What to pack for a Royal Caribbean Cruise

What to Pack for a Royal Caribbean Cruise

Packing for a cruise is one of the most exciting parts about preparing for your trip. Whether it’s your first time cruising or you’re already a pro at sailing the seas, figuring out all of your fun outfits, and your packing list, is one of my favorite parts of traveling. But not to worry if it’s not yours, that’s what I’m here for!

As a cruise lover, I’ve put together a cruise packing list that’s super easy to follow – from the must-haves to the just-in-cases, to cute outfits for daytime, dinner, and ship life, I’ve got you covered! 

Travel Documents: Your Ticket to Smooth Sailing

Before we talk about what to pack for a Royal Caribbean Cruise, don’t forget the non-negotiables: your important travel documents!! Make sure your passport is up-to-date (this means expires at least MORE than 6 months AFTER your cruise date, even if you have 6 months left on your passport, you may be denied international travel!) , and keep all of your cruise documents, travel insurance info, and any necessary visas in an easily accessible, yet secure, travel wallet. 

JETSET TIP: I like to carry digital copies of these documents on my phone, as well. And it’s a good idea to have a copy of your passport, just in case.

Download the Royal Cruise Caribbean App

The Royal Cruise Caribbean App is KEY to a successful voyage, acting as your personal planner for booking shows, dining, and excursions, while also offering real-time itinerary updates (so cool!). With features like chat for easy communication with your concierge or fellow travelers, a smooth digital check-in process, and the convenience of using your phone as a room key and to manage your onboard account, downloading the app before you embark is a must!!


The sun on the high seas is no joke. Make sure to bring a high SPF broad-spectrum sunscreen, a chic sunhat (my favorites are all in here), and some cute sunglasses to protect your skin and eyes from UV rays.

Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen SPF 40 

Brixton Joanna Hat in Honey Hat Attack Avalon Sunhat in Natural & Black L*SPACE Isadora Hat in Natural Stripe

A Day Bag

A day bag is basically your bag that’s going to be what you bring with you everywhere – whether roaming around the ship or roaming around on shore! I like to bring a cute tote that will always carry my daily necessities. Whether you’re exploring a new city, lounging on a beach, or navigating the vast amenities onboard, this bag will keep your things organized and accessible. And keep you ready for any activity without having to return to your cabin!

Your Royal Caribbean ‘Day Bag’ should contain your most important items such as:
  1. travel documents/passports (only if you’re going ashore!)
  2. wallets (again, only if going ashore)
  3. phone/camera (always!!)
  4. sunscreen (always!)
  5. a reusable water bottle (to stay hydrated!!)

Here are some totes I recommend:

BTB Los Angeles Sunrise Sunset Tote in Sand & Mint Rainbow Casa Clara Lei Lei Bag in Natural & Black

ENBEI Womens Large Beach Tote Bags Shoulder Handbags knit bag Tote bag aesthetic for Beach Crocheted tote cute Tote bags Mercedes Salazar x REVOLVE Wish You Were Here Handbag in Turquoise

Cruise Outfits

For daytime exploration and onboard activities, bring comfortable, breathable outfits. ​Lightweight fabrics and breezy silhouettes are your best friends. . Include swimwear, light dresses, shorts, and T-shirts. Remember, some excursions, like zip lining or hiking, require specific attire such as long pants, rash guards and socks. So keep an eye on these specific excursion’s lists if you are going on any! 

Cassilo Lime Crocodile-Embossed High Heel Sandals

This is one of my all-time favorite vacation dresses right now. So sexy and chic and SO COMFY. The material is out of this world.

Marbella Studs the cutest earrings!


Dinner Oufits / Evening wear!

While you can generally dress resort casually, Royal Caribbean cruises offer the perfect excuse to dress up!! The cruise line suggests “Wear Your Best” for dinner, which could range from smart casual (collared shirts, dresses) to full-on formal wear (suits, cocktail dresses)​​. Specialty restaurants may have their own dress codes, too, so consider this when packing​. Royal Caribbean cruises often host “formal nights”, so you’ll want to bring a special dressier outfit or two. For men, this could mean a suit or jacket with pants, while women can opt for cocktail dresses or elegant evening gowns! I’d pack at least one formal outfit for those special nights out. Here are my favorites:

Normal cruise dinner wear:


Camila Coelho Amelia Romper in Black PalmSundress Chicago Long Dress in Roma LipstickSabina Musayev Harvey Dress in Antique Rose 



Evening wear for cruise formal nights:

Line & Dot Glow Up Midi Dress in Silver only $46!

SNDYS x REVOLVE Angel Strapless Midi Dress in Blue ASTR the Label Blythe Dress in Yellow & Lilac Abstract

superdown Lanthea Maxi Dress in Purple Bardot Amalfi Maxi Slip Dress in Fire Red

LIKELY Asra Gown in Baltic Sea

Matching Swimwear

Your cruise wardrobe wouldn’t be complete without matching swimwear. Matching on a cruise is a MUST!!!!! It’s so fun – and you’ll be the hit of the ship! Not to mention, look super chic.


