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How to Pack Light on a Cruise: 11 Things You Don’t Need to Bring

Are you going on a cruise? Trying to pack light? The good news is there are things you don’t need to bring on a cruise. 

things you don't need to bring on a cruise

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Things You Don’t Need to Bring on a Cruise

1. Formal Wear

Formal wear like suits, ties, dresses, or heels is not necessary for most cruises, unless you want to dress up for your dinners. You can have fun and relax in casual clothes for the activities and entertainment on board. But if you like to take photos and look a bit more elegant, you can pack one dress and a jacket/dress shirt for men. Just keep in mind that this is optional, depending on your cruise line.

2. Beach Towels

You don’t need to bring your own beach towels on a cruise, since they are provided by the cruise line. You can get beach towels on the pool deck. Bringing your own beach towels will only take up space in your luggage and add extra weight. But remember, if you take the cruise line’s beach towels off the ship and lose them, you will have to pay a lost fee. Instead of bringing beach towels, I suggest bringing your own towel clips instead (it will come in handy)!

3. Shampoos, Conditioners and Body Wash

The cruise has shampoo, conditioner and body wash for you, so you can leave yours at home. They usually have a dispenser with these products in the bathroom. However, body lotion may not be available on some cruises, so you may want to pack your own.

4. Books and Magazines

You don’t need to bring books and magazines on a cruise. Most cruises will have a library where you can check out books. If you want to pack light, I suggest downloading e-books on your device. Packing too many books and magazines will only add weight and clutter to your luggage.

5. Expensive Jewelry 

You don’t need to bring expensive jewelry on a cruise because it could get lost, stolen, or damaged. You don’t want to worry about your valuables while you are enjoying your vacation, so it’s better to leave them at home. If you really need to bring your jewelry, you can store them in your cabin’s safe. But, for peace of mind, I suggest leaving your expensive jewelry home.

things you don't need to bring on a cruise

6. Hair Dryer 

You don’t need to bring your hair dryer on a cruise. You will have a hair dryer in your cabin. Bringing your own hair dryer will only take up space in your luggage.

7. Clothing Iron

Clothing irons are not allowed on cruises for safety reasons. You have some options if you need to iron your clothes: you can use the cruise’s laundry service or the self-service irons in the laundry rooms (not available on some cruises). You can also bring a wrinkle release spray to smooth out your clothes. Bringing your own iron will only take up space and pose a fire hazard.

8. Bottled Water

You don’t need to bring bottled water on a cruise. Besides, some cruise lines don’t let you bring your own bottled water. A refillable water bottle is a better option. You can fill it up at the buffet’s water stations. Then you can take your water to your cabin and on shore excursions. I suggest bringing a refillable water bottle without a straw so it’s easier to clean.

9. Alcohol

Bringing your own alcohol on a cruise may seem like a good way to save money, but be aware that most cruise lines have strict rules about it. For example, Carnival only lets you bring one bottle of wine or champagne per adult on the first day. They don’t allow beer or hard liquor at all. If you try to bring wine or champagne on other days, they will take it away and return it to you when you leave the ship. You should definitely check with your cruise line before bringing any alcohol onboard.

Check out: 10 Ways to Score Free Champagne at a Cruise (How to Get Free Drinks!)

10. Snacks

You don’t need to pack snacks on a cruise since you will have plenty of food options on the ship. You can enjoy the buffet, the main dining room, the specialty restaurants and the room service! If you are packing snacks for kids, I suggest bringing resealable bags. For example, you can pack some cheerios from the breakfast buffet to bring to shore. 

11. Clothes Line

If you are going on a long cruise and planning to do some laundry in your cabin, you don’t need to bring a clothes line. There is a retractable clothes line in the shower that you can use to hang your clothes to dry. You can also check if your cruise line has a laundromat and use it to wash your clothes. I do suggest bringing these laundry packets if you are going to do some light laundry in your cabin. 

Looking to save money on your cruise? 21 Smart and Easy Ways to Save Money on a Cruise

Check out these cruise packing lists with free printables

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