Are you heading out on a Caribbean Cruise! Woohoo! This Caribbean Cruise Packing List was created to help you get ready for an amazing vacation!
We love cruising the Caribbean and know how important it is to have everything you need with you.
While you can get back up items on the cruise ship they will most likely be a lot more expensive than what you will pay at home.
- Caribbean Cruise Packing List
- Caribbean Cruise Resources
- Mexican Cruise Ports
- US Cruise Ports
- South American Cruise Ports
Caribbean Cruise Packing List
One thing to remember when packing for your Caribbean Cruise is to pack items you need right away on the ship in a carry on bag.
Your bags may take a few hours to reach your room. If you plan on visiting the pool or want to change clothes when you get on the ship make sure you pack these items in a carry on bag.
I also pack my computer, camera, documents, and other items I want to make sure are with me at all times in a carry on bag.
What not to pack on your cruise - These are the things you can leave at home!
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Carry on Bag
U.S. Passport - Before you leave for your cruise make sure you get back up copies of Passport, driver license, and important documents scanned into the cloud/one drive
Copy of your luggage tags
Travel Insurance Documents
Camera and tech gear
Back up set of clothes - We like to make sure we have at least 3 days worth of underwear in our carry on bag. I don't mind re-wearing a shirt or jeans but underwear is a bit much.
Charging cables for phone and camera
When planning your clothes for your Caribbean Cruise you will want to think about having layers and multi-use items.
The days can vary from pleasantly warm to humid and hot where you feel like you walked into a sweat oven. If you are not used to humidity and heat you will want to pack extra clothes to balance out how much you may sweat.
We also pack laundry sheets to do laundry during the cruise just in case we find out clothes super sweaty. I know that sounds horrible but coming from the Pacific Northwest we are not used to humidity or extreme heat.
The nights will be cooler and if you are out on the ship quite cool. I like to pack layers with an easy to grab sweater that I can throw on.
Cute Sun Hat - I love these hats with the fun sayings on them. They are perfect for an Instagram photo or two.
Nice outfits for dinner - I would check your cruise to see if they expect you to dress up for dinner in the dining rooms. Each cruise line has their own expectations on how guests dress. I like to pack a black skirt and then some cute tops I can also wear with jeans or shorts.
Formal night - Cocktail dress or fancier dress clothes. Definitely check your cruise line to see how people dress. I have looked on Instagram for the specific cruise ship I am sailing to see what pics past guests posted for the formal night to get an idea of how dressy people tend to be.
Beach + Pool clothes
Sunglasses - I like to pack a few pairs of sunglasses. You never know when a pair will break or get left behind. For cruises, we leave our super nice sunglasses at home and take a few cheap pairs of sunglasses with us.
Cover up - Kimonos work great for pool cover-ups but also for dressing up dinner outfits
Towel Clips - If you are planning on spending the day relaxing by the pool you may want these towel clips to keep your towel from flying all over the place in the wind. I also saw a lot of these towel bands being used which looked like they worked great.
Beach/Pool Bag - If you plan on spending time by the pool or at the beach make sure you have a bag to throw your book, sunscreen, water, towel and more in.
Full Snorkel Mask - If you are heading out snorkeling and don't want to worry about sharing germs with anyone these full face snorkel masks are great.
Travel umbrella - It is going to rain at some point during your cruise. Having a travel umbrella with you is always a good idea.
$1-$5 bills are good for tipping. You won't need them on the ship but they are great for while you are in port.
Water-resistant day pack - I really like these small backpacks that fold up into a small pouch. They are water-resistant since it will most likely rain at some point.
Aqua Socks - If you are heading to the beach these are a great way to protect your feet
Waterproof Smart Phone Pouch - If you are heading the beach, a resort pool or anywhere near water make sure you can keep your phone dry and secure.
Most cruise ships have toiletry items available in one of their gift stores but they can be expensive. We try to pack everything we will need and then a few just in case items.
You can also pick up toiletries in port if you happen to forget something. We find prices to be a lot better in town than on the ship. You may need to customize this part of the Caribbean Cruise Packing List to fit your personal needs.
Antacid - If you are like us you probably don't eat out 3 meals a day. We find having antacid with us makes our cruises a lot nicer.
Pepto/Anti-Diahrea Meds - None of us want to think about our stomachs revolting or Montezumas Revenge while on a cruise but sadly it does happen.
Feminine Products - If there is even a small chance you will need them during your cruise I would pack enough to get you to your next port day. Don't make the mistake I did and end up having to pay $7.99 for 10 tampons on our last cruise.
Poo-Pourri - Let's be honest and admit that most cruise staterooms are not that big. If you are worried about certain scents wafting into the main portion of the room you may want to pack a travel-size bottle of Poo-Pourri.
Hairbands/headbands - If you have hair that tends to fly all over the place having a great headband can be a lifesaver.
