Cruise Packing Tips : 21 Unusual (But Essential) Items To Pack


Hi, I’m Gary Bembridge of Tips For Travellers. I’m going to take a look at 21 really unusual, unexpected and slightly
strange things that you absolutely should pack for your next cruise
vacation. First of all highlighter pens. Highlighter
pens are fantastic for highlighting the various things within the daily program
that you may want to do. It simplifies huge amounts of information down to the
things that are really important to you. The second thing is a multi USB charger
strip and a multi power strip. The reason for that is, many cruise cabins have very
few plug sockets. So you find nowadays when we have phones and tablets and
cameras, all sorts of things that we want to charge, it becomes incredibly
difficult to charge them. So taking one of those strips where you can plug in
multi USB things you can charge all your tablets and phones (and everyone in
the cabin’s tablets and phones) if you have a strip where you
can charge everything that you need to charge. Next is a beach towel clip or a
bulldog clip. These are really helpful because you can clip them onto your
towels so they don’t blow away when you’re sunbathing on deck or at the beach. And
also you may find if your curtains don’t quite fit properly in your cabin you can
also clip your curtains together, and lock out light. Next little sample sizes
of laundry detergent. Although there are laundries, you normally have to buy the
actual detergent that goes in those. So grab a couple of those little sample
size packs. It’s one less thing that you have to pay for. The fifth thing is your
own personal first-aid kit. It can cost you a lot of money if you have to go and
grab them out pharmacies in the port or you have to go to the medical center. So
pack a little kit and then put things like seasick tablets, headache tablets,
anti-diorrehea, plasters, ointment, mouth ulser gel – everything that you might
use at home. Take a look in your medicine cabinet or in your bathroom at home and look at all the things that you use – even if they’re infrequent. It’ll be really
helpful and it will save you potentially money and stress. My next tip which is
linked to that and is make sure that you also take with you a dental repair kit.
On board the ship while there are medical centers, there is no dentist on board. So
if you have a tooth crack, filling come out or a crown come off, having your own
little tooth repair kit will be an absolute boon. You can buy those at
pharmacy or at drugstores. A lot of people say you
should pack one of these over the door shoe organizers, especially if you’ve got a small cabin. The series of pockets in them, which can be up to 24 pockets, are great
for storing everything from Sun cream, sunglasses, all sorts of bits and
pieces so it keeps your cabin nicely organized as it’s where you can store and
find things very easily. Pack a couple of water bottles, particularly ones that are
not transparent so you can’t see through them. A lot of people swear by them. They go out with water and sometimes come back with something other than water
inside them! I’m not saying that’s the right thing to do as many cruise lines
don’t like you bringing alcohol back on board. But a lot of people do go out
with a water bottle come back with it full of other stuff, because those things
are not necessary screened for what’s inside the water bottle. Pack either a
small folding umbrella or one of those plastic rain ponchos because you never
know when it’s gonna get wet and when you’re going to need it. As they are pretty small, it’s easy to put in your pocket or your rucksack and take it with you out and about and it rains, or on deck and when you’re out on excursions. I always like
to pack eye shades and earplugs. You never know what the situation is going to be
in your cabin and whether there might be a little bit noise that disturbs you when
you’re sleeping or the sunlight coming in that you find troublesome. So it’s
always handy to have as insurance some eye shades and ear plugs. My eleventh
suggestion is to pack some small magnets. The reason for those is most of the
walls in many cabins are metal, so they become really handy for using as an
organization space. You can put up reminders to yourself or the daily
program, tickets for excursions. It comes a really handy way again of using all the
space in your cabin, and making sure that you can find things very easily.
Antibacterial wipes and hand sanitizer. They’re really important to keep your
hands free and clear and to help make sure that you try and avoid catching the
