Planning for a family cruise can be a challenge if you have never done this before. How do you know which things to bring on a cruise? Let us help you with these suggestions for critical items to order ahead of time.
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So with that out of the way, let’s get to the good stuff!
Cruise ship cabins are much smaller than a typical hotel room, and especially for families with multiple children, things can get pretty cramped. But a few minor items can make all the difference in making things more comfortable!
The first one to consider is an over-the-door organizer, like this SimpleHouseware Crystal Clear Over the Door Hanging Shoe Organizer. You can put these over the closet doors in your cabin and instantly have lots of room for items like sunscreen, water bottles, flip-flops, and much, much more. If you get a pair of these, you could put one on the inside of your bathroom door as well. Counter space is rather limited in the bathroom, so these organizers can make a huge difference.
Kyss Bags: Storage & Security
Many experienced cruisers rave about Kyss Bags, the secure tote bag you can bring with you to the pool, on the beach, wherever you go, and it will provide handy storage with lock-tight security. If you’re at all worried about protecting your precious items while enjoying your day, you will want one of these terrific bags. In cruising discussion groups, they are called the “best bag ever”, since you can quickly and easily secure your items while you hit the water. Just watch the following video to see how they work and head to the Kyss Bags website for more information.
Fun in the Sun
Obviously if your cruise will involve sunny, hot weather, you will want to stock up on sunscreen before you leave. Go for the water-resistant versions if you’re planning to hit the beach or the pool, and don’t forget to reapply throughout the day.
Footwear is another important part of cruise planning. While many people go with flip-flops or sandals, I prefer to wear water shoes. Whether you are walking around the deck, going down the water slide, lounging in a whirlpool or playing on a beach, water shoes are both comfortable and protective.
I learned this lesson after some time going down a water slide on a Carnival cruise with my son. The deck was super-hot due to the Caribbean sun, so as soon as we’d complete a run on the slide we’d dash as quick as we could to get back across the deck and up the ladder to the top in order not to burn our feet! Once I got some water shoes, however, things were much more comfortable, and having them on the beach the next day was incredibly convenient.
Keeping Cards Handy
When you take a cruise, the plastic card you are issued becomes the must-carry item throughout your vacation. It is checked on-board when you order drinks or put other charges on your account, and is also your ticket on and off the ship when you stop at various ports.
The easiest way to keep this on your person is with a lanyard, like the set of 5 shown to the right here. You can keep your card in there, and simply wear it around your neck throughout the day (because who needs to mess with pockets when you’re cruising?).
When you get back to your cabin, a good rule of thumb is to drape your lanyards on a coat hook, that way you always know where they are. No more racing around the cabin looking for your card while you’re getting ready to disembark for a day on the beach!
Yes, they’ll sell these on the ship, but at several times the cost for which you could simply order them online ahead of time. Plan ahead, and spend that money on fun stuff like a dolphin swim or submarine ride!
It’s All About the Power
We talked about counter space being limited in your cabin, but electrical outlets are also in short supply, especially these days when everyone has smartphones, tablets and other gadgets to keep charged. Towards that end, you will want to bring a power strip, like this small one which has 3 electrical outlets along with 3 USB charging ports.
You want something that can power all your devices without taking up a lot of space, so this example fits the bill perfectly.
Important Safety Tip! If you want to bring an extension cord or charger on your cruise, make sure it does not have a surge protector! Surge protectors are a fire hazard on cruise ships, and are banned. So leave that power strip you always use at home, it is not appropriate to have in your cabin and it will be taken away!
Hide That Dirty Laundry
Yes, there are laundry rooms on most cruise ships in case you need to do some washing mid-cruise, but who wants to do that? Instead, bring along a laundry bag that you can keep in the closet. Dirty clothes can go in there, and leave your luggage and drawers for the good stuff.
Nylon laundry bags are cheap, sturdy, and super-convenient. Our family of 5 takes one every time we hit the road, whether for a cruise vacation or a holiday trip to see family.
The Key Things To Bring On A Cruise Make A Big Difference
These items may seem minor, but they will make a big difference once you’re on your cruise. When you’re on vacation, the last thing you want to worry about is having too little storage space for your things, or losing your cruise card. And trust me, you don’t want to walk barefoot on a hot deck in the blazing Carribean sun!
A little bit of planning goes a long way, especially when figuring out which things to bring on a cruise, so order these items a month or so before your vacation (just in case you have to return anything and exchange).
If you have any favorite items which have made your vacation experiences a success, let us know in the comments below, or send us a message through our Contact page!