Family Cruise Packing List (The Ultimate Checklist)

Gear up for a stress-free cruise with our comprehensive family cruise packing list! From formal nights to shore excursions, we’ve got you covered with essential tips for a smooth sailing adventure the whole family will love.

Hey there, cruise buddy! Get ready for the ride of your life as we dive into the ultimate family cruise packing list. 

We want to make sure you’ve got everything covered, from fancy formal nights to those unforgettable shore excursions.

Whether it’s your first cruise or practically royalty on the high seas, this guide’s got your back. Get ready for an epic family vacation – the sea awaits! Bon voyage!

top down view of packing list with clothes and goggles ready to go



First things first, let’s vibe with your cruise type. Are you off to Alaska, Disney-style, or cruising the Caribbean with Royal Caribbean? 

Each one has its own flavor, so check out the dress code and unique cruise line quirks.


Passports, cruise tickets, visas – check! Luggage tags are like the VIP passes for your bags, so don’t forget those. We’re setting you up for a smooth start.


Pack a little bit of everything for your closet. Formal nights call for glam, beach days need those swimsuits, and a light jacket is your sidekick for cool evenings. Pack smart, my friend!


Packing cubes in all colors are game-changers for keeping things organized. Ziplock bags? Lifesavers for wet swimsuits and random odds and ends.

Your family cruise packing list doesn’t have to feel as daunting with packing cubes.


Water shoes are a good idea, especially for shore excursions and beach days. Comfortable walking shoes are essential for exploring ports of call. If you have little kids, pack a pair of flip-flops for them too.


Maximize that cozy cabin with magnetic hooks, a door shoe organizer, and a power strip. It’s like a home away from home, but better!


Bring refillable water bottles to stay hydrated throughout the cruise. A reusable water bottle is a great way to minimize environmental impact, and some cruise lines even have refill stations on board.


A day pack is perfect for carrying essentials during shore excursions. It’s a handy way to keep personal items, extra clothing, and a bottle of water close at hand.


Prescription meds, pain relievers, and insect repellent – keep everyone feeling their best. No one wants to be caught off guard!

These are a necessity for a family cruise packing list.


Don’t forget your cell phone, battery packs, and any necessary chargers. Some cruise lines offer onboard shops, but it’s best to bring essentials like power banks with you.


For families with young kids, a dry bag for diapers or wet swimsuits can be a lifesaver. Consider bringing small children’s essentials, such as a day bag stocked with snacks and activities.

photo of blue cruise ship on the ocean


  1. Passport/ID:
    • A valid passport or government-issued identification is a must for international cruises.
  2. Cruise Tickets/Boarding Passes:
    • Print or have electronic copies of your cruise tickets and boarding passes for smooth embarkation.
  3. Visas and Travel Permits:
    • Check the visa requirements for your cruise destinations and ensure you have the necessary permits.
  4. Medical Insurance Card:
    • Carry your medical insurance card and details in case of emergencies.
  5. Credit Cards/Cash:
    • Bring credit cards for onboard expenses, and have some cash for port visits where credit cards might not be widely accepted.
  6. Driver’s License:
    • If you plan on renting a car during a port stop, having your driver’s license is essential.
  7. Travel Insurance:
    • Consider travel insurance to cover unexpected events like trip cancellations, medical emergencies, or lost luggage.
  8. Emergency Contacts:
    • Keep a list of important contacts, including family, friends, and the cruise line’s emergency contact information.
  9. Cruise Line Loyalty Cards:
    • If you’re a member of a cruise line’s loyalty program, bring your membership card for potential perks.
  10. Any Necessary Vaccination Records:
    • Depending on your destination, carry vaccination records if required.
  11. Copy of Itinerary:
    • Have a printed or digital copy of your cruise itinerary, including details of ports of call and scheduled activities.
  12. Travel Adapters/Power Strips:
    • If traveling internationally, bring any necessary power adapters or power strips for charging devices.
  13. Pre-Cruise Registration Documents:
    • Some cruise lines require online registration before embarkation; ensure you’ve completed this process.
  14. Prescription Medications:
    • Pack any necessary prescription medications along with a copy of your prescription.
photo of cruise ship with sun setting in background and pool in foreground


