10 Things to Bring on a Caribbean Cruise

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Are you ready for your Caribbean vacation? Sea, sun, and sand make for a wonderful relaxing getaway.

Don’t forget these essential items when packing for your Caribbean cruise.

10 Things to Bring on a Caribbean Cruise: don't forget these essentials

Toiletries for your Caribbean Cruise

Do you take daily medications? Be sure to bring enough for your trip and a few extras in case of travel delays. Pack them in your carry on bag in the worst case scenario that your luggage is lost. Although you can get basic medicines like pain killers and seasickness medicine on the ship, it will be much more expensive than usual. It’s smart to pack a few basic medications just in case you need them. Try the most popular sea sickness medications including the motion sickness patch and Benadryl, or try the Sea-Bands bracelets – for kids check out children’s Benadryl.

Keep those mosquitos away with bug spray. You might not need it on the ship as the wind and distance from land prevent them from being a nuisance. But when you are in port you might be happy to have it. Sightseeing at a botanical garden or going ziplining in the jungle might have you eaten alive by those little bloodsuckers

Sunscreen is essential for a tropical vacation, especially for us northerners not used to the intense sunshine. Go for a reef safe sunscreen like Thinksport and Stream2Sea. Don’t forget to pack after sun lotion as well. It can feel great on a sunburn or skin that has been exposed to wind, sea and sand.

10 Things to Bring on a Caribbean Cruise: don't forget these essentials

Night Light

Cabins can get dark at night, especially if you are in an inside cabin without windows. If you have to get up at night you might have a hard time fumbling around in the dark.

You can keep a small flashlight by the bed like this one, or place a nightlight in the room or bathroom. Many cruisers like battery powered tealights for the soft glow they produce and best of all they don’t take up any of the limited plugs in the cabin.

10 Useful Things to Bring on a Cruise - tea light candles

Extra Sunglasses

Lounging poolside on your first day aboard, you sit down on your chaise and hear a craaaackkkk! Oh no, there goes the sunglasses that you just sat on. Imagine 7 more days squinting into the sun. It may be wise to bring a backup pair of sunnies just in case. They are small and light so it can’t hurt to pack extras. Maybe bring a fun pair as well as your usual ones. Here are some wild ideas, click on the images below to see more:

10 Things to Bring on a Caribbean Cruise: don't forget these essentials

Secure Bag for the Beach

While planning your cruise I bet you imagined basking in the warm sun on a white sand beach then hopping in the crystal blue waters to snorkel or swim. But what will you do with your valuables like cell phone, camera, wallet, passport and key card? Of course your traveling companions might be able to watch the stuff, but what if you want to swim together?

There are a few solutions. Some travelers purchase a portable safe that can be locked to a lounge chair. This Pacsafe bag is protected with a metal mesh and a thief cannot easily dash off with it if you attach it to a heavy object or two. Or take a look at a hardsided box like this one that has a combination lock.

Another option is to use a waterproof bag that you can carry into the water with your valuables inside. They come in several sizes. Some just large enough for a cell phone and others that can be attached around your waist while you swim or snorkel.

Not too worried about theft? I’d still recommend a bag with a strap you can wrap around a lounge chair just making it a little more difficult to grab it and run.

10 Things to Bring on a Caribbean Cruise: don't forget these essentials

Waterproof Camera

Speaking of swimming and snorkeling, did you want to capture it on camera? If you don’t have one already you can check out waterproof cameras for your trip.

Another option is finding a waterproof housing for the camera you already have. They come in a huge range of sizes and styles. Here are a few for standard point and shoot cameras and cell phones too.

Refillable Water Bottle

Feeling hot hot hot! On a Caribbean cruise you need to stay hydrated with something other than daiquiris and piña coladas. Bring a refillable water bottle to save money on buying bottled drinks on shore. It also comes in handy on the ship while sitting poolside or even next to your bed at night. Refill it with the ship’s clean water before excursions. I prefer stainless steel to plastic. They are sturdy, they tend to keep beverages cool and they don’t impart the nasty plastic taste. Here are a few you might like:


Electronics Accessories

It might sound funny to say it but don’t forget your memory cards! I always carry a few spare camera memory cards with me on vacation just in case I manage to fill one or in case one is lost or damaged.

Be sure to pack all the chargers for your electronics. Double or triple check this if you need to. Do you have the charger for your camera, cell phone, Kindle, tablet and laptop? Did you remember all the cords?

Another thing that could come in handy is a USB hub like this one, especially if you are traveling with companions that also have lots of gadgets.

For a cruise to the Caribbean you probably won’t need any adapters but check with your cruise ship to see which plugs they have. And if you are staying in any international hotels as part of your trip you will want to check this too.

Warm Layer

Although the weather should be warm on your Caribbean cruise if the wind picks up or there is a sudden shower the temperatures might feel chilly. Bring along a light jacket and a sweater just in case. A warm layer may also come in handy for the cold blast of air conditioning you might feel in some spaces onboard the ship.

10 Things to Bring on a Caribbean Cruise: don't forget these essentials


You’re finally sailing the Caribbean, and headed to the pool. Where is your swimsuit??? Oops, you forgot it at home. This would be a huge disappointment. Double check that you have your swimwear, and maybe bring an extra one just in case?

Important Documents

Nowadays most international cruises require that you have a passport. If you are sailing to the Caribbean from the US and back to the US on a closed loop, you might be able to show a birth certificate instead. In any case, don’t forget your important identification documents including passport, birth certificate, visas and ID. If you don’t have the right documents you can be denied boarding. Don’t miss the boat! Be organized.

Check out these great passport covers to protect this important document.

Find out these 10 things you should NOT bring on a cruise and the best luggage to use for a cruise.

Enjoy your Caribbean cruise! Have a great time!

love, GG






10 Things to Bring on a Caribbean Cruise: don't forget these essentials


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