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30 Unusual Things to Pack for a Cruise: Things You Didn’t Know You Need

Are you going on a cruise? You probably already know the basics of what to pack, such as clothes, toiletries, sunscreen, and passport. But what about some of the less obvious items that can make your cruise more enjoyable and comfortable? Below, I will share some of the unusual things that you might want to pack for a cruise. Also, I’m sharing my cruise carry-on bag packing list as a free printable below.

Unusual things to pack for a cruise

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Unusual Things to Pack for a Cruise

1. Over the Door Organizer

If you are traveling with kids and you are staying in one cabin, you might want to bring an over the door organizer to keep your cabin neat and orderly.

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2. Magnetic Hooks

Most cruise cabin walls are made of metal, which means you can use magnets to hang your photos, notes, itineraries, and other papers. I like these cruise magnet hooks to stay organized. I hang baseball caps and cruise lanyards on these magnetic hooks. Just don’t forget to bring them home! 

3. Magnetic Clips

Magnetic clips are great for attaching the cruise daily planner to the wall. This helps me keep track of the current day’s activities. I don’t like it when the papers get messy and I have to search for the right one.

4. Chiropractic Pillow

If you are like me and you need a good pillow that supports the head and neck properly, you will like this dog bone shaped pillow. It’s not too bulky so I always bring it with me, especially if I go on a long cruise. The unique dog bone shape helps me sleep better by aligning my head and neck.

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5. Lanyard 

A lanyard is a convenient way to carry your cruise card, which you will need to access your cabin, pay for purchases, and get on and off the ship. Lanyards are a great way to keep your cruise card handy without digging in your purse. You can also choose different colors for each person to easily tell them apart. I like these lanyards because they come with luggage tags too. 

6. Airtag

Lost luggage is a major headache when it comes to traveling. Why not give yourself peace of mind by putting an AirTag in each of your check luggage. That way, if you ever encounter a lost luggage, you know where it is!

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7. Luggage Scale

I always bring a luggage scale with me because it’s so easy to go over the airline checked baggage weight limit. To save me the stress and the hassle of having to move items around if one of my luggage is overweight, I always bring a luggage scale with me so I can weigh it to make sure it’s not overweight. I like this manual luggage scale with hook

8. Packing Cubes

If you are not good at packing, then you should always travel with packing cubes. Packing cubes are small containers that help you organize your clothes. 

They save space by compressing your clothes and allowing you to fit more in your suitcase. They also reduce wrinkles by keeping your clothes neatly folded or rolled inside the cubes. It will also be easier to find your clothes since they are separated by category. 

To make packing easier for your family, give each person a different color of packing cubes. This way, you can quickly identify whose items are in which cubes.

9. Portable Fan

If you are staying in an inside cabin, you might want to consider bringing a portable fan to increase airflow in your stateroom. I sometimes have a hard time sleeping if there is not enough airflow so I always pack a small portable fan just in case!

10. Motion Sensor Night light

Inside cruise cabins can get very dark at night, which can make it hard to find your way to the bathroom or the door. A night light can provide some illumination and comfort. I like this night light because they are motion sensor activated.

11. Power Strip

Whenever I cruise, I end up with a lot of devices and not enough outlets for charging the devices. That’s why I always bring a portable power strip. However, most cruise ships don’t allow surge protected power strips. I like this cube power strip because it is small and non-surge, cruise compliant and it comes with multiple USB ports. 

12. Ziploc bags

These are handy for storing wet clothes, snacks, toiletries, and other items that might leak or spill. You can also use them to protect your phone and camera from water and sand. 

If you have kids, ziploc bags will come in handy when you pack snacks from the buffet. My son is allergic to nuts so I always pack some snacks from the buffet that I bring with me just in case he gets hungry when we are out and about. 

Unusual things to pack for a cruise

13. Laundry detergent

If you want to save money and avoid running out of clean clothes, you can wash some of your garments in the sink or the shower. Bring some laundry detergent to make it easier. I like these travel detergent packs.

14. Clothespins

These are useful for hanging your wet clothes to dry and keeping your curtains closed.