norovirus. Particularly when you head out on an excursion they become really handy if you have to use the restrooms or you’re touching lots of grubby services to make
sure that you keep your hands nice and clean and free of bugs. Many people also
link to that are small tissue packs which if they do need to go
to the bathroom and there is no paper there for them to use. Another great
thing to take are a pair of portable speakers which you can then connect by
bluetooth to your iPhone or tablet or your computer, and you can take a listen
to music. The television channels are not always that interesting and the great and advantage of course if you take a little speakers is you can
listen to the music that you like. The fourteenth tip is to take room
freshner. This is not something that’s provided. If you’re sharing a cabin with
one or more people, having a little room freshener (perhaps kept in the bathroom)
may spare blushes and be nicer smelling for everybody. Now one of the
most important things of all: take your own pillow. Why? I’ve always found that I
never sleep as well as I do when I have my own pillow. The great thing about
when you go on a cruise, particularly if you’re driving to the cruise, is you have
lots of space to take your own pillow. It will be a absolute boon to sleep on your
own pillow. Many people also swear by bringing duct tape. People talk
about duct tape as being a basic to fix all sorts of problems. So whether
your cabin has got problems like doors or cabinets rattling because you’ve got
rough seas or you’ve broken something and you need to tape it up. So a lot of
people just pack a roll of duct tape in their case and they say it becomes the
Mr. Fixit all for all sorts of problems you may encounter on board. My seventeen tip is to make sure that your phone or your tablet or your computer is packed
full with entertainment. So download movies or shows from things like Netflix
or Amazon Prime, or if you’re coming from places like the UK you’ve got catch-up
services like BBC iPlayer and ITV Hub to actually download shows onto your
device. Of course you can also pre- load them with various books to read. My
eighteenth tip is to bring a waterproof container that you can keep your iPhone in or your smartphone in when you head out into the beach or you’re near water. Also the advantage is you can also put things
like some spare cash or other documents that you may want with you. It protects
them obviously from water and from sand on the beach, and also it means that they are kept in one place and safe. One of the things that a lot of
people pack is a lanyard, which they can then can attach their cruise card to. The
cruise card of course is very important as it unlocks your cabin door, it’s a security pass for when you leave the ship and come back onto the ship.
It’s also what you hand over when you’re paying for things. So it’s really
important that you want to keep it safe and so a lot of people bring a
lanyard so they can attach their card to it, or they can slip their card into it.
One of the things that a lot of people like to do, despite the fact that there’s
so much choice onboard, is to take their own favorite tea or instant coffee. One
of things that I really miss, for example, is decaffeinated
coffee and I find it quite hard to find on a board a ship so often so I take my own favorite decaf coffee with me so that I can make sure that I can have coffee
that I want. If you have tea making facilities in your room and you want to
have your favorite little cup of tea or cup of coffee you have that with you.
It’s a great little suggestion. Another great thing to pack are those brightly
colored little post-it notes, you know those little sticky notes. They become really
helpful for leaving notes around the cabin for your roommates or your family
telling them where you’ve gone, what time to meet and perhaps leaving messages
for your cabin steward of things to do if you haven’t seen them like if you want
extra towels. So there you have it that’s twenty-one unusual, strange and slightly bizarre you
may think things to pack. If you have other things that you absolutely love
taking and they’re a little bit unusual or different and you strongly recommend then please leave a comment and let other people know what those things are. One of things I would really love it if you did if you like the video is to give it a “like” and a
thumbs up. But very important please subscribe to the Tips For Travellers
channel and you’ll get much more travel inspiration, advice and tips

