What To Bring On Carnival Cruise

If you’re planning on embarking on a delightful Carnival Cruise adventure, it’s important to know exactly what to pack for an unforgettable experience on the high seas. From the perfect swimsuit to indulge in the ship’s luxurious pools, to comfortable walking shoes for exploring exotic ports of call, and of course, that camera to capture every sensational moment – this article has got you covered with all the essential items to ensure you’re fully prepared for your Carnival Cruise journey. So, get ready to set sail with confidence and excitement, and let’s dive into the ultimate packing list for your dream Carnival Cruise vacation!


Formal Attire

When packing for your Carnival cruise, it’s important to include some formal attire for those special evenings on board. Most cruises have one or two formal nights where guests have the opportunity to dress up and enjoy a fancy dinner and entertainment. For men, a suit or a tuxedo is appropriate, while women can opt for a cocktail dress, evening gown, or dressy pantsuit. Don’t forget to bring along accessories such as ties, bowties, jewelry, and dress shoes to complete your formal look.

Casual Attire

During the day and for most evenings on the cruise, the dress code is casual. Pack comfortable and lightweight clothing that will keep you cool as you explore the ship, relax by the pool, or participate in various activities. Shorts, t-shirts, sundresses, and jeans are all suitable choices. Don’t forget to include comfortable shoes, sandals, and sneakers for walking and exploring the deck.


Given that cruises often take you to beautiful tropical destinations, having the right swimwear is essential. Whether you plan to lounge by the pool or take a dip in the ocean, pack your favorite swimsuits. Consider bringing a cover-up or a lightweight, quick-drying beach towel for added comfort. You might also want to pack a rash guard or swim shirt for added sun protection, especially if you have sensitive skin.

Active Wear

If you’re someone who enjoys staying active, be sure to include some workout clothes and shoes in your luggage. Many Carnival cruises offer a variety of fitness classes, a well-equipped gym, and even outdoor sports activities. Pack your favorite gym gear, including sports bras, yoga pants, sneakers, and moisture-wicking tops. Don’t forget to bring a hat and sunglasses for outdoor activities.


To add some personal style to your outfits and enhance your overall cruise experience, don’t forget to pack accessories. Consider bringing a few statement pieces of jewelry, scarves, belts, and hats to mix and match with your outfits. Accessories can help you transition from day to night effortlessly and add that extra touch of elegance or fun to your ensemble.

Documents and Identification

Passport or ID

When traveling on a Carnival cruise, it’s essential to bring proper identification with you. For international cruises, a valid passport is required. Make sure your passport is up to date and won’t expire within six months of your departure date. If you’re taking a domestic cruise, a government-issued photo ID such as a driver’s license or state ID card will suffice.

Cruise Booking Information

To ensure a smooth embarkation process, don’t forget to bring all the necessary cruise booking information. This includes your cruise line reservation number, boarding passes, and any other documentation provided by Carnival. Having these documents readily available will help streamline the check-in process and get you on board faster.

Health Insurance Card

While no one wants to think about getting sick or injured during their vacation, it’s always important to be prepared. Bring your health insurance card and any relevant information, should you need medical attention while on the cruise. Familiarize yourself with the ship’s medical facilities and services, and keep your insurance information easily accessible.

Credit Cards

Having a credit card or two on hand is always a good idea when you’re traveling. It provides a convenient and secure method of payment for onboard purchases, as well as any incidental expenses you may incur during your trip. Be sure to notify your credit card provider about your travel plans to avoid any issues with international transactions or unexpected holds on your account.

Emergency Contacts

While it’s unlikely that anything drastic will happen during your vacation, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Make a list of emergency contacts, including family members, a trusted neighbor, or close friends. It’s also a good idea to have contact information for the nearest embassy or consulate in case of emergencies while you’re onshore at various ports of call.

Health and Safety Essentials

Prescription Medications

If you have any prescription medications that you take regularly, be sure to bring an adequate supply for the duration of your cruise. It’s a good idea to carry your medications in their original containers, along with the prescription labels. This will help avoid any problems with customs or security screenings. Consider keeping these medications easily accessible in your carry-on luggage for convenience.

