Well, friends. I’m back from taking a cruise to the Caribbean! Cory and I (along with my parents) took a 7 night cruise with Royal Caribbean to the Eastern Caribbean. I had been on a cruise with Carnival before, but this was the first with RC. We went on Allure of the Seas and stopped in Nassau, Bahamas, St. Thomas, and St. Kitts. The best part? I refused to purchase the on-board wifi so I had a break from technology for a solid week! HOLLAH! With this being my second cruise, I thought it was fitting to share some cruise essentials you can’t forget.
*This post contains affiliate links
I think the biggest struggle with packing was knowing that I would be away from society (and stores) for a whole week. While there are some stores on the ship, I wanted to try to avoid paying up the wazoo for something I could have packed myself. A half-size can of Pringles was on sale for $6!!! Sunscreen? Not much better. Therefore, I was a mad woman when it came to packing and making sure we had everything 😉
The first one on the list and certainly most important…no joke. I first bought me some Poo-pouri when Cory and I were house sitting for a friend. I know that if I was going to be in a house with him for 3 weeks, I was sure gonna have to, well… you know. Seriously this stuff is a God-send! This is my top essential because for the duration of your trip you will be sharing a tiny bathroom with someone else. And you have no other choice but to go in there, even after they go numba 2. Take my advice and you’ll thank me later. My fave is the citrus poo-pouri scent!
2. Wrinkle release spray
Ships don’t guarantee that you will have an iron in your stateroom, so definitely don’t count on one. But what am I supposed to do about my uber fancy clothes, you ask? And that’s where the wrinkle release spray comes into play! All ya gotta do with this one is spray your wrinkles, tug them out, and let your clothes dry. When I first went to pick some spray up, I looked in the detergent aisle and only found the large spray bottle. Uhhh no, my luggage needs all the weight it can get for clothes. 😉 Well, what do ya know, I found a nice little 3 oz bottle in the travel section! First, it’s the perfect size and second, I won’t need it after the trip so I won’t be wasting cash! HOLLAH.
3. Goggles and Snorkel
Yeah your cruise will have excursions where you can either snorkel or scuba, but those don’t last the entire day at port. And what about a day where you don’t have anything planned? Take your own snorkeling gear and swim around freely in the ocean. The best part? I scored a snorkel set for only $4 at Gabriel Brothers (aka Gabes). Seriously I about died when I saw them!
4. Motion sickness medication
Because you never know what being on a ship will do to your body. I have always called in a prescription with my doctor for those patches you stick behind your ear. You could also pack Dramamine too.
5. Ziploc bags
Ziploc bags are good for anything, but the main reason I pack them is for snacks. On port days, grab some items from the buffet and seal them up in baggies. This is especially handy if you’re traveling with a girl who gets SUPER hangry…like me 🙂
6. Antibacterial wipes
Cruise ships are known to be breeding grounds for germs…as with any other public place. I always have hand wipes/sanitizer with me in case the ship doesn’t have Purell stands. These also came in handy when I wanted to wipe down the room. Especially that germ-infested remote control!
7. Bug spray
Depending on where you travel, bug spray can be an extreme necessity. If you’re going into a tropical region you might want to be aware of the zika virus. Before you go, make sure you look into whether or not your port destinations have a warning about the virus.
8. A well-packed carry-on
When you get to the building where you can check in, you’ll be able to leave your heavy bags for someone to take directly to your room. Awesome right?! Well, not having to tote your heavy luggage around until your room opens is wonderful. If you have a well-packed carry on. I always keep a change of clothes, swimsuit, and any meds I might need. Once you get on the boat, you’ll be able to live up all the amenities, so you can hop right in the pool(s) if you so choose! So, moral of the story: if you think you’ll need something between the time you check in and when you get your bags (typically you get them by 5:30 that day you board) pack it in your carry-on.
9. Water bottle/ thermos
Yeah dining areas will have cups for you to grab some coffee, tea, or water but take it from me, you’re gonna want to have a secure container. I brought a huge water bottle, which made grabbing water and throwing it in my bag such a convenience. You won’t have a drink station next to you at all times, so having a bottle will save you several trips to for re-hydration. Depending on where you’re ports are, it might also be in your best interest to fill up your bottle on the boat. Since water on the boat is safe to drink, you don’t want to risk getting sick my drinking the water on land. The boat also has drink and Evian water packages, but they up-charge water like no other. Not worth it to me.
10. Print outs of your pre-booked excursions + showings
I never thought to do this until after we were burned with making reservations ahead of time. This being my first Royal Caribbean cruise, I thought I would receive a full itinerary of things that we had booked, but that was not the case. If you want a list of all your reservations, you will need to hit up Guest Services and ask them to print out a list of your reservations. Granted they were for free shows, so we didn’t lose out on any money, but we did miss the experience. Prior to going on the cruise, we had booked several night shows in advance since we knew they would be booked up by the time the cruise came. I wish we would have printed off our confirmations because somehow the Royal Caribbean system messed up and only had us down for 2 or 3 showings instead of the 7 we had originally planned. In the end it all worked out because we found other stuff to do + see, but my stress could have been avoided if I planned a little ahead 😉
Find this post useful?! Save it to Pinterest so you have it on hand for your next cruise!
What can you not go on a cruise without?! Share your fave cruise essentials below!