What To Pack On A Carnival Cruise

Are you getting ready for an exciting adventure on a Carnival Cruise? Wondering what essentials you should pack to make the most of your vacation? Look no further! This article will provide you with a handy guide on what to pack on a Carnival Cruise. From swimwear and sunscreen to comfortable shoes and evening attire, we’ve got you covered. So, grab your suitcase and get ready to sail away on an unforgettable journey filled with fun, relaxation, and countless memories!


Casual Attire

When packing for your Carnival cruise, be sure to include a variety of casual attire. You’ll want comfortable clothes for exploring the ship, relaxing by the pool, and enjoying the cruise’s many activities. T-shirts, shorts, and lightweight dresses are great options for daytime wear. Don’t forget to pack a few pairs of comfortable walking shoes, as well as sandals or flip-flops for lounging poolside. And of course, be sure to include underwear, socks, and sleepwear for your stay onboard.

Formal Attire

Many Carnival cruises have one or more formal nights, so it’s important to include formal attire in your packing list. For men, this typically means a suit or tuxedo, although a dress shirt and slacks with a tie can also be appropriate. Women can opt for a cocktail dress, dressy separates, or even a gown if they prefer. It’s a good idea to pack a pair of formal shoes to complete your outfit. Formal nights offer a wonderful opportunity to dress up and capture some fantastic photos, so be sure to plan accordingly.


With multiple pools and water attractions onboard, swimwear is essential for a Carnival cruise. Whether you prefer one-piece swimsuits, bikinis, or swim trunks, pack enough swimwear to allow for rotation and drying time. You may also want to include cover-ups or shorts to wear around the ship when you’re not in the water. Don’t forget to pack sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun’s rays while enjoying the pool areas.


While Carnival cruises are often associated with warm weather and tropical destinations, it’s important to be prepared for cooler temperatures, particularly in the evenings or in air-conditioned areas of the ship. Consider packing a lightweight jacket or sweater to stay warm when needed. Additionally, if your cruise itinerary includes ports of call in cooler climates, such as Alaska or Northern Europe, be sure to pack appropriate outerwear for those destinations as well.


When it comes to footwear, it’s important to pack a variety of shoe options for different activities and occasions on your Carnival cruise. Comfortable walking shoes or sneakers are a must for exploring the ship and participating in shore excursions. Sandals or flip-flops are perfect for lounging by the pool or strolling on the beach. If you plan on attending any formal events, be sure to pack a pair of dress shoes to complete your formal attire. Having a good mix of shoes will ensure that you’re prepared for any situation that arises during your cruise.


Accessories can add the finishing touches to your cruise outfits and enhance your overall experience. Consider packing a hat or visor to protect yourself from the sun while lounging by the pool or exploring sunny ports of call. Sunglasses are another essential item to shield your eyes from the bright sunlight. Don’t forget to bring your favorite jewelry pieces to add some sparkle to your formal attire. Lastly, consider including a small backpack or tote bag for carrying essentials while exploring the ship or venturing ashore.

Toiletries and Medications

Toothbrush and Toothpaste

Maintaining good oral hygiene is important, even while on vacation. Be sure to pack a toothbrush and toothpaste to keep your teeth clean and fresh during your Carnival cruise. Consider bringing travel-sized products to save space in your luggage.

Shampoo and Conditioner

While Carnival cruises typically provide basic toiletries in the staterooms, you may prefer to bring your own shampoo and conditioner. This way, you can use products that you’re familiar with and catered to your specific hair needs. Opt for travel-sized bottles to save space in your luggage.

Soap and Body Wash

Just like with shampoo and conditioner, you may prefer to bring your own soap or body wash. This allows you to use products that you’re comfortable with and that suit your skin type. Travel-sized bottles are ideal for minimizing luggage space.


Staying fresh and odor-free is important, especially in the warm and tropical climate often associated with Carnival cruises. Don’t forget to include deodorant in your packing list to ensure you feel confident throughout your vacation. Consider bringing both a stick deodorant for everyday use and a travel-sized one for excursions.


Protecting your skin from the sun’s harmful rays is crucial, especially when spending extended periods of time outdoors on a cruise. Be sure to pack a sunscreen with a high SPF to shield your skin from potential sunburns. Opt for a broad-spectrum sunscreen that provides protection against both UVA and UVB rays.

Prescription Medications

If you take any prescription medications, it’s essential to bring enough for the duration of your cruise. Be sure to pack your medications in their original containers, and consider bringing a copy of your prescription just in case. It’s also a good idea to keep your medications in your carry-on luggage, in case your checked bags are delayed.

