Cruise Tips 67 Best Cruise Tips from Veteran Cruisers

67 Best Cruise Tips from Veteran Cruisers [In Their Words]

Our cruise group was asked to share at least one cruise tip, and we received hundreds of replies.  While you may not agree with all of these cruise tips 100%, feel free to add your own to the list in the comments below.

These 67 cruise tips and tricks should help get the ball rolling and even give you some new ideas to help make your cruise even more amazing.

That’s our goal here at Cruise Fever, to help you have the best possible cruise vacation.

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We sorted through the hundreds of great responses from veteran cruisers and listed their best (or funniest) cruise tips below.

  1. Chris S. – “Battery operated night lights. Those fluorescent lights in the bathroom are brutal in the middle of the night.”
  2. Brenda M. – “Bring magnets & highlighter. Almost all the walls in cabins are metal. I put my Daily Bulletin on the wall & highlight things I don’t want to miss.”
  3. Steve S. – “Bring a multi-plug.”
  4. Angie A. “Downy Wrinkle Releaser!”
  5. Garlanda J. – “Get one of these to charge your devices.  Extension cord won’t be needed then. Also, I highly recommend a portable cell charger for when you are in port, so if you run low you can charge your phone on the spot & still take pics/videos if you want.”
  6. Christy N. – “Suction cups with hooks. Works wonders for drying swimsuits in windows!”
  7. Cassandra F. – “Volunteer for the game shows and contests! It’s all in good fun!!”
  8. Cheryl L. – “I line my suitcases with a garbage bag in case of bad weather at the Port then it doubles as a laundry bag during the cruise. Also, I take zip lock bags, they come in handy a lot! A med for every possible ailment and don’t forget sunglasses!”
  9. Dana R. – “Don’t over pack.”
  10. Anne G. – “I organize my excursions and travel details with an accordion organizer from the dollar store. I put an envelope with the cash I owe with the details. I just grab it each day from the safe before heading to port.”
  11. Toni S. – “Don’t sweat the small stuff.”
  12. Sandra C. – “Arrive a day early, rather than being delayed and missing the ship!”
  13. Michon L. – “I pack zip lock bags to bring snacks back to my room in.”
  14. Jennifer A. – “Keep jewelry home.”
  15. Jennifer B. – “Put the snoozing sign up.”
  16. Sonja M. – “Duct tape to wrap the flimsy laundry bag.”
  17. Judi W. – “I bring narrower hangers and ask the Cabin Stewart to remove the wooden hangers in the closet first thing.”
  18. Jason B. – “Don’t read the reviews for your ship prior to your cruise. Most people who post reviews are unhappy. That is why you see more unhappy reviews versus good ones.”
  19. Melanie J. – “Bring liquid hand soap. Those bars gross me out!”
  20. Kristin D. – “We bring a small travel sound machine made by Rohm.”
  21. Coralee L. – “Don’t be rude to the staff!!!! Manners were taught to us all.  Please use them.”
  22. Robin D. – “Take lots of pictures.  In this digital age, you don’t have to print them, so take a lot.”cruise advice and tips
  23. Monte M. – “Tip your Steward on the first day.”
  24. Kimberly V. – “Pack all your hanging clothes on hangers. Makes for easy unpacking. I use all the hangers from dry cleaners & stores.”
  25. Tina C. – “Bring a pop up round hamper, you can put your dirty clothes in instead of pulling out your luggage every time. On an 8 day cruise you should only have to empty it once!”
  26. Jason G. – “Buy travel insurance!!!”
  27. Lois K. – “Tea lights from dollar store for night lights!!” (the battery-operated ones)
  28. Angela M. – “Always book your cabin and dinner time when you book your cruise and take out cruise ins have fun”
  29. Charlotte P. – “Take a travel size Lysol spray to sanitize your cabin. Bring a small fan and a power strip (no surge protector).”
  30. Dianne H. – “Put the cell phone down!!!”
  31. Tiffany R. – “Bring more money than planned.”
  32. Christine F. – “Ask for that 2nd dessert!”
  33. Beverly W. – “Take a few diff pairs of shoes. I had a pair of flip-flops fly off the ship. Also my feet was so swollen I couldn’t wear but one pair that I took and it’s not a pair I normally wear.”
  34. Jean H. – “Magnetic hooks for hats and bags.”
  35. Jason G. – “Pack your suitcase, then empty half of it. =)”
  36. Sue J. –“I book my excursions through 3rd party vendors and put the confirmation paper with the cash for the rest of the cost.  I put spending money for that port in an envelope with the name of each port on each envelope.  When I get to my cabin I put them in the safe and at each port, I take out the corresponding envelope and have everything I need for that port.”
