The first time we cruised was almost our last. Our cruise cabin felt like a prison…
As soon as we started unpacking, we knew that we were in for a rough week. We felt completely unprepared for the tiny space we’d be sharing.
There simply wasn’t nearly enough space for our stuff. We ended up living out of our suitcases. Every time we needed underwear or socks, we’d have to crawl under the bed to pull out our luggage.
Our laptops, cameras, iPads, chargers, and other electronic accessories were piled on top of the one shelf. Each was waiting its turn to get a charge.
Fighting for shelf space with out electronics were our bathroom accessories (deodorants, scrubs, makeup, etc). There was no place in the bathroom to put anything. Our only option was to dump bathroom items into the sink.
Eventually, the room was just covered in stuff. Throughout the cruise, we’d be digging through piles to find sail cards, money, passports, cameras, and whatever else we needed.
Adding to our frustration… we couldn’t sleep! We got a room in a heavily trafficked hallway (like a rookie) and people kept waking us up as they paraded back and forth. Our cruise cabin was also really hot throughout the vacation.
All in all, we had no idea what we were doing.
We slowly learned the “cruise hacks” to avoid similar issues. Dozens of cruises later, we now know what we’re doing. The issues we encountered on our first cruise are so easily avoided with a few simple tips and some inexpensive cruise accessories.
Don’t make rookie cruising mistakes! Check out the tips and accessories below to make the most of the limited cruise cabin space you’re provided.
Click on the Pinterest Pin button above to save these cruise cabin necessities to your favorite pinterest packing list!
Listed below are the nine essential cruise accessories for your cabin. They’ll help you transform a small, messy stateroom into a comfortable and organized living situation.
We’ve collected these suggested items from hundreds of the most veteran cruises we know.
Over the Door Hanging Organizer
If you’ve cruised, you know that cruise cabins are crazy small. If you haven’t cruised then just know… cruise cabins are crazy small!
Not only are they tiny, there’s nowhere to put your stuff. Sure there are a few drawers for clothes and a closet to hang stuff. But, what about your wallet, speaker, phone, camera, lotions, sandals, books, etc.
It’s all of those little things that don’t have a home. Rather than stacking them on top of each other, this cruise hack will have all of those items neatly organized.
The 15 pocket over the door hanging organizer is like an extra closet. In fact, we may rebrand this item and just call it “Extra Closet.”
It assembles in 20 seconds. Simply place the included hooks over one of your cruise cabin doors, shut it, and hang the organizer. That’s it! You just created 15 new places to put your stuff.
It’s not just useful in cruise cabins. It’ll fit any door at home. Once you get back (sad face), you can use it to store all of your souvenirs.
IMPORTANT: make sure that your hanging organizer is FIRE RETARDANT like the one linked to here. Otherwise, it’s likely your cruise cop will bring you below decks. We’ve been down there. You don’t want to go there.
Magnetic Wall Hooks
These magnetic hooks are the perfect cruise hack for organizing your stuff and creating some space in your small quarters.
Did you know that all cruise ship walls are metal? Don’t worry, most people don’t. It’s true. That’s why these powerful hooks will stick just about anywhere you put them throughout your cruise cabin.
We’ve typically used these magnets for the following.
- bathing suits
- cruise card lanyard
- tank tops
These powerful magnetic hooks can hold up to nine pounds!
They’re great for keeping your most used items ready and waiting by the door. And to keep them from getting lost amongst your other stuff. When combining this with our Cruise Card Holder with Lanyard, the two make a perfect pair!
Travel Laundry Bag
This is a Cruise Hack we got from our followers. Keeping a laundry bag in your cruise cabin closet is a must!
Throughout the day, you’ll be excitedly bouncing from one activity to the next. Maybe that includes a gym session in the morning, pool day after breakfast, basketball or shuffleboard in the afternoon, and some intense dance-floor action late night.
During your many onboard activities on and off ship, you’ll go through a lot of clothes!
Don’t let that pile of dirty laundry build up in the corner of your closet. Or, even worse, don’t let it commingle with your fresh stuff!
You’ll want that nasty stuff out of sight and out of mind (oh, and smell).
This convenient laundry bag serves just that purpose. It takes up next to no space when empty. When filled, it condenses all of your dirty laundry, and smells, into a compact container.
At the end of the week, simply toss the sack in with the rest of your stuff and don’t worry about it until you get home.
Or, if you plan to do laundry on the ship, this is great for that too! It has a sturdy strap so you can take that to the laundromat or hand it over to your steward.
The bag is made from recycled polyester. The material conveniently prevents your laundry from creating any wet spots.
The draw-string keeps everything compact and tightly held within the laundry bag. The straps provide very easy carrying ability with comfort.
Dry Erase Board
This can be a really fun cruise accessory to add to your cabin door. Particularly if you’re cruising with a group of friends or family.
It’s always a fun surprise to come back to your cabin and have a note from someone you know… or someone that you don’t!
With communication being so difficult on cruise ships, this is a great tool. If you’re headed to the casino, pool, show, dinner or wherever, you can let any visitors know. Simply write it on your dry erase board and everyone stopping by will know where to find you.
You can easily hang this up in minutes with the included double-sided tape.
We like to leave our cabin crew nice messages thanking them for their hard work! They’ve been known to leave some hilarious responses.
