Port Bag on Cruise ship

Everything You Need to Pack in Your Cruise Port Bag (Free Packing List Printable)

If you’re planning to go on a cruise, you might be wondering what to pack in your port day bag. This is the bag that you’ll take with you when you go ashore to explore the port. I’m sharing my list of essential things that I pack in my cruise port bag. Whether you’re planning to explore on your own or with a cruise shore excursion, you can use this port day bag packing list to make sure you don’t forget any essentials. Below, you can download the cruise port bag packing list as a PDF printable.

What to Use as Your Cruise Port Day Bag?

When you’re exploring a port, whether it’s a day at the beach or a day sightseeing in a European city, you’ll need a separate bag for the things you need throughout the day. This bag is your cruise port day bag and it’s a separate bag from your purse.

When I’m on a shore excursion exploring cities, ruins, and sights, I usually use a backpack with a water bottle holder as my cruise port day bag. For a day at the beach, I prefer to use a beach tote bag with a zipper because it’s bigger and can hold beach towels better.

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Cruise port bag packing list

What to Pack in Your Cruise Port Bag?


It’s always a good idea to bring your passport with you when you head down to the port, even if they allow you to re-enter the ship with just your cruise card. You never know when an unexpected situation might come up, and having your passport with you can be a real lifesaver. 

Imagine if you were left behind by the ship, you would need to catch up with cruise ship by taking a plane. Your passport would be an essential document to have with you. So, be sure not to leave it in your cabin, as you might need it in case of an emergency.

Cruise Cards

It goes without saying, you’ll need your cruise card to get on and off the ship.

Port Agent Contact Information

Always ask for the port agent’s contact information before you get off the cruise ship. Every port has a port agent appointed by your cruise line, and they’re the ones to approach in case you need help or find yourself stranded. 

The shore excursion staff usually hands out a map that includes the port agent’s contact information, so make sure to keep it with you in case you need to contact them for any reason.


Bring your wallet and cash down to the cruise port. It’s best to bring small bills to use for tipping or to pay for things that you buy in straw markets. 

Shore Excursion Tickets

If you’re going on a shore excursion, make sure you bring the ticket or a printed copy of the ticket. You will need it when you check in with your tour guide.

Bathing Suits, Swim Goggles, Towels and Flip Flops

When you go on a Caribbean, Mexico or Bermuda cruise, it’s a good idea to pack your bathing suits, swim goggles, towels, and flip-flops in your port bag. Even if you don’t plan to go to the beach, it’s always smart to be prepared in case you decide to go to a beach and want to take a quick dip!

This is especially true if you’re traveling with kids. Don’t forget to bring their bathing suits too, you don’t want to regret not having them on hand!

Cruise port bag packing list

Change of Clothes

Bring a change of clothes if you are bringing your bathing suit.

Beach Chair Towel Clips

If you plan to go to the beach, bring your beach chair towel clip in your carry-on bag. A beach chair towel clip will keep your beach towel secure on the beach chair so it doesn’t fall off or gets blown away. It’s a pet peeve of mine to lie down on a beach chair where the towel has slipped off. I like these fun beach chair towel clips


I always make sure to pack a wrap or shawl in my port bag. It has proven to be quite useful on many occasions. For example, when traveling on a tour bus, I tend to feel cold, so the wrap comes in handy as a blanket. Plus, when visiting places of worship like mosques during a Mediterranean cruise, it serves as a head covering, which is required for entry. 

Waterproof Phone Case

If you’re planning to go to the beach, bring a waterproof phone case so you can keep your phone dry and protected at the beach.


Bring a small bottle of sunblock to reapply throughout the day.

Bug Spray

I usually bring a small bottle of bug spray since I’m so prone to bug bites!

Refillable water bottles

I always fill our water bottles with ice cold water at the buffet before going ashore. It saves me money since I don’t have to buy drinks at the port. The kids like it when I add these flavored water packets to make their ice-cold drink taste like Skittles. 

Hand Sanitizer

Bringing a bottle of hand sanitizer is a must.


Don’t forget to bring your sunglasses down with you.


Bring your baseball caps or sunhat with you.


It’s always smart to bring your prescription medication along in your port bag. This way in case you miss the cruise ship and get stranded, you’ll have your meds with you.

Just pack one or two days’ worth of your meds. Don’t forget to include allergy medications such as an EpiPen if you carry them.

Battery Pack or Chargers

You should bring either a battery pack or your phone charger with you just in case. Make sure the battery pack is fully charged.


If you have a separate camera or video camera, don’t forget to bring it with you along with extra batteries. I always bring my GoPro with me since it’s so small and it’s waterproof. I love it for videos because it has a built-in stabilizer, so you don’t get dizzy watching it!


Pack a few Ziplocs in your port bag, it will come in handy to store snacks and wet bathing suits.

Tissues and Wipes

I always bring travel-size tissues just in case. If you’re traveling with kids, bring a small pack of baby wipes (even if they are no longer in diapers!). It will come in handy for wiping their grubby hands!

Foldable Tote Bags

I always bring one or two foldable tote bags with me in case I go shopping. I don’t like paying for paper bags!

It also comes in handy when I need to carry wet towels after a day at the beach. Personally, I prefer these foldable shopping bags because they are compact and easy to bring along.

Free Cruise Port Day Bag Packing List

Get Your Free Cruise Port Day Bag Packing List

Sign up once and you will get access to ALL exclusive content on this website. After unlocking the printable, just save the printable image and then print it. Use it as a checklist to pack your cruise port bag so you don’t forget anything! I hope you like it!

Packing List for Cruise Port Day Bag

This printable is for personal use only and not for commercial use. You may print as many copies as you like, but you may not sell or distribute this printable or any copies of it. All rights reserved.

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