We are preparing to set sail on our second family cruise in just under two weeks! We’re taking our two big kids (ages 5 and 3) and leaving the baby home with the grandparents. We are sailing on the Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas and could not be more excited.
Jason and I are experienced cruisers but cruising with kids is a whole new ballgame. Kids require lots of stuff and those cabins are tiny!
You’ll obviously need all the usual suspects for traveling, but I’m including some things you might not think of that will make your life on the cruise much easier.
Let me start by suggesting you bring a “carry on” bag when you board (separate from any luggage)! The cruise line will check your luggage and deliver it to your room when your room is ready. This is often times a few hours after you board. This is a great time to explore the ship! You can hit up the buffet, check out the kids’ areas, and even take a dip in the pool. Pack swim suits, sunscreen, and an extra pair of dry clothes in your carry on, as well as camera, phone charger, etc. You’ll also want to ensure you have your travel documents and any medications you need on hand. This is a life-saver!
I’ll start by sharing my “extra” suggestions, then get to the necessities.
Extras to pack that are helpful:
Night lights– It’s pitch dark in the cabin at night, especially if you have a room with no window/balcony.
Power strip– There are very limited outlets in the rooms.
Resealable bags and plastic grocery bags– Perfect for wet bathing suits and a million other uses!
Over-the-door hanging organizer– Space is EXTREMELY limited in your stateroom, so this helps keep all your stuff organized and accessible.
WINE!– Check your cruise guidelines, but most allow you to bring one bottle per adult on board. This saves some serious $$ in the specialty restaurants (there will likely be a corkage fee).
Antibacterial wipes– That’s a whole lot of people on one ship. WIPE EVERYTHING DOWN!
Extra clothes hangers– There are a few provided in your cabin, but you may want extras, especially if you are bringing formal attire.
Passports/ birth certificates– check your cruise line’s requirements
First-aid bag (I always include band-aids, neosporin, Pepto Bismol, Tums, Tylenol/ Motrin, Benadryl, and Wet Ones)
Sunscreen– you can purchase on board but expect to pay a lot!
Shoes– Sandals, tennis shoes, formal shoes for formal night
Plenty of changes of clothes– shorts, t-shirts, underwear, socks, pajamas
Appropriate attire if your ship has a formal night- cocktail dress, shirt and tie, etc.
Your child’s lovey/blanket/whatever they need to sleep
Bottled water and snacks for your stateroom– kids are always hungry!
Long pants and socks if your ship offers ice skating
Jacket/windbreaker– It might be warm in the Caribbean, but you may run into a storm or cool breeze that makes walking around the upper decks a bit chilly.
Wrist watch– you may not be able to rely on your phone if you are out of a service area.
Chargers for electronics
Reusable water bottles to refill and carry around with you.
Dollar bills– every time you turn around you can expect to tip someone or pay a few dollars for a souvenir.
We’re not bringing our 8-month-old, but you’ll obviously need all the baby gear if your baby is coming along.
I’m sure I’ll end up packing plenty of other things, but these are certainly the biggies. Have you ever cruised with your kids? Any tips?