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What toiletries to pack for a cruise

What toiletries to pack for a cruise

Are you looking for the best toiletries to pack for a cruise vacation? In this guide we will round up everything from what are your essential cruise toiletries that you should be packing, the correct sized toiletries to pack for a cruise and what things to leave behind.

Important Note: This post may contain affiliate links which means if you click through and make a purchase I will make a small commission at no extra cost to you. 

Everything you need to know about packing toiletries for a cruise

Close up beauty care and personal hygiene products and towels, toothbrushes and comb, on bath shelf over white bath background, low angle view

Are you wondering about packing toiletries for a cruise? Wondering is it necessary to take them with you? I am here to tell you everything you need to know about toiletries on a cruise.

The first thing you need to know about cruises is that in every stateroom I have ever been in on many different lines is that they always provide some form of toiletries in the cabin. The quality, volume and exact specifications however vary greatly from line to line.

In my experience a cruise stateroom will usually have the below types of toiletries as standard:

  • Hand soap – usually in bar form and liquid from for use in shower and in sink
  • Shampoo – usually either in a dispenser or individual bottles
  • Body Wash / Shower Gel

Conditioner is becoming more a cruise toiletry staple too but I have been on some more budget cruises where they do not provide conditioner. I have also seen some cruises provide body wash and shampoo as a 2 in 1 which is something I can not abide.

Generally speaking the more luxurious the cruise line the better the toiletry products you get. And the better the type of stateroom you are in the better the products i.e. you will get much better toiletries in a suite than an inside cabin.

However despite them providing some type of toiletries to different degrees, I always recommend packing your own with. But before we get onto what toiletries to pack I want to talk about how to pack toiletries for a cruise.

Firstly, if you are taking any flights and plan to take larger toiletries then remember to pack these in your checked luggage NOT your carry on. Liquids are restricted by volume on aircrafts so be careful how you pack these. You don’t want to pack your lovely toiletries and have them confiscated at the airport.

And for on the cruise ship we recommend using a hanging toiletry bag. Cruise bathrooms are notoriously small – river cruise cabins are even smaller which is why it is even more important to put together a river cruise capsule wardrobe and take up minimal space with your toiletries.

By having a toiletry hanging bag you will save yourself a lot of space and frustration if you are traveling on a longer cruise such as a world cruise.

Also depending on where your departure port is you may want to consider buying toiletries on arrival if you have a day in port before embarkation.

For more information on travel toiletry essentials check out this post.

What to Leave out of your Toiletry Bag for a cruise


I have never been in a cruise stateroom that does not have a hairdryer. Therefore I always add hairdryers to my what not to pack for a cruise list. It isn’t that you aren’t allowed to bring them on but it will take up valuable and unnecessary space in your case. I would definitely leave this at home.

However if you do want to bring a hairdryer on a cruise check out this post.

Best Toiletries to pack for a cruise / cruise toiletries checklist


I would say the number one thing to pack in your toiletry bag for cruises is of course any prescription or non prescription medication that you require and enough for the duration of your cruise.

Although there is a doctor on board there is no guaranteeing that you could get required medication so it is imperative that you bring all medications with you.

Also be sure that you take any prescriptions with you in case you are asked for evidence passing through customs and be sure you have checked you are not taking a banned substance or something that requires approval to bring in if you aren’t on a closed loop cruise before you travel.

Sea Sickness Aids

Now I have personally never been sea sick on a cruise ship however if you are worried about it then be sure to pack some sea sickness aids with you.

But don’t panic if you don’t bring any with you they are normally available on board all of the major cruise ships.

Note: if you are wondering whether you should pack these on a river cruise I would say it is not necessary.

Toothbrushes and Toothpaste

Unlike hotel rooms, cruise rooms do not provide you with a toothbrush as standard. Therefore be sure to bring one onboard with you otherwise you will pay a premium for these on the onboard cruise ship.

Dental Hygiene Products

On top of your toothbrushes and toothpaste be sure to pack any other dental hygiene products you required such as floss and mouthwash.

I personally for a week’s cruise would only take a toothbrush and tooth paste however for a longer term cruise I would definitely have more of my dental regimen with me.

Coral Safe Sun Screen

If you are traveling to somewhere with amazing snorkelling or scuba diving such as the Caribbean or going on a South Pacific Cruise you will need lots of sun screen. And it is really important in these locations to have coral safe sunscreen.

Click here to shop sun safe sunscreen

Lip Balm with SPF

To complete you skin care regime we recommend taking some lip balm with you especially in hot weather cruises such as the South Pacific or a Caribbean cruise.

Also you will find that your lips can go dry with the ships air conditioning so this really is a great dual purpose item for your cruise toiletry bag.

Aloe Vera

No one wants to get sunburnt on a cruise but if this happens you will want to have aloe vera to give yourself some sunburn relief.

Insect Repellant

Anywhere by water can get insects but I find on hot weather cruises such as a cruise in the Caribbean, or the South Pacific, or even a Middle East cruise it is an essential cruise item.

And I wouln’t leave this on the cruise. If you are going on excursions that involve hiking or jungles or rainforests such as a hike on Moorea for instance you will definitely want this with you to keep reapplying.


Again, this is available on the ship in the shop but it will cost you more onboard than on land.

Razor / Shaving Cream / Wax Strips etc

Bring any shaving products with you on board. You might be concerned that razors are on the what not to pack for cruise list but they are not.

Men bring your razors and shaving cream and ladies bring whatever product you prefer. I always bring something with me for on the ship so I can keep my legs silky smooth for on the lido deck.

Feminine Hygiene Products

Bring whatever you need. These are available on board if you forget some but they are more expensive. If you plan to do watersports or use the pool or spa don’t forget to pack tampons.

Birth Control

If you want this be sure to bring with you.

Make Up and Make Up Remover

I always take a little bit of make up with me especially for formal nights however if you don’t like to wear it don’t feel like you have to.

Nail Polish and Nail Polish Remover

If you want to do your nails yourself rather than in the spa bring this with you.


If you have a skin care regime you like to stick to, bring it with you but I would recommend bringing everything in travel sized bottles so you don’t take up valuable room in your case.

Hair Brush, Hair Accessories and Products

On top of your shampoo and conditioner which are an essential to bring with you on a cruise (and if you plan to do lots of swimming or will be out in the sun a lot I would bring products that counteract the effects of the sun and sea on your hair), I would recommend bringing a brush, bands and grips as required for any hairstyle you plan on doing.

If you also need hairspray or gel etc, be sure to bring this with you too.

Contact Lens Solution and accoutrements

If you have glasses and contact lenses be sure to bring all of these with you too.

Next Reads: Looking for more cruise related wardrobe and packing advice? Be sure to check out our cruise packing list guides:

Have you been on a cruise? What do you think are the best toiletries for cruises and what would you add to this cruise toiletries checklist? Let us know in the comment.