List for How to Pack for a 1 Week Cruise

Packing for a one-week cruise can be tricky because space can be limited.
Packing for a one-week cruise can be tricky because space can be limited. (Image: Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

Packing for a one-week cruise sounds straightforward: just take fewer clothes than for a fortnight. However, there is a lot more to it, and you should create a detailed list, especially since you can’t just pop into the local store while in the middle of the ocean if you forget something. According to Smart Travel, you should pack no more than can fit in your storage space, and unless you are cruising in a suite, that space will be limited.


Your passport is obviously your essential travel document, but some travelers still forget it or find out that it expires during the trip. If you are taking a honeymoon cruise, plan on taking your marriage license with you, as the names on the new wife’s documents may not match. Take other documentation like hotel reservations and car rental agreements, and for certain destinations, your vaccination certificates. Finally, make sure you have your medical insurance and emergency contact details.

Personal Essentials

Travel-sized packs of shampoo, conditioner and toothpaste will save a lot of space. Don’t forget your toothbrush, body wash, deodorant and sunscreen. You will not need full sizes of anything for one week. Further keep in mind that some of these items will be included. Like hotels, cruise ships offer hairdryers, but if you must pack your own, invest in a travel-sized one and take your brushes and travel-sized styling products as well. Pack a small medical kit, and be sure include bug spray if you are traveling to the tropics. Finally, make sure you have an adequate supply of your prescription medication.


Clothes is a biggie, and the one that often causes the worst dilemma. Being sensible is the key, bearing in mind the lack of storage space you will have. Also, while some cruise lines offer laundry facilities, you may not want to bother for one week. Casual clothes are a must to have during the day; T-shirts and shorts are the norm, and exercise gear might be needed if you want to use the fitness facilities. Take two swimsuits so you always have a dry one. If you are on a cruise with formal evenings, you will need appropriate clothing. Underwear, socks and belts and a change of lightweight shoes are necessary, as is a sweater and sunhats or caps.


Take a cell phone with charger and a camera with a memory card or plenty of film, and don’t forget extra batteries. A personal music player doesn’t take up any space, and a small alarm clock may be a nifty idea. If you have trouble sleeping, a white noise machine might also be a good idea, but get as small a one as possible. Be sure to pack a bag for shore trips, sunglasses, small umbrella and magazines to read. Carry some cash in small bills for souvenirs and tips, and if you are travelling with children, bring their essentials such as baby bottles and one or two favorite toys.

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