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13 Best Cruise Accessories For Every Cruiser

Updated: Jan 25

There are so many cruise accessories available, but which ones do you really need?


Over my 20+ cruises and counting, I continue to refine and update this list of must-haves and optional cruise accessories. These 13 items are highly suggested for every cruise and every cruiser.


Additional Resources - detailed packing lists, solo cruiser tips, cruiser Christmas lists and more


Disclosure: genXsolo is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

 

13 Essential Cruise Accessories


1. Cruise Luggage Tag Holders

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2. Power Strip

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3. Zip Loc Bags

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4. Long Cell Phone Charging Cord

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5. Camera

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6. Battery Operated Night Light

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7. Poo Pourri

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8. Waterproof Phone Case

 

9. Beach Bag or Beach Tote

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10. Beach Towel Clips

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11. Portable Fan

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12. Travel Insurance

 

13. Cash - Small Bills


 

13 Must Have Cruise Accessories

Why They Are Essential


Why these cruise items are essential for your next cruise vacation.


1. Cruise Luggage Tags and Holders:

First on the list of must have cruise items are luggage tag holders. Luggage tags ensure that your bags reach your cabin.


Luggage tags are provided by the cruiseline with your cruise documentation. Because they are paper, they can get damaged easily during handling.


Luggage holders protect your tags and make them more visible to cruise staff.


Make sure the tag holders you purchase are compatible with your cruise line. Many cruise accessory packs include luggage tag holders and cruise lanyards together.


Here is all of the information that you need to know about cruise tags and cruise tag holders. Though it is written for Royal Caribbean, much of it applies across most cruise lines:


2. Cruise Power Strip:

Most cruise ship staterooms have a limited number of outlets and the outlets are often in hard to reach places that are inconvenient. This can be a challenge even for one person in a stateroom, much less a couple or family.


A non-surge power strip provides more outlets and often comes with an extendable or retractable cord and phone charger inputs.


Always double check with your specific cruise line for approved power strip guidelines.


3. Ziploc Bags:

Ziploc bags are a traveler's best, economical friend. Ziploc is the most economical. Reusable plastic, sealable bags work beautifully as well and can be environmentally friendly.


The main purpose of zip loc bags is to keep items compartmentalized from everything else.


Below are some examples:


Small to Medium Ziploc Bags:

  1. Carrying Travel-sized Toiletries and Makeup: Great for travel-sized shampoo, conditioner, face cleanser, lotions, and other liquid items.

  2. Organizing Medicine: Keep a separate bag for each day.

  3. Tangle Prevention: Keep jewelry pieces and electronic cords separate and untangled.

  4. Document Protection: Keep boarding passes, IDs, etc. safe from moisture and liquids.

  5. Protect Electronics: Keep phones, cameras, and other similar-sized items safe from liquids.

  6. Storing Snacks: Pack snacks for day trips or excursions.

  7. First Aid Kit: Keep bandages, antiseptics, etc. organized and prevent leaking of liquids.

Large Ziploc Bags:

  1. Wet Clothing Storage: If items are still damp or wet before traveling, keep them separate.

  2. Shoes: Keep shoes with dirt separate to protect other items in luggage.

  3. Liquids: Keep sunscreen, lotion, perfume, etc. safe from leaking.

  4. Souvenirs: Gather sand, shells, or other items from different ports.

  5. Mirrors: put hand mirror in a ziploc in case of breakage, keeps the glass from integrating with your other items.


4. Long Cell Phone Charging Cord:

Cruise cabin power outlets are often in very inconvenient locations. A long charging cord allows use of phones from comfortable places. A minimum of a 6' cord is recommended, 10' is even better.


5. Camera:

For obvious reasons, a camera is a must have.


Whether it is your phone camera, water camera or a high quality professional camera, pictures are great treasures you don't want to miss out on.


6. Battery Operated Cruise Night Light:

Most cruise cabins tend to be very dark at night, so a cruise night light should be on your cruise packing list.


A simple night light will keep you from stubbing your toe or fumbling to find the light switch in the morning.


A battery-operated night light will ensure you can place it anywhere needed in your cruise cabin. Remember the batteries along with an extra set!


7. Poo-Pourri Bathroom Spray:

Small cabin bathrooms retain odors entirely too long with the limited air flow.


A quick spray of Poo-Pourri is a very kind thing to bring along for your cabin mates as well as your cabin room stewards.


There are other brands, but this brand is highly recommended as it effectively works to trap and contain odors in this small space.


8. Waterproof Phone Case:

For anyone who plans to be anywhere near a pool, pool deck or the ocean, a waterproof phone pouch can be a life saver.


Cases come in all sizes to fit phones, and there are larger cases that hold a phone, money, credit cards, your cruise lanyard or cruise key card, etc., and these can be fully immersed in water.


Many cases also allow photos to be taken with your phone without taking it out of the case, meaning great pool or snorkeling photos without having to buy a separate underwater camera.