Chances are, that you’re rooming with at least one other person in your cruise cabin. Staterooms are significantly smaller than hotel rooms and can get tight. Fortunately, there are Cruise Hacks to make the most of this space.
You’ll need to make the most of every inch of your of your closet and drawer space. The perfect solution is packing cubes. They’re like mini-closets that can be easily picked up and moved around. When you finally get to your stateroom, you’ll be too excited to unpack. No problem. Just grab your cubes, toss them in a drawer, and you’re ready for the buffet.
Your cubes also make the packing process much more fun and efficient. Each item, from socks to gowns, will have its own little home with all of its buddies. Need a bra? You’ll know exactly where to look. Ready to hit the jacuzzi? Your swim trunks are one zip away.
As an added bonus, you’ll also get the cruise cabin laundry bag. As seen above in #3, this can be an absolute essential!
Cruise cabins aren’t like a hotel, where you’re able to adjust your personal thermostat. You’ll likely be at the mercy of a central cooling unit, which you can’t control.
As such, chances are you’ll either be too hot or too cold. For those that are too cold, you can add layers. For those too warm, well, you can only shed so many until you’re naked on top of your covers.
With this personal fan, you’ll have a nice breeze on you throughout the night.
Your new fan will also solve the potential problem of your cruise cabin being too noisy!
You’re packed like sardines. Just think, your neighbors are probably less than 10 feet away from you throughout the night. Ok, maybe don’t think about that… it’s a little creepy. But, point being, you’ll likely hear others rummaging around (or whatever) at night.
This must have cruise accessory will provide a lulling source of white-noise to soothe you into your slumber.
But wait… there’s more! Not only does this provide cooling and white-noise, but a night light as well! The LED light included with the fan is illuminated with the push of a button to guide you through your dark cruise cabin at night.
Not only is this little cruise accessory ridiculously cute, it’s also very functional.
Cruise cabins get really dark. And, when you need to get up to use the bathroom, you’re in uncharted waters. You won’t be familiar with the path to the restroom. Rather than breaking your toe off on the tv stand, use this little friend.
You can stick it on your end table and tap it whenever needed. The friendly, little mushroom light will be ready to help you out.
The mushroom has multiple settings. Tap once for a dim light; twice for a brighter light, and three times for a fading light. The fourth tap will shut it off.
The light is soft and easy on the eyes. No settings emit a harsh light that will keep you awake.
Extra Outlet Charging Station
We all need the “essentials” when we cruise. Like our iPhones, iPads, laptops, mp3 players, cameras, gaming devices, hair dryers, speakers, and many other “must have” accessories. Unfortunately, cruise cabins aren’t set up to accommodate our growing electrical needs.
Typically, your stateroom will have only two outlets positioned in the most convenient place. If you’re like us, this is not nearly enough to keep you juiced. Which is why the Belkin multi-outlet and USB mount is ideal for your next cruise.
Plug this device in and you’ll be able to keep all of your electronic goodies ready to go.
In addition to the three outlets for typical plugs, you also have two USB ports to charge phones, tablets, and more.
Your Belkin wall mount will be crucial on your next sailing. There’s too much to do at sea and at port. Don’t be sitting around waiting for stuff to charge to get back out there to the fun.
IMPORTANT: make sure that the power strip you bring is NON SURGE PROTECTED like the one linked to here. Otherwise, it’s likely your cruise cop will bring you below decks. And trust you-me, you don’t want to go below decks.
After your cruise, you’ll certainly be able to make good use of the Belkin wall-mounted outlets and USB chargers.
Bathroom Accessory Organizer
Cruise Cabin Bathrooms are TINY! Typically, there are NO shelves. Like, none.
You likely won’t even have somewhere to set down your toothbrush once done scrubbing. That’s how little we’re talking here.
Now, consider your razors, lotions, toothpaste, deodorants, makeup, blah, blah. Let’s face it, we don’t look this good when waking up. It takes a little bit of time, effort, and… well, products.
Rather than strewing these products throughout the cabin, this is your solution. You can organize your every bathroom belonging in this attractive toiletry travel kit and organizer.
The back of your cruise cabin bathroom door will have a hook. It’s the perfect place to hang this product. You’ll then have immediate access to all of your bathroom needs at your fingertips.
BONUS: Cruise Porthole Sticker
Upgrade to Ocean View for UNDER $10! Ok, so it doesn’t include the salt spray or seagulls, but it comes with extra laughs.
Use this bonus cruise accessory on your cabin door or your stateroom wall. It turns any surface into a ocean porthole.
Do you get seasick, but can’t afford that oceanview cabin? No prob! This is your solution. Also a great gag gift for the cruising fan in your life. Or, a wonderful way to build anticipation for your sailing. Stick it on your office cubicle for an endless reminder of your pending vacation!
Above, you’ll find our “must have” cruise cabin accessories. If you found these helpful, make sure to check out our piece, Top 10 Most Purchased Cruise Accessories on Amazon.
We hope that you get good use from these essential cruise accessories! They’ve made our cruising lives a lot more comfortable and definitely worth the relatively little cost.
If you have any other “must-have’ cruise accessories, please leave them in the comment section below.
If you found this helpful, please use the share buttons to spread these tips with others in the cruise community!