Uncommon Cruising Essentials

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Read this before your cruise! Cruising tips and tricks including lots of uncommon cruising essentials that are pretty unique to this list.

Read this before your cruise! Cruising tips and tricks including lots of uncommon cruising essentials that are pretty unique to this list.

Before this year I was a first time cruiser and I found myself scouting the internet for cruising tips and tricks. Specifically I wanted to know what to pack for my trip with Princess Cruises to the Eastern Caribbean. Here I’m outlining my personal uncommon cruising essentials. I brought lots of things on the trip, but these are the items that I will definitely be bringing again! We’ll start out with the ones that are a bit more obvious and we’ll end with my off the beaten path must-haves.

1. Sunscreen

Uncommon Cruising Essentials- Don't forget to pack sunscreen... including a travel size for excursions.


You would think that this one is pretty obvious, but you would not believe the number of people who were sporting bright red skin after our first day at sea. I would suggest packing a cream, a spray, AND a travel size. Don’t forget the travel size to throw in your pocket or bag when you leave the ship to go on island excursions! Personally I like to lather up with lotion directly out of the shower. I use the spray to touch up throughout the day, and then the travel size goes into my bag when we are spending all day on an excursion.

2. Anti-Nausea Wrist Bands

Uncommon Cruising Essentials- Anti Nausea Wristbands really do work! They are inexpensive too!

These Anti-nausea Sea-Bands really do work! If you are concerned at all about sea sickness you should grab a pack. You wear one on each wrist, and they begin working almost instantly when you put them on. Bonus- they are good for travel sickness, morning sickness, and even nausea associated with chemotherapy.

3. Water Shoes

Uncommon Cruising Essentials- You'll love having sturdy water shoes for island excursions. They are perfect for the beach, and hiking, or walking around town.

Let’s be honest here…I brought WAY too many shoes. However without a doubt I will be bringing a sturdy pair of water shoes with me again. I found myself reaching for these shoes over and over since they are perfect for the beach, the pool, hiking and kayaking (which we did a lot of on our excursions), and even walking around the ship. I bought the ones pictured above in pink.

4. Floppy Beach Hat

Uncommon Cruising Essentials- bring a floppy hat for the pool and for the beach.

Definitely throw a floppy hat in your suitcase. I’m not even a hat person and I was so thankful I had a floppy hat while lounging poolside as well as soaking in the sunshine on our excursions.

5. Fitness Tracker

Uncommon Cruising Essentials- a wearable fitness tracker helps you stay active on your cruise. Stay active and enjoy seconds on dessert!

Wearing a fitness tracker while on your cruise will motivate you to stay active. Taking the stairs instead of the crowded elevators will be a little bit easier knowing that your steps count! Choose active excursions, always take the the stairs, and always enjoy seconds on dessert. Am I right?! Did you happen to see the food I enjoyed every last bite of on this Regal Princess Food and Drink Photo Tour? I came back only 5oz heavier. #goals

I use a Fitbit Charge HR because I like that it includes a watch. It is not fully water immersible though so you have to take it off if you take a dip in the pool. The Fitbit Flex is waterproof and you can wear it in the shower as well. You can also change out the color bands on the Flex. I have owned both over the past 2 years and am a fan of both fitness trackers.

6. Smart Camera

Uncommon Cruising Essentials- I will never travel without a wifi enabled camera ever again!

Wait, but you already have a smart phone that takes awesome pictures. I know. So do I. However if you are any kind of camera enthusiast you will love having a smart (wifi enabled) camera like this Samsung NX 300. This is not sponsored in any way- I purchased this camera on my own after lots of research. All of the photos related to my trip as seen in my previous posts and Instagram profile (tagged with #comebacknew)were taken with this camera. It was a much better alternative to bringing my giant Canon. And while I did use the kit lens, I mostly opted for the 30mm NX Pancake lens. Pictured above (bottom left) you can see how slim it is. It truly makes this a pocket camera. (The other camera pictures in the graphic above feature the kit lens.)

Note: The Samsung NX 3000 is less expensive, but doesn’t have the same features as the NX300. I loved the touch screen on the NX300 model. Also, linked below I purchased an external battery charger and an extra battery. I didn’t end up using it, but no one likes to be out and about with a dead camera battery.

7. Suction Hooks

Uncommon Cruising Essentials- Purchase these inexpensive suction hooks to hang on your shower walls and let your swimsuit dry. It's also perfect for suctioning to the outside of your sliding glass balcony door. Hang your shoes outside to dry!

Oddly enough, this was one of my most favorite cruising essentials. These inexpensive suction hooks can hang on your shower walls and let your swimsuit dry. It’s also perfect for suctioning to the outside of your sliding glass balcony door. Hang your shoes outside to dry!