  37. Sue J. – “I also take one SD card for my camera for each port just in case my camera gets broken or stolen, I don’t lose all of my pictures.”
  38. Ttonya D. – “Relax don’t rush”
  39. Barbara M. – “If you’re using your phone, and find some free internet, upload those pictures to a private album on Facebook.  IF something happens they are there, and no need to take up all that space on your phone.”
  40. Lynne F. – “The large pegs to keep your towel secured to your sun-bed.”
  41. Brenda M. – “I have a Walgreens App on my iPhone & each day send photos to them to be printed. Waiting for me when I get home. If I’d lose my phone, no worries.”cruise tips and advice
  42. Alan R. – “Resist the temptation to over eat!!”
  43. Josie B. – “No matter if you’re traveling for 7 nights or 7 weeks , stick to the 2 people = 2 mid size suitcases rule.  No more is necessary.”
  44. Karen S. – “Pack heavy items at bottom of suitcase, put tissue paper in between clothing if packing flat. I roll clothing for space. Hang clothes, spray with Downy wrinkle release. Put dirty underwater in a two gallon baggy.”
  45. Debbie S. – “Wear surgical gloves to the buffet. You DON’T KNOW the sanitary habits of the other 3,499 people on the ship that will touch that SPOON!!!”
  46. Christine B. – “I pack an over-the-door shoe organizer with about 20 clear pockets for the inside of the bathroom door. We put all of our toiletry items in the pockets. Easy access and keeps the small counter top clear.”
  47. Katherine L. – “Take a deep breath, and move on from any hiccups. It’s vacation. People over react to things and let it ruin their good time.”
  48. Gail A. – “Study the ship’s layout before you cruise. Know which way to go when you leave your cabin for the pool, dinner, theater, etc.   This saves a lot of time. Happy Cruising!”
  49. Tessa F. – “Check your account statement every day.”
  50. Mary B. – “Avomine – for new cruisers – start taking 2 nights before you leave.”
  51. Deborah B. – “Bring cough syrup and drops.”
  52. Jenny F. – “The best and quickest way to get from one end of the ship to the other is to use the corridors along the cabins.”
  53. Anne G. – “Ask your cabin Steward to empty the bar fridge (if you don’t plan on buying from it). Replace with your own beverages if you gave a drink package.”
  54. Vonda B. – “Lysol wipes.”
  55. Josie B. – “Always wipe down the airline tray and armrest , then after boarding: the cabin , tv controls , faucets , light switches and anything else that comes to mind.”
  56. Jean H. – “Small Air freshener for bathroom.”
  57. Sandy R. – “Clips for lawn chairs for towels.”
  58. Angela R. – “Bring a dollar store poncho.”
  59. Jana P. – “Take a pic of the cruise planner so you have the schedule on your phone and the port authority info.”
  60. Kelly J. – “If your ship has self-serve laundry rooms, bring your own laundry soap–I like Tide pods, easy to pack a handful in a zip-lock baggie–and a few dryer sheets. So you don’t have to buy them from the laundry vending machines. Tokens are used on Princess so you just swipe your cruise card to get them.”
  61. Kelly J. – “Every time we use cruise port parking or any big parking lot, [he] takes a picture of the nearest numbered stall sign on his phone, so we can find the car later. We do this at Disneyland and other theme parks as well.”
  62. Donald T. – “Bring a lanyard to hold your sail and sign card.”
  63. MJ S. – “Put contained liquid items in extra plastic bags to prevent accidental spillage the luggage.”
  64. Christine B. – “There are laundry rooms throughout the ship. There are ironing boards and irons in all of them. Just don’t wait til last-minute to use…line up!”
  65. Nastavia B. – “Pack wrinkle resistant clothes. Also, as a female, I take mostly maxi dresses because I don’t have to think about how to match outfits and I wont have to pack as much. Makes things a lot easier.”
  66. Matt M. – “The most important thing I learned is you need a watch. No cabin clocks and you have to look hard to find them on the ship.”
  67. Paul B. – “There’s a note pad with the ship’s logo on it in every state-room. Use that. Write neatly and take a good enough picture and you can use it in your final slide show as a marker.”

cruise tips and tricks

One Last Word on Cruise Tips and “Secrets” You Read Online

With a cruise tip list like this you have to keep in mind that everyone has a different perspective on taking a cruise.  Some of these ideas above might seem downright crazy to you while others make you stop and say, “hmm, that’s not a bad idea.”  The point of Cruise Fever posting a list like this is to simply share some knowledge from seasoned cruisers and get the ball rolling for even more ideas to be posted below in the comments.

