43 Things People Always Forget to Bring on a Cruise!

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cruise checklist forgotten items

Packing for a cruise is one of the hardest things to do! You must remember to take everything you need to have a comfortable vacation.

Unfortunately, we always forget something at home, so I thought I would create a checklist specifically for the things we generally forget.

How did I create it? I asked cruise passengers who follow my Facebook page to list the items they forget most often.

I collected more than 1,000 responses, and it turns out there are 43 items that almost every passenger forgets to pack.
Let’s find out about them below!

The Checklist

1. Seasickness remedies

Even if you don’t usually get seasick, some itineraries, especially during winter, can get quite rough. I’m not a fan of the pills because they make me so sleepy. I usually use the sea bands that work with pressure points to help stop nausea. They’re small, easy to pack, and they make a big difference. Unfortunately, I forgot to bring them with me last time, and now they are always at the top of my checklist.

2. Power Strip without Surge Protection

I’ve been on many cruise ships and in many cabins. One thing they have in common? Most of them have just two or three plugs.
If you are traveling with kids you will definitely need a power strip that lets you charge all your electronic devices at once. Just remember, it shouldn’t have an extension cord and surge protection, because those are often not allowed on ships.

3. Magnetic Hooks

Magnetic hooks on the cabin wall
Magnetic hooks on the cabin wall

The walls of cruise cabins are made of metal, so magnetic hooks stick to them. They’re great for hanging up wet swimsuits or keeping your towel off the floor. It’s a smart trick to keep your room tidy without needing extra storage space.

4. Highlighter

Each day, you’ll get a schedule full of fun activities. Some cruise lines completely switched to apps, I personally prefer the paper one and always ask for a copy.
A highlighter would be useful to mark the activities that you don’t want to miss.

5. Waterproof Phone Case

Whether you’re poolside or on a beach excursion, water during a cruise is basically everywhere.
A waterproof case protector will protect your phone from splashes or if it accidentally takes a dip. In addition, I like to use the case to take cool underwater photos, just make sure to get a perfectly waterproof one.

6. Portable Phone Charger

Unfortunately, modern phones run out of batteries quickly, especially if you take a lot of photos and videos like me. Remember to bring a portable charger that will keep your phone working while needed.

7. Ziploc Bags

These are super handy for keeping things dry or storing your wet bathing suit. They don’t take up much space and you’ll find a million uses for them, like keeping snacks safe or protecting your phone from sand.

8. Over-the-Door Organizer

Over-the-door organizer on a cruise
Over-the-door organizer on a cruise

Space is tight in cabins, so if you need extra storage you can hang an organizer over the door that will help in keeping things neat. You can store any small items or clothes that are easy to grab on your way out.

9. Travel Insurance Documents

Not everyone buys travel insurance. I never do it when traveling in Europe, for obvious reasons.
However, if you have travel insurance remember to bring the documents with you. Of course, I hope I hope you never need it!

10. Reusable Water Bottle

Drinks on board can be pricy. A reusable water bottle will help you to stay hydrated without spending extra money. Of course, if you have one of Royal Caribbean’s drink packages on one of MSC’s beverage packages, you don’t have to worry about it.

11. Sunscreen

The sun at sea can be stronger than you think, and getting sunburned is no fun.
Always remember to pack sunscreen so you can enjoy sunny days on deck. It’s often a thing you can also buy in onboard shops but it will be way more expensive.

12. Sunglasses and Hat

As well as protecting your skin, you should protect your eyes and head too.
Remember to bring a pair of shades and a hat that you can wear on deck and during shore excursions.

13. Binoculars

It looks like people always forgot to bring binoculars while packing for a cruise.
I actually think it’s a very cool gadget to bring with you, especially if you’re a nature lover or an explorer.

14. Beach Bag

A good beach bag is essential for carrying every object when you go to the ship’s pool or to a beach on a port day. Use it to carry all the essentials like sunscreen, sunglasses, a book, a towel, and a water bottle.

15. Medications

Don’t forget any prescription meds, count them before leaving and check that they are enough for the entire duration of the cruise. In addition, remember to keep important medications with you at all times in a carry-on bag. Don’t put them in your suitcase because there is always a risk of it being lost.

16. Earplugs and Eye Mask

Cruise cabins are quite small and in some cases can also be noisy.
To ensure optimal sleep, remember to bring earplugs and an eye mask.

17. Hand Sanitizer and Disinfectant Wipes

Cruise ships are closed and crowded places, the perfect environment for the spread of viruses. For this reason, always remember to bring hand sanitizer or disinfectant wipes with you.
On some ships, they may be provided by the cruise line but I always prefer to bring my own.

18. Themed clothing

Some cruise ships have fun parties or theme nights.
Some of them require specific themed attire; it is not mandatory to dress that way, but it is always a nice thing to do. So remember to bring all the clothes you need, below you can see the links for the theme nights for the major cruise lines:

19. Snacks

Sometimes you just need a quick bite so remember to bring a few snacks with you. However, keep in mind that some cruise lines only allow dry, packaged food on board.

