Must Have Cruise Cabin Products

Cruise Cabin Hacks – 9 Must Have Cruise Accessories for a VIP Stateroom

Use these cruise cabin hacks and must have accessories to instantly upgrade your stateroom!

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.

October 5, 2019

Jeremy Camosse Author
“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.”
Jeremy Camosse

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 cabin 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.

Cruise Cabin Hacks & Must Have Cruise Accessories

Cruise Cabin Hacks & Cruise Accessories

Click on the Pin button above to save these cruise cabin hacks 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.


#1 | Over the Door Hanging Organizer

Hanging Organizer with Pockets

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 cabin 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.

Amazon Button - Hanging Organizer

#2 | Cruise Cabin Wall Magnets

Cruise Cabin Magnet Hooks

These magnetic hooks are the our favorite cruise cabin hacks 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.

  • hats
  • bathing suits
  • cruise card lanyard
  • tank tops
  • jewelry

Make sure to get extra strong magnetic hooks, as some cruise cabin walls have a thicker outer layer than others. We’ve tested a few and these linked to below are almost dangerously powerful!

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!

Amazon Button - Cruise Cabin Magnets

#3 | Travel Laundry Bag

travel laundry bag

This is a Cruise Cabin 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.

Amazon Button - Travel Laundry Bag

#4 | Cruise Crew “Thank You” Cards

Cruise Crew Thank You Cards

You might be asking, “how can these ‘thank you’ cards make me more comfortable in my cruise cabin?” If so, you’re thinking about this incorrectly. It’s not how the cards can improve your comfort, but rather the recipient!

Crew members on your ship will provide you with great service regardless. But, you’ll see truly exceptional service by showing a little extra love. Whether you slip a few bills into your card or just a kind note, you’re sure to get a heartfelt response. And some extra love in return.

There’s no doubt that we get even better service after handing these out. But, that’s not why we do it. We love our cruise crew. They work incredibly hard and it’s the least we can do to show our appreciation. You’ll be amazed at how thankful they are to receive such a small gesture of gratitude.

Amazon Button - Thank You Cards

#5 | Packing Cubes

Packing Cubes - 5 Piece Set

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!

Amazon Button - Packing Cubes

#6 | Bed-side Fan

travel fan

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.

Amazon Button - Travel Fan

#7 | Portable Night light

Cruise Cabin Travel Night Light

This must have cruise product is your “cure for stubbed toes and angry spouses.”

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.

It has a magnetic base so you can stick it directly to your cruise cabin wall! And, the night light swivels to face any direction.

It’s also motion sensor activated so there’s no fumbling around for switches.

Amazon Button - Travel Night Light

#8 | Extra Outlets Power Cube (Non Surge)

cruise accessories 1

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. This power cube is your ideal solution.

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 three USB ports to charge phones, tablets, and more.

Your mini Power Strip 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.

On Amazon, there are a few Cruise Power Strip and Cube options, but this is the only brand that we trust!

Amazon Button - Cabin Outlet

#9 | Bathroom Accessory Organizer

travel bathroom bag

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.

Amazon Button - Bathroom Organizer

BONUS #1 | Cruise Porthole Sticker

Cruise Ship 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!

Amazon Button - Porthole Sticker

BONUS #2 | Poo Pouri

Poo Pourri

We’re usually anti-toilet-humor… but, this is too good to pass up. Honestly, the tagline is “because ship happens.” Could there be a more relevant product for a cruise?

Whether your cruise cabin mate is a partner, buddy, family member or other, they’ll appreciate this must-have cabin accessory.  Part of the joy of cruising is the food. And if we’re being honest, we tend to over-indulge a bit. Without getting too graphic, the buffet provides an bounty of options and many of which are foreign to our innards. This product is like an insurance policy on what that bounty will produce.

We’ve had numerous cruisers recommend we add this product According to the company’s site, you simply “spritz the bowl before-you-go and no one else will ever know. The original non-toxic before-you-go toilet spray that stops bathroom odors before they ever begin – seriously!”

Amazon Button - Poo Pourri

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.

Most Popular 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!

259 thoughts on “Cruise Cabin Hacks – 9 Must Have Cruise Accessories for a VIP Stateroom”

  1. Earplugs are useful too – especially if you have a cabin anywhere near where there is music or dancing or by the kitchens!

    1. I pack my clothes right on hangers. Easy to take out gold with hanger and than just open suitcase and hang up on ship

      1. If sharing room with friends, get together to set up Cabin Courtey rules, it really helps. Example, One rule we felt was helpful was no one leaves their stuff on bathroom counter.

  2. Also alarm clock. Cruising has such an emphasis on time (e..g arrival in port, various onboard activities, dinner time, etc…), it’s great to look at the time instead of always reaching for my cell phone. Also doubles as an alarm clock for those early debark for shore excursions.

        1. It took several cruises before it dawned on me to hang more than one thing on a hanger. My rule now is every hanger has to have at least 2 things on it, and where possible 3 things. So easy & closet isn’t so jammed full. And your cabin attendant will bring you more of needed.

        2. The cabin steward will supply you with extra hangers! You just have to ask! Also will give you some glasses if requested. Ask for fresh ice in your ice bucket every day! Your cabin steward can be your best friend! I’m all our cruises we have only had 1 scrappy steward that was unfriendly and I never even saw him! He avoided us the entire 1st day! After that we would leave him notes on what we needed.

      1. I never been on a cruise, would love to go. If I can save up enough money, hopefully I can take myself for my 60th birthday this coming January. Read all the comments, lot of great suggestions, so if I go, I will be prepared. Thanks,

    1. Betty Ann Preston

      I use a small projection alarm clock. Plugs into my Cruise On USB port. Runs on batteries but must be plugged in for the projection feature to work. It’s the best thing since sliced bread.

  3. Be careful about the charging strip. Surge protected power strips are not allowed, because of their potential as a fire hazard 🙁

  4. Make sure to check whether or not your cruise line will allow power strips/extension cables. Some cruise lines don’t.

    Also, your steward will be happy to bring you more hangers if you ask or leave a note, so I never bring hangers to clog up my precious suitcase space.

    Makeup cases are good to keep the various powders and brushes together and not take up too much counter space. I have a 3-tiered makeup case to keep everything together and only pull it out when it’s time to do my makeup to save room. (applicable to males too. EVERYONE needs space for toiletries.)

    Also, a heat mat to keep flat irons, curling irons, etc on can be useful because not all of the surfaces in staterooms will be safe for high levels of heat.

    Make sure to bring cash for its many uses onboard: You may want to tip the bartenders, both behind a literal bar and mobile on the pool decks. Tip the steward and the cleaning team (two separate parties, not always the same people). Pay in cash for souvenirs in ports. If you plan to take a taxi at any point during a trip or excursion, some drivers will only accept cash. Although in most cases on the ship, you can add a tip onto a check, there are also many cases when you can’t, or don’t even have a check to add a tip onto. In these cases, cash would be the only option.

    Bring sneakers or running shoes for the various sports activities on the ship or excursions on land. There are many things that you can’t do with flip-flops.

    Get a lanyard to keep your cruise card in. Usually, the card is how you pay, get off/on the ship, identify your muster station, etc. etc.! A convenient place to keep your card is crucial so you always know where it is and can access it easily. Losing your card would be a disaster, after all.

    Sorry my comment was so long, but hopefully a couple of these points can help.

      1. Royal Caribbean confiscated my very small portable clothes steamer. I’ve taken it on at least 12 previous cruises without a problem.

        1. I just spoke with a Carnival operator, they do not allow garment steamers but the laundry rooms/service have irons and ironing boards available. She also told me they will allow a small 4.5″ fan and a tiny 3-plug socket extension with two USB ports. Downey wrinkle-release non-aerosol spray is a handy product I use at home, and is available in 3 oz travel size bottles so I’ll bring one of these too (just be careful using on any dry-clean only garments).

