Cruise guests share ‘essential’ items to ‘look your best’ onboard

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Packing the right items in your luggage is more important when going on a cruise as things can be harder to find if you’re caught short on board. Even if you’re a seasoned cruiser, there may be some garments or toiletries that you don’t know you need until you’re on board. 

Everyone wants to feel their best while enjoying their holiday, and for many people, looking good is just as important.

Whether you like getting dressed up in the evenings or simply need a few staples to get you through the day, seasoned cruisers have shared their must-have items that could inspire your own packing list.

In a recent post on the Cruise Critic forum, an eager cruise-goer named Linda reached out to fellow passengers for advice. She said: “What do you really think is crucial to bring to help you look your best on a cruise?

“We are retired at age 61 and 56 and plan to do a lot more travelling and especially cruising. My goal is to bring just a carry-on and personal bag (weekender), no matter the length or type of trip. So I’ve been thinking about what is essential and deserves the room in my luggage.”

In response to her call for help, many experienced cruisers shared the items they “absolutely need to bring”. For one forum user who goes by the name crystalspin, accessories and haircare were at the top of her packing list.

She wrote: “We have travelled (cruise and land) all around the world with carry-on plus ‘personal item’. We even made a trip home from Copenhagen on Norwegian Air which may have the strictest weight requirements of any airline! 

“I generally bring three to four pairs of reading glasses and coordinating peeper-keepers that my sister has strung the beads for… often with matching earrings. That is my signature.”

The avid cruisers noted that while you can use the shampoo provided by the ship, she likes to bring her own as a feel-good luxury. Crystalspin recommends buying a 3oz “travel” bottle of your own shampoo to take onboard.

Other guests favoured clothing items over haircare and accessories when looking to travel more lightly.

One Cruise Critic forum user explained that “ensemble” outfits are their go-to for squeezing enough clothing into a small bag.

The cruise goer who uses the name jsn55 wrote: “I’ve gotten good at the ‘ensembles’ part, all black and beige with one colour. 

“Everything can be hand-washed. I bring some scarves and earrings and vary my look without packing tons of clothes.”

She added that based on her most recent trip, another item she would define as “important”, though “non-obvious”, is a tiny flashlight.

The seasoned traveller explained that it is something she used on cruises in the past almost “every other day” of her trip.

Another fashion-loving traveller agreed that packing the right clothing items is essential if you’re limited to a small suitcase or bag.

The forum user named Mum2Mercury revealed that her tried and tested cruise wardrobe turned out to be “just enough” for her most recent trip and that she was “100 percent happy” with what she packed.

On her packing list, the female holidaymaker included three casual dresses, one pair of white jeans, three pairs of shorts, two blouses, four daytime tops, and one workout outfit.

Other clothing items included a chambray shirt, two swimsuits with cover-ups, a nightie and four pairs of shoes. These were walking sandals, tennis shoes, wedges and water shoes.

When it comes to accessories, the Cruise Critic forum users agreed that a good cross-body bag was another essential for port-stop holidays. The user named cruisemom42 explained that it needs to be big enough, but not too big and as light as possible.

They added that water-resistant materials are best, though you need to have a comfortable strap for everyday use.

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