7 Day Cruise Packing List (printable!)

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Whether you’re a first time cruiser or a seasoned pro, packing for your Caribbean cruise can be (almost) as great as your Caribbean cruise vacation! This 7 day cruise packing list — with printable cruise packing checklist — makes sure you don’t forget anything!

Cruise Packing List sample page.
SAMPLE: First page of our FREE cruise packing list!

Our 7 day cruise packing list includes everything you need, so you don’t need to make a cruise packing checklist. Just print ours out and use it every time you cruise.

And, you’ll find lots of cruise packing tips, too, geared to make sure you have what you need when you need it!

What to pack for a 7 day cruise

Here’s everything you need to include on your 7 day cruise packing checklist!

Family dressed up for formal night on a cruise ship

Clothes for the cruise

When it comes to clothes, here’s what you need to pack for a 7 day cruise:

  1. 5-7 Casual outfits for daytime — shorts and t-shirts,
  2. 3-4 Casual dresses or pants and blouses for dinnertime,
  3. Clothes for theme nights (80s night, glow party, pirate night depending on your cruise),
  4. 2 pairs of Khakis or slacks and 3-4 polos for the guys,
  5. Two dressier outfits for the formal nights:
  6. Dressier dresses for her (Easy cruise wardrobe ideas: What to wear on a Caribbean Cruise)
  7. A suit, two dress shirts and one tie for him,
  8. A couple of swimsuits,
  9. Water shoes or flip flops,
  10. A sweater or jacket.
Teen dressed in 80s neon fashion with side ponytail.
All set for 80s night onboard the Carnival Elation

Learn more about how to choose a cruise wardrobe if you need more ideas, like how to pack with a capsule wardrobe (which is a wardrobe built around a base color like tan, black, or navy) and why socks are often necessary on a cruise vacation! And, if you’re taking a Disney Cruise to the Caribbean, get the Disney cruise packing list, which has includes items specific to sailing on Disney Cruise Line.

Hats and sunglasses

I prefer a sun hat with a neck strap and ponytail hole, for both comfort and security! Outer decks of the ship can get really windy, and we’ve lost a couple hats through the years! For the kids, we prefer sun hats that cover the back of their necks so we don’t have to fuss quite so much with sunscreen!

Reusable water bottle

Especially for sea days, an easy-fill, reusable water bottle such as this space-saving, lightweight water bottle is handy to have around. Water dispensers are located throughout cruise ships, at the buffet restaurants, bars and coffee stations.

A beach bag

"Beach Happy" beach bag with leaether handles is a good item to add to a cruise packing list

A beach bag is handy for shore excursions and sea days! I use this adorable, large beach bag just about every day on a cruise vacation. It’s super cute! And, it holds a lot, so it’s handy for beach shore excursions, souvenir shopping and sea days by the pool.


Many cruise destinations now require reef friendly sunscreen. We use Reef Repair Sunscreen. It’s a mineral based sunscreen that smells great and is easy to apply. If you’re flying to your cruise port or planning to pack carryon only, get Reef Safe Sunscreen in TSA approved travel sizes! It’s a lot cheaper than buying sunscreen on the ship.

Makeup and bathroom essentials

Cruise ships provide soap, shampoo and conditioner. There’s also a blow dryer in each cabin. So, if space is limited and you don’t need a specific soap or shampoo, you can save space and use what the ship provides.

There are some bathroom essentials you’ll need to pack.

  1. Lotions,
  2. Toothbrushes and toothpaste,
  3. Floss,
  4. Mouthwash,
  5. Razor and shaving cream,
  6. Makeup: I recommend a lay-n-go makeup bag like this to lay out on the counter in the cabin that’s easy to pack away when done,
  7. Medications,
  8. Hygiene products,
  9. First aid kit

If you do happen to forget any bathroom essentials, the cruise ship store does offer basic items and you can shop in most ports, though you might not find your preferred brands.

