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The Ultimate Cruise Packing List + Princess Cruises Dress Code

By Alice Teacake

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Ladies! Would you like to avoid the frustration of pronouncing “I have nothing to wear” and “Oh no, I forgot to bring the…” whilst on your cruise? You need this ultimate cruise packing list!

Cruise Packing List

The Ultimate Cruise Packing List is here!

We all know the worst part after unpacking from a vacation is the first part: packing for it. And while some of us pack way ahead, double-checking if the accessories and clothing match, others end up with a last-minute pile of things stuffed in a suitcase. Is that you girl?

What you take – and what you forget to take – is going to affect your cruise holiday. I recently went on a 7 Day Mediterranean Cruise with Princess Cruises and have tons of tips for you (even if you’re going to Alaska!). Let’s get it right and start from the beginning.

The Ultimate Cruise Packing List

Having a list for cruise packing is an effective way to save time on wondering what to take and stressing about something you may have forgotten. It will also ensure you have everything you need to make the most out of your vacation.

Princess Mediterranean Cruises Princess Mediterranean Cruises

Princess Mediterranean Cruises Princess Mediterranean Cruises

Cruises can be a huge catwalk with a variety of outfits if you want to go all out. But (!) if you’re usually a hiking/biking chick like me who carries one cocktail dress in her backpack, don’t sweat. We can do this!

From swimwear to dinner wear, one is best dressed when dressed appropriately.

What is the ultimate packing for cruise list that will provide everything you need without useless excess stuff?

Before we get on with the packing for a cruise list, it is important to ask yourself these all important questions…

What is the duration of the cruise?

This is a really important question. Some of us love to pack as light as possible and don’t mind wearing the same outfit twice *cough me*

On the other hand, I know some of you will not be seen dead in the same outfit twice.

I always love to travel with my backpack and did on my Mediterranean cruise…but I must have had the lightest luggage there.

Exploring Cinque Terre

Ciao Manarola!

I regretted packing light

My back was happy – but with only having to unpack and pack once on this trip – I wish that I had packed a fair few more dresses.

What’s your luggage allowance?

If your flight allowance allows you to take more kilograms on board and you’re not travelling anywhere after your cruise trip, take your suitcase and pack it in!

I flew with Easyjet from London to Barcelona.

Check flight prices and allowances here

Can you have your clothes washed or dry-cleaned?

Yes! Most cruises offer this service. Charges naturally vary! There are also self-service washing and drying machines available on your deck.

Are there special theme events or a cruise line dress code?

Are there events on your cruise that require a certain dress code? Princess Cruises dress code isn’t too difficult at all, but it’s good to know about it in advance so that you can prepare. Here it is!…

Princess Cruises Dress Code

Princess Cruises have ‘formal nights’ on their cruises. This is a chance to dress up for dinner and the evening entertainment – a little more glam than usual.

For the men, I recommend a tuxedo, dinner jacket or dark suit. If this is still too much for you, try and get a smart shirt and tie / bow-tie with dark trousers.

For the ladies, go for an evening gown, cocktail dress or elegant pantsuit. Make yourself feel extra fancy with some cute accessories and you’re good to go!

Princess Mediterranean Cruise Princess Mediterranean Cruise

Princess Mediterranean Cruise Princess Mediterranean Cruise

Princess Cruises also request smart casual attire in their restaurants. They recommend that you do not wear tank tops, shorts, baseball caps or casual jeans with holes in them. Instead, dress up a little. Essentially, don’t walk into dinner wearing sports shorts paired with an elegant shirt just because the colours match. Too many pina coladas and that could happen – otherwise, I think we’re going to be OK.

What activities will you be doing?

Your sportswear may vary from climbing shoes to tennis ones! Depending on what your preferences are and whether the cruise offers facilities for your preferred sport, you may need to pack various outfits.