15. Wrinkle Remover

I always bring a small wrinkle releaser spray to smooth out the wrinkles in clothes. It always comes in handy.

16. Stain Remover

Stains should be treated immediately, otherwise it will set-in the fabric. So I always bring these portable stain removers that work instantly without water. 

17. Beach Chair Towel Clips

I always bring my own beach chair towel clips to secure my towel to 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 know you are going on your cruise in the Spring but you never know, you might want to lounge by the indoor pool!

18. Highlighter

A highlighter can help you mark the activities and events that interest you on the daily newsletter that the cruise line provides. You can also use it to write notes and reminders on the newsletter or on your cabin door.

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19. Travel mug

A travel coffee mug that can keep your drink hot or cold is a must-have for your cruise. I recommend these 20 oz insulated mugs with lids. I love filling mine with water or seltzer and adding some lemon for a refreshing drink. It’s so convenient to have it with me all day on sea days. You’ll thank me later when you don’t have to go to the buffet every time you need water.

20. Refillable water bottles

Refillable water bottles will come in handy during your cruise. Most cruise ships don’t provide free water in your cabin, unless you purchase bottled water from the cruise line or get water from the buffet. I like to fill up my water bottles with water and ice and take them to my cabin. I also do the same when I go ashore. I like these insulated water bottles without straws (so I don’t have to deal with washing straws!)

21. Bottle of Wine or Champagne

Most cruise lines will allow you to bring one bottle of wine or champagne on the ship when you board (typically 750 ml unopened bottle of wine or champagne per person). They only let you bring it onboard on the first day, after that, any alcohol that you buy ashore will be taken and kept until the end of the cruise. Before you bring wine or champagne, double check with your cruise line policy before you bring wine. 

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

22. Corkscrew 

If you are planning to bring wine, don’t forget your corkscrew so you can enjoy it in your cabin. If you bring your wine to the dining rooms, you will be charged a corkage fee. 

Just make sure you pack a corkscrew that does not have a knife, as some cruises may have security rules or regulations for bringing sharp objects. To be safe, check your cruise policy.

23. Lysol Wipes

I always pack lysol wipes so I can sanitize my cabin. I like to wipe down the remote control, cabin phone, door knobs and more! I always bring a small travel pouch size.

24. Walkie Talkie

If you are traveling with family or a big group, it’s nice to have a way to communicate to each other onboard. Cellphone service is poor and internet service is expensive. Bringing a long range walkie talkie is an easy way to stay in touch and it can be a lot of fun for kids to use.

25. Waterproof phone case

If you are going to cruise destinations where you will be spending a lot of time on the beach, you need a waterproof phone case. It will protect your phone from water and sand. Use a waterproof phone case that has a touch screen. It will come in handy when you spend the day at the beach.

26. Hanging Toiletry Bag

The cruise cabin bathrooms are small, that’s why I always bring a hanging toiletry bag. I can just hang it and it doesn’t take up valuable counter space. 

27. Travel Soap Dish

I prefer soap over body wash for showering, but most cruise ships only offer body wash. That’s why I bring my own soap in a travel soap dish with a strap. It keeps the soap secure and prevents it from opening in my bag.

28. Fun Magnets

If you are traveling with kids, they may enjoy decorating the cabin walls and door with these fun magnets. If you put them outside the door, you will instantly be able to tell your door apart from the other cabins even if you forget your cabin number! Do know that some cruise ship doors are not magnetic so these may not hold, but you can try sticking to the walls by the door!

29. RFID Cross Body Bag with zipper

I am paranoid about safety since I’ve encountered my share of pickpockets! A zippered cross body bag is my go-to choice for carrying my valuables. These days, thieves can steal your credit card information by scanning it, so I make sure to bring a crossbody bag with RFID blocking. This way, I can prevent identity theft and keep my information secure. 

30. RFID Passport Holder

I also use a RFID blocking passport holder to keep my data safe from identity thieves. I like these RFID blocking passport holder with zip because I can securely store my passport and credit cards inside.  

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Free Cruise Carry On Bag Packing List

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Packing List for Cruise Carry-On bag

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