Caravan Sonnet: Top 13 Must Pack Items for a Caribbean Cruise

7/8/16

Top 13 Must Pack Items for a Caribbean Cruise

Packing for cruises to the Caribbean aren't like packing for cruising to cooler weather climates like a cruise to New England or Canada. So when it came to packing for my two cruises to the Caribbean in the fall I struggled to decide what should end up in my luggage. I had been to the Caribbean once in February 2014 and as it was my first cruise, it was a ton of fun but it was such a whirlwind that I am so looking forward to going back to experience the Caribbean in a totally new way. 

My last cruise was to New England and Canada and so my suitcase was filled with lots of layers, scarves, boots, and cuddly warm weather outfits. If you are going on a cruise to a cooler climate you may find my post, Top 10 Must Pack Items for a New England and Canada Cruise helpful. You can find it HERE!

So as I searched for what to pack for this type of cruising climate and I struggled to find answers. There were tons of ideas for basic things to pack, but not specific tips from people who have been here before. So I researched a ton and came up with a list of helpful things to bring. The reality is that the Caribbean is gorgeous no matter what time of year you go to visit and brings warm tropical weather in the day and cooler breezes in the evening. A perfect combination for a relaxing getaway! So here are the top 13 things that you can't leave home without y'all:

1. Different Bathing Suits and Cute Cover-ups

If you plan to spend time simply laying out in the sun than you probably don't care what type of bathing suit you are choosing, but if you plan to participate in a shore excursion that involves a sporty activity you will want to consider carefully your bathing suit. Since you will spend so much time in swimwear on the cruise, throw in a couple of different options.

I love this Women's Billabong 'Hippie Hooray' Crochet One-Piece Swimsuit shown in the picture above
I also love these two swimsuits from Nordrstom: 

I also love these by ASOS: 

And don't forget to throw a cute cover-up in! It is the perfect excuse to wear some bright and fun colors on the beach!
2. Cute and Comfy Sandals and Shoes
Y'all know that I love sandals and would wear them every day of the year if I had the opportunity so the Caribbean weather is the perfect time for packing cute sandals. Don't forget to pack Sandals and shoes that are also comfy though. You will be surprised at how much walking you do on the ship and at the ports for different excursions. As a gal who loves shoes it is the perfect opportunity to pack a couple of different pairs. *smiles* (Looking for some cute sandals?  Check out my post, A Few of My Favorite Sandals by ASOS by clicking HERE!)
3. Caribbean Inspired Clothes
One of the most fun parts of a Caribbean Cruise is having the opportunity to dress up in cute sundresses, flowing maxi skirts, and sweet tops. Think through what you will be doing on your cruise and plan out some fun outfits for your trip that match your destination. (Looking for some cute clothes?  Check out my post, A Few of My Favorite Things from the City Chic sale by clicking HERE!)
4. Widebrim Oversized Sunhat
There are so many adorable different hats that can be worn during the summer months and also on a Caribbean Cruise. My favorite hats come from Joules (as seen on me in the picture above) and Nordstrom as they have lots of different options. A tip that a friend gave me was to purchase an elastic fastener that works like a two-sided clothespin. Attach one end to your hat and the other to your shirt- this is a perfect way to keep your hat on your head instead of over the boat! *smiles* (Looking for other cute Joules hats? Check out my post on A Few of My Favorite things from Joules HERE)

5. Sunglasses
Don't forget to bring a pair (or two!) of sunglasses for your trip!

6. Snorkel and Mask
If you love to swim and snorkel (or even scuba dive) consider bringing your own equipment. Rental masks not only cost a lot of money, but they often fit poorly which allows water to come in or your mask to fog up. While snorkels are "one size fits all", if you are a bit of a germ freak like me, you might feel a little disconcerted by how many people have used the snorkel before you. (Ewww....) Throw in your own snorkel and mask and you will be happy you did! If you are looking for the snorkel and mask that most cruise lines use (from National Geographic) you can find it on Amazon HERE

7. Sunscreen
This is obviously a "must pack" item for a Caribbean Cruise, and yet so many people forget to throw it into their suitcase. It is extremely easy to get sunburned in the Caribbean so don't forget to throw this in. You will be saving money by bringing your own sunscreen as Cruise ships charge a premium for this essential item. Traveling with a large group or going on a long cruise? Consider taking some travel-size options with you so that you don't have to carry around a huge bottle. And don't forget to toss in a lip balm for your lips!


