Tips & Tricks: What to Bring on a Caribbean Cruise

Hi everyone! It’s Victoria, and today’s blog post is about what you need to pack for a Caribbean cruise! As a Floridian, I mainly cruise to the Caribbean and after more than a few cruises to various places in the Caribbean, I’d like to think I have a pretty good idea on what to pack and what to leave home. And while Gabe has written an article or two about packing, I would like to specifically focus on packing for a Caribbean cruise.

Gather all Needed Paperwork and Necessary Items
This one is self explanatory, but necessary. Gather all passports, boarding passes, and other necessary items and paperwork needed to get onto the ship. This is also a good time to sort through your wallet and decide on what is absolutely necessary to bring and what you can leave at home. For example, bringing the credit cards you used to pay for the flight/hotel/cruise is something you should bring, but an ice cream rewards card is something you could leave at home.

This is also a good time to make sure you have all needed medications and enough to last you the duration of the cruise, plus an extra day or two. You never know if you’re flight will be delayed or if something else will happen.

Start Picking Out Clothes
Now here comes the tricky part, as people either tend to overpack, underpack, or not pack the right stuff. Depending on the length of  your cruise, you’ll need to pack different amounts of clothes, but there are some things that are necessary no matter the length of your cruise: always bring a pair of socks for every day of your cruise (you might think you won't wear socks and sneakers in the Caribbean, but trust me you will), and always bring double the amount of undergarments for every day of your cruise.

For shorter cruises, I recommend at least one bathing suit, but two might be better if you plan to spend most of your time at the pool or at the beach, and for longer cruises, a minimum of two bathing suits works out the best. And for girls, I recommend bringing at least one one-piece bathing suit in case you decide to go on a snorkeling or other water based excursion.

Bathing suits aside, start picking out different shirts and bottoms you want to bring. Personally, I like bringing shirts and shorts that I can mix and match and maybe wear more than once since I hate overpacking and having to worry about if a certain shirt matches what. And besides tank tops, shorts, and plain t-shirts, I always like to bring at least one pair of jeans and one long sleeve shirt or sweatshirt as it can get chilly on the top decks at night or I might need to wear long pants for a certain excursion. You wouldn't think to bring a sweatshirt on a Caribbean cruise, but it is definitely worth it, especially depending on what time of year you go and where the ship is leaving from.

Besides day clothes, it is also very important to bring appropriate clothes for the main dining room, and it is very important to look into the dining room’s rules for attire and to see how many formal or elegant nights are held during your cruise. Typically, shorter cruises only have one while longer cruises have two, but it is still best to double check for your sailing. I personally enjoy bringing sundresses because then I could also wear them during the day and get two days worth of outfits from one dress.

Choosing Shoes
Choosing shoes for a cruise is easy for me; I always bring a pair of sneakers, a pair of nice heels, a pair of sandals, and a pair of flip flops. I usually bring my white Converse, as they go with everything, and a pair of sandals that match the clothes I’m bringing. I don’t typically worry about shoes, as I usually tend to wear the same few pairs even when I’m at home, but I know some people who love shoes and worry about not bringing enough shoes on their cruise. I just think about all the valuable suitcase space I’m losing if I bring an extra pair of shoes that I might wear but probably won't wear.

Gather Toiletries
While cruise ships supply you with the basic toiletries, like soap and shampoo, you’re going to have to bring your own on board unless you plan on paying extra for toiletries from the gift shop.It’s easier to look in your own bathroom and see what you use daily than just hope that the cruise ship’s gift shop hasnt run out of toothpaste or mouthwash.

Besides gathering up my toothbrush and toothpaste, this is also when I gather up my hairbrush, extra hair ties, and any skincare and makeup I might want to bring with me.

Pick Out Any Extra Items
Now that you have your necessities gathered up and put to the side, you can assess what you have and what extra stuff you would like to bring if you have any extra room in your suitcases. This is usually when I gather up any jewelry, books, and other things I would like to bring aboard with me. I usually do this the morning I leave, as it gives me the time to take the items I use daily without having to forgo them the night or day before. Camera and camera wires/batteries and phone chargers are prime examples of what to grab during this last minute rundown.

While this is just a rundown of things and tips that I use while packing for a Caribbean cruise, I hope this blog post was helpful in your packing endeavours! Also, if I left out a packing tip that you swear by, leave your suggestion in the comments!


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