The 15 Best Travel Accessories For A Cruise

We want you to make the most of your cruise. It is sometimes the little things we don’t think about that cause the most amount of undue stress when we travel. But with a little careful planning you’ll be set for your trip. We have put together a top 15 list of cruise accessories to consider. 

As cruise cabins are not known for size (who can afford a suite?!?), we like to think efficiency is key to cruise vacation planning. Efficiently accessorizing the little things helps with the end goal while vacationing: peace of mind. 

#1) Luggage Tag Holders

Any repeat cruiser understands the check in/check out process pre and post cruise. If you will be dropping off larger pieces of luggage, cruise ship porters will deliver them to your room (and deliver them to customs once the cruise ends). Easily identifiable and yet durable luggage tags will help with this process. The cruise line will often give you a cheap paper or thin plastic set to use. As owning a good solid pair is inexpensive, it just makes it worthwhile to bring your own.

A good quality luggage tag holder will keep that identification easily visible and protect tags in case of rain or breezy conditions. A swift breeze at the port has sent many a paper set flying off in the wind. The best tags will have metal cables or sturdy clips to fasten securely to your luggage.

#2) Document Holder

An organized document holder is certainly a must for keeping all your important travel papers in one convenient spot. Think of the organizational benefit this can provide for groups or family cruises, when it may be easiest for one person to hold all the boarding passes, passports, airline details, and other travel documentation. Even in the digital age, having backup paper copies is a necessity in case our digital devices go down for one reason or another. 

A document holder that provides different sections for labeling (or color coded) is preferred for easily recognized papers. You will likely have airline, pre-cruise, excursion, post-cruise and possibly other forms of documentation to keep organized and separated.

#3) Lanyard

For those who have not cruised before, you will understand that your cruise ship ID card is a personalized identification for on board, but also a room key, casino club card, and also your charge card for buying drinks, photos, souvenirs and more.

Keeping your cruise card safe is essential, and while most cruise lines are good about replacing if lost, sometimes there is a fee involved. A sturdy lanyard will hold your card so you don’t accidentally leave it behind on a table, bar counter, deck chair, or slot machine. Some lanyards also include waterproof pouches or pockets so you can also carry along some cash, another credit card if preferred, or other items with ease. 

With the knowledge of your card hanging around your neck, you can take one less worry off the list.

ProTip: Sometimes Cruise lines provide these. Ask ahead to avoid buying your own, unless you want a personalized one. 

#4) Collapsible Tote Bag or Small Daypack


A collapsible tote bag is the one travel necessity that you don’t realize you need until you set sail. The fact that it can fold and fit in the palm of your hand, a pocket, or purse, makes this no-brainer accessory worth having as you’ll be coming and going from your cruise cabin throughout the day. Whether heading to the pool, buffet, game-room, or exploring your cruise ports, you will have that extra space you need to easily carry towels, hats, glasses, phones, water, sunscreen, books and more.

Other common uses for cruisers: pool-side tote; laundry bag for your cruise cabin; shopping bag for port purchases; beach bag for towels, water, lotions, etc. As this collapsible tote is versatile, flexible, convenient, and low in price, it makes this one of the most purchased cruise accessories..

A good daypack is great for sight-seeing or hiking, allowing you to bring essentials. Please look at our selection of small backpacks/daypacks that are also great!

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#5) RFID Money Belt (Radio Frequency Identification)

Keeping your passport, credit cards, and cash safe while you travel is a serious concern. A loss of any of these or all of these is a significant problem or worry that no one wants to deal with. An RFID money belt or waist pack will not only hold your gear conveniently close, but will also block potential wireless signals that could lead to identity theft or hacking. Drawing little attention by choosing a discreet option is recommended. Just be sure the straps are the appropriate size to fit properly around your waist or hips.

#6) Full Snorkeling Face Mask                   

If you or your children are any type of snorkler, this is a game changer. Ever had children complain or cry because the ocean salt water has stung their eyes? It’s not fun. The full face snorkel will soon be the standard. People don’t naturally breathe from their mouth, so why be forced to do that with old school snorkel and mask?

In addition to breathing more, you’ll also be able to see more cool stuff. With 180 degree vision, this mask offers a much wider view than the old-school, suction device. AND, you won’t be sucking on plastic and chewing a mouthpiece.

