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10 Frequently Forgotten Cruise Packing Items

With 2020 coming to a close, cruisers from around the world are optimistically booking their next cruise. Thanks to the start of implementation for the COVID-19 vaccine, we can expect to be back on the high seas soon. Make sure to remember these frequently forgotten cruise packing items when you get back on a cruise ship!

Since many of us have not seen, let alone been on, a cruise ship in the past year, I have curated a list of items you will not want to forget on your next cruise vacation.

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cruise packing

Face Masks

While we may have an end in sight for this global pandemic, it is imperative to be prepared for anything on future cruises. Anyone who has been on a cruise ship before has heard horror stories of norovirus outbreaks.

To help counter this, I urge you not to forget face masks when packing for your cruise. Further, bring a couple of spares in case you or someone you are traveling with happens to lose theirs. Whether or not cruise lines will require face masks in public spaces immediately after COVID-19 is over is unknown. Thus, the best way to be safe is by carrying a few lightweight masks with you.

I prefer to be stylish when out and about, so I love the ones showed in the images above. Coming in at only $19.89 for 6 masks, you will have plenty to go around. If you want to purchase these, I found them on Amazon here.

Towel Clips

I can not emphasize this enough– if you plan on spending time on the decks tanning or swimming, you NEED towel clips. I do not know how many times I have had to purchase these while on vacation because I forgot them.

Towel clips take up a fairly small area of space and perfectly fit into a day backpack or suitcase carryon. Capable of preventing your towel from blowing away, towel clips will make it easy to spot your towels and chairs. I would advise investing in a set that comes with a bunch of clips in case you lose some. Also, try to find some on Amazon that are not the most popular as many people on the cruise ship will then be boasting the same ones, making it difficult to determine where your chairs were.

The clips in the image above are complete in a set of 16. Offered at $9.96 on amazon, these clips boast 4.5 stars with not a crazy amount of reviews. Offered in cute pastel colors, these are personally my favorite chair clips. If you would like to check them out for yourself, feel free to click here.


I do not know about you, but I have always relied on local shops to buy sunscreen when on vacation. However, on a cruise, you will be sad to notice how cruise lines jack up the price of even the cheapest of sunscreen.

Therefore, make sure to bring your own, favorite sunscreen when packing for your cruise. If you are just bringing a carry-on, make sure the sunscreen is in a small enough container. Otherwise, I would recommend bringing a bunch as you will spend a lot of time in the sun!

Personally, I prefer to use a sunscreen with an SPF higher than 20. With CeraVe being the #1 recommended brand for sunscreen, it is a no-brainer to use their brand’s top-selling sunscreen. Coming in a 1.7-ounce container, the one showed above would perfectly fit into your carry-on. Offered at $15.99 on Amazon, you can check out this sunscreen here.

Magnetic Hooks

Very few people know that the walls along the inside of your cruise stateroom are magnetic. Thankfully, now that you are reading this article, you will see how to utilize this unique feature.

On my previous cruise last December I purchased the exact hooks in the picture above. Honestly, this may have been the best pre-cruise purchase I have ever made. I cannot even tell you how many times I ran into my room throwing my jacket or key lanyard on a hook. I also utilized these hooks to hold a shoe organizer. Now, this shoe organizer was not used for shoes. While I did have a couple of pairs at the bottom, the main purpose of this shoe organizer was to hold miscellaneous items. This included my sunglasses, sunscreen, hair straightener, brush, etc. Another way I utilized these hooks was holding my toiletry bag by its hook.

If you are interested in getting the ones I purchased (and loved!) you will be happy to know they can hold up to 60 pounds! I found them on amazon here where they sell for $14.99 in a pack of 10.

Cruise Approved Power Strip

Cruise ship staterooms are notoriously known for having very few accessible charging stations. Thankfully, a handful of companies have created cruise ship safe power strips!