Travel Documents and Essentials

Passport and ID

When traveling on a Carnival cruise, it’s crucial to bring your passport for international itineraries or a government-issued ID for domestic cruises. Make sure your passport is valid for at least six months beyond your cruise dates to avoid any issues. Always keep your passport or ID in a secure place, such as a safe in your stateroom.

Carnival Cruise Line Documents

Before departing on your Carnival cruise, you’ll receive various documents from the cruise line. These may include boarding passes, luggage tags, excursion tickets, and more. Be sure to pack these documents in a safe and easily accessible place to ensure a smooth embarkation process.

Travel Insurance

While travel insurance is not mandatory for cruising, it is highly recommended to protect yourself against unforeseen circumstances. Travel insurance can provide coverage for medical emergencies, trip cancellations, and lost or delayed luggage, among other things. Be sure to research and purchase an appropriate policy that suits your needs before your Carnival cruise.

Cash and Credit Cards

While Carnival cruises operate on a cashless system, it’s still a good idea to bring some cash for tips and purchases in ports of call. Additionally, make sure to bring your credit cards for onboard expenses. Familiarize yourself with the cruise line’s policy regarding cash and credit card usage to ensure you have enough funds for your desired activities and purchases.

Electronics and Chargers

If you plan on staying connected or capturing memories during your Carnival cruise, be sure to pack your electronic devices. This may include a cell phone, camera, e-reader, or tablet. Don’t forget to bring the necessary chargers and adapters to keep your devices powered up and ready to use throughout your trip.

First Aid Kit

While Carnival cruises have medical facilities onboard, it’s always a good idea to pack a basic first aid kit for any minor ailments or injuries that may occur. Include items such as bandages, pain relievers, motion sickness medication, and any other personal medications or supplies you may require. Having these essentials on hand can provide peace of mind while enjoying your vacation.

Entertainment and Activities

Books or E-Readers

If you enjoy reading, be sure to pack some books or an e-reader to keep yourself entertained during your Carnival cruise. Whether you prefer fiction, non-fiction, or a mix of genres, having a book or two can be a great way to relax and unwind while lounging by the pool or resting in your stateroom.

Board Games or Card Games

Bringing along a deck of cards or some compact board games can be a fun way to pass the time and enjoy socializing with fellow cruisers. Whether you’re playing on a sunny deck or in a cozy lounge area, games can add an extra layer of entertainment to your Carnival cruise experience.

Snorkeling Gear

If snorkeling is on your list of activities to try during your Carnival cruise, consider packing your own snorkeling gear. While the ship may provide gear for rent or use during organized excursions, having your own mask and snorkel can ensure a proper fit and optimal comfort while exploring the underwater world.

Sports Equipment

For those interested in sports and physical activities, don’t forget to pack any necessary equipment. This may include items such as tennis rackets, golf clubs, or even your favorite workout gear. Many Carnival cruises offer sports facilities and fitness centers onboard, allowing you to engage in your favorite activities while at sea.

Cameras or GoPros

To capture the stunning views, exciting activities, and memorable moments during your Carnival cruise, be sure to pack a camera or GoPro. Whether you prefer a traditional DSLR camera or a small action camera, having the means to document your experiences will allow you to relive your cruise memories for years to come.

Art Supplies

If you’re feeling creatively inclined, consider packing some art supplies for your Carnival cruise. Whether you enjoy drawing, painting, or scrapbooking, having these supplies on hand can provide a great way to unwind and express your artistic side during your vacation. Create a beautiful watercolor painting inspired by the stunning sights you encounter or capture the essence of your cruise in a scrapbook.

Personal Care Items

Hairbrush or Comb

Maintaining a well-groomed appearance while on your Carnival cruise is important to many travelers. Don’t forget to pack a hairbrush or comb to keep your hair looking its best. Whether you prefer a compact travel-sized brush or a large comb, having the right tools for your hair type will ensure that you can easily style and manage your hair throughout your vacation.

Makeup and Beauty Products

If you enjoy wearing makeup, be sure to pack your favorite products to enhance your natural beauty. Consider bringing a small makeup bag with essential items such as foundation, mascara, lipstick, and blush. Don’t forget to include makeup remover wipes or a small bottle of makeup remover to easily cleanse your face at the end of the day.