100 thoughts on “Cruise Packing Tips : 21 Unusual (But Essential) Items To Pack

  1. i disagree with the pillow, next your going to say , pack your own sheets and comforter. i've seen people doing that at hotels. i find it so funny.

  2. No power strips! Use a usb hub or something with no surge protection. The cruise lines are now confiscating them.

  3. On Celebrity, those folding cubes fit perfectly in the cabinets above the bed. Used them before and found them quite handy.

  4. To expand on the first aid kit, I also include:

    – gastro stop (just in case you get sick or eat something that doesn't agree with you. It allows you to continue exploring rather than being stuck on the toilet)

    – if you suffer from heart burn or reflux, you can get tablet for that (there's a few different brands)
    – nasal decongestant (you don't want sleepless nights, dulled tasted buds, or be forever blowing you're nose. Also if you're flying, a blocked nose can be very painful)

    – electrolyte vitamin tablets with caffeine (great if you need a boost or are ill from sickness or self-induced from a night out on the town)

    – difflam throat lozenges/spray with numbing (it actually numbs you're throat, so if you have a sore throat, they are awesome).
    – a roll of adhesive bandages and straight nail scissors (you can bandage up ankle/knees before hikes, bandage a sprain, or to use if shoes are rubbing)

    – band aids (which I also carry a few in my bag whilst on land)

    – anti motion sickness tablets (you can get natural ones, which are weaker, but don't make you drowsy or medicated ones which work better, but can make you tired)

    – one or two tubes of paw paw ointment (one for kit, one for bag) (it can help heal minor cuts, burns, insect bites, sunburn, heat rashes, chafing, as well as dry lips)

    – panadol and nurofen (for headaches, back aches, etc)

    – a nail file (a sharp nail irritates me to no end lol) (it must be foam or ceramic, not metal, if you want to take it in your carry on bag)
    – sunscreen gets stored separately in a zip lock bag

    I think that's all…or at least all i can remember. Also don't take the tablets out of their sealed sheets. It might sound obvious, but I've heard of people taking them out to save room, but they may get confiscated as they are now unidentifiable pills (aka possible drugs). If you do have weak joints, you can take elastic fabric braces to prevent possible injury. I also highly recommend compression socks/stockings for flights.

    PS: I've travelled a fair bit, so I didn't expect to hear anything new, but you had some new ones, and they were good 😉

  5. My concern is always when you go to s beach how do you secure your camera, sunglasses, and beach bag so you are not having to constantly watch it while you are in the water. I know there are locks you can put on a bag to secure to a chair but do you or any of your followers have a good one they recommend?

  6. I'm used to doing a fair bit of hand washing of clothes, and not just small items. I've washed with shampoo or body soap under the shower! It has always helped too to carry a small washing line twisted – no pegs- and squeeze a corner of the T shirt in there

  7. Hi Gary. I take laundry pods. They are better than small liquid laundry detergent which may have a propensity to leak. One never knows. I take 12 – 15 Bounce fabric softener sheets for the dryer. People remarked it was a great idea. Noone else had them. They pack nicely in zip lock bag and hardly take up any space in luggage. Went on Azamara Quest cruise Oct 2018. They provided laundry pods in a pail and kept it full. A nice surprise as I never had to use mine there. I recommend small sewing kit of several coloured snall threads, couple different size sewing needles for garment repairs, small pair scissors , buttons, safety pins of different sizes. Yes have needed to use all these in small emergencies with clothing, etx. Scotch tape comes in handy for paper tears ie. Cruise program etc

  8. Thanks for the handy tips. I always bring sunscreen and workout clothes. Not unusual but there's lots of downtime on the ship. Oh and we bring cribbage board. On our honeymoon cruise we were playing the matre'd was asking about the game. We ended up with an invitation to dine with the captain. It was lovely!

  9. The medicine kit is not just because of cost. Items can be hard or impossible to find. Even if you do find a product it may be in another language and you can't read the instructions and warnings. Better to stick with products that you are familiar with and yes it is probably cheaper to buy it at home.

  10. Thank you so much Gary, we'er leaving tomorrow for a 14 day river cruise. I thought I was prepared then I heard you mentioned ear plugs, clips for towels,and most importantly "water bottles" ;-p for veverages other than water that's sheer genius.

  11. If you bring your own pillow make sure to use a distinctive pillow case so it won't be confused with a cruise ship pillow.

