What if we told you you could pack for a cruise and keep your bags lighter yet filled with what you need? Use our easy minimalist cruise packing tips and pack less and enjoy your trip more! We love cruising and skimp a lot more on packing to keep it easier. We’ve loaded this with articles with more of what you should avoid packing when taking a cruise than what you should bring.
Cruising is becoming increasingly popular as a vacation option, and it’s no wonder why. With all-inclusive packages, cruises offer great value for your vacation dollar. Packing for a cruise can be daunting, especially if you’re a first-timer. But never fear; we’ve got you covered with these packing tips.
‘There’s always a long list of things you must remember to bring, which can be overwhelming, but we make it manageable by streamlining what you truly need and don’t!
As a bonus, we also add items to never pack for a cruise so you will be on time with boarding. We’ve compiled a list of the things you should never pack for a cruise, from unnecessary items to prohibited items onboard a ship.
Regarding cruises and packing, there are two kinds: the over-packers and the under-packers. Suppose you’re the latter; kudos to you. Packing for a cruise is no easy feat, but you can make it a breeze with a few simple minimalist packing tips.
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Easy Minimalist Cruise Packing Tips
When packing for a cruise, you should leave a few things behind, and while packing is often challenging, there are a few items you can do without, as some can be a nuisance and even dangerous on a cruise ship.
Keeping things simple, or modified, allows you to focus on fun, not baggage! Extra baggage is unnecessary, so shed it before you pack it!
The golden rule of packing
On one of our trips to Mexico, we befriended a pilot of a major airline carrier. He partied and had fun every night, but he did one thing no one else did; he wore the same dress, shorts, and dress shirt every night for five nights.
He made the most of his luggage space and didn’t give a damn what anyone else thought. No one said a word, and every night the party got bigger and bigger; in other words, no one cared! He was a cruise-packing minimalist master!
It’s your vacation, you can live it sorting through luggage for clothing, or you can live it with anything you feel like wearing without overthinking things!
Laundry Service: Be A Cruise-Packing Minimalist
Consider your cruise, and then your clothes and your budget, and you will soon figure out that you need only a few outfits and the laundry service on the cruise ship.
Never pack for a cruise like you will be gone for a year; pack lighter! Pack and then repack to eliminate extras.
When you use the laundry service on the ship, you’ll have fresh clothes without having to do your wash, and you are packing less, which makes you a cruise-packing minimalist!
- Bring the bare minimum and avoid excess airline fees as well
- You won’t have to have many bags, which means less tipping from curbside check-in to the porter.
- You’ll have less to stow in your cabin.
- Pulling together an outfit will be effortless because you have less to choose from
- Clean clothes are only a service call away!
Cruise-Packing Minimalist: Dresses And Clothing
While laundry service on cruise ships is a great way to begin becoming a cruise-packing minimalist, there are other things you can do to lighten your load, which will be why you will probably want to use the laundry service on a ship!
Here’s how to get the most out of your suitcase space.
- Pack a sundress that you can use as a coverup by the pool or as a dress for dinner.
- Unless you plan on a formal night, you don’t need formal dresses, so instead, bring only your LBD.
- Bring one pair of heels and a pair of flip-flops that you can coordinate use with either dress.
- Make sure to pack a wedding shawl if you need to dress either of your dresses up more.
- Pack costume jewelry: a few pairs of earrings, necklaces, and bracelets to change up the look of each dress
- Pack shorts that can double us as nights out (on the ship and land)
- A light crochet cardigan is a perfect throw for tees and dresses as well as walks on the deck at night
Other Pro Cruise Packing Tips
- Pack smart by rolling your clothes instead of folding them, saving space and preventing wrinkles.
- Bring clothing that is wrinkle-resistant and doesn’t require ironing.
- Pack mostly lightweight fabrics. These are best because they fold easily, take up so little space, and your luggage weight will only slowly multiply when packing these fabrics.
Towels Are Items To Never Pack For A Cruise
Don’t pack towels of any kind; you can always get towels.
Ask your cabin steward if you need more towels for your shower.
As for beach towels, they are provided with almost all cruises.
You’ll find beach towels in your stateroom cabin.
Leave them in the room, or you can pay to take them with you if you love them that much!
Leave Your Hair Dryers At Home
Assuming you’re packing for a cruise and want to travel light, forego packing a hair dryer. Most cabins on cruises have hair dryers for you to use to save space in your suitcase for other items.
