8 Must Haves For a 7 Day Cruise


Photo Credit: Phil Kelsch

Recently my family took a 7 day cruise to the Caribbean. Of course, I did my research and wanted to be 110% prepared before we debarked. I started planning and packing about one month prior. The following 8 items are my absolute must haves…

Digital Waterproof Watch

watchgWoman’s Timex Watch

There is no need to pack your fancy Rolex watch. While some people may think having a watch on vacation is not a good idea, I disagree. I purchased inexpensive watches for everyone in my family. When you first arrive on your ship, I recommend setting your watch to the ships time. Therefore, when you arrive to the different ports, you will know exactly what time the ship is leaving. Many people have missed their ship because they returned to the port on the port’s local time and not the time of the ship. When searching for a watch, I recommend a waterproof watch with an alarm. It will serve multiple purposes and you don’t have to worry about it being damaged in the pool or at the beach.

Favorite Lanyard 


Black and White Damask Lanyard

Your ship’s cabin key card (sail and sign card for Carnival cruisers) is basically your life line while on the ship. In addition to being your cabin (room) key card, it also contains your account information, used to make purchases on the ship, and used for identification for boarding. On some ships, it is also used to turn the light on in your cabin. You need to keep your card with you at all times. I recommend putting your card on a lanyard. The customer service desk will punch a hole in your lanyard for you. I also recommend taking your own lanyard so you don’t have to settle for the over priced laynards at the ship’s gift store. I absolutely love this damask laynard I found on Amazon.

Nylon Drawstring Bag


Liberty Bag

I also purchased everyone in my family a drawstring bag. Each person’s bag was a different color. These bags made by Liberty and sold on Amazon came in 16 different colors. Drawstring bags are excellent for taking your books, ipad, or sunglasses to the pool. You can also use the bag off the ship in lieu of a purse or backpack.

Cruise Ship Luggage Tags



I never felt comfortable printing my luggage tags from home and simply stapling them together. I found these luggage tags and they were perfect. They are designed specifically to hold and display cruise ships e-documents. You don’t have to worry about the risk of your tags being torn apart and having your luggage lost. The tags come in a pack of 8 and can be used multiple times.

Power Strip or Extension Cord


Belkin 6 Outlet Surge Protector

Cabins have very limited outlets. On my first cruise, I was unable to charge my ipad, fitbit, and mini lapotp at the same time. I was prepared for my last cruise. For under $15.00, I purchased the set of two Belkin Surge protectors.

** Verify your ships requirements for power strips and extension cords. They may only allow power strips or cords without the surge protector option. **

Over the Door Shoe Organizer


Whitmore 24 Pocket Shoe Bag

Counter space in the bathrooms of the cabin are very limited. I purchased this over the door shoe organizer for $9.99. It was perfect for holding my toiletries in the bathroom. Initially I was concerned that I would hear the organizer move constantly when the ship is moving or when opening and closing the door. To my surprise, I never heard it.

Small Bills


Make sure you take plenty of small bills. Small denotations can be used for tips while at port. Also if you plan to do shopping and negotiating, you don’t want to have large bills.

Over the Counter and Prescription Medicine


Photo Credit: Clip Art Sheep

Don’t forget to basically pack a full medicine cabinet. In addition to your regularly scheduled meds, pack things such as motion sickness pills, band aids, sun block, insect repellent, upset stomach meds, anti-bacterial creams, etc.. I would rather pack an item and not need it than to have to purchase it for three times the price in the gift store.

I hope you found these tips helpful. Please comment below with some of your must haves. Please subscribe to this blog for other home decor tips, organization ideas, and planning  & productivity strategies. You may also visit our full site at http://www.divineelementsofdesign.net and follow us on other social media sites. Thank you and have a Divine Day!!!


28 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Katie @thebrooksielife
    Aug 06, 2015 @ 18:23:29

    This is a great list! I would love to take another cruise soon! It has been a few years!



  2. Janet Edwards
    Aug 06, 2015 @ 20:48:46

    I know you said to verify your cruise ship regarding the power strip. I can tell you Carnival does not allow surge protectors. Carnivals FAQ located on the bottom right of their home page has some wonderful information. It has been updated recently and is much more user friendly.



  3. Maggie
    Aug 06, 2015 @ 22:41:15

    We’re going on our first cruise the first of next year! Thanks for sharing these tips! I’ll add them to my packing list 🙂



  4. Carol Trimmer
    Aug 07, 2015 @ 11:08:19

    Wow. This is an amazing list with so many thoughtful ideas. I would never have thought about many of the items on your list. Thanks!



  5. Denay DeGuzman
    Aug 07, 2015 @ 12:53:34

    A great list for a cruise! The drawstring bag, plenty of smaller bills, a power strip, and over-the-counter medicines are my favorites on this list. I would add: alarm clock, camera, hat, sunglasses and sunscreen. Thanks for your thoughtful tips!



  6. Looking Beyond Yesterday
    Aug 07, 2015 @ 17:43:19

    Nakeya, I have never been on a cruise but if I every decide to go you provided me with some good ideas. I have heard that cruises are fun. Thank you, for your insight.



  7. Kelly
    Aug 07, 2015 @ 23:17:40

    Our family of five sails on our first cruise next weekend. Your advise was great and I ordered Liberty Bags and purchased the shoe organizers today for each cabin. My question is: How do I hang the shoe organizer on the door? Remember I am a rookie so I am having a hard time visualizing the door so I need to know if I should take additional supplies for mounting the organizer. Thank you!!



    • Divine Elements of Design
      Aug 08, 2015 @ 09:16:16

      Hello Kelly, congratulates on your first cruise. You and your family are going to have a fabulous time. Trust me. As far as the organizer, no you do not need any special tools or mounts. It comes with four metal clips which simply hang over the top of the door, easy peasy. Thanks for stopping by and if you would like more travel tips and suggestions, please follow this blog. Due to the popularity of this post I have decided to add a travel section.



  8. Darell
    Aug 10, 2015 @ 22:04:57

    This was very interesting to read; and I just found out yesterday that my next family reunion will be a cruise to the Bahamas. I will literally take most of this to heart!! The lanyard the small bills; I get it!! Thank you for telling me that gift shop if expensive; I’ll be ready for that too!



  9. Kimberly
    Aug 15, 2015 @ 19:32:05

    What a great list! Hopefully I’ll get to use this sooner than later 🙂



  10. claire
    Aug 16, 2015 @ 00:57:17

    Great ideas! I’ll have to save this for our next cruise!



  11. Maria@SewTravelInspired
    Aug 16, 2015 @ 10:00:53

    These are some great items for any type of trip not just a cruise. I especially love the drawstring bag and surge protector.
    Come share your post at Snickerdoodle Sunday. The party is in full swing. We start at 3 PM Saturday. Here is the link. http://www.sewtravelinspired.com/home/snickerdoodle-sunday-94 The more the merrier! While you’re there share a comment on a natural wonder near you.



  12. Heather with WELLFITandFED
    Aug 16, 2015 @ 17:17:40

    Heading on a cruise with my mum soon. This is great! I will forward her this for sure. Love the power strip idea!



    • Divine Elements of Design
      Aug 16, 2015 @ 17:41:13

      That’s great. I’m sure you will have fun. Make sure you check with your cruise line to see if there are any restrictions to the types of power outlets you bring. I had no problems with this one. But each cruise line has different regulations.



  13. bcheekeen
    Aug 16, 2015 @ 17:26:00

    That’s a great list! Most of those things I never would have thought of.



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