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Sarah on Apr 13, 2016

Follow this handy little guide on how to pack for a cruise with kids

We have already spoken up about why cruising with kids is a great family holiday, and rated the family-friendly factor of favourite Australian cruise lines. Now that you know why to book, and on which ship, you might be curious about what to put on your family cruise packing list so you're well prepared for a fantastic, safe and fun getaway with the whole crew. Watch the video below and then read on for a few simple and easy tips which should help you to cover all the bases.


You'll want to bring clothes to suit most situations the kids could encounter onboard, without overpacking - it's a delicate balance! Casual and comfortable shorts and t-shirts are probably the most important, especially for warm-weather cruises, and young ones are likely to wear those for the majority of the cruise. However you'll want a sweatshirt and some track pants in case of a chilly day.

Bring a nicer outfit for any formal dinners - it's a good idea to find out how many you will have and pack accordingly. If you can trust them to keep their gladrags clean, you could even reuse it to cut down on space.

Don't forget a good supply of the essentials - socks and underwear! You'll also need pyjamas, and a lanyard so they can keep their cruise card safe.


  • Shorts

  • T-shirts

  • Socks

  • Comfortable shoes

  • Dressier shoes

  • Sandals

  • Nice dress/pants and shirt

  • Sweatshirt

  • Trackpants

  • Pyjamas

  • Underwear

  • Lanyard for cruise card


Outdoor gear

Children, especially the older ones, are likely to want to spend a good chunk of time outside enjoying the ship and the ports. You'll need to pack plenty of gear to keep them protected from the sun and entertained!

Sunblock is a good place to start - add to that sunhats, sunglasses and poolside cover ups and your kids will be sun safe for their outdoor adventures. Goggles are also a good idea, especially for water babies who will be in and out of the pool. Towels are provided on the ship.

Of course, you aren't guaranteed non-stop sunshine! Make sure to put rain jackets in your suitcase, or a compact umbrella at the very least. A small backpack for each child is  also a great idea, so they can take snacks and toys with them on their adventures.


  • Swimsuits

  • Sunblock

  • Sunhat

  • Sunglasses

  • Coverups

  • Goggles

  • Rain jacket

  • Small backpack

  • Beach towel

  • Umbrella



Cruise ships generally supply soap and shampoo at the very least, so you won't have to worry about those unless your child has sensitivities and needs a particular type. However, bring along their toothbrush and a toothpaste which they don't mind the taste of!

Older kids may need deodorant, and those with long hair will need hair brushes and hair ties. Aftersun or aloe vera lotion is a good thing to have too. Don't forget to pack any essential medications as well as a supply of sticking plasters, painkillers and seasickness tablets if you think you might need them!


  • Toothbrush

  • Toothpaste

  • Deodorant

  • Lip balm

  • Hair brush/comb

  • Hair ties for long hair

  • Aloe vera/Aftersun

  • Any necessary medications

kid having fun on a cruise

Toys and entertainment

These two important types of items can be a lifesaver to parents who want to relax on their cruise, but can be difficult to fit in. Bring along any stuffed toys or favourite items which help young ones to get to sleep, but make sure they are small ones!

Compact and transportable games and activities with no tiny parts to lose are ideal for older kids. Pack a deck of cards or two, colouring books and pencils, and tablets with games pre-loaded. An MP3 player and headphones are also essential for tweens and teens! Travel journals can keep older kids entertained, and are a good family bonding exercise both while writing entries and when remembering the trip after returning home.


  • Small favourite stuffed toys/blankies

  • Pack of cards

  • Tablet with games

  • Books

  • Colouring books and pencils

  • Travel journal

  • MP3 player

  • Headphones

This list is just a starting point and a way to make sure you don't forget anything important. Adapt it to your itinerary and your family, and happy cruising! You can find the perfect holiday for the whole clan in our School Holiday Cruises sale and be on your way in no time. Some of the best cruise lines for family include Royal Caribbean, Norwegian cruise line, Carnival, P&O cruises and of course Disney cruise line.

View or download the full packing list below for quick and easy reference!

kid's cruise packing list

I have enjoyed visiting as much of the world as possible over the years. Europe and the Mediterranean are personal favourites, but there is so much to see very close to our little Australasian corner of the globe- one of my top travel experiences was snorkeling with tropical fish and turtles in New Caledonia! Cruising is a fantastic way to see it all, and we hope to make booking a cruise easier for both first-timers and old salts. From ship tips to destination news and views, we will keep you up-to-date. Happy cruising!

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