          1. There’s ways of getting steamers on board, they want you to think they are a fire hazard yet they allow electric curlers and curling irons they would rather you paid to have your clothes steamed. I have been on six Carnival cruises and have taken a steamer every time just use your imagination and you will probably get it on board.

        2. I have been on 11 cruises. Only one of them was my iron confiscated and that was Royal Caribbean. Carnival never has. We also take a garment steamer, candle, and a large power strip……have never had a problem.

        3. Also, I have definitely never needed a fan. I actually have to take winter clothes and pajamas because the ship and the cabin are both frigid.

      2. After reading some of these comments and suggestions I’m a little concerned. I can’t sleep without a fan and I realize I’ll have to call Carnival to make sure it’s okay to bring one. But my biggest concern is my CPAP machine which I have to have to sleep. I’m going to call Carnival but I wonder if anyone else has brought one of those on a cruise?

        1. I bring my CPAP machine all the time. Never a problem. It’s a medical device. Usually need an extension cord provided by the ship. We request this and distilled water ahead of time.

        2. Both my husband and I use CPAP machines and have never had a problem. My parents also have them. We have extension cords packed in our checked luggage and have never had a problem. My mom and I also have scooters we use on the ships. We really need the extension cords to use with the CPAPs and scooters. We have never had a problem with having them.

        3. We did taKE a cpap machine with no problem. On NCL and Royal Carribean.
          Good thing because my hubby can’t sleep without it.

    1. Sophia traveling interpreter for the Deaf

      Bath n body works has body wash/ skin softener in tubes that smell really nice.
      Instead of bringing a btl of perfume, I go into the fancy gift shops and try th the various tester perfumes.

      1. Yes I also had my fan taken away after boarding the ship. Carnival freedom in May 2016. I sailed Carnival Magic in May 2015 and they let me use it with no problems. I wondered if it was because I was in a smaller cabin and ship the 2nd time around?

        1. That is strange. We sailed on Carnival Freedom in January 2016 and had no problem with our fan. Wonder if it was the attendant’s concern and not the cruise line.

      2. We put out power strip and curling iron in the drawer so it is not left out! We have brought hangers and got some from cabin steward. We also leave them most of the time. You can also leave things in your cabin you do not want to carry home or can’t and tell the steward. They are usually super excited. We left a bottle of wine and drinks for ours last time! Great ideas! Thanks!!

        1. We were told that if you leave anything behind intended for your steward, there has to be a letter/note from you that specifically states your intentions. Otherwise all items are sent to Miami.

  5. Always had more than enough hangers and the air-con keeps the stateroom at a comfortable temperature. On a fly cruise I would not use up my allowance with white boards etc.

  6. Buy a few of the very inexpensive folding fabric boxes, think dollar store. These pack flat and are cheap enough to leave behind…along with magnetic hooks, bring magnetic clips and also, extra large safety pins which can even be used to fix torn luggage. We have cruised many times and always make the area work. Those large clips that are sold to hold your towels on your beach chair also work to secure a damp bathing suit to the back of your balcony chair…just remember this is temporary housing and make the best of it and enjoy yourself.

    1. Another great tip I learned was to bring some “travel duct tape or gorilla tape”. Takes care of any luggage mishaps during your travel. Got mine at Amazon and it’s actually called “travel size duct tape”. Small and convenient to throw in your luggage.

  7. We are currently booked for our tenth cruise. We have never found a use for any of those things. Most people who go out and buy those over the door things find that they don’t ever use them. Now Carnival says that if you do bring one of them, it has to be fireproof. I’m surprised that the author didn’t mention decorating your cabin door so that you can find it easier.

    1. Have used the Over The Door (shoe) Hanger on every cruise and it it perfect for all the little toiletries, shoes, sun screen etc. You nam it, it goes there. Keep the small bath clutter free. Room steward loves it.

      1. When you cruise with a group, those door organizers are great for toiletries, sun screen, aloe, flat iron, anything that can clutter a bathroom sink.

    1. Dona: just want to tell you about a friend who always used to use the “Poo pouri” until it splashed up onto her privates and suffered an extreme amount of pain…….(burned her)

    1. We’ve used them on all of our sailings (Carnival included) without issue. The hooks on these in particular do not damage the door. We keep them on our doors at home as well and have no issues at all.

    2. I always bring the organizers!! I normally hang it in the closet. They make them with Velcro. They hold shoes and extra articles. I also bring make up bags (one for myself and hubby) and hang them on the bathroom hooks on the back of the door. There are usually some shelves in the bathroom and the rest stay in the bags.
      I Love the information you gave Captain Cruise. I have been on about 2 dozen cruises and have used most of the hints you have given. Thanks for the information!!!

    3. I zip tie our over the door hanger onto an actual hanger before leaving home. Then I hang it on a hook in the room. We usually have 2 adults and 2 teens in our room, so every pocket is at a premium.

    4. I bought some of the felt strips and dots to put on the metal part of the hanger so that they won’t scratch the doors.

      1. We use a face cloth to put over the top of the door to protect it from the organizer damaging the door…. The cabin steward thought it was clever.

  8. In addition to items mentioned above, We bring a shoe organizer that hangs in the closet. Not only great for shoes but many other small items can go in there as well. Dress shoes, running shoes, flip flops, slippers, etc… can take up a lot of room on the floor which makes the room feel messy!

    1. Bring some clothes pins or some sort of clips. Great for hanging wet bathing suits in the shower or keeping bathing suits safe on the balcony. Also good for chip or snack bags.

  9. Bernadette McGrath

    Great ideas. Never thought of that. My husband had a shaving kit and I have a make–up bag. We keep everything in those two items and they sit nicely on the counter or one of the shelves. I hand his things and mine fit in the drawers. His t-shirts, shorts and anything else gets put on the shelves inside the closet. Never had a problem for space and I always over pack. We have a suitcase for our laundry. Rooms are always comfortable. Last cruise we had a message board. The group leader requested them for the party. It was nice. My husband and I used it when we weren’t together. He likes to play Texas Hold’em.

  10. I don’t think the person writing this has ever been on a cruise. While some of these ideas are good some are just silly. After sailing over 30 times I have never brought extra hangers. Just ask for more hangers. And almost all cabin bathrooms while small have some shelves or storage. The nightlight and fan may be useful in an inside cabin. Newer ships to have climate control in each cabin.

    1. Thanks for the feedback, Jen. I have a few dozen cruises under my belt and still use all of these products. Yes, the bathrooms typically have a tiny shelf that certainly can’t hold hair dryers, curlers, lotions, toiletries, etc. That’s why the hanging door item and bathroom organizer are so helpful. You mention that newer ships have climate control in each cabin. That’s true… unfortunately, 95% of ships aren’t new, so I’m not sure that point is relevant to the majority. Again, thanks for the feedback and happy cruising to you!

      1. Hair dryers are provided by the ship; usually you use them in the main area in front of the mirror (safety concern electricity and water in bathroom I assume); as far as laundry bag is concerned, just use the dry cleaning bag provided.

        I’ve cruised 8 times so far and have never had an issue with space for my stuff. There are always little cubbies for sunscreen, cameras in the room so we have never had to leave everything out. We sail mainly with Royal Caribbean.

      2. I’m booked for my 22nd cruise! I don’t use the drink glasses in the room. One glass is great storage for my toothbrush, toothpaste and floss. I put my dirty clothes right in my under the bed suitcase. Out of sight!

    2. I just got back last week and I sure wish I had had my tiny fan. We were on the Allure which is one of the newer ships and we were in an ocean view room but it was very warm in our room. We mentioned it but it was set as cool as it could be.

    3. Jen, I already use some of these tips & appreciate a lot more of them. We all have different needs & appreciate someone taking the time to list them. They’re like a cafeteria–choose what you want & with the rest you just walk on by.

