What To Take On A Carnival Cruise

Are you excitedly planning your upcoming Carnival Cruise adventure? Wondering what items you should pack to make the most of your trip? Look no further! In this article, we’ll provide you with essential tips and suggestions on what to take on a Carnival Cruise. From practical items like sunscreen and comfortable shoes to fun accessories like pool floats and fancy attire for formal nights, we’ve got you covered. Get ready to set sail with confidence, knowing you have everything you need to make your Carnival Cruise experience unforgettable.


Formal attire

When preparing for a Carnival cruise, it’s essential to pack some formal attire for those special evenings onboard. Whether you have dinner reservations at one of the elegant restaurants or plan to attend a fancy cocktail party, having formal clothing is a must. A formal dress or a well-tailored suit will ensure that you look your best and feel confident during these formal events. Don’t forget to pair your attire with appropriate shoes and accessories to complete the look.

Casual wear

Even though there are formal nights on a Carnival cruise, most of the time will be spent in casual attire. Pack comfortable clothes such as shorts, t-shirts, sundresses, and lightweight pants. Be sure to check the weather forecast for your destination and consider packing layers for cooler evenings. Comfortable shoes are a must for exploring the ship and participating in various activities onboard. Remember to pack enough underwear and socks as well.


Since Carnival cruises offer fantastic pools and water activities, swimwear is a must-have. Pack your favorite swimsuits, cover-ups, and beach towels. Whether you plan to soak up the sun by the pool or take a dip at the beautiful beaches during shore excursions, having the right swimwear will ensure you make the most of your cruise experience.

Comfortable shoes

Exploring the ship and participating in various activities during your Carnival cruise may require a lot of walking. It’s essential to bring comfortable shoes that are suitable for walking long distances. Opt for sneakers, sandals, or deck shoes that provide support and are comfortable for extended periods. You’ll thank yourself later for choosing the right footwear to keep your feet happy throughout your vacation.

Jackets and sweaters

Although a Carnival cruise takes you to warm and sunny destinations, it’s always wise to bring a few jackets or sweaters. The air-conditioned interiors of the ship and cooler evenings might make you feel a bit chilly. Having a light jacket or sweater will ensure you stay comfortable throughout your cruise. Consider packing a waterproof jacket as well, in case you encounter unexpected rain.

Undergarments and sleepwear

It’s essential not to forget about packing undergarments and sleepwear. Pack enough underwear and bras for the duration of your trip, along with some comfy pajamas or sleepwear for a good night’s rest. Having the right undergarments and sleepwear will keep you comfortable during your Carnival cruise.


Passport and identification

Bringing your passport and identification is of utmost importance when going on a Carnival cruise. Make sure to double-check that your passport is valid for at least six months beyond your intended date of return. Additionally, bring a photocopy of your passport or other acceptable identification as a backup. Having these documents readily available will ensure a smooth embarkation process and ease any potential travel hiccups.

Cruise documents

Before your Carnival cruise, make sure to print and bring all necessary cruise documents. This includes your cruise booking confirmation, boarding pass, and any other paperwork you received during the booking process. These documents contain vital information and will be required when checking in and boarding the ship.

Money and credit cards

While onboard, you will need money for various expenses such as onboard activities, shopping, and drinks. Be sure to bring enough cash or have your credit cards on hand. It’s advisable to keep some cash in small denominations for tips and local purchases during shore excursions.


If you take any medications or have specific medical needs, it’s crucial to pack an adequate supply for the duration of your cruise. Make sure to bring your medications in their original packaging and carry them in your carry-on bag. It’s also a good idea to carry a written list of your medications, including dosages and any known allergies, in case of an emergency.


While Carnival cruises provide basic toiletries like soap and shampoo, it’s always a good idea to bring your favorite toiletries. Pack travel-sized versions of your preferred products such as toothpaste, toothbrush, deodorant, and any other personal care items you may need during your trip. Don’t forget to bring sunscreen, as the sun can be quite strong in some destinations.


In today’s digital age, it’s almost impossible to go on a cruise without some electronic devices. Whether you plan on snapping photos with your smartphone or listening to music on your tablet, be sure to pack the necessary electronic devices. Don’t forget to bring chargers and cables for your devices to keep them powered throughout the trip.

Travel adapters

If your Carnival cruise takes you to regions with different electrical outlets, it’s essential to pack travel adapters. These adapters will ensure that you can charge your devices and use any electrical appliances you may bring. Research the electrical standards of your cruise destinations and pack the appropriate travel adapters to avoid any inconvenience.


Books or e-readers

If you’re a bookworm, a Carnival cruise is the perfect time to catch up on your reading. Pack your favorite books or consider bringing an e-reader to have a wide selection of reading material at your fingertips. Relaxing by the pool or unwinding in your cabin with a good book is a great way to make the most of your cruise vacation.

