Can we all agree that the most difficult part about traveling/vacationing is packing? I have a love hate relationship with packing. I love it because it means I’m about to go on a trip, but I hate it because I never feel like doing it. I just got back home from a 4 day Carnival cruise to the Bahamas (I believe this was my 4th cruise) so I put together an updated packing list of what to pack for a cruise to the Bahamas in Late October. This list also works for trips in spring, summer & winter since the Caribbean typically has pretty consistent warm weather all year round. This is also a good base for those who are packing for a 5 day cruise as well.
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What to pack for a 4 day cruise to the Bahamas:
- Light sweater/Hoodie. You’re probably asking yourself why is a sweater or hoodie the first thing I’m suggesting to pack for a caribbean cruise packing list? Okay, so not only are the dining rooms (specifically the ones where they serve you, not really the buffets on the lido deck) they are pretty chilly. Like the air conditioner is on BLAST! So bring a light sweater for dinner. Secondly, when my cruise got back to Orlando yesterday morning, there was this thing called a cold front that brought in a reallllly cold air that brought the temp down to 70 degrees. Brrrr! So, definitely bring a light sweater/hoodie just in case there’s a breeze.
- 3 Bathing Suits. Cruising and bathing suits go hand in hand right? I tend to live in my bathing suits while I’m on cruises or anywhere tropical, so if you’re anything like me pack about 3 for a 4 day cruise.
- Swimsuit Cover Up. Like I mentioned, cruising and bathing suits go hand in hand & you’ll be spending lots of time on the lido deck in your bathing suit while cruising, especially during those bright sunny beautiful days at sea. There’s tons of restaurants/buffets on the lido deck and they most likely won’t serve you if you’re just in your bathing suit. So bring 1 or 2 swimsuit cover ups. They’re also easy to throw on after you spent 8 hours on the island and you’re rushing to get back to the ship.
- 2 Sundresses/Rompers. Not only are these beach favorites super cute and easy to throw on, but they also take up very little space in your luggage its a win win!
- Shorts. I recommend 2 pairs of shorts. One comfy pair like these just to relax in and then one denim pair like these. Denim shorts are super cute paired with bathing suits, plus they match everything so you’ll definitely get tons of use out of them.
- Pants/Leggings/Sweats. Remember how I mentioned that evil little thing called a cold front? Yep. Bring a pair of paints or leggings. Plus they’re just nice to have just in case it gets a little windy on the cruise at night.
- Shirts/Tees/Tanks. When packing shirts, think about what you’re going to wear. It’s easy to go overboard when packing separates. So make sure you only pack a top if you have a bottom to wear with it. I brought maybe 2 shirts. One I wore with jeans on day 2, and the other I wore home the last day.
- Specific Outfits (excursion etc). Almost everyone on the ship is doing an excursion, but not everyone does the same excursions. So be sure to pack excursion specific outfits and shoes. I brought my Chacos because they’re SUPER versatile and can be worn at the beach, hiking, etc. like anywhere. I definitely recommend getting a pair. (I’m actually wearing them in the picture above)
- 1 formal dress for dinner. 4 day cruises come with one formal dinner night in the main dining rooms. It’s my favorite night of the cruise. They serve the BEST food this night. Formal night means you have to arrive dressier than usual. Some of us wore simple but cute long dresses, while others wore prom type dresses. Both are acceptable and recommended.
- 3 Casual dresses/Outfits. The other 3 nights of the cruise the dining rooms have a casual dress code. This can mean summer dresses, casual skirts, pants, capris, dress shorts, nice blouses etc. For those who don’t want to dress up the Lido deck has a constantly relaxed atmosphere.
- 2 pairs of PJs. Pretty self explanatory. I brought simple t-shirt and shorts pajamas with me.
- Sunscreen. I don’t care what color you are or what country you are from. Skin is skin and it needs to be protected from the sun, so please remember your sunscreen!!!
- Sunglasses. Because no one wants sun in their eyes.
- Lanyard. It makes having access to your sail and sign card a lot simpler. (This card is your money, room key, entrance to the ship etc all in one)
- Shoes. Bring a comfy pair of walking shoes because you will be doing a lot of walking. I was averaging about 10,000 steps per day while on my cruise. Like I mentioned before I brought my Chacos because they’re versatile.
- Flip Flops. Duh right. They also double as shower shoes! I brought one pair of these beach favorites.
- Dressy Sandals. These are needed for your casual dinner, but if they’re dressy enough you can also wear them for the formal night
- Beach Bag. You’re going to want to bring a beach bag for when you get off the ship. That way you can easily carry a towel in it, sunscreen, a book, wallet, or whatever else you’ll need to have fun at the beach. Be sure to bring one thats waterproof on the inside.
- Beach Towel (optional). This is optional. Carnival provides really soft, comfy beach towels for both on and off the ship. I brought my own because my boyfriend bought me a really cute beach towel that says “I love traveling” so I had to bring it of course! But if you don’t have room in your bag to bring a towel don’t worry there will be plenty available.
- Insulated tumbler cup. This is my favorite tip ever. I mentioned this in my 6 Unexpected Things First Timers Forget to Pack for a Cruise . Having an insulated tumbler makes everything easier. The cups on the ship are small, so bringing your tumbler means you don’t have to make so many trips back and forth to the drink stations. It also means you can take that amazing Passion Fruit Orange Guava juice around with you all day long. I filled my cup with it before we went on the island tour excursion and was so glad I did. That stuff is amazing. I bought a rugrats/90s nick tumbler for like $5.
- Surge Protector. There aren’t many outlets in the cabin, I actually think theres only 1 or 2. So bring a surge protector that way you don’t have to wait until the outlet is unoccupied to charge your electronics, cameras, go pros, phone etc.
- Chargers for your electronics. Another given.
- Waterproof cases. My boyfriend got one from TJ Maxx on sale for like $9 and I was really impressed with how good it works. It even came with a wrist strap to make sure it didn’t get lost. The underwater pictures were amazing and his iPhone went undamaged. Definitely recommend this.
- Dramamine. Just in case you get motion sickness easily. The cruise ships are so big so it’s rare that you’ll feel it moving, but just in case bring dramamine or any motion sickness medication to be safe.
- Travel Documents. Carnival will send you tons of useful emails reminding you to print all of your boarding and registration information. It will speed up the check in process for you. Check and double check that you have all birth certificates (or passports) and any other information needed before you leave home.
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Have you been on a cruise? What are your must pack travel tips? Let me know in the comments!
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