8. Aloe Vera
Even with sunscreen, the warm climate of the Caribbean can make it easy to get sunburned. Consider taking along some soothing aloe vera with you for your skin. One of my favorites that I use throughout the year is the Aubrey Organics Pure Aloe Vera. It is incredible light and at only 4 oz. it is easy to throw into your suitcase without adding a ton of extra weight. I use this often on my skin, even when I don't have a burn after being out in the sun and it is extremely soothing. One of the other things that I love about this is that it is under $10 on Amazon! You can find it HERE!

9. Camera (and the Extras)
Although I technically have been to several of the ports that we will be stopping at I can't wait to experience these cruises with my loved ones and the beautiful views that I am sure we will be met with. I have never traveled to the Caribbean in the fall and I am sure it will be stunning. But you know what? Its not just the experience. It is always who you are with and you don't want to miss out on remembering these special memories that you will make. Don't forget to bring all of the "extras" that you will also need like a spare battery, battery charger, extra chip, etc. 

A great tip that a friend of mine shared with me the last time I went on a cruise was to charge my camera battery every night. This tip was invaluable as one day I accidentally forgot to turn off my camera in all of the fun we were having and would have missed out on some precious picture memories had I not done this!

ALSO because you are going to have opportunities to view beautiful islands with different corals, colorful fish, and lots of fun, you will likely want to document your experience with an underwater or waterproof camera. Don't want to spend a ton of money on an underwater camera? Consider purchasing the Nikon COOLPIX S33 Waterproof Digital Camera to use! I purchased this for our Royal Caribbean Cruise in November and it was wonderful! You can see some pictures that I took with it in my post about our Reef Snorkeling and Sandbar Getaway Shore Excursion HERE!

10. Extension Cord
Okay, so this isn't a particular suggestion only for Caribbean cruises but can be for any cruise! This was a suggestion that someone gave to me on my first cruise and it was a lifesaver! Throw in an extension cord and you will be glad that you did! One that I bring along is the 6-Outlet Surge Protector Power Strip simply because it allows for several things to be plugged in at once which is a must on a cruise! 

joules bag


11. Purse, Bag, Etc.
Anyone that knows me knows that I love big purses and bags. They are honestly one of my favorite accessories. Taking a big purse and bag with me when I cruise is the perfect way for me to carry everything that I needed for our days off the ship (and adding a cute accessory). Some people like to use a backpack or some different type of item to carry their belongings in, but definitely remember to pack some type of bag. For me a large purse works perfectly as I can fit in everything I need to (including my camera and other things!) into it! 

12. Journal, Travel Books, Etc.
Y'all know from my shop that I love creating and altering travel books and journals so this recommendation is probably not a surprise at all! *smiles* Some people like to pack travel guides to take with them on the cruise so they can explore in depth the ports of call while others like to bring journals on board so as to remember the special details and memories that are made. With so many special memories that are made it can be hard to remember every detail and was so glad that I brought this along.

13. Cruise Documents and Passport
Don't forget like any other cruise (that leaves the US) that you will need to bring all of your cruise documents and passport. Curious about what type of documentation that you need? Check out this page at Royal Caribbean on Requirements on Documentation

What about y'all? Any must pack items that you recommend for a Caribbean Cruise? Looking for more cruising tips? Check out the following cruising posts: 

10 Things People Forget to Bring on Their First Cruise
16 Unexpected Things to Bring on Every Cruise
5 Must Pack Item for a Disney Cruise
10 Things to Do Before You Leave on a Caribbean Cruise
10 Tips for Cruising with a Chronic Illness

22 comments:

  1. Great share Rebecca! I've never been on a cruise but am hoping to go soon!

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    1. Rachel, Thank you so much for stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment! I definitely recommend taking a cruise! I LOVE them!! :) Thanks again for stopping by and leaving a comment!
      Blessings,
      Rebecca
      p.s. I would love to have replied to you directly by email but unfortunately you are a "no reply blogger". I hope to connect with you more in the future!

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  2. I'm from Jamaica. Depending on the island or islands you'll be stopping over maybe buy a book of favorite sayings or basic culture history. Sometimes it can be interesting talking to locals and being able to talk about something you know or ask questions politely.

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    1. Sheena-Kay,
      I have wanted to visit Jamaica!! :) I love your tip for buying a book of favorite sayings or basic culture history! I have written that before for other trips and as a history buff and former history teacher, understanding the history and culture of a place is very important to me. I definitely agree with you and that is why I briefly mentioned purchasing a travel book in #12, but your idea is definitely more specific. Thanks so much for sharing! :) I love this tip! Thanks for sharing with us!!
      Blessings,
      Rebecca :)

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  3. I sure wish I was headed on a vacation after reading this. All of these items are a must. Great list!