We’d love this page to be a resource you can come back to before your next cruise and help make your vacation even less-stressful and more amazing.  The ocean awaits.

Learn the cruise secrets most people don't know and cruise like a boss. Check out Intelligent Cruiser here for a better cruise vacation. (Sponsored)


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J. Souza
Jon got hooked on cruising after his first cruise on his honeymoon, and today he is always looking for cruise deals and reading information about the cruise industry. Jon lives in the foothills of North Carolina and wishes there were a cruise port that far inland. Jon can be reached at [email protected]
Cruise Tips 67 Best Cruise Tips from Veteran Cruisers

14 COMMENTS

  1. Pack your patience and remember it’s vacation…relax, try something new and stop to appreciate the views😎

  2. If you cruise carnival down load Carnival Hub app. You don’t need yellow highlighter or the daily newsletter. It’s on the phone. Leave expensive jewelry home. If you’re like me I can only sleep if it is cave dark. Bring a sleeping mask. Put all important papers, medication and cash in your purse or carry on. Make sure bathing suit and sunscreen bare in care on. Why wait for your luggage to get your suit. With these items you can hit the pool right away. Book specialty dining for first night. Mist ships have perks that night
    Most of all bring a happy attitude and respect for fellow cruisers and staff.

  3. One thing I learned quick is to bring a travel laundry wash bag like a Scrubby. I only brought minimum amount of clothes as suggested when I first started cruising and had to hand wash a lot. The wash bag made it so much easier to get my clothes clean. Also, I bring “soap laundry sheets” I bought on EBay. There are about 30 washes in a very small closed container.

  4. Pack large zip look bags! For excursions, fill 1/3 full with ice, then throw in a wash cloth or two and close. Wrap in a hand towel and put in what ever bag your taking on the excursion. The ice melts slowly leaving you with cold wash clothes. Came in handy several times for us and other people having trouble with the heat.

  5. Bring your own soap, shampoo and conditioner. The stuff they provide on the ship (Royal Carribean) is brutal on your hair. Take 100 spf sunblock with you. My husband got sun poison on the first day at sea and the rest of our cruise was miserable for him.

  6. Remember that certain activities require a certain wardrobe. For example, ice skating you need long pants and socks. I bet a lot of women forget socks!

  7. Bring binoculars to see passing ships and “Land Ho”.
    Make a SMALL Ziploc first-aid kit: band aides for blisters, pepto tabs, Alka-Seltzer, aspirin, acid reducer (famotidine), laxative, etc.

  8. It is cold inside the ship because of the AC. Bring nice slacks or long skirts or maxi dresses to dress for dinner. It took me 5 cruises to finally get it through my head that summer clothes are only for when you’re on deck or off the ship.

  9. Be forewarned, if you put a “snoozing” or “do not disturb” sign on your door, your room will not be cleaned. Staff are not allowed to knock, and even if you leave within the time frame of morning cleaning, once they see thar sign ands have moved on, you will come back to a messy cabin. The only way to keep this from happening if you’ve put one of these signs on your door is to make sure your steward knows you’re leaving your cabin and that it’s okay for the n to clean the room. This has happened to me 2x, and I have finally learned the lesson.

  10. Do NOT bring a multi-plug!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Bad advice!! My luggage was delayed in getting to my room and was “tagged” and I had to go to the bottom of the ship, open my suitcase and hand it over!! I got it back on my way off the ship, but don’t bother to bring one of these along–it’ll just waste your time! If you think you NEED it, bring it in your carry on instead!!

    • This happened to my husband’s bag. He explained that he needed the extra plugs for his CPAP machine and they let him bring it on. We were on a newer ship and discovered that there were plenty of plugs in the room anyway so he didn’t even need it. It still wasted our time when we could have been enjoying the ship.

  11. Most of this stuff is a waste of space in your limited luggage space as it is. Unless you are driving to the cruise port I wouldn’t bother with most of these tips.

  12. My suggestions:

    bring post-it notes
    metal binder clips for the bottom of the shower curtain so curtain stays inside the shower
    over-the-counter meds (aspirin, itch cream, laxative, band-aids, etc.)–they cost a fortune on-board and may be difficult to find on shore
    Load more eBooks than you think you need
    Put address of ship/hotel in each of your luggage’s outside pocket when you are outbound and your home address when you are inbound
    Put electronic chargers in carry-on suitcase
    Extra luggage locks

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