ultimate 7 day caribbean cruise packing list
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The Ultimate Packing List For 7 Day Cruise In The Caribbean

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If you are looking for the best packing list for a 7 day cruise in the Caribbean, you’re in the right place!

You have booked an unforgettable cruise vacation; now you need to figure out what to wear for your week-long escape. It can vary depending on which cruise line you are on and the season you are visiting in.

A guide on what to pack for a 7 day Caribbean Cruise
A guide on what to pack for a 7 day Caribbean Cruise

Many cruise lines have dress codes for dinner and a formal night, while others allow guests to dine in more casual attire. A visit during the holiday season may make festive clothing a must, while a cruise during hurricane season will make travel insurance a top thing to put on your packing list.

The tropical climate of the Caribbean, paired with the onboard luxury of the cruise line, makes this a remarkable all-inclusive vacation. Let’s dive into what to pack and wear for your 7-day Caribbean Cruise.

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What To Wear On A Cruise Ship

What Is the Weather Like In the Caribbean?

While visitors enjoy warm, 80-degree average temperatures year-round, the peak Caribbean cruise season runs from December to April. During the winter, the temperature decreases to the low 60s, which may warrant a sweater or light jacket in the evening.

What to wear in the Caribbean
What to wear in the Caribbean

The best time to plan a Caribbean Cruise is from December to April when the weather is dry, the seas are calm, and most days are sunny. However, expect higher prices and larger crowds during these months.

Hurricane season starts in June and runs till November 1st. Travel insurance may be a priority if you book during this time.

We found early November to be a sweet spot with lower crowds and better pricing. There are fewer kids out of school, hurricane season just ended, and the cruise lines are preparing for the rush of holiday travel.

Check Your Cruise Line Dress Code

Most cruise lines have a casual dress code for passengers except for formal nights. Throughout the day, guests often are seen in beach wear and casual attire such as tank tops and shorts.

Each line has a specific dress code which I recommend checking before sailing. It is often the recommended dress, with long pants and collared shirts for men, while women can wear blouses, skirts, slacks, or dresses. Many dining rooms enforce a business casual dress code in the main dining room for dinner. Beachwear of any kind is often not permitted.

Pack light weight shirts
Pack light weight shirts

A few cruise lines, such as Disney, have a more laid-back dress code, with most restaurants allowing casual dress for all meals.

Sailing Disney? Get our complete Guide on what to wear on a Disney Cruise and Complete Disney Cruise Packing List.

Formal Nights

Expect to have two formal nights on a seven-day Caribbean cruise or two dress your best nights. 

Guests often envision black ties, tuxedos, and glitzy dresses on a formal cruise night. While this may be true for some cruises, formal nights have a good amount of flexibility on average. The more common formal wear attire includes cocktail dresses, sundresses, button-up shirts, and dress pants. The formal night is for the main dining rooms. Many guests opt to refrain from participating in Formal night and order room service, visit the buffet or eat at another casual restaurant onboard.

Formal Nights can take many forms as well. Disney has replaced a traditional formal night with a pirate night. Families get dressed up in their pirate best for swashbuckling fun. The second formal night on Disney Cruise is an optional Formal Night. Other lines, such as Celebrity Cruise Line, have replaced formal nights with Evening Chic nights.

We recommend checking each line for their updated dress code and Formal night options.

If you are wondering what you should I wear on a Caribbean Cruise, here are our general tips:

  • Bring two-three bathing suits, especially if you plan to enjoy the beautiful pools onboard the ship and beaches during your excursion days. Having multiple bathing suits allows one to dry if you wish to go for another swim. I also have an extra in case one breaks.
  •  Flip-Flops are another standard item to place in your suitcase. They are ideal for walking to the beach and pool.
  •  A pair of casual walking shoes. Many shore excursions require closed-toe shoes or could involve a fair amount of walking. While I often wear my walking shoes on the airplane, others pack them.
  •  Pack lightweight clothing. The year-round temperature in the Caribbean is in the 80’s and sunny.
  •  You will generally find yourself in casual clothes or a bathing suit for most of the cruise. Guests change into their more elegant attire for evening dinners and shows.
Seven Day Cruise Packing List
Seven Day Cruise Packing List

Your general packing list for a 7-day cruise to the Caribbean should include the following clothing items:

  • 7-8 Tank tops and lightweight t-shirts.
  •  2 Swimsuit Cover-Ups (I particularly loved this black beach cover-up.)
  •  2-3 Bathing Suits
  •  Flip Flops
  •  3-4 pairs of shorts
  •  2-3 sundresses
  •  2-3 causal evening dresses
  •  2-3 Nice blouses or tops
  •  1 pair of jeans or pair of capris
  •  *1-2 Formal Outfits – 2 fancy dresses/Suits or dress pants and jacket.
  •  Dress shoes for formal night.
  •  Men-two pairs of long pants for dinner with button-down shirts
  •  Comfortable walking shoes
  •  Casual shoes or flats to wear to dinner
  •  Sunglasses
  •  A fun purse
  •  Hats, especially for kids.
  •  A pair of water shoes. There are a few beaches in the Caribbean that are rocky. It is best to come prepared.
  •  Pack a set of fitness clothing and shoes. Most cruise ships have a fitness center.
  •  A lightweight jacket or sweater. Bring one for everyone as the evenings can get cool or in air-conditioned spots.
  •  Pack a pair of PJs. 
  •  Undies and Socks.
  •  Accessories for outfits such as jewelry, headbands, scarves, etc.
  •  **Pirate Costume if going on a Disney Cruise.

