You Need This Ultimate Cruise Packing List

Our next carnival cruise is booked and if you are anything like me, you need this ultimate cruise packing list.

Let me break it down by each section, to help you plan and be prepared for your ship.

By preparing you will save time and most of all money.

If you have ever been on a cruise (or if you haven’t these are great tips) then you know if you forget something you are going to fork out money to get it on the ship.

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Before You go

This will be our third cruise and we have learned a few things from past cruises we want to share with you.

Just things to make your trip a little easier, and more affordable.

  • Contact your bank and let them know you will be traveling. Suspicious activity could put a hold on you accessing your money.
  • You want to make sure that you share the details of your trip with a family member, just to be on the safe side.
  • Lock all house windows and doors
  • Leave a key with a neighbor or family member to your home and vehicles.
  • Put a hold on your mail through the post office.
  • Pet owners: arrange care for your animals
  • Take out trash
  • Empty dishwasher
  • Prep your luggage by adding luggage tags
  • If you won’t have email or phone access, then set up a voicemail and email prompt to let people know you are unavailable.
You Need This Ultimate Cruise Packing List carnival cruise

Check In

Most cruises and flights have a specific time period that you can go online and check-in.

Be sure you set an alarm and check-in as soon as you can.

For the cruise, this will mean you can pick your time to start your boarding process.

This could mean the difference between boarding earlier in the day or later.

Trust me you want the options.

Must-Have Documents

Here are some must-have documents we always make sure we have with on during travel.

Not all of these will apply (flying, driving, hotel, etc.)

essential cruise document checklist

Essential Gadgets

These are just a few things you might want to bring with you.

Bringing a camera, especially a disposable one is always fun.

You never know what you will end up with at the end of your trip.

This is also fun for the kids.

Sometimes it is nice to see the world through their eyes.

Cabin Checklist

Depending on the type of cabin you have some of these will be helpful, some you may not need.

For example, if you are in an interior room with no windows or balcony a fan may come in handy.

We stayed in an interior room with our kids on their first cruise, and moving air would have been nice.

It can feel a little cramped when you have more than 2 people in a room.


If you are anything like me you may be someone who over packs for your trips.

Having a checklist and preparing your outfits for each day will ensure you don’t pack too many clothes.

P.S. No one cares what you are wearing, so just be you!

You can literally be in an elevator with 3 other couples, one is in elegant nightwear, another in jeans, and another in sweatpants.

Female Formal Wear

We love the chance to get all dolled up am I right?

Most cruises have a dress code in the main dining room on specific evenings.

On Carnival their cruise casual consists of summer dresses, casual skirts, pants, capris, dress shorts, jeans, blouses, and tops.

Usually, on a 2-5 day cruise, you have one elegant evening and on a 6+ day cruise, you will have 2 elegant evenings. This means you have a dress code that will need to be a cocktail dress, pantsuits, elegant skirts and blouses or an evening gown

Men’s Formal Wear

When it comes to dressing up men usually have some items in their closet ready to go. Even though it is vacation, and most men would rather be wearing shorts and a t-shirt, it’s just for dinner boys, we promise!

Personal Care Items

When it comes to personal care items, I am always forgetting something on a trip.

This is where i tend to spend the most money.

So here are just a few items I make sure I do not forget, and the list keeps me on track with what to pack.


This is one area I always make sure I am prepared for, it’s the momma in me.

When it comes to needing medicine or first aid it can get pricey on the ship.

So use this as a reminder of some things to have on hand just in case!

Thank Me Later Items

These are just a few items I wish I would have remembered on my first cruise.

If you have multiple people in your cabin trust me earplugs will be a godsend.

You want to make sure you keep your phone and documents safe when on an excursion so a waterproof case is a must-have.

Your cruise card is used as your stateroom key and payment method on board. So having a lanyard keeps it easy to access, and a must-have accessory.

If you don’t bring one you can buy one at the cruise gift shop.

You will have more downtime than you think, so bring a good book for those relaxing moments.

We hope you enjoyed this article and trust me you need this ultimate cruise packing list.

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I love a good DIY project, and helping people create warm and cozy spaces in their homes. So if your someone who is ok with me being a hot mess express, a legging wearing, top bun sporting, kind of girl, then let's be best friends! You can never have enough friends right? I am a natural born nurturer, who always leads with my heart. I have learned it is ok to say no sometimes! My advice to you, take chances, in the end, you will regret the chances you did not take. 

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