There are certain things you should always pack in your cruise carry-on luggage and never in your checked bags. Discover why it's so important to pay attention to what you keep in your carry-on cruise luggage so you start your next cruise off right!
Watch the video episode above or read the article below.
You know, when you show up at the cruise terminal and you see the ship for the first time, I don't care if it's your first time or your 100th cruise, it's still an exciting day. Unless you accidentally pack some things away in that luggage that you gave to the porter, which is now on its way to the ship.
Here are some things that you should always keep with you in your carry on to make sure embarkation is a good day.
1: All travel documentation and identification required by the cruise line has to be on you. It cannot be in your checked luggage. It could literally take hours to find your luggage and go find that, which means you're sitting in a hot terminal instead of enjoying the ship. Make sure the travel documentation and identification is ready and available for everybody in your boarding party.
2: Any and all medication that you might need should be in your carry on. Usually the luggage will show up to your cabin by, say, 6 to 7 p.m. at the latest. But there are times where, you know, because of one reason or another, the luggage may not show up until later. It may not show up until the next day. So any and all medication that you need should be in your carry on until you have ready access to it.
Related: Keep Your Cruise Carry-On Light.
3: Valuables like your wallet, jewelry and certainly cash should stay with you in your carry on, not through checked luggage. And you should always have some sort of a cash reserve with you because things like credit card theft or identity theft is a problem. And if you use your credit card at one of the ports of call or a store, your credit card could get locked up if there's something suspicious that goes on while you're at that port.
A cash reserve $100 to $300 in cash is not a bad idea.
Just in case you have some sort of an issue with a credit card or whatever form of payment that you're using during the cruise, you'll have some spending money while you deal with the credit card to get your card unlocked.
4: One change of clothes for dinner on that first night is an excellent idea just in case your luggage doesn't show up in time for dinner. Most cruise lines do cut you some slack on the first night because they know you may or may not have gotten your luggage. But because embarkation day is usually very hectic, you're probably going to want a change of clothes by dinner time.
We tend to pack our bathing suits as well because we know that our cabins may not be ready when we first get on the ship.
We can change in a public restroom near the pool, go hang out by the pool. And if we get up to the cabin and our luggage doesn't show up by dinner time, no problem, we still have that change of clothes for dinner.
5: Bring preferred toiletries in the carry on, such as your toothpaste and toothbrushes. And if you have any specific soaps or moisturizers or things like that that you like to use. Remember, you may not have your luggage by dinnertime, and if you want to use some of those products before dinner, you're going to have to have them in your carry on just to make sure you have access to them.
Related: 5 Things To Pack For Your Cruise
6: Any electronics you're bringing on board should be kept in your carry on. Now, it's not so much a fear of theft. Like if you check something in an airport, you're afraid something might get taken out of your luggage. But if you ever looked at the luggage corrals that they use on a cruise ship, they look like they're like six, seven feet tall by three or four feet square, just piled up with luggage.
And if your luggage is in the middle to the bottom, there's a very real possibility it could get damage. Not to mention they use forklifts to pick those things up and move them onto and off of the ship. So it's really a matter of not allowing your electronics to get damaged. Look, I'm a videographer.
I bring all my electronics in a big camera backpack that I put on my back. Nothing electronic should go through checked luggage.
Thanks for reading, consider subscribing to our mailing list and to our YouTube and TikTok channels for even more tips.
Where’s Walter Travel is your Independent Travel Advisor for cruises, theme parks, group travel, destination weddings and special event travel.