You’ll spend most of your time outdoors anyway, so your hair will air dry quickly. If you can only live with a hair dryer, pack a compact, travel-sized one that only takes up a little space.
Basic Toiletries Are Items To Never Pack For A Cruise
When taking a cruise vacation, there’s no need to pack your toiletries. Most cruises have shampoo, conditioner, soap,
If you have allergies to soaps and fragrances or must use a particular brand, that is the caveat and why you’ll want to bring toiletries. Otherwise, if this does not apply to you, pack less and use the provided essentials.
Say No To Candles
Do not bring candles with you for your cruise. They are flammable and not permitted.
First of all, candles can be a fire hazard, and cruises don’t want to take any chances with the safety of their passengers. Second, candles can produce a lot of smoke, and that smoke can trigger fire alarms on the ship.
Sometimes cruises hit awful weather, and you will roll a bit(we have been on ferocious sea travels, and we felt the waves), which can lead to a burning candle rolling too and unintentionally lighting a fire.
Finally, candles can make a mess, and cruises want to avoid cleaning up wax drippings from all over your cabin. So leave the candles at home.
No Household Appliances
Here’s a list of appliances that you won’t be able to bring with you on a cruise:
- coffee makers
- heating pads
- portable air conditioners
- clothing steamer
Fireworks are explosives and are not allowed on ships for the safety of all the passengers and crew on board.
No Surge Protector Power Strips
Yes, you can bring a power strip, but it has to be a non-surge protector power strip. You may bring a basic power strip like this. A surge protector power strip has the potential to do some damage to the cruise ship, so bring a basic power extending strip without the surge protector.
Leave Your Weapons And Ammunition At Home
Knives, guns, ammunition, and the like are significant safety hazards on a cruise ship. With so many people in close quarters, it’s far too easy for an altercation to escalate into a dangerous situation. Cruise ships also have security measures in place to protect passengers and crew.
Leave all this at home if you want to be on that cruise!
Drugs Are Ilegal
If you reference Carnival Cruise Line’s packing list, Royal Caribbean’s, and so on, you will find that CBD is illegal in any form! This is more due to the ports of call being visited than it is to the brand itself.
Shoes With Wheels
Athletic shoes with wheels on them are not acceptable shoes for a cruise. So if you are bringing kids along and they have those famed Heelys, leave the disaster wheels on shoes at home and not on their feet! They are prohibited on most cruise ships for the safety of everyone on the ship!
While you may be permitted to bring up to one 750 ml bottle per adult on a few cruise ships, read your cruise carrier’s clauses.
On the whole, no beer, hard liquor, or wine is permitted in your bags or carried on; they are things you should never pack for a cruise.
The beverage packages are the best way to enjoy a cruise if you plan on sipping alcohol packages while on the ship and enjoy carrying less and being a cruise-packing minimalist.
Food To Never Pack For A Cruise
First, the food on a cruise is, without a doubt, shamefully plentiful and could feed a small nation! You’ll not go hungry on a cruise, so don’t bring food.
You can bring nonperishable food, but chances are you won’t have the time or need to eat it with all the endless yummy options, so you are sucking up space in your luggage you don’t need to.
If the food you are attempting to bring onboard the ship is perishable, it will not be allowed there! Due to potential issues with contamination, refrigeration needs, and food safety issues, perishable food is not allowed on cruise ships!
BONUS TIPS: The Best Ways to Save Money on a Cruise
Wouldn’t it be nice to find your cruise at a better price than what you see listed? Here are a few ways we look for cruises with reasonable prices!
1. Find a cruise line that offers discount cruises. Many cruise lines offer excellent discounts, especially if you book early.
2. Research the cost of airfare to the port city. You can find reasonably priced airfare in a city with a major airport.
3. Compare the prices of different cruise lines. Some cruise lines are more expensive than others, but they may offer better deals on specific routes or at certain times of the year.
4. Look for package deals that include airfare and cruise fare. Many travel websites offer such deals, often saving you much money.
5. Ask about discounts. Many cruise lines offer discounts for seniors, AAA members, and military personnel.
Minimalist Cruise Packing Means Less Is More
In conclusion, remember that less is more when packing for a cruise. There is no need to fill your luggage with your entire wardrobe. A few versatile, mix-and-match pieces will suffice. And remember the essentials: swimwear, sunscreen, and sunglasses. With some planning, you can enjoy a carefree cruise vacation with everything you need and nothing you don’t.