9. Beach Bag or Collapsible Tote Bag

A collapsible tote bag or thin beach bag can be packed without taking up much room. You can opt for a larger, thicker material beach bag and use it as a carry on at the airport and then as a bag to carry your belongings to the pool or excursion.


Totes and beach bags are great carriers for items like phone, towels, extra set of clothing, books, etc.


10. Beach Towel Clips:

Winds on the deck can send towels flying. Beach towel clips keep towels in place. They're also great for hanging wet clothes on your cruise stateroom balcony to dry in the ocean breeze.


11. Portable Fan:

Besides the obvious use of keeping you cool, these inexpensive and portable fans are also great for:


  1. Drying Clothes: A small fan can help speed up the drying process for damp or wet clothing.

  2. Air Circulation: Cabins don't get much airflow, so a fan is useful to keep air moving. In humid conditions, continuous airflow can prevent mold and mildew.

  3. Bugs Deterrent: Increased airflow can help keep moquitoes and other bugs away.

  4. Cooling Down Electronics: Fans are effective for cooling down phones and electronics if they have spent too much time in the direct sun or have experienced overuse.

  5. Makeup: Fans are effective in helping makeup set and dry or help cool your face before applying makeup.

  6. White Noise: Even if the fan doesn't block all ship noises, the consistent sound of a fan can serve as white noise, aiding some people in falling asleep or focusing on tasks.

  7. Skin Relief: If you've spent too much time in the sun, the fan can provide relief. If you apply a cooling lotion or gel, the fan circulation feels amazing on your skin and can increase the cooling effect of the lotion or gel.

  8. Defogging: Fans can also come in handy for de-fogging the compact bathroom mirror more quickly.


12. Travel Insurance:

So many things can go wrong on a vacation, travel insurance should be a part of everyone's cruise planning.


Though the disappointment may linger, travel insurance can help protect your wallet.


It is a small investment highly recommended for peace of mind and financial protection.


13. Small Bills (ones and fives):

Small bills (ones, fives and tens) are necessary for some tips and port purchases.


If you're unsure how much cash to bring for tips, check out this article:


 

Optional Cruise Accessories to Consider


Power Bank or Portable Charger:

A portable charger is great peace of mind to keep your electronics charged during long airport travels, shore excursions, etc.


Apple Air Tags:

Apple Air Tags are an amazing way to keep track of your belongings. While they are definitely for peace of mind, they can also be invaluable should a bag get misplaced or not arrive at your final destination.


Read more about Apple Air tags here.


Cruise Staff Thank-You Cards:

Thank you cards are not only a nice gesture to consider bringing, they come in handy when you want to leave a tip or note for the room steward, waiter, etc., without leaving a bare bill setting out.


Kindle or eReader with Kindle or Audible Subscriptions

If you don't have a Kindle subscription yet, a cruise a great time to do a free trial. You can read from your cell phone without a physical kindle as well. Receive a free trial by using these links:




Kindles and eReaders are great options, because you can bring many books, magazines, etc. along without the extra weight. if you're an avid reader, getting a kindle subscription can be very economical for both home and travel.


Water Shoes:

Water shoes come in handy for rocky beach terrains or just walking around the hot pool decks.


Towel Bands for Beach Chairs:

Nothing's more annoying than constantly adjusting slipping towels on beach chairs. These bands secure your towel in place and take up less packing space than towel clips.


Refillable (and collapsible) Water Bottles:

Having a water bottle onboard can come in very handy on excursions and the pool decks. A collapsible water bottle takes up less space in your luggage.


Portable Luggage Scale or Digital Luggage Scale:

Luggage scales can help you avoid the stress of overweight baggage fees. Check your luggage weight before leaving home and again before leaving the cruise ship.


Cruise Door Decorations:

Not only are cruise door decorations fun, they are also useful in helping you and your cabin mates find your room.


No matter how seasoned of a cruiser you are, all of the cabin doors look the same, and a bright or uniquely decorated door is helpful.


Read here about various Cruise Door Decorations.

Packing Cubes:

Packing cubes are a great way to organize and categorize items when packing. It also makes unpacking very quick on embarkation day.

Hanging Toiletry Bag

A hanging toiletry bag or hanging organizer can save room in your cruise stateroom bathroom, but may take up additional space in your luggage.

Magnetic Hooks

Often cruise cabin walls are metal, so these magnetic hooks are awesome for hanging towels, purses, robes, etc.


Door Alarm

Door alarms are an inexpensive investment for peace of mind. This door alarm not only secures the door, but it sounds a loud alarm if someone attempts to open the door.


 

FAQ Questions and Answers for Cruise Accessories


Preparation and Packing


Q: What do I not need on a cruise?

A: Cruise ships provide many amenities for passengers such as towels, shampoo, soap, and hairdryers. Always check with your specific cruise line before packing to get a current list of items provided.


You typically do not need large amounts of cash since ships typically operate on a cashless system.


Q: What extras to pack on a cruise?

