What to Pack for a Cruise with Your Family

What to Pack for a Cruise with Your Family

Heading out on a cruise this year? See the list of things to pack (and not pack) on your journey.

By: Sheree A

Cruises are an ideal way to travel for a lot of families, including mine. Cruising is a great way to see more than one destination during your vacation. As opposed to other vacations, one of the best reasons why I love cruising is that I don’t ever have to cook — and everyone is happy at mealtime! A cruise ship is what I like to call an “all-inclusive resort on the sea.” If you’ve never been on a cruise before, you may be wondering what to pack for a cruise with your family. Here are a few important tips:

Don’t Over Pack
For a lot of women, this is a daunting art to master, but it’s doable. Even if it’s a 7-day cruise, you still don’t need to pack a lot! I love maxi dresses, so start with a couple of maxi dresses and a cardigan to go with them. (Yes, even in tropical destinations, even in the summer. Think about restaurants and theaters, which are both on most cruise ships.)

You’ll also want a couple of pairs of shorts, t-shirts, swimsuits, a “dressy” dress for a Captain’s Dinner, a pair of sneakers, flip flops, sandals and dress shoes. Besides your clothes, be sure to pack your camera, toiletries (if you’re picky), sunscreen, feminine products, any prescription or over-the-counter medicines you take, and you really don’t need much else.

What About the Kids?
For your children, you should help them pack the same items as you did. While no one needs a tuxedo, nice casual wear would be advised for them during one or two of the dinners, depending on the length of your stay. And remember, packing less is always best!

Extra Bags
You will need to pack some empty reusable luggage. As you destination hop, you will most likely buy souvenirs. However, if you packed lightly in a small or medium-sized suitcase, where are the souvenirs going? That’s where your extra empty bags come in handy.

The Don’ts
Now that we’ve covered what to pack for a cruise, let’s discuss what not to pack. You will not need any towels. The cruise line, as well as all of the pool decks, will have plenty of towels for you. Trust me! From the moment you step into your cabin, you will most likely be greeted by a towel on your bed, nicely crafted and twisted as towel origami into the shape of some type of animal.

Amongst other items on my do not pack list are hair dryers, food, and alcoholic beverages, but research your cruise line’s policy for specific details.


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Check with your individual cruise line to learn everything that will be provided on the ship and remember to pack everyone’s passports!

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Sheree is a wife and mom to three amazing and energetic kids and a writer for Hilton Mom Voyage. She is a work-at-home mom, nurse, blogger and speaker whose ultimate family vacation style is luxuriating beach side or poolside with warm temperatures and blue skies. She’s also a self-proclaimed foodie who, when traveling, will eat nothing that she can get outside of the region.

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Certainly pack sun screen....as it is very expensive

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