15 Best Things to Pack for a Cruise with Kids

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As part of my goal to see the world, I’ve been cruising. Packing for a regular vacation is tough, but packing for a cruise is extra special because you do so many different things. 

Well, now that I have been on two cruises, (which makes me a total pro, right?) I know all the tricks about the Best Things to Pack for a Cruise with Kids.

cruise with kids packing

This list is a list of things you should pack OTHER than the usual– sunscreen, passports, etc.

15 Best Things to Pack for a Cruise with Kids

  1. Extra Underwear. We went through underwear at an alarming rate on the cruise. Either remind your kids to keep the same underwear on all day, or bring extra for the after pool changes.
  2. Flashlight. It’s noon, but the power just shut-off. No big deal, because there’s that porthole letting-in all that natural light. Except you got the interior cabin. And it’s not noon, it’s 10pm and you need to get the kids in bed. Take a flashlight. You’ll thank me.
  3. Large chip clips. You’ll want these on-deck, so you don’t have to chase your towel and your kiddo’s towel. You’ll also want some in the room to use to hang swimsuits to dry over the shower.
  4. Power strip. So, you’re thinking this is going to be like your house where there’s always plenty of plugs? Ha! Try again. And since the kids have electronics and you have electronics and the whole world will be sucktacular if there’s not enough plugs–bring it.
  5. Nightlight. Because your room is really dark. We don’t all want to wake-up when the light slams on in the bathroom!
  6. Sick-travel kit. Just make one up for whatever typically ails you and your kiddo. If that’s being motion sick or if it’s having a sore throat, bring meds so you can be sure you’ll have everything you need in the middle of the night and won’t have to leave your cabin.
  7. Fan. If your kid is a light sleeper–or even you, a fan is a must for white-noise. But even if everybody in your family sleeps like a log, what if the air conditioning isn’t just right? Or the room is just stuffy? This could be a life-saver.
  8. Sneakers for the kiddo and you. Don’t mind me, the newbie that came on the rock climbing excursion without tennies. Yup. I thought it was just about the kiddo. How wrong was I?!
    what to pack for a cruise with kids
  9. Bathroom de-stinkifier. There’s nothing worse than 3-day old poo-stink. Bring a teeny spray-can of lysol, essential oil, whatever floats your ship. (Get it? I said ship not boat because a cruise ship is WAY too big to be a boat!)
  10. Quiet-game bag. You need some activities kiddo can pick out and play with when you just need a break.
  11. Baggies. We needed a baggie for everything. Seashells, necklaces, emergency water-proofing for our phones for an unexpected excursion. I could have brought 9 million ziploc baggies, and would have found a reason to use each one.
  12. Dollar bills. Every excursion seemed  to have a cute vendor selling something the daughter wanted (or me). So, to save on all that change-making mess, I brought ones. It worked out much better that way.
  13. Duct tape. There are 8 reasons and they’re all incredibly sound. Especially if you have littlies–you can babyproof the room with duct tape. But you might want to bring baby oil to get the residue off, just in case.
  14. Lanyards. I was so worried I’d lose my room key–or the daughter would get separated from me. Lanyards helped reduce my worry. I mean, really, where are you going to put that room key in your bikini and towel-set? (They usually have these on board for about six dollars– and if you want a hole punched just ask guest services. They’re pretty cool about helping with things like that.
  15. Books. If you’re on the deck, on your balcony, or just killing a few minutes until dinner, a great, relaxing activity is always reading. We spent a ton more time reading on my first cruise than I ever thought we would.

Cruising is a great vacation with kids, and if you forget stuff, it’s not the end of the world or anything because there are SO many on board shops that have you covered. Have fun.

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  1. Great tips! This will be our first cruise with our almost two year old. Never would have thought of the duct tape!! 🙂

  2. I never went cruising with my kids, but I always pack a lot of stuff for them. I like to be prepared, especially for them. Moreover, I don’t have always the ability to wash their clothes, so I must to have extra with us. Thanks for the checklist, it’s very helpful:)

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