Caravan Sonnet: 16 Unexpected Items to Bring on Every Cruise

10/30/18

16 Unexpected Items to Bring on Every Cruise

Today I wanted to share 16 unexpected but necessary things to bring on every cruise that you go on. While a lot of packing tips and lists can be found on the internet that include the usual items you would think to bring (clothes, camera, passport/documents/toiletries/etc) I wanted to share a few things that you might forget and are unexpected but are must pack items: 

(1) Over the Door Shoe Hanger
On my first cruise I didn't bring one of these and heard from lots of people that this is a must to bring. It is a great way to have dozens of small size compartments for a variety of different things and will help add extra storage to the small staterooms. 

I ended up choosing THIS ONE from Amazon and it worked perfectly for our trip! It is only $12.99 so it was pretty cheap and I have now used it on the Disney Cruise, the Royal Caribbean Cruise and also on our Viking River Cruise and plan to use it on all future cruises!

(2) White Noise Machine/Small Fan
For years I have been sleeping with fans and have loved the "white noise" that they provide as I am a very light sleeper. The walls on a cruise ship can be exceptionally thin (even more than a hotel room) and a small fan can be very helpful, especially if you are heading to bed and people are still wandering back in from a nighttime activity. These are also very cheap-and THIS ONE is a great size that easily fits into even a small carry on suitcase that can be used for other trips besides the cruise! You can find it HERE!

(3) Laundry Bags
Throw in a small (or large) laundry bag to make it easy to put in your dirty clothes at the end of the day. When you get home everything is already in the bag and can easily be cleaned. Another tip that I heard from a seasoned cruiser was to take three different laundry bags- one for whites, one for darks, and one for clothes that need to be cleaned. That way when she arrives home all she has to do is drop things off at the dry cleaners and through loads of laundry in the wash- brilliant! I personally love THIS set of laundry bags from Amazon. For less than $10 you receive 5 different bags and can separate things in a variety of ways making laundry when you return home incredibly easy. 

(4) Thermal Coffee Mug
For the coffee lovers out there this can be a great tip for a couple of reasons. First, many times room service is not offered on disembarkation days when people are hoping for coffee most. Second, this is an easy way to fill your mug up with coffee and take it anywhere on the ship without spilling things, especially in stormy weather. I love THIS ONE by Yeti in the seafoom green color (but there are tons of other colors to choose from!). You can find it HERE.

(5) Extra Hangers
Depending on who you are traveling with you might want to bring extra hangers. Many cruise ships will provide more if you request them, but if you are going on a long cruise or like to hang everything instead of using the drawers you might want to consider this tip!

(6)Power Strip
I shared this in my  "10 Must Pack Items for a New England and Canada Cruise", but this suggestion is universally helpful for anyone cruising. 

(7) Ginger
A lot of people use Dramamine (or the patch) for motion sickness on a cruise which is a wonderful option, but ginger can be a great natural resource to help with nausea. You can read more about ginger and its health benefits by clicking HERE. I have mentioned this in several posts but I swear by THIS ginger here. Also, if you are wanting to use dramamine- did you know that there is now a non-drowsy version made with ginger? You can find it HERE!

(8) A Picture of Your Luggage
I learned this tip from a couple that was sitting at our dinner table on my last cruise who make cruising a weekly event. The wife was explaining how her luggage was "lost" one time and couldn't be found on the cruise that they were on. She was trying to describe her luggage to the cruise staff but all of the bags that they presented her with (about 20!) weren't hers. Eventually (two days into the cruise!) her suitcase was found in staff quarters. From that point on she always takes a picture of her luggage on her phone and said that she can now easily show someone her luggage without trying to spend hours of precious cruise time explaining it! 

(9) Blank Cards
Y'all know how much I love letter writing and sending thank you cards to people and I highly suggest throwing a few cards into your luggage to have handy on the cruise. There are so many people that you can meet on a cruise and become friends with and so many people to thank. A handwritten, old fashioned card can always make a beautiful and long lasting impression! I love how pretty THESE Rifle Paper Co cards are!