Board games or playing cards

For some good old-fashioned fun, consider packing a few board games or a deck of cards. Board games are an excellent way to bond with fellow passengers or keep the family entertained during downtime. Playing cards are versatile and can be used for various games, ensuring hours of entertainment during your cruise.

Portable music player and headphones

Whether you prefer to immerse yourself in your favorite tunes or listen to an audiobook, having a portable music player and headphones is a fantastic idea. These devices are compact and easy to pack, allowing you to enjoy your personal music collection or podcasts while lounging on deck or exploring the ship.


If you enjoy birdwatching or want to get a closer look at the stunning coastal landscapes during your cruise, packing a pair of binoculars is a great idea. Binoculars allow you to see the beautiful details of nature or spot distant points of interest from the comfort of the ship.

Sports equipment

If you’re a sports enthusiast, consider bringing your favorite sports equipment. Whether it’s a tennis racket, a frisbee, or a golf club, having your preferred sporting gear will allow you to participate in onboard sports activities or enjoy sports facilities during shore excursions.

Camera or video recorder

Capture memories of your Carnival cruise with a camera or video recorder. From stunning sunsets to exciting shore excursions, there will be plenty of picture-worthy moments. Whether you opt for a DSLR camera or simply use your smartphone, having a device to document your trip will allow you to relive those memories for years to come.

Medical and Safety

Travel insurance

Before embarking on a Carnival cruise, it’s highly recommended to purchase travel insurance. Travel insurance provides coverage for medical emergencies, trip cancellations, lost luggage, and other unforeseen circumstances that may occur during your trip. Having travel insurance will give you peace of mind and ensure that you are protected throughout your cruise.

Sunscreen and hats

Protecting your skin from the sun’s harmful rays is crucial when spending time outdoors during your Carnival cruise. Pack sunscreen with a high SPF, sun hats, and sunglasses to shield yourself from excessive sun exposure. Applying sunscreen regularly and wearing a hat will help prevent sunburn and protect your skin from long-term damage.

Motion sickness remedies

If you are prone to motion sickness or are unsure how you will react to being on a cruise ship, it’s wise to pack some motion sickness remedies. There are various over-the-counter medications, wristbands, and natural remedies available to alleviate motion sickness symptoms. Consult with your healthcare professional to determine the best option for you.

First aid kit

Bringing a basic first aid kit is always a good idea when traveling. Include items such as band-aids, antiseptic ointment, pain relievers, and any personal medications you may need. While Carnival cruises have medical facilities onboard, having a small first aid kit will allow you to address minor injuries or ailments promptly.

Emergency contact information

Having a list of emergency contact information is crucial during any trip. Include the contact details of a trusted family member or friend, as well as the contact information for your healthcare provider and travel insurance company. Keep this information easily accessible in case of emergencies.

Safety whistle or alarm

Although Carnival cruises prioritize passenger safety, it’s essential to have your own safety precautions in place. Pack a safety whistle or personal alarm that can be easily attached to your clothes or bag. These devices can be useful in attracting attention or alerting others if you find yourself in an emergency situation.

Swimming aids for children

If you are traveling with children who are not confident swimmers, it’s essential to pack swimming aids such as floaties or life jackets. Carnival cruises provide pools and water activities, and having appropriate swimming aids will ensure the safety of your little ones while they enjoy the water.

Food and Drinks

Reusable water bottle

Staying hydrated is crucial during your Carnival cruise, especially when spending time under the sun or participating in physical activities. Pack a reusable water bottle to keep yourself hydrated throughout the day. Most ships have water stations where you can refill your bottle, helping to reduce waste and save money on purchasing bottled water.

Snacks and drinks

While Carnival cruises offer a wide range of dining options, sometimes you might crave a quick snack or have specific dietary requirements. Packing some of your favorite snacks and drinks allows you to have a convenient and familiar option readily available. Be mindful of any restrictions on bringing food onboard and pack items that comply with the cruise line’s policies.

Lunchbox or cooler

If you plan to spend full days exploring during shore excursions, having a lunchbox or cooler can be handy. Packing a picnic-style lunch will allow you to enjoy a meal wherever you are without worrying about finding a restaurant. Consider packing sandwiches, fruits, and other non-perishable items that can withstand the day’s activities.

Utensils and napkins

Don’t forget to pack some basic utensils such as spoons, forks, and knives, as well as napkins or paper towels. These items will come in handy for enjoying your snacks or meals, especially if you’re having a picnic-style lunch during shore excursions. Portable utensil sets and travel-sized paper products are readily available for convenience.

Ziplock bags

Having a few ziplock bags in different sizes is always a good idea when traveling. They can be used to store leftover food, protect electronics or documents from water damage, or keep wet swimsuits separate from other items in your bag. Ziplock bags are versatile and can come in handy in various situations during your Carnival cruise.


