Ten Essential Items I Always Pack For a Cruise

Pack for a cruise
Massive piles of luggage waiting to be delivered. Ever wonder what’s inside?

How to pack for a cruise – packing list suggestions plus bonus tip.

Most of us learn the hard way and still forget to pack that one elusive item for our next trip. After all of my travels, mostly cruises and a smattering of hotels, I’ve learned to keep these ten cruise essentials pre-packed, ready to toss into my suitcase.

Items to pack for a cruise

1. A flashlight.  Seems kind of obvious…for when the lights go out. In case of fire, a crawl to the nearest exit door, would be easier with a flashlight. Power failure. To see behind furniture to find the earring that fell and disappeared. I never travel without a small flashlight and it stays on the nightstand. Check the batteries before you leave home. Yes, your phone has a flashlight feature, but it would drain the battery in an emergency

2. Cute little foam ear plugs. Yes, they work. Whether your roommate is a snorer or your neighbors are tossing about all night, a drippy shower or noisy air conditioner, these things really muffle the sounds.

3. Zip-lock bags.  A zillion uses are possible; for packing a piece of fruit for your day trip/shore excursion, safe storage for that gorgeous new silk scarf, accumulation of bar coasters (so you can remember what beer you tried) and business cards, those pesky little amenity bottles, shells collected at that remote beach. Souvenir rocks. You just never know.

4. Thermos mug or bottle.  Don’t go on a trip without one. But you’re going on a cruise, you say. A thermos bottle or mug is great for keeping your coffee hot so you can stroll around the deck, maybe catch a sunrise, and not worry about spilling. But be mindful of your fellow cruisers. Do not fill your thermos directly from the hot coffee spigot. That’s one way to be sure to spread germs. Instead, fill a clean coffee cup and carefully pour the hot coffee into the thermos. I’m hooked on Hydro Flask. I have several of their products but always travel with the coffee mug, in Watermelon Pink, of course!

5. Electric power strip. First, make sure that the ship allows this in your cabin. If they do, never leave it unattended and always unplug it when not in use. Make sure it has an automatic reset switch. Fire is the worst and most deadly hazard aboard a ship.

That said, and only if your ship permits it, it’s very handy. If you have a lot of equipment that you absolutely must lug around with you or you’re traveling with another person with gadgets, it’s challenging to recharge everything at the same time with what’s in your stateroom.

The power strip is great because you can recharge your laptop, iPhone, camera battery and FitBit, GoPro etc. all at once. Start charging when you return to your room after being on shore. By the time you’ve unpacked your souvenirs, relaxed for a half hour, showered and dressed for dinner, everything will be ready to go.

Conversely, if the idea of a power strip is either too cumbersome to pack for a cruise or just in case it’s not allowed, bring a couple of European converters, instead. Much lighter and compact, you might be able to plug in three or four electronic pieces, especially if you are on a cruise ship from North America. European river ships only have 220 voltage outlets. And usually only two of them.

6. Bubble wrap.  Huh? OK…so tell me how you manage to bring home those ultra breakables? Or what if you must mail some of your things home along the way? You can layer the bubble wrap in between your clothes (helps prevent wrinkles, too) and then use as needed. When I’m on a river cruise in Europe, I always end up shipping clothes and souvenirs home. And without bubble wrap, I used to worry about something breaking in transit.

If you need to know the ins and outs of shipping from Europe, let me know. I’ve done that in a half-dozen cities, on both river and ocean cruises.

7. Suction hooks.  Goofy little gizmos that are so incredibly handy. Just stick them on the bathroom walls and voila! Instant storage hooks. Depending upon the interior of your room, you can use these for caps, scarfs, light jackets, etc. Most ships only have two or three hooks, usually on the inside of the bathroom door. Hotels never seem to have any hooks at all.

8. EXTRA AA / AAA batteries.  This is so obvious, but so easy to overlook. Not everything is rechargeable. I also suggest bringing a spare camera battery, too.

9. Portable battery charger for your iPhone. There are several of these on the market and I never travel without one. The one that I finally settled on is by Anker. It charges my iPhone at least six times before the device needs recharging. And it comes with a cute little travel pouch. When you get the dreaded “10% power remaining” message, simply plug it into your phone. You’ll be out of the red zone in minutes.

