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What To Pack For A Cruise To The Caribbean


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Rozalie Buckner



Embarking on a cruise to the Caribbean is an exciting and memorable experience. Whether you’re a first-time cruiser or a seasoned traveler, one thing is certain: packing for a cruise requires careful planning to ensure you have everything you need for a comfortable and enjoyable trip.


In this article, we will provide you with a comprehensive checklist of what to pack for a cruise to the Caribbean. From clothing and swimwear to toiletries and travel documents, we will cover all the essentials to make your cruise experience hassle-free.


Before we dive into the specifics of what to pack, it’s important to note that each cruise line and itinerary may have unique requirements or recommendations. Be sure to check with your cruise line or travel agent for any specific guidelines before finalizing your packing list.


Now, let’s begin our journey through the essential items you’ll need to pack for a memorable cruise to the Caribbean.


Checklist for Clothing

When it comes to packing clothing for your Caribbean cruise, versatility is key. You’ll want to pack a mix of comfortable, casual attire for daytime activities, as well as dressier options for evening events and dinners. Here’s a handy checklist to help you pack the right clothing:

  • Swimwear: Don’t forget to pack a few swimsuits! The Caribbean is known for its beautiful beaches and crystal-clear waters, so be sure to bring enough swimwear to enjoy the various activities on board and shore excursions.
  • Cover-ups and sarongs: These are essential for stepping off the beach and into a restaurant or shopping area.
  • Shorts and skirts: Pack a variety of shorts and lightweight skirts for exploring the ports of call and enjoying casual activities on board.
  • T-shirts and tank tops: Opt for breathable fabrics that will keep you cool in the Caribbean heat.
  • Lightweight pants and capris: These are perfect for cooler evenings or visiting religious sites ashore.
  • Dresses and dress shirts: Bring a few dressier options for formal nights or special events on the ship.
  • Sweaters or light jackets: Evenings at sea can sometimes be breezy, so it’s a good idea to have a lightweight layer for added warmth.
  • Gym or workout attire: If you’re planning to hit the ship’s fitness center or participate in any active excursions, pack appropriate workout clothes and athletic shoes.

Remember to consider the length of your cruise when deciding how much clothing to pack. Most ships offer laundry services or self-service laundromats, so you can always launder clothes during the trip if needed.


Next, let’s take a look at what swimwear and beach gear you should bring for your Caribbean cruise.


Swimwear and Beach Gear

One of the highlights of a Caribbean cruise is undoubtedly the pristine beaches and sparkling blue waters. To make the most of your time in paradise, it’s essential to pack the right swimwear and beach gear. Here’s what you should consider packing:

  • Swimsuits: Pack a few different styles to suit your preferences, whether it’s a bikini, one-piece, or swim trunks.
  • Cover-ups: These lightweight garments are perfect for transitioning from the pool or beach to other areas of the ship or when going ashore.
  • Sun hat: Protect yourself from the sun’s rays with a wide-brimmed hat.
  • Sunglasses: Bring a pair of polarized sunglasses to shield your eyes from the bright Caribbean sun.
  • Beach towels: Although most cruise ships provide pool towels, it’s always a good idea to pack a few lightweight and quick-drying beach towels for excursions.
  • Sunscreen: The Caribbean sun can be intense, so pack a high SPF sunscreen to protect your skin from harmful UV rays.
  • Beach bag: A lightweight and spacious beach bag is essential for carrying your towels, sunscreen, book, and other beach essentials.
  • Waterproof phone case: If you plan to take your phone to the beach or engage in water activities, consider bringing a waterproof case to protect it from splashes or accidental drops.
  • Snorkel gear: Depending on your itinerary, you may have the opportunity to explore the vibrant underwater world of the Caribbean. Consider packing your snorkel gear for an unforgettable underwater adventure.

Keep in mind that some cruise lines may provide complimentary snorkel gear, so check with your specific cruise line before packing your own equipment.


With your swimwear and beach gear packed and ready, it’s time to think about what to wear for the evening events on your cruise. Let’s move on to the next section.


Evening Attire

Evenings on a Caribbean cruise offer a chance to dress up and enjoy some elegant and sophisticated events. While the dress code can vary depending on the cruise line and the specific ship, it’s always a good idea to pack a few options for formal and semi-formal evenings. Here’s what you should consider packing for your evening attire:

  • Formal attire: Most cruise lines have formal nights where passengers are encouraged to dress up in their finest attire. For men, this typically means a tuxedo, suit, or dress shirt with slacks and a tie. Women can opt for a cocktail dress, formal gown, or dressy pantsuit.
  • Semi-formal attire: On other evenings, a semi-formal dress code may be in place. Men can wear a blazer or sports coat with slacks, a dress shirt, and a tie. Women can choose a dress, dressy separates, or a stylish jumpsuit.
  • Casual evening wear: While the majority of evenings may have a formal or semi-formal dress code, there may also be casual evenings where you have the freedom to dress more casually. Consider packing comfortable yet stylish outfits for these nights.
  • Shoes: Don’t forget to pack appropriate shoes to match your evening attire. For formal nights, men should have dress shoes, while women can opt for heels or dressy flats. For casual evenings, comfortable shoes or sandals are a good choice.

