What to pack for a cruise?
A few tips to make your packing easy

What to pack?


Packing for a holiday might sound a hard task, especially when you are wondering about restaurant dress codes and required attire on a cruise ship. The good news is, cruising has become much more of a casual vacation, and thus, definitely makes packing much easier.

First Day Onboard

It is a good idea to have your carry on bag handy with your travel documents, change of clothes, swimming suite, sunscreen lotion and all the medicine you require, so you can start enjoying the facilities on board without waiting for your suitcase to be delivered to your cabin.

Daytime Wear Onboard

The suggested attire on board most of the cruise lines is resort casual. Shorts, t-shirts, slacks, trousers, jeans, casual skirts, blouses and sundresses are all perfect during the day. For lounging by the pool, you have to pack your swimming suits and a pair flip-flops or sandals. Some shorts and t-shirts or sundresses are very useful to cover you up while getting around the sundeck. A nice sun hat might come handy to protect you from the sun, not only by the pool but also ashore.

If you are the adventurous sort, and planning to climb the rock wall, explore the sports deck and visit they fitness center, than don’t forget to pack your preferred shorts and shirts for these activities as well.

Daytime Wear Ashore

The proper attire on shore depends on the cruise destination and the type of activity you are opting for. If you are visiting the “all-year-round-summer” destinations, like the Caribbean, South America, Hawaii etc… – For snorkeling and kayaking, the most comfortable of clothes and swimming suites are recommended. If you are just out and about vising the town or participating in an arranged tour, the above mentioned day time attire is perfect. Don’t forget your comfortable walking shoes. In case you are planning to visit religious sites and churches, it is recommended to wear long skirts or trousers and have a scarf handy to cover up if required. A sun hat and some sun screen can be very useful as well. If you are visiting cooler destinations, like Alaska, Northern-Europe, Canada/New England etc. – long trousers, jackets, raincoats and warm sweaters are recommended, even in the summer months as the weather can change from one day to the next.

Evening Wear Onboard

Most cruise ships have certain dress codes, like casual, informal, resort casual, formal for evenings after 6pm, to wear in public areas and restaurants. On longer cruise itineraries, you might even have two formal nights, where men opt to wear a tuxedo or a nice dark suit with a tie, and ladies enjoy wearing their cocktail dresses or evening gowns. Onboard most cruise lines, tuxedos can be rented on board. The degree you wish to choose to dress up to on a formal night however is completely up to you. It is a good idea though to have a suit packed, as some of the specialty restaurants on board can be formal too, and you just would not be comfortable without it.

The attire on informal, smart casual nights is a collared shirt for men and a simple attractive outfit for ladies. If you opt for a more casual approach during your cruise, most of the cruise lines offer 24/7 casual dining options. On longer itineraries, you might come across different theme nights, like ‘black and white’ or ’60s-night’ etc., but participation in these are absolutely voluntary. If you forget something at home, there is no need to worry, there are shops on board as well to cater for your needs.

Banned Items on Cruise Ship

There are some items that are not allowed on cruise ships for safety reasons. These items include firearms, knives, martial arts gear, fireworks, candles, incense sticks, harmful chemicals, iron boxes, hot plates, coffee makers, surfboards and of course illegal drugs. Cruise ships can deny you from taking any electrical device on board that can get overheated and cause fire. Guests’ and colleagues’ safety comes first for all the cruise lines.

More Useful Tips

Small backpacks can be useful to carry around your necessities.
Downloading some books and apps on a smart device is a great idea, can entertain kids and save on packing space.
If traveling with children, inflatable water toys and favorite softies can come handy as well on your cruise. Most ships have libraries filled with books and different board games, besides the Kids’ Clubs are always full with activities.
Most cruise lines will let you bring soda and water on board, however be careful with packing liquor as it might get confiscated. It depends on the individual policy of the cruise lines.