So you have planned your cruise and now you are wondering and possibly dreading what to pack.  No worries, family cruise packing list is one of our specialties.  We, like you, use to struggle with what to prepare for a cruise and how to ensure that we wouldn’t over pack for a family of four that will be in a small cabin all week.  We have perfected our family cruise packing list and now want to share that knowledge with all of you.  Without further ado, let’s start packing for your family vacation. 

Cruise Cabin Overview

Accommodations aboard cruises are compact and keeping everything organized is a must.  There are many different cabin levels that you can secure but even with family rooms you will likely find the accommodations to be snug.  To ensure that you have everything you need and have it easily accessible we recommend that you start your packing with organization in mind.   

Preparing for a cruise with your packing:

[ ] Packing Cubes –We like having different color packing cubes for each kid and adult.  These are also great to use as draws on the shelf so everyone knows where their clothes are.  Our favorites are compression cubes because they pack easily into suite cases and then expand to make locating our clothes more accessible.  Here are the ones that we use: 

[ ] Suitcase – As a family of 4 we usually only require 2 bags for a 7 day cruise.  This helps to ensure that we don’t have to find creative ways to store these items in the cabin.

[ ] Carryon Backpack– We each pack a small backpack as a carryon for entertainment and snacks on the plane.  I particularly like having many compartments in a backpack that help me easily find items while squashed into seats.  This is the one that I carry: 

[ ] Insurance (optional but recommended) – Here is the insurance that we use:

450x75 Need Travel Protection?

Cruise Essentials to ensure you pack:

[ ] Passport for every family member (including babies) 

[ ] Airline tickets 

[ ] Cruise boarding passes

[ ] Printed receipt for any pre-paid purchased items

[ ] Sunscreen (tip: if you run out, don’t buy on the ship, wait until you are at a port and buy from local shop)

[ ] Aloe

[ ] Essential Electronics (this is personally driven but ours are: Kindle Fire Tablets, iPad, Camera, and Phone)

[ ] Charges for all electronics

[ ] Insect Repellent

[ ] Mini First Aid Kit that has all the basic essentials in it – I use this nicely compact traveling kit:  

[ ] Any prescription medicine (ensure it is in the original bottle)

[ ] Sunglasses and/or hats 

[ ] Lanyards – These will help you and your kids keep track of their boat card for around the ship and while on land.

Family Cruise Packing Checklist (each individual)


[ ] Flip flops or water shoes

[ ] Tennis shoes

[ ] Dressier shoes for dining rooms

Clothing (Cruise Outfits):

[ ] Underwear for everyday of the cruise

[ ] 3 or 4 pairs of shorts or skirts

[ ] 3 or 4 t-shirts

[ ] Pajamas

[ ] 1 nice outfit for the ‘fancy’ dinner night

[ ] 1 or 2 swimsuits

[ ] 1 swimsuit cover for ladies or 1 extra t-shirt for boys

[ ] 1 light jacket for if there is a breeze at night (a rain jacket could double for this and be used on rainy excursion days) 

[ ] 1 pair of pants (jeans or capris) for cooler evenings


[ ] Toothbrush

[ ] Toothpaste

[ ] Hairbrush

[ ] Shampoo and Conditioner

[ ] Body wash / soap

[ ] Hairspray or hair products (optional)

[ ] Flat iron (optional); you will not need to pack a blow dryer as the cruise will provide one

[ ] Lightweight Makeup (optional)

Cruise Packing Checklist For Baby:

[ ] Diapers

[ ] Wipes

[ ] Diaper Creams

[ ] Swim vest

[ ] 2 or 3 Small Toys

[ ] Pacifiers

[ ] Small Blanket

[ ] Small stuffed animal 

[ ] Swim Diapers (most cruises won’t let you use them onboard but you will want them for the ocean)

[ ] Umbrella Stroller – This is the one that we like best as the wheels are great for any terrain 

Additions That Are Optional for your Cruise Packing Checklist:

[ ] Exercise outfit

[ ] Kids Books or Activity Guides

[ ] Games

[ ] Books or Magazines

[ ] Snorkel Gear

[ ] Beach towel (most cruises will provide you this free of charge though)

[ ] Unessential Electronics (Laptops, portable power packs, waterproof cameras, etc.)

Wrap Up!

We have found that organizing your family items for your trip on a cruise is great but so is ensuring that you don’t over pack this is why I created this family cruise packing checklist for your use.  With our cruise pacing checklist you will have all the items you need while ensuring that you still have space to move around your cruise cabin.  Do you have questions about the cruise packing checklist or any cruise essentials?  Leave a comment below and I will gladly provide you any answers that I can.  

Check out our other tips and tricks for helping to travel with your kids:

20 Tips for International Travel with Toddlers

12 Tips for Road Trips with Toddlers

25 Tips for Saving Money on Food While Traveling

20 Ultimate Packing Tips and Tricks when Traveling with Kids

Sightseeing With Kids

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