6 Things You’d Never Think to Pack for Your Cruise Vacation

Last week was a crazy week for work. I was in early and out late pretty much every single day. I spent most of the weekend before dreading the upcoming week. Most people wish for Friday, but my Friday was going to be so long and busy that I was wishing for Saturday. Apparently the universe got wind of my situation and decided to start my week off with a win. Monday afternoon I got word that I won a 7 night Caribbean cruise on Norwegian Cruise Lines. How amazing is that?!

6 Things You'd Never Think to Pack for Your Cruise Vacation

And I know you are probably thinking about some of those scams where you get a phone call or email saying you won a cruise when you really didn’t. Well that isn’t the case here. I worked on a promotional campaign with NCL and everyone that participated was entered into a drawing to win a cruise – and I won! So don’t be surprised if you start seeing some cruise related posts on the blog. I absolute LOVE cruises! I haven’t been on one since 2015 and I haven’t been on a NCL cruise in almost 10 years.

6 Things You'd Never Think to Pack for Your Cruise Vacation


Most people put together a packing list before any major vacation. If you are going on a Norwegian Cruise Line vacation your packing list might vary a little bit depending on where you are going, how long you are going for, and which shore excursions you plan on taking. But there are a few “must have” items that I bet probably aren’t on your cruise packing list. Today, I am sharing my top 6 things you’d never think to pack for your cruise vacation.

Top 6 Things You’d Never Think to Pack for Your Cruise Vacation

  1. Night Light – One of my favorite things about being on a cruise is how dark the room is when it is time to sleep. The only downside to that is if you have to get up in the middle of the night for any reason. Packing a night light will make those late night trips to the bathroom easier and safer.
  2. Reusable water bottle/insulated cup – This is a great idea for many reasons! There are plenty of places on the ship to get ice and water, so you can always make sure you have some to stay hydrated. Going on shore and not sure about water quality? Fill up your bottle before heading out for the day. Get a 2nd cup of coffee but didn’t get a chance to finish it before the kids started asking about the pool? Pour it into your insulated cup and enjoy it poolside.
    6 Things You'd Never Think to Pack for Your Cruise Vacation
  3. Extra bag for shore excursions – I forgot this on my first couple of cruises and now it is one of the first things I pack. On the ship, you really don’t need anything but your room key, but once you leave the ship there are a whole lot more things you might need to take along. Throw a lightweight bag in your suitcase to make sure you are covered. It is also great for bringing home souvenirs at the end of your trip as well.
  4. Magnets – Many cruise ship stateroom walls are metal, so pick up a package of magnets to take along with you on your voyage.  You can hang up the daily ship newsletter, notes on where you are, and other useful things.
  5. Hanging shoe organizer – staterooms don’t always have a ton of storage space and if you are traveling with others it disappears even quicker. Pack a hanging shoe organizer and you can make yourself some extra storage. It is great for shoes, toiletries, and small things like chargers, watches (see below), and snacks.
  6. Watch – most of us don’t wear a watch these days and rely on our phones for the time. But guess what? There are plenty of times on your cruise that you will be without your phone. And there are not a lot of places on the ship, including your room, that have clocks. Don’t have a watch? Pick up a cheap one that you won’t mind losing or getting wet. No need to spend a bunch of money on something you won’t use when you get home.
    6 Things You'd Never Think to Pack for Your Cruise Vacation


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  1. Amy Lauren Scott says:

    Congrats on winning the cruise! I totally believed you and believed it wasn’t a scam, too. On our first cruise, we sat with a couple who won a cruise in a raffle at a baseball game. My mother in law also won one in the casino on another cruise. Now, they did have to pay SOME… because they won the base fare so upgraded to a room with a window and I think they had to pay taxes and gratuities. But that’s still a major win… I’ve won some awesome stuff in giveaways on Instagram (books, protein shakes, a pair of shoes). But never a cruise.

    I haven’t cruised NCL but have been on six cruises and am going on one next month. Those cinch sack bags you get at running races are the BEST for shore excursions. For one they fit into your big suitcase so easily and they work well for carrying stuff around the ship and on shore. Our first cruise in 2009, we didn’t know or have one, so we had to buy a bag at Ron Jon on Grand Turk.

    The one thing I will add is an adapter for the outlet/plug in the room. Our room only had one outlet, which is hard when you’re trying to charge multiple devices, dry hair, get ready, etc. There’s one you can buy that turns a one outlet into three so I would recommend getting one of those before you go.

  2. KIm Vij says:

    Congrats on winning the cruise! The magnet idea is a great one for keeping kids busy in the cabin too. Can’t wait to follow along as you share where you end up choosing to travel too.

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