Twelve Things You May Not Think to Take On Your Cruise
This year we went out our first family cruise. My parents and siblings have talked to us about going on the big family bi-annual cruise for at least four years. Last year we finally decided to take the leap and booked a Carnival cruise. For months I did so much research about what I needed to take with us. I even created a checklist to help prepare for a cruise. I thought I was ready for our trip but I was surprised at some of the things I never thought we would need that I wish I had packed.
I’m hoping I can save you some stress while planning your next cruise by sharing these ten things you may not think to take on your cruise.
Our bathroom had shampoo, conditioner, and body wash in unmarked pumps in the shower, however, we didn’t know what brand it was or how it would smell. I opted to leave ours at home to save packing space and it was a bad idea. Luckily I had packed lotion or we would have been out of luck. My other suggestions for the list include a razor, toothbrushes, toothpaste, hair gel, hair styling products. You can easily store your toiletries in a bag like this Deluxe Toiletry Bag from Toilet Tree Products. I love that the bottles included in this bag are TSA approved size but if you want to pack larger items there is plenty of space in the bag for those as well.
If you’re planning on hanging up a lot of your clothing be sure to pack some hangers. Pick up some cheap packs at Walmart or Target and leave them behind so another guest can enjoy. The closets in our cabin had a few hangers and we ended up using them to hang our dressy clothes for the Captain’s dinners. If you’re planning to pack a few outfits or depending on the number of people in the room, extra hangers are a must.
While researching for our cruise I had read that cruise ships allowed guests to bring bottled water on the ship. When we checked in at the port for our cruise, however, we learned that this rule was recently changed. Thankfully we hadn’t bought any bottled water with us but we did see tons of guests having to leave their behind. Carnival does allow guests to bring on a limited amount of water in cans or cartons on the ship. They also offer discounted water from the Fun Shops, which can be bought prior to boarding the ship or once you’re on board for $4.50 for a 12 pack of water.
Water, however, is readily available in the dining hall, so bringing your own water bottle can help you save money and time. The cups in the dining hall are pretty small, so we ended up buying bigger bottles of water at different ports or aboard the ship. Next time we’re packing our own water bottles to cut out the cost associated with water.
You’re probably thinking that sunscreen is a no brainer while traveling on a cruise, however, you would be surprised to learn the number of people we saw overpaying for sunscreen at the gift shop or at one of the ports. If your cruise is stopping at any Caribbean ports you need sunscreen. If you’re planning to sit at the pool in the sun, you need a good sunscreen. Be sure to also include a waterproof option and a high SPF option for the kids.
Depending on the time of year you are cruising, sunglasses are a must. However again it was one item I saw people purchase at the ports and gift shops all the time. Picking up one before leaving home will save you a couple of dollars and help protect your eyes from the sun.
We shopped for sun hats before leaving for our cruise because we knew it would be very hot and sunny during our cruise. They were a lifesaver in the hot Caribbean sun. They helped keep us a bit cooler and added an additional layer of protection from the sun. This is another item you can get at any port but it will be at a premium price.
Cough and Cold Medicine
The last thing anyone thinks about when vacationing is getting sick. Unfortunately for us, that’s exactly what happened with two of our children. Our youngest was so sick we ended up with an unexpected expense from visiting the doctor on board the ship. I’ll be share more about that in detail later. I packed so many different medications prior to our cruise but I left off a few essentials and ended up having to purchase them in Mexico.
Aside from packing the medicine you need and take daily, pack a few other essentials just to be on the safe side. I promise your wallet will thank you if you end up needing it while on your trip.
If you think your battery dies quickly during your regular day, imagine how fast it goes while traveling. Portable chargers are a great idea when traveling due to the amount of use your planning for your phone camera or games. If you’re planning to use for making phone calls or the internet, however, I highly suggest checking your phone company’s roaming charger and be sure to always put your phone in airplane mode when the ship is sailing due to the extremely high cost for Cellular at Sea.
Backpack or Tote
When traveling and stopping at different ports I suggest packing a backpack or tote to carry all your essentials. In addition to your wallet, your backpack should include sunscreen, wipes, hand sanitizer, a small towel, water bottle, and anything else you think you will need when leaving the ship.
When cruising you need your Sign and Sail card with you at all times. Since it was our first time we weren’t aware of this so I ended up holding on to all our cards. With younger kids, I would still keep the kids cards regardless, but next time we are all getting lanyards for easy access to the cards instead of having to go into my backpack and wallet every time it was required.
The makeup on sodas/pop on the cruise ship is incredibly high. One can of soda costs about $4.50 per can and if plan to drink even one can a day it may be worth it to bring your own. Carnival Cruise Lines allow for each person traveling to bring 12 cans of soda on the ship. Alternately they also offer a bottomless bubbles soda program for kids and adults that cost $4.95 and $7.95 respectively. If you’re planning to sign up for the bottomless bubbles program take advantage of purchasing prior to sailing in the fun shops online. If you’re already on board the ship sign up at any of the bars on your ship.
Motion Sickness Bands
Once we booked our cruise, one of the first things I started to look up was motion sickness bands. My parents had shared stories of how their last cruise caused everyone to get sick. Their horror stories of passengers rushing to the gift shop to purchase motion sickness bands stuck with me. I looked all over the internet trying to find something I thought would be a good fit for my family. I ended up pushing back the search until a few weeks before we were leaving and out bands ended up not arriving in time. I had picked up a few tablets from Walmart just in case we needed it.
A few weeks ago I received an awesome package of products from Sea-Band. I was excited about the products because I knew they would be perfect for our next cruise. Inside our box was a variety or nausea relief products including product for pregnant women. Shortly after our box arrived one of my sons started feeling sick and nauseous. I immediately placed the band on his wrist. Within a few hours, he was starting to feel better. I’ve already started recommending these to my family and friends traveling on a cruise in the future.
“I received this product for free from Moms Meet (momsmeet.com) to use and post my honest opinions. Compensation for this post was provided and this page may contain affiliate links.”
About Sea Band
Just the facts
- Sea-Band is a knitted elasticated wrist band, which operates by applying pressure on the Nei Kuan acupressure point on each wrist by means of a plastic stud. The bands can be worn on each wrist whenever you feel nauseous.
- Recommended by midwives and pregnant women around the world, the Sea-Band Mama! acupressure wrist band provides a natural choice for effective morning sickness relief.
- Scienti c studies have proved that one of the most effective drug-free treatments is Acupressure on the P6 (Nei- Kuan) point between the two central tendons near the wrist.
- For Instructions on positioning the Sea-Band Mama! bands, please see this page: sea-band.com/mama/sea-band.
- Recently, JAMA (Journal of American Medical Association) recommended acupressure and Ginger as solutions to relieve morning sickness. An Italian study has also found that morning sickness was reduced in 70% of women who used Sea-Band acupressure bands.