Expert Packing Tips for Your Next Cruise
Updated March 15, 2023
Packing for a cruise requires thought and proper planning. You will need dressy clothes, casual options, bathing suits, shoes for multiple occasions and more. Your stateroom storage options might be limited, so it is best not to over-pack. Use these essential cruise packing tips to help you bring the right things on your next voyage.
Walking – Cruise excursions can require quite a bit of walking. If you are looking for something a bit more stylish than your running shoes, try these lifestyle sneakers from New Balance. They are lightweight, unbelievably comfortable and look great with just about everything.
Evening – It is never easy to walk around on a moving ship in high heels. For evenings, I prefer slightly lower, chunky heels that still look great. These Naturalizer Strappy Sandals have a solid heal and work great with both dresses and pants. Plus, they have a cushioned insole, so you can wear them all night without your feet hurting.
I have finally found a reasonably-priced designer with dresses that make me feel pretty. Eliza J makes fabulous, feminine dresses that are perfect for dinners onboard a cruise. Their fit and flare maxi dresses look good on just about everyone and are easy to pack. Simply steam out any wrinkles once you arrive.
Insider tip: Use Rent the Runway to “borrow” new dresses for each cruise. It keeps your wardrobe fresh at a fraction of the cost!
At this point, I am more comfortable in a one-piece rather than a bikini. But that doesn’t mean my bathing suit has to make me feel frumpy. I love this flattering swimsuit from La Blanca. It has just enough coverage (but not too much), and the built-in tummy toner makes me feel confident whether I am swimming in the pool or lounging on the sundeck with a cocktail.
How to Pack for a Cruise
I only pack in a roll-on suitcase. It is true. No matter how long my trip is, I make it fit. I make sure that all of my toiletries are TSA-compliant and that I have enough for a week or more by using these tips. The thought of losing my luggage before a cruise makes me a little crazy. How will it catch up to me once we are at sea?
Packing Cubes – I use compression packing cubes to make clothes lay as flat as possible to pack in my one suitcase. Plus, they keep me organized. Usually, I stay in a hotel for one night prior to embarking. I just pack that day’s outfit separately in one cube. That way I don’t need to dig through my suitcase and make a mess to find what I want to wear.
Luggage – I have several carry-on bags. However, the one I use the most is my Delsey 21″ Expandable Spinner. This hard-sided suitcase has spinner wheels which make it glide effortlessly through the airport. I feel like sometimes I walk a million miles connecting from one terminal to the next. It also expands just in case I buy a few things while I am cruising.
Travel Backpack – I am in love with Flip & Tumble reusable shopping and travel bags! This lightweight foldable backpack is perfect to keep in your suitcase. It rolls it up into its top flap and folds down to be only 1″ thick. You never know when you might need a backpack for an excursion or a day at the beach.
Additional Packing Tips
There are a few other things I always keep packed in my suitcase, like over-the-door hooks, which are especially helpful in small cruise cabins. Compression socks are essential for long flights. VIM & VIGR make super cute ones that are extremely comfortable, reduce swelling, and help with circulation. And I use a jewelry organizer, so my necklaces, earrings, and bracelets don’t end up in a tangled mess!
Tell me your cruise packing tips in the comments below.