Mexico cruise what to pack

What to Pack for a Cruise to Mexico {2024}

What to pack for a cruise to Mexico highlights the best things to bring along as your cruise down Mexico’s west coast.

Packing for a Mexico cruise is similar to packing for a Caribbean cruise however you will want a few warmer pieces of clothes for your first and last day.  Ideally clothes that you can layer.   

Mexican riviera cruises depart from Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco depending on the cruise line.  Since these departure points are further north than the Caribbean cruise embarkation ports the first and last day of your Mexican cruise can be a little cooler than you may expect especially in the winter months.

Be sure to consider this when packing for a cruise to Mexico.

What to pack for a cruise to Mexico.  This list includes cruise essentials and what clothes to pack for a Mexico cruise.  This article will help with your cruise planning and be a big help for first time cruisers.

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What to pack for a cruise to Mexico

This article will outline:

  • Best things to bring on a cruise to Mexico
  • Mexico cruise clothes to pack
  • Miscellaneous must pack cruise items
  • Who cruises to Mexico

Best things to bring on a Mexico cruise

If this is your first cruise you will want to take note and add these essentials to your Mexico cruise packing list. 

Waterproof cell phone pouch

A waterproof cell phone pouch is a good idea if you are planning on doing any water sports like snorkelling or taking any shore excursions to the beach. 

JOTO Waterproof Pouch Cellphone Dry Bag Case for iPhone 11 Pro Max Xs Max XR X 8 7 6S Plus SE, Galaxy S20 Ultra S20+ S10 Plus S10e S9 Plus S8/Note 10+ 9, Pixel 4 XL up to 6.9" -Black

Cruise ship approved power strip

Many experienced cruisers like to pack a power strip or power bar for their cruise cabin.  Most cruise ship cabins have limited electrical outlets and with people travelling with so many electrical devices these day these power strips are a great way to get extra outlets in your room.

Cruise Power Strip No Surge Protector with USB Outlets - Ship Approved (Non Surge Protection) Cruise Essentials in 2023, 2024 & 2025

Cruise lanyard

Cruise Lanyards, 3 Pack Waterproof Cruise Lanyard with Detachable Buckle & ID Badge Holder for Cruises Ships Key Cards, Cruise Essentials & Must Have Accessories (Light Blue + Dark Blue + Red)

Cruise luggage tags

Regardless which cruise line you choose for your cruise to Mexico, you will need to attach a luggage tag that you print out to each checked bag.

Carnival Luggage Tag Holders by Cruise On [4 Pack] Fits All Carnival Cruise Line Ships & Tags for Cruises in 2023, 2024 & 2025

Towel clips

I’m quite sure your Mexican Riviera cruise will include some lounging by the pool.  These super cute beach towel clips keep your towel secured to your lounge chair.  They stop the towel corner from blowing annoyingly over your shoulder. 

O2COOL Bocaclips - Beach Towel Clips for Beach Chairs, Patio and Pool Accessories Clothes Pins or Bag Clips - (Flip Flop) 4 Clips

Carry-on bag

This is probably one of the most important things to bring on a cruise.   When you arrive at the cruise port the porters will take your checked bags from you.  This is why the cruise luggage tags are so important. 

Your luggage will be delivered to outside your stateroom door, but not for a few hours. 

You need a cruise carry on bag that contains everything you need for the first few hours on the ship such as sunscreen, swimsuit and a change of clothes.

ESVAN Original Water Resistant Large Tote Bag for Gym Beach Travel, Upgraded, White, Pineapple

Shore excursion bag

You will need to bring a shore excursion bag with you on your cruise to Mexico. 

Consider the types of activities you plan on doing in the Mexican ports of call.  You may want different types of shore excursion bags.

If a beach day in Cabo San Lucas is on you list, you will want a beach bag. 

If you are taking a jeep safari shore excursion in Puerto Vallarta then you would probably be better off with a backpack. 

Packing Cubes

Compression packing cubes are they way to go, they allow you to pack more or save precious suitcase space for souvenirs.