General 7-Day Cruise Packing List For The Caribbean

While planning your sunny Caribbean cruise vacation, there is more to pack outside your beach and cruise wear. Coming prepared with the necessary documents, travel gear, and essential items will keep you from making a mad dash to the gift shop and paying higher prices for everyday items.

Pack a carry on bag for your cruise
Pack a carry on bag for your cruise


Upon arriving at the Port, the porters will take all your luggage and deliver it to your cruise cabin throughout the day. Packing a carry-on to take onboard is vital so you have your cruise essentials with you at all times.

Putting together a travel plan can help in packing. Start by placing travel essentials such as passports, printed e-ticket custom forms, medical insurance, travel insurance, mobile phones, phone chargers, keys, money, and wallets in a designated area in your carry-on baggage.

It is a good idea always to pack an extra change of clothes, prescription medications, and contact lenses/glasses in your carry-on.

I typically pack a swimsuit and sunscreen in my carry-on as the luggage can often arrive during the evening. Having a swimsuit allows me to immediately hit the pool or the sun deck. If traveling with kids, I pack their suits, goggles, and a pair of PJs in case the luggage arrives after bedtime.

After packing your carry-on, here is your general packing list for a seven-day cruise to the Caribbean. 

  • Sunscreen, but check to make sure it is reef safe.
  •  Insect Repellent, bring if you are venturing out on a hike, a zip line adventure, or anything outside of water.
  •  Bring an Underwater Camera if you plan on going snorkeling or doing fun activities that involve water. We have this particular waterproof camera, fell in love with it, and ended up buying all the extra accessories that come with it.
  •  First-Aid Kit
  •  Wellness Kit: This includes Benadryl, Ibuprofen, Tylenol, stomach medications such as Pepto tabs and Pepcid, and decongestants. Epi-Pen if needed.
  •  E-reader or tablet and charger
  •  Headphones
  •   Ponchos, especially if visiting during the rainy season.
  •  Baby wipes
  •  Toiletries such as shampoo, conditioner, soap, toothpaste, toothbrush, and deodorant- most cruise lines include complimentary shampoo, conditioner, and soap.
  •  Shaving Supplies
  •  Hair products and accessories
  •  Makeup
  •  Body Lotion
  •  Lip Balm
  •  Aloe Vera in case of sunburn
  •  Small travel towel
  •  A waterproof phone case allows you to take your phone in the pool, the ocean, etc.
  •  Sun hat
  •  Special occasion supplies such as anniversary gifts, birthday decorations, etc.
  •  Towel Clips for those windy beach days.
  •  Plastic bags- For wet swimsuits or dirty shoes

Other Great Items To Include in your Caribbean Cruise Packing List

Beach Bag

One thing you will need to bring with you is a great beach bag or travel backpack. You will be utilizing this bag every time you leave the ship. It will hold beach towels, drinks, snacks, sunscreen, and sand toys for kids if you hit the beach.

Caribbean Family Destinations
Pack for the beach

If you plan to explore a city during your excursion, I recommend bringing a backpack that is easy to keep bottled water, snacks, sunscreen, and bug spray in and has a lock to keep your wallet and credit cards. While the ship does offer pool towels, you will need to bring your own towels or the ship’s towels with you on your excursions. We found that the Bouy Bags are wonderful for beach trips.

A Filtering Water Bottle

 Another valuable item to pack is a filtering water bottle, as the water in the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Haiti, and a few other Caribbean Islands is unsafe to drink. Many cruise ships offer bottled water. However, bringing filtering water bottles will keep you from paying for bottled water.

If a filtering water bottle isn’t on your radar a collapsable water bottle is a great alternative. Fill it up before leaving the ship for your excursion.

Cruise Luggage Tags

Before embarkation, you will need to label your luggage with the luggage tags provided by your cruise line. While not a necessity, Cruise Luggage Tags are a nice and efficient way to label your baggage without fear of the tag breaking off. It is a small price to pay for piece of mind.


Many cruisers opt to keep their cruise card in a lanyard for safekeeping. Since your cruise card acts as a room key, credit card and ID, you will always have it on you. Sticking it in a lanyard prevents you from leaving it loose on a towel or in a beach bag.

Seasickness Medication

Whether you are a first-time cruiser or 20th times cruiser, it is always a good idea to keep seasickness medication with you. It can help eliminate a trip to the ship’s gift shop to purchase outrageously overpriced medicines.

