Packing for a cruise can be pretty easy if you know just what you need!
You will want to begin with this post here, about the “starter” packlist for any cruise, but in this post, we’ll go over what to pack specifically for a Caribbean Cruise!
You can find that starter packlist for your cruise at this post: Cruise 101: Your Guide to Packing for Your Cruise
- Bottoms – You’ll want shorts, skirts, casual pants, and perhaps some capris or nice pants for evening wear.
- Chic outfits – if you’re taking a longer cruise you might have a dressier evening onboard, so it’s good to have 1-2 nicer outfits for these occasions.
- Dresses – for the ladies, they may want to bring sundresses, or nicer dresses for evening time
- Gym Clothing – if you plan to be active on your cruise, don’t forget the gym outfit – complete with sneakers, socks, bottoms, tops, and sports undergarments if you wear anything special.
- Raincoat – a raincoat can come in handy if there’s some rain. A poncho can work just as well.
- Rash Guard – this is a swim top basically, and can come in handy for various excursion types
- Scarf or Pashmina – easy to dress up a dinner outfit, warm yourself just a tad, or if you’re going on a tour, a great little cover up for the sun if it gets too intense while you’re out without packing a bulkier item
- Sweater / Sweatshirt – whether for out on the deck at night or a nicer one for dinner or a show, sweaters can be handy!
- Swimsuits – 2 or more. I know I hate putting on a wet one! Also, you might want to pack a bikini, but also pack one for active adventure!
- Swimsuit Cover up – not only handy for staying warm if the air is a bit cool when you get out of the pool, but great for the lido deck on a sea day, or when walking to/from the pool or hot tub
- Tops – You’ll want some tee shirts, tank tops, as well as some chic or nicer evening wear tops
- Water-Resistant Clothing – if you plan to visit waterfalls or hike in the rain forest, something like a lightweight water resistant shirt and/or pants might be great to have – also protects from mosquitoes!
- Dressier evening shoes for dinnertime and shows
- Flip Flops for poolside or the beach
- Hiking shoes if you plan to take any adventure tours
- Sandals for all sorts of reasons
- Slides for the pool
- Sneakers for working out or walking on tours
- Walking shoes for walking in general
- Water shoes for the beach or tours
- Baseball cap if you’re not a sun hat wearer
- Bug spray (insect repellent) – topical weather means mosquitoes can be around in port, but you don’t have to suffer the outcome! (but you likely won’t see them on the ship)
- Sunglasses – Need I say why? But don’t take your fancy ones to the pool or beach.
- Sunglasses cord for around your neck for tours/activities
- Sun hat if you’re not a baseball cap wearer
- Sunscreen – and consider whether the beaches you visit may have restrictions on the type you use, like some areas in Mexico have protected reefs
- Chargers for everything
- Outlet adapter with USB ports (however a power strip isn’t allowed)
- Portable battery pack/charger
- Watch – perhaps waterproof so you can keep an eye on the time when in port in the water. Keep in mind ship time is the time you want to follow
Other Important Items
- Backpack or day bag for in port days to carry things
- Basic first aid kit with bandages, antibiotic cream, calamine lotion, gauze, antihistamines, and pain medication.
- Book or magazine if you like to read on vacation
- Carry on suitcase for embarkation and disembarkation days (boarding and departing the ship). You may want to include a swimsuit, cover up, travel documents, 1 pair of casual clothing, important medications, and toiletries you can’t live without.
- Lanyard for your cruise card if needed
- Driver’s License in case you take a driving tour
- Driver’s License + Birth Certificate + Marriage document if necessary and you are not traveling with a passport book (though I do recommend a passport)
- Magnetic hooks for your stateroom (the doors are metal)
- Medications – your prescriptions as well as basics like pain relief, burn cream, etc.
- Motion sickness medication – I recommend getting the patch from your doctor. Ask me why, I’ll tell you my story. PS: Still love cruising!
- Passport book
- Portable fan
- Refillable water bottle. Not only does it save you money if you’re flying as you can fill it inside the airport, but it’s eco-friendly and saves you money!
- Test results (Pre-Cruise)
- Toiletries (see the cruise starter packlist but to briefly go over, things like your favorite shampoo and conditioner, face and body wash, lotion, makeup, toothbrush and toothpaste, hairbrush)
- Travel document holder to hold these items
- Vaccination status card
- Visas, if required (not typically for most Caribbean destinations)
- Ziplock baggies – can come in handy in a variety of sizes for a variety of reasons, from wet swimsuits during an excursion outing to toiletries, or holding documents.
Cool Gadgets to consider:
- Dry Pouch to store valuables om a tour – it even floats to the surface if dropped in water!
- Jewelry storage cases for travel
- Over the door organizer for your stateroom
- Towel Clips to keep your towel on the chair onboard at sea
- Travel pill organizer
- Travel pillow, eye cover, etc. for longer trips.
- Waterproof Cell phone cover or case
This isn’t every last item everyone needs on their packlist, but just a guide. My advice is to start your list early, write more items down as the ideas come to mind, and you’ll be totally ready for your cruise! Once again that starter packlist can be found here: Cruise 101: Your Guide to Packing for Your Cruise.
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