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Last month my husband and I went on our first cruise. It was a 3 night Royal Caribbean Cruise to the Bahamas. We had a great time and 3 nights for our first cruise was long enough! We had almost everything we needed for our cruise but did forget or didn’t even think to pack a few items. Below is my list of Essential Items needed for cruising!
1. Dramamine: will help you with being sea sick. I purchased this ahead of time and brought it with us. I get car sick sometimes so I knew I was bound to get sea sick. I purchased the all day non-drowsy version. I was fine during the day and when we first got on the ship but for some reason around dinner time I started to feel sick. The first night I took it at dinner and it worked quickly and I was able to eat most of my dinner. The next 2 nights I got smarter and took it half an hour before dinner and didn’t feel a thing! You can get it on the ship but may have to go to the infirmary so I suggest packing it yourself and bring enough for your travel companion and some friends you may make on board.
2. Bug spray: you won’t need it for when your on the ship but you will for when you dock. I didn’t think twice to bring bug spray. When your visiting the Caribbean your bound to see some different type of bugs and if you don’t want to be bit, put some bug spray on. I can’t say that I actually felt any mosquitoes but then again I had bug spray on so who knows.
3. Sunscreen: you will need this on the ship if laying out by the pool and when you dock and go explore the different cities you’re stopped at. We stopped in Coco Cay Bahamas, which is Royal Caribbean’s island in the Bahamas and we were at the beach all day. So the sunscreen came in very handy!
4. Beach bag: you’ll want to bring a decent size beach bag to carry your stuff on and off the ship at different ports, especially if your going to the beach or to do excursions. Another reason the beach bag will be handy is when you’re packing your luggage the night before you dock back and your trip is over. You have to pack your luggage and put it outside of your room if you want it to be taken for you so that you’re not stuck dragging it around in the morning till you get off the ship. You can use the beach bag for your pajamas or whatever you had on the night before. We didn’t think about this and ended up having to use one of the small plastic bags in our room. Of course you can buy a beach bag on the ship, but bringing one is much more cost effective!
5. Air freshener: if you’ve never been on a cruise before, let me tell you, the bathroom is small! It’s like a port-a-potty but slightly bigger to fit a sink, stand up shower and toilet and there’s no vent! At least ours didn’t have a vent. So there’s no where for certain smells to go. Our bathroom smelled like the ocean but not in a good way, more like salty ocean water with chlorine mixed in with it. And the toilet bowl brush is left in the bathroom and that has who knows what type of smells. So bring an air freshener, to freshen up he bathroom and your cabin.
6. Waterproof lanyard: we saw several people walking around with these and I kicked myself like why didn’t I think to buy one ahead of time. You’re given a key-card for your room but the key-card also has your dining room time and table number and when getting on or off the boat you must have your key-card present as they scan you in and out. A waterproof lanyard would’ve been great because we could’ve wore it around our necks even at the beach and not have to worry about our key-cards and where we were going to put them. They’d also be great for cell phones too.
7. Water: sounds crazy right, your on a cruise why do you need water. Well it’s included on the ship, but not if you go to a bar, they will charge you for bottled water, unless you get it from the dinning hall, or buffet. Also, when you get off the ship and are exploring you have to pay for it. And why pay for it at so many different ports when you can bring it yourself. Definitely check with your cruise line to see if it's allowed. I witnessed a group of women carry on 2 cases of water bottles on the ship.
8. Multiple Swimsuits: one for the beach and one for the pool on the ship. No one wants to wear a sandy bathing suit to the pool. Plus, I think it's easier than waiting for the one bathing suit to dry off.
9. Converter/Surge Protector: in your suite you will have a few general plugs, but if you have a lot of devices that need to be plugged in a converter or surge protector might be a good idea. This way you'll have all your devices charged and ready to go for when you get to port.
10. Comfortable shoes: you’ll need these for walking around the ship but also when you dock at different ports. You do a significant amount of walking on the ship so you should wear comfortable shoes to do so. But if you can hang in you 5 inch heels go for it! The heels are nice for dinner but not necessary. I wore flat sandals every night, because after dinner we would walk around to different events happening on-board.
11. Selfie stick/tripod: if you don't want to keep asking people to take your picture, I highly suggest a selfie stick/tripod. I purchased mine on amazon and it's linked below if you need a good one. Comes with a Bluetooth remote and that's how my husband and I took all our pictures on this trip.