8. Surge Protector + USB Port

Uncommon Cruising Essentials- Plugs are limited in a cabin. Bring a small surge protector that doubles as a USB port for all of your charging needs.

Plugs are limited in a cruise ship cabin. Bring a small surge protector that doubles as a USB port for all of your charging needs. We brought along this small one but there are larger ones available as well.

9. Waterproof Phone Case

Uncommon Cruising Essentials- bring a waterproof cell phone case. Perfect for island excursions and poolside pics.

I really couldn’t justify another camera purchase but I wanted to be able to take pictures while kayaking or lounging on the beach. I grabbed a waterproof cell phone case that was submersible up to 30 ft for 30 minutes. You can also carry a few dollars in there, and you can still use your touch screen! It comes with a lanyard that you can wear around your neck, making it less likely to lose your cell phone or have it stolen. A definite cruising essential!

10. Cell Phone Room Key Holder

Uncommon Cruising Essentials- put a credit card holder on the back of your cell phone. It will always keep your room key handy, and the holder will prevent your key card from being deactivated!

I did not have this on my cruise, but I SO wish I had known about this genius little product! On more than one occasion I left my room key up against my phone for too long and my key was demagnetized. I sheepishly went to the front desk each time to get a new one. The staff said that this is a very common mistake among cruisers. Don’t be like me! Grab this sticky credit card holder for your phone to keep your room key in. You can bet I purchased one when I got home!

Was this post helpful to you? I hope you’ll let me know in the comments! Be sure to check out my recipes inspired by my recent cruise, as well as my food photo tour, and food carving demonstration post.

Non-alcoholic Nojito Recipe with agave


Creamy Coconut Cream Filled Biscoff Cookies Recipe

Creamy Coconut Cream Filled Biscoff Cookies

Piña Colada Fudge Recipe

Piña Colada Fudge Recipe







A Look at the Food Carving Sculptures Aboard the Regal Princess

Food Carving Sculptures Aboard the Regal Princess

Food and Drinks aboard the Regal Princess

Food and Drinks aboard the Regal Princess- A Photo Tour

Read this before your cruise! Cruising tips and tricks including lots of uncommon cruising essentials that are pretty unique to this list.

Uncommon Cruising Essentials









This post has been sponsored by Princess Cruises. I’m so happy to be able to work with companies I love and believe in. All opinions are my own. 

In Katrina’s Kitchen is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

- Katrina

10 Responses to “Uncommon Cruising Essentials”

  1. #
    Julie @ Table for Two — April 29, 2015 at 1:41 pm

    Whaaaaaat?! I need to get that cell phone room key holder thing..not just for cruising but ANY trips! I always demagnitize my room key! I’m so mad I forgot my floppy hat. It was on my suitcase and I was debating whether or not to bring it and went against it…regrets! Haha

  2. #
    aida mollenkamp — April 29, 2015 at 4:13 pm

    Ditto what Julie said! I never knew about the cell phone-card thing and I ALWAYS demagnetize stuff!

  3. #
    Amanda — April 29, 2015 at 4:53 pm

    I’ve been on multiple cruises myself and I totally agree with your list. I wish I’d thought to do travel size sunscreen along with my regular size. The suction cups idea is genius! I have to remember that for the next time I plan a trip, on a cruise or even the beach.

  4. #
    Debra — April 30, 2015 at 10:25 am

    Thank you for this advice.

  5. #
    Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabbles — May 12, 2015 at 8:42 pm

    Excellent! I can’t wait to go on my first warm-destination cruise some day!

  6. #
    WB — August 5, 2015 at 6:21 am

    Great Post. Really happy to have a recommendation for the waterproof cellphone bag because I was freaking out a little about it and love that card holder! Fantastic ideas for our upcoming cruise.

  7. #
    Nikki — January 1, 2016 at 12:44 pm

    The surge protector with USB ports is definatly a good idea! We brought our ld school power strip, works just as well but takes up more room.

  8. #
    Diana — January 25, 2016 at 11:13 pm

    These are great suggestions! I would like to add walkie talkies for those in traveling in groups or with kids. It would have made our trip easier trying to track everyone down!

  9. #
    Mandi — February 27, 2016 at 5:47 pm

    Carnival does not permit plugs that have surgery protectors. I definitely recommended bringing something though as there is only one plug. We bring the squid.

  10. #
    Anne — April 20, 2016 at 1:23 pm

    In addition I would add magnetic hooks to your list. All cruise ship cabin walls are steel and as such you can use magnetized hooks to hang room decorations, a shower curtain to separate bed from pull out sofa when sharing a room with friends. You can also hang purses, bathing suits, and the like from these hooks. Great list.

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