Popov's Guide to Packing for a Cruise

The air is getting crisper and the leaves are beginning to change their hue, which can only mean one thing: Fall is here, and winter is just around the corner. If you spend your year looking forward to hitting the trails with your snowboard or skis, perhaps the coming tides of white are an exciting prospect, but if you’re like the rest of us, winter can feel like a long an arduous process: A test of endurance. Sometimes it takes planning a little extra something to make the long season ahead seem doable. Cruises are a great way to break up the long winter months by allowing you to escape the cold for a week and enjoy some much-needed relaxation and Vitamin D. If you’re among the many looking forward to a cruise in the coming months, I recommend you bookmark this guide to packing for a cruise for easy reference when your time comes!

Travel Basics

The first step to packing for a cruise is ensuring you have your travel essentials on hand. This includes luggage tags to ensure your bags make it to the same destinations as you do. And because you’ll need your passport at every port of dock if you’re leaving the country, you’ll also want a good passport cover with some extra pockets for local currencies.


You may not need as much clothing as you think you do for your upcoming cruise. This is because most cruise ships have on-site laundries, so as long as you have a few good outfits and the will to swap a load of laundry out on your vacation, you’ll be in good shape. However, you’ll want to make sure you have the right kinds of clothing to get you through your vacation. We recommend the following:

  • Shorts and T-Shirts
  • Undergarments
  • A Bathing Suit
  • One Formal Outfit
  • Pajamas
  • A Pair of Pants
  • A Rain Jacket

By making sure you have each of the above items, you’ll be ready for whatever the weather decides to throw your way during your vacation. While no one likes to contemplate the possibility of rain hitting while on a cruise, it does happen, and being prepared in case it happens to you will allow you to continue having a good time.


Between the on-ship pools and sports courts and the many shows going on throughout the day, it can be hard to imagine that you might ever be lacking in the entertainment department while on a cruise ship. The truth is that every once in a while, you may find yourself up against a lull, where the on-ship entertainment doesn’t speak to you or you just want to relax on your own for a bit. After all, the entire point of going on a cruise is to be able to let the stress off. That’s why it’s good to bring a little bit of entertainment on board the ship with you. You might want:

  • A good book to read alongside your morning coffee
  • A deck of cards, especially if you’re traveling with other people
  • A travel notebook to record your journey

Any other entertainment you might normally bring with you on an airplane trip would also be a good choice. If you do end up cruising during a rainy week or find yourself suffering a day or two of seasickness, you may even appreciate having a portable DVD player and some movies on hand. While cruise ships have movies for rent, you have to pay a premium for them.

Other Necessities

Other necessities for a cruise, of course, include your usual toiletries like deodorant and a toothbrush. We also recommend putting the following in your toiletry bag:

  • Sun screen
  • Bug spray
  • Antacids (in case the rich food doesn’t agree with you)
  • Anti-nausea medications (in case you get seasick)
  • Allergy medication
  • Pain reliever
  • Adhesive bandages

Overall, when packing for a cruise it’s nice to keep in mind that while the ship will have shops for anything you might forget, the mark-up prices are high, especially on items they know you don’t want to be without. Plan for every eventuality, especially if this is your first time on a cruise and you’re not sure how your body will react to the bucking and swaying of the ship.