Updated September 2019

The necessities you need for your cruise holiday can often depend on the cruise ship you’ve chosen, the itinerary and the destinations you’ll visit. With so many varied options it can feel daunting to know where to begin when it comes to packing, so we’ve put together the top five cruise essentials for any cruise holiday!


1. Travel documentation


The biggest priority for any type of holiday are your travel documents, including your passport, tickets and your visa. To avoid the panic of forgetting your passport at home, or packing it into your suitcase without realising, your travel documentation should be kept in a travel wallet or folder in your hand luggage for easy access.

Research before you travel!

Not all destinations will require a visa to visit but if they do, you’ll need to pre-arrange this well in advance. The Foreign & Commonwealth Office website and local embassies can provide the most up to date advice on visa requirements.


Packing your passport

2. Suitable clothing


Whether you’re looking to truly unwind and relax in comfort or feel like getting dolled up to enjoy luxury entertainment, there’s a cruise line out there that caters to you! Check out our blog post on what to wear, as well as our FAQs on cruise line attire. Some cruise lines (such as Cunard) will not allow shorts and sandals in certain venues, while others (such as Norwegian Cruise Line) adopt a more chilled out set of rules.

Remember your glad rags!

Almost all cruise lines will host a formal night at least once on your cruise. Don’t forget to pack your suit or cocktail dress so you can join in on the Captain’s Cocktail party, or dine in the finest speciality restaurants.


3. Credit cards


The vast majority of cruise lines now offer cashless environments, bar the casinos, and therefore you will need to take a debit or credit card to register to your onboard account. Some cruise lines will only accept a credit card so double check before you leave. By not having to worry about keeping cash handy, cruises make it much easier to manage your money onboard.


Registering your card to your onboard account

4. Medication


Perhaps an obvious point, but one of the most vital! Bringing the necessary medication you require onboard is imperative to keeping you safe and healthy. We recommend packing more than you need in case of unforeseen delays stopping you from getting back home on time. Further to this, it’s also a good idea to keep separate containers of medication in your hand luggage and in your suitcase. Should there be any issues in retrieving your suitcase you’ll have enough to keep you going.

Don't let seasickness spoil the fun!

While not everyone is affected by this, it’s understandable to be concerned especially if you’ve never been on a cruise before. Cruise lines often supply remedies for seasickness onboard, but there’s no harm packing your own just in case.


5. Travel adaptors


Some cruise lines will have plug sockets that aren’t UK-friendly. To avoid running out of juice throughout the holiday pack an adaptor or two, one to keep in your cabin and another to throw in your bag. Alternatively, for a shorter cruise, bring a power bank with multiple charges.

Stay connected around the world!

No matter how many destinations you’ll visit on your cruise holiday, you can stay powered up with an all-in-one global adaptor. They’re a great investment for a round-the-world cruise- just keep it in your bag and you’re good to go.


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With these hints and tips in mind, you’ve covered the bases for your upcoming cruise holiday! There are a few other key items to remember to pack depending on where you’re going:

  • Sun cream
  • Swimwear
  • Suitable walking shoes
  • A waterproof jacket
  • Binoculars

All these items would be on your list no matter what type of holiday you’re going on- on a cruise, you just happen to be crossing more destinations off your bucket list than ever before! For more advice on what to pack for places like the Mediterranean or others such as the Fjords, check out our blog post on hot VS cold cruising here.