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Cruise Packing Essentials- Port Days

Updated: Dec 6, 2023

You’ve packed your tropical shirt and are ready to sail into vacation bliss. Even if you’re ready for your adventure onboard the cruise ship, there are quite a few things you don’t want to forget for all the time you’ll be spending in the port of calls as well. Excursion or not!

First time cruising? Don’t forget to check out everything you need to know about embarkation day here!

paradise beach cozumel
Paradise Beach, Cozumel!

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Day Bag

As tempting as it is to pack light when you’ll be walking on your feet there are some essentials you don’t want to leave behind on the ship. Invest in a good lightweight day bag. I recommend backpacks or one with straps so your hands are free to take photos or look at all the cute local trinkets and souvenirs. Water and theft-proof bags add additional security.

Water Bottle

Depending on your destination country, water may not always be safe to drink. Purchasing it bottled can also be quite expensive in tourist areas. Consider bringing your water bottle and filling it up before leaving the ship. You’ll need to stay hydrated when you’re walking around all day exploring.

If you drink a lot of water like me, consider buying a water bottle with a filter as well for convenient refills without having to worry about which faucets may be safe or not to drink from.

Waterproof Camera

These days your phone camera works quite well capturing all those amazing vacation memories. However, bring a cheap waterproof disposable camera as well. Especially if you plan on spending lots of time around water, beaches, or pools they offer a great photo alternative while keeping your phone safe. Developing photos at the end of your trip to share with friends or hang on the fridge is also lots of fun.

Cash/Local Currency

In a lot of tourist areas major currencies are still accepted. Make sure to do some research before wandering off with only your card. Lots of ports offer an atm as well to withdraw local currency when it’s needed. Some cruise lines even offer a currency exchange onboard. It’s always better safe than sorry if any problem arises. (Like you need to pay for an emergency taxi back to the ship for example.)

Walkable Shoes

Of course, we want to get our cute photo ops whether it be on the romantic streets of Italy or the tropical beaches of the Bahamas, but don’t forget you’ll only be in port for a limited amount of hours and you’ll want to see it all. This means you’ll be doing a lot of walking. Consider either wearing or packing in your day pack some practical footwear. You do not want blisters on day two of your vacation.

Safe Pouch

Backpacks with outer zippers pose a higher risk of threat and pickpocketing is a very common problem across tourist destinations. A money belt or cross-body safe pouch are good options to keep your money, passport, or other identification cards safe.

Portable Charger

It’s never a bad idea to carry extra juice for your phone when traveling. Portable phone chargers do tend to drastically vary in quality and price point. I’ve linked some of my favorite portable chargers I own on my Amazon shop :) And don’t forget to charge them fully the night before in your stateroom cabin!


The sun is different everywhere you go. Even if you tend to not wear sunscreen at home make sure to pack some and reapply often when you’re out running around in the sun. Water and sweat-proof proof preferably! This also applies to cold weather itineraries.


Whether it’s your first cruise or you’re a seasoned veteran, being prepared will only make your experience more magical when you’re off exploring the ports of call. All products are linked for easy shopping right here in my Amazon shop :)

Check out What 7 Things You Need To Pack For A Cruise before you head off to your adventure at sea as well! And of course, subscribe below to stay up to date with all things cruising and travel.

Sending love from the ship <3


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