We recently headed off on our first family cruise with Carnival cruise line! I have been on a cruise once a long time ago (over 10 years ago) and was excited when I was given the opportunity to bring my entire family, parents included on their first cruise. However, since it has been so long since I have been on a cruise I was clueless as to what to pack for not only myself but for my kids as well. After heading off on the cruse and talking to some friends that have been on a cruise before I have compiled some Carnival Cruise Packing Tips for those who are heading of on their first cruise.
My post is sponsored by Carnival Cruise Line, however, all my opinions are my own. you can find my full disclosures HERE.
Carnival Cruise PackingTips
I, someone who like to have variety, wanted to pack enough clothing for myself and the children for a 2 month voyage. However, I quickly realized that my carry on and the children’s carry ons would not support this.
Pack light, the ship has laundry services and laundry rooms if you want to do it yourself. We ended up doing laundry about halfway through the cruise and we all survived with our minimal packing.
Make sure that you have a valid ID as well as birth certificates if you don’t have a U.S. Passport. You can find all of Carnival policies on travel documentation HERE.
This is a given. What I recommend though is to bring at least 2 bathing suits. No one likes to put a wet bathing suit on to go back to the pool on the cruise or to the beach at port. Making sure that you pack sun shirts for the kids is a must as well. The sun was way hotter then we were used to in the Carribean so these came in handy to help prevent sunburns on the children.
One thing you don’t need to pack is a beach towel. Carnival provides you with towels to use while on the ship and while off. Just make sure that you return your towel to the room or they charge per lost towel.
Flip flops and sandals are cool but you will quickly realize that walking around in ports is much easier if you have a pair of sneakers.
While Carnival provides shampoo and body wash in the state rooms, if you’re a princess like me and can’t imagine life without your fav products then pack your own.
You can pack one 750 mL bottle of wine per adult carry on when getting on the cruise. Not going to lie; this was a nice perk that I was not expecting. You can also carry on one 12 pack of cans with each person to have in your state room. Not allowed: hard liquor, beer and bottles of any kind.
For the young ones like Avery, make sure you pack swim diapers for those beach days. While these diapers are virtually non absorbent they do help somewhat for those non potty trained kiddos out there.
This is one thing that I wish I had packed. It is much easier to fill this up in the morning with coffee then to continue to grab a small little mug of coffee. Other people, much smarter then me, also had refillable travel cups to put water, lemonade or juice in to take with them each day.
I was beyond thankful to have on our Carnival Cruise. It was easy to put Avery in it to push her around instead of making her walk the entire ship. It also was useful when carting all our travel stuff around for the day and getting down to level 0 to disembark on port days since the line to go down the stairs was incredibly long.
Even though we were in the Caribbean, the weather can be unpredictable. Random rain storms and wind made for some periods of being cold. Also, the AC is generally on full blast in many enclosed areas of the ship. So if you are someone who gets cold easily, make sure you back a layer or two to have on hand.
And by nice clothing, I mean pants that are not jeans or shorts for the men and dress or nice pants for the women. The cruise has a couple of nights that are called formal nights where the dress code is fancier then your cruise casual dress to get into the restaurants. Don’t make the mistake Aaron made and had to buy a pair of skin tight dress pants at one of the ports to be able to go to dinner on cruise elegant night.
If you have been on a cruise before, what items were a must have for your trip? Let me know in the comments below!
If you are looking to book your very own Carnival Cruise head to their website HERE. They have many different affordable options and cruise lengths that you can choose from.
Jessica Collazo says
Carnival Cruises are the best. I’ve been in 3 of them and I love all the fun.
This is a very helpful guide, as I have never been on a cruise before. Good idea to bring more than one bathing suit. I travel carry on as well so it’s good to know that there are laundry facilities on the ship.
Nicki Competa Escapes says
Loved your blog! I haven’t yet been on the cruise, I love the idea of dressing up etc but not so much the crowds.
Kathy Kenny Ngo says
I remember having a similar checklist like this for my own cruise. Hopefully, my small family and I will be able to go on a cruise soon.
I’ve never been in a cruise. I thought you must bring formal dresses for dinner. I guess because this is a fun family cruise?
Jon Maldia says
Never been on a cruise. I’m def going to be prepared now when I do. Thanks for the tips!
I also pack light whenever I travel. It gives me the freedom to move around the places I go to with ease minus the heavy weight on my back.
David Elliott says
That’s interesting that they allowed wine but not beer. Kind of curious about that. But it’s nice they allowed the bottle of wine onboard. I really want to take a cruise soon.
I’ll never think not to pack towels along. These are some great and useful tips.
Christopher Mitchell says
I want that cold drink in my hands, right NOW! I actually had a blast when I went cruising last time!