11 Clever cruise packing and cruise luggage tips to help the first time cruiser take the stress out of packing. Cruise packing should be fun, it means you are about to have an aweome cruise vacation.

11 Clever Cruise Packing Tips You Need To Know

Clever cruise packing tips as well as general cruise luggage tips to help make your cruise vacation a little more stress free.


Packing for a cruise is one of the fun parts of preparing for a cruise. Maybe because it means your vacation is just around the corner. Use these great cruise packing and luggage tips. Number 8 is my favorite.


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11 Clever cruise packing and cruise luggage tips to help the first time cruiser take the stress out of packing.  Cruise packing should be fun, it means you are about to have an aweome cruise vacation.



11 Clever Cruise Packing Tips


1. Plan outfits don’t just randomly pack things you might wear

Don’t just pull out several pieces of clothing from your drawers and closet, this just leads to over packing. First consider your itinerary. If you have 3 port days and 4 sea days, consider what you might wear these days. If you are planning a beach excursion, maybe you’d wear just your swimsuit with a cover up that day.


Be sure to check the dress code for your cruise line. Most 7 day cruises will have 2 formal or elegant nights. Most cruise lines have a stricter dress code for the main dining rooms even on the non formal nights. Be sure to consider that.



Now that you have an outfit packed for each day, be sure to pack a cardigan for the evenings. The air conditioning in the public rooms (dining room, lounge, etc) can feel quite chilly at times. A nicer neutral color cardigan can be thrown on over top of your dressier clothes or your more casual clothes.



2. Pack light and save money

Don’t over pack. Pack items that can be worn more than once. For example, pack a pair of shorts that can be worn with 2 different shirts.


If you need to purchase clothes for the formal nights, consider buying 1 pair of bottoms that can be worn with two different tops. This would work for a skirt or pants. This will save both money and suitcase space.


Packing light can also save on baggage fees if your have to fly to the departure port as most airlines charge per bag. If you can reduce your luggage to 1 suitcase instead of two it’s a great way to save money on your cruise vacation.



3. Pack a day’s worth of clothes in each other’s suitcase

This is a great cruise packing tip especially if you have to fly to catch your cruise. Pack at least 1 full day of clothes in each other’s suitcase. In the off chance the airline looses one of your family’s suitcases, you at least have a day’s worth of clothes.


This can help get you by until your suitcase can be found and delivered to you the next day if you arrived the day before your cruise or flown to a suitable port. Flying in the day before your cruise is always very highly recommended.





4. Be organized for your pre cruise hotel stay

If you are arriving in your cruise departure city a day prior as recommended, pack so that the clothes and items you need for that evening and the next morning are easily accessible. You don’t want to be rummaging through your suitcase and leaving it a mess before you even get on the ship.




Ultimate Cruise Planner and Journal





5. Pre pack your cruise carry on bag

A cruise carry on bag is a must. Unless you are carrying all your luggage on the ship with you, your luggage often won’t be delivered to outside your stateroom until later that afternoon or even early evening. Your carry on bag will need to include what you will need for those first few hours onboard.





Other cruise related articles you might find helpful:



6. Pack your heavier items on the bottom

Consider how your luggage is carried. If you have a suitcase with wheels pack you heavier items on the side by the wheels. If you have the older style that you carry, put your heavier items at the back so that when the suitcase is carried your heavier things are on the bottom.


This helps keep your clothes less wrinkled and helps keep your toiletries from getting squished and leaking.


By the way, if you are still using that older style you might want to consider a newer set of luggage with swivel wheels. It makes travel so much easier.





7. Leave space for souvenirs

When packing for your cruise, be sure to leave space for souvenirs. If you often buy several souvenirs for friends and family you may want to pack in a larger suitcase than you otherwise would need. The other option if you won’t have the space in your luggage is to pack an empty duffle bag. This option however, may lead to extra baggage fees if you are flying home.




8. Pack shampoo and conditioner bars instead of bottles

.Cut one shampoo bar and one conditioner bar in half and place them in a soap travel dish. It saves so much space. The bars last a long time.

Ultimate travel hack - cut a shampoo bar and a conditioner bar in half and pack in a travel soap dish.





Cruise Luggage Tips



9. Wait until you are headed to the port to attach your cruise luggage tags



10. Take a picture of your luggage

Before headed out the door on your vacation, take a picture of your luggage. This helps greatly if one of your bags is lost by either the airline or cruise line. Most people think they know what their luggage looks like until they have to describe it. Ummm… black, rectangular, with zippers – just isn’t going to cut it.



11. Make your luggage identifiable

Having easily identifiable luggage will make it easier both at airports and at the cruise terminal at the end of your cruise. There are a few ways you can do this.


  • Attach a colored luggage strap
  • Use a bright colored luggage tag
  • Attach colorful ribbon to the handle
  • Tie a bandana around the handle (careful not use anything too long, you don’t want it to get stuck in the luggage carousels.)
  • Luggage handle wraps (see image below)
  • Invest in a distinguishable patterned or colored luggage set


You can click on any of the below images to see them on Amazon (no extra cost to you, small commission for us).


Luxebell Luggage Straps Suitcase Belt Travel Accessories, 1.96 in W x 6.56 ft L 4 Colors


Coolife Luggage Expandable(only 28") Suitcase 3 Piece Set with TSA Lock Spinner 20in24in28in (lake blue)


Rockland Departure Hardside Spinner Wheel Luggage Set, Owl, 2-Piece (20/28)

Gowraps Luggage Handle Wrap- Suitcase Tags identifiers for Travel Cute Luggage Tag for Cruise Travel Accessories for Airplane/Flying



Cruise unpacking tip

A quick cruise unpacking tip is to store your empty suitcase under your bed. Don’t waste precious cabin space with empty suitcases lying around. If you don’t use a pop up hamper for your dirty clothes, leave the suitcase open under your bed and throw your dirty laundry in there.

Clever cruise packing and cruise luggage tips to help you prepare for your next cruise vacation.  Use these cruise packing tips to help make your cruise vacation stress free.