Cruise Packing Essentials

In light of our upcoming cruise on MSC Seaside, we thought it might be a good idea to compile a list of items we like to take with us on cruises that you might not have thought to pack!  From experience, a lot of these have become invaluable to us while we are on the high seas and because we want you to get the most out of your next cruise, we decided to share them with all of you!

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9 Unexpected Items to Pack for Your Cruise

  1. Collapsible, Waterproof Backpack

Every time we go ashore (or just to the pool), we find it so convenient to have a small backpack with our beach things (towels, camera, money, phones, etc). As there is a possibility of the backpack getting wet near the pool or on excursions, we opt for a waterproof bag to prevent any of our electronics or clothes from getting wet.  We find that a small collapsible backpack that can easily be folded to fit in our too-full suitcases is the perfect solution.

  1. Towel/Chair Clips

When you’re up on the lido deck on a cruise, it can get a little breezy and your towel might not want to stay put.  Pick up a couple clips before you go to keep those towels in place while you’re at the bar or taking a dip!

  1. Hanging Shoe Organizer

I know, you’re thinking “why would I take this?  I’m not taking all my shoes on the cruise with me!”.  Well, staterooms are notoriously famous for lacking storage.  Hanging one of these organizers in your closet or on the back of the bathroom door creates tons of extra storage for things like your shoes and cosmetics.  You’ll thank us when you’re unpacking!

  1. Power Bar

Staterooms also have very few power outlets!  If you’re like us, you travel with multiple electronics, all of which require daily charging.  Even on newer ships we tend to notice that two to three single outlets is the norm. We recommend bringing a power bar as this will give you the extra outlets you need!  A word of caution though, be sure your power bar is not a surge protector as these can interfere with the ship’s electrical system.  Our advice would be to check your line’s specific guidelines beforehand to ensure that a power bar is allowed on your ship, as it will otherwise be confiscated.

  1. Extra Hangers

Getting back to the issue of storage in the staterooms, there are a limited number of hangers.  All those formal night outfits need to be hung ASAP, and to be sure you have room for it all, you should pack a few extra hangers from home in your suitcase.  No one wants their best dress or favourite suit full of wrinkles in all their cruise photos! Bonus: These are non-slip with a 360 degree swivel and space-saving due to their thin design!

  1. Power Bank

We spend very little time in our staterooms while we are on a cruise.  There are so many things to do on the ship and no one wants to be caught with a dead battery!  We always pack several power banks so that when we are out and about the ship or on shore, we always have back-up charge for our phones and cameras. Don’t chance the possibility of not being able to capture that moment because of something avoidable like a dead battery.  Pick up a power bank or two and keep in your bag!

  1. Solarcaine

While this is mainly for Caribbean cruises (our specialty thus far!), we have learned from experience that a bad sunburn can really put a damper on your fun!  We have also found that Solarcaine is basically impossible to find in the Caribbean and the aloe gels with lidocaine that you can find are insanely expensive, less effective and have to be rubbed on (ouch!).  Since our first cruise where we experienced a really bad sunburn from the high seas, we do not leave home without a can of Solarcaine!

  1. Metal Straws

As the movement to eliminate plastic straws has been adopted by many cruise lines, you may find that all you will receive on cruises are paper straws.  From experience, these quickly soak to pieces and are far from ideal!  To make sure you can sip on our favourite frozen concoction all day, we suggest picking up a package of reusable metal straws prior to your cruise!  Great for the environment and durable for all your cruise beverage enjoyment.

  1. Tripod Selfie Stick

Were you even on vacation if you didn’t post it to Instagram?  Hence the need for a selfie-stick! Also great for solo cruisers or couples so you don’t have to bother other people to take a snap!  This awesome selfie-stick with tripod is perfect for cruising, allowing you to take all the selfies you can imagine from all possible angles and distances!

What are some unexpected items that you consider cruise essentials?