  12. Royal Carribean have no Laundries on board.. .so make sure you have bag for dirty laundry..Super glue,Eye glass repair kit,Also some countries have currency which you may be stuck with,it pays to have small US dollars and have change given back as US Dollars.. Have photo copy,in color of Passports,,Makes it easier to get new one overseas,if lost.Have conversion list for different currencies,If in singapore,take passport as you pay GST on stuff,At Airport ,there is a GST Refund desk,They put your passport under scanner and determine your refund.Buy local SIM Card,some countries have Tourist Sim Cards but you need Passport to buy them.Checkout SIM cards in various countries and buy them,This guarantees you can took to each other on phone..Also ,to phone countries ,you may need to add +61 to phone OZ or add + and country code

  13. we take air mattresses to place on top of the beds— ships mattresses are too firm for us and we sleep much better

  14. I still have my kit from the last cruise. Didn't have to use much of the items but still taking it every time

  15. Dyer sheets for your luggage bags. Say No to Hand Sanitizers: The FDA says research shows triclosan may lead to hormonal disruptions and cause bacteria to adapt to its antimicrobial properties, which create more antibiotic-resistant strains. Animal studies have shown that the compound could change the way hormones work in the body, raising concerns and warranting further investigation to better understand how they might affect humans. Use them often enough, and you’ll accelerate the appearance of aging.

  16. Good tips. Always check before the cruise if there are self-serve laundry facilities, most ships don't now. Bring handwash soap and wash if necessary in sink. Most ships have a small clothes line in the shower. As others have said, small sewing repair kit (with safety pins), definitely ziplock bags – I usually pack my extra shoes in them, reduces sand in luggage, and if traveling with a group, organize who brings what so no duplicates (as in shampoo, conditioner, etc). Thanks for posting!

  17. If you pack a power strip, they take it when you board, and give it back when you return!! They are a fire hazard, leave them at home, surge protection or not!!!

  18. In addition to magnets, magnet hooks to have extra hanging space for lanyards or bathrobes and such.

  19. A torch. Preferably 2.
    And a VHF hand held for talking to the bridge and asking them where you are……

  20. You can also feel clear bottles or plastic water bottles with clear alcohol. Just make sure it’s a decent bottle and won’t leak. Alcohol on board is very expensive & it’s usually very cheap at various ports.

  21. Your videos are great. I agree, straight to the point. And I like that you've chosen to avoid background music.

  22. Great ideas! I am a very new cruiser so these are really good tips that I will use thank you! I have subscribed😉😄

  23. awesome! I travel light so I take duct tape off the roll and make a mini roll. I also have tiny foldable sizzors. Also the Dr. Scholl's blister moleskin is amazing for any bump/scrap/or blister as it has medication in it. Add a plastic strap to your sunglasses to keep them around your neck. Lanards are great if you can attach a little zipped package to keep money in. Pack light- you will stroll past hot tired passengers waiting in line! I also bring a unopened package of ginger—it is amazing for adding to drinks and helps with seasickness.

  24. Hi Gary, I do many of those but I also make copies of my passport, drivers license, and which credit cards I will take and keep this in my folder with my other cruise documents, can be a game changer if lost or stolen in another country. Another thing I do is put our complete contact info inside our suitcases in case the ID tag gets ripped off by the airline or even the port baggage handling. Enjoy your videos, thanks for the time you put into them.

  25. I never knew there were laundry rooms. I been on 10 cruises and never heard. I’ll look for one on my next cruise

  26. Not sure about taking a pillow. Eats up a lot of room. I have always enjoyed the premium pillows the ship provides. Less space taken up if you bring along some generic sleeping aids.

  27. A new cloth Fishing vest – replete with a variety of pockets to hold items on walkabouts. Lightweight, sleeveless, can handle just about all of the items mentioned within this video plus others your imagination might come up with.

  28. Great ideas. Unfortunately, these days with weight restrictions for luggage, less (not more) is the desired direction.