Swim & Cover Ups

Packing multiple swimsuit options ensures you always have a dry one ready, and swimsuit cover-ups are perfect for lounging on deck or exploring the ports​​.

BEACH RIOT Salty Wrap in Palm 


Hunza G Classic Square One Piece

Tropical Activewear

If you plan to use the gym or participate in active excursions, pack some cute athletic outfits like running shorts, leggings, and tropical printed sports bras.

Camila Coelho Gianna Sports Bra in Grass Green

Party-Theme Attire

A cruise with Royal Caribbean isn’t just about exploring new destinations; it’s also about the vibrant shiplife and themed parties onboard. Whether it’s the ever-popular ‘White Night,’ a ’70s Disco Party,’ or an elegant ‘Captain’s Gala,’ having the right party-theme attire in your suitcase will make sure you are part of the fun! Check your ship’s party schedule ahead of time to make sure you’re dressing to the 9’s!

Matching Cruise Family Outfits

Traveling with your kids? Matching family outfits are a must!

Socks and Long Pants (if Applicable!)

For indoor activities like ice skating available on some ships, don’t forget to pack socks (above ankle height) and long pants because these are required to skate!

The Right Shoes

Pack shoes for a cruise wisely – I’d recommend a pair of comfortable sneakers for excursions or gym workouts, flip-flops for the pool, and one pair of dressier sandals or dress shoes for dinner and events. Comfort is key, since you’ll be doing a lot of walking and exploring. 


APL: Athletic Propulsion Labs Techloom Breeze Sneaker in WhiteOn the Roger Advantage Sneaker in All White 


Some Wine!

It’s no secret I love packing wine in my checked bag for special vacations – it’s always a great excuse to break out a nice bottle of my favorite wines or champagnes – and what better place to do it than overlooking the ocean on your cruise balcony with your loved one! It’s worth noting that on Royal Caribbean, you can bring two bottles of wine or sparkling wine per cabin. There will be a $15 corkage fee per bottle if you choose to enjoy your beverage outside your room, but that’s still MUCH less expensive than purchasing wine on board.

Also – Royal Caribbean also allows passengers to bring up to a dozen cans, plastic bottles or cartons of nonalcoholic drinks onto its ships! 

Essential Electronics for a Cruise

Keeping connected is important to all of us – even in the middle of the ocean. Bring along your smartphone, charger, and a portable power bank to make sure you can capture every memory. 

Underwater Camera

You’ll also definitely need an underwater camerathis is the one I use – and all the details on what I use for my underwater photos is here (and those awesome half in/half out underwater photos you’ve seen on my Instagram

Wrinkle-Release Spray

Since irons are not available in staterooms for safety reasons, a travel-sized wrinkle-release spray can keep your clothes looking neat​.

Backup Phone Battery

An external battery pack for your phone can be a lifesaver during long excursions. I like this one. 

Personal Travel Essentials


Don’t forget travel-sized toiletries and a sufficient supply of any medications, including extras for emergencies. I also like to always have reef-safe sunscreen (this is my favorite brand!) and aloe vera gel for after-sun care.

S'well Travel Bottle Set


A “Personal Pharmacy”

Include first aid, basic meds, and motion sickness medication

A small first aid kit and non-drowsy motion sickness meds (juuuuust in case, most people on large cruise ships don’t get motion sickness, but you can’t be too prepared!) are also some great stuff to add to your cruise packing list. Also include things like benadryl, advil, tums, and whatever else you may need.

Luggage Must-Haves

What’s the best luggage for a cruise? I’d recommend a high quality, sturdy suitcase such as this ones below. Soft-sided bags can be easier to store in your cabin. Also, packing cubes can help organize your belongings and make the most of limited space.





I am never without this tote!


Tip Money & Small Bills

While cruising is pretty cashless, you are going to want some cash for tip money and small bills for tipping helpful people along the way, both on ship and in port! If you’re curious how much cash to bring for the ON-BOARD tipping, check out this post here. For in port, I’d recommend lots of small bills  for any tipping that may come up (and even better if you can get the local currency!)

Cabin Organization

Magnet Hooks

The walls on a cruise are mostly metal – which makes these magnet hooks super useful for hanging hats, swimsuits, or even your day pack on the cabin walls, which are metal and perfect for magnetic hooks​​.

Packing for a Royal Caribbean Cruise doesn’t have to be daunting. With this comprehensive guide, you’re set to embark on your journey with everything you need for a splendid time at sea. Remember, the key is in the preparation, allowing you to enjoy every moment of your cruise without worry. Safe travels!



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Christina is a leading luxury lifestyle and travel blogger with over 2 million readers. Follow her on instagram @jetsetchristina.