Razors and Shaving Cream

For those who prefer to keep their skin smooth and hair-free, including razors and shaving cream in your packing list is essential. Whether you prefer disposable razors or a safety razor, make sure to pack enough for the duration of your cruise. Opt for travel-sized shaving cream or opt for a shaving gel that doesn’t require additional products.

Feminine Hygiene Products

To ensure comfort and convenience during your Carnival cruise, be sure to pack an ample supply of feminine hygiene products. Whether you prefer tampons, pads, or menstrual cups, make sure to bring enough for the duration of your trip. It’s also a good idea to pack some resealable plastic bags for discreet disposal.

Nail Clippers and Files

Keeping your nails well-groomed is important, even while on vacation. Be sure to pack nail clippers and files to maintain your nail health and appearance. Consider packing a compact set of nail care tools or opt for a nail file with a protective cover to prevent any accidental damage to your belongings.

Contacts and Glasses

If you wear contact lenses or glasses, be sure to pack your necessary eye care items. It’s a good idea to bring spare contact lenses, contact lens solution, and a contact lens case to ensure you have everything you need. If you prefer glasses, bring a sturdy case to protect them when not in use.

Food and Beverages

Reusable Water Bottle

Staying hydrated is important, especially in warm climates and while participating in various activities during your Carnival cruise. Packing a reusable water bottle allows you to easily refill it throughout the day, reducing waste and ensuring you always have access to fresh water. Consider choosing a collapsible water bottle that takes up minimal space in your luggage.

Snacks and Non-Perishable Items

While meals are provided onboard your Carnival cruise, you may still want to pack some snacks and non-perishable items. This can be especially useful during excursions or in case you have specific dietary requirements or preferences. Opt for individually wrapped snacks or items that don’t require refrigeration to ensure they stay fresh throughout your trip.

Alcoholic Beverages (within limits)

Carnival Cruise Line allows each guest to bring a limited amount of alcoholic beverages onboard. The specific policies regarding alcohol may vary, so be sure to review the guidelines provided by the cruise line. If you plan on enjoying your favorite drinks during your cruise, pack them securely to avoid breakage and ensure compliance with the cruise line’s policies.

Wine or Champagne

If you’re a wine or champagne enthusiast, consider bringing a bottle or two to enjoy during your Carnival cruise. Again, be sure to review the specific policies regarding bringing alcohol onboard, as each cruise line may have different regulations. If permitted, pack your bottles securely to avoid breakage and enjoy a glass of your favorite beverage while overlooking the stunning ocean views.

Tech and Gadgets

Cell Phone and Charger

Your cell phone is likely an essential item that you won’t want to forget when packing for your Carnival cruise. Whether you use it to stay connected with loved ones, take photos, or access onboard apps and information, be sure to bring your cell phone and charger. Consider packing a portable charger as well for times when you may not have access to a power outlet.

Camera and Accessories

In addition to using your cell phone to capture memories, consider packing a dedicated camera for higher quality photos. Whether you prefer a DSLR or a compact point-and-shoot camera, having a separate camera can provide you with more options and control over your photography. Don’t forget to pack additional memory cards, batteries, and a protective case for your camera.

Portable Speaker

If you enjoy listening to music or podcasts during your cruise, consider packing a portable speaker. This can provide a better audio experience when enjoying your favorite tunes in your stateroom or on the balcony. Opt for a compact and waterproof speaker that can withstand the conditions of a cruise ship.


With the constant use of electronic devices, having a power bank can be a lifesaver during your Carnival cruise. This portable battery charger allows you to recharge your devices on the go, ensuring that you don’t miss out on any photo opportunities or lose connection with loved ones. Remember to charge your power bank before your trip and pack the necessary cables.

Laptop or Tablet

While many travelers may prefer to disconnect during their cruise, others may need to have access to a laptop or tablet for work or personal reasons. If you fall into this category, consider bringing your device along with any necessary accessories, such as chargers or adapters. It’s a good idea to store your electronic devices in your carry-on luggage to ensure their safety and accessibility.

Miscellaneous Items

Laundry Bag

Having a dedicated laundry bag can help keep your clean and dirty clothes separated during your Carnival cruise. Consider packing a lightweight, foldable bag that takes up minimal space in your suitcase. This way, you can keep your luggage organized and make it easier to unpack and repack as needed.

Ziplock Bags

Ziplock bags can serve various purposes during your Carnival cruise and can come in handy in unexpected situations. They can be used to store wet swimsuits, protect electronics or important documents from water damage, or even keep small items organized within your luggage. Pack a few different sizes to accommodate various needs.