(10) Towel Clip
If you have days on your cruise where you will be cruising only or simply want to spend some time outside laying out and enjoying the ocean breezes, you will want to bring a clip to hold your towel down. As the wind blows you don't want to be chasing the towel all over the ship (*smiles*) so bring a fastener to help hold down the towel. There are special clips for deck chairs that you can find in a variety of places but THESE from Amazon are amazing and are less than $7!! Click HERE!

(11) Your Favorite Snacks
Before we left on our last cruise, my best friend and I headed to one of my favorite stores and stocked up on some healthy (and gluten free for me) snacks to bring on board. While there is SO much food to be found on cruise ships, you might find this suggestion helpful, especially if you have food allergies like me and will want a snack. 

(12) Bungee Cords
Bungee Cords can be a wonderful resource to use in a variety of different ways. You can use the bungee cords to hold a balcony door open, secure your luggage, or even make a temporary clothes line to hang wet bathing suits! The options are endless but this will help you as you cruise! 

(13) Duct Tape
I have heard from several seasoned cruisers that they live and swear by using duct tape on the cruise so throw it in your suitcase! 

(14) Ear Plugs/Eye Masks
I am a huge believer in eye masks, but recently I have been using ear plugs when I travel. Even if you don't completely block the noise from your cruise mates on the ship, it can help dim it and this can help you sleep better! I love THESE ear plugs and THIS eye mask!

(15) Deck of Cards (or Dutch Blitz!)
Sometimes, even on a cruise there are periods of waiting or "down time" and having a deck of cards for when you are traveling to the cruise, or hanging out in line waiting to embark on the ship or disembark at the end of the cruise can be a fun way to connect with others and pass the time. While a regular deck of cards is wonderful, consider throwing in a card game like "Dutch Blitz" which is fun and a little unique! (You can purchase Dutch Blitz cards on Amazon HERE!) 

(16) Clothes Steamer
This is a suggestion that I learned from a fellow cruise mate on my last cruise after I waited for hours for laundry services to come and pick up some clothing that I needed ironed. They kept saying that they would be there "in a minute" and low and behold, almost 2 hours later they still had not come. The simple and easy solution to this would have been a clothes steamer that would help take out the wrinkles (just like a regular iron, which a lot of cruise lines do not allow you to bring on board). I have found THIS ONE to be great and pretty inexpensive!

What are your unexpected but must pack items to bring on a cruise? I would love to hear your suggestions!

Looking for additional cruising tips? You can find more on my travel page (by clicking HERE!) or click on some of the links below! 

3 Important Documents to Bring on Every Cruise   
Viking River Cruises: Answers to Your Most Frequently Asked Questions   
River Cruising vs. Ocean Cruising: 23 Key Differences to Know
5 Things People Forget to Bring on Their First European River Cruise   
7 Things to Take With You While In Port      
                              6 Tips to Plan Your Perfect Cruise                                           
                                10 Things People Forget to Bring on Their First Cruise                                             
10 Things to Do Before You Leave on Your Caribbean Cruise 
                                             Top 13 Must Pack Items for a Caribbean Cruise                                                  

20 comments:

  1. This is a very inventive list, I would never thought to bring bungee cords, but when I think about it you are right. They are quite versatile. Thank you for the suggestions, I will keep them in mind for my next cruise.

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    1. Thanks so much Krystal for stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment! :) I have to admit that as I shared above, a lot of the ideas came from others suggestions! :) I hope that these help you in your future adventures and travels!!
      Blessings, Rebecca :)
      p.s. I wanted to email you back but unfortunately you are a "no reply blogger". I hope to connect with you more in the future!

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  2. Great tips! I never would have thought to bring a thermal coffee mug, but that's brilliant! I like to have coffee available at all times. :)

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    1. :) Brittany, Yea!! I am so glad that this post was helpful and practical!! :) Yea for coffee!!! :)
      Blessings, Rebecca :)
      p.s. I wanted to email you back but unfortunately you are a "no reply blogger". I hope to connect with you more in the future!