20. Small First Aid Kit

Cuts or scrapes can happen, especially during a vacation where you walk a lot and see many places. Usually, I bring with me a small kit that contains band-aids, antiseptic wipes, and maybe some tweezers.

21. Travel Alarm Clock

Not all cabins have clocks, and it’s something that many don’t consider. If you have an appointment for an excursion or activity, it is useful to bring a small Alarm Clock with you.

22. Light Jacket or Sweater

Even on a cruise to warm places, evenings can get cool, especially at sea. In addition, air conditioning can create a large temperature difference between inside and outside. Remember to pack a light jacket or sweater so that you can enjoy the night air or stroll on deck comfortably.

23. Aloe Vera or After Sun Lotion

I have quite pale skin and the last time I was on a cruise I got sunburnt. Obviously, I completely forgot to bring some after-sun products, so don’t make the same mistake!
Remember to bring an aloe vera cream or a soothing lotion that can help calm your skin.

24. Portable Fan

If you will be traveling during the warmer months you might consider bringing a small portable fan. You can turn it on when you feel very hot and it will cool you down in a very short time.

25. Reading Material

If you love reading, remember to bring a book, a magazine, or an e-reader with you.
They will be perfect for relaxing on your balcony, a deck chair, or cozying up in bed.

26. Backpack

A backpack is super useful when you leave the ship for excursions. Is the perfect option for carrying water, snacks, your camera, sunscreen, and all the other essential objects.
I often see women who bring handbags but forget a backpack. I think you should still bring a backpack: it frees your hands and it makes easier to move around and explore.

27. Camera and Extra Memory Cards

Smartphones are great for most of the shots but if you want to take higher-quality photos and videos remember to bring a camera. In addition, don’t forget some extra memory cards, they’re essential so you can keep snapping away without worrying about deleting anything to make room.

28. Underwater Camera

If you plan on snorkeling also bring an underwater camera or a case that allows your camera to work underwater. I assure you that you will be able to take photos that will stay in your heart forever!

29. Shoe Organizer

If you plan to bring many shoes, also remember a hanging shoe organizer that can keep your footwear organized and off the floor. It’s an easy way to keep your space neat and find what you need quickly.

30. Travel Sewing Kit

Do you know what happened to me once on a cruise? I was putting on my dress for the elegant evening but a button came off!
Since then, a small sewing kit has always been on my checklist. It is light, easy to carry, and can save your night!

31. Corkscrew

Do you want to enjoy a bottle of wine in your cabin? Don’t forget a corkscrew. Check the cruise lines’ policies on bringing alcohol onboard, many companies allow you to bring a limited number of bottles of alcohol.

32. Flashlight

I think that a small flashlight is always useful. Can use it during late-night walks on the deck or if you drop something under the bed. I have a tiny, but powerful, one attached to my key ring.

33. Water Shoes

Always bring water shoes if you plan to enjoy the beaches during your cruise.
Since these beaches will be unfamiliar to you, it’s difficult to know what to expect. Wearing appropriate shoes is always a wise choice, particularly in case you encounter rocky areas.

34. Copies of Important Documents

One very important thing not to forget is a copy of your documents. If the originals are lost or stolen, copies can help you get assistance faster. I know it may seem useless, but in an emergency, they can make all the difference.

35. Clothespins

I always bring 3 or 4 clothespins with me. They are surprisingly useful for hanging wet clothes or swimsuits on the balcony. A few clothespins take up hardly any space but can be incredibly handy.

36. Waterproof Dry Bag

One very important thing that almost all cruise passengers have told me they forget: a waterproof dry bag. After beach days or water excursions, a dry bag keeps your belongings safe and dry. It’s peace of mind knowing your things are protected.

37. Lanyard for Your Room Key

The cabin card is essential for nearly all activities on a cruise. It serves as a key to open your door, a payment method, and an identification document on board. To ensure you always have it with you, consider bringing a lanyard. This way, you can keep it securely around your neck and reduce the risk of losing it.

38. Wrinkle Release Spray

Irons are usually not allowed in cabins for safety reasons. What can you do to avoid wrinkles? A good alternative can be a wrinkle-release spray. I have tried it a couple of times, and I must say that it works and I was quite impressed with it.

39. International Adapter

International adapter on a Princess Cruise
International adapter on a Princess Cruise

If you are going on an international cruise, an adapter ensures you can plug in your devices everywhere. It will be useful not only in the cabin but also if you want to charge your devices during shore excursions.

40. Nightlight

Cabins can be very dark at night. There’s no light coming from the outside so a small nightlight will provide enough illumination if you need to use the toilet, or if you are used to sleeping with some light.

41. Travel Journal

Documenting your cruise adventures is a wonderful way to keep memories. A travel journal allows you to write your experiences, thoughts, and feelings about the places you visit and the people you meet. I usually carry it when I travel alone.

42. Headphones

I don’t know why but many people forget to bring headphones when they travel. Remember to bring them if you want to listen to music or stream videos without disturbing other passengers.

43. Reading glasses

The last thing passengers forget to bring on a cruise is their reading glasses.
If you are older, you probably need glasses to read small print such as restaurant menus.
So remember to pack a pair of reading glasses, you will need them!

Please share this article! It can be useful to another cruise enthusiast!

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