Princess Cruises Activities Onboard

On my Princess Cruises cruise, you could play mini-golf, ping-pong, basketball, run around a running track on the top deck, try line dancing, salsa lessons, yoga classes, go swimming, get down in the nightclub and so much more! Make sure that you pack some active wear (don’t forget that bikini!). There’s plenty of activities to be getting along with.

Click here to read my Ultimate Princess Mediterranean Cruises Itinerary

Princess Mediterranean Cruises

Step onboard the Crown Princess!

Princess Cruises Shore Excursions

Offshore activities may also require specific clothing! During my Princess Mediterranean Cruise I did some serious hiking up to the rock in Gibraltar. In Pisa Italy, I was sightseeing on a speedy segway!

Princess Mediterranean Cruise

Bit cloudy on the way up to Gibraltar Rock - but I did it!

What’s the weather like?

A smart move is to check temperature differences between where you’re starting, finishing and the ports of call you’re stopping at in-between.

Whilst you’re on your cruise, the indoor temperature is fixed by air-conditioning which you can control in your room. But obviously, stepping outside is a little bit different; especially if you’re going on a Balkans or Alaskan cruise!

Find out more about Princess Cruises destinations here

Now that you’ve worked your way through the questions above (you did check them right?), you’re ready to fully pack. This is what I recommend you bring!

11 Absolutely Crucial Cruise Packing List Essentials

Please, whatever you do, do not turn up to your cruise without these 11 essential items. You need to pack them in your carry-on bag, so that if your luggage is misplaced, you can still have a great holiday.

The Ultimate 3

Passport

ID cards

Visas

Credit / Debit Cards

I now travel with 2 essential cards. I use Monzo as my international currency card (no currency fees!) and put it on my Curve card. Curve manages all of your cards on one card and an app securely. This allows me to keep all of my cards in one place and track everything I spend like a true money boss.

Get £5 free when you sign up to Curve with code 3EZXQ

Find out more about the Curve Card here

Cruise ticket

If you’re looking for a last-minute cruise I recommend Princess Cruises.

Find last-minute cruise deals here

Ticket to port of departure

There’s a good chance that you’re getting to your start destination by plane. I recommend Skyscanner for flights and Omio for bus and train tickets if you’re travelling in Europe.

Click here to search flight prices

Click here to find top bus ticket prices

Get your best train ticket price here

Travel Insurance

The cruise will not let you travel without it – I trust World Nomads.

Get a travel insurance quote now

Luggage tags

You need to print your luggage tags via your Cruise Personaliser online.

The Other 3 Essentials

Your treasured possessions: electronics and jewellery.

Swimwear and a change of clothes: pack your bikini, clean underwear and a spare outfit.

Toiletries & Medicine: Sunscreen and what you cannot live without for a day or two.

Use these travel bottles for carry-on!

Teacake Travels

Gadgets and Gizmos

Mobile phone

I’m obsessed with my Huawei P20 Lite right now. Social media. Photos. Documents. This is my lifeline!

Get your Huawei phone here

Laptop/tablet

My Dell XPS laptop is perfect for travelling, photo editing and getting the big stuff done.

Click here to find out more

Cameras

I’m a big fan of…

GoPro

Sony a6000

Extra memory cards

Kindle

Read some books and chill out!

Check out the all new Kindle Paperwhite here

Tep 24/7 WiFi

If you are European and travelling in Europe, your data back at home should cover you whilst you’re in other European countries (for now *cough* Brexit).

However, if you need 24/7 WiFi in areas your mobile provider doesn’t cover, I highly recommend Tep Portable WiFi!

Find out more about Tep WiFi here

Hot travel tip: If you plan on using WiFi on the ship, make sure you check onboard rates. Princess Cruises have great packages.

Travel adapter

I love my international travel adapter for all destinations.

Buy it here

Electronics power bank

I use RavPower to charge my phone and cameras.

