Packing for a Cruise (and being comfortable)

I love packing for vacations. But, let me tell ya, I LOVE cruises. We just went on our first one and have another booked for the end of the year. I was super afraid of over packing and having to lug two huge suitcases all over the boat (which didn’t ever happen – just make sure you tip them if they carry their luggage for you) or under packing and having nothing that I wanted to wear. For my husband and I, it took 1 large suitcase and 1 medium suitcase for all of our items.

Packing for a cruise (and being comfortable!)

Here is a quick list of all them items I packed (look how cute our pillow cases are:))

Packing for a Cruise

Swimsuit – I brought three tops and three bottoms. Not because I wanted to be super stylish (but it’s a plus) but because I didn’t ever want to put on a wet swim suit. It’s quite literally the most awkward feeling. I was very glad I packed multiple suits for my husband too.

Plain flip flops – these are the ones you get at Old Navy for $2.50 and you don’t care if you lose them, they get stolen, or you rip them apart.

Dresses – I packed 8 dresses. Excessive? Maybe, but two were for formal night and one was used as a swim suit cover. It was also nice to be able to dress up a little for dinner even though it wasn’t required. None of my dresses were poofy, so they didn’t take up much space.


Light cardigan – the ship decks get pretty breezy at night. We loved to hang out on one of the side decks and it got very chilly even though we were in Central America. The theaters tend to be chilly as well.


Exercise clothing – I won’t lie, I never worked out once while we were on the ship. But it was nice to put on a pair of shorts and lounge in our room. We also went on a hiking trip in Belize where is is very, very humid. I was glad that I packed a pair of capris that wicked.


Tops – this depends on your personality, but I prefer plain v-necks or dressier tops while I’m on vacation. I packed three plain shirts and 3 dressy tops that I could wear anywhere.

Skirts – didn’t wear them… unfortunately. I almost always wore a dress or athletic shorts and a t-shirt. I wore one on the drive back from the port but never while on the ship.

Jeans – I brought one pair just to have the option and I wore them several times to lunch or breakfast when it was cooler on the ship.


Shoes – I brought 1 pair of flat sandals, 1 pair of wedges, 1 pair of Toms, 1 pair of tennis shoes, and 1 pair of Chacos (which I didn’t wear due to bugs in Belize and Honduras). I think I wore my Toms more than my sandals because they were comfier to walk all over the ship in.

Floppy hat – necessary. Go get one.


Other things that I’m glad I packed:

Air Freshener (need I say why?)

hanging make-up bag

bug repellent wipes

sun screen and more sun screen

small pill organizer to put in my bag during excursions that had a little bit of everything

extra batteries to re-charge the batteries for our camera

hair bands and head bands – it gets very windy on the open ocean

Ziploc Baggies – we put our passports in one and cash in another during excursions because it was very rainy.  We also put some in our bag that we took to the pool for our cell phones.

Cell phone – put it in air plane mode to take pictures with. It’s much better than lugging your nice camera around.

laundry bag – I sewed one myself, but they have them for cheap at Target. It was great to know that my husband wasn’t wearing his dirty underwear again by mistake. The state room we stayed in was very small, so having that little drawstring bag was a life saver.

Is there anything that you packed on your cruise that made traveling much easier?

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