Cell phone, charger and waterproof phone case

If you plan to do anything near water on shore excursions, a waterproof case is a good idea for cell phones. We use a waterproof drybag with lanyard when we go kayaking, tubing or paddleboarding to protect our phones and still have access to the camera. 

Cruise Documents

Every time we cruise, we see someone at the cruise port without the proper documents. It is quite sad to watch someone not be allowed to board the ship because they don’t have proper ID.

Keep all essential documents with you. Do not pack them in checked luggage.

You’ll need these documents when you get to the cruise terminal:

  1. Passports (or birth certificate for closed circuit cruises, which start and end at the same port, though a passport is strongly encouraged),
  2. Boarding passes (printed or on cruise line app),
  3. Identification (driver’s license or state ID for everyone over age 16),
  4. Credit cards/cash/gift cards for onboard purchases,
  5. Medical insurance cards (hopefully you won’t need them, but they’re good to have)
  6. Travel insurance information (if purchased), and
  7. Shore excursion confirmations and meeting instructions.

Extra items for cabin comfort

Some accessories for a cruise make your cruise vacation a bit easier and more enjoyable. We always carry these items when we cruise!

  1. Retractable cruise lanyards so your keycard is always handy.
  2. A pop up laundry basket for dirty clothes, space saving for luggage.
  3. A Cruise line approved USB outlet to provide more plugs in cabins with limited outlets. Some people recommend a cruise line approved power strip, but they take up a lot more space in luggage, so I prefer the USB outlet. It’s great for charging multiple phones at once.
  4. Over the door shoe caddy to organize bathroom supplies, flip flops and kids’ toys. You cannot use an over the door shoe caddy on Disney Cruise Lines,
  5. Sea bands wrist bands for motion sickness,
  6. Poo-pourri spray for the bathroom,
  7. Money belt, like this slimline money belt with RFID protection, is large enough for a passport, credit cards and cash,
  8. Towel clips, which we use for beach towels AND for bathroom towels (each member of the family has their own towel clip color so we know whose towel is whose!)
Space saving pop up laundry basket.
A pop up laundry basket keeps small cruise cabins organized!

And that’s all you need to pack for a 7 day cruise.

But, the ultimate cruise packing checklist would be incomplete without important cruise packing tips! So, keep reading for helpful tips on how to pack for a seven day cruise to make it even easier! Because who wants to spend hours packing?

Cruise luggage lined up in hallway of cruise ship

Cruise packing tips and hacks

You probably know that a cruise cabin on most cruise lines is fairly small with limited storage. These cruise packing tips and hacks make it easier to pack everything you need so it all fits in the cabin!

Fold shirts over each other for fewer wrinkles

To reduce wrinkles, lay shirts flat on top of each other. Fold arms in, lay a swimsuit in the middle and fold shirts over the swimsuit like a burrito. Then, place the folded “shirt burrito” into a compression packing cube, zip shut and save lots of space. My husband was a doubter, but our clothes didn’t wrinkle!

All my clothes for a five day cruise.
Everything I took on my last cruise (before packing cube)
Clothes packed in a packing cube.
My clothes packed in a compression packing cube. Everything fit except two skorts and my hat.

Use Luggage tag holders

Cruise lines use special luggage tags to sort and deliver luggage to your cabin. Before your cruise, you’ll print the tags on paper and attach them to your bags. But, the paper tags tear easily and your luggage can get lost on the ship. To prevent that, we strongly recommend these luggage tags for your cruise luggage. Attach them at the cruise terminal before you hand your bags over to the luggage crew, not before you go to the airport.

They work great and are reusable!

Don’t bring stuff you don’t need

Cruises are nearly all-inclusive, so you don’t need to bring a whole lot of extras. The ship provides swim towels, endless food and water stations. When you think of things to put on your 7 day cruise packing checklist, pack the things you really need and leave the rest at home.

