What to pack for a family cruise

packing for family vacation

Cruises are one of the best ways for families to travel! There are always plenty of things to keep the kiddos entertained onboard (hellooooo Adventure Ocean!). You also get to visit several countries in one trip that you likely wouldn’t visit otherwise! Packing for a cruise- that’s a little less fun. What should you pack for your family’s next cruise? We’ve rounded up some of our all-time favorites! 

Quick note- some of the links we’ve included are affiliate links. We only recommend products that we love and trust for our own family. If you make a purchase, you’re supporting the Roam with the Robinson fam at no extra cost to you!

Must- Have Items for your next cruise:

Did you know that most of the doors and walls on cruise ships are metal? That means a whole new world of opportunity for my type-A friends. (I see you, I feel you.

Magnetic hooks are one of the best items to bring on a cruise with children. You can hang lanyards, give towels and bathing suits a place to dry, hold beach bags, and whatever else your imagination can dream! 

These hooks come in different sizes to hold 27, 40, 85, or 130lbs. That’s a serious magnet. 

And again, type-A mamas unite! Imagine the things you could put into a door shoe organizer! The best part- this one has magnets so the bathroom door will still close! 

I highly recommend having this at the top of your cruise packing checklist! Of course, it can be used for shoes. You can also use it for toiletries, toys, and towels (like our favorite beach towels)! 

After having a super fun day at the beach, one thing you don’t want to do is track all of that sand back into your room. 

These towels are definitely must-haves for your next cruise! All you have to do is shake the sand off before you put it back in your bag and you’re good to go!

They’re super thin, so they don’t take much space in your suitcase and they dry really well. Hey, throw them on your magnetic hooks for the night and you’ll be golden! 

The sand-free towels are definitely my favorite. I even use them as a cover-up if I need to. If you have kiddos that love to play in the water (-duh-) you’ll want to look at the next set of towels for them. 

Another beach towel I recommend packing for a family cruise would be these thin, microfiber towels. Especially if you’ve got littles that love to play in the water. While the sand-free towels are my fave, these are definitely better for drying off. 

Even though they’re thin, these bad boys will dry you off in a heartbeat. And like the other towels, these also pack really well! 

The first time I saw my hoemade printed cruise luggage tags, I thought to myself, “How the heck is this going to stay on my bag?” I saw people with laminated tags. Tags with Scotch tape wrapped all the way around. You name it. 

My brilliant mama gave us these and it was SO much more comforting knowing that my luggage tag wasn’t going to get ripped apart and get my bag lost. 

Do yourself and your family a favor. YOU NEED THIS for your cruise. Period. 

Can packing cubes be a love language? Yes? Cool. 

There are SO many options, so pick your favorite. I love this set because it comes with a laundry bag, a shoe storage bag, and cosmetic bag. It also has 12 different color options! 

Cruise packing pro tip: Assign each family member their own color of packing cubes. This makes unpacking in the stateroom, and at home, a breeze! 

All hail mom- keeper of the passports! 

Are you like me and absolutely can’t sleep the night before international travel because you just know someone’s passport is getting left behind? Or are you normal? 

This travel document holder is quite literally peace of mind that you can physically hold. Keep passports, drivers’ licenses, credit cards, cash, boarding passes, all the important things.

This one may seem a little ~extra~ but hear me out. 

Imagine coming home from your vacation and as you’re unpacking, you already know which clothes need to be washed. Isn’t that half the battle of unpacking, anyway? 

Grab a couple of those magnetic hooks and put them on the bathroom wall and you have a bathroom floor with zero dirty clothes. I need a moment to appreciate this dream. 

You’ll definitely want to make sure you have this for your next cruise. If you don’t love the bag, you could also use these fold-up laundry hampers instead!

I haven’t gotten to try these out personally, but they’re at the top of the list of must-haves for my next cruise!

Have you seen beach towel chair clips? Fantastic idea. Not super practical when you’re packing for the entire family. 

These towel bands help hold your towel in place so it doesn’t slide down or blow off the chair while you’re at the bar (I mean, pool). 

I got this idea from a friend of mine and I can’t wait to add this to my cruise packing checklist! 

Yes, most people pre-pay gratuities prior to the cruise. Most people also leave a little *extra* something for the crewmembers that make their trip *extra* special. 

These precious thank you cards are a fantastic way to write a personalized thank you to the people who really made your cruise so memorable. 

I’m planning on leaving these with our stateroom attendant, main dining room servers, and any of the other crew members that really go above and beyond for us. 

Walking up and down stateroom hallways, you may notice some really creative door decorations. From birthdays to anniversaries (even divorce parties), you’ll see all kinds of decorations.

If you’re anything like me, you’ll have to ask no fewer than 84 times, “What’s our room number?” Having a magnetic whiteboard for your stateroom door allows you to have a super easy way to spot it! Even if you’ve spent a little too much time at the, umm, “pool.” 

Another cute way to find your door easily or celebrate your reason for cruisin’ is by decorating with personalized cruise magnets from Etsy

travel agent fairhope alabama

There ya have it, folks. The complete list of our favorite things to pack for a cruise with kids! As with anything with kiddos, a little preparation, and a looooootttttt of patience, goes a long way. 

We want to hear from you! What is something at the top of your list of absolute necessities for cruising?

Diamond Head Crater Lookout
travel advisors roam with the robinsons




Are you ready to turn those travel daydreams into a reality? Click the link to fill out the Travel Inquiry Form and we’ll be in touch with the next steps of your travel planning journey! 

Diamond Head Crater Lookout
travel advisors roam with the robinsons




Are you ready to turn those travel daydreams into a reality? Click the link to fill out the Travel Inquiry Form and we’ll be in touch with the next steps of your travel planning journey! 

Share this post


  • Каждый год в течение сентября проводится Тюменский инновационный форум «НЕФТЬГАЗТЭК».
    Форум посвящен развитию механизмов инноваторского продвижения отраслей топливно-энергетического комплекса, рассмотрению и изысканию заключений, организации благоприятных обстоятельств для развития инновационных проектов. Ежегодный тюменский форум представляетсобой важной дискуссионной площадкой по развитию нефтегазовой отрасли в России, имеет большой авторитет и актуальность, созвучен корпоративной стратегии формирования инноваторского курса в Российской Федерации

  • Vizoteka в СПб предлагает Вам удобный и прозрачный процесс оформления визы.

  • I’ve never been on a cruise before so this is super Helpful! I hope I can take my nephew on one next year (my sister however, is optional haha)

  • I really love these ideas. especially the metal hooks, the over the door shoe organizer and the thank you notes. It’s hard to get organized with a family in a cabin so the over the door shoe organizer will be very helpful. Thanks for sharing!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top
packing checklist for family vacation

Packing Checklist

Ready to ditch the “I know I’m forgetting something” feeling? Download your free packing checklist!

travel agent fairhope alabama


Exclusive subscriber-only offers, travel tips, inspiration, and more! 

[Charlie is clearly excited to have you!]

best apps for travel

Favorite Apps


Whether you’re going on a road trip or navigating a brand new country, our App Guide has you covered!