Tuesday 8 August 2023

Some little extras that I always pack for a cruise

This post contains Amazon affiliate links

I like to think of myself as a bit of a seasoned cruiser, and as I start to put things together for our next cruise I thought I'd write a little list of the things that I always make sure to pack!

These are things that aren't expensive, don't take up too much space, and that a first time cruiser might not necessarily think of!

Magnetic hooks - these are brilliant. I have a set of four magnetic hooks (affiliate link) and they are brilliant, tiny to pack and surprisingly strong. We place them near the door and use them to hang lanyards, baseball caps, bum bags, swimming goggles - all sorts of things that you don't want lying around and getting lost!

However it's best not to pack over the door hooks or over the door hanging pockets. These may be confiscated by the cruise line as they can damage the doors. There is usually plenty of storage in the room for smaller items.

Travel adaptor plugs - I've seen cruise ship staterooms with both US and European sockets. If you can bring a couple of each then you'll have more charging options.

Travel adaptor plugs
Photo credit Call Me Fred via Unsplash

A lanyard - this is a personal preference thing, cruisers use it to keep their room card accessible, which can also be used for onboard purchases like drinks. I don't tend to wear one, but the children like to. Some cruise lines will provide them, especially as you move up through the tiers, but they will be expensive to buy on board if you suddenly decide that you want one!

Velcro cable ties - on a couple of our Disney cruises we came back to our room to find that the stateroom attendant had organised all our messy loose cables with little velcro cable ties! We left the ties behind but I bought some reusable velcro cable ties (affiliate link) as soon as we got home. It's a really good way to save space on the small desk area when you all have several devices that need charging at once. 

A spare, non valuable, credit card sized card - some cruise ships have a slot by the door for a card in order for the lights and air conditioning to work, and it's easy to forget that you've left a card in there when you leave. I have a couple of credit card sized cards which have a magnet stuck to the back so when we leave the room we can stick it to the wall ready for our return.

A small magnetic whiteboard and pen - this is especially useful if you are travelling with others. You can stick it on your stateroom door and then people can leave you a message - helpful if you don't have the onboard Wi-Fi or data roaming while you are travelling. An A4 magnetic whiteboard (affiliate link) is a good size. You might find that people leave you little messages saying things like 'happy cruising!'

A small bag to hold a phone and room card - most of my clothes don't have pockets, and I do like to take my phone around with me for photos and the cruise line app. I bought myself a small bag which I can use for a few essentials, and it's worth spending a little more for a smarter bag that you can use with more formal clothing in the evening.

Small hand gel - we've found that since covid restrictions eased not all cruise ships have hand gel around the ship outside of the food areas, so it's nice to have a little bottle to take around with you.

Person sanitizing hands
Photo credit Engin Akyurt via Unsplash

Waterproof phone cases - we discovered these on a recent holiday and they were brilliant! Even if you aren't going on a beach cruise you may want to use the pools, and having a waterproof case means that you can take photos and not worry about getting your phone splashed while you sit nearby. I bought these waterproof phone pouches (affiliate link) and was very pleased with them (test them at home first by placing some kitchen roll inside and leaving submerged for a few hours!) They are also a good idea for any other electronics that you may want to use near water, like a Kindle or tablet.

Laundry supplies (if your ship has self-service laundry facilities) - I usually take a couple of my own laundry pods. They will be available to purchase but my family can sometimes have sensitive skin so we stick to what we usually use.

I also like to take a small mesh bag which I use for socks. This way there's less chance of losing one, especially if you are late back to the machine and someone empties your things out. A larger laundry bag is also useful for all the dirty washing that you'll be taking home. Something like this set of mesh laundry bags (affiliate link) would work well.

A tip - if you are doing laundry on a cruise ship avoid the first day, the last day, and sea days. Try for early in the morning or later on during dinner. Disney cruise ships have an app which will let you know when your washing is finished and also lets you know which machines are free.

A refillable water bottle - there are usually plenty of free self-service drinks options on board, but it can be awkward to carry cups of water back to the room and I find a water bottle more convenient to keep on my bedside table for drinking at night, especially when space is limited. Just note that you may not be allowed to fill them directly from a dispenser, instead I fill a cup and pour it into the bottle. It's also useful for when you leave the ship.

Lady holding a refillable water bottle
Photo credit Bluewater Sweden via Unsplash

Towel clips - if you are planning to sit out on deck then towel clips can be very helpful to keep your towel safe in the breeze while you go in the pool or to get some food. They are also a good idea if you want to dry swimsuits or towels on your balcony - you can clip them safely to the furniture! Towel clips (affiliate link) are larger than normal clothes pegs so they will fit easily around a sun lounger or chair. 

Sandwich bags - we are a family of fussy eaters and it can sometimes be difficult to find food when we are out and about. I always take some pre-packed snacks that we can take with us on shore excursions, but sometimes we take a few bread rolls or cookies from the buffet just to have handy and sandwich bags are great for keeping them fresh.

Photocopies of our passports - you must always check whether you need to take your original passports off the ship with you, as it varies between ports and many places will require it. But if you are leaving your passport on board the ship it's a good idea to at least take a copy with you. I'm old school so I have a paper copy, but these days a photo on your phone is probably just as good!

I hope that these packing tips were helpful if you are preparing for a cruise, do let me know about any essentials that I may have missed!

1 comment:

  1. These are great ideas. I wouldn't have thought of taking most of these things. x


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