in general — and aren’t picky about what it is — then don’t worry about bringing snacks on the ship.
Note that if you do pack snacks, there are rules regarding what you can bring on the ship. You’ll always want to bring unopened, processed food items. Fresh or homemade snacks aren’t allowed for health reasons.
We doubt too many people are interested in bringing their iron on a cruise. Still, sometimes you simply need a way to get the wrinkles out of clothes — especially when they’ve been stuff in a suitcase while you travel to the ship.
If you worry about wrinkles, leave the iron at home. Instead, just pack a small bottle of wrinkle-release spray. This should take care of any wrinkles you might have while saving you a ton of space in your luggage.
Your Entire Medicine Cabinet
First things first, we highly suggest being prepared on your cruise in case you feel any illness. That means packing a variety of medicines to cover a number of ailments from colds to stomach bugs. With the ship in the middle of the ocean, you don’t want to have to go without because you left the medicine at home.
With that in mind, you don’t need to pack tons and tons of packages and bottles. Simply grab a few of each item that will be enough to get you through a day or two. Medicines are expensive on the ship, but every port has a pharmacy where you can pick up refills of any over-the-counter medicine you might need.
More Than One Formal Outfit
Even if there is more than one formal night (traditionally there are two on a seven-day cruise) don’t worry about bringing more than one formal outfit. As mentioned above, with thousands of people on the ship, no one is going to remember what you wore one day to the next. Wearing the same formal clothes twice in a trip is no big deal. You can also wear the same thing and change it up by using different accessories like a different tie or some jewelry.
Accessories That Only Fit One Outfit
When it comes to packing for a cruise, the key is to find items that go well with multiple outfits. That pair of shoes that only goes with one dress that you might wear? Leave them at home. What about those shorts that only go with one shirt? Don’t pack them. To save space, you want to pack accessories that go with several different things you will wear. So a belt that goes with multiple pairs of pants is smart, but don’t bring the one that only goes with one specific pair.
For more ideas on what to pack for a cruise, see 39 Useful Things to Pack For Your Cruise (Including 17 You’d Never Think Of).