10 Things You Should Not Pack For A Cruise

Things to NOT Pack For A Cruise

Want to know what to NOT pack for a cruise?

In the past you’ve heard us talk about what to bring on a cruise, but in this episode we are going to talk about 10 things you shouldn’t pack for a cruise. If you’re looking to improve your cruise packing strategy, you won’t want to miss this episode.

As always, you can email us your questions at podcast@cruisetipstv.com. We’d also LOVE if you’d leave a review where you listen to this podcast, and screen shot the show and share it on Instagram using the hashtag #cttvunplugged. Download our shore day bag checklist, and more cruise packing and planning checklists & videos by joining the CruiseTipsTV Academy. We have a special discount code for our podcast listeners. To redeem the $5.00 discount on our master class enter code UNPLUGGED at http://academy.cruisetipstv.com

Packing for a cruise can get a little confusing

What to NOT Pack For A Cruise

There’s tons of information out there that can lead you to believe you need everything that will fit in your suitcase, but you really don’t. As cruise ships get more high-tech, and stateroom designs get better and better, you’ll probably find you need less stuff to keep you comfy on the high seas. We often get questions about what you, can and can’t take on a cruise ship.

Similarly we get questions about how to pack for a cruise the right way. It’s easy to make mistakes when you pack for a cruise, and we’ve learned some things the hard way. Our goal at here at CruiseTipsTV is to make cruising easier for everyone. So, here’s our list of 10 things you can leave behind. 

  1. Leave your blow dryer at home. Unless you have very long hair, or a particular affinity for your blow dryer, you’ll probably find the one in your cabin to be sufficient. Most cruise ships these days come with in-room dryers that will do the trick, even if they aren’t perfect. 
  2. You’ll be provided with beach towels on the ship- don’t pack them. All of the mass market cruise lines these days offer beach towels that you can use on the ship, and on shore days. Just be sure not to take them  home with you at the end of the cruise or leave them behind on shore days, or you’ll be charged.
  3. This may surprise you since we’ve packed this one many times. It’s a power strip. Many cruise lines are prohibiting the use of power strips these days, so ditch the strip and go with a usb charging hub instead, like this one (GARY INSERT LINK HERE). Of course, if you need an extension cord for a C-pap machine or other necessity, give your cruise line a call to see what they recommend you pack, or what they can provide for you. 
  4. This fourth thing is something we used to swear by, but we just don’t use them any more. Overdoor shoe hangers were trendy for a while in the cruise world, but now cruisers are reporting to us that sometimes the hangers don’t fit the doors. Also, some cruise lines have policies against using them, so use your best judgment on this one. 
  5. How about Food? Sure, grabbing some packaged snacks for the flight or drive to your cruise is a GREAT idea, but one of the best things about cruising is that you’ll have lots of food options on your cruise. Don’t waste your suitcase space on snacks unless there’s something you can’t live without for the duration of your cruise. Some cruise lines and ports actually prohibit certain types of food, like fruits, vegetables and meat, so leave the food at home. As I mentioned, we’re not suggesting you avoid snacks for your journey TO the cruise ship. In fact, we always pack nuts, jerky, and other protein packed snacks for our kid (and my hangry tendencies), because as we ALL know, airline food is SO pricey!
  6. The last thing we recommend you should leave at home is your valuables. High value items like jewelry and watches might just add stress to your relaxing cruise vacation. Some people like to pop these items in the safe when they aren’t using them, but aside from our wedding rings, we prefer to leave our valuables at home, especially when traveling to unfamiliar places.
  7. Bar soap is another thing you should leave at home. If you’re really particular about the brand you use, then you may want to ignore this one, but generally speaking you should let the cruise line handle the soap. On the other hand, when we drive to port we’ll often take some foam pump soap. It’s just a nice little luxury.
  8. Too many shoes. Yes, I struggle with this one, but too many shoes are the antithesis of smart packing. They are bulking, heavy, and you probably just don’t need them.
  9. Beer or other booze should also be left at home. Check your cruise line’s alcohol policy first, but you may be able to bring a bottle of wine or two. As a rule though, most other alcohol should be left home.
  10. If it gets hot, it’s not something to pack for a cruise. We are talking about things like irons or steamers. Flat irons for hair are often an exception, but for the most part, if it has a heating element, it’s a cruise no no.

Here’s what other’s are saying about CruiseTipsTV Unplugged

  • Love this podcast - so many tips!
    November 8, 2023 by Berrmic from United States

    I’ve listened to many cruise related podcasts and this is the best by far. So many wonderful tips! I’ve become a carry-on only traveler because of CTTV and love being able to avoid the long walk to retrieve my luggage. I took the cruise line personality quiz on the CTTV website and we absolutely loved our first Holland America cruise. Much better fit than our previous cruises. I am always going back to previous episodes to pick up tips and advice I may have missed. Thank you CTTV!

  • Great podcast!
    October 25, 2023 by Soiffey72 from United States

    This is a great and fun podcast with such practical and useful information.

  • Best podcast ever!!
    September 2, 2023 by Orla H. from United States

    I started listening to the podcast about a month ago. They are so helpful for anyone who is taking a cruise, first or 50th. I’m going on my second cruise soon and just from listening I booked another! Thanks so much for giving me so many tips for my next cruise.


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Sheri and her family are cruise content creators focused on providing practical tips and advice to new and seasoned cruisers. CruiseTipsTV’s audience enjoys following Sheri and her family as they travel the world by ship creating travel films. Sheri has visited destinations like Japan, Mexico, Alaska, Europe and the Caribbean, and has experienced 33 cruises on 6 cruise lines. She was named one of Porthole Cruise Magazine’s 10 Travel Influencers Changing How We Vacation in 2018 and 2019. Sheri has been quoted in the New York Times, CNBC, Forbes, Prevention, and Business Innovator Radio. Her YouTube Channel, CruiseTipsTV has over 87,000 subscribers and 17 million views.