10. Extra SD cards, at least one 8 GB flash drive and even a 1T tiny portable hard drive. I could write a book about this idea. In many countries, it’s nearly impossible to find a brand name SD card. I once bought an unpronounceable named SD card solely out of desperation. The next day it “blew up’ in my camera and I lost four days worth of photos, including an entire ship tour and two cities.

Read next:9 Things to Know Before You Book Your Cruise

Which brings me to my next must-do: every night, back up your photos in at least one other place.  I learned the hard way. Now I download all of my day’s photos onto my computer and then onto a flash drive. Bring a small case to keep all of the flash drives and SD cards. Or a small Zip-Lock bag. Store it in the safe in your cabin so you don’t lose it. If you’re really paranoid about losing important photos, buy a portable hard drive. Only about $100 and the size of a pack of playing cards, it’s really more like a flash-drive, but a heck of a lot more capacity.

Bonus:  11.  Refrigerator magnets!  This was suggested by so many people who read this article. Stateroom walls are metal. BYOM and you can stick up all the get-together invitations, roommate notes, shore excursion tickets and any other scraps of paper you’ll need to keep handy. Thank you to everyone for this great tip.

That’s how I pack for a cruise. All this and my medium-size Delsey Helium 25″ suitcase and 19″ wheeled carry-on that I love. It has a separate front zip compartment for my computer and iPad. On the train, this carry-on can fit between two back-to-back seats.

Don’t forget small packets of clothes detergent (Tide and Woolite make small packets, but put them into a Zip-Lock bag!)

This post may contain affiliate links which won’t change your price but will share some commission.

Have any suggestions? I’d love to hear what little essentials you pack for a cruise.

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  1. Hi Jennifer,
    Thank you so much for sharing your packing tip…it’s a good one, for sure. The pencil case is a great idea too, since it probably closes and things don’t fall out of it. Thank you for reading the article…much appreciated.

  2. When it comes to our important documents I’ve set aside an one inch binder with a pencil case and page protectors for the cruise. Our passports and pre-folded (and pre-printed) luggage tags are in the pencil case. When we print out the rest of the important paperwork it will go into the binder. I also included a cruising pack list in it.

  3. Hi Karin,
    Thank you so much for taking the time to write and to share your great ideas. I love the idea of bringing a snack with you to go ashore. Please be careful, though, that there aren’t regulations that prohibit your bringing food into another country. Your ice bag idea is super good, too…even if just to splash on your face on a day in a really hot port. Enjoy your next cruise!

  4. Hi,

    I have one that I try to tell everyone to bring with them. An insulated lunch bag type of cooler. People forget room service is free and they love to offer wonderful sandwiches and snacks. This is perfect for an afternoon snack when off the ship on an excursion. Ziplocks will hold ice which you can safely drink when melted. It will save you from a headache too if your forgetting to snack because there is so much to see.

    Thanks for the great ideas!! Many will be in my bag for the next trip!!

    ~Karin B

  5. Hi Wanda,
    Thank you very much for taking the time to add your suggestions. All of them are really good ideas. I always take anti-bacterial wipes but sometimes forget to do as you do and immediately wipe things down. Thanks for the reminder!

  6. I always take anti-bacterial wipes and clean the cabin before we unpack. Wipe all door handles, remote control, and anything that there could be germs on. I also take extra hangers. A nightlight is handy if you have to go to the restroom during the night. An over-the-door mesh hanger is very handy for storing things. I also take plastic bags with a drawstring for our dirty clothes.

  7. Hi Angela,

    Thanks for your suggestion. I’ve seen the product in stores and thought it would be a good idea, too.


  8. Hi Sheila,
    You’re right. I’ve started to hear about that, too. Truly, if not used properly it can be a fire hazard. I’m going to update this article for 2019. Thank you for your comment. Happy cruising!

  9. Just went on cruise I March 2019. They were pulling all the power stops out of suit cases. Especially the longer ones with lots of outlets. I brought one from Ikea with only 3 outlets. It made it through inspection.

