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Lynette - Travel Agent | Travel Advisor

Caribbean Destination Specialist l Carnival Cruise Specialist

Don't Make These Common Packing Mistakes on Your First Cruise!






Planning for a cruise can be overwhelming, especially when it comes to packing. To save you time, money, and stress, we have compiled a list of 19 things to avoid while packing for your Carnival Cruise. Whether you are a first-time cruiser or a seasoned traveler, these tips will help ensure a smooth and enjoyable vacation. So, let's dive in and make your packing process a breeze.


1. Find the balance between overpacking and underpacking:

Packing the right amount can be challenging, but it's essential to strike a balance between overpacking and underpacking. Consider the activities you plan to engage in and the potential for unexpected weather changes. Pack enough clothes for your trip, but avoid excessive items that you won't use.


2. Use a packing list:

Don't underestimate the power of a packing list. It helps you stay organized and ensures you don't forget any essential items. You can find a comprehensive packing list on our website or customize your own. Remember to pack according to your specific needs and activities.


3. Invest in a luggage scale:

If you'll be flying to your cruise departure port, it's crucial to weigh your luggage beforehand. Airlines have weight limits, and exceeding them can lead to additional charges. A portable luggage scale will help you avoid this inconvenience and allow you to pack efficiently.


4. Use luggage tag covers:

To prevent your luggage tags from getting lost or damaged, invest in luggage tag covers. Using paper tags and stapling them to your bags increases the risk of losing your luggage. Luggage tag covers will ensure your bags are easily identifiable and safely delivered to your cabin.


5. Keep valuables and medication in your carry-on:

If you're checking your large bag with the porters, ensure you don't pack valuables, medications and also put your boarding pass, drivers license, birth certificate, or passport in it. These items are needed to board the ship. It's safer to keep them in your carry-on bag to avoid any inconvenience or loss.


6. Pack according to your excursion:

If you've booked any shore excursions, consider the specific requirements and pack accordingly. For activities like snorkeling, bring appropriate gear such as goggles or a face mask. Being prepared for your excursions will enhance your experience and save you from unnecessary expenses onboard.


7. Prepare for rain:

Remember to pack rain gear such as a plastic poncho or a compact umbrella. Sudden rain showers can happen, even in paradise. Being prepared will allow you to continue enjoying outdoor activities and protect you from discomfort.


8. Don't forget an outfit for elegant night:

Carnival Cruises often have designated elegant nights, where guests dress up for formal dinners and events. Don't forget to pack appropriate attire for these special occasions. It's an opportunity to feel your best and create lasting memories.


9. Bring a light jacket or sweater:

Even in warm climates, evenings at sea or air-conditioned dining rooms can get chilly. Pack a light jacket, sweater, or shawl to stay comfortable during cool evenings or in overly air-conditioned areas.


10. Remember an outfit for debarkation day:

Pack an outfit for debarkation day, the day you leave the cruise ship. Many people forget this, and it can be inconvenient to search for clothes or wear pajamas while disembarking. Having a separate outfit will ensure you leave the ship feeling prepared and put-together.


11. Bring your own first aid kit:

Accidents happen, and it's always wise to be prepared. Pack a small first aid kit with basic medical supplies like band-aids, pain relievers, and any necessary prescription medications. This will save you from unnecessary trips to the ship's medical facility.


12. Pack leak-proof items:

To avoid any spillage or leakage in your luggage, ensure that items like mouthwash, alcohol, or toiletries are securely sealed in a Ziploc bag or a leak-proof container. This simple precaution will prevent messes and potential damage to your belongings.


13. Bring small bills for tipping:

Carry small bills, such as ones and fives, for tipping purposes. Tipping is customary on cruises, and having the correct change will make it easier to show appreciation to crew members who provide exceptional service.


14. Avoid banned items:

Check Carnival's website for a comprehensive list of banned items. Items like heating elements, candles, fishing rods, or handcuffs are not allowed onboard. Familiarize yourself with the rules to avoid any issues during security checks.


15. Don't forget your lanyard, Tumblr, and straws:

Carrying a lanyard to hold your sign & sail card, a reusable Tumblr for beverages, and a reusable straw is convenient and eco-friendly. These small items will enhance your cruising experience and help you stay organized.


16. Bring a laundry bag:

Having a designated Laundry bag for your dirty clothes will keep your cabin tidy and make it easier to sort laundry once you return home. You can use a reusable laundry bag or repurpose a mesh pop-up hamper for this purpose.


17. Pack a non-surge protected power strip:

Cruise cabins usually have limited electrical outlets. Bringing a non-surge protected power strip allows you to charge multiple devices simultaneously. Be mindful of the power strip's specifications and ensure it meets cruise line regulations.


18. Don't forget your carry-on bag:

A carry-on bag is essential for storing your important documents, medications, personal items, and any items you may need before accessing your cabin. Choose a practical bag that suits your needs and can hold your essentials.



By avoiding these packing mistakes, you'll be well-prepared for your Carnival Cruise adventure. Finding the right balance, using a packing list, and being mindful of essential items will save you time, money, and stress. Remember to pack according to your specific needs and activities, and make your cruise experience unforgettable. Happy sailing!

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