    Shannon
    Clothes & Quotes

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    1. Shannon,
      Thank you so much for stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment! I totally know what you mean! Writing this post makes me want to jump on the boat right now! :) Thanks again for stopping by and leaving such a sweet comment!
      Blessings,
      Rebecca
      p.s. I would love to have replied to you directly by email but unfortunately you are a "no reply blogger". I hope to connect with you more in the future!

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  4. Love all of your must-haves!!! I'm quite partial to the wide-brimmed hats :)
    XO Amanda | www.glitterandspice.com

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    1. Amanda, Thank you so much for stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment! I agree- I love wide-brimmed hats!
      Blessings,
      Rebecca
      p.s. I would love to have replied to you directly by email but unfortunately you are a "no reply blogger". I hope to connect with you more in the future!

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  5. oh I love all your must haves!! My husband takes care of all the electronics except the camera I do that! And I do the rest of the packing!! I love the shoes you showcased, so pretty!

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    1. Angela, Thank you so much for stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment! Aren't those shoes adorable?? After I saw them on the internet I was like- I must find these! *smiles* :) It sounds like you and your hubby have a great system down to get ready for trips! :) That is great!
      Blessings,
      Rebecca
      p.s. I would love to have replied to you directly by email but unfortunately you are a "no reply blogger". I hope to connect with you more in the future!

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  6. I didn't go on a cruise, but all of these tips would have been perfect for my honeymoon! I forgot to pack a hat and t-shirt to wear when I got sunburned (I ended up borrowing a shirt of my husband's) and I also forgot a beach bag, so I had to buy one at the resort for 3x as much! Thankfully I brought sunscreen and aloe vera with me!

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    1. Bailey,

      Aww you are so sweet!! Thank you so much for taking the time to comment!! I am excited to read about your honeymoon trip when you blog about it- it looked so beautiful and gorgeous from the pictures I have seen you post! :)

      Hope Married Life is treating you wonderfully :)
      Blessings friend,
      Rebecca :)

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  7. I just got home from a cruise about 5 days ago and it was AHmazing! I sailed down in the Caribbean through Royal Caribbean on Oasis of the Seas. The ship was amazing and all of the items you listed are definitely essentials! I had never heard of bring an extension cord, but it would have been nice!

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    1. Jamie, Thank you so much for stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment! Oh my goodness that does sound like a WONDERFUL trip! Did you blog about it? I would love to read about it!! :) I adore Royal Caribbean! They are such a fantastic company!! :) Would love to read about your trip if you blogged about it!!
      Blessings,
      Rebecca
      p.s. I would love to have replied to you directly by email but unfortunately you are a "no reply blogger". I hope to connect with you more in the future!

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  8. I also love that cruises require you to dress up a bit for dinner. Otherwise I'm not sure I'd ever get out of my pool gear. Have fun on your cruise!

    http://ashortblonde.com

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    1. Catherine,
      Thank you so much for taking the time to comment!! I TOTALLY agree with you about dressing up for meals. As a girly girl who loves being dressed up 99% of the time this is one of my favorite aspects about cruising and I totally agree with you that it helps you get out of the pool gear ;) Have you been on a cruise before?

      Thanks again for taking the time to leave a comment!
      Blessings,
      Rebecca :)

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    2. I've been on two cruises. They are a lot of fun!

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    3. Do you mind me asking what cruise lines you have gone on before? My only experience so far is with Royal Caribbean (which I loved) and Carnival! Would love to know if you have tried any others? Thanks Catherine!
      :) Rebecca

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  9. Yes! That Wide-brim Oversized Sunhat is a must :)

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    1. Candy, Thank you so much for stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment! I agree- I love the wide-brim oversized hats!! They are a must!
      Blessings,
      Rebecca
      p.s. I would love to have replied to you directly by email but unfortunately you are a "no reply blogger". I hope to connect with you more in the future!

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  10. I live in the Caribbean and this list is so accurate! I cannot tell you how important a sunhat is for the brutal sun we get over here! :)

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    1. Thank you so much for stopping by and for your sweet comment!! How fun that you live in the Caribbean!! :) That must be delightful!! I LOVE the big sunhats and definitely felt that it was SO important for trips to the Caribbean. When I was there last time I saw so many people wearing one everywhere you looked and I can totally see why it would be a necessary thing to have!
      Thank you again for stopping by and taking the time to comment!
      Blessings,
      Rebecca :)

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