You’ve spent hours packing for your upcoming vacation. You have made a list and checked it twice. The suitcases are all weighing in under 50lbs. GREAT! But, have you thought of everything? During our 10+ years of cruising, we have learned that there are some common household items that will come in handy during cruise. So, be sure to check our list of the 12 Household Items You Need to Pack for a Cruise, and don’t leave home without them. Don’t worry, they won’t take up much room in your luggage.

12 Household Items You Need to Pack for a Cruise

1. Highlighters. This will definitely be useful when reading through your cruise ship’s dailies. You will want to highlight any important information and all the activities and entertainment that interest you so you don’t miss out!

2. Shoe Organizer. Storage space is limited in cruise ship cabins that is why an over the door shoe organizer can be very useful. Not necessarily for shoes, but these handy storage units work great for all your toiletries.

12 Household Items You Need to Pack for a Cruise12 Household Items You Need to Pack for a Cruise

3. Laundry Bag (or a trash bag can serve the same purpose). We find bringing a laundry bag is essential. It can be easily hung in the closet to discard of dirty clothes making packing at the end of your cruise a breeze.

4. Travel Surge Protector. Power outlets are very limited in cruise ship cabins, so having access to extra outlets is a must to allow for charging of phones, cameras, tablets, laptops, scooters, and more. We like the Belkin power curve mobile surge protector complete with rotating outlets and USB slots.

12 Household Items You Need to Pack for a Cruise12 Household Items You Need to Pack for a Cruise

5. Ziploc Bags. These can come in handy for easily waterproofing items for your beach break or for transporting wet bathing suits in your beach bag. We also use Ziploc bags to pack our toiletries to avoid any potential leakage during travel.

6. Magnetic Hooks. Since closet space is at a premium on a cruise, having extra spaces to hang items are a must. These heavy duty magnetic hooks can be used to hang jackets, beach bags, hats, jewelry, and more. Be sure to purchase hooks that are strong enough to support the weight of your items.

12 Household Items You Need to Pack for a Cruise12 Household Items You Need to Pack for a Cruise

7. Wrinkle Release. Since you are NOT allowed to bring an iron or steamer of any sort on board a cruise ship, wrinkles are inevitable. You may try all sorts of clever packing tricks, but we find wrinkle release is the best option. Our trick: spray the clothes with wrinkle release following the bottle’s directions then place in the bathroom while showering for additional steaming of the garments. Of course, if formal attire is your concern, you can always pay to have the cruise line press your garments.

8.  Air Freshener. With cramped quarters on a cruise ship, some Febreze or a hanging air freshener for the bathroom is always a good idea. Trust us, your cabin mates will appreciate it.

9. Night Light. Since you will be sleeping in an unfamiliar environment, having some light to guide the way at night is a good idea. The last thing you want to do is trip and fall while attempting to get to the bathroom during the night. This re-chargeable, wireless light is the perfect option for a cruise.

12 Household Items You Need to Pack for a Cruise12 Household Items You Need to Pack for a Cruise

10. Hand Sanitizer. Yes, you can never have enough hand sanitizer on a cruise. Pack a few small bottles to keep in your cruise cabin and to throw in your day bag when going ashore. Your immune system will thank you later. Other first aid items like band-aids and tylenol should make your packing list as well, just in case.

11. Wine Opener. Most cruise lines allow you to bring 2 bottles of wine onboard the ship. Many cruise lines also charge corkage fees even if they are your own bottles. So, we recommend bringing your own bottle opener to use in your stateroom. That way you can pour your own glass of wine before heading out for the evening and avoid the extra fees.

12 Household Items to Pack for a Cruise12 Household Items to Pack for a Cruise

12. Small Bills– This will come in handy for tipping. Even though gratuities are automatically added to your stateroom account while on the cruise, you will want to tip drivers, tour guides, and anyone else who has provided you with exceptional service. You might also opt to use cash while ashore at ports of call to purchase souvenirs.

All right, so you have to open that suitcase one more time to throw in these last minute items, but aren’t you glad you thought of them?


Do you pack any of these common household items for your cruise vacations? What are your essential packing tips? Drop us an anchor below to share which items you can’t cruise without.

12 Household Items You Need to Pack for a Cruise

About the Author

DB & The Princess

Welcome Aboard! We are Don and Heidi, the husband and wife travel team behind We took our first cruise vacation together 10 years ago and have been hooked ever since. Follow along as we share our travel tips, cruise reviews, information on ports of call, and the latest cruise news to help you plan the ultimate cruise vacation. Are you ready to embark on your journey to “sea the world, one port at a time”? Read More...

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