Beach towels

Most Carnival cruises provide towels for use onboard, but having your own beach towels can be convenient during shore excursions or beach visits. Pack a few lightweight and quick-drying beach towels that are easily portable. These towels can also double as comfortable sunbathing mats or picnic blankets.

Beach bag

A spacious and durable beach bag is essential for carrying all your essentials to the beach or pool. Look for a bag with multiple compartments and a sturdy design that can withstand sand, water, and sun exposure. Having a beach bag will keep all your belongings organized and easily accessible while enjoying your time by the water.

Inflatable floaties

If you enjoy lounging in the water or want to add some extra fun to your pool time, consider packing inflatable floaties. From inflatable rafts to floating loungers, there are countless options available to enhance your water experience. Make sure to choose floaties that are suitable for your weight and size and inflate them safely according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Snorkeling gear

If you plan to explore the underwater wonders during your Carnival cruise, packing your own snorkeling gear is a great idea. Having a well-fitting mask, snorkel, and fins will ensure a comfortable and enjoyable experience. However, if you prefer not to bring your own gear, snorkeling equipment is often available for rent or purchase on the ship or during shore excursions.


Binoculars are not only useful for spotting distant points of interest but also for observing wildlife and coastal landscapes during your Carnival cruise. Consider packing a compact and lightweight pair of binoculars that can easily fit in your bag and provide a closer and more detailed view of the surroundings.

Hiking shoes

For those who enjoy outdoor adventures and exploring nature, packing a pair of sturdy hiking shoes is a must. Whether you’re planning to go hiking in lush rainforests or exploring rugged terrains during shore excursions, having proper hiking shoes will provide support and protect your feet during these activities.


A small daypack is a practical accessory to have during your Carnival cruise. It allows you to stay organized and carry essentials such as water bottles, sunscreen, a camera, and a light jacket without carrying a bulky bag. Look for a daypack that is lightweight, has multiple compartments, and is comfortable to wear for extended periods.

Sun hat

Protecting your face and head from the sun’s rays is essential, especially during outdoor activities. Pack a wide-brimmed sun hat that provides ample shade and has a comfortable fit. A sun hat will help prevent sunburn and keep you cool while enjoying the sunny destinations on your Carnival cruise.

Kids and Family

Baby supplies

If you’re traveling with a baby or toddler, it’s important to pack all the necessary supplies to ensure their comfort during the cruise. This may include diapers, wipes, formula or baby food, bottles, pacifiers, and any other essential items. Consider researching if the cruise line offers any specific amenities or services for families traveling with young children.

Stroller or carrier

Having a stroller or carrier for your little one provides convenience and comfort while exploring the ship or going on shore excursions. Choose a lightweight and compact stroller that is easy to fold and maneuver around crowded spaces. Alternatively, a baby carrier allows you to have your hands free while keeping your baby close and secure.

Kids’ entertainment

Carnival cruise ships offer various activities and entertainment options for children of all ages. However, it’s always a good idea to pack some additional entertainment for your kids. Consider bringing coloring books, crayons, small toys, or tablets loaded with their favorite games or cartoons. Having these familiar items will keep your children entertained during downtime or when they need a break from organized activities.

Childproofing items

If you have young children who are exploring their surroundings or are in the crawling stage, bring some childproofing supplies to ensure their safety. Pack outlet covers, door stoppers, or furniture corner protectors to create a safe environment in your cabin. These simple items can help prevent accidents and provide peace of mind for parents.

Family-friendly clothing

When packing for your Carnival cruise, don’t forget about family-friendly clothing for your children. Pack a mix of formal and casual outfits suitable for various occasions onboard. Also, make sure you have enough swimsuits, cover-ups, and clothing appropriate for shore excursions and outdoor activities. Don’t forget to include pajamas and comfortable shoes for your little ones as well.

Towels for water play

While Carnival cruises provide towels for use onboard, packing some small towels specifically for water play can be convenient, especially for children. These towels can be used at the splash park, water slides, or for drying off after a dip in the pool. Having designated towels for water activities will keep your regular towels dry and clean.



Protecting your eyes from the sun is essential, so packing a reliable pair of sunglasses is a must. Look for sunglasses with UV protection to shield your eyes from harmful rays. Choose a style that suits your personal taste and provides adequate coverage for your eyes and the delicate skin around them.

Hats and visors

In addition to a sun hat, packing hats and visors for other family members is a great idea. Having hats with wide brims or baseball caps will provide additional protection from the sun’s rays and keep everyone comfortable during outdoor activities. Whether it’s a classic straw hat or a trendy visor, these accessories will keep you stylish and sun-safe.

Jewelry and accessories

While it’s advisable to keep valuable or sentimental jewelry to a minimum when traveling, packing a few versatile pieces can enhance your outfits and add a touch of elegance. Choose jewelry that is easy to mix and match, such as statement necklaces, earrings, or bracelets. Additionally, consider bringing practical accessories like a watch or a waterproof wristband for your cruise card.