  10. Hi David,
    That’s a very good idea. Please check with your cruise line to see if they’ll allow extension cords. Sometimes it’s permitted as long as someone is in the stateroom. I’ve had times when my stateroom attendant has had to unplug my charger cords from the outlet because no one was in the room and it could be a fire hazard. You never know. But it sure is convenient to have an an outlet power source. Thanks!

  11. Hi Bekky,
    That’s a great idea! Thank you! Sometimes I’ve wished I had brought my own pillow.


  12. If you want to bring your own pillow put it one of those space savers bags than you can squeeze the air out. Found some at Walmart!

  13. Bring an extension cord and a power outlet adapter. Wall outlets often are placed where a short corded power strip will not reach and are 220v.

  14. I did go out and purchase most of these items and honestly it was a waste of my money. I did use ziplock bags, and my phone charger. Of course, we didn’t need more outlets than in out stateroom (we had about 6) but we did not go on a cruise to bury ourselves in electronics either. Save your money!

  15. Also – if you have hearing aides – bring lots of batteries as the ships don’t sell them! Mini binoculars are great to pack.

  16. Hi Bobby,
    That’s a great idea, especially if someone is used to city noises. Thanks for your suggestion.


  17. Hi Bobby,
    That’s a very interesting perspective…and a great solution. Thank you for sharing your packing tip!

    Happy Cruising!


  18. Hi David,
    Thanks for your packing tip. I agree, extra strong plastic bags are a great addition. Here in the US, I buy 1-gallon freezer bags. I pack a couple of extra just in case and use two or three for cosmetics and small travel bottles and hair brushes.

    Happy cruising!


  19. There are some really great suggestions here. I would never have considered #1 but your reasoning makes perfect sense. I like to pack a handful of extra strong plastic carrier bags (Bag for Life as they’re known here in the UK) as they always seem to come in handy for storing something, or for protecting purchases in my suitcase on the return journey.

  20. Your suggestion of foam ear plugs is a good one, but we had the opposite problem; it was too quiet. As a “just in case” you might consider downloading a white noise app to your phone. It was a big help to us.

  21. Hi Gail,

    Wow…all great ideas. Sounds like you’ve done your fair amount of travel! Thank you for sharing all of these packing tips.


  22. *Plastic Pill Pouches (about 2.5″x2.5″) found in the pharmacy section of Wal-Mart, etc. I use them for prescription medication and write on them the day of the week to be taken. They are also wonderful for jewelry – earrings, necklaces, etc. so they won’t tangle. I also put safety pins in one for closing the drapes, mending a torn hem, as well as using them to hang my clothes on the clothesline in the shower. Safety pins pack much smaller than clips or clothespins!
    *Small water spray bottle (travel section of pharmacy). I use this to “iron” my clothes. The evening before I go to bed, I spray water on the wrinkles on my clothes for the next day and by morning, they look like they were ironed! This even goes for my husband’s suit for formal nights on the cruise.
    *If you want to bring duck tape, roll it on a pencil instead of bringing a whole roll. Much more compact.
    *I buy “1 foot square mesh bags with zippers” (3 for $1 at the Dollar Tree) and use these for my underwear and socks, or scarves, etc. Any collection of small things to keep them together.
    *I print off cute “business cards” with my contact information to give to new friends on the trip.
    *My phone is an android, so I can change out my battery at any time. I keep a second battery charged and in my purse because it is so much smaller and lighter than the external battery chargers.
    *I use a small fabric zippered pouch for my passport, some cash, and a credit card. I use three safety pins (so I can transfer it to any other pants) to pin it to the inside of the back of my capris, shorts, etc. I find that it is very comfortable since you have no movement to this area and it sits very flat. If I actually need the contents, I can flip it out, unzip it and get what I need, and then securely put it back in place. Since it is not in a usual place and very well secured, I don’t worry about pickpockets anymore.
    *I bring a sturdy thin nylon bag with a zipper and handles. It can be used for a grocery bag, a beach bag, a shopping bag or a carry-on with purchases after the trip. It packs so very small and has multiple uses.

  23. Hi Lisa,

    Depending on your cruise line, there may be self-service launderettes and the clothes detergent will be supplied. If not, passengers often wash items in the bathroom sink. Also, many cruise lines now offer passengers a “stuff as much clothes as you can” into a laundry bag and charge maybe $20 for a wash and press. It’s so nice to come home with clean clothes! Have a great cruise! You can find small packets of Tide liquid detergent in the travel items section of say, CVS, Walgreen’s and more. I double-pack one or two of those in freeze bags and they haven’t leaked yet.


