Going on a cruise? 4 things to pack for a better cruise

by Janis on August 17, 2010

Every Tuesday is Travel Tip Day 

Today: 4  Things to Pack to Improve Your Cruise  

Going on a cruise? We love cruising as a relaxing way to explore the world without unpacking more than once.  Three summers ago, we spent more than 100 nights on cruise ships in Europe.  

Whether your cruise is for 4 days or 4 months, packing can be a challenge.  With airline luggage restrictions and fees, you do not want to over pack, but you do want to be prepared for travel challenges associated with cruises.  We have found some relatively inexpensive items to help you enjoy your cruise to its fullest. (We also take most of these items on non-cruise trips.)

Here are 4 things to pack to improve your cruise enjoyment.  

1. Challenge: Limited power outlets in cruise ship cabins.

Regardless of cruise line, there never seems to be enough power outlets to plug in our computers, phones, battery re-chargers, and to use the blow dryer/flatiron.      

Our Solution: BESTEK 2-Outlet Travel Power Strip with 4.2A Dual Smart USB Charging Ports

We bought a portable power strip like this about a year ago and now never cruise or travel internationally without it. The power cord is compact and light for packing. In addition to giving you 2 spare AC outlets, it also has 2 USB ports for smartphones/tablets/etc. NOTE: some cruise lines frown on power strips with surge protectors.

2. Challenge: Sunburns can sneak up on you.

You need sunscreen, even in cooler cruise locations like Alaska’s Glacier Bay.  A sunburnt face, head or neck can make your cruise unpleasant.  Packing bottles of sunscreen adds weight to your luggage, and can spill. 

Our Solution:  SunX Sunscreen Towelettes, SPF 30, 1 box of 25

These individual foil pouches each contain a towel with oil free, water and sweat resistant sunscreen.  One pouch is good for covering your face, neck, shoulders, arms and hands.  They are easy to apply and non-messy. Best of all, they are small enough to fit in a pocket or day pack, to apply later when needed.


3. Challenge: We hate bug bites, but also dislike packing bug spray.

From Rotan’s sand flies to ticks in Visby to mosquitos in Alaska, insects like us. They bite, we itch. Like sunscreen, bug spray is heavy and messy to pack.

Our Solution: BugX Insect Repellent Towelette 25 Foil Packs/Box – 30% DEET (2 Pack)

Light and easy-to-pack, these wipes  contain water-based, non-oily insect repellent.  The towelettes make application easy – you don’t have to dowse your cabin with bug spray.  This should be applied on top of sunscreen, if you are applying both.  Again, they are portable to put in your pocket or day pack.


4. Challenge: Conquering Cruise Cabin Clutter

Ship life likely means a smaller living space than you are used to, and more “stuff” in that small space.  Cameras, phones, batteries, charger cords, guide books, medicines, toiletries, shoes, hair accessories, blister block, — the “stuff” list goes on and on – but it’s important stuff.  And it can be hard to find in that small cabin, especially when you are trying to find it quickly.


Our Solution: DAZZ 42-Pocket Over-the-Door Organizer

To corral cruise ship cabin clutter, pack a light-weight over-the-door shoe organizer.  Ours has mesh “holders” – too small for our big shoes, but perfect for all of the little “stuff” that we have on a cruise.  Be sure to bring one with see-through mesh or clear pockets to quickly locate what you are looking for.  Note: we hang our organizer over the closet or bathroom door which may cause the door not to shut completely.  You also will want to check that the organizer is not scratching or damaging the ship. We have also tried similar shoe organizers that hang from the closet pole.

Are you a cruise fan? What’s your favorite packing tip that makes your cruises more enjoyable?       

Other travel tips posts:      


Our over-the-door organizer holds our cruise clutter on board the Prinsendam

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