What to pack in your shore excursion bag for a Caribbean cruise. Add these essentials to your Caribbean cruise packing list before your next vacation

What to Pack in Your Shore Excursion Bag (Caribbean)

One of the great things about cruising is that you wake up in different ports without having to pack and unpack. You will however want to pack a great shore excursion bag. This article will help you with what to pack in your shore excursion bag on your Caribbean cruise.

When cruising you will need to take a bag with you when you go ashore to explore each port that your cruise ship stops. This lists the important things to bring with you on these shore excursions. Planning ahead what to pack in your shore excursion bag will give you time to add these essentials to your cruise packing list and be prepared for your vacation.

What to pack in your shore excursion bag for a Caribbean cruise.  Add these essentials to your Caribbean cruise packing list before your next vacation

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Shore excursion bag for exploring

Before we talk about what to pack in your shore excursion bag, let’s talk about the bag itself. If your shore excursions are more adventurous, exploring or shopping then you may want to consider a backpack. It keeps your items securely enclosed, is easy to carry and is hands free.

This one is available here on Amazon and has a lot of great features. There are lots of pockets and pouches as well as 2 side pockets for your water bottle and travel umbrella. The top opens wide for easy access and there is a strap at the back to attach to your luggage bar making this small backpack a great choice to use as both your airline carry-on bag and your shore excursion bag.

Shore excursion bag for the beach

If your shore excursions consist of beach and water activities this shore excursion tote is great option, it is the one I have. This something you could also use to carry back and forth to the pool on the cruise ship.

The reason I chose and love this bag is:

  • Super cute
  • Water resistant
  • Good size
  • Zipper closure
  • 3 zippered inside pockets
  • 2 mesh side pouches for water bottles, umbrella or sunscreen

I think it’s the perfect beach bag.

The bag I use for cruise shore excursions
Check list is part of our printable Cruise Planner

5 Reasons to Book Cruise Line Shore Excursions

What to pack in your shore excursion bag on your Caribbean cruise

There are several necessities you will want to put in your bag regardless the type of excursion or tour. Here are 21 essentials for your beach shore excursion bag.

1. Shore excursion confirmations or tickets

If you have booked any type of tour or cruise excursion don’t forget to bring those tickets and confirmations along.

2. Your cruise card and photo ID

Have you cruise card (room key) handy when you debark the ship, they scan it as you leave the ship and then again when you return. This is how they track which cruise passengers are off the ship.

You should also always have photo id on you as well.

3. Small amount of cash and one credit card

Don’t take your full wallet with you on shore excursions. Take a small amount of cash and one credit card with you. Keep the rest of your cash, credit cards and wallet items locked in the safe of the cruise ship.

Bring smaller bills for tipping tour guides. Carrying smaller bills is good practice when traveling to foreign ports. You don’t want to advertise that you are carrying larger amounts of money.

You may want to consider a separate smaller wallet for this purpose rather than emptying and filling your existing wallet.

Here is a cute slim wallet with RFID blockers that is great for travel. It also has a keychain that you can attach to an inside zipper for added safety.

4. Emergency port contact information

You will find this on your daily cruise line schedule. For Carnival Cruises for example it’s located on their Fun Times for the days you are in port. In case of an emergency this is how you would contact the ship. You can take that whole schedule along or I like to just take a picture of it. This will also list the time you must be back on board.

5. Water bottle

Save yourself the cost of buying bottled water and/or the worry about whether the water has been purified by bringing along your own full water bottle. Choose a wide mouth bottle if you like ice water like me. The buffet restaurant will have a water and ice station.

Hydro Flask water bottles come in 3 different sizes and several different colors.

6. Towel clips

I love my towel clips. I use them both on the cruise and pack them in my shore excursion bag if we are going to the beach.

They keep the towel from blowing on your shoulder and they help make you chair more identifiable when you are walking back from the beach and all you see is rows of the same beach towel. You can find cute towel clip options here.

Towel clips on a beach chair holding a cruise line towel

7. Waterproof phone case

A waterproof phone case is one of those must-have items for a cruise vacation.

2 Reasons I consider a waterproof pouch a cruise essential:

  • 1. It allows you to get great photos under and around the water while keeping cell phones dry
  • 2. Safety – you can keep your credit card, id, and money with you while you are away from your beach chair

We have the JOTO waterproof phone pouch and it has worked great for us. Actually, all my family members have one. We slide our money and cards to the bottom of the back side of the phone so it doesn’t block us using the phone.

I do always test them at home using a piece of paper in them before using them for the first time.