  11. Water bottle and travel coffee mug. The ones at the buffet and restaurants are tiny and not portable. Plus wash and toss disposable dish cloths/pads to wash them with.

    1. I always take a water bottle and my travel coffee mug. Some of these other ideas are good ones. We were on the Carnival Pride and there was only one outlet to charge phones send tablets. Not enough outlets in cabins. Our next cruise is on Royal Princess. Will see if anything is different.

    1. If your room will have a bunk bed setup, you might consider taking a bedside caddy for the top bunk (purchased one for my son when he went to college at Bed Bath and Beyond). It had a velcro closure to hang it over the top bunk rail. This will allow the top bunk person a place to put their book, music, etc. without having to get down from the bed.

    2. cruising bakers

      for folks traveling 4 to a cabin, that’s when the over the door organizer helps, with all of today’s cell phones, chargers,
      all the the cameras, batteries, chargers, sun lotions, bug spray , and who knows what all ,
      for 4 people sharing a cabin. My suggestion : a Jr. suite really helps so you aren’t bumping into each other.

  12. Cruise ships that we have sailed with, have hair driers already plugged,, no need to take your own, adequate hangers, lots of light, even if you have the need to get up at night, air conditioning can adjust to your liking, we have done, week, 2 weeks, 21 days, several times and and about to take. 33day trip to East Asia. Always a safety deposit box in your cabin, granted rooms are not huge, but adequate, a place to lay ones head after a busy day doing whatever, clean bed and quite comfy, sea air,sunshine, great food. Good idea with the shoe bag to hang in the closet,

  13. Our rooms are always big enough never had a problem with space there are some good ideas here but hangers no they will give u extra ones if u ask well atleast Carnival does.i brought an over the door thing and never used it I found on our cruises there was plenty of drawers for everything. Good Crusing everyone.

  14. 28 cruises later I’m still using the shoe hanger inside the bathroom door. All our products go in there, hubbie has his sections and I have mine. Another small thing I use, wouldn’t know where to get another one, is a foldable basket, I hate rummaging in my makeup case to find the mascara which invariably is at the bottom. So I assemble my little fold able basket and dump my makeup into it, when I’m rushing in the evening I’m so happy to have it. I know small things but they make life simpler. p.s. love the idea of magnetic hooks, have only eer used magnetic giant paper clips for the tickets and invitations.

  15. No, no, most of this isn’t necessary at all:

    – Cruise ships have a pretty good amount of storage behind the mirrors near the dresser/desk … don’t neglect two nightstands (we always keep our shoes in the lower half and our reading materials in the drawer). If you can’t fit your stuff in, you’re probably over-packing.
    – Magnetic hooks are a good idea! Use them to hang hats, wet bathing suits, whatever on the walls or the stateroom door. Similarly, suction cup hooks would work too.
    – Don’t bring an extra bag for dirty clothes; it’ll just take up space. Instead, open one suitcase and put it in the bottom of the closet … toss in your dirty clothes, and when that suitcase is full, zip it up and store it under the bed … now a portion of your going-home packing is done.
    – Likewise, no need for a dry erase board. Your Expo marker will write directly on the metal stateroom door (or the bathroom mirror) just as well as it’ll write on a board that’s taken up space in your bag. These items’ll clean up quickly just like a white board.
    – Your stateroom attendant will bring you extra hangers. All you need to do is ask.
    – A little battery-operated fan is a good idea, but do bring several sets of batteries. We take one of these camping (works GREAT when set between two adults in a small tent), and the batteries tend to last two days.
    – If you really want a nightlight, consider picking up glow sticks at the dollar store. To mention camping again, we used to give them to the kids in their sleeping bags … they make just enough light for you to go to the restroom, and they take up so little space … and you don’t have to bring them home. If you want more light, drop one into a glass of water, and the light’ll be magnified. Alternately, instead of glow sticks, get the glow bracelets; you can hang one over the bathroom doorknob, making it easy to find.
    – Think twice about bringing thing-a-ma-jigs to strain the ship’s electrical generator. You’ll have outlets by the desk/dresser and an outlet in the bathroom. You don’t need an outlet for the hair dryer; it has a designated plug from which it cannot be unplugged. Just leave an item to charge while you go eat dinner, and it’ll be ready when you come back … charge another item while you sleep. Even with multiple people in the cabin, this really shouldn’t be an issue.
    – I don’t get the need for more storage in the bathroom. You’ll have shelves behind the mirrors (the side mirrors) and a shelf beneath the sink. I always take one glass from the room and make it the “toothbrush glass” for the family. You may find that travel-sized shampoos, etc. fall through the metal grate shelf in the shower; however, you can fold up a washcloth and fix it so nothing’ll fall through.

    Tips that will make a cruise easier:
    – Sharing a cabin with children and need more space? The cheapest way to get that extra space is in a balcony cabin. It also allows Dad a place to “disappear” while the girls are getting dressed.
    – With small children, bring a very small pop-up tent; it’ll give the kids (and you) a bit of private space. Alternately, bring a sheet and “tent off” a corner using those magnetic hooks.
    – If you’re sharing a room with more than a single person, study the deck plans carefully and choose a cabin near a public bathroom. Alternately, you can book a cabin near the spa/gym, and one person can go shower in those locations; the showers are larger and nicer than the ones in the cabins. If you make this choice, be sure you have a separate set of toiletries for that person to carry.
    – If your kids are young enough that they’re likely to roll out of bed, bring a long a pool noodle … put it under the sheets, and it’ll provide a little hump that’ll keep them from falling out.
    – Bring your old, ready-to-toss make-up and partially-empty shampoo and deodorant … at the end of the cruise, just throw them in the trash can instead of bringing them home. Less to pack on the way home.
    – Need a place to store your suitcase? Under the bed’s perfect.
    – Enjoy reading? You can pick up a paperback for free from the ship’s library. Finished several books during your cruise and don’t want to take them home? Leave them in your room; your steward will place them in the library for future cruisers.
    – If you’re bringing a large travel mug (which isn’t really necessary), bring a bit of dish soap too. You want to get it good and clean. If this is something you think you really need, consider a package of large disposable to-go cups that won’t need washing.
    – Talk to the kids about NOT taking food from the mini-fridge … unless you’re willing to pay $5 for a candy bar. Instead, let them order cookies and milk from room service before bed (do bring some small bills for delivery tip).
    – Want a robe but don’t have the space in your luggage? Just ask your cabin steward; he or she will bring you one.
    – Traveling with family /friends in side-by-side balcony cabins? Ask the cabin steward to open the balcony dividers between your cabins … this’ll allow you to pop in and out of one another’s cabins without going out into the hallway.
    – Is that dinky little coffee table in the way? Store it under the bed.

      1. I’m amazed at how many people think they are experts for all of the rest of us. Like the one that says, “The newer ships have climate control so I don’t need to bring a fan. Well I have sailed on one of the newest ships and the wonderful climate control did not keep the climate to my liking, so thank you very much, but a fan will be going with me. Or the one that says, You don’t need to pack a laundry bag just use the dry cleaning bag or use a suitcase tucked under the bed. Thanks again for being an expert on my needs or desires, but I have used those small flimsy dry cleaning bags and don’t like them and thank you, Captain Cruise for a suggestion I should have thought of myself but didnt.

        Come on people, these are suggestions and I don’t care how many times you have cruised you are not an expert of me. Just let some make suggestions and if you have others great share them, but for heavens sake don’t think your ideas are the only ones out there and you know what others need or may want. Maybe I’d rather write on a whiteboard rather than on the walls. You have opinions but that’s all they are and you know what they say about opinions.

    1. Carnival has…
      Climate control, 4 shelves in bathroom, place luggage bags under beds, apparently you can ask for a fan if room too hot, extra hangers supplied when asked, 2 robes supplied , a beach towel per person supplied and always changed when found wet , hair dryer supplied, charge your equipment when you aren’t using it, use a bag for dirty clothes and most important…. ask your Steward.. they are there to help.