Basic First Aid Kit

While the ship will have its own medical facilities and supplies, it’s always wise to have a basic first aid kit within reach. Include essentials such as band-aids, antiseptic wipes, pain relievers, motion sickness medication, and any other over-the-counter remedies you may need. This kit will come in handy for minor injuries or illnesses that can be easily treated on your own.


Spending time outdoors under the sun is a major part of any cruise vacation, especially if you’re visiting sunny destinations. Pack sunscreen with a high SPF to protect your skin from harmful UV rays. Opt for a waterproof or water-resistant formula to ensure long-lasting protection, even when you’re splashing in the pool or taking a swim in the ocean. Apply sunscreen generously and reapply frequently throughout the day.

Insect Repellent

If you’re cruising to destinations where mosquitoes or other insects are prevalent, packing insect repellent is crucial. Choose a repellent that contains DEET or another effective active ingredient. Apply it to exposed skin and clothing to ward off pesky insects and reduce the risk of bites or potential diseases they carry.

Motion Sickness Medications

If you’re prone to motion sickness or unsure of how your body will react to being on a ship, it’s a good idea to pack some motion sickness medications. There are various options available, including over-the-counter remedies and prescription medications prescribed by your doctor. Be sure to follow the instructions carefully and take any necessary precautions to prevent or relieve motion sickness symptoms.

Electronics and Gadgets

Phone and Charger

Your phone is undoubtedly an essential item in today’s world, even when you’re on a cruise vacation. Bring your smartphone along so you can stay connected with loved ones back home, capture memorable moments with photos and videos, and access the ship’s mobile app for valuable information and updates. Don’t forget to pack your charging cable and a travel adapter if necessary.

Camera or GoPro and Accessories

While your phone can capture great photos, consider bringing a dedicated camera or GoPro to take high-quality shots and videos of your cruise experience. A waterproof camera or case is particularly useful for water-related activities. Bring extra memory cards, batteries, and any additional camera accessories you may need to ensure you don’t miss out on capturing those breathtaking moments.

Portable Speaker

To enhance the ambiance in your cabin or while hanging out on the deck, bring along a portable speaker. Whether you want to listen to music, podcasts, or even watch a movie with better sound quality, a portable speaker will come in handy. Ensure that it’s small, lightweight, and Bluetooth-enabled for easy connectivity and convenience.

Power Strip

Cabins on cruise ships often have limited electrical outlets. To accommodate all your charging needs for phones, cameras, tablets, and other electronic gadgets, bring a power strip or surge protector. This way, you’ll have enough outlets to charge multiple devices simultaneously and conveniently.

E-reader or Tablet

If you enjoy reading, consider bringing an e-reader or tablet loaded with your favorite books, magazines, or apps. This is a great way to relax by the pool or in your cabin without the bulk of physical books. For families, a tablet can also be a handy device to keep children entertained with games, movies, or educational apps during downtime.

Entertainment and Leisure

Books or Magazines

While e-readers and tablets are convenient, some people still prefer the feel and experience of holding a physical book or flipping through a magazine. If you’re one of them, pack a few of your favorite reads to enjoy during your downtime. A good book is perfect for a lazy day by the pool or to unwind before bed.

Board Games or Playing Cards

Whether you’re traveling with friends, family, or even meeting new people on the cruise, board games and playing cards can be a great way to bond and have fun together. Pack a few compact games or a deck of cards to keep everyone entertained during quiet nights or when you’re taking a break from the hustle and bustle of the ship’s activities.

Snorkel Gear

If you’re heading to a destination known for its vibrant marine life and clear waters, consider bringing your own snorkel gear. While snorkel equipment is often available for rent or purchase at ports of call, having your own gear ensures a better fit, comfort, and hygiene. Don’t forget to pack swim fins, a snorkel mask, and a snorkel tube for an immersive underwater experience.


Binoculars can be a useful tool for exploring the landscapes, spotting wildlife, or simply taking in the scenic views from the deck. Whether you’re onshore visiting stunning coastlines or enjoying the sight of dolphins swimming alongside the ship, binoculars will enhance your overall experience and allow you to appreciate the beauty of the surrounding environment in more detail.