8. Compact travel umbrella

A compact folding travel umbrella like the one below is perfect to add to your Caribbean cruise packing list. It is handy for both providing instant shade as well as protection from the rain if you are unlucky enough to have poor weather on your cruise.

7. Sunscreen – A must pack in your shore excursion bag

Sunscreen is a must for your shore excursion bag. You don’t want to have to spend the rest of your cruise vacation hiding from the sun because you overdid it one day.

Consider a biodegradable reef safe option like this especially if you are going to be playing in the ocean.

8. Hat

Whether you choose a ball cap style hat or a wide-brimmed sun hat you will want a hat packed in your Caribbean shore excursion bag.

9. Sunglasses

Sunglasses are definitely a must pack cruise item.

10. Neosporin spray or antibiotic ointment

I always carry neosporin spray or an antibiotic ointment whenever we travel and always pack one in our shore excursion bag in case of any cuts or scrapes.

Things to know before your first cruise

Best Luggage and Packing Accessories for a Cruise Vacation

Printable cruise planner and journal

Check out our printable cruise planner here.

What to put in your shore excursion bag

11. Travel sized hand sanitizer for your shore excursion bag

This past year has taught us all to be far more conscious about keeping our hands sanitized. Pack a small travel sized sanitizer in your shore excursion day bag or better yet attach a hand sanitizer holder like this to the outside of your bag. Then you aren’t digging through your bag touching everything else trying to find your hand sanitizer bottle.

12. Travel sized pain relievers

Pack a travel sized container of pain medication. It is a good idea to throw this in your shore excursion bag incase of a headache or other aches or pains.

13. Band-Aids

I always carry a few Band-Aids in our shore excursion day bag. We have used them for both minor cuts and for blisters. Put a Band-Aid on your heal or wherever you shoes are rubbing to provide instant relief.

14. Travel sized tissue package

Such a small package yet so handy.

15. Lip balm with sun protection

Another must pack cruise item to take in your shore excursion bag is a lip balm with SPF.

16. Phone and/or camera

Make sure your phone and camera if you are taking a separate one are fully charged before heading out for the day making memories.

What to wear on a Carnival cruise (Caribbean)

16 Best things take on a cruise lists the cruise essentials you will want to add to your packing list.

What to put in your shore excursion bag for the beach

There are a few additional items to pack for the day if you are headed to the beach.

17. Large Ziploc bags

This is one of my best travel packing tips – always carry a few large zip loc bags. There are so may uses for a plastic bag. At the beach you can use them to keep your wallet and phone dry and also to put your wet bathing suit in if you are changing before heading back to the ship.

18. Swimsuit cover up for your beach shore excursion bag

Swimsuit cover ups are a must pack cruise item. Throw one into your beach day shore excursion bag.

19. Quick dry microfiber beach towel

These compact folding microfiber beach towels can be seen here in several different styles. Most cruise lines do allow you to bring their pool towels ashore if you don’t want to buy a quick dry towel. Be careful though not to loose the cruise ship towel as they will charge you a fee.

I find that the cruise towels can be heavy and bulky when you are packing them around.

20. Water shoes

Water shoes are a good idea to protect your feet from both sharp objects in the water as well as the hot sand. If you are doing a beach excursion with kids, I’d definitely suggest water shoes.

21. Water hammock

My water hammock (floatie) something I have just started packing with me. However, there have been times that the ocean has been too rough to use it. But since it folds up small and is easy to blow up, I do pack it each time incase the water is calm enough.

A few other things to consider regarding shore excursions is whether your particular excursion requires specific clothing. For example, horseback riding will need long pants.

Consider your footwear, does your activity require closed toed shoes or running shoes? Make sure your shoes fit your excursion. If you are doing a lot of walking, make sure you have comfortable pair of walking shoes or sandals. Wondering what the best shoes for a cruise are? This can help.

If your excursion starts with a long bus ride, consider bringing a book or puzzle book, especially for kids. Our printable Kids Cruise Activity Kit is something you might want to check out.

Kids cruise activity kit

Keep reading:

The Only Things You Need in Your Cruise Carry on Bag

What to Wear on a Carnival Cruise (Caribbean)

Top 15 Tips For First Time Cruisers

Cruise toiletries – what to pack

19 Essentials to pack in your shore excursion bag for your next Caribbean cruise vacation.  Every port day cruise bag shoud include these items.
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Be sure to add the above items to your Caribbean cruise packing list so that you have them to add to your cruise shore excursion bag.

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