  24. Does anyone do laundry while on the cruise ship? I’m thinking about buying the laundry detergent tabs to do my laundry on my upcoming cruise. This way, I don’t have to worry about liquid detergent accidently leaking in my luggage.

  25. Hi Annie,

    THANK YOU so much for the compliment. Taking a collapsible bag is a great idea! And check-able for the flight home, too. I didn’t think of that since I don’t fly!
    Happy Travels!

  26. We pack a collapsible bag that can be filled with anything we purchase on the trip, then checked for the flight home.
    This is the best list of ideas I’ve seen. Thank you for sharing.

  27. Hi Kris,
    This is an excellent idea. Thank you for sharing it. I’m packing right now and wish I had a handful of those little bags for earrings, etc. rather than the snack bag size. Yes, all staterooms have a safe. I hope you’ll love your Panama Canal cruise as much as I did in January. Bon Voyage!


  28. My idea is to get some very small plastic zip bags at Joanns or Michaels in the jewelry dept. and use those for necklaces, rings, pins, & bracelets. Then put all of them in a larger ziplock bag. It is great for packing in carryon and is easily accessible in your cabin. I understand that the cabins have a small safe in them. My first cruise thru the Panama Canal in Sept. 2018.

  29. Hi Lynn,
    I really like your convenient sunglasses idea. I haven’t seen those anywhere. And a great idea for the different colored lanyards. New ideas! Thank you very much for contributing! Bon Voyage back to you!

  30. I bought a pair of reading glasses that come with matching sunglasses lenses that attach magnetically. GREAT for reading on the beach or a sunny pool deck!! Also we had 4 ppl in our stateroom so we bought different-colored lanyards… makes it easy to tell our e Seapass cards apart at a glance. Don’t forget to bring medicines…they are VERY expensive on a ship! Cough medicines, Advil, laxative, Band-Aids, etc. The snacks from home are a great money-saver! And finally… remember the most essential item of all: a passport and/or government issued I.D. Bon voyage!!

  31. Hi Donna,

    Now that’s something really different! It sounds like a very fun way to identify your stateroom in a photo. Thank you for sharing your unique idea. Please be careful not to leave it on the balcony though so just in case some smoker on an above deck flicks his/her cigarette over the rail and it blows back onto your balcony. Sorry, I had to include it.

    Sounds like you really enjoy cruising! Thanks again.


  32. I brought a small flag of our country and used bull clips to fly it on our balaney. Great to take a picture to show where your cabin was. Great on shore trips as well.

  33. Hi Jen,
    Great idea! I’d think they’d work good for shoe bags, too. I’ll have to stop in at a Dollar store and check this out. Thank you!


  34. I always bring a dollar store laundry bag so I can put dirty clothes in it…if you are really organized get a white one for whites and a colored one for colors….sorting done when you get home! Also I always intermingle all of our clothes in our suitcases in case any of them get lost so we aren’t totally without clothes if just one bag is lost. Saved us when the airline lost 2nof our 3 bags one time! We at least had a few pieces of clothes?

  35. Hi Danyell,
    Wow, a dry erase marker…that’s a great idea! I think you’re the first to suggest that one. So you’re also a door decorator! They’re a lot of fun to see. Thank you vey much. Happy cruising!

  36. Hi. I was going to say the same as several others. I’d like to add a dry erase marker. I use it to write notes on the mirrors. Bring something to decorate your door, they all start looking the same! I always bring the baggie too, we like to use the baggies for a bit of sand and shells from each port.

  37. Hi Emma, Thank you for your suggestion. We all pack different items so all suggestions are really welcome!

  38. Hey Sherry!

    Really interesting article, I would have to say that I would only bring one of these which is a battery pack for my phone. I prize myself on being able to pack really light and I definitely couldn’t do that if I was packing a torch… my phone is a torch! haha.