#7) Miniature Fan

A small fan can be a huge help on a cruise vacation. Not only will a small fan provide a consistent breeze to circulate air and keep your stateroom cooler, but even a low hum will help create white noise for better sleep and privacy. A small fan can also be used to speed up the drying process of swimwear or shoes. You can take this one step further by purchasing a miniature battery powered fan. Great for on the beach on those super hot and humid days with no breeze!


#8) Towel Bands

Forget towel clips, they are now considered a thing of the past and have been replaced by towel bands. Towel bands are the better solution to keeping your cruise ship towel from flying off your pool chair.

When compared to towel clips, these bands are much easier to pack, lighter, and more flexible (quite literally) with all types of deck chairs. You’ll secure your towel while also creating an easy way to recognize your lounger in the midst of all the  others. They can also be used on car seats, boat chairs, and other places that towel clips fail to work.


# 9) Night Light

Cruise ship cabins (especially those windowless interior staterooms), can be quite dark at night. It’s very easy to stumble around or stub a toe on a chair or edge of the bed with little or no light for guidance. An inexpensive, simple and ideal solution, is a small portable night light. Positioning this light away from the bed(s) closer to the washroom is a greatL location. The motion-activated, battery-operated light from Cruise On will not take up valuable plugs needed for other electronics or gadgets. This is also a bonus for cruising with small children who are used to sleeping with a nightlight.



#10) Alarm Clock

Cruise ship cabins are usually neat, tidy, compact and full of most things a hotel room provides, we have never had a cabin that has come with an alarm clock. While (hopefully) no one wants to be woken up by an alarm while on holiday, it will certainly come in handy when you have an early morning cruise excursion. As cruise excursions are run by fairly strict timelines, you likely won’t find an excursion that will wait for a sleeper inner. An inexpensive alarm clock is just the trick. The below good quality and easy on the wallet model from Target offers USB charging to keep those plugs available for other needed items.

# 11) Water Bottle

Bringing a water bottle sounds simple enough, but you would be surprised how many cruisers forget this necessity. As you will likely be perspiring in hotter weather, staying hydrated is just good practice. Whether a trip to a port beach, working on that tan around that cruise ship pool, or exercising in the cruise ship gym, a sturdy and readily available water bottle is essential. We recommend one that is sturdy, can take drops or get kicked around, and has a secure lid that avoids leakage or spillage if knocked over.

#12) Power Strip (approved by Cruise Lines)

Cruise cabins will have limited outlets. Standard powerstrips are usually not permitted by cruise lines, so we recommend a simple power cube that also has USB charging. This will especially come in handy for cruising families with multiple electronics all competing for charging space.

#13) Over the Door Organizer

We’ve already established that cruise ship cabins are at a premium for space. Any accessory that can help organize your space is a plus. A small over the door organizer can help with this. Something simple to hang over your washroom or closet door to help separate and make all your many accessories more accessible. This is particularly handy for parents cruising with children, a quick convenient spot for sun screen, bug spray, tablet chargers, water shoes, phones, socks, and the list goes on.


#14) Waterproof Phone Pouch


Any cruiser planning any sort of water based activity, beach day, lounging by the pool, a boat tour, or snorkeling to name a few, can know their electronics are safe from splashing kids, or unexpected rainfall. Look for a pouch that fits your phone’s size, and make sure to look for ones with extra pockets or clips for added uses. 



#15) Power Bank

Smart phones have become the new option for picture taking. A full day excursion and  

Those long days in port

We use our smartphones for so many functions, so it’s important to keep them charged. On long shore excursions, we use our phones to take photos and videos, as well as to check our messages and emails when we find free WiFi!

If a shore excursion involves a lengthy coach ride, it’s nice to be able to read an ebook or play a game on your phone or tablet.

It’s no wonder these devices use battery power quickly when we don’t have access to an electrical outlet!

A small but powerful power bank is a necessity to make sure your devices stay charged during long days in port.

This highly-rated model is compact at just under four inches long, and will charge phones, tablets, or almost any other small electronic device that uses a USB cord (just don’t forget to take your charger cord with you).


Pro Tip: Cash is King

While cruises are known for being ‘cashless societies’, one will often find the need for cash. Cruise lines will charge a daily gratuity to be added to your final bill (which can be prepaid), however if you want to tip your room steward, wait staff, or for room service, cash is certainly best. Cash is also often necessary for those smaller purchases on shore. This could be for renting a locker or snorkel gear.  Even for purchasing small souvenirs, cash is much preferred to otherwise flashing a credit card that is best left out of sight and secure. It’s also fairly impossible to negotiate and pay for souveniers for street vendors that only accept cash.


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