8-Piece Deluxe Compression Packing Cubes for Travel - Maximize Space in Luggage with HybridMax Double Capacity Design, Luxury Suitcase Organizer Bags, Large, Small, & Medium Set

RFID Blocking Passport Holder

A RFID blocking passport holder is important whether you are travelling domestically or to a foreign country as it helps keep your personal information safe.

Passport Holder Cover Wallet Travel Essentials RFID Blocking Leather Card Case International Travel Must Haves Travel Accessories for Women Men(101#Coffee Grey)

Water bottle

A good quality reusable water bottle is cruise essential.  You will want to stay hydrated while enjoying the sun in Mexico.  A good water bottle can help you save money on your cruise vacation if haven’t purchased a drink package or if your drink package doesn’t include bottled water (many don’t).

IRON °FLASK Sports Water Bottle - 40 Oz 3 Lids (Straw Lid), Leak Proof - Stainless Steel Gym & Sport Bottles for Men, Women & Kids - Double Walled, Insulated Thermos, Metal Canteen

Printable cruise planner and journal

Clothes to pack for a cruise to Mexico

When creating your cruise clothes packing list consider:

  • Daytime warm weather clothes
  • “Resort casual” type evening wear
  • A couple formal night outfits
  • A couple warmer outfits

See examples of each type of cruise clothes below.

I won’t list the quantities of clothing to pack as it will depend on whether you are doing a weekend getaway cruise, a week-long cruise or something even longer.

 Daytime cruise clothes – Mexico

Bathing suits

A bathing suit is a definite must pack item for your cruise to Mexico.  If your cruise is longer than 3 days, you will want more than one bathing suit.  You’ll wear your swimsuit in and around the cruise ship pools, hot tubs and to the Mexico beaches.

If you are looking to buy a new swimsuit before your Mexico cruise, here are some you might like.  You can click on any of the pictures to see the price, size, and additional colors.

CUPSHE Women's Dream Space Lace Up Bikini Set Beach Swimwear Small Dark Blue

Yonique Two Piece Plus Size Tankini Swimsuits for Women Flowy Bathing Suits with Shorts Tummy Control Swimwear Black Floral Pink Flower 14plus

Tempt Me Women's Vintage Swimsuits Green Retro Halter Ruched High Waist Bikini with Bottom XS

Bathing suit cover ups

Bathing suit cover ups (also called beach cover ups) are great cruise wear for lounging around the pool or for a beach shore excursion.

Click on any of the below pictures for more details.

Ekouaer Bathing Suit Coverups Women Lace Crochet Loose Summer Bikini Beach Dress Cover Ups for Swimwear, White L

Wander Agio Beach Swimsuit for Women Sleeve Coverups Bikini Cover Up Net Slit Dark Beige

Beach Coverups for Women Swimwear Bathing Suits Cover Up Dresses Tunic Black L

Ekouaer Swimsuit Cover Up Plus Size Swimsuit Cover Ups Women Army Green

T-shirts and tank tops

Here are some fun shirts if you are looking for something new. 

Click on any of the below pictures to check price.

Mamacita Needs a Margarita Women Halter Tank Top Caim Funny Casual Sleeveless Basic Tops Summer Beach Tees Workout Vacation Shirts, Navy Blue M

YUYUEYUE Vacay Mode Sunglasses Letter Print T-Shirt Casual Short Sleeve Top Tee Blouse (XX-Large, Army Green)

Womens Funny Graphic Tees Funny Beach T Shirt Cute Summer Casual Vacation Short Sleeve Tee Tops Dark Green


Sundresses or Rompers

Ladies may want to swap out shirts and shorts for a cute romper or a sundress or two.

Here are some cute ones to check out.  Any of these would be a great addition to your cruise wardrobe.  Click any of the pictures to check prices.

