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Checklist: What to Pack for Your First Cruise

34 Items That You Must Take on Your First Cruise

Going on a cruise is exciting. And in the midst of excitement, you might overlook some essentials that can make your life easier on the cruise. Don’t worry, though. AAA packing pro, Kathleen Collum, shares a list of items to take with you on your first cruise — or any cruise. Some might be related to the climate of your destination, so check the weather during your cruise dates.


cruise pack sunglasses and hat

 1. Sun hat and a small fan.
2. Walking shoes, sneakers, sandals or flip flops — based on your destination.
3. Shirt folder that holds six to eight folded cotton dress shirts or polo shirts.
4. Lightweight jacket, rain jacket or poncho for weather changes.
5. Sunglasses.
6. Swimsuit and beach cover-up.
7. Mini umbrella.

Beauty & Hygiene

cruise pack sunscreen

8. Sunscreen.
9. Liquid containers that hold 3.4 ounces or less for carry-on luggage.
10. 3-1-1 TSA-approved, quart-size bag for holding liquids in your carry-on luggage.
11. Wet wipes.
12. Cosmetic bag or men’s Dopp Kit with hooks.
13. Battery-operated toothbrush.


cruise pack psi
Captain D’s logo (PRNewsFoto/Captain D’s)

14. Psi bands or ginger candy for motion sickness.
15. No Jet Lag tablets.
16. Mini first-aid kit, including band aids, eye drops, Aspirin, cold medicine and cough drops.
17. Eight-day pill box.
18. Mosquito bracelets for tropical areas.

Devices & Accessories

cruise pack camera

19. Camera.
20. Phone, although cellphone connections are not available when the ship is out at sea and cell connection are only available when the ship is docked.
21. Extension cord, because some of the cabins only have two electrical sockets.
22. Correct electrical adapters for international ships.
23. Alarm clock with flashlight or night light.


cruise pack luggage lock

24. Neck wallet or money belt.
25. List of phone numbers. Remember to identify one phone number for medical emergencies.
26. Luggage locks to keep your personal items safe while you are out of your cabin room.

Pro Tip: Use the safe, if your cabin has one.

Packing & Laundry

cruise pack compression bag

27. Small daypack for your shore excursions.
28. Filtered water bottle. Remember to empty it before passing through TSA checkpoints.
29. Compression bags for your dirty laundry, jackets, sweatshirts and pillows. 
30. Tote bag with zippered pockets, clip rings for attaching water bottles and pocket shelves that open large enough to slip tote onto the handles of your luggage.
31. Waterproof bag to keep your camera or cellphone protected from water or sand.
32. Packable bags. These roll up bags or saved lite weight grocery bags are great for shopping in visiting towns, dirty laundry and extra gifts.
33. Laundry soap. Laundry facilities available on the ship.
34. Clothesline.

Pro Tip: When boarding the ship, bring a tote bag that will entertain you (pack a swimsuit, books or magazines) until your bags reach your room. It can take three hours before your luggage reaches your stateroom after boarding.

Interested in planning your next road trip with AAA Washington? Call your travel agent directly or your nearest AAA store to get pro tips, TripTik maps, and more. Find more Pacific Northwest scenic drives and road trips.

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