Get your battery pack here

Charging cables

Stock up on all your cables so that you’re covered for each device and have an extra in case one breaks / you lose one.

Find your cables here

Binoculars

Don’t stop your curiosity: feed it through the lens of binoculars out at sea!

Click here to get your pair

Pack of cards

For times spent hanging by the pool with friends.

Journal

To capture your memories the old school way.

This particular one is beautiful

Cruise Packing List

Do you have all your electronics packed to capture your cruise?

Her packing list: Clothing and accessories

Underwear

Just as you would approach matching clothes and accessories, take a minute to consider the color of your underwear. Probably best not to end up with a bunch of white dresses and only dark-colored underwear.

Socks and tights

Pack some short socks, long socks, compression socks for the airplane flight and some sexy tights for formal evening!

Sleepwear

Go for the comfort and cuteness of a pair of pajamas, or a sexy sleepwear dress if you’re feeling smooooth.

T-shirts and shorts

Shorts and t-shirts are perfect for your sports activities and chilled out excursions, hanging out by the pool or snacking at the buffet during the day.

Jeans/pants

I recommend packing some comfortable jeans and trousers if the temperature drops; particularly if you’re out on deck at night watching an open-air movie or having a stroll around.

Princess Mediterranean Cruises

Chilling at the adult-only Sanctuary

Dresses and skirts

Scottish men know skirts rock. You should rock yours too. Cute and colorful dresses are the perfect outfit for wine tasting on board, informal evenings or for an Instagram shoot (*hint hint: Cinque Terre Italy!)

Formal wear

If you’re cruising with Princess Cruises, remember their dress code. Opt for that little black dress, cocktail dress or ballgown here. Or why not a silk suit? Show your signature style with formal wear. Having at least one formal wear outfit is a must on your list for cruise packing!

Sweaters/Jumpers/Pashmina scarf

The evening may get chilly; don’t let yourself walk on the deck of the ship under the full moonlight feeling chilly.

Coat/jacket/raincoat

An Alaska cruise packing list can’t go without those. But even on tropical islands the not-so-perfect days will require a layered approach of clothing.

Hat/Gloves/Scarf

Throw in a hat to protect you from the sun and one to keep your ears warm if you happen to be on a scenic glacier cruise (the warm hat may not be of use on a Costa Rica packing list, but it surely will come handy on a cruise to Alaska).

Headbands, bandannas and scarfs are both practical and a stylish touch, so you may consider bringing some of those too!

Princess Cruises Dress Code

Whatever you do - don't forget your swimsuit for your Mediterranean Cruise!

Sunglasses

The ultimate and obvious accessory. Sunglasses are a must-have on your packing for a cruise list. They will keep your sight safe from ultraviolet rays and add extra glamour to your look. Work it.

Swimsuit/Bikini and Cover-ups

One thing is sure on a cruise: to enjoy the swimming pools and sunbathing. Doing that daily may require bringing along more than one piece. If you are adventurous and active, consider taking a one-piece suit for aqua parks, surf simulators and wake boarding. Cover-ups are perfect for a stop at a bar for an afternoon café or sitting on deck while enjoying a book.

Sports, leisure and hiking shoes

Be it hiking shoes, trainers, or specific sport shoes such as climbing or tennis…if you are planning to take it easy on the sports and only chill by the pool, consider a pair of comfy shoes for when you get ashore to explore and see some sights. Most cruise ports are perfect for walking.

I love hiking with my Keen shoes. See Keen’s Terradora Ethos hiking shoe here.

Dress shoes

Heels or no heels, be sure to take at least one pair that matches your formal wear. Maybe go for dinner in high heels and later change into something more comfortable for dancing.

Flip-flops and sandals

Perfect for wandering around the ship or by the pool. Plus, vacation and flip-flops kind of go hand in hand right? Consider that on higher end cruises there will be areas where wearing flip-flops will be restricted.