ANRABESS Women's Summer Black Casual Short Sleeve Crewneck Jumpsuit Rompers with Pockets Lounge Rompers HEI-L BYF-33

RAISEVERN Womens Black Romper Summer Casual Cute Short Jumpsuit Hawaiian Luau Tropical Leaves Print Adjustable Spaghetti Straps Loose V Neck Sleeveless Cami Rompers with Pockets

LONGYUAN Women Swimsuit Bathing Suit Cover Ups for Sundress Large,Floral White

HUHOT Sun Dresses for Women 2023 Casual Summer Green Dresses Beach Vacation Flowy Dress Sundress with Pockets

Evening cruise wear

For the evenings you will want to pack clothes that adheres to the cruise line dress codes especially for the dining rooms.  On a 7 night cruise, most cruise lines will have 2 formal nights (some cruise lines refer to them as elegant nights), with the remaining nights usually being “resort casual” or “smart casual”. 

You can choose not to attend the formal dinners in the main dining room and instead eat at one of the casual dining options (other meal options will vary cruise ship to cruise ship – check your ship carefully before booking) if you prefer not to bring or buy formal attire.

Evening cruise attire – casual

For the non-formal nights there will still be a dress code for the main dining rooms.  Check your cruise line for details as each cruise line is different but usually includes things like no shorts, no tank tops, no hats, no torn jeans, some may say no jeans at all, no gym clothes.  Things like that. 

What you can wear on the “resort casual” or “smart casual” nights are things like a skirt or pants with a nicer shirt or a casual dress for the ladies.  And for the men, a golf shirt and khaki pants or a button up shirt with nice pants.

Naggoo Women's Summer Wrap V Neck Polka Dot Print Ruffle Short Sleeve Mini Floral Dress with Belt (M, Pink)

Under Armour Men's Tech Golf Polo , Royal (400)/Graphite , Medium

To pack lighter choose bottoms (pants or skirt) that can be worn with more than one shirt. 

Cruise formal night outfits

A formal night on a cruise is a great chance to get dressed up for a fancy dinner, especially if you don’t get to do that very often. 

If you are on a 7 night cruise plan for 2 formal nights. 

On a cruise formal night ladies will want to wear a cocktail dress, that little black dress that has been hiding in your closet or a nice pants and shirt combo.

Here are some options if you are looking to add to your wardrobe.

MEROKEETY Women's 2023 Lace Floral Midi Dresses Classic Elegant Party Dinner Photoshoot Dress, Navy, Small

WOOSEA Women's High Neck Split Bodycon Mermaid Evening Cocktail Long Dress Black

MUADRESS Women's Elegant Floral Lace Dress Sleeveless Crew Neck Hi-Lo Cocktail Dress for Evening Party Burgundy S

Verdusa Women's Round Neck Short Sleeve Bodycon Pencil Dress Black M

Click on any of the above pictures for prices and alternate colors and patterns.

On a formal night men usually wear a suit or at least a dress shirt, tie and dress pants if your cruise dress code allows no jacket.  Some men will go all out with a tux. 

Mexico cruise – additional cruise clothes

As mentioned earlier, on a cruise to Mexico you will want to add to your packing list a couple of warmer pieces of clothing in case your first and last day on the cruise ship are on the cooler side.

Cruise essential – A cardigan

Light jacket

A light jacket can come in handy on a Mexican Riverian cruise for an evening stroll outside around the ship or for any bad weather days.


I would suggest packing a hoodie or sweatshirt in case the weather one day isn’t as nice as you’d like or for early mornings or for cooler evenings.  I prefer a zip up hoodie that way it can be layered easily over a t-shirt and taken on and off as needed. 

Comfortable casual pants

Pack a pair of comfortable casual pants for the daytime, again in case you have not great weather for a day or two.  Whether it’s a pair of jeans, sweatpants, or a different type of casual pants be sure to pack at least one pair that can be worn with more than one top.

Sun hat

EINSKEY Men's Waterproof Sun Hat, Outdoor Sun Protection Bucket Safari Cap For Safari Fishing Hunting Dark Gray One Size

Verabella Womens Straw Beach Hat Lightweight Summer Foldable/Packable Floppy Hats for Women Fashionable,Nature

Click a picture to shop.


Cruise shoes

What shoes to pack for a cruise to Mexico.

Unfortunately, on a cruise one pair of shoes isn’t going to cut it, however you don’t want to pack too many shoes either.  They quickly take up a lot of luggage space. 

