In this 7 day Cruise packing list we cover the staples you need for every cruise no matter the destination. It covers what should always be in your cruise carry on, what you should wear on embarkation day and of course what other things should always be in your suitcase.
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Note: It is worth pointing out that while this 7 day cruise packing list covers ALL your cruise staples that should be on any packing list, it is worth also checking out some of our destination specific packing lists as these will cover temperature and location specific dress codes.
Our specific location packing lists for cruises include:
- What to wear on a South Pacific Cruise
- What to wear on a European River Cruise
- How to make a river cruise capsule wardrobe
- World Cruise Packing List.
How many outfits should I pack for a 7-day cruise?
Before we create out 7 day cruise packing list we thought it would be worth talking you through how many outfits your should pack for a 7 day cruise.
Firstly you will obviously need an outfit a day, or create a cruise capsule wardrobe where you can use items multiple times.
Personally I will also take a fresh top for every day especially for warm weather locations, but may use shorts or trousers on 2 or more occasions to reduce the amount of clothes I need to pack.
The next thing that affects how many outfits you need for a cruise is how often you intend to use the main dining room and how many formal nights there are on your cruise.
Cruise dining rooms usually have a smart casual dress code and you will find most people usually change for dinner.
I usually try and have lots of day to night transition pieces such as a smart casual blouse or nice Maxi dress, that I can wear to dinner one night and then use during the day the next day. This helps reduce the amount of clothes you take with you.
Now depending on the cruise line you are on will depend on how many formal nights you will have (Formal nights are where you Dress for dinner in formal attire think cocktail dresses for ladies and tuxedos for men).
Cunard for instance is one of the more formal cruise lines which will have more formal dinners in the main dining room.
Norwegian Cruise Line on the other hand does not have any formal nights, and is famed for this. This is because they have freestyle dining and don’t like to constrain people in what they wear when at dinner. However this doesn’t mean you can’t dress formally for dinner.
And finally the last thing that will dictate how many outfits you need to pack for a 7 day cruise is whether or not you plan to do laundry on your cruise. If you plan on doing laundry then you probably only need to 3 day and 2 night outfits.
What do I need to pack for a 7-day cruise?
So now you know roughly how many outfits you will need on a 7 day cruise we turn our attention to everything you need to pack for a cruise no matter the destination
Passport and identification
Needed to be in your embarkation day carry on as is required for boarding.
Documentation including Covid 19 related paperwork
Again needed in your hand luggage
Many people find a lanyard the best way to keep their cabin key safe and on them at all times on a cruise. The best ones are waterproof so can be used on shore excursions where you will be spending a lot of time in the water and can also be sued to keep small amounts of cash and a government issued id.
Pack any meds you need in your carry on and be sure to have prescriptions with you.
As well as prescription medication some other medications you may like to travel with include:
- pain medications such as Advil, paracetamol, Tylenol and Ibuprofen
- Reflux Meds such as Gaviscon, Tums etc.
- Birth Control
Sea sickness medication or bands
I personally have never gotten sea sick on a cruise ship. And I have never met anyone who has either and we have sailed through some really rough seas.
However if you are concerned about sea sickness be sure to pack some meds with you just in case.
Although most ships provide toiletries I will always pack some on my own as I think they are better quality than those you get on board
For more information on the best toiletries to bring on a cruise check out this post.
Toothbrush and toothpaste
Although toiletries are usually provided you will need to bring your own tooth brush and toothpaste.
It is important to be sun safe whereever in the world you are cruising. This is usually available onboard but will cost you a premium if you wait and buy on board.
The contrast between the nice weather on a warm weather cruise with the cruise ship air conditioning is the perfect recipe for dry lips.
We always recommend packing lip balm that has an SPF so your lips are protected when on beach excursions etc.
Whenever I get on a cruise ship I first like to head to the main dining room for lunch, and then I like to have either a dip in the pool or a soak in the hot tub. I do this whether I am a hot weather or cold weather cruise.
If you are going to a hot weather destination however you will want to pack at least 2 swimsuits with you so you can wear one and dry one.
Great for in port and on deck. I would pack 2 if you are in hot weather destinations.
Useful for in ports but also on sea days when the sun can be dazzling.
Useful for those spending lots of time out on the deck.
Now I don’t like to bring too much jewelry with me on cruises as I don’t wear it on shore excursions. However if you want to bring some with you for formal nights be sure to take in your carry on and put in your safe once in your stateroom.
The best thing about cruises are the ports you get to visit. You definitely will want to capture your memories with a camera.
Most new ships will have USB charging ports next to the bed however this is by no means on all ships. Don’t get caught out and take a charger with you and a spare cable.
Depending on where you are from, who you are sailing with and where you may need to take a travel adaptor with you to ensure that all your electronics will work.
What to pack for a 7 day cruise (Optional)
Only needed if you plan to use the gym on board your cruise ship.
Depending on the line you are on, you will be permitted to Bring on board a small amount of alcohol – usually just champagne or wine.
If you are allowed to bring alcohol on board we recommend using your allowance as this will be cheaper than drinks on the ship.
Note – wondering if you can bring a corkscrew on a cruise ship – check out this post for more information.
What to wear on a 7 Day Cruise
Formal Outfits (2 outfits)
This is either a cocktail dress or pant suit for women or tux for men. If you don’t mind rewearing an outfit then you could definitely get away with packing just one formal outfit
Smart Casual Outfits (3- 4 outfits)
I usually pack 3-4 smart casual outfits. All items in this category will be interchangeable as a capsule wardrobe and I may partner a top from a dinner with different bottoms for a casual shore excursion look.
Casual Outfits (3-4 outfits)
Again, I pack a cruise capsule wardrobe where everything is interchangeable. This will normally be 3-4 t shirts and 2 bottoms i.e. shorts, jeans or chinos depending on the weather.
An essential whereever you are cruising as the air conditioning on ships can be fierce
One set for a week
Underwear (7 plus spares)
I will also have underwear enough for the cruise and a few spares.
Sample 7 cruise packing checklist
So now you know why we pack certain things for a cruise, here is a quick and handing 7 day cruise checklist.
- Passport and ID
- Toiletries including toothbrush, make up, hair accessories etc
- Swimwear (2 for hot weather)
- Beach cover (2 for hot weather cruises)
- 2 formal outfits
- 3-4 smart casual outfits
- 3-4casual outfits
- sandals or boots depending on weather
- travel adaptor
Have you been on a 7 day cruise? Is there anything else that you would normally take? Let us know in the comments.