Handbags or backpacks

Having a reliable bag to carry your daily essentials is crucial during your Carnival cruise. Consider packing a practical handbag or backpack that is comfortable to carry and has enough compartments for your belongings. Opt for a bag that is durable and water-resistant to withstand any potential spills or unexpected rain.


Although most Carnival cruises offer beautiful sunny days, it’s always wise to be prepared for the occasional rain shower. Packing a compact and lightweight umbrella will ensure you stay dry during unexpected downpours. Choose an umbrella that is easy to fold and store in your bag or backpack for convenience.

Tote bag

Whether it’s for shopping at the onboard boutiques or carrying items to the pool or beach, a versatile tote bag is a must-have accessory during your Carnival cruise. Look for one that is roomy, durable, and comfortable to carry. A tote bag provides extra storage space and is useful for keeping your belongings organized while exploring the ship or enjoying shore excursions.


Laundry bag

Packing a laundry bag or a dedicated space-saving bag for dirty clothes can be a practical addition to your luggage. As you wear clothes throughout your cruise, separate them from the clean ones by storing them in a designated laundry bag. This will keep your clean clothes fresh and make unpacking and laundry sorting easier when you return home.

Reusable shopping bags

Carnival cruises often stop at ports where you’ll have the opportunity to go shopping. Packing a few reusable shopping bags is not only environmentally friendly but also handy for carrying your purchases back to the ship. Look for foldable bags that can easily fit in your bag or backpack.

International plug adapter

If your Carnival cruise takes you to countries with different electrical outlets, a universal plug adapter is a must. This small accessory allows you to charge your electronic devices and use any electrical appliances without compatibility issues. Research the electrical standards of your destination countries and pack the appropriate plug adapter to ensure you can use your devices.

Travel pillow and blanket

Long flights or car rides may be part of your journey to embark on your Carnival cruise. Packing a travel pillow and a lightweight blanket will ensure you can rest comfortably during your travel. These items can also be useful during the cruise for relaxing on deck or creating a cozy atmosphere in your cabin when needed.

Alarm clock

Although staterooms on Carnival cruises typically have alarm clocks, packing a small travel alarm clock can be useful for ensuring you wake up on time for scheduled activities or early morning adventures. Having your own clock will give you peace of mind and help you stay on schedule throughout your cruise.

Sewing kit

Unexpected clothing mishaps can happen, even during a vacation. Packing a small sewing kit with basic supplies like needles, thread, buttons, and safety pins can save the day. Whether it’s a loose button or a small tear, having a sewing kit will allow you to make simple repairs and continue enjoying your Carnival cruise without any wardrobe malfunctions.

Documents and Communication

Passports and visas

One of the most critical items to pack for your Carnival cruise is your passport. Ensure that your passport is valid for at least six months beyond your intended date of return. Additionally, check if you need any visas for the countries you will be visiting during your trip and have all the necessary documentation ready.

Cruise itinerary

Print and bring a copy of your Carnival cruise itinerary to keep track of the ship’s schedule, port stops, and activities. Having a physical copy will allow you to review the details and plan your days accordingly. Additionally, it can be handy if you need to consult the itinerary quickly or share it with fellow travelers.

Emergency contact numbers

In case of any unforeseen circumstances or emergencies, it’s essential to have a list of emergency contact numbers readily available. Include the contact information for the cruise line, local authorities at the ports of call, and the embassy or consulate of your home country. Having these numbers easily accessible can provide assistance during any critical situations.

Copy of health insurance cards

Before departing on your Carnival cruise, make sure to make photocopies or take pictures of your health insurance cards. Having duplicates of these cards will be useful in case of any medical emergencies or need to access healthcare services during your trip. Keep these copies in a separate and easily accessible location from your actual cards.

Important medication information

If you take regular medications or have specific medical conditions, it’s crucial to have all the necessary information readily available. Make a list of your medications, including their names, dosages, and any instructions. Additionally, include any known allergies or medical conditions to ensure that you can receive appropriate medical care if needed.

Mobile phone and charger

Bringing your mobile phone and charger is essential for staying connected during your Carnival cruise. Keep in mind that international roaming charges can be high, so check with your service provider about international plans or consider purchasing a local SIM card at the ports of call. Having a mobile phone will also allow you to use various cruise ship apps and take advantage of onboard features and activities.

By preparing and packing the items listed above, you’ll be well-equipped for an enjoyable and stress-free Carnival cruise. Remember to tailor your packing list according to your personal preferences, destination, and the duration of your trip. Pay attention to any specific guidelines or restrictions provided by the cruise line and make sure to double-check your packing list before setting sail. Bon voyage and have a fantastic time aboard your Carnival cruise!