While a Royal Caribbean cruise is fun and relaxing, packing for one can be a bit stressful. It isn’t just about throwing a few swimsuits and shorts into a suitcase; packing for a cruise requires a little more thought.
This cruise packing list for Royal Caribbean will help you get prepared with a lot less stress, so you can really enjoy that exciting trip on Royal Caribbean.
Cruise Packing List for Royal Caribbean: Essential Items to Pack
Sometimes it’s easier to start with the small essential items. These are items that you simply can’t do without, and they’re easy to overlook in the rush to pack everything.
The first thing you’ll want is a small bag that can be easily carried. Fill it with whatever you think you’ll need on those first few hours of the cruise. When you board the ship you’ll be without your checked luggage, but you may want to jump right in to enjoying the amenities and activities.
Make sure your carry-on bag has the items you’ll need most, like a swimsuit, sunglasses, and sunscreen. It should also have all of your boarding and personal documents like your ID and passport, as well as anything valuable like cash, medications, jewelry, your phone and laptop, etc.
This bag can also be used on port days to take items you”ll need when off the ship, as well as carry souvenirs.
Pack all the medication you’ll need while on your trip, both prescription and non-prescription. for There will be a medical facility and shop on board any Royal Caribbean cruise ship, but that doesn’t guarantee you’ll have access to your specific medications.
Pack enough medication for the full length of your trip plus a few extra days. Cruise ships have been known to be rerouted, adding a few days onto their itinerary. You’ll want to make sure your medication needs are covered in the event that you’re delayed.
Perhaps the single most important thing to pack is your passport and all necessary boarding documents. Royal Caribbean cruises often visit ports in other countries, so you’ll need your passport to get on and off the ship for port days, as well as get back home. In fact, many cruises won’t let you board without a passport. (And it usually needs to be valid for at least 6 more months, so check that expiration date in advance!)
Cruise Packing List for Royal Caribbean: Miscellaneous
As with any packing, there are those few miscellaneous items that can be forgotten easily. Trust us, you’ll want to double check you have these things packed.
Don’t forget both a plug-in and portable charger! You’ll be sure to use up the battery on your phone, so you’ll need to recharge it often. Portable power banks are great for charging while you’re not on the ship or while you’re enjoying the many amenities and activities the ship has to offer.
Sunscreen and Aloe Vera
Sun is a big part of any Royal Caribbean cruise. While this is always something to enjoy, it can cause a few sunburns. A sunburn can really put a damper on your cruise plans, so you’ll want to keep those blisters at bay.
Make sure you put sunscreen in your carry-on and aloe vera in your checked luggage.The sunscreen will be used almost the minute you board the ship, and it’ll help protect your skin while you enjoy the great outdoors. The aloe vera is best in the checked luggage–just in case the sunscreen doesn’t work out as planned.
Another good item to pack is wrinkle-release spray. Packing clothes always wrinkles them, no matter how you do it. That’s especially unwelcome in formal outfits. Toss a wrinkle-release spray in your bag to help get rid of those pesky wrinkles.
It’s a good idea to invest in and pack a towel clip, too. These handy devices are used to keep your towel in place, usually on a beach or pool-side lounge chair. And this is really helpful on a cruise ship, where it’s often windy on deck. You want your towel to stay on the chair you picked. Plus, they’re very small, so they’re easy to slip into your suitcase.
Cell Phone Case
You’ll also want to make sure you have a plastic, waterproof cell phone case. On a cruise ship, you’ll be surrounded by water–both on and off the ship–so this can help avoid any mishaps that leave you without a phone for the entire cruise. Many of these protective cases also have a convenient lanyard to keep your phone handy and your hands free.
Cruise ship closets don’t come with hangers, so you’ll want to bring some of your own. You won’t necessarily need a hanger for each and every clothing item, but you will want to include a few for those more formal clothing options.
Travel Laundry Detergent
Washing clothes on a cruise ship can be tricky, and an added expense. Some cruise ships have self-service laundry services, but that’s not a guarantee. Other ships offer laundry-valet services, but those types of services come at an additional cost.
A great way to make sure you have convenient access to laundry services is to pack travel laundry detergent. You can easily wash your clothes in your room’s sink and hang them to dry. This option is a little more manual labor, but it’s worth it. This can also help you pack more lightly.
Cruise Packing List for Royal Caribbean: Clothing Must-Haves
The bulk of the packing comes when you start adding clothes and shoes. But it’s not as simple as just putting in your favorite t-shirt and jeans. Royal Caribbean cruises do have dress codes that have to be followed. Plus, those port days will require a few different options that staying on the ship doesn’t.
The most important clothing for a cruise is beach wear. Whether you’re spending your days lounging by the pool or taking a day trip at a port or two, you’ll need plenty of beach wear options. Pack at least 2 swimsuits, a cover up, and flip flops or slides.
Casual and Smart Casual Clothes
The majority of your cruise attire will be casual. After all, you’ll be enjoying yourself while on vacation. Keep it casual for onboard activities and port day adventures.
Consider adding a quick-dry layer, too. A lot of those port day activities can get a little wet, and you won’t have easy access to a new change of clothes.
You’ll also want to mix in a few “smart casual” outfits as well. These are outfits you’ll need for most dinner experiences while on your cruise. “Smart casual” is just a step up from the more casual options. Women should pack a few skirts and/or light slacks, sundresses/dresses, and blouses, while men will want slacks, collared shirts, and polos. Remember to include appropriate shoes as well.
Most Royal Caribbean cruises have one or two formal nights for your evening dining experience. This requires more upscale clothing options, so you’ll want to be prepared.
Think of a cocktail party, and pack things like a cocktail dress or evening gown for women and a nice suit or even tuxedo for men. Again, remember the appropriate shoes and accessories. If you don’t have something that fits the formal night dress code, you could have some trouble dining that evening.
Destination and Activity-Specific Clothing
Don’t forget to pack clothing that you’ll need for your destinations. If you’re traveling to tropical ports, you’ll need clothes for the warm weather and water activities.
But if you’re traveling to places like Alaska, New England, and even parts of Europe, you’ll want to trade out a few warm weather items for some sweaters.
Think about what activities you’ll be participating in, as well. Will you be working out, or going hiking, or scuba diving? Pack whatever you need for those activities.
Mix of Shoes
Remember to pack a mix of shoes as well. Just sandals and a pair of tennis shoes won’t cut it on a Royal Caribbean cruise. You’ll need to make sure you have more formal footwear (for those formal outfits), plus some options for hiking and exploring different ports.
Last Night of Cruise
Something many travelers don’t realize is that the night before the cruise ends, your checked luggage will be collected. You won’t have access to them that final night, so you’ll need to keep a few items out of your suitcase such as pajamas, an outfit for the disembarkment, and your toiletries. Leave room in your carry-on bag for these items so you can get them off the ship.
Feeling more prepared? This cruise packing list for Royal Caribbean may not have every last possible item, but it should help you be well on your way to a perfectly packed suitcase and an amazing trip!
If you’re ready to book your Royal Caribbean cruise, these other articles may help: Is a Royal Caribbean Cruise Worth It?, Royal Caribbean Drink Package Cost, and Princess vs. Royal Caribbean Cruises. We also offer expert travel planning assistance, so feel free to reach out here!