Travel first aid kit - We ended up paying $3.99 for a tiny itty bitty pack of band-aids on a cruise. Save yourself a bit of money and stress and pack a small travel first aid kit.
Aloe Vera - On our first cruise to Mexico I turned myself into a bright red raccoon. I spent an entire afternoon lounging in the pool soaking in the sun while wearing large sunglasses. It never crossed my mind after a couple of margaritas to re-apply sunscreen. Let's just say that the bottle of aloe vera we had in our bag was my new BFF and I skipped dinner that night because my entire face looked like Rudolph's nose.
Makeup and makeup remover wipes
Bug Spray - We like pre-treating our clothes with permethrin spray ahead of traveling so we know that we always have a bit of protection.
Shampoo/Conditioner/Bodywash - Most cruise ships we have been on have shampoo and body wash available in the shower. I still carry travel containers of my favorite products just in case.
Antibacterial hand wipes - We like having a few packages of these with us for port days. You never know what you will run into and these are quick and easy to wipe your hands or anything else.
Leave in Conditioner - If you plan to spend time on the open decks your hair has the potential to whip around like it is on the dance floor. A leave-in conditioner can help protect your hair and make it easier to untangle.
These are all of the items we wish we would have had on our Caribbean Cruise Packing List when we took our first cruise.
We were so worried about what we needed to pack that we forgot some of these life essentials.
Coffee Mug - We carry coffee mugs on every cruise. It is so nice having a large cup of coffee or tea with us and not having to leave our comfy room or chairs to go and grab more.
If you are a chai tea fan I LOVE these Oregon Chai single packets. All you need is hot water which you can get easily and you have a delicious Chai Latte!
Every ship we have been on has had coffee available 24/7 while on board. One thing to know is it isn’t always the best coffee. If you are a coffee snob like my husband you may want to pack Starbucks VIA packs or your favorite instant coffee.
Laundry soap - We try to use the travel laundry sheets that are flat and pack easy. They don't take up a ton of space and there is no liquid to explode in your suitcase.
Wrinkle Release Spray - Cruise ships do not allow you to pack a steamer or iron for in your cabin. There is normally an iron available in the laundry room but you may have to wait a bit. Having a bit of wrinkle release spray can save you time and energy.
Cruise Lanyard - If you don't want to worry about your cruise card you can keep them in a lanyard around your neck. This is an easy way to always make sure you have your card with you.
Travel alarm clock - Most cruise ship staterooms do not have clocks or alarm clocks. We like having a clock we can glance at for the time.
Ziploc Bags - We try to always have a few gallon size Ziploc bags with us. They work great for a last-minute dry bag.
Luggage Scale - If you are worried your suitcase will be too heavy for the flight home you may want to pack a digital luggage scale. This will save a lot of stress when you get to the airport.
Travel jewelry organizer - This is the jewelry organizer I have been using for years. I love that it hangs in the closet and I can easily get pieces in and out of it.
Foldable backup duffel bag - Having an extra duffel bag makes packing and getting everything home a lot easier. These foldable duffel bags take up little space in your bag.
Travel Sewing Kit - I like these tiny sewing kits. They fit easily in the suitcase and I can sew on a button or fix a pair of pants quickly.
Highlighters - We normally don't carry these but we hear a lot of people love to highlight their daily cruise guide. We normally download the Carnival Hub App so we can track everything on our phones.
Post-It Notes - These can be great for leaving a message for your room steward or friends.
Cruise Cabin Packing List
These cruise cabin items are a bit of a bonus when it comes to your Caribbean Cruise Packing List. These are great fun items to bring with you. Though the magnetic hooks can be great for extra storage.
Magnetic Hooks - Magnetic hooks work great on most stateroom doors and walls. You can hang your jackets, sweatshirts and wet gear off the door so it doesn't drip on your other clothes.
Stateroom Door Magnetic Dry Erase Board - On our last cruise a couple of cabins had dry erase boards and a pen near their doors. It was so fun to see the cool messages other passengers shared with them.
Cruise Luggage Tag Holders - I love that these luggage tag holders are reusable and have a metal ring to keep them attached to your suitcase along with being sealed so they don't get damaged in the rain.
We hope this ultimate Caribbean Cruise Packing List helps you prepare for your cruise.
Caribbean Cruise Resources
Here are our best cruise tips by port. These include the things we wish we would have known the first time we took a Caribbean Cruise.
Bayahibe Beach Excursion - from La Romana
US Virgin Islands
Mexican Cruise Ports
US Cruise Ports
South American Cruise Ports
We hope that these Caribbean Cruise Tips help you have an amazing vacation!
If you have other Caribbean Cruise Packing List tips please feel free to comment on this post so we can add them!
We want to make sure you can enjoy the gorgeous weather, tropical water, and sunshine.