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10 Things to Bring on a Transatlantic Cruise

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Headed on your first transatlantic cruise? You’ll have fun relaxing on sea days as you cross the ocean and visiting the interesting ports of call.

As the transatlantic has more sea days than a typical Caribbean or Alaskan cruise you might want to pack a few special items. Here are our 10 tips for things to bring on a transatlantic cruise.

10 Things to Bring on a Transatlantic Cruise

10 Things to Bring on a Transatlantic Cruise


Whether you will be traveling in spring or fall, taking the northern or southern route, you might experience both warm and cool temps. Pack layers for rain and cold weather as well as light breathable layers for sunny days.

You might have sunshine and warm temps in port then cold and rainy days at sea – or even the opposite. It’s best to be prepared so that you don’t have to resort to buying overpriced cruise line garb from the gift shop.

Packable coats are always a good idea for packing. These lightweight down or polyester fill jackets pack up small to fit in your luggage but keep you warm when the weather turns cold.

  • This Columbia women’s packable jacket is filled with polyester and is lightweight and easy to pack. It comes in several colors.
  • For men, this TAK down jacket is the perfect layer to pack when the weather is unpredictable.
  • The North Face Thermoball jacket with Primaloft is designed to be both lightweight and extremely warm. The synthetic fibers are modeled after down feathers for the ultimate in warmth.


Whether you prefer ebooks, paperbacks or audiobooks it is a good idea to gather reading materials before you leave for your transatlantic cruise. Days at sea are perfect for catching up on reading on a deck chair or curled up on the sofa in your stateroom.

Get a subscription to Audible to have access to listening entertainment for your trip. You’ll get 30 days of membership free, plus 2 audiobooks and 2 Audible Originals. After the free trial, you’ll get 3 titles each month: 1 audiobook and 2 Audible Originals of your choice. Click here to sign up for Audible! Sign up before your cruise then cancel anytime.

If you prefer ebooks check out Kindle Unlimited. For a low monthly price you have access to unlimited ebooks and audiobooks. You can read or listen to them on your Kindle or any any device with the Kindle app.

Or check out the Overdrive app to borrow ebooks and audiobooks for free if you have a public library card.

Don’t have an ereader yet? These lightweight devices are perfect for reading on the go. Check out the new Kindle Paperwhite! It’s WATERPROOF which makes it ideal for a cruise. People on my transatlantic cruise were reading all afternoon while lounging in the hot tub.

10 Things to Bring on a Transatlantic Cruise: Kindle Paperwhite


Many cruisers love to play games like dominoes, bridge and poker. It’s a great way to be social without having to constantly come up with scintillating conversation.

Here are some fun card games you might like to bring along with you.

Insulated Mug

On my last transatlantic cruise I noticed many cruisers with insulated beverage containers. They would fill them with hot coffee or tea to take back to their staterooms and sip. Some also used them to simply sit at a table at the buffet, to keep from having to get up every time they needed a fresh cuppa. Some sea days the buffets can get quite busy, and you don’t want to give up your window seat for fear someone else will grab it.

An insulated mug can also be great for iced drinks if you prefer them to coffee or tea. Here are some insulated cups you might like to bring on your cruise:

  • Yeti Rambler insulated mug has a typical coffee cup shape that is not too tall to prevent tipping over as the ship rolls with the waves. It comes in several fun colors.
  • The Hydro Flask double insulated mug can keep beverages hot or cold for up to 24 hours. You won’t feel any heat or sweat from the cold coming through the double walls.
  • Zojirushi’s compact skinny design takes up less space in your luggage but still hold 16 ounces of liquid.


If you’ve cruised before you know that you have to use your keycard for everything from accessing your stateroom to checking in to activities. You always need it handy and the slippery thing can easily fall out of your pocket.

Frequent cruisers like to keep their keycard on a lanyard around their neck. It can easily be used to swipe, or slip it off to use to keep the lights on when you are in your room.

As soon as you arrive onboard, head to guest services to have them punch a hole in the card, where you can lace the lanyard hook through the card.

Of course you can use any lanyard you might have lying around but frequent cruisers have cool blinged out versions with sparkles and patterns. Here are some fun cruise lanyards you might like to use.


Light sleepers beware, a cruise ship is not always the quietest place. Sure you are miles from anyone in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, but you might have 4000 other people onboard with you. They may be loudly talking, coughing, slamming doors or other annoying noises at any hour. Your upstairs neighbors might be dragging chairs across the floor or running down the hallways.

Even more distracting might be waves splashing, creaking of the ship and other mechanical sounds. These might not bother you but just in case it is smart to have a good set of earplugs just in case. Here are some simple earplugs I recommend.

Noise Canceling Earphones: mpow headphones

Noise Canceling Earphones

Related to the above item, a nice set of earphones can also be a sanity saver on a long transatlantic voyage. Maybe your roommate just won’t stop talking or you start to get annoyed with the noisy activities and conversation all around the ship.

A noise cancelling headset can be used to get a bit of alone time even when surrounded by other people. They send out the message that you don’t want to converse and can be used just to get a bit of peace and quiet even if you aren’t listening to anything! Of course you can also download music, audiobooks and podcasts to keep you entertained as you people watch or stare out to sea. These headphones from Mpow are popular for using with Bluetooth to listen to music or podcast and can also be used to chat on the phone.

Packable Backpack or Tote

Transatlantic cruises often have a few days in port and you’ll want to go sightseeing. Perhaps you want to bring along some water, a warm layer or clothing and your camera. Make it easy on yourself and pack a small tote or backpack to toss the essentials into for a day of sightseeing. You probably don’t need something super heavy duty, a small, packable backpack like this one from Zomake is perfect.

If you are expecting lots of rain and looking for a waterproof pack, try this one.

Slip On Shoes

Whether the weather is warm or cool you will be happy if you have a comfortable and easy pair of shoes to slip on when you are headed to breakfast at the buffet or the hot tub. Choose something that is comfortable but has a good grip for those wet decks.

Credit Card

A good credit or debit card is a great thing to have on these transatlantic cruises that stop in several international ports. You might spend the day in a place that uses pounds one day and euros the next, or go from kroner to dollars. Why collect cash and coins from each location when you can just use a good credit card with no foreign transaction fees.

If you are from the USA try to get a card that has a chip and pin code as well since this is easier to use in Europe. I like the Capital One Quicksilver card myself. You could also look at cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve or the Citi ThankYou Premier Card.

I hope this list gave you some good tips for your transatlantic cruise. Happy travels!

love, GG






10 Things to Bring on a Transatlantic Cruise: Packing Tips for Your Cruise across the Sea


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