Cruise Packing Guide

Get help packing for your cruise with our guide and printable packing list

 advice > Packing

The Art of Packing

Get help with packing for your cruise vacation with cruise packing advice from avid cruisers.

Packing advice for a cruise vacation.Embarkation day is drawing near and the excitement is building--but now it's time start packing for your cruise vacation. Sizing up your piles of clothing and other essential gear with your suitcase can make the process overwhelming. You want to be prepared, but you have to fit all your gear into your luggage without being overweight for your flight or taking up too much cabin space. There's no doubt that packing can be the most stressful part of preparing for a cruise vacation.

Use our packing guide to help decide what to take and what can stay behind on your cruise. Check our prohibited items list before you consider taking on that iron or clothes steamer (now prohibited).

Comprehensive Packing List (printable pdf)


Need to know!
Wearing camouflage is illegal in many countries in the Caribbean and South America, along with other areas around the world. You will be required to return to the ship and change, or worse, you could be arrested. Better safe they sorry. Leave the camouflage shorts at home. 

Pack, Repack and Pack Again

Sometimes preparing for a cruise vacation and getting to the location can be real work. The older we get the more work it becomes, unless we have someone to pack for us and haul bags. Most of the extra weight comes from clothes we don't need and it's because we can't decide what we want to take. And those of us who live near an embarkation port have the luxury of driving to the port and we're not subject to airline baggage limits, making matters even worse. Even avid cruisers have a tendency to over pack just as much as the first-time cruiser. Much of the clothing and accessories you pack will never be worn.

To help lighten the load even more start collecting cruise wear - lightweight clothing items that can be gathered into a ball and spring back to life with little, if any, wrinkling. Collect items that can be easily mixed and matched for different looks throughout the cruise.

Plan your evening and port day outfits in advance. Take only ONE extra outfit for day and evening (carry these items on with you just in case your luggage gets lost for a while).

Packing lists

Use our packing lists as a guide to decide what to take on your cruise. Make sure to check your destination weather. Our packing lists also describe what the cruise companies consider appropriate attire onboard the ship.

Women's Cruise Packing List

Men's Cruise Packing List

Cruise Packing List Worksheet

Comprehensive Packing List (printable)

Packing Essentials

Prohibited Items

Every cruise line has their own policy, but in general most companies prohibit the same items: liquor, flammables, and illegal items. Surprisingly, clothes irons and steamers are now banned on most cruise ships for "safety reasons" but curling irons and curler machines are still ok.