  29. Useful tips. Only thing I would add is taking a small cafetiere and my ground coffee. I hate instant coffee and don't drink tea so that is my one must to enjoy a cup in the morning in my cabin 🙂 I think with regard to the socket strips you have to be careful what type you use as I know some cruiselines get picky. The drinks packages on P & O cruises are expensive and the fact one has to have for the whole cruise and cannot choose on a daily basis puts me off them big time. A big expense if you do not want to drink a lot every day and a waste of money imo Especially on shore days I bet many do not get their money's worth. I would also take a travel mini blender if respective cruise line allowed it if I was going on a cruise longer than a week. I like my smoothies 🙂

  30. These are really clever ideas, many of which I hadn't thought about yet, some which I have, and like Gary, really find helpful, e.g. the power strip and USB strip.

  31. Zip ties and glow sticks. Glow stick makes for a great night light in the bathroom rather than the 2am strobe light.

  32. 4 other must-haves on a cruise, in my opinion.

    1) Poo-Pourri. I guess he mentioned air freshener, but this stuff works like magic and doesn’t gas up the whole room. I don’t like the spray room fresheners because they seem to just make a cloud of fragrant chemical to choke on. Poo-pourri just sits on the water and gets flushed away and works VERY well.
    2) a Swiss Army knife or multitool. I used mine for opening packages and repairing my reading glasses. You should really never leave home without one.
    3) Binoculars! Whether on excursions or even on sea days, there are often things in the distance you might want to see (e.g. passing ships, sea life, etc.). I had forgot to bring them on my last cruise and regretted it every day.
    4) Breathe-Right strips. If you snore or—as I did—find yourself congested because of something in the air, you’ll sleep better. So will everyone else in your cabin.

  33. Turns out you’re not allowed to bring on surge protectors anymore. Simple outlet taps and USB adapters are fine, but surge protectors actually interfere with the cruise ship’s electrical system, which isn’t the same as your standard home or office mains.

  34. I carry a folder with a clear plastic insert pocket sheet for each day. I put tickets, maps, itinerary, info on island , for each island or stop. I find it very helpful to see all the night before to lay out what we need and how to dress for the next day.

  35. If you wear glasses, an eyeglass repair kit is essential! Get ‘em for $1-2 at the checkout lane in BigBox stores

  36. A cheap wine bottle opener (levered corkscrew type) is handy. Whilst I don't drink wine myself, I was grateful my brother in law had one in his cabin one evening.  

    The solenoid that refills the toilet during flushing had failed in the open position one evening and the toilet started pumping water (clean water thank goodness) into the bathroom. We immediately called for maintenance, then built a towel "dam" at the door and used the trash can to bail water into the bathtub. (In a mini-suite) I kept looking for a cabin steward to get them to open the maintenance door to access the plumbing, but there was none to be found… I was able to use the end lever on my BIL's corkscrew (which fit the square "key" latch) to open the maintenance hatch in the corridor and turn the main water off to our cabin. This was extremely helpful as the maintenance guy didn't get there till around 40 minutes later. If we had simply waited for them to show up, the room would have been completely flooded!

  37. I might also add RFID credit card blocking sleeves, for when you go out on especially city excursions (ie: Europe). They are inexpensive, and keep strangers from scanning your credit card info through your pocket.

  38. I also bring a few regular plastic shopping bags from the supermarket. I use the bags to help keep my soiled clothes separated from my clean clothes. They're also good for wet swimming trunks, water shoes or sandy sandals.

  39. Another thing I bring is both a nail and a toe clipper. Think about it – if you should ever need one, WHERE would you ever find one?

  40. We brought a rubber braided clothesline. It doesn't take up much space but was wonderful for hanging out our laundry or swimsuits. Because it's braided, you don't need clips, just stick the fabric through the braid.