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  3. Just went on a cruise this past spring and definitely wish I would have brought some extra hangers, a coffee travel mug, and a pack of cards!! This is a great list!

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    1. Thank you so much Liz for stopping by and sharing your thoughts! As I am getting ready to head on a cruise you have encouraged me to throw in extra hangers!! Thank you so much for your thoughts!! Where did you cruise to? I would love to hear about your adventures!!
      :) Rebecca
      p.s. I wanted to email you back but unfortunately you are a "no reply blogger". I hope to connect with you more in the future!

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  4. Great list. I've started bringing a laundry bag on every trip and it's so convenient! And ginger is so helpful at sea too.

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    1. Becky, I have only been on one cruise but ginger for me was a lifesaver! :) So glad to hear that it helped you too! Definitely throwing in a laundry bag this time as last time I didn't do this! :) Where did you cruise to? I would love to read about your adventures!!
      Blessings, Rebecca
      p.s. I wanted to email you back but unfortunately you are a "no reply blogger". I hope to connect with you more in the future!

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  5. I've only been on one cruise so I am by no means an expert. So many things on this list I would have never thought of!

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    1. Ahhh me too lady!! I am learning as this will only be my 2nd cruise the first one was truly a whirlwind!! :) So thankful for everyone who suggested these amazing ideas!! :) Happy Monday!!

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  6. We went on a cruise for our honeymoon and had several of these things. Some we hadn't thought about, I am saving this list!

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    1. Thanks so much Macy for stopping by and leaving a comment!! Do you mind me asking which items you took that you found most helpful? Also where did y'all cruise to? Would love to read about it if you wrote about it on your blog? Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment!!
      Blessings, Rebecca :)

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  7. Thanks for sharing your travel must-haves here. I always bring my handheld steamer wherever I go, too! I can't expect hotels to always have ironing facilities and shower steam is not too appealing to me, either!

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    1. Thank you James for stopping by and for leaving a comment! I appreciate you taking the time to do so! I hope you are having a wonderful weekend!
      Blessings, Rebecca
      p.s. I wanted to email you back but unfortunately you are a "no reply blogger". I hope to connect with you more in the future!

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  8. Don’t forget magnetic hooks. They hold all kinds of stuff too.

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    1. That is a great idea too Tracy! I do have a word of caution though- in my experience not all cruise ships have places for magnetic hooks to be used so you would definitely want to contact the cruise company ahead of time to ask them! Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment!
      Blessings, Rebecca :)
      p.s. I wanted to email you back but unfortunately you are a "no reply blogger". I hope to connect with you more in the future!

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  9. Hubby and I have been on many cruises over the years, and have learned some good tips, both from other cruisers, and our own experience. Be sure to bring good quality, comfortable shoes to wear on the ship, and the excursions. This is a bad time to break in new shoes! Bring a light sweater or wrap. Some areas of the ship can get very chilly. If you have extra prescription glasses, or reading glasses, it’s a good idea to bring them, just in case. A small handheld, battery operated fan has saved me a lot of misery when the temperature and humidity is stifling!
    Your list is really good! I like the seasick wrist bands, because you just put them on and forget about them. They really work!
    Good cruising everyone! 😀

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    1. Awesome! Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!
      :) Rebecca

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  10. 15 cruises down for us. May I add some more suggestions?
    A small lighted alarm clock
    Some clothespins for hanging wet clothing
    Some zip lock bags...so many uses!
    My sea sickness tip: Start taking a Bonine (or equivalent) 2 nights at bedtime before boarding ship and continue for 2 nights after. This has worked magic for me (I don't like the wrist bands). I find this approach stabilizes my equilibrium for the rest of the cruise.
    A small microfiber cloth in your day bag for hot/humid days that make you sweat.
    Colorful tape on your suitcase so you can spot it quickly. We use very long strips on both sides, top, and bottom.
    If you have fabric luggage, line inside top and bottom with garbage bags. In the event of rain in transit, your clothes will be protected and you can use the bags as laundry bags once on the ship, or even a makeshift rain poncho during the cruise!

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    1. Awesome! Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!
      :) Rebecca

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