  1. Clothing:
    • Swimwear, at least two sets for pool days.
    • Casual outfits for daytime activities, considering the length of the cruise.
    • Formal wear for special events or formal nights.
    • Pajamas for each night of the cruise.
    • Underwear, panties and socks.
  2. Footwear:
    • Comfortable sneakers for walking and shore excursions.
    • Water shoes for beach days and water activities.
    • Flip-flops for the pool deck.
  3. Toiletries:
    • Kid-friendly sunscreen with a high SPF.
    • Toothbrush, toothpaste, and any specific personal care items.
    • Baby wipes or wet wipes for quick clean-ups.
  4. Entertainment and Activities:
    • Favorite small toys, action figures, or dolls for downtime in the cabin.
    • Portable electronic devices (tablet, gaming device) with headphones.
    • Coloring books, crayons, and stickers for creative activities.
  5. Health Essentials:
    • Any necessary prescription medications and copies of prescriptions.
    • Basic first aid kit with band-aids, antiseptic wipes, and pain relievers suitable for children.
  6. Snacks:
    • Pack favorite snacks for between meals or shore excursions.
  7. Travel Gear:
    • Lightweight stroller or baby carrier for infants or toddlers.
    • Car seat if you plan on using rental cars during port stops.
  8. Specialty Items:
    • Diapers, wipes, and changing pad for infants.
    • Baby formula or specific baby food if needed.
  9. Fun Extras:
    • Costume for theme nights or character meet-ups if on a Disney cruise ship.
    • Autograph book for meeting characters on themed cruises.


Let’s be real, we know mom is most likely doing all the packing. Here’s a comprehensive family cruise packing list to help her out.

  1. Fashion Staples:
    • Stylish bathing suits for pool days and shore adventures.
    • Casual day outfits for exploring the ship and ports.
    • Cocktail dresses and fancy attire for special events and formal nights.
    • Comfortable sleepwear for a good night’s rest.
    • Enough undergarments and bras for each outfit.
  2. Footwear:
    • Comfortable walking shoes for excursions.
    • Sandals for casual strolls and beach outings.
    • Elegant shoes for those special formal evenings.
    • Easy-going flip-flops for laid-back pool moments.
  3. Toiletry Treasures:
    • Your personal care essentials (toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, etc.).
    • Makeup and skincare must-haves.
    • Hairdryer if the ship doesn’t provide one.
    • Sunscreen and soothing after-sun products.
    • Feminine hygiene products.
  4. Accessories Galore:
    • Stylish sunglasses and a chic hat for sun protection.
    • Jewelry to complement your various outfits.
    • A watch or fitness tracker to keep track of time or steps.
    • A versatile scarf or shawl for cooler nights.
  5. Tech and Leisure:
    • An engaging book or e-reader for relaxation.
    • Portable electronics (phone, tablet) and chargers.
    • Headphones for moments of quiet enjoyment.
  6. Well-Being and Health:
    • Prescription medications and copies of prescriptions.
    • A basic first aid kit with pain relievers and motion sickness remedies.
  7. Travel Gear:
    • A comfortable day bag or backpack for shore explorations.
    • A reusable water bottle to stay hydrated.
    • A foldable tote bag for any unexpected shopping finds.
  8. Tech and Connectivity:
    • A power bank for charging devices on the move.
    • Adapters for different power outlets if you’re crossing borders.
  9. Wellness Warrior:
    • A compact yoga mat or resistance bands for onboard fitness.
    • Any wellness extras like essential oils or calming teas.
  10. Personal Touch:
    • Travel-sized laundry detergent for quick clothing refreshes.
    • A compact travel umbrella for unexpected rain.
    • Any specialty items like a camera or journal for capturing memories.
family dinner at the dining room on the cruise ship


