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Planning a cruise vacation? One of the best parts of being onboard a cruise ship is getting to enjoy the vastness of the ocean. That can make finding things you need a little difficult, however!

Sure, there are small shops on board and in many ports, but they can be pricey! Read on to help ensure you don’t forget anything important while going on a cruise vacation.

Bring Your Medicines

The most important item to bring is your medication! There’s nothing more stressful than getting out to sea and realizing you forgot to bring a necessity like heart medicine or sea sickness medication.

Bringing along sinus medication, tummy meds like Pepto-Bismol, and something like Advil or Motrin will help ensure you feel your best while cruising and are prepared for emergencies.

It’s recommended to keep prescriptions in their original jars with labels for security purposes. The travel organizer below works great for those with lots of prescription medication!

Also, make sure to pack the medications in your carry-on bag if you’re flying to the cruise port. While no one wants to deal with lost luggage, it can and does happen. Clothes and other items can be more easily replaced than vital medication.

Luggage Tags for Your Bags

If you haven’t cruised in the last decade, you may be unaware that the cruise lines have gone from sending luggage tags to having you print them out at home.

To be honest, they’re a little flimsy when trying to tape it to your bag. The first time I tried it, I worried it would get torn off and not make it to my room!

These cruise luggage tags solve that problem! You slide the paper boarding pass inside the durable plastic, and use the metal clasp to secure it to your bag. So much easier!

Note: If you don’t have a printer at home, you can send it to an office supply store, or pick up a blank luggage tag from one of the porters outside the cruise ship.

A Lanyard or ID Holder

When cruising for the first time, you may find it surprising that there is very little need for cash on board the ship. That’s because the cruise lines set up onboard accounts and all charges go through it using either your room key or, for some cruise lines, a wristband or other wearable device.

You’ll soon realize how often you actually use that little card for everything! A lanyard/ID holder keeps it secure yet easily accessible so you don’t have it drop out of a pocket or *cough* leave it in a slot machine…

Bring Cash For Baggage Handlers and Room Service

Even though cash is generally not used onboard the ship, you’ll still need to have a bit on hand for tipping the porters that move your luggage to the ship. In addition, if you order room service, bring small bills for tipping those that deliver your meal.

A Small Purse

I found a small purse just large enough for my lip gloss and phone to be perfect for wandering around the ship! It was nice to grab my phone to touch base with family members on board through the messaging app.

Plus, it allowed for all kinds of fun, quick photos when wandering by something eye-catching, like this ADOGABLE pupper by Romero Britto on our Emerald Princess cruise!

Comfy Shoes for Onboard The Ship

When onboard a moving cruise ship, you gotta keep safety in mind! Heels are gorgeous and some can walk effortlessly in them. Me, on the other hand? I look like a baby moose just finding its’ legs. Sneakers, flippie floppies, and flats are LIFE for me!

Keep in mind that some onboard activities like a tour of the kitchen require closed-toed shoes, so make sure you’re prepared for that.

Your Favorite Bottle of Wine

Did you know that many cruise lines allow you to bring on a bottle of wine for free?! It’s a great way to save a bit of money and enjoy a nice bit of bubbly or a lush red wine while getting ready for dinner.

Some allow one 750ml bottle per person over 21, while others only permit one per stateroom. Check with your specific cruise line to confirm! Just don’t bring the full bottle to the dining room or other public areas, or you may need to pay an uncorking fee.

Carnival Liquor Policy

Royal Caribbean Liquor Policy

Princess Liquor Policy

Holland America Liquor Policy

NCL Liquor Policy

Looking for more ways to save money on a cruise vacation? Click here for our top tips to save some cash while on a cruise!

A Few of Your Favorite Candies or Snacks

While there is no lack of food on board, sometimes you just need some comforting candy. Some cruise ships have adorable candy shops on board so you can have your fill!

If you’re not lucky enough to be on one of those ships, you may have to prepare in advance for a late night sweet tooth or salty craving. Plan to bring a few favorites to make the most of your vacation!

Quality Sunscreen

Sunscreen is a must-have no matter where you’re cruising. Even in Alaska, the sun can cause sunburns surprisingly fast even when it’s cool out.

If you’re cruising the Caribbean and planning on snorkeling or scuba diving, look for a reef-safe sunscreen that won’t cause damage to any coral reefs.

For example, Hawaii has banned the sale of sunscreen containing ingredients that are toxic to the reefs and cause coral bleaching. It’s so important to work together to preserve the reefs, so consider bringing along a reef-safe sunscreen on your next cruise.

A High-Quality Camera

A good camera is a necessity for capturing those priceless vacation memories. Most cell phones take decent quality pictures, luckily. However, if you’re wanting to level up your photography game, the Nikon D3500 is a perfect choice for an entry-level DSLR.

I researched like crazy to pick the best camera for traveling. The D3500 has the longest battery life at around 1500 shots taken. It’s also one of the more compact DSLR cameras and is nice and light.

My favorite feature of the D3500 is the Guide Mode. It helps you take great photos without having to manually adjust the shutter speed and aperture. If those terms sound confusing as hell, don’t worry, the guide mode manages all that for you.

It’s great to learn how to shoot manually for optimal control over how your photos turn out, but it can be a little overwhelming. The guide mode makes sure you can take fantastic photos right out of the box.

Another fantastic feature is SnapBridge. It connects your camera to your phone via Bluetooth. This allows for seamless uploads of photos to your phone, making it super easy to share on social media!

What items do you find make your cruise more enjoyable? Share below!

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