A: Other than clothing, you may want to consider packing a cruise-approved power strip, tote bag, ziplocs for storage, portable fan, long phone charging cord, and night light.


For more information on essential and optional cruise accessories to pack, please see our article:

13 Essential Cruise Accessories Every Cruiser Should Have


Q: What is the best clothes to wear on a cruise?

A: Layers and versatility is the foundation of cruise packing when it comes to clothing.


For more information, see our articles with downloadable, detailed packing lists:


Q: Are there laundry services onboard?

A: Yes, the majority of cruise ships offer some type of laundry service. It is rare to have a self-service laundry area, most services offered are wash and fold, dry cleaning, etc. Check with your specific cruise line prior to packing and sailing, or check with your room attendant once on board for details.


Royal Caribbean's laundry service is detailed in this article:



Q: Are cruise accessories available for purchase on the ship?

A: Absolutely! Cruise ships are like floating cities with a variety of shops.


There are cruise essentials like sunscreen, Dramamine, shampoo, toothpaste, etc., and many specialty shops with clothing, totes, jewelry, alcohol, and more.


Check out your ship's deck plan ahead of time to see the shops that will be available on your cruise vacation.


Q: How important are packing cubes for cruising?

A: Packing cubes are simply a great way to organize your luggage.


Packing cubes are typically lightweight and have compartments to keep your items organized and easy to access.


Packing cubes can also provide space saving benefits, but are a totally optional accessory.


Comfort and Convenience:


Q: Are beach towels provided during shore excursions?

A: Most cruise ships offer beach towels, but verify with your cruise line or consider a quick-dry travel towel.


Q: How can I keep my cabin organized?

A: Over-the-door organizers are great for maximizing space in cabins.


Q: Is it necessary to pack formal wear?

A: Depending on the cruise line and itinerary, there might be formal nights. Check beforehand.


Miscellaneous Tips:


Q: How can I capture memories on my cruise?

Smartphones are the default option, but there are other cameras to consider.


A high quality digital camera can offer better zoom and image quality, especially in low-light areas like evening shows or dinners.


For adventurers or active cruises, a GoPro or action camera is ideal for photographing activities or underwater excursions.


Disposable underwater cameras are also an affordable choice for snorkeling or beach days, providing a fun way to take photos and revisit memories.


Also remember to pack extra chargers and memory cards if needed.


Q: Should I bring reading materials?

A: If you enjoy reading, the peaceful environment of a cruise ship, along with the beautiful view of the sea, will provide plenty of opportunity and inspiration for wanting to read a good book.


Most cruise ships have libraries with an assortment of reading materials, but you may want to bring your own books, kindle or eReader to ensure you have the genre you enjoy most.


Lounging by the pool, waiting for a show to start, relaxing on your balcony or reading before you doze off to sleep are just a few of the opportunities you'll have to read while on a crise.


Bringing your own reading materials, a Kindle or a couple of your favorite paperbacks, will likely be a good use of space taken in your luggage.


Q: Is a door organizer useful?

A: Stateroom cruise cabins can have limited storage space even as a single traveler. If you're traveling with a family or for an extended journey, space becomes even more valuable.


A hanging door organizer can be a practical space-saving solution.


Door organizers hang hang over the door or from wall hooks. Most have pockets or compartments to store a toiletries, shoes, accessories, daily essentials, etc.


Organizers declutter your space and make items easy to view and access.


This can save you time rummaging through luggage every day.


Q: Do cruise ships provide baby essentials?

A: Cruising with children and babies requires specific planning and essentials.


Many cruise lines have made efforts to be more family-friendly and have begun to increase their recognition of catering to families,


Some examples include providing basic baby essentials such as cribs and high chairs.


Specific items like baby foods, formula, favorite toys, etc. likely will not be available onboard.


Always bring along any indispensable items that your child needs.


Check with the cruise line before traveling to get a current list of baby essentials offered onboard.


Calling ahead will help with packing and also provide for good planning and ease of mind.


Preparation ensures a more enjoyable cruising experience for families.


Additional Coco Cay Resources

Royal Caribbean's Coco Cay Information

Royal Caribeban's Coco Cay Map .


Additional Cruise Resources


For more Travel articles, click on the articles below or go to GenXsolo.com/cruises.

Christmas Cruise & Christmas Gift Ideas for Cruisers

Cruise Articles Series for GenX Women Cruising Solo:

Royal Caribbean and Coco Cay:

Cruise Articles General Information:

Detailed Packing Lists with Downloadable, Printable Checklist PDF:

Cruise Critic: This is an invaluable online resource for cruise enthusiasts and first-timers alike. Cruise Critic offers detailed reviews of cruise lines, ships, and destinations, as well as forums where you can ask questions and share experiences.

Click the photo below to see what Cruise Critic has to offer:

Whether you're looking for the best excursions in a particular port or tips for cruising solo, Cruise Critic has you covered.


We hope this has helped you decide which cruise accessories to take with you on your next voyage on the high seas!


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