Packing for a cruise is tricky unless you have previously been on one. There are critical items you need for every trip. There are also some items that are not allowed on ships. Also, we know that sometimes the excitement of a holiday can cloud judgement and memory, so we have put together a simple but great list.


Passport and Identification

Make sure you always have proper identification. You know where you are going, so have the right paperwork. If your cruise departs and returns to the same port of call, that’s a ‘closed loop’; this is different to a non-closed loop and may require less identification. For example, a non-closed loop would depart Sydney’s port and sail to Fiji without returning you. In this case, you will need all your identification including passports.

We recommended just taking all your identification on all trips. This way, if something is lost, you will have some backup. Do your research and see what you need with you. 


Clothes for Time at Sea

This an obvious one but a critical one. It will probably be the first on anyone’s checklist. No matter where you are heading, you will most likely have some swimmers, thongs and a towel packed in your bag. Most cruise ships will also have a formal night. You might not need a tuxedo and formal gown, but it’s wise to take some dressier clothes. P&O offer themed cruises like comedy and food, so pack the right clothes for events you are attending.


Clothes for Ports of Call

Port of call clothing is a little more difficult. Packing for the port will require a bit more research. Somewhere like the Mediterranean can mean you experience the heat, cold and rain in the same week.  You also need to consider the activities you will be doing. Will you be laying on the beach or hiking in the mountains?

Destinations are different and have different traditions and religions, consider how casual or conservative a destination is. Swimmers may be fine in Hawaii, but you may need something more conservative in religious destinations. Make sure you think about your location.


Always prepare for the worse situation. Sometimes luggage can get lost, and that means you need to have something with you get you by. Packing some essential items in your carry on will save you in this situation.

Sometimes you will arrive the same port but hours can pass before you bag gets to your room.  Have items ready for the day, you won’t have to wait around for a change of clothes or toiletries. You never want to waste holiday time.

You could pack swimmers, basic toiletries, chargers and a spare set of clothes. Also, it’s wise to add any medication to your carry on.



Yes, we go on holidays to get away and unconnected from everyday life, yet we still need a little technology for our holidays. You will want your phone and camera charges there ready to go, and that means you will need compatible adapters. Even if you don’t want your phone for social media or messaging, you will want the phone to check out activities and restaurants at your next port of call, or just look up directions.  Make sure you have the right adapters.


No Irons

If you have been on a cruise before, you know that irons are allowed. Irons are heat producing items that are banned on cruise ships. Other similar things include candles, coffee makers and hot plates.

To keep your clothes looking ironed and fresh, pack a small bottle of wrinkle release or something similar. Alternatively, hang up your lightweight clothing, like linen shirts in the bathroom to get some steam while you shower.


Again, this might be an item that you would forget unless you have been on a cruise before. They will give you a little advantage when it comes to seeing sights. Your journey will pass some beautiful sights that are truly spectacular; you don’t want to miss them.

Now that you are packed and ready to go, you just have to stress about getting the best chair next to the pool.


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