Remember to check with your specific cruise line for their dress code policy to ensure you pack accordingly. Some cruise lines have relaxed dress codes and may not require formal attire at all.


Now that you have your evening attire covered, let’s move on to what to pack for your casual daywear.


Casual Daywear

During the day, most Caribbean cruises offer a myriad of activities and excursions, both on board and at the ports of call. Packing the right casual daywear is essential for comfort and easy movement. Here are some key items to include in your cruise wardrobe:

  • Shorts and skirts: Pack a variety of shorts and lightweight skirts for exploring the ports of call and participating in onboard activities. Opt for breathable fabrics like cotton or linen.
  • T-shirts and tank tops: Bring a mix of comfortable and versatile tops that can be paired with shorts, skirts, or casual pants.
  • Lightweight pants and capris: These are perfect for cooler evenings or visiting religious sites ashore. Choose loose-fitting and breathable options.
  • Maxi dresses: Effortlessly stylish and comfortable, maxi dresses are a versatile choice for daytime activities and can easily be dressed up for dinner or evening events.
  • Sundresses: Pack a few sundresses to keep cool and stylish in the Caribbean sun. Opt for lightweight, flowy fabrics that are easy to pack and wear.
  • Activewear: If you plan on participating in active shore excursions or using the ship’s fitness center, bring activewear that is suitable for physical activity.
  • Lightweight jackets or cardigans: While the Caribbean is generally warm, it’s always good to have a lightweight jacket or cardigan on hand for cooler evenings or air-conditioned indoor areas.

When choosing your casual daywear, consider the activities you plan to do both on board and ashore. Comfort and versatility should be the focus, allowing you to easily transition from one activity to another.


With your casual daywear covered, let’s move on to the next section: footwear.



Choosing the right footwear for your Caribbean cruise is important to ensure comfort and versatility throughout your trip. Here are some essential types of footwear to pack:

  • Sandals: Invest in a comfortable pair of sandals that can be easily slipped on and off for casual wear on the ship and during excursions. Look for ones with good arch support and non-slip soles.
  • Flip flops: Perfect for the beach or pool, flip flops are easy to pack and provide a convenient, lightweight option for water activities.
  • Walking or hiking shoes: If you plan on exploring nature trails or participating in active excursions, consider packing a pair of sturdy walking or hiking shoes for comfortable and secure footing.
  • Dress shoes: For formal nights or evening events, bring a pair of comfortable dress shoes that coordinate with your formal or semi-formal attire.
  • Water shoes: If you anticipate doing water activities like snorkeling or kayaking, pack water shoes to protect your feet from sharp rocks or coral.
  • Gym or workout shoes: If you plan on utilizing the ship’s fitness center or participating in exercise classes, pack a pair of athletic shoes specifically for workouts.

When packing shoes, be mindful of the space they take up in your luggage. Choose versatile options that can be worn with multiple outfits and consider packing lightweight and collapsible shoe bags to keep your luggage organized and clean.


Now that your feet are covered, let’s move on to the accessories you should consider packing for your Caribbean cruise.



Accessories can elevate your cruise wardrobe and add the perfect finishing touches to your outfits. Here are some essential accessories to consider packing for your Caribbean cruise:

  • Jewelry: Bring a few versatile pieces of jewelry such as statement necklaces, bracelets, or earrings that can complement both your casual and evening attire.
  • Sun hat: In addition to protecting your skin from the sun, a stylish sun hat can add a fashionable touch to your beach or poolside outfits.
  • Scarves or wraps: These versatile accessories can add warmth, style, and color to your outfits. They can also double as a cover-up or a shawl for cooler evenings.
  • Sunglasses: Pack a stylish pair of sunglasses that not only protect your eyes from the Caribbean sun but also add a fashionable element to your overall look.
  • Belts: Consider packing a few belts that can be used to cinch dresses or add definition to loose-fitting tops or pants.
  • Beach bag: A spacious and lightweight beach bag is essential for carrying your essentials to the pool or beach. Look for one with compartments and waterproof material.
  • Waterproof pouch: Keep your valuables safe and dry while enjoying water activities by using a waterproof pouch for your phone, money, and other small items.
  • Hair accessories: Pack hair ties, clips, or headbands to keep your hair off your face and manageable in the Caribbean breeze.