  16. Instead of white board bring part of a pack of Sticky Notes from home to leave notes for cabin mate or the room steward.

  17. We have been on a couple of ocean and several river cruises. All cabins are compact so after the first cruise I made a cruise package. I laid out all of our toiletries on a full single sheet of newspaper so that they all fit, marked the paper and then made a hanging organizer. Each spot is labeled with what goes in it so we never forget things. I made it with Velcro closed straps that can go over a pants hanger so it can hang from the robe hook on the door or over the shower door. It keeps everything off the counters too. I have a couple of the Dollar Store mini flashlights that we keep on our bedside table for nighttime trips to the head (sorry, I was in the Navy). I also make a trip passport/diary with a page for every day of the cruise showing where we will be and what we will see. It took a bit of fiddling to print out 4 pages per sheet of paper – but after the first one I just change the dates and pictures of what we will be seeing and print it out with a cardstock cover. I make one for each couple/single who is traveling with us as well. I write in it every day after we have returned to the ship along with the picture numbers taken that day and it makes remembering what we saw when we get home. I also bring a 12 x 12″ scrapbook paper organizer with us for all the paper souvenirs. I then have everything corralled until I can make my scrapbook pages. I print out calling cards with our names, address, telephone number and email address to give out to friends that we meet on the cruise. Another useful item is a jewelry caddy. I made one from a scrap of pre-quilted material by finishing the edges with bias tape and a Velcro dot in each corner so it can be flat for packing and put together on board. If we are traveling with a new couple/single I make one for each lady as a bon voyage gift along with the passport. We both take a lot of medications so I got small zip-lock bags and make daily pill bags and put each of ours in a larger zip-lock bag. I always make up 3 or 4 extra days’ worth just in case of a trip delay. I take a picture of each prescription bottle with one of the pills on the top just in case someone questions them. After having my things pawed through by customs officials I went to the Dollar Store and got a bunch of the extra large zip-lock storage bags that they sell – 2 large for $1. I learned not to get the largest ones because they have a gusset at the bottom that tends to tear so they can’t be made air tight. I pack everything in these bags, zip them leaving a couple of inches open, sit on them to remove all the air while zipping the last couple of inches closed. Space bags are I can get my bed pillow into one and make it only an inch thick! You can get so much more in your smaller suitcase and, if the customs people open your bag they can flip through the zip-locks in no time and you are on your way. Oh, and the bags have handles on them so they are really easy to handle. We also pack 2 suitcases with half of each of our stuff in each one so if one suitcase is lost or delayed we at least have clothes. We always ask for robes and slippers so we don’t have to pack them. We do bring travel mugs because you can ask the flight attendant to fill them and not have to hope for another beverage service. We bring water bottle carry straps so we can have water without having to carry a bag. After getting soaked with rain on one cruise, we invested in a couple of those tiny folding umbrellas that are only 6″ long and a couple of Dollar Store ponchos. They fit nicely in a cargo pocket. We may look funny, but we are dry. We pack several pairs each of cargo pants so we don’t have to carry a bag when out and about – it is harder for the pickpockets to get into them to rob you.

      1. We just signed up for a 30 day cruise and will be thinking hard about what clothes we will take! We will also get the chance to meet up with one of our foreign exchange students. I hope the ship has a coin operated laundry. This will be our longest trip so far and we are really looking forward to it.

      2. You are very organized. Going on 17th cruise in Dec/M y favorite tip is bring your old underwear,slippers,nightwear etc. Throw away as you go. More room for souvenirs on the way home.The magnets I got on Amazon are fantastic but you need to have the hooks on the front. Really help us keep things in view like hats etc. I use the space bags too so I can bring what I want. I bought the water proof phone cover case so phones, $ ,license wont get damaged by water or sand. I really like the new sunscreen that is in the form of solid deodorant . Doesn’t spill and is so easy to reapply quickly without getting it all over everything.

        1. My MIL does the same thing with her clothes. She always packs what needs to be replaced and just leaves it behind. I also learned from her to pack a pretty extensive first aid kit. She typically does 30-60 day cruises and packs a little of anything she might need along with her Rx meds. Oh and she prints a sheet of family address on address labels and brings some stamps. That way she can write little post cards and just slap an address label and stamp on the postcard. It takes no extra room and the post office can read where to send it.

    1. We are doing a Germany river cruise December 2017. What kind of electrical outlets do the boats have? Were you able to use a portable fan? I use one at night at home. This would be critical for me. Thx!!

      1. They have a us plugs along with European ones. So you won’t have buy a conversation one. But they have only 2 of each so I would bring a plain power strip. We did a Budapest to Amsterdam last October.

      2. It depends on your cruise line, ours only had Europeon plugs. Since I travel to Eur. often, I purchased from Amazon Eur. plug curling iron etc. Remember extra converters/short extension cord for things like CPAP breathing machine

  18. Getting ready for my fourth cruise next month. I read somewhere that you can tune your cabin TV to the channel that shows where the ship is going, turn off the sound, and have a great night light for those middle of the night bathroom stops. Even though it may be dark outside, the TV itself will give off enough light to see by. And please remember to be extremely careful when getting out of the pool. On our last cruise, we saw a lady go down hard because she slipped on the stairs while exiting the pool. And the ship hadn’t left the dock yet! I know she had a miserable time dealing with a bruised backside. Those decks get wicked slippery when they are wet. Perfect your “penguin” walk, and you should be okay. Prone to motion sickness? Forget Sea Bands. They are more of a placebo than anything else. Get a prescription for TransDerm Scop patches. It’s a small patch worn behind the ear and each patch lasts for three days. Beats swallowing Dramamine every four hours! Believe me, the expense is well worth it (about $40 for a box of four at Walmart.) Slip your cabin steward a tip at the very beginning of the cruise. The service you get will be astounding! These folks sign up for a six month hitch, where they don’t see their families at all. And if the management gets a bad report about them, they can be put off the ship at the next port. Their pay is minimal, so they depend on tips. Be generous. Think of how much you would need to tip eating every meal at a restaurant for a week! Just my two cents worth. Happy cruising, everyone, and may your seas always be smooth.

    1. These are all great tips. Thanks so much for taking the time to add these. I really like the t.v. one. Inside cabins get so dark, that I’ve slept until 10am. With the t.v. on, I’d also be able to tell when the sun was up!

    2. A product called Bonine which we picked up at Walgreens or CVS (not available in Canada) is great for motion sickness. One pill a day, worked for my daughter; not a prescription and not expensive.

      1. I personally like Ginger candy and or if you get Ginger pills you take 1 after each meal and I have never been sea sick even though I have very bad motion sickness

      2. The generic version of this (meclazine) is just as effective but TONS cheaper! You can get a bottle of 100 for around $4.00. Bonnie is A LOT more expensive for a lot less! We get ours at Walmart (usually you have to ask the pharmacist b/c they keep them behind the counter, but no script needed).

  19. Just a little comment about the seasickness patches , the ships doctor told me that the patches can cause vision problems in older people , he recommends the pills, many of the cruisers that came to see him with headaches and blurred vision were perfectly fine once the patches were removed.

    1. I ordered a product called Motion Ease. Royal Caribbean tends to have it on ship too. It is a mixture of essential oils that you put behind your ears and it doesn’t have to be used until you feel you are having symptoms.

  20. I use WINOMO Wonder Magic Clothes Hangers. I pre hang all my outfits at home, pop them into long zippered clothes bag, fold the lot straight into my suitcase. Unpacking and then repacking at the end of the cruise takes two or three minutes only.
    I take a fold up net laundry hamper which sits in the closet, very light and easy to pack up or use for taking to the laundry.
    I take over the door plastic hooks, which do not damage the doors. They always come in handy.
    I have a clear plastic shoe hanger which goes on the back of the bathroom door and is used for everything from brushes to sunscreen.

