What to Pack for a Cruise

Deciding what to pack for a cruise can be tiresome – you either love it or hate it!  There are the Packing Lists given to you by your travel agent (the good ones anyway) and the lists of things you have learned from previous trips that you may need.

Then there are the lists you can find on the web and also our very own Ultimate Cruise Packing List, developed over many years of cruising which you can download HERE.

But, no matter what you plan to take with you on your cruise, there is the question of what to wear on a cruise and of course how you should pack everything.  Some people just throw everything they have in their cases and away they go.  This really doesn’t work. You need a system of packing, and there are many ways to do this – rolling clothes, flat packing, folding etc.

We like the specially designed folding boards in the eagle creek packing system which allow you to fold and carry clothes with minimal creasing. For smaller items, use packing cubes or mesh bags (one for underwear and socks, another for miscellaneous stuff such as earplugs, a torch, a first-aid kit, sewing kit, and all kinds of other gadgets).

Checkout our Review of the Eagle Creek Packing System here

Packing Do’s and Don’ts

Start by collecting everything you plan to take in a separate area or room. Then spread all the items you think you might need and pick up each item one at a time and scrutinise it. Ask yourself, “Will I really need this item – will I actually wear it?

Not “Will I wear them?” but “Will I use them enough to feel good about hauling them halfway around the world?” If you are flying, don’t forget there are weight restrictions on just how much your can take as part of your standard allowance.

Extra weight normally means extra cost. Whether you’re traveling for one week or three months, pack exactly the same. To keep your clothes tightly packed and well organized, zip them up in packing cubes, airless bags, or a clothes compressor. Try to go casual, simple, and very light. It is difficult.

Remember, in you will meet 2 kinds of tourists on you travels — the ones who pack light and those who wish they had. You may find some useful hints in the video.


Don’t pack for the worst-case scenario. Pack for the best-case scenario and simply buy yourself out of any jams. Take layers rather than take a heavy coat. Think in terms of what you can do without — not what will be handy on your trip.

When in doubt, leave it out. These days you can buy soap, toothpaste, toiletries razors in almost any drugstore anywhere around the world. Tourist shops in major international hotels are a good source if you ever get stuck finding a personal item.