Jewellery

The right jewellery can add that final lovely touch. Consider bringing jewellery that isn’t going to cause deep upset if it is lost though. All Princess Cruises have a safe. Please use it. And don’t slip. Best not to end up leaving yet another heart in the ocean!

Purses/Bags/Backpacks

Take along some purses and bags to match your outfits. Make sure you have a formal purse, a bag for your day trips and a beach bag (this is where my Aruba Packing List might come in handy for you!). If you know you’re going on hikes, don’t forget to take a backpack with you.

Wine tasting in Provence

Wine Tasting in Provence France - not bad at all!

Toiletries for your cruise

Toothbrush and toothpaste

Deodorant and Perfume

Shampoo and conditioner: They are available on the cruise, but you may prefer to bring your own!

Brush/Comb and hair-styling appliances: You’ll have a hairdryer in your room but may prefer to bring your own gadgets

Face cleanser/lotion/gel

Sunscreen!

Moisturiser

Glasses/Contact lenses and solution

Make-up and make-up remover

Nail file/clippers and nail polish

Feminine-hygiene products

Check out my guide to travelling whilst on your period!

Hand sanitizer

Plasters (band-aids)

Insect repellent

Vitamins

Medication: From Aspirin to seasickness tablets, make sure you have covered all needs. You may count the days of your trip and use medicine holder boxes for optimal packing. You may also need the prescription of your medicine.

Contraception

Ear plugs/Eye mask

Extra Cruise Packing Hacks

Bring an extra bag…

…if you want to go souvenir shopping!

Use compressible packing cubes

Travel’s greatest invention in my personal opinion. They are one of the best hacks every traveler should know about. They keep things in order and compress them by creating more space. This way you can have your underwear safely stored away from your shoes for example – and pack way more into your backpack/suitcase.

Get your packing cubes here

Pack wrinkle-free clothing

Instead of folding, roll your clothes or…

Bring a wrinkle releaser spray

Are you travelling with a companion?

You may consider dividing your checked items into two suitcases. This way, if one gets lost, you will both have something to wear.

Was this cruise packing list helpful?

This ultimate cruise packing list will make sure you are set for what could very much be the vacation of a lifetime!

Remember that often more is less, so try to make it easy on your back and your heart.

Probably the most important things to pack with you, not yet mentioned, are your good mood, big smile and adventure spirits. Go get it!

Comment Below

If you can think of other must-pack items that are not listed above, please share them in a comments!

Related Reading

7 Features You’ll Love About The Sky Princess Cruise Ship

15 Unbelievable Dining Experiences on Princess Cruises

What is Ocean Medallion Class on Princess Cruises? Your Q’s Answered!

12 Cruise Myths You’re Wrong About

The 7 Day Mediterranean Cruise Itinerary for You!

25 Essential Cruise Tips for First Timers

My complimentary Mediterranean cruise experience was made possible by Princess Cruises. As always, no matter how much a brand pays me, opinions are mine = honest, blunt and to the point.

Don’t forget your travel insurance!

Don’t be a mug. Please don’t leave for your adventure without travel insurance. However careful you are, things can still go wrong. I’ve ended up in hospital in Russia, had stuff cut out of my arm in Vietnam and don’t even get me started on that time I was vomiting my guts up in Poland.

Do the right thing right now. Get a quote.

Princess Cruise Packing List

Princess Cruise Packing List

Get Your Travel Insurance Quote

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About Alice Teacake

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I'm a feminist British kickass solo female traveller who believes in women facing their fears, pushing their boundaries and reaching their full potential through solo adventure travel! I have been featured in Nat Geo Traveller UK, Lonely Planet, the Daily Mail and Buzzfeed and spoken about solo female travel safety on BBC One, whilst working with a bunch of awesome brands. Follow me for travel advice and inspiration, so you can go forth and challenge yourself to reach your own personal goals!

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The Ultimate Cruise Packing List (+ Princess Cruises Dress Code)