  21. I have used small cosmetic pouches to hold my make up. Because of limited eyesight-Legally Blind-I don’t use mascara. I have seen a Cosmetic Organiser that can be slipped inside a handbag or grocery tote bag-got mine from my Avon Representative but haven’t seen them again. 🙁 It was a great help! Use travel size skin care sets or buy travel sized bottles and jars and decant your own-using stick on labels so you don’t mix the Day Cream with the Night Cream or the Eye Cream.

  22. IF you use a CPAP machine, you may want to bring along an extension cord. Some cruiselines will provide it asked, but the plug may not reach other wise.

  23. I always take the magnetic hooks. I advise getting heavy duty ones because you can hang your jacket, hats etc. I also use them to post the daily newsletter, ecxursion tickets, and a small calendar that I make showing where we are each day, including times in ports and excursions.

  24. One thing I do was my husbands idea. Now days sheets, blankets etc come in zip plastic bags. They stay flat and are great for putting undergarments separate per person when packing. Or bring sandy wet things from the beach inside your beach bag etc. you don’t have to worry about shampoo etc leaking. Also I pack Christmas stuff like elf on a shelf lol

  25. I always take post-it-notes to leave messages on (usually on the mirror), take up much less space than a whiteboard and I can usually use the same post-it-note for some messages (meet me on Lido deck at 3pm!).

  26. We have a rechargeable USB fan we use with a charging stick that we recharge during the day using a ‘spider’ charging station (no surge suppressor, ok on Princess). I have a pop-up hamper since I do laundry on a sea day, less clothes to pack if I wash them. Magnetic hooks & clips for the walls and a hanging organizer designed for stuffed animals (from Aldi) with compartments for undies, socks, bathing suits, etc. hangs from the closet rod.

  27. We just came back from our 10th cruise. One tip I can add to your list is a small amount of laundry soap. We always wash underwear and the occasional shirt in the bathroom sink. Helps to keep the amount of packing down and it’s easy to wash and hang up a few items every few days.

  28. To reinforce what was said about side effects of the seasickness patches. Our Doctor said they are called the zombie drug in Europe and some countries have outlawed them due to misuse. Although we have worn them a time or two, the side effects, especially for older people can be serious and we would only use them if the seas were expected to be extremely rough. Meclizine 25mg, the sole ingredient in Bonine, is available in 100 tablets for $10 at Walmart and Walgreens, probably other pharmacies also. It is non prescription but you do have to ask your pharmacist for them.

  29. We have cruised multiple times. My suggestions include insect repellent that comes in disposable wipes. They are great for trips on shore. I also bring antibacterial wipes that I use when we first arrive. I wipe down the counters, night stands, door handles in my cabin. Lastly, we bring a couple of magnetic clips that I put on the cabin door. I use it them to display the daily schedule, itinerary, special notices as well as vouchers for excursions. Hope these tips help.

  30. I always take the battery operated candle tea lights and leave them on at night in the bathroom….just enough light to see but not too much to wake you or your partner.

  31. We have been on over 30 cruises with Thomsons. Usually plenty or hangers, if not your cabin steward will provide them. Never had problems with no shelf space in bathroom. All cabins have main lights, mirror lights, over bed night lights. Night lights have individual switches for the person they are for. Don’t take extra weight for nothing. Your steward, if it’s a good cruise line, will find you anything.

  32. I was going to order this power strip then noticed on Amazon that it is a surge protector, so it is not allowed on Carnival.

  33. Notyourbusiness

    Some good tips, but I never cruised in such cramped conditions. Always had ample room, counter space, shelves….. extra hangers a must….always had our own thermostat….

  34. Most electronics will plug into the European power outlets if you bring adapter plugs. Check the labeling to be sure and safe.

  35. Nosurgeprotector

    Please remove the Belkin from the list of items immediately. It is a surge protector and they are strictly prohibited due to fire hazard. A simple, inexpensive power strip that doesn’t have surge protection works fine. Also an extension cord will be safe. But the Belkin one is absolutely not.

  36. We always carry disenfectant wipes to wipe down the cabin good as soon as we arrive and travel size air spray for the bathroom to keep it smelling fresh.

  37. After 49 cruises I still find some off your tips very helpful. I’ve never been on a ship yet that didn’t have a shelf and medicine cabinet in the bathroom or individual thermostat controls that I usually set as low as it can go and cruise in complete comfort. Many of the ideas are thing I never thought of and will certainly try in the future. Thank you.

      1. CruisingTheWorld

        We have done almost 40 cruises on various cruise lines. We have had small, medium and very large cabins and cruised with most cruise lines. These are all very helpful suggestions, most I have used successfully and some are essential depending on your cabin and cruise line. As for the magnetic clips, I was recently surprised that the majority of the walls in our Viking river cruise were not metal, so the magnets I brought did not stick to the walls. After trying all of the walls and doors, I found one small interior wall which I could use. I also found that I could not find a place to hang the over door hanger for my toiletries bag as the doors were very tight and would no longer close. The solution was able to tie it to the towel hooks on the back of the door using a small piece of cord. I never leave home without sticky notes, highlighter pen (for selecting the activities of the day), sharpie marker, small rope, clothes pins, large safety pins, sheet of duct tape, small tube of E600 glue, needle & thread, magnetic hooks/clips, popup hamper, a few assorted tie wraps and watercolor pencils for decorating my sketchbook journal.

        1. Thanks for the helpful feedback! I’m surprised to hear those cabin walls weren’t metal… but, the river cruise ships are much smaller, so likely don’t need the metal framing? Anyway, we appreciate the insightful comment!

      2. Use 3M hooks. You can put them anywhere and they won’t damage the walls at all. Please check how much weight they will hold before you purchase them.

    1. We were on the Dream in a balcony cabin in March a few weeks after dry dock and the walls were most definitely still magnetic.

  38. This may not be a necessity for some. It worked wonders for us. Amazon offers battery powered neck fans 10.00 best thing I ever bought especially during muster drill and while sitting in 90 degree weather on half-moon cay with no shade.

  39. Leave a wipe dry whiteboard outside your cabin – So everyone knows you are out, where you are and how long they have to ransack your room…….

  40. Some good ideas for new cruisers. I use the over the door shoe holder. Great way to organize all the extra stuff so you can keep the dresser tops clear – like for cocktails and room service!

    The dollar store has collapsible fabric organizers. I have one for each of us. Small compartments. Now I have a place for my camera, wallet , lanyard so I know where to look.

    I always bring some extra wire hangers with my dry cleaning. Clothes ready to hang!

    My next trip I want to find a tray with sides to carry back snacks/drinks for an afternoon snack on the balcony!

    1. I use a plastic box to carry drinks etc. safely. It can be filled with stuff in the suitcase so takes up almost no space.

  41. Best thing I always take on a cruise is my elastic clothes line. It sticks to the balcony glass or can use hooks if glass not available. Always take pegs too.

    Also to help eliminate bathroom odours take small spray cans of body sprays. Excellent room deodorisers.

    And yes take extra coat hangers, they do not always have extra on hand.

  42. Love these ideas!! Due to issues with steamers or little irons, we brought a big bottle of wrinkle releaser for our group last time! Spray things that need ironing early on in the cruise and your good to go for the week????

  43. We now always use Royal Caribbean and have a cpap. They provide an extension cord and a jug of distilled water, complimentary. Magnets are mandatory to keep all the paper hung on the walls. I took art classes on a 30 day cruise and got to admire my work on the walls. Dollar store dish and laundry soap is useful. We use a mesh laundry bag that twists flat for packing. Saved us some trouble when the plumbing in the cabin above us leaked. All the dirty clothes were in the bag. Dollar store plastic glasses with lids and straws are great and you don’t have to worry about something dropping in your glass. For new cruisers…there is a lot of room under your beds. You can buy write on boards that are paper thin in the dollar stores. I love them for listing all the extra things that should be in the cabin when we get there as a reminder for the steward.

