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What to Take on a Cruise

by John Roberts | January 11, 2016

You've got a swimsuit and sandals, a good book, and a bottle of sunscreen. Looks like you're on track in packing for your cruise. Then again, experienced cruisers have a lot of tricks for things to take on a cruise that make the trip even easier. Check out our list of handy household items to stash in your suitcase.

1. Door-Hanging Organizer
Take a mesh-pocketed organizer that packs easy and hangs over the bathroom door to provide easy access to dozens of small items, such as lip balm, pens, and playing cards.

2. Clothespins 
If you're packing light and trying not to check luggage, you might need to wash a few things by hand on a cruise. Bring clothespins, and you can hang the washing to dry on the line in your shower. Added bonus: You can use the clothespins to hang wet swimsuits too. 

3. Laundry Detergent
Portable dry laundry soap sheets and stain sticks come in handy on a cruise, especially if you have a wine spill and need to do an emergency cleaning.

4. Magnetic Hooks
Storage can be hard to come by in cruise ship cabins, and an easy way to make your space more functional is by using these on metal walls or doors to hang items like hats and cover-ups. It also means easy access to the things you use most on a cruise.

5. Zipper-Top Baggies
Bring several sizes of zipper-top baggies, and you'll be surprised at how many ways you use them on your cruise. You can pack snacks in them to bring ashore, or stash wet and sandy swimwear in them on beach days to protect other items in your bag. This is especially helpful if you want to take one last dip in the pool before disembarkation.

6. Bungee Cords
Take these to keep items secure when hiking or biking on shore excursions, or as an extra clothesline strung up on your balcony or in your cabin. In the rare case your luggage gets damaged in transit, these can also help secure your suitcase for your return trip. 

7. Power Strip
Some cabins don't have enough outlets for modern travelers — especially the ones on older ships. Take a small power strip so you have extra outlets to charge cameras, phones, laptops, and other devices, and still use a blow-dryer. 

8. White-Noise App
Cabin walls are thin on many ships, and your stateroom might be noisy. On a cruise, this goes double you are near the casino or nightclub. If you're a light sleeper, download a white-noise app to your phone. Or, for a lower-tech solution, pack earplugs.

9. Lanyard
Got a bathing suit without pockets? Take an old lanyard or badge holder to carry around your cabin keycard. This will also keep your hands free for your lunch plate and a frozen cocktail, and you are less likely to leave your keycard on the table at the end of your meal.

10. Old Hotel Keycard
Many ships have "green" features, such as cabin power that runs only when a keycard is put into a slot. An old hotel key is a smart thing to take on a cruise to help you avoid leaving your room without your key, and to power your laptop when you're out.

John Roberts

John Roberts is a New Jersey-based writer for ShermansCruise who worked at The Virginian-Pilot.

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