With the risk of fire being extra high on cruise ships, cruise lines regulate what is allowed onboard. One of the items typically prohibited is a power strip. However, after working with the cruise lines, a couple of companies have figured out a way to create a power strip that is safe onboard. I would suggest picking one up from Amazon before you leave for your vacation. Make sure to read the reviews to guarantee they are cruise ship safe.

The one that I bought a couple of years back has 3 USB ports and 3 power plugs. Selling for $15.99 on Amazon, you can check out this power strip here.

Reusable Water Bottle

This item should definitely be higher up on this list. Having a reusable bottle to fill with water or any other beverage will be imperative to stay hydrated.

Instead of buying plastic water bottles everyday in port or for your stateroom, just bring a reusable one from home. This way, you will always have a container you can fill when you happen to pass by a water fountain. Also, if you bring a reusable water bottle, you won’t be using loads of unnecessary plastic produced from disposable ones.

If you are looking for a cheap water bottle from a reputable brand, I would look to Contigo. The one shown in the images above comes in 19 varieties and is only $16.95 on Amazon. Plus, it is slim enough to fit in the side pocket of your backpack! If you are interested, check it out on Amazon here.


When boarding a cruise ship, you will be handed a personal ID card that you will need to use wherever you go. Whether you are trying to get into your stateroom, checking into a restaurant for dinner, or boarding back on the ship after visiting a port, you will need to have your cruise ship access card on hand at all times.

While you could try and keep track of this ID in your pocket or wallet, it will be much easier to keep track of when it is around your neck. Typically these IDs do not include a hole to attach a lanyard, so I recommend purchasing an ID holder in addition to a lanyard.

The one I personally use is a variation of the one seen in the images above. Vera Bradley, being a reputable brand, offers dozens of patterns for their lanyards and ID holders. With this specific set, you will also have a zippered pocket to keep cash for when you go in port. Offered as a set on Amazon for $20.99, you can find this lanyard and ID case here.


As a smaller item that most people keep in their car, you are not going to want to forget sunglasses. You are going to want to protect your eyes from the piercing sun rays when you relax on the pool deck on your next cruise.

Who wants to squint through the beautiful beach days and end up scrunchy-faced in all of your photos? I definitely do not! Plus, sunglasses provide much better health for your eyes. Make sure to look at what protection the sunglasses actually offer when searching for your perfect pair. You will want to have UV protection as you relax on the high seas.

The ones in the images above have a UV protective coating on the lense and are offered in 7 varieties. Coming in at $13.99 on Amazon these sunglasses boast 4.6 stars with over 10,700 reviews. If you are interested in this pair, you can check them out here.

Sun Hat

Along with sunglasses to protect you from the intense tropical sun, you will want to bring your favorite sun hat.

I suggest picking one up that has a full brim surrounding your head. Be sure to look out for sun UV protection technologies when searching for your sun hat. I personally have the one in the above images and it folds into a small ball that I tuck in my backpack when I am not using it. If you are on the pool deck and want to head in the pool for a while, pop the hat under your chair clips to ensure it does not fly away!

My sun hat surfaced on Amazon when I searched “women’s sun hat”. Offered in 6 colors, I ended up choosing the khaki color shown in the images above. You can find this hat here on Amazon for $19.99 if you are interested.

Laundry Bag

Even if you are not planning on doing laundry on your cruise, I highly suggest bringing a small, compact bag to store your dirty laundry. Dirty clothes infesting your clean clothes is the last thing you want on your relaxing holiday.

I, in the past, have just used one of my packing cubes to store my dirty laundry (or it has found its way to the stateroom floor). However, I will be purchasing a waterproof laundry bag in the future. I do not want dirty clothes infesting my clean clothes with their scents of sweat and filth. Make sure to find one that compresses into a small zipper case for easy transportation to the cruise ship.

The one pictured above specifically caught my attention because of the compact case it fits into. If you would like to check this specific bag out, click here offered on Amazon for $10.99.

That finishes out my top list of unforgettable items for cruise packing. Make sure to save this list for later to utilize as you pack for your next cruise!

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