    Gunna have to respectfully disagree on this one… 🙂

  39. Hi Sallie,
    Thanks for contributing to the list of travel essentials! I also (when I remember) travel with a suction cup mirror! But it sounds like you are better at remembering to bring it with you! Thanks too for the suggestion on where to purchase them for less. I also like your idea for when you are sharing a stateroom so two people can get ready for their day at the same time without stumbling over each other! For daytime, when I have an oceanview or balcony stateroom, I stick it onto either the window or glass door so I can see how my makeup looks in daylight. Maybe that’s why I haven’t forgotten to take it home with me…it always falls off when I either open the glass door or squinch up to the window to see the view!
    Thanks again and happy travels!

  40. I always carry a magnifying mirror with suction cup backs for makeup, hair, etc. Can stick it to closet mirror doors while roommate is in bathroom or vice verse. Just try to remember to retrieve before leaving. I’ve left 3 in Europe and one in Africa, but they were from Dollar Tree, so not a big loss!! Love all these tips!! Can’t wait for another trip, but many of these can be used for visiting family and friends.

  41. Hi Theresa,
    A big button to organize earrings! Great idea. A light-up clock is also a good item…and could be a nightlight, too. Thank you for your nifty ideas! Happy Travels!


  43. Hi Tamie,
    Thanks for your suggestion. I hear from a lot of folks who always bring their home pillow with them. Great idea to use a distinctive pillow case! Thanks for sharing. Happy Travels!

  44. If you bring your own pillow, put it in a bright, colored pillow case so you won’t be as likely to go off and leave it at the end of the cruise.

  45. HI Suzanne,
    Thank you for your idea! I don’t think anyone has mentioned your suggestion yet. Great idea to “refresh” clothing that really doesn’t need to be washed.

  46. I bring a small travel sized bottle of Fabreze to use on clothes you want to wear again but don’t really need to wash. Particularly helpful in the summer months.

  47. Hi Betty,

    Sani-wipes are a great idea! Thanks for contributing your suggestion and happy travels!

  48. I always bring a pack of Clorox wipes for remotes, door knobs, light switiches, etc.

  49. Hi Courtney,
    Thanks and yes, in almost every instance you can bring your own pillow. Just to double the best way to get it onboard, I would contact your cruise line or your travel agent and see what the rules are for bringing a pillow. I know of people who pack them in with their checked luggage and no problem. I’ve also noticed people at the embarkation queue holding their pillow. So just ask the cruise line to be sure. Have a wonderful first cruise! Thank you for your email.

  50. Great ideas! Going on our first cruise in August. Quick question…Can I bring my own pillow? I’m a fanatic about having my own pillow LOL!

  51. Hi Sherri,

    Great ideas – thanks for contributing! I was just on a cruise and couldn’t wait for it to be over simply because the sheets were brand new and like sandpaper. If I had thought to purchase a sheet “sac” or something like that, it would have been so much better.


  52. I always take a fairly large tote bag to use for day trips. One item that really comes in handy is a small absorbent towel that also dries quickly. Those sudden torrential rain showers can soak a person real quick. Good for towel drying your hair, drying your face & hands, wiping off your seat, etc. Also, although I haven’t used on any of my cruises, I have a sheet “sac” I use when staying in hotels. It’s stitched on 3 1/2 sides & you just crawl in to your clean sheet sac. The sheet is also long enough to cover your pillow if you question how clean the sheets & pillow are.

  53. FYI: Your power strip can never be one with a Surge Protector. It’s on ships prohibited list as it’s a fire danger.

    Not all stateroom walls are magnetic. On some ships the ceilings are but not the walls.

  54. Two of my favorite small take alongs
    1) a highlighter – to highlight the activities in the daily schedule that I might want to participate in
    2) sticky notes. To leave myself reminders or let my honey know where to find me or to leave a note on friends doors

    Oh and those ‘clips’ everyone suggested. For curtains. Or holding your towel to a chair… depending what you’re using – you can also use those clips to hold your clothes on the clothes line in the shower for drying your swim suit

  55. Hi Edie,

    Glad your trip went well…despite inclement weather. Thanks for sharing more great cruise tip ideas. Regarding power strips, they can be a fire hazard if not unplugged when leaving the stateroom so I understand this newest restriction. I’m sure they’d do it for flat irons too if they could. I think we’ll start to see all the new ships with more 110v outlets as well as USB ports in the stateroom. Very interesting too about the new soda machines. Thank you again for so many helpful hints!

