10 Things People Forget to Bring on Their First Cruise | Caravan Sonnet

10 Things People Forget to Bring on Their First Cruise

March 7, 2017

When I went on my first cruise to the Bahamas in 2014 I was a complete newbie. I knew nothing about cruising and searched to find the best packing lists so that I wouldn't forget anything. Despite this though I still found that there were things that I left at home that I wish I had brought with me. 

As time has gone on and I have cruised more I started compiling a list of things that I wished someone would have told me to bring on my first cruise! So if you are packed and ready to leave on your first cruise and are afraid of forgetting something- don't worry! This list below will help remind you of 15 things that most people forget to bring on their first cruise! 

1. Over the Storage Shoe Organizer or Door Hanger
I shared this as my #1 suggestion in my post, 16 unexpected things to bring on every cruise, and I still say it is the #1 thing to bring. This is a great way to have dozens of small size compartments for a variety of different things and helps to add extra storage to the small staterooms that exist. I purchased THIS ONE from Amazon for less than $13 and I have now used it on the Disney Cruise and the Royal Caribbean Cruise too and plan to use it on all future cruises!

2. White Noise Machine/Small Fan
For years I have been sleeping with a 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 less than a typical hotel room) and a small fan or white noise machine can be very helpful, especially if you have young kiddos who go to bed before others. There are lots of different options but I have used THIS ONE from Amazon and found it incredibly helpful. You also can't beat the price for less than $15!

3. Small Umbrella
Depending on where you are traveling to and your destinations you may want to bring an umbrella. If you forget to bring this some cruise ships do have extra umbrellas so make sure you ask at the beginning of your cruise for this! There are so many adorable ones that are available but I loved THIS ONE in Tiffany blue that I found on Amazon! 

4. Laundry Bags
Throwing in a set of laundry bags makes it incredibly easy to separate your dirty clothes at the end of each day so that when you get home everything is already in the bag and can easily be cleaned. One tip that I learned from a seasoned cruiser was to take several different laundry bags and separate them - one for whites, one for reds, one for darks, one for cleaning, etc. 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. 

5. Over the Counter Medication
While it is true that you can purchase all different over the counter medication on your cruise it will cost you substantially more than if you brought it on board. Think ahead and bring some of your own. Prone to seasickness? 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. For less than $8 you can save yourself a whole lot of sickness! 

6. Comfortable Shoes/Sandals
I shared this in my post, 13 Must Pack Items for Your Caribbean Cruise, but it is a definite thing to remember. Pack comfortable shoes and sandals!! You definitely want to look cute and have fun, but you don't want your cruise ruined by blisters either so take the time to pick out cute and comfy sandals. Looking for some adorable and comfortable sandal options for this year? Check out my post, a few of my favorite sandals from ASOS

7. A Watch
I was surprised to hear this suggestion from those who had cruised a lot but honestly, have now seen the value in having a watch. One of the best parts of a cruise is having the chance to take a break from the "real world" and simply enjoy the moment. But if you are like me I have grown accustomed to look at my phone for the time and frankly when I cruise I didn't want to use my phone at all so a watch is the best option. I shared in my post, 5 must pack items for a Disney Cruise, that the Disney Cruise Line has less clocks on board than any other cruise line. This is wonderful if you want to live fully in the moment, but you don't want to miss any exciting adventures on the ship either so make sure to throw in a watch and set it to ship time to keep up with all of your fun activities!

8. 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!

9. Power Strip
What may come as a surprise for first-time cruisers is that there are very limited outlets in each stateroom. A power strip is incredibly helpful for short and long cruises. I purchased and have loved THIS ONE from Amazon because it comes with a surge protector and extra space between a couple of the outlets for larger items. 

10. Extension Cord
I shared this in my 10 Must Pack Items for a New England and Canadian Cruise post, but it is helpful for any cruise. Having an extension cord allows you to maneuver to set up your power strip (see #9) where it is convenient for you in the room. This is a definite item that I now bring on every single cruise! 

What about y'all? Any items that you wish that you had brought on your first cruise that you would recommend to a first-time cruiser?


  1. I've heard a lot of people--especially if you're cruising with a large group-- mention to take walkie-talkies since you won't have cell phone service.

    1. OOH this is a great idea!! Thanks so much for sharing Bailey!!

      :) Rebecca