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.

Items to pack in your cruise shore excursion bag for a day at the beach.
Check list is part of our printable Cruise Planner

What to pack in your shore excursion bag on a 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.

Also bring photo ID with 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.

FurArt Credit Card Wallet, Zipper Card Cases Holder for Men Women, RFID Blocking, KeyChain Wallet, Compact Size

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 the 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.

Port emergency contact information on a daily cruise schedule

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.

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

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.

Towel clips on a beach chair holding a cruise line towel

7. Waterproof phone case

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

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

JOTO Waterproof Phone Pouch IPX8 Universal Waterproof Case Dry Bag Phone Protector for iPhone 15 14 13 12 11 Pro Max Plus XS XR X 8 Galaxy S23 S22 S21 S20 Pixel Up to 7" -2 Pack, Black

8. Compact travel umbrella

GAOYAING Compact Travel Umbrella with Case Sun&Rain Lightweight Small and Compact Suit for Pocket Black,34 Inches

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.

Reef Safe Sunscreen SPF 50 All Natural, Water Resistant, Moisturizing, Biodegradable, Broad Spectrum UVA/UVB Ocean Friendly Mineral Sunblock from Reef Repair 4 fl. Oz

8. Hat

Young lady in sun hat looking at a cruise ship.

9. Sunglasses

Sunglasses are definitely a must pack cruise item.

Ray-Ban Men's RB3386 Aviator Sunglasses, Gold/Brown Gradient Dark Brown, 63 mm

10. Neosporin spray or antibiotic ointment

Printable cruise planner and journal

11. Travel sized hand sanitizer for your shore excursion bag

2nd Childhood Hand Sanitizer Holder Bag; Travel Size Empty 2 oz Refillable Bottle; Carabiner Clips on to Backpack or Purse

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.

Kleenex® 3-Ply Pocket Packs Facial Tissues (4 Packs of 10 tissues)

15. Lip balm with sun protection

Sun Bum SPF 30 Sunscreen Lip Balm | Vegan and Cruelty Free Broad Spectrum UVA/UVB Lip Care with Aloe and Vitamin E for Moisturized Lips | Variety Pack |0.15 Ounce (Pack of 3)

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 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

Women’s Bathing Suit Cover Up for Beach Pool Swimwear Crochet Dress (Off White, S)

19. Quick dry beach towel

It takes up considerably less space in your beach bag, especially if you are carrying towels for other family members. They are also a lot lighter when they are wet and hold less sand than the cruise towels.

A sand free towel on top of a Carnival cruise towel to show the size difference.

20. Water shoes

Kids Water Shoes Girls Boys Outdoor Quick Dry Barefoot Aqua Socks for Sport Beach Swim Surf 4-4.5 Big Kid

21. Water hammock

2 Pack Float Hammock,Pool Float Lounger,Water Swimming Floating Bed Hammock,Comfortable Inflatable Lounger, for Adults Vacation Fun and Rest

Best shore excursion bag for the beach

I also use mine as my airline carry on and then my cruise carry on bag.

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

My favorite beach bag for a cruise

Shore excursion bag for exploring

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.

Hap Tim Travel Backpack for Women Airline Approved, Womens backpack for work, Teacher backpack, Laptop Backpack(7651-G), 15.6 inches, Grey

Other things to consider when packing for a shore excursion

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.

Keep reading:

19 Essentials to pack in your shore excursion bag for your next Caribbean cruise vacation.  Every port day cruise bag shoud include these items.
Pin to your Pinterest cruise board

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.