While Caribbean cruises are often associated with sunny days, unexpected rain showers can still occur. Packing a small, compact umbrella can be a lifesaver to keep you dry during outdoor activities or while exploring ports of call. Opt for a lightweight and portable umbrella that easily fits into your bag or backpack.


Protecting your eyes from the sun’s rays is important, especially when spending extended periods of time outdoors during your Carnival cruise. Don’t forget to pack a pair of sunglasses to shield your eyes from UV radiation and reduce glare. Opt for sunglasses with polarized lenses for optimal protection and visual clarity.


If you enjoy observing wildlife or simply want a closer look at the beautiful landscapes or passing ships, packing a pair of binoculars can greatly enhance your cruise experience. Whether you’re on your private balcony or on a guided excursion, binoculars can provide a new perspective and allow you to appreciate the finer details of your surroundings.

Snorkel Mask

While some destinations and excursions may provide snorkeling gear, having your own snorkel mask ensures a proper fit and cleanliness. If snorkeling is a priority for you during your Carnival cruise, consider including a snorkel mask in your packing list. This way, you can explore the vibrant underwater world at your leisure and feel more comfortable in the water.

Kids and Family

Diapers and Wipes

If you’re traveling with young children who are not yet potty-trained, it’s important to pack an ample supply of diapers and wipes. Consider bringing enough for the duration of your cruise, as well as some extras in case of unexpected delays or emergencies. Don’t forget to pack a diaper bag or a designated container to keep everything organized.

Strollers or Baby Carriers

For families with infants or toddlers, bringing a stroller or baby carrier can greatly simplify transportation and keep your little ones comfortable and secure. Whether you opt for a lightweight stroller or a heavy-duty jogging stroller, ensure it meets the specific size and weight restrictions outlined by the cruise line.

Children’s Clothing

When packing for your children, consider their specific clothing needs and preferences. Include a variety of casual and formal attire, swimwear, and comfortable shoes to keep them prepared for any occasion or activity. Additionally, pack enough underwear, socks, and sleepwear for your child’s comfort throughout the cruise.

Toys and Games

To keep your children entertained during the cruise, don’t forget to pack their favorite toys and games. Whether it’s a beloved stuffed animal, a set of building blocks, or a travel-sized board game, having familiar and engaging activities can help keep children entertained and make their Carnival cruise experience even more enjoyable.

Baby Monitor

For parents traveling with infants, a baby monitor can provide peace of mind and allow you to keep an ear out for your little one while enjoying the ship’s amenities. Opt for a portable and reliable baby monitor that can be easily set up in your stateroom.

Baby Formula or Food

If you’re traveling with an infant or young child who is not yet eating solid foods, be sure to pack an ample supply of baby formula or food. Consider bringing enough for the entire duration of your cruise, as well as some extras in case of unforeseen circumstances. Remember to pack any necessary feeding supplies, such as bottles, nipples, and utensils.

Safety and Security

Locks for Luggage

To ensure the safety of your belongings during your Carnival cruise, consider packing locks for your luggage. This will help protect your valuables from theft or accidental opening. Opt for TSA-approved locks to allow for hassle-free inspection if required.

Portable Safe

If you have valuable items, important documents, or cash that you want to keep secure during your Carnival cruise, consider bringing a portable safe. This will provide an extra layer of protection and give you peace of mind while enjoying various activities onboard or exploring ports of call.

Travel Insurance

As previously mentioned, travel insurance is an important consideration when planning your cruise. It can provide coverage for medical emergencies, trip cancellations, lost or delayed luggage, and other unforeseen circumstances. Be sure to research and purchase a suitable policy to ensure your safety and peace of mind throughout your Carnival cruise.

Emergency Contacts List

Having a list of emergency contacts readily available is essential in case of unforeseen situations or emergencies during your cruise. Include important phone numbers such as your travel insurance provider, the Carnival cruise line’s emergency contact, and any personal emergency contacts you may have.

Motion Sickness Medication

If you’re prone to motion sickness or have concerns about seasickness, consider packing motion sickness medication. There are various over-the-counter options available, such as patches, pills, and wristbands. Be sure to consult with your healthcare provider to determine the best option for you and your specific needs.

Personal Alarms

To enhance your personal safety while on your Carnival cruise, you may consider packing a personal alarm. These small devices emit a loud sound when activated and can help deter potential threats or attract attention in case of an emergency. Personal alarms are compact and easily attachable to bags or clothing for quick access.

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