  1. Threads for Every Occasion:
    • Swim trunks, because, pool time, obviously.
    • Casual day outfits for exploring the ship and ports.
    • Something fancy for those “we clean up nice” moments.
    • Pajamas because, well, who needs sleepwear judgment?
  2. Footwear Funk:
    • Comfy sneakers for shore expeditions and walking the plank.
    • Flip-flops – our official cruise uniform for the pool deck.
    • Don’t forget some semi-dressy shoes for the fancy dinner shindigs.
  3. Grooming Gear:
    • The toiletry bag essentials (toothbrush, toothpaste, you know the drill).
    • Sunscreen – gotta protect the captain’s skin.
    • Razors for that fresh-off-the-ship look.
  4. Tech & Gadgets:
    • Phone, because how else will we capture the epic sunset selfies?
    • Chargers – let’s keep those gadgets juiced up.
    • Bluetooth speaker for setting the cruise mood on the balcony.
  5. Health & Safety Stash:
    • Any prescription meds – can’t have the captain ailing.
    • Pain relievers for that “ate too much at the buffet” moment.
  6. Travel Smarts:
    • Wallet, credit cards, and some cash – for those souvenir splurges.
    • A cool backpack for day excursions and carrying pirate treasures.
    • Sunglasses, because squinting is not a pirate look.
  7. Snack Arsenal:
    • Toss in a few favorite snacks – dad’s gotta snack on the high seas.
  8. Adventure Gear:
    • If we’re exploring on land, a compact umbrella could save the day.
    • Maybe a small travel journal – because every cruise has its tales.
  9. Dad Extras:
    • A dad joke book – cruise mates need some entertainment, right?
    • A sense of adventure and a readiness to make this the best cruise ever!


  1. Travel-Size Laundry Detergent:
    • Perfect for a quick wash of essentials during longer cruises.
  2. Compact Travel Umbrella:
    • Just in case the weather decides to surprise you.
  3. Reusable Shopping Bag:
    • Ideal for carrying souvenirs or snacks during shore excursions.
  4. Travel-Sized Sewing Kit:
    • For any unexpected wardrobe malfunctions.
  5. Compact Travel Pillow:
    • Great for supporting your neck during long flights or bus rides on excursions.
  6. Travel Journal and Pen:
    • Capture the memories and jot down your experiences.
  7. Small Flashlight or Headlamp:
    • Handy for navigating your cabin at night or exploring dimly lit areas.
  8. Ziplock Bags:
    • Useful for organizing small items or protecting electronics from water.
  9. Lint Roller:
    • Keep your clothes looking sharp and lint-free.
  10. Doorstop:
    • For added security and to keep the cabin door open when needed.
  11. Cruise Lanyard:
    • A convenient way to keep your cruise card accessible at all times.
  12. Highlighter:
    • Useful for marking activities or events on the daily cruise planner.
  13. Stain Remover Pen:
    • Because accidents happen, and you want to be prepared.
  14. Small Backpack or Day Bag:
    • Perfect for carrying essentials during shore excursions.
  15. Travel Sewing Kit:
    • Fix minor clothing mishaps on the go.
  16. Multi-tool or Swiss Army Knife:
    • Handy for various tasks and excursions.
  17. Travel-Size Air Freshener:
    • Keep your cabin smelling fresh and inviting.
  18. Plastic Bags:
    • Great for storing wet swimsuits or dirty laundry.
  19. Travel Adapters:
    • Ensure your electronic devices can plug into different outlets.
  20. Collapsible Water Bottle:
    • Stay hydrated without taking up too much space.
  21. Cruise Ship App:
    • Download the cruise line’s app for easy access to daily schedules and information.

Other Things You May Need To Know Before Your Cruise!


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