The Ultimate 8 Night Cruise Packing List For Women

In less than 3 weeks I will be on the longest cruise I have been on yet and I’m so excited! It’s only 1 night (but really 2 days) longer than past cruises but I know from travel experience that the extra time matters when packing.

I am a huge fan of packing for the experience- for example, when we are going to Italy and France in May I will be packing lots of basics that can be styled in different ways to bring as little luggage as possible. But with a cruise you can bring as much as you want on board and I find that I end up changing outfits a lot due to all the different types of actives. Plus we are flying SouthWest so we can check 2 bags for free which I highly recommend if you are flying to port.

So that all being said I am bringing everything that I believe I need and some fun things as well. Depending on your luggage situation though you can always cut the fun items. I made sure to state what those highly optional items are below in the packing list.

And don’t forget that cruise cabins are quite tiny and if you have any children or a 3rd person in general that the storage space will be limited. Though I have some helpful space saving hacks that are discussed too!

Also, you can scroll to the bottom of the article for a downloadable version of the checklist. But if this is your first cruise I recommend reading through it first because there is helpful info and hacks as well as just the items.

Let’s get into this ultimate 8 night cruise packing list.

The Ultimate 8 Night Cruise Packing List For Women

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The Ultimate 8 Night Cruise Packing List For Women

Cruise packing list and hacks:

Toiletries to pack for a cruise:

  • Makeup- this of course depends on what makeup (if any!) you like to use. I bring a full case of makeup since it’s fun to get all done up for the formal nights.

I also recommend grabbing as much makeup that contains SPF as possible so you can protect your skin while looking great. My favorite are to use a tinted moisturizer with SPF and tinted lip balm with it too!

  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Floss
  • Mouthwash
  • Sunscreen- I am currently obsessed with roll on sunscreen it’s so much easier to apply in my experience and doesn’t feel sticky.
  • Aloe- no matter how prepared we are a sun burn can impact anyone and you don’t want to pay cruise costs for a tiny bottle on the ship.
  • Deodorant– Hack: use a stick deodorant for between your thighs if you struggle with chaffing at all, a lot of excursions will involve both water and walking.
  • Feminine care products- it’s always good to bring things if you ever need them because crazy things can happen with delays in itineraries.
  • Shampoo, conditioner, body wash
  • Hair products- hair spray, salt water spray, heat protectant etc. I like to use salt water texturizing spray during the day and then use my “nicer” products post shower and before the nice sit down dinners.
  • Prescription medicine
  • Over the counter medicine- I recommend bringing motion sickness medicine, headache medicine, Tums, basic cold medicine, and cough drops. All of those cost so much to purchase on the boat.
  • Travel first aid kithere is the one I use.
  • Hair brush and/or combs

Clothing to pack for a cruise:

  • Casual shirts- I recommend bringing 8 total ones (plus the one you wear the first day). There is pretty much time every day that casual outfits are what you will want to wear. This can of course be tshirts or tank tops. Whatever you prefer!
  • Shorts- It’s best to bring at least 8 pairs of denim or athletic shorts for wearing during the day and on excursions over swimsuits.
  • Activewear- if you have any plans to be active (at the gym, competing in on ship competitions, active excursions, etc.) it is best to bring at least 3 active outfits including sports bras. You will regret if you don’t bring some sports bras!
  • Long sleeve shirt
  • Sweatshirt
  • Jeans (one pair should be fine)
  • Light jacket- ideally bring a rain jacket.
  • Pajamas
  • Socks
  • Undergarments
  • Swimsuits- it might be overkill but I bring one per day plus a few extras, they don’t take up much room so it’s worth it in my opinion to not have to put back on a sandy swimsuit.
  • Swimsuit coverups- I generally just use casual dresses but make sure to bring something for covering up because coverups are required to enter most buffets, coffee shops, bars, etc!
  • Belts- if needed.
  • Hats- I usually bring a ball cap and a straw beach hat and have never needed any additional hats.
  • Sunglasses- bring an extra pair if you can because sunglasses are so often lost on vacations.
  • Jewelry- I got this for packing jewelry and it is life saving and keeps all jewelry from getting tangled.
  • Evening gowns- check your cruise itinerary to see how many/if there is a formal night that you need a gown for.
  • Standard evening dresses or dress pants/blouses- you will need one for every night on the ship. Plus bringing an extra is a good idea to avoid wardrobe malfunction emergencies.
  • Themed party outfits- if you want to participate check if they have nights like a 70’s party to make sure you have a fun outfit for it.

Shoes to pack for a cruise:

  • Sneakers- trust me you will want some good shoes for walking even if you don’t plan on exercising.
  • Formal dress shoes- I opt for block heels so they are easy to walk all over the ship in!
  • Flip flops including an extra pair in case you lose or break the original pair.
  • Casual Sandals
  • Slippers- if you (like me) don’t like bare feat on cruise or hotel room floors. Optional of course if you don’t have space.

Fun to pack for a cruise:

All of these are highly optional and can be skipped if you don’t have room in your luggage or cruise cabin.

  • Playing cards- most cruises have a game room or card room but you can’t take the games or cards out. So bring a few deck of cards you can play with your group on sea days or rainy days anywhere on the boat.
  • Door magnets- these are super helpful if you are traveling with a large group. You don’t even need to add your name to them just get some that match with your other travel mates so they can find your door when needed and not have to remember all the different room numbers.
  • Books- how many you bring probably depends on how much time you will be on excursions vs. on the boat or at a beach. Also, Kindles really are the key to not bringing a ton of heavy books.
  • Corkscrew- bring if you are bringing wine bottles on board that need it.
  • Towel chair clips- these are the best!
  • Board games- bring some if your ship doesn’t have any family or friend favorites.

Logistics to pack for a cruise:

  • Small fan- rooms don’t have them and the air can get quite stale and works well as a white noise background if that helps you sleep. But if you don’t have room this can be skipped!
  • Magnetic hooks for walls- these are so helpful for hanging wet swimsuits, dresses to get wrinkles out, purses/beach bags, and even shoe organizers (we will chat about that next). Check out my favorite ones here.

Also note- the walls of the cruise rooms are magnetic so magnetic storage solutions are a great way to keep the small cabins from getting too chaotic.

  • Hanging shoe organizer- you can use the magnetic hooks or get an over the door one but trust me there is not enough floor space for all the different shoes to be lying all over.
  • Documents- make sure to bring boarding passes (you can often use the apps now), Identification, passport, copy of your passport (print out a copy to bring with you to port and keep the actual one safe in the cabin safe), proof of citizenship if needed, birth certificates for children without a state issued ID.
  • Luggage tags (and fill them out!)
  • Reusable water bottle- amazing for excursions.
  • Beach bag- you will want one for the pool and for any beaches you visit. I use the scout utility bags and absolutely swear by them!

Tech to pack for a cruise:

  • Phone charger
  • Smart watch chargers
  • Headphones
  • Headphone chargers
  • Camera
  • Camera charger or extra batteries

Things you CAN’T bring on a cruise:

  • Steamers- (fire risk!) I recommend bringing wrinkle release spray instead to get those wrinkles out. Also try rolling your clothing when you are packing to minimize wrinkles in the first place!
  • Alcohol- beyond the usually 2 bottles of wine allowed you can’t bring any other alcohol. However if you are trying to save money you can bring dry cocktail mixes (these are my fav) and then by shots which is like 40% cheaper for the same amount of alcohol in the cocktails.
  • Surge strips- but you can bring adapters!
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Korra The Explorer

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