Me and my cowboy are sailing away in February, along with several other couples, on a Carnival cruise. Some are new cruisers and some are on there 25th or 40th! This will be my 4th cruise and my husband’s 4th (counting the one he took on his senior trip). We enjoyed a cruise with family and cruise for our anniversary. Both were amazing, relaxing, and loaded with fun! We get asked lots of questions about the cruise but one of the most common questions asked, is “what should I pack?”. I’m sharing some of the essentials you should pack for a cruise!
It’s a cruise and you really should leave your electronics at home if you can. Of course, I know you’re not so here are my recommendations on what to take.
- Camera – The everyday joe can get away with their phone camera. If you’re not a pro but still want to take amazing photos, I recommend taking a compact camera. I have a Panasonic DMC-ZS50k that I LOVE. If taking pictures underwater is important to you, you want to consider buying one with that feature. I have both. Either way, it’s a much easier option than carrying my heavy DSLR.
- Extension Cord – A small one with a few outlets is perfect. I’m a huge fan of these two powerstrips, One Beat and PowerCube. Both have regular outlets, plus USB outlets!
- Small Fan – If you’re one of those that need a fan to sleep, then take one!
- Portable Charger – This is super handy if you plan to use your phone for when you get off the ship for sight-seeing or excursions, especially if you’re phone doesn’t stay charged for long and you use it for taking pics. I recommend one with at least 20,000mAH. You’ll become everyone’s friend who needs a quick charge.
Less is more. You’re on a cruise to relax. Take a couple of bathing suits so that one can dry while you’re wearing one. I personally only take a couple of pairs of shorts and 4 or 5 shirts. There are dinners you can attend every evening if you choose. Casual to dressy, it’s up to you. Carnival also has two formal nights to take into consideration. Some folks get all gussied up for the occasion and some folks dress in “date night” attire. Just be comfortable. If you like to dress up, dress up!
Lets talk shoes! I good pair of swimming shoes is a must! If you plan on doing any walking/hiking that involves water, you definitely want a good, solid pair that can handle rocks. Walking shoes and flip flops are my thang. I also only take one pair of dress shoes that will go with whatever I take for evening & formal dinners, should we participate in those.
These are items that we have found useful on our Carnival cruises.
- Coffee Travel Mug/Water Bottle – Coffee is free but you have to get it in small cup and risk spilling it. This Contigo mug is my husband’s favorite coffee mug! It holds a lot, keeps it hot, won’t spill, and has a handle. You can get free water (not bottled of course) but again, they have small cups that aren’t the best for carrying around. I can’t recommend a water bottle enough.
- Medication – Do NOT forget to pack motion sickness medicine, something for headaches, sanitizer, etc.
- Lanyard – If you don’t want to grab one from the casino, you can always bring your own. These are handy to have with a pouch to put your room key and Carnival Cruise’s daily “newsletter”. This is a handy little guide you’ll get every day giving you the 411 on ALL the daily activities!
- Sunscreen! – Do NOT forget this item either!
- Snorkel Gear – I love Carnival but you don’t want to have to pay their prices for snorkel gear. You can also rent it but ew.
- Resealable plastic bags – These are handy for holding jewelry, money, things you don’t want wet, snacks, etc.
- Backpack – I personally love my Outlander Lightweight (but heavy duty) backpack. You can fold up into a small “package” and unfold when you need it.
- Lip Balm – Chances are, you won’t drink enough water and you’ll be in the sun a lot. You’ll need it just like sunscreen.
- Light sweater – Sometimes the evenings are chilly outside and at the dinners.
- SUNBURN RELIEF!! – Everyone takes sunscreen and that’s super great and all but being in the sun for 5-7 days means you’re probably gonna burn on some part of your body; nose, shoulders, etc. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Amara organic aloe vera gel. Must have!
- Finally, I highly recommend cruise luggage tags but not just regular ol’ ones. You can print your tags out, then you fold it and tape it on your luggage but they can actually tear fairly easily. Before, we would take clear tape and “laminate” them. We have since upgraded and now use these awesome cruise tags! Trust me, they are worth it!
Did I miss some essentials? Share your cruising experience with us! I’d love to hear any tips you have too.
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