Friday, September 25, 2015

Cruise 101 : Carry On Packing List & Tips

For the next installment of Cruise 101, I am sharing what I usually pack in my carry on bag, and what C packs in his carry on bag. We try to be practical when packing these bags because we know that if we board around 11 AM, we will be carrying them around until 1:30-2 PM when our rooms are ready. We also like to be sure to pack essentials because there is a chance your luggage won't make it to your room before dinner. 

We like to carry backpacks instead of using small rolling suitcases, or even small duffel bags. We have tried several different bags as carry on bags, but these backpacks are our favorite. C has this backpack and I have this backpack. They redesigned both backpacks, so you can see the new version for C's here, and the new version for mine here. 

In general, the rules for carry on bags for a cruise go by the same rules as the TSA has for flights. Now, I don't think they are anywhere near as strict, because we carried on a rather large carry on one year. We have never had a problem carrying on any bag, they just discourage you from carrying on your giant suitcase. The main things is that your carry on must fit through the scanner, so just really think about the size bag you have and how heavy it is because you will have to tote it around until your room opens. 

In our carry on, we have the following things : 

*tennis shoes
*dress shoes
*travel size toiletry kit (toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo/body wash combo, cologne, face wash)
*workout clothes (shorts, socks, boxers/briefs, t-shirt)
*dinner clothes (pants, belt, polo, socks)
*swim trunks
*sunglasses and hat (attached on shoulder strap)
*electronics/chargers for both of us (phones charger, kindles/charger, GoPro/charger, camera, SD cards, batteries)

*tennis shoes
*dressy flip flops
*travel size toiletry kit (toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, perfume, lotion, hair brush, hair spray, hair ties, bobby pins, face wash, minimal make up (usually CC cream, blush, mascara, lip gloss, beauty blender))
*workout clothes (capris, socks, sports bra, undies, tank top)
*dinner clothes (maxi dress)
*swim suit & cover up
*sunglasses & visor (attached on shoulder strap)

When it comes to cruises, at least Royal Caribbean, they are pretty good about getting you your luggage. In all the cruises I have been on, none of the luggage for me or anyone in my party has gone missing and we have not met anyone who has had luggage go missing. Like I said before, your luggage my be delayed though. That is why we pack an outfit for dinner. Ladies, think of something that won't wrinkle, or pack some wrinkle release spray in your carry on. I personally will take a black maxi dress in my carry on because it doesn't show wrinkles. Men, roll your pants to prevent wrinkles. If you have pants that are wrinkle resistant, even better. C likes to take a polo that is rolled and as wrinkle resistant as possible. 

If you are taking wine on board, remember it is one 750 ml bottle per person. You will need to put that in your carry on as well. Be sure to pack any valuables/breakables in your carry on. You will be more careful with it than the people transporting your checked bags will be. 

I usually wear either flip flops or my tennis shoes on, it just depends on how much space I have in my carry on. I do pack a dressy pair of sandals to use for dinner, and pack heels in my checked bag. Usually, the 4 pair are all I will need on the cruise. C takes 3 pair, his tennis shoes, a pair of black dress shoes, and his Chacos. That is all he will wear the entire cruise. 

Lastly, be sure to pack a swim suit, sunscreen, glasses and a hat/visor so you are able to enjoy your vacation immediately. If you are those people, kinda like C and I who want the option of working out, then pack work out clothes. 

Do you have any other items that are must haves in your carry on? 

Cruise 101 will be a series based on mine and C's knowledge of cruising with Royal Caribbean to Caribbean ports. We have been to Nassau, Bahamas, Coco Cay, Bahamas (RC's private island), Charlotte Amalie, St Thomas and Phillipsburg, St Maarten. While the information I share is based off cruises with Royal Caribbean, and to these specific ports, most of the information is transferable to different itineraries and cruise lines. Be sure to do check with the cruise line you choose to see how it matches up with the information I am providing. All information given is based on my own experience, and is my own opinion. To See other posts in this series, click here. 


  1. I love cruising and wish I could cruise more often!

  2. This is all very interesting! I honestly never even knew that you had to check bags on a cruise! Crazy!



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