When it comes to accessories, make sure to choose items that are practical, versatile, and suitable for the activities you plan to engage in during your cruise.


Next, let’s move on to essential toiletries and personal care items that should be on your packing list.


Toiletries and Personal Care Items

Packing the right toiletries and personal care items is essential for feeling fresh and comfortable throughout your Caribbean cruise. While cruise ships generally provide basic toiletries, it’s always a good idea to bring your preferred products. Here are some key items to consider packing:

  • Shampoo and conditioner: Bring travel-sized bottles of your preferred shampoo and conditioner.
  • Body wash or soap: Pack a travel-sized body wash or soap for daily showers.
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste: Don’t forget these essential dental care items.
  • Deodorant: Stay fresh and odor-free with your preferred deodorant.
  • Skincare routine: Bring your preferred moisturizer, facial cleanser, and any other skincare products you regularly use.
  • Razors and shaving cream: If you prefer to shave during your cruise, pack a razor and shaving cream.
  • Haircare products: Bring travel-sized bottles of your preferred hair products, such as shampoo, conditioner, and styling products.
  • Makeup: Pack your essential makeup items, including foundation, mascara, lipstick, and any other products you use daily.
  • Personal hygiene products: Don’t forget items like feminine hygiene products, contact lenses, and solution if needed.
  • Nail care kit: Bring a nail clipper, file, and any other nail care essentials.

Remember to pack your toiletries and personal care items in travel-sized containers to comply with TSA regulations and to save space in your luggage. If you run out of any items during the cruise, most ships have a well-stocked onboard shop where you can purchase essentials.


Now that your toiletries are sorted, let’s move on to medications and first aid supplies.


Medications and First Aid

When it comes to medications and first aid supplies, it’s best to come prepared for any unexpected situations that may arise during your Caribbean cruise. Here’s what you should consider packing:

  • Prescription medications: If you take any prescription medications, be sure to bring an adequate supply to last throughout the duration of your cruise. It’s also a good idea to carry them in their original labeled containers.
  • Over-the-counter medications: Pack a small supply of common over-the-counter medications such as pain relievers, antacids, motion sickness remedies, and any other medications you typically use.
  • First aid kit: Bring a basic first aid kit that includes band-aids, antiseptic ointment, adhesive tape, blister pads, and any other medical supplies you may need for minor wounds or injuries.
  • Allergy medication: If you suffer from allergies, pack any necessary allergy medication, such as antihistamines or an EpiPen, to manage unexpected allergic reactions.
  • Mosquito repellent: Depending on your cruise itinerary, you may encounter mosquitoes in certain ports of call. Pack mosquito repellent to protect yourself from bug bites.
  • Sunburn relief: Even with the best sunscreen application, sunburns can still happen. Pack aloe vera gel or after-sun lotion to soothe and heal sunburned skin.

If you have any specific medical conditions, it’s important to discuss your travel plans with your healthcare provider before your cruise. They can provide specific guidance and recommendations based on your individual needs.


With your medications and first aid supplies taken care of, let’s move on to the next section: electronics and gadgets.


Electronics and Gadgets

Electronics and gadgets can enhance your Caribbean cruise experience and keep you connected during your trip. Here are some essential items to consider packing:

  • Cell phone: Don’t forget your cell phone, which can be used for taking photos, staying connected with loved ones back home, and accessing apps for various cruise-related information.
  • Chargers: Bring chargers for your cell phone, as well as any other electronic devices you plan to bring, such as cameras, tablets, or e-readers.
  • Power strip: Most cruise ship cabins have limited outlets. Packing a power strip or extension cord can come in handy if you need to charge multiple devices simultaneously.
  • Camera: Capture the beautiful moments of your Caribbean cruise with a digital camera or GoPro. Don’t forget to bring extra memory cards and batteries.
  • Portable speaker: If you enjoy listening to music in your cabin or on the balcony, a portable speaker can enhance your audio experience.
  • Travel adapter: Depending on the plug types used in the region, you may need a travel adapter to charge your devices.
  • E-book reader: If you’re an avid reader, an e-book reader can be a convenient way to carry multiple books without adding weight to your luggage.
  • Headphones: Whether you’re listening to music, watching movies, or taking part in onboard activities, a pair of comfortable headphones can enhance your experience.
  • Portable phone charger: Stay connected on shore excursions or during long days by bringing a portable phone charger to keep your devices powered up.

It’s important to check the cruise line’s policies on the use of electronic devices, particularly during events, shows, or in certain areas of the ship. Familiarize yourself with any restrictions or guidelines to ensure a smooth sailing experience.