  44. Take a photograph of the front page of the “Cruise news” every morning, it will tell you the date and where you are visiting today. When you look back on all your lovely photographs later it reminds you where you were when the photographs were taken.

    1. It will also give you the name and contact I for for the ship’s agent ashore in the event you might ever need, and I sincerely hope you never do.

  45. We use command hooks for walls or doors not magnetic..and they’re reusable..also bought a battery operated large flame less candle for bathroom at dollar great for middle of night trips!

    Also Sharp makes a non surge clock with 2 outlets and USB port.

  46. texaschristina

    I don’t cruise with Carnival so their policies must be different than the lines I use. The power strip has never been a problem because I put it away when I’m done, We only charge while we’re sleeping. I don’t need a lot of the extras you have listed here but I always have the whiteboard …we hang it outside the door so not only do I know which cabin is mine I also know where my daughter is at all times lol . Makeup organizer is just a great way to travel anyways so I put my toiletries in with that and we hang it on the shower rack, closet, or on a hook behind the door and no problems. No complaints 🙂
    I have a travel set of earplugs and eye mask which works wonders and takes up no room.
    But honestly the best advice I ever got was don’t overthink it, don’t overpack, And don’t worry beforehand because you won’t once you’re on that ship.when it comes to a wrinkled top For instance… Hang it in the bathroom with you while you shower and it’ll steam right out. Those teeny bathrooms can turn into a steam room. Hang the wrinkled item on the back of the door while you shower and when you get out ta get a little on the bottom and I guarantee you enough wrinkles will come out from packing that you won’t have to worry. Just saying 🙂

  47. When cruising with another couple we bring a set of walkie talkies and give them one. Batteries lasted through the 4 night cruise.

  48. I always have at least two laundry bags, underwear etc in one, tshirts in the other then when you get home the washing is already sorted, you just put them in the washing machine.Estelle

  49. FirstTimeCruiser46

    Thank you all for these helpful comments. We are cruising for the very first time and we are so excited. Lots of great tips.

  50. This would apply to any travel not just cruises, Ziploc bags. When going ashore put your camera, wallet, passport and any thing else you don’t want to get wet in Ziploc bags. I fell off a pier in Mexico and if my things hadn’t been in Ziploc bags everything would have been ruined and all my pictures lost. I always carry a few extras, they also keep things together when going through airport security.

  51. Travelling clothes line is good too to hang wet swim wear on. You can get ones that are made of twisted elastic that holds clothes so no pegs needed. They have hooks and sucker ends, so can usually be hung on the shower.

  52. I always pack a small empty spray bottle. I fill this with tap water and spritz my clothes to get the wrinkles out. Hang up that wrinkled shirt the night before, give it a good spray, give it a shake, go to bed, and in the morning you’re ready to go with an unwrinkled shirt. I’ve been on 23 cruises and never go without my spray bottle!

  53. Car air freshners in the bathroom works wonders and we decorate our door and for dual purpose we put same gift bows from dollar-tree on our luggage.

    Carnival hub for $5 for the entire trip eliminated our walkie-talkies.

    Also take a picture of your luggage – hopefully you won’t have to describe it but if so – a picture is truly worth a 1000 words

  54. We must have been very lucky on our 3 cruises (to date) because we had plenty of bathroom shelves, good supply of hangers and hanging space and more than enough shelving.
    A portable strip multi socket is a must however for recharging as cabins only tend to have 2 outlets near the desk / table areas.
    Dirty laundry bag is a good idea. We have just used large strong plastic bags and thrown them in the suitcase at the end of the cruise with the contents to be washed back in UK.
    We use the thick white zip washing bags from Wilkinsons for keeping phone chargers and electrical cords egg together in one place on cabin shelf.
    I use large the handle plastic bags (the food bag kind) to store all shoes and keep them together and clothes clean if they have to go on a shelf.
    I would recommend streamlining toiletries as much as possible. Ships sell a good range of basics quite often anyhow. So think minimal. Most cabins have wall dispensers in shower for shower gel and shampoo. And handbasins have soaps.
    Packing cubes are great for keeping items together in cases and on shelves. I bought several sets of inexpensive zip cubes and each large one contains 1 type of clothing – e.g. 1 holds t shirts and blouses- another shorts and trousers. Another underwear. Just take out of suitcase and throw whole bag on shelf or in drawer. Done job.

  55. Pingback: How to cruise in comfort – a few suggestions | Tracey's 50th Birthday cruise

  56. Folks consider the number of days this cruise is and pack accordingly… do not need 2 weeks worth of clothing for a 5-7 day trip……on your at sea days you more than likely have swim attire on with a cover-up….. you’ll buy tee shirts so only carry enough to get you started on your cruise……carry neutral colored shorts/pants that ANY color will blend with your new tee shirts……you aren’t digging ditches so chances are you probably can wear them twice at least…..take comfortable walking shoes that you can wear with ANYTHING…..there is no need to carry a pair of shoes for every outfit……as for jewelry, I wore my diamond studs with everything…..what doesn’t go with diamonds!!!!!!!……you also don’t need a hair dryer, shampoo or shower gel….those are provided…….unitilize all your storage areas…..THERE ARE PLENTY, believe me, as well as more than enough storage shelves in the bathroom….that hanging roll up toiletries bag…….it eats up space in your suitcase …..if you can’t cruise comfortably with 3 closets to store everything, then you’ve taken too much…..also ROLL your tees and shorts/pants when packing…..this takes up much less space…..stuff socks in shoes (they are empty anyway)……and for goodness sakes ladies, you are not the queen of England and it’s NOT necessary to carry a purse to match every outfit you wear…….you don’t need cash to pay for anything while on the ship so leave it locked in your cabin safe (if you’re paying cash on your account daily then settle things late in the evening when guest services is less busy) and carry one (purse) that will sufficiently carry your wallet, a lipstick and if you’re one of those “tied” to your cell phone cruisers, then be sure there is room for that……plan ahead carefully and pack accordingly……..I’ve done many cruises and these are the lessons I have learned over the years…….simplify everything and just sit back and ENJOY

  57. When I was cruising for the first time I knew I’d be buying T shirts for souvenirs. Hence I never packed any shirts. On subsequent cruises I packed old clothes and half empty toiletry items. I jettisoned the lot on the way home. My Kindle held all the books I could read and more. If you’re traveling with a friend pack your suitcases half their stuff and half your stuff. This way if a suitcase gets left behind you both still have some clothing to wear.

  58. Good idea to take a pic of luggage. I always carry small bottle of Young Living Thieves essential oil. It is great to put a few drops on a cloth to wipe down room it disenfects, smells great, gargle for a sore throat or stop toothache, and a drop on chest will help ward off others germy coughs. Great stuff, tiny bottle. Lavendar oil is great for sunburn, sore muscles, minor cuts and helps relax to sleep.

  59. Some of your suggestions are very good. I try to pack so light because I bring too many clothes that extras just add weight. Why not use plastic trash bags for your laundry, cheap and lightweight. I just leave the bathroon door ajar and it is my nightlight. Your room steward will bring extra hangers if needed.
    I really don’t have a problem in the cabins anymore. First time was a shocker but now at 20 cruises I just go with the flow and I am used to lack of space!
    You just make do, it is not home and everything does not have a place to go!