  56. Hi! We just returned from our cruise on Royal Caribbean / Freedom of the Seas. I noticed alot of power strips that were confiscated from security prior to embarking the ship. One thing to think about bringing would be a small umbrella. We did not expect the first half of the cruise to be rainy with strong winds at sea. When we reached San Juan, pretty much the whole day was drizzling with a period of torrential downpour. At least it wasn’t cold temps. We cruise around the same time- mid Feb/early Mar. This was our 8th cruise and the only time we have experienced this type of weather. I also brought a Tervis tumbler for coffee/soda. Apparently, since the cruiseline installed the coke freestyle machines, people have been swiping the cruise cups from the pool decks. So watch your cups closely. You only need the cup, not your sea pass card for the freestyle machines. Bring a few plastic grocery bags for wet/sandy towels and swimsuits when returning from the beach. And don’t forget the dollar store sewing kit because someone always loses a button. Of course I forgot mine! Hope this helps!

  57. Hi Marcia, thank you for two great suggestions. I have to admit, I think the little battery-operated candles that you suggested are one of the best ideas yet! Sure, for the bathroom and lining the path. Especially for those with an inside stateroom and it being pitch dark. Thank you again! Sherry

  58. Magnetic white board. I use it to leave notes for my honey so we can find each other around the ship. Battery operated candles. No more glaring lights in the bathroom and I have them on the cabin floor. After I met a women who fell and broke her arm in a dark cabin I decided to light up my floor.

  59. Hi Sally, Sure! I don’t know your itinerary so I can’t give you specific advice. But…most of the cities that you’ll visit on any river cruise on the Rhine, Main, Mosel and Danube have a centrally located post office or a pack and send-type store. I’ve used numerous times the post offices in Miltenberg, Cologne, Strasbourg, Speyer, Amsterdam and a few other small towns. Some are located in major train stations too, like Cologne. Check Google Maps before you leave the ship and mark your route.

    Bring from home a roll of strong packing tape, a Sharpie pen and a small scissors. Almost all of the post offices/pack and send places in Europe sell a “stuff all you can into the box” for flat rate. From the ship, carry your things that you want to send in a tote bag, preferable one that you can scrunch up and put into your purse or day pack, so you don’t have to go back to the ship and then head out again. That’s basically all there is to do it. Oh! And usually it’s cash only (Euros of course). Also, I’d suggest a few sheets of bubble wrap if you plan to ship anything breakable, even if wedged between soft clothing. It usually takes a couple of weeks for the package to arrive home in the US. Oh! Keep in mind that you’ll be with locals in the post offices and the counter-person doesn’t always speak English, especially if they are older. I hope this is helpful. Have a wonderful river cruise. Sherry

  60. How about those tips you said we could ask you about shipping things home from Europe? We are going on a river cruise in late May so just wondered about that option! Thanks!

  61. Hi Edie, use the flat iron for clothes! Brilliant idea…thank you for sharing. Happy travels, too! Sherry

  62. Great tips! Two things I always need on my cruise 1. Dollar store sewing kit. It never fails that I have to repair or sew a button on the husband and kids clothes. 2. My flat iron. I can straighten my hair and it doubles as a clothing iron. Just be sure to clean the plates beforehand, know the temperature of the flat iron and check the clothing label to see if it can be ironed. Happy and safe travels everyone!

  63. Hi Julia, You’re right…this isn’t an affiliate link. Thanks for sharing this handy gadget.

  64. For power while traveling I love this thing (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01E140XWA/ref=twister_B01K7G3VCU?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1).
    No, I’m not paid. I just got it for my study abroad trip and loved it. It can be a typical powerstrip, but has adaptors for other countries, and it has 3 normal outlets plus 4 USB, which is really more than one person needs, and it’s smaller than a normal power strip. The only issues is that it has a fan inside to prevent over-heating, so if you don’t like that sound it could be a bother, and it has an on/off switch, so you have to make sure it’s turned on. But I think both of those are easily over-shadowed by how great it works!