Portable Hammock

For those seeking relaxation and tranquility, a portable hammock is a must-have item. Imagine swaying gently in a hammock, reading a book, or simply enjoying the beautiful ocean view. Opt for a lightweight and easy-to-assemble hammock that can be attached to railings, trees, or any other secure spot on the ship. Make sure to follow the cruise ship’s guidelines regarding hanging items on board.

Toiletries and Personal Care

Toothbrush and Toothpaste

Maintaining your oral hygiene is essential, even while on vacation. Pack a toothbrush and toothpaste to keep your teeth clean and fresh. Consider bringing a travel-sized toothpaste for convenience and to comply with airline regulations if you’re flying to your cruise departure port.

Shampoo and Conditioner

While cruise ships typically provide toiletries in the cabins, it’s always nice to have your preferred shampoo and conditioner with you. Pack travel-sized bottles of your favorite products or transfer them into travel containers to save space in your luggage. Having your trusted hair care products will ensure that your hair stays healthy and manageable throughout your trip.

Soap or Shower Gel

Similarly, bring your preferred soap or shower gel to make your bathing routine comfortable and pleasant. Cruise ships often provide basic bar soaps, but if you have any specific skin sensitivities or preferences, it’s best to have your own. Pack travel-sized bottles or solid soap bars for convenience.

Hair Styling Tools

If you like to style your hair, pack your go-to hair styling tools such as a curling iron, straightener, or hair dryer. Most cruise ships provide hair dryers in the cabins, but they may not meet your individual needs. Having your own tools on hand means you can achieve the hairstyle you desire, whether it’s for an elegant evening or a casual day at sea.

Feminine Products

For those who menstruate, it’s important to pack an adequate supply of feminine products. Cruise ships usually have a limited selection available for purchase onboard, so it’s best to come prepared. Pack your preferred brand and type of products to ensure you have what you need for the duration of your cruise.

Miscellaneous Items

Reusable Water Bottle

Staying hydrated is crucial, especially in warm climates or during active days on the cruise. Bringing a reusable water bottle allows you to refill it throughout the day, helping you reduce plastic waste and save money on purchasing bottled water. Choose a durable, leak-proof bottle that can be easily carried in your bag or attached to your backpack.

Luggage Tags

To ensure your luggage is properly identified and delivered to your cabin, attach luggage tags to each piece of luggage you bring. These tags typically include your name, cabin number, and other identifiers provided by the cruise line. Be sure to include contact information in case your luggage gets misplaced or lost.

Laundry Bag

A laundry bag is a practical item to have on a cruise to keep dirty clothes separate from clean ones. It helps you maintain organization within your cabin and makes it easier when you need to do laundry or unpack upon returning home. Choose a lightweight and collapsible laundry bag that won’t take up much space in your luggage.

Ziplock Bags

Ziplock bags can be incredibly handy on a cruise, serving multiple purposes. Use them to store wet swimsuits, carry snacks while onshore excursions, protect small electronics or documents from moisture, or keep toiletries organized and leak-proof in case of spills. They are versatile and can be a lifesaver in various situations, so pack a few different sizes.

Travel Adapter

If you’re traveling to a different region or country, it’s important to bring a travel adapter to ensure you can charge your electronic devices. Cruise ships often have different electrical outlets depending on the ship and the destinations it visits. Check the electrical requirements and plug types for your specific cruise and pack the appropriate travel adapter to keep all your devices powered up during your trip.

Money and Valuables


While most purchases on cruise ships can be made with a credit card, it’s a good idea to bring some cash in the local currency of the ports you’ll be visiting. Cash can come in handy for small expenses, tipping, or purchasing items from local vendors or markets. Keep your cash secure and only carry the amount needed for each day.

Travel Money Card

A travel money card can be a convenient and secure alternative to carrying a lot of cash. Load your desired amount onto the card before your cruise, making sure it has the appropriate currencies for the ports you’ll be visiting. Travel money cards can be used like a debit card, and they offer easy access to your funds while protecting you against theft or loss.