Now that you’re equipped with the essential electronics, let’s move on to the next section: travel documents and essentials.


Travel Documents and Essentials

Ensuring you have the necessary travel documents and essentials is crucial for a smooth and stress-free Caribbean cruise. Here’s a checklist of what you should pack:

  • Passport or ID: If you are traveling internationally, a valid passport is a must. For domestic cruises, a government-issued ID such as a driver’s license is usually required.
  • Cruise tickets or confirmation: Bring printed copies or have electronic versions of your cruise tickets or booking confirmation readily available.
  • Visas: Depending on your nationality and cruise itinerary, you may require visas for certain ports of call. Be sure to check visa requirements well in advance and obtain them if necessary.
  • Health insurance card: Carry your health insurance card and any necessary medical information or documentation.
  • Credit cards and cash: Bring enough cash and/or credit cards to cover any onboard expenses or shopping at the ports of call. Consider bringing some small bills for tipping and local transportation.
  • Travel insurance: While not mandatory, travel insurance can provide peace of mind in case of unexpected events, such as trip cancellations or medical emergencies. Consider purchasing travel insurance before your cruise.
  • Itinerary and contact information: Print out your cruise itinerary, including port arrival and departure times, as well as emergency contact information for the cruise line.
  • Medication list: If you take any medications, make a list of their names and dosages in case you need to refill prescriptions or seek medical assistance during your cruise.
  • Travel adapters: Depending on the plug types used in the region, you may need travel adapters to charge your electronic devices.
  • Travel-sized toiletries: While some basic toiletries are provided on the ship, packing travel-sized toiletries such as toothpaste, shampoo, and body wash can be convenient.

Keep all important documents, such as passports, tickets, and credit cards, in a secure place like a money belt or travel pouch while on board or during shore excursions. It’s also a good idea to keep digital copies of all important documents to access them easily from your smartphone or email.


With your travel documents and essentials in order, let’s move on to the final section: miscellaneous items.


Miscellaneous Items

While the previous sections covered the essentials, there are a few miscellaneous items that can come in handy during your Caribbean cruise. Consider packing the following items:

  • Reusable water bottle: Staying hydrated is important, so bring a reusable water bottle to fill up and carry with you during excursions and activities.
  • Snacks: Pack some non-perishable snacks like granola bars or trail mix for those moments when you need a quick energy boost between meals or while on excursions.
  • Laundry detergent: If you prefer to do your laundry or freshen up clothing during the cruise, pack a small amount of travel-sized laundry detergent.
  • Ziplock bags: These versatile bags are useful for storing wet bathing suits, organizing small items, or protecting electronic devices from water or sand.
  • Travel pillow and blanket: For long flights or if you prefer extra comfort while relaxing on the ship or during excursions, bring a small travel pillow and blanket.
  • Travel-sized umbrella: It’s always good to be prepared for unexpected showers or brief rain showers in the Caribbean. Pack a compact travel-sized umbrella.
  • Journal or notebook: Record your memorable experiences, thoughts, or reflections in a travel journal or notebook.
  • Deck of cards or travel games: Bring some entertainment for downtime on the ship or during long waits at the airport or during excursions.
  • Travel sewing kit: Pack a small sewing kit with basic supplies like needles, thread, and safety pins for minor repairs or fixes.

These miscellaneous items can add convenience, comfort, and entertainment to your Caribbean cruise. Remember to pack them based on your personal preferences and needs.


Now that you have a comprehensive packing list, you’re ready to embark on your Caribbean cruise with confidence and preparedness. Enjoy your adventure and have a wonderful time exploring the stunning destinations of the Caribbean!



Preparing for a cruise to the Caribbean requires careful planning and packing to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience. This comprehensive packing guide has covered all the essential items you need to consider bringing with you, from clothing and swimwear to electronics and travel documents.


Remember to pack versatile clothing options that suit both casual daytime activities and formal evening events. Don’t forget to bring swimwear and beach gear to make the most of the beautiful beaches and crystal-clear waters of the Caribbean. Consider the specific dress codes of your cruise line for formal nights and pack accordingly.


In addition to clothing and swimwear, make sure to pack necessary toiletries, medications, and first aid supplies to stay healthy and comfortable throughout your trip. Bring essential electronics and gadgets to capture memories, stay connected, and enhance your onboard experience. And don’t forget important travel documents and other miscellaneous items that can make your cruise even more enjoyable.


By following this packing guide, you’ll be well-prepared to embark on an unforgettable adventure through the stunning destinations of the Caribbean. So, pack your bags, get ready to set sail, and create wonderful memories that will last a lifetime. Bon voyage!