What to keep with you on embarkation day

When you board the ship on embarkation day, the cruise terminal is pretty hectic. You’ll drop off all your luggage with cruise line tags for the cabin stewards to deliver to your stateroom. But, you’ll need a bag with your cruise documents and other things you might need before you have access to your cabin and checked luggage.

These items include:

  • ALL cruise boarding documents (boarding passes, photo ID, passport, and anything else the cruise line requires). When I say what the cruise line requires, I mean requires! If you don’t have the required documents, you can’t cruise!
  • ALL medications. If checked luggage gets lost or delayed, you can’t easily replace prescriptions.
  • Swimsuits. HINT: Have boys wear their swim trunks as shorts! If girls have 2-piece suits or tankinis, they can wear theirs under clothes, too. Simple cruise packing hacks make life so much easier, don’t you agree?
  • ONE bottle of sunscreen.
  • Sunglasses.
  • All valuable electronics. If you must bring a computer, carry it with you.
  • Camera. Make sure batteries are fully charged so you don’t have to carry those.
  • Valuable jewelry if planning to bring any. (I don’t recommend it. Simplify with a few costume pieces and pack in checked bags.)
  • Diaper bag for younger kids with enough diapers and wipes, baby food/bottles, and a couple toys to get through 6 hours. (Of all the family cruise tips, this is my favorite. Think of what you’d normally pack for a one day outing. That’s all you need for your carryon diaper bag.)

Divide everyone’s clothes among several pieces of luggage

Divide everyone’s clothes among several pieces of luggage rather than doing one suitcase per person. That way, if a piece of luggage does get lost, everyone still has some clothes to wear. We learned this on a trip to Europe and use it whenever we travel!

Take a photo of your luggage!

Take a photo of your bags before handing them over to the cruise staff. One of my bags lost its paper luggage tag (see, I learned the hard way). I had a photo of my luggage on my phone. I showed them the photo and was quickly reunited with my bag onboard the ship.

On my last cruise on Carnival Elation, another passenger saw me taking a photo of my luggage and asked why I did that. I told her how a bag had gotten lost on a previous cruise and the photo made it easier to identify. She smiled and then took a photo of her own luggage!

Luggage at a cruise port with an arrow pointing to two bags that says, "Look. That's mine."

Get your FREE Cruise Packing List!

Now that we’ve explained what to include on your 7 day cruise packing list and shared some awesome cruise packing tips, it’s time to download your FREE cruise packing checklist!

It includes everything listed above, item by item, in a handy cruise packing checklist to make packing easy. There’s even a page to write notes for any extras you need like specific medical supplies, reminders for shore excursions, pre/post cruise hotels and car rentals.

Cruising should be fun — and hopefully this checklist makes packing EASY! 🙂

To learn more about cruising

To learn more about cruising, read these articles on choosing the best cruise line

These articles answer most essential questions about cruising! I hope you find them helpful.

And, don’t forget to download our FREE cruise packing checklist! Save it to use for every cruise you take. It’s a pretty handy checklist for any beach vacation, too!

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I pack in my cruise carry-on?

Carry only what’s essential for embarkation day. This includes cruise boarding documents, medications, sunscreen and swimsuits for the first afternoon, and any valuables (camera, phones, computers). Plus, any kid stuff you need to get through 4 hours or so until cabins are ready.

How much luggage can you take on a cruise?

There are no limits on how much luggage you can take on a cruise. However, most cruise lines limit the number of bags they will have the cabin stewards manage for you. Check your cruise line for cabin steward limits. (At least 2 bags per person)

Can I take alcohol on a cruise?

Most cruise lines do NOT allow alcohol to be brought on board for personal consumption. Check with your specific cruise line to see its policies.

Can I bring full-size shampoo on a cruise?

Yes, full size products are allowed on cruise ships. However, if traveling by air, you have to follow the TSA 3-1-1 size rules for all items.

Pin this post!!!! This is one of the most popular posts on our website! Pin it to your cruise and travel boards for easy reference when it’s time to pack for that Caribbean vacation!

Cruise packing list with free printable, shows a ship tied off at port