  60. Hannah Callinan

    Hi – on a easy note of cruising: lay all the clothes out you want to take and remove 1/2 of it. Mix match tops to shorts or skirts and your are good to go. Nobody cares on the ship. Don’t over pack. I did for the first 5 cruises and then I learned. One big thing – roll your clothes you pack don’t fold or leave on hangers – just adds the wrinkles. Rolling leaves no wrinkles and if you do have a few – Wrinkle release spray will take it out. Your shower all come with clothes line to hang wet stuff you just pull it out of the wall and it hooks to the other side of your shower. Sticky note on mirror tells your cabin mates where you are. Hangers – just ask for more don’t pack any. Water bottle with filter you can fill when eating (I got mine at Walmart). Don’t take towels – they replace clean for you. Bug spray, sun block, zip lock baggies, back packs are great off ship to buy stuff and put in it and be hands free while walking and we use them also for our “carry on” ship with too for our swim suit, medicines, jewelry our electronics and of course a book to read, camera, cell phone, passport, papers, ect. Take ear buds if your spouse snores, take small fan, air freshner for bathroom, laundry soap, night light to turn on and off for bathroom….remember travel size in all of these items.

  61. After your pre-cruise hotel stay don’t forget a small stapler to fix the cruise cabin info on your luggage, you can’t always rely on the hotel reception to have one!

  62. Pingback: 10 Most Popular Cruise Accessories Purchased on Amazon

  63. CPAPs are fine for medical need. Fans are hit or miss. I have seen quite a few confiscated and witnessed many passengers arguing to get them back at pursers desk.

  64. We take cpaps on Norwegian cruises. Just remember an extension cord! Few outlets and usually across the room.

  65. Always bring my CPAP machine. They will even supply the distilled water. Make a note to the. Cruise ship in your paperwork. The water and extension cord if needed will be in your stateroom upon arrival.

  66. Not only will they give you an extension cord, but when we went last time the DME Co forgot to give him a cannula for his oxygen that he uses with his machine and they found one in the doctors office for him!

  67. Just returned yesterday from a week long cruise, things have really improved when it comes to cabin storage. I agree with almost everything that is recommended here but that’s small stuff. They have found ways to add storage in any and every place you can imagine.

  68. Kathy, I have taken my cpap on 11 cruises. No problems except you might want to bring a small extension cord as the electrical outlets are not very convenient. Or you could just ask your cabin steward for an extension cord.

  69. I was a little concerned when I read one post that said they brought a ‘candle’. My only hope is that it is one that is battery operated and not one with an open flame. The biggest fear on any cruise ship is a fire.

  70. If you need a sound buffer such as a fan use your phone. There are a bunch of apps that have every imaginable sound to lull you to sleep or drown out noises.

  71. Standard things in my suitcase:
    >several different colored highlighters for each person to highlight the activities in the daily newsletter they may be at (so we can find each other, usually or at least have an idea where they might be at any given time)

    >post-it notes – to leave notes for cabin steward or each other – never enough paper

    >before Radio Shack disappeared, I found a 6 inch extension cord since the only outlet is usually by the phone, and we each use different size curling irons, chargers, etc. this extends the ‘plug’ out & gives us 3 additional outlets

    >clothespins – multiple uses

    >pack of $1 store thank you cards – so I don’t have to remember to ask the purser for envelopes, etc so those staff that go out of their way get a thank you direct from us (wait staff, cabin steward, etc)

    >and lastly, I ALWAYS have a Santa hat in my suitcase & take a picture wherever I am, whenever I am for the next Christmas card…..came in handy with the penguins on the Antarctic cruise! (and later on a camel in the Sahara!)

  72. I am not an expert cruiser, but I did notice four things that maybe helpful to have on cruises.
    1. Use large clothes pins or large binder clips to hold the pool towels onto the back of the chairs. It gets pretty windy up there by the pool. Or you can get fancy and take those cute hape ones like flamingos or flip flop clips made especially to use at the beach to hold towels on the back of the beach chairs.
    2. Some type of insulated cup that can hold cold ice water or a drink while at the pool.
    3. Laundry soap pods if you want to take home clean clothes or have a need to do laundry. Dryer sheets would be helpful, too. These can be bought on the ship, but it is more expensive.
    4. A must is a lanyard to keep your cabin key card with you at all times.

    I have enjoyed reading all of your hacks as well as the ones posted by other cruisers. I like the idea of the packing cubes or plastic bags or even the plastic zippered bags that sheets and curtains come in. I’m sure the plastic shoe holder would be helpful. And finally, thank you for the info on cpap machines since I have recently been diagnosed with sleep apnea.

    I’m starting a “cruise” box to store things that I might take on our next cruise.

    PS.. smart phones have alarm clocks.

  73. I hate turning on the bright bathroom light in the middle of the night so I put several of those battery operated tealights that you can get at the dollar store in the bathroom and turn them on every night before I go to bed. Perfect nightlight!

  74. Yes, take my CPAP everywhere.. suggest bringing a long extension cord. Usually no plug near beds. Keep one packed in my CPAP case. Norwegian provided us a bottle of distilled water when I asked for it. Planes do not count these as carryon. Do not pack in your suitcase.

  75. I bring a small digital battery operated travel clock because, in my experience, once the ship is in open seas and no longer have a signal on my phone, the time on the phone becomes inaccurate. This doesn’t happen to everyone, but for some reason it happens to us, so now I travel with my little travel clock. I use the alarm feature on it as well. I also have a USB hub that can charge multiple gadgets at once.

  76. Great ideas. Made a list so I can have it, and to give to friends who will be joining us who have never cruised.

  77. – Various sized Ziploc bags – I pack all of my toiletries in them. That way if something leaks you just throw it out and use another Ziploc bag. Bring extras. I always find I need one at some point during the cruise.

    -Plastic grocery bags – for wet swim shoes/swimsuits and things that are not completely dry by the end of the cruise, or things filled with sand.

    -Large garbage bags. We put all of our dirty clothes in garbage bags. Close them up at the end of the cruise, pop them in the suitcase then when you get home, dump your dirty laundry in the washer and throw the garbage bags away.

    -The shoe organizer on the back of the bathroom door is invaluable. I’m thinking of buying a second one for shoes and hanging it in the closet

    -Magnets work great (used them on RCL, Norwegian and Celebrity)

    -Small alarm clock. For the most part we don’t use our phones. They go in the safe and don’t come out until the end of the cruise. I know some people can’t be without them for various reasons but I don’t want to be attached to mine on a cruise. So we bring a small alarm clock for early excursions and such

    -Nightlight. But I’m really liking the idea of the battery powered candles and will bring those on our next cruise.

  78. You all are such exerienced travellers… the only thing I would add is this: use the cheap drawstring bags to pack your suitcase. I put shoes in mine as well as packing one with swimsuit, flipflops, sunscreen and another with one complete casual outfit. Easy to grap and go… use the empty ones as needed for souvenirs going home and with dirty laundry. Fold one in a pocket on your days ashore in case you fill it – so much easier to carry back to the ship. I find I use these so much on my travels and they’re so handy to have available.

  79. CPAPs are not a problem. Your stateroom attendant will give you an extendion cord. Be sure to ask right away, do they don’t run out.

  80. I took it several times, and it was finally confiscated. Clothes steamers ARE prohibited, as are irons and candles. Everyone gets away with things a time or two, but don’t be mad when you get caught.

  81. Ive taken CPAP on 4 Disney & 1 Norwegian. I take a regular extension cord for it Incase I need it to reach the bed.

  82. Kathy, I also use a Cpap machine and have taken on Carnival, Holland, and Norweigen. i carry it on seperate so they can check it. I also bring a regular extension cord because the plug is far away from the bed. Dont forget your distilled water, if you have a humidifier. you can order one to be in your room. Cost is minimal. sleep well

  83. I was told a power strip was ok. Just not a surge protector.
    I pack mix and match clothes that don’t wrinkle. No need for a laundry bag. Every cruise I’ve been on there was one in the room. Tip you can give your laundry bag to your Steward and it’ll be all washed and folded for you when you get back, pack is much stuff in the bag is possible last cruise I went on it was $15 for as much as you could get in the bag. That poor bag was bulging.

    1. Thanks, Karole! Great tip about cruise laundry. Regarding the cruise power strip, the one we have listed above is the only one we can find that meets the non surge protection + non-extension cord rules.

