What to pack for a cruise

Packing for a cruise doesn’t have to be stressful!

Written by Medibank

Cruises are some of the easiest holidays to plan, but it’s important to remember that packing for a cruise isn’t the same as packing for a regular holiday. You’ll need to be prepared for three distinct locations: flights, sea and port, which can make packing seem like an endless task. Some cruises also have special rules and requirements about what to wear to certain events. Follow our helpful guide to ensure that you’re prepared for every part of your adventure at sea.


It is important to pack your carry-on bag wisely as often this will be the only bag you can access on the first day of your cruise. Make sure that you pack the essentials like your passport/Visa/ID, cash, bank cards, phone and chargers. It’s also a good idea to pack an extra change of clothes, so that you have a back-up outfit in the unlikely event of your luggage being delayed or lost.t. You may also want to pack some inflight entertainment like books and headphones, and to bring a travel pillow in case you want to rest. In your toiletries bag you should include a toothbrush and any in-flight medications that you might need to take.

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At Sea

When thinking about packing for your time on the ship, be sure to check the dress code requirements of your cruise. This will determine what type of outfits you decide to bring and whether you can get away with more casual options. Many cruises have formal dinner nights or fancy dress themes so it’s important to check before you leave. You should also pack some casual outfit options for walking around the boat and dining at more relaxed restaurants. Whilst it’s fine to walk around the deck in your swimmers, remember that shorts, singlets and thongs are not allowed in most dining rooms. It’s always important to bring a jumper, as even on warm weather cruises it can get quite cold at night. Sea sickness is common on cruises, so remember to pack motion sickness medication.

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In Port

Make sure that you think about the climate at each of your port destinations and pack accordingly. Most port destinations will have special excursions that may require specialised equipment. It’s a good idea to be prepared with comfortable walking shoes and clothing and to check the weather forecast to ensure that you are prepared. Bring a backpack or beach tote to throw all of your things in once you are off the boat. It’s also important to be prepared for wet weather, even if you have selected a summer cruise, by bringing umbrellas and raincoats. When exploring a port destination, it is also a good idea to bring cash so that you can tip any tour guides, drivers or waiters.

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Whilst packing for a cruise can be stressful, the most important thing to remember is to bring clothes that make you feel comfortable. Pack items that can be used for different purposes and outfits that can be dressed up or dressed down. Also, remember to research the destinations your heading to so that you have an idea of the weather you’ll experience when you get there. But most of all, be open to new and unexpected experiences — even if you don’t necessarily have the perfect outfit to match.

Written by Medibank

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