  65. Great ideas, I cruise often and suggest these items too: mending tape for fabric, eye masks for sleeping, S hooks – you can hang so many things on these including shoes with straps to keep floor clutter down, multiple USB charger plug with this you only need one electrical socket for 4 devices, flocked cascading hangers give so much more hanging space in the closet. I have the big bulky hangers removed from the closet except for heavy clothes. With the magnetic or suction wall hooks you can hang long clothing items on the wall and use that empty real estate.

  66. Hi Barbara,

    A stapler! Great idea…you just never know. Even emergency hems…if your sewing kit doesn’t have the right color. Thanks!

  67. Hi Carleen,
    Great idea those “chip clips!” I also bring a hand of those metal folding clips…along the same lines as your suggestion. Your idea would hold the drapes closer together. And yes, something for quick snips is better than trying to borrow from the front desk! Thanks!

  68. Bring “chip clips” or clothes pins to hold the curtains completely closed if you like a dark room to sleep in like I do. I have some that can do double duty that also are magnets. Also, large nail clippers are good to have to cut off tags from clothes or souvenirs that you buy along the way.

  69. Hi – Another great idea, thanks! I also use those leftover cleaners’ hangers…but I’ll leave my clothes on the hangers and go straight from suitcase to closet and back to suitcase. Then at home, I’ve kept the empty hangers aside and just re-hang the clothes (hopefully I’ve either washed clothes in the launderette or sent out to be laundered. It’s so nice to come home with clean clothes!) Thanks again. Sherry

  70. Someone mentioned bringing hangers for clothes. I bring the cheap wire ones and then just leave them on ship. Sometimes the closets only have a few. I like the duct tape idea.

  71. Hi Deb, thanks for your great suggestions. Duct tape seems to be very popular…I ended up buying a roll of it in Germany last year. Bring a kid’s scissors to cut it!

  72. DUCK TAPE …
    *Secure the bubble wrap around fragile items.
    *Tape up a hem in dress, pants, etc.
    *If you happen to have a rough sea AND a loose closet door or drawer, it will tape them shut securely.
    *Should you be unlucky to have suitcase zipper break, TAPE it closed when departing the ship OR they won’t handle it.
    HIGHLIGHTER (?different color for each person?)
    Most cruise lines have a daily “program” printed. Use the highlighter to mark things each family member is interested in doing/taking part in for that day.

  73. HI Debbie,

    Great suggestions! Magnets seems to be on everyone’s list, whether hooks or refrigerator-style. I too carry something like a little Lysol..sometimes a pack of wipes for surfaces, remote control, etc. Thanks very much and Happy Travels!

  74. Bring little magnetic hooks, the cabin walls are metal. The are great for hanging all sorts of things.
    I never leave home without a small Lysol can (can be found where the travel toiletries are sold).
    I bring a lanyard to hold my key or a small bag to hold a book, hot, sunglasses while on board.

  75. Hi Lori, Thank you very much. Both are great ideas…I especially like the post it notes. Sherry

  76. I always bring more clothes hangers. Another handy item is post it notes for messages or instructions I might want to leave for the steward.

  77. Hi Kim,
    Great idea. I should do an update and include all the new ideas that readers have sent in response to this post. Thank you! Sherry

  78. I always pack an over the door shoe rack with clear plastic pockets. Hang it on the inside of the bathroom door and store all toiletries, makeup, combs ect. Everything is out of the way and easy to see. No more “honey, where’s my ,,,,,,,,”

  79. Depending on your cabin and which ship you are on, drawer and shelf storage may be at a premium. I bring one of those fabric collapsible shelf things that hook onto the closet rod (usually used for sweaters!)…great place for shorts, tops, anything you can fold…and, even shoes!

  80. Hi Rachel,
    Thanks for reading the article. How exciting..your first cruise! Your ship will furnish beach towels so you don’t have to bring any from home. Have a wonderful cruise!

  81. WOW great.. going on my first cruise ever and this helps me so much. what about beach towels?? do we need to pack any?

  82. Great ideas! I also pack a nightlight (for finding the bathroom in the middle of the night) and wet wipes (individually packaged) .

  83. A tiny bottle of Downy wrinkle releaser has been very helpful for us- after you hang your dress clothes in closet, mist them and voila- any wrinkles will relax right out:)

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