  84. I bring command hooks. They adhere to the surfaces and remove easily.
    I also use travel style space saver bags for packing. They roll up instead of using a vacuum. Great for repacking.

  85. I don’t think your parents ever taught you manners! That’s great that you don’t need any of these tips – why did you read it??? It’s not necessary to make nasty comments! These things worked for them and they were kind enough to share. They have learned more tips from others and MANY people have used their tips and appreciate them taking the time. If you don’t think you need cruise tips, don’t read them, or maybe just keep the rudeness to yourself. Have a happy day!

  86. People please remember…when cruise lines say no to certain items because of FIRE danger…it is for your safety and everyone on the ships safety. Please dont bring these items. FIRE is the biggest danger for a ship! Hiding things in a drawer will keep you from having them taken away…but using them puts everyone in danger. Please think before you make a decision that can affect 1000’s of people.

  87. I have taken mine and never had a problem. Just let them know ahead of time and they will provide you with an extension cord and water

  88. They told me to carry it with me and not to check it through. I put a luggage tag on my case, it amazing how many people have c paps. I never check it when I fly either.

  89. I’ve only been on one cruise, and was having some problems with motion sickness. Someone suggested eating green apples, with the skin. Each day at lunch, I took a green apple back to my room to eat when I’d get out of bed the next morning, while getting ready. Worked great.

  90. Have taken my battery powered steamer on Carnival many times and only used once, never confiscated. We have a “cruise approved” power outlet; must not be surge protected or you may find it confiscated. We ask the room steward for extra hangers so I pack just a few if any of my own.

    Remember, if you are flying, you need to keep your luggage as light as possible and leave room (space and wieght) to bring back souvenirs.

    Instead of so many clothes, take a small ziplock with laundry supplies and utilize the facility on board during a sea day. Or spend a little and have your steward take your laundry and do it for you. Trust me well worth it.

    The magnets work great for hats, lanyards, purse, small backpack, etc.

    I purchased and have fallen in love with the retractible name tag/keychain fobs for our sail cards. They aren’t around our neck, clip on to just about anything (beltloop, bag…) Different colors, so everyone had their own color.

    Laundry bag is a must, no matter how much you pack. You have a place for your dirties. If you don’t wash before you head home, just close the bag and put in your luggage.

    I’ve never taken a fan, but will be purchasing one; as that is a wonderful tip. Same for the night light.

    Packing cubes are phenomenal. We just put the entire cube in a drawer or shelf for items that do not need to hang.

    I also take towel chair clamps. They keep my beach towel clamped to the lounge chair. I can also clamp my small bag as well.

    We take our cups for filling with water, soda, adult beverages whatever.

    Always check out the ‘forbidden or unacceptable’ items on your cruise lines FAQ page.

    If you’ve never sailed and would like to, remember catch a reduced or no deposit deal, book as far out as possible to give yourself time to pay it out. Biggest expectation to have is to relax and enjoy yourself.

    Happy Cruising everyone.

  91. I bring hampers, small container of dish liquid, air freshener, disinfectant wipes & 91% alcohol, sometimes needs to freshen the cabin & disinfect the door knobs, drawers, counters & toilet.

  92. If you are taking distilled water with you through Canadian airport, you will need a Doctor’s note or it will be confiscated at security check for “volume” restrictions. Buying at the gift shop will double the costs.

  93. October seems to be cheapest time to cruise. (For that guy saving for his first cruise, 60th birthday) 🎂🍧👍
    I have tips for smuggling alcohol on board… but I’ll keep those to myself. 😜👍
    Get motion sickness patches, even if you think you won’t need them… someone else might! AND READ THE DIRECTIONS! I went the whole cruise wearing them wrong! (Hate to admit, but hate for someone else to suffer like I did!)

  94. A clap is a medical device, should be carried through security, and we were told should not be charged as a carry on at the airport.

  95. My husband and I both use a CPAP machine and we were on Royal Caribbean. We used ours without a problem. Just needed and extension cord for those, phone’s and a fan.




  97. I Bring a CPAP on every cruise, no problem. You can even ask them for distilled water and they will bring a gallon for you.

    1. Learned the hard way

      Bring Imodium – if you ask for it you are quarantined to your room for 24 hours. And fed only a clear liquid diet for the first 12 hrs. I have food sensitivities and thought nothing of it! SO glad it was not on a day I wanted to leave the ship or had excursions planned!

  98. Towel clips! Or rather the laundry clips from Dollar Tree, besides keeping your towel on your chair you can hang your wet baiting suit in the shower or clip it to a chair on your balcony. I’m a travel agent and always give them to my cruise clients.
    I give over the door organizers if there are more than just a couple in a cabin. Also lanyards with card holders, pop up laundry holders and magnets for the door. I’m adding insulated tumbler for water and reusable straws to my list of ‘no plastic’ must haves for myself.

  99. Carnival not only confiscated my travel iron last year but when I went to pick it up they handed it to me broken in three pieces. I’ll get a spray dewrinkled for my April cruise.

  100. We use a white noise app to get rid of the outside noises. The magnetic hooks are a great place to dry bathing suits. I never thought of the door organizer. I travel with my three younger children and I’m always kicking aside sneakers, flip flops, water shoes, dressy shoes, etc….this is perfect!!! Thank you!!

  101. You would be amazed at the deals you can find! Be sure you check out drink packages even if non alcohol 🙂 For 2 ppl a 7 night cruise with Norwegian was only $1200 all taxes and fees 🙂 But then you add the small things and they arent much unless u love to shop 🍉🦈🍷🏝🚢 good luck

  102. I have a question, you all talk of night lights, what is wrong with leaving the bath room door cracked a little to offer some light?

  103. My husband and I both use CPAP MACHINES just tell your Stewart and you will probably need an extension cord (they can give you one) .. They also have distilled water for the machine just ask. Never had a problem

  104. CPAP is no problem, other than you’ll have to ask for extension cord . We also carry a letter from the doctor for it

  105. I also use battery tea lights, magnetic hooks a laundry bag and a drawstring lay and go makeup bag. In the past, I brought little scented sticks so the cabin smelled fresh. Next, I’m going to try one of those Febreze car vent air fresheners – stick it in the a/c vent in the cabin.

  106. I always take a small first aid kit. you do not want to pay cruise line prices for bad aids or triple antibiotic ointment. I also bring a tiny travel sewing kit. There’s nothing worse then losing a button or finding a small hole in one of your favorite garments.

  107. For especially long cruises with different weather extremes I get much more room out of hanging clothes by making a circle with twistie tie (garden ties on a wheel & cut to size) and hanging a hangar under another hangar. Loop thru neck/hoop part of hangars. I can stack 3-4 items in place of 1. Use in taller rod closet. And can see each piece that way. I do pack hangars – the cheap thin plastic coated metal ones bec ship usually gives you super wide ones.

    The vertical shoe holder that Velcro’s on rod is great. Suction cup hooks for mirrors and pictures, and magnetic hooks are great. Some cabin walls hold magnets and some do NOT. Ceiling always seems to take magnets. Bathroom storage shelves range from 2-6 so suction cups on mirror allow to hang holders. Suction cup soap dish works on mirror. But note suction cups do not stick on most shower or bathroom walls. Sticky notes a must. Fan a must for white noise and air movement. I swim a lot so use clip hangars to hang on magnetic hooks. Things dry faster and can hold more. Folding boxes are great too. Pack soft stuff in small duffel bags and can just put whole bag into closet. Thinking very long cruises and weather extremes.
    Fold up hampers are great. I take an extra one so can carry clean clothes back from laundry room. No transferred smells

    I wonder if the tacky stuff will hold papers on walls that do not hold magnets ? Does 3M removable hooks damage walls ?

    If room is too hot/cold or too breezy. On one cruise we were dying. No air movement and could not cool room. After a few days complained. Turned out it took 5 min to open up the vent. The people before us had had it almost totally closed off!! Always ask.

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