Travel Insurance

Before boarding your Carnival cruise, it’s highly recommended to have travel insurance to provide protection and peace of mind. Travel insurance can cover unexpected cancellations, medical emergencies, lost or delayed luggage, and other unforeseen circumstances. Be sure to thoroughly understand the coverage and policy terms to choose the best option for your needs.

Jewelry and Accessories

If you plan to wear jewelry or bring valuable accessories on your cruise, take precautions to keep them safe. Bring your favorite pieces, but avoid bringing items that are irreplaceable or hold significant sentimental value. Consider using the small lockbox or safe provided in your cabin to secure your valuables when you’re not wearing them.

Small Lockbox or Safe

Most cruise ship cabins are equipped with a small lockbox or safe. Utilize this feature to store your important documents, cash, jewelry, and any other valuable items that you don’t feel comfortable leaving out in the open when you’re not in the cabin. This provides an added layer of security and peace of mind during your cruise.

Kids and Family Essentials

Baby Supplies

If you’re traveling with an infant or a toddler, be sure to pack all the necessary baby supplies. This may include diapers, wipes, formula, bottles, baby food, pacifiers, and any other items specific to your child’s needs. Ensure you have an ample supply to last the duration of the cruise, as some items may not be readily available onboard.

Stroller or Car Seat

If you have a young child who requires a stroller or car seat, consider bringing them along. While most cruise ships provide strollers for use onboard, having your own can be more convenient for exploring the ports of call or taking strolls along the ship’s deck. Check with the cruise line regarding guidelines for strollers and car seats before bringing them on board.

Entertainment for Kids

Cruises usually offer various activities and entertainment for children of all ages. However, packing a few items to keep your kids entertained during downtime is a good idea. Bring their favorite books, small toys, coloring books, and portable gaming devices that will keep them engaged and occupied while you relax or participate in adult-oriented activities.

Swim Diapers

If you’re traveling with a baby or a toddler who is not yet fully potty-trained, be sure to pack an adequate supply of swim diapers. Cruise ship pools and water parks often require the use of swim diapers for young children to help maintain cleanliness and prevent accidents in the water. Having enough swim diapers will ensure your little one can enjoy the pool without any problems.

Child Safety Items

When traveling with young children, it’s important to prioritize their safety. Pack childproofing items such as outlet covers, cabinet locks, and corner guards to ensure a safe environment in your cabin. Additionally, consider bringing a baby monitor or an alarm system to keep an eye on your child while they sleep or play in a separate area of the cabin.

Souvenirs and Shopping

Reusable Shopping Bag

Having a reusable shopping bag is not only environmentally conscious, but it also comes in handy when you’re exploring ports of call and looking to purchase souvenirs or other items. Bring a lightweight and foldable shopping bag that can be easily stuffed into your backpack or purse. This way, you’ll be prepared for any impromptu shopping sprees.

Local Currency

If you plan on shopping in local markets or stores at the ports of call, it’s a good idea to have some local currency on hand. While many places accept credit cards, smaller vendors or establishments may only accept cash. Make sure to exchange a small amount of money before your cruise or withdraw cash from ATMs at the ports to have the appropriate currency available.

Empty Suitcase or Duffel Bag

If you’re an avid shopper or anticipate buying a lot of souvenirs and gifts, consider bringing an empty suitcase or collapsible duffel bag. This extra bag can be used to bring back your purchases without having to worry about fitting them into your already-packed luggage. Be mindful of the weight restrictions and airline baggage guidelines when flying back home.

Gifts or Souvenirs

When cruising to various destinations, you’ll likely come across unique gifts and souvenirs that you may want to bring back for family and friends. Plan ahead and make a list of people you’d like to get gifts for. Consider local handicrafts, artwork, clothing, or food specialties that represent the culture and spirit of the ports you’re visiting.

Shopping List

To ensure you don’t forget any specific items you want to purchase during your trip, create a shopping list. This can include items you’ve been eyeing or suggestions from friends and family who have previously visited the same ports of call. Having a list will help you stay organized and focused, making your shopping experience more enjoyable and efficient.

By packing these essential items for your Carnival cruise, you’ll be prepared for a fun and memorable vacation. Remember to double-check the cruise line’s guidelines and review any specific recommendations or restrictions that may apply. Bon voyage!

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