Once you have decided on your cruise outfits, decide what shoes go with them.  Comfortable shoes are important regardless of the style.

Some of the types of cruise shoes you will want to consider bringing on your Mexico cruise vacation are:

Running shoes

Running shoes or a closed toe shoe is required for some of the onboard cruise ship activities like a ropes course, rock climbing wall, and zip lining.  These activities aren’t available on all cruise ships so research your ship before booking if these types of activities are of interest to you.

Running shoes are also required for the gym.

Certain shore excursions may require running shoes such as ATV trips or horse back riding.

Walking sandals

Your cruise shoes are going to want to include a pair of good comfortable pair walking sandals.

Teva Women's Tirra Sandal, Bering Sea, 8.5

Skechers mens Louden sandals, Brown, 9 US

Flip Flops

Even though I wear my walking sandals most often on a cruise, I still pack a pair of flip flops for wearing to the pool.  They are much easier to slip on and off.

Dress shoes

Pack a pair of dress shoes that will go with both your formal night outfits.

DREAM PAIRS Womens Chunk Low Heel Pump Sandal Black/Suede - 7.5

LifeStride Womens Suki Pumps Black 9 M

LifeStride Womens Yolanda Strappy Wedge Sandal, Copper Metallic, 9 Wide US

What to pack for a cruise to Mexico

Looking to get organized before your next cruise vacation? Check out our Ultimate Cruise Planner & Journal. 36 printable pages to help you every step of the cruise process. From planning to preparing to remembering. Check it out here.

Cruise planner and journal printable - ink friendly version

Miscellaneous must pack items for a cruise to Mexico


Whether it’s a Mexican Riviera cruise, an Alaskan cruise or a Caribbean cruise, your toiletries will be pretty much the same.

Consider a hanging toiletry bag as the cruise bathrooms have little counter space.  A hanging toiletry bag can be hung on the bathroom door freeing up space in the bathroom.

PAVILIA Toiletry Bag Travel Bag for Women Men, Hanging Cosmetic Organizer, Water Resistant Makeup Bag for Accessories Toiletries, Large Travel Essentials Kit (Teal Chevron)


Sunscreen is a Mexico cruise essential.  Prepare for those sunny days.

After sun or Aloe Vera

For the days you take in too much sun.

Lip balm

Cruise first aid kit


Be sure to pack your prescription medications in your carry on.  Pack them in their original containers and make sure you have more than you need in case your trip gets unexpectedly extended.

Also bring on your Mexico cruise any over the counter medication that you may need.  Be prepared for all situations.  Upset stomach, sore throat, pain meds, etc. 

Sea sickness remedies

If you are worried about motion sickness pack a pair of Sea Bands and as a back up some motion sickness medication.  Talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

8 Ways to Help With Sea Sickness has non-medicated remedies and preventative measures.

Hand sanitizer

Phone charger

Don’t forget to pack your phone charger.  Carry this in your carry on bag.

Alarm clock

A lot of people pack a travel alarm clock with them when they cruise.  If you don’t plan to use your phone, then you may want to consider adding a small travel alarm clock to your cruise packing list.

I hope this list has helped you answer what to pack for a cruise to Mexico and helps you plan your next cruise vacation. 

Related posts:

If you are just in the early cruise planning stage, you might be wondering who cruises to Mexico.  This may change year to year but these cruise lines are currently cruising to Mexico. 

What to pack for a cruise to Mexico.  This list includes cruise essentials and what clothes to pack for a Mexico cruise.  This article will help with your cruise planning and be a big help for first time cruisers.

Who cruises to Mexico?

  • Carnival Cruise Lines
  • Norwegian Cruise Line
  • Royal Caribbean
  • Disney Cruise Line
  • Princess Cruises
  • Celebrity Cruises
  • Holland America

How long are cruises to Mexico?

The length of cruises to Mexico varies cruise line to cruise line but the most common Mexico cruises are 3 nights, 4 nights, and 7 night cruises.  Some cruise lines currently also offer 5 night cruises and 8 night cruises. 

Do you bring beach towels on a cruise?

The biggest cruise tip ever is – have fun!!  Try something new and create life long memories.