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Cruise packing list template: What to take on a cruise holiday

Author: Susan Johnson

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What do I need to pack for a cruise? Is a question many people set to head off on cruises wonder when sorting out their holiday luggage.

Cruise packing requires careful thought. Whether you are new to the cruising life or a regular seafarer, packing for a luxury cruise is rather challenging.

If you wish to enjoy action-packed days and fun-filled nights when on holiday, a cruise packing list can help.

With so much to see and do, packing for an Alaska cruise in September or a Mediterranean cruise in October can be a bit of a nightmare.

To ensure you have everything you need for your holiday, here are a few cruise packing checklist templates you can fall back on.

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Ultimate Packing List

Here is the ultimate cruise packing list of everything you will need during your voyage.

Essentials:

  • Passport/Personal ID + Driving Licence
  • Credit card and cash

Clothing:

  • Formal clothes + shoes
  • Daily wears – shorts, shirts, pants, etc.
  • Sandals, closed-toe shoes, socks, and water shoes
  • Swimsuit and swimsuit cover-up
  • Exercise clothes + shoes
  • Pajamas
  • Sweatshirt/ jacket (evening on the deck can be cold and windy)
  • Rain jacket or poncho
  • Hat, sunglasses, and any other accessories you might need

Electronics:

  • Nightlight
  • Mobile phone + charger
  • Portable mobile phone charger
  • Power strip
  • Camera + batteries/ charger
  • iPad/ Laptop/ Kindle + chargers
  • Watch
  • Straightener/ curling iron

Toiletries:

  • Hairbrush
  • Hair ties
  • Hair products
  • Toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash, and floss
  • Conditioner
  • Meds
  • Sun cream
  • Insect repellent
  • Nail clippers + emery board
  • Q-tips
  • Lotion
  • Deodorant
  • First-aid kit
  • Makeup
  • Razor + shaving cream

Optional:

  • Ziplock bags
  • Water bottle
  • Waterproof mobile phone case
  • Books + Magazines
  • Over-the-door shoe rack
  • Playing cards
  • Snorkel gear
  • Torch
Use a packing template to prepare yourself for your next cruise holiday. Credit: Shutterstock

14-Day Cruise Packing List

If you are thinking about how to pack light for a cruise that lasts 14 days, a good idea is to research your trip beforehand.

A two-week-long cruise usually means visiting various ports, going on shore excursions, and more. Ideally, figure out what you might do during the trip. For instance, a day touring museums require different attire than a day spent rock climbing.

Also, choose clothes you can wear more than once. For instance, you can wear a pair of dress trousers in the port with a casual shirt or pair it with a dressy top for dinner night.

For women, a thin silk shell can be used for formal nights and during shopping or strolling a boardwalk.

- READ MORE: What’s it like to cruise Antarctica? Photographer reveals what to expect -

Antarctica cruise packing list

When you are packing for an Antarctica cruise, you might think that you should pack a ton of travel gear and clothing. But you can bring far less than you would expect.

The first thing you should think about is layering. Though cruises happen during summertime in Antarctica, it’s still chilly.

If you are thinking how to pack light for the cruise, you can get away with merino wool base layers as they dry quickly and repel odour. As for mid-layers, consider packing a heavy fleece sweater or a lighter-weight wool sweater.

Lastly, some expedition companies offer waterproof parkas that you could wear as an outer layer. So, check with your company to see if they offer a waterproof and warm parka. If they do, you won’t have to pack a coat.

Check with your cruise line to see if they offer parkas onboard, meaning you won't have to pack one yourself. Credit: Shutterstock

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Carnival cruise packing list

Packing for a Carnival Cruise generally means preparing for warm weather. If the cruise leaves from California, you will need a pair of jeans and a warm hoodie or sweater because the California weather can be a bit cool and unpredictable at times. So, you need warm clothing, just in case.

Furthermore, if you are sailing during the spring or winter months, you will possibly need a jacket too. California and the upper Baja Peninsula can remain quite cool and breezy before reaching the warm and sunny Cabo San Lucas.

Your Carnival Cruise packing list should thus include everything from the ultimate cruise packing list, plus some additional warm-weather clothes.

- READ MORE: Which cruise lines are best for holidays with kids? -

Disney cruise packing list

The best way to pack a suitcase for a Disney cruise is by concentrating on the clothes you take. You will be wearing casual attire like shorts and t-shirts at sea or at the port, except for swimsuits and tank tops when onboard.

However, Disney does have strict dress codes at its restaurants and activities. For instance, you are to wear something like a buttoned-down shirt, a tuxedo, or suits, a smart dress if you are a woman on a formal night.

Additionally, don’t forget to pack pirate attire! Disney Cruises holds a Pirate Night and has several outfit categories you can wear onboard, including formal, cruise, casual, and pirate. Often, guests dress up in pirate attire just for the event.

Bring along some pirate attire to take part in fun events on a Disney cruise ship. Credit: Shutterstock

Packing for Alaska cruise

Packing for an Alaska Cruise in September? All you need to think of is dressing comfortably.

You ideally should pack face coverings, winter wear, sturdy footwear, and binoculars, in addition to all the items from the ultimate cruise packing list.

Additionally, don’t forget to bring appropriate attire for activities such as dinners and Port Adventures.

- READ MORE: Guide to Alaska: What to do, see and & eat with Princess Cruises -

Bahamas cruise packing list

The weather tends to be great all year round in The Bahamas. So, you might be spending most of your time during the day in beachwear.

Nevertheless, don’t forget to add some dressy clothes to your Bahamas cruise packing list for dinner in the evenings.

With great weather, make sure to pack lots of beachwear for your cruise in the Bahamas. Credit: Shutterstock

Cruise packing hacks

1. Take a carry-on with you containing everything you need access to until dinner time. All your luggage will be checked with the porters as you arrive at the cruise terminal and will be delivered later to your stateroom. It is ideal to keep your passport/ ID, wallet, medications, cruise documents, and mobile phone in your carry-on.

2. You can leave your hairdryer at home to save some space in your luggage. Most cruise cabins offer a hairdryer

- READ MORE: Cruise packing list: What to pack for a cruise holiday -

3. Use coloured spring clamps on the top of your deck lounge chairs to keep the towel in place. It will also help you identify your spot after a dip in the pool.

4. After you are done with the initial packing, empty out half of it. This will guarantee you bring only the essentials.

5. Packing cubes are easy to remove from your suitcase and keep your things organized without wasting any space in your suitcase. With packing cubes, you can keep your shoes, swimwear, undergarments, etc. in one place yet separate from each other.

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