  41. This is a great list. But I don't know why everybody says here's a list of unusual items to pack when there's a ton of people saying the same items so I'm pretty sure there's nothing unusual

  42. We're going on our first cruise in a month, thank you for the tips. The comments about coffee have me concerned as a caffeine addict. I'm going on Princess Cruises, is the regular coffee that bad?
    Should I bring my French press and coffee?

  43. Thank you forn the advice, I'm going on my first cruise next year and these tips are very helpful, again thank you.

  44. Thanks Gary, you were real helpful! Thanks to Beth re a laundry bag. One idea i got re duct tape is to not bring the whole roll, just slap a couple pieces of it onto the suitcase and hopefully it'll peel off easily to use elsewhere if i need it.

  45. My husband brought a power strip on our cruise last year and the staff confiscated it. It turns out that power strips are forbidden by Royal Caribbean.

  46. you know one thing I don't get..why do ppl have to watch their clothes..I take enough with me as so I don't have to wash stuff. I'm on holiday so why would I.. must be these ppl who pack small suitcases, claim they have enough clothes and then have to wash them lol..

  47. A blanket suggestion: Start making your own list – derived from this one, of course – a week ahead of time. You might not need everything Mr. Bembridge suggests, and you might have a thing or two different. Making it up the night before means you might forget things, or not get out to the store or pharmacy for something vital.

  48. Thank you for these brilliant tips Gary! I’m an experienced cruiser and I wish I’d thought of these ages ago. I definitely take my pillow because I’ve found it makes all the difference between sleeping well and tossing and turning all night. Another thing I like to bring is a little sleep sound machine. I find earplugs uncomfortable so I use the sound machine to block out noise and help lull me to sleep. You can also download an app on your phone for this purpose.

  49. Hand sanitizers do not kill the Norovirus , good old soap and water works best, being a registered nurse, this was one of the first instructions we received in training

  50. Great tips!! My husband and I will be going on our first cruise early December and these are perfect tips!

  51. Having extra screen protector's for your cell phone. Buy them on Amazon they sell the glass ones. Also I bring dryer sheets. Seabourn
    does provide the soap, but no dryer sheets

  52. Very nice and well done. My husband brings along a couple of low level plug in lights so you don't have a pitch dark cabin for a midnight visit to the loo! I usually bring along 2 zip sanitized pillow covers-I usually forget to remove then but you can replace a pair for under $10-nice and sanitary, I think. Also, an eyeglasses repair kit or an additional pair of eyeglasses. I enjoy 2 swimsuits as I don't like to put on a damp suit thatches been drying in the cabin overnight! Happy cruising, y'all

  53. Duck tape, strong glue (I take Gorilla glue) have used to repair my shoes and suitcases. Small leatherman type tool, plastic electric ties, and little sticky blobs with tails you get for free from advertises to stick on your cabin door so you can find your cabin at a glance.

  54. I went on a 14-night cruise and took 1 airplane carry-on luggage only. I brought a small size detergent and washed my daily clothes which I had 2 sets; I kept my night wardrobe simple using the clothing capsule concept and didn’t do formal nights – just observed and complimented others; because I’m an avid cruiser, I don’t feel out of place not doing formal night. I also bring a expandable wristlet Coil with a key ring and have services punch a hole in my ID. I also have a Bandolier which is very nice when I want to carry my phone for photos.

  55. If you are pressed for space but want a comfort of home bering your own pillow case. I do this when I cruise it helps me sleep better knowing I have my own pillow case.

  56. I generally pack everything on your list, Gary, except the pillow (Crystal offers a wide selection of pillows). I also pack a mophie power station. I often download walking tours to my iPhone but keeping the map open for a couple of hours eats up the phone battery. Also Velcro cable ties, good for organizing all kinds of things. Also a Zip-Lock bag of Sweet 'n Low, my preferred artificial sweetener which is not always available. Also a mini-Leatherman tool with a scissors inside. Also my camera manual. Also extra camera SD cards. Thanks for your list!

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