7 things to take with you when you are In port

January 23, 2024

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One of my favorite things about cruising is the opportunity to explore so many different places of the world. I love traveling to new places and I love getting off the ship to explore all of the different ports that the ship stops at. 

I think back though to my first cruise (in 2014) and I honestly had no idea what I should take with me each time that I got off the ship. I know so many of you have written asking me for some suggestions about what to take with you when you get off the ship and I hope that this list is helpful! 

A quick side note: Y'all know I love huge purses (some of you are smiling right now as this is an understatement!) and I have used a ton of different bags when disembarking off the ship for going into port over my time of cruising. I love to find something that matches where I am at so when I have been in the Caribbean I have used a large straw bag (like this one or this one or THIS ONE - which comes in several different colors) or THIS fun beach one (which is less than $35!) if you are looking for a smaller straw bag - the colorful pompoms are so adorable! 

Other times I have used a favorite large purse or tote and the great thing about choosing a larger bag is that you could easily use this for embarkation day too! Choose whatever works for you as you will want to carry everything in your bag for the entire time you are off the ship.
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1. Cruise Ship Card
Your cruise ship card (or band/medallion/etc.) is something that you will want to carry and keep with you when you are on the ship and when you are getting off. On most cruises you will need this for disembarkation also to scan you leaving the ship. When you come back to the ship you will re-scan your card and it will show that you have arrived back on board. 

In addition to this, if you are cruising to a ship lines personal island (like Coco Cay(owned by Royal Caribbean) or Castaway Cay(owned by Disney Cruise Line)) your ship card will work just like it does on board the ship if you wish to purchase anything on the island. 
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2. Passport
You will definitely want to take your passport with you when you are embarking off the ship if you are in a port that is international. If you are not at a port that is international and you choose to not take your passport with you, make sure to lock it up securely in your safe in your room. I personally carry my passport with me at all times, but I know some people prefer to leave theirs in their room if they are not at an international port. 

Looking for a passport holder for yourself and a family? Check THIS ONE out!

Extra tip: Do you like to have your passport stamped as part of your souvenir but are not sure where to get the stamp in port? When you disembark make sure to ask someone who can easily direct you to where you can get your passport stamped. Every port will have a local town office where you can get this done and it is usually within in a short walking distance from the ship. If you are disembarking in Nassau the government building is literally down the walkway from where the ships let you off. If you are stopping in St. John (Canada) you will need to walk up the hill but the gorgeous views of the city and the port from the top are well worth the climb!
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3. Camera
This one might seem like a silly reminder, but I can't tell you the number of times that I have been getting off the ship and seeing people trying to get back on because they had forgotten their camera. Don't forget to bring this as you definitely want to capture all of the memories that you will make! 

Going to be visiting beautiful islands and want to use an underwater camera but don't want to spend a ton of money? 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!
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4. Money/Credit Card
Even though cruise ships operate on a cashless system your stops in port won't. Make sure that you bring the appropriate money or credit card to use when you are getting off the ship. (Also, just like I suggested in my post, 10 Things to Do Before You Leave on Your Caribbean Cruise, make sure you call your bank and credit card companies and let them know where you will be traveling.)
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5. Sunscreen
Don't forget to pack extra sunscreen in your bag as you leave the ship! If you are stopping in a warm-weather port you will definitely want to have this with you! THIS ONE is one of my favorites and it is on sale right now! 
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6. Water
One of the things that can be easy to do is to forget to stay hydrated in the midst of all of the fun. Make sure to throw in a bottle of water as you are leaving so that you can easily stay hydrated throughout the day. If you sail with Viking Cruise Lines they will offer water bottles to take with you on your excursion! (Interested in reading about what a Viking River Cruise is like? You can read about it HERE!) 
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7. Medications/Supplements
I shared this in my post, 10 Tips for Cruising With a Chronic Illness, but make sure that you pick up any medicines and over-the-counter meds you need a few days before your trip. I find that it easiest to divide out my supplements by days and then when I am getting off the ship I just take that days specific supplements with me. For medicine I take all of the meds I may need in a small bottle for the day (separated out as some meds can interact with each other). 

If you want to read more about this or tips with cruising with an illness you can check out my post HERE.

If you would like to read more cruising tips check out all of the cruising tips posts HERE

*Looking to preserve your memories from your cruise? Check out my Etsy shop, December Caravan for a boutique collection of heirloom junk journals and Key Chain Junk Journals! You can find the shop HERE!

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