Clorox or other Disinfecting Wipes – The room stewards do clean your room, but I make sure to wipe every surface down with the wipes upon entering for the first time including the remote, door handles, shower handles, light switches …EVERYTHING! I’m not a germaphobe, but norovirus is no joke, it can spread like wildfire on a ship and can very quickly ruin your vacation.
Power Strip – cabins on a cruise ships are not known for being spacious. With that being said, there are a limited amount of power outlets. If you are a tech family like us, two plug-ins aren’t anywhere near enough when you are talking about charging digital cameras, iPad, computers, and more.
Small Bills – Small bills come in handy for multiple uses when on a cruise. It makes it easy to bargain while in port if you have exact change. When ordering room service, we always tip the person who delivers our food and lastly, we typically tip our room steward and waiter at the end of the cruise as well.
Wrinkle Release Spray – most if not all cruise lines will not allow you to bring an iron aboard. I’ll be honest, I have an iron, I’m not entirely sure where it is, and couldn’t tell you the last time I actually used it to iron my clothes. My mom on the other hand, irons everything, not having one when she went on a cruise really was concerning for her. However, the next best thing outside of paying for the ship to press your clothes, is wrinkle release spray, the first day when we unpack I make sure all the clothes that wrinkle easy, are hung up and sprayed that way they are ready when we need them. It even passed Mom’s approval.
Insulated Cup– I travel everywhere with my Yeti cup. It keeps my coffee hot and my cold beverages cold for hours. It in the warm air, it keeps my drink cold longer!
Highlighter – These are invaluable when reading through the ships itinerary for the day. You can highlight activities you don’t want to miss such as Bingo, wine tastings, show times, or dance lessons.
Sunscreen/Aloe – this one may seem like a no brainer, however make sure to pack extra. They may not have the specific brand on the ship and you will pay premium price to purchase it there too. I forgot to pack aloe or after sun lotion and ended up paying an astronomical amount, learn from my mistakes!
Fan – for our family, this is one of the first things that goes in our suitcase. My husband can’t sleep without one, we have even gone as far as walking down the Las Vegas strip to buy a new one after we forgot to pack it on a trip!
Medications& First Aid Kit– these should be packed in their original containers and as with airlines, I carry these on to the ship. Again, purchasing things on the ship can be pricy, and there may be a very limited selection. Be sure to bring any prescription medications as well as any over the counter medications for you and your family, including heartburn, headache, and sea sickness medications. The ship’s infirmary may be able to get you medication if need be, but no telling how much they will charge, it’s just much easier to have it with you! In my first aid kit I have band aids and also pack liquid bandages, especially with the water -It’s waterproof and seals off cuts. I also keep a small tube of Neosporin in as well. You can get prepackaged kits in the travel section at most stores which I did in the beginning, but now I just refill the kit with what we have at home.
Comfortable Shoes – you will do some serious walking on a cruise ship. I try and take the stairs whenever possible, makes me feel better about the sugary, fruity drinks I order. One of these days, I want to wear a pedometer for a cruise and see how much walking I do in a day. Depending on the cruise line, you may need closed toe shoes to participate in activities as well.