During our recent cruise, we went through a storm where the ship was rocking terribly, causing many of the guests to get seasick. Having medicine on hand for adults and children is imperative during these times.

Top things to pack for a Caribbean Cruise
Top things to pack for a Caribbean Cruise

Another great alternative to seasickness medicine is Sea Bands and ginger chews.

Wellness Kit

As any frequent traveler knows, a best practice and an unfortunate necessity is to pack a wellness kit while traveling! No one plans to catch a cold, but it is best to prepare for all scenarios. Don’t be caught in the middle of the ocean coughing and sneezing without relief in sight.

I always have a wellness kit. Staples like tissues, hand sanitizers, saline nasal spray, pain-relieving medications, and stomach relief medications are mandatory items in our wellness kit. Bringing a first aid kit, cough medicine, and Mucinex can help make your trip more enjoyable without visiting the cruise ship doctor.

Goggles/ Snorkel Gear

Exploring the beautiful underwater world of the Caribbean is a staple for many families. Many ports of call offer snorkeling excursions in which they provide their snorkel gear. However, if you are planning on doing your own excursion or snorkel frequently it is best to bring your own gear.

Remember to pack those goggles for the kids! They will need them at the pool!

Camera Gear

We all want to capture those perfect vacation memories while on the cruise. Don’t forget any camera gear you may need such as tripods, memory cards, and the camera itself!

For more adventurous shots and videos guests will often bring a go-pro or underwater camera to capture exciting moments on shore excursions.

The cruise line does offer professional photos throughout the cruise. Photographers help document your cruise by capturing your family with various backdrops, during dinner and even departing on shore excursions. Guests will have the option to view the photos and buy a photo package or specific photos if they wish.

Pack A Bottle Of Wine

That’s correct; many cruise lines will allow one bottle of wine per person to be brought onboard, and some allow two bottles of wine! Often this must be brought onboard via carry-on; however, check your cruise line for the different requirements.

Yes, You can pack wine for a cruise!
Yes, You can pack wine for a cruise!

Waterproof Phone Case

Keep your cell phone protected from water and sand during your cruise by keeping it in a waterproof case. Bonus, many have a strap so you can easily wear it around your neck. Many cruisers will stick their cruise card in in the waterproof case along with credit cards and their phone.

Cruise Cabin Power Strip

If this is your first cruise, know there are few outlets in your stateroom. However, you can ONLY bring specific NON-SURGE power strips onboard that are approved by the cruise line. This prevents fires from happening onboard the ship. If it is not cruise line approved, then it will be confiscated.

Currency Exchange and Tips

The US Dollar is widely accepted in all Caribbean Islands except Cuba. If you plan a shore excursion to Cuba, you must convert US Dollars into Convertible Pesos.

Should I Bring Cash On The Cruise? 

The short answer is yes. I recommend bringing a minimum of $200 in assorted small bills. While everything you purchase onboard the cruise is billed to your cruise card, there are times when having cash comes in handy. It is customary to tip the porters a few dollars for handling your luggage, tour guides during a shore excursion, taxis, and even cruise staff that go above and beyond.

Typically each cruise line adds an automatic gratuity to each person sailing per day. These tips are split between the waiters, head waiter, assistant waiter, and cabin stewards. Guests may have the option to decline the automatic tips instead of leaving a cash tip. A quick visit to guest services can have you increase or decrease gratuities.

Onboard if a room service fee is not already included, most tip $1-$2 with each delivery. Others will tip their favorite bartender and leave extra gratuities for staff that go above and beyond. A

Check your cruise line for the most updated gratuity policy.

Packing List and Cruise Travel Tips For Kids

A Caribbean cruise makes a fabulous family vacation. With endless activities, pools, and live entertainment, it will be hard-pressed to get them off the ship. Research the different cruise lines and ships to see if they have amenities that your children will enjoy.

Quickly defining what amenities your family is looking for is the first part to a successful vacation. A prime example is children who still need to be potty-trained will not be allowed in the pools on different ships. In contrast, other lines have a splash or designated areas for kids in swim diapers.

Tips for packing for a cruise with kids
Tips for packing for a cruise with kids

After your cruise is booked, remember to sign up for kid’s clubs or babysitting services if you plan on utilizing them.

Packing Tips For Cruising With Kids

  • Bring rashguards. They are a lifesaver with all the beach and pool times.
  •  Bring pre-packaged snacks. While you can’t bring homemade food onboard, having a few snacks on hand in case of emergency is always a good idea.
  •  Many cruise lines have pack-n-plays or cribs that they can set up in your stateroom. No need to pack one!
  •  Pack a night light.
  • A few cruise lines will provide a diaper genie in your stateroom.
  • Pack a few of their favorite toys to keep in the stateroom to play with during downtime.
  • Stick a few easy activities in your bag to pull out for the kids during dinner time or while waiting for disembarkation.
  • Pack a wellness kit for the kids, with child-strength medicine in case of illness. This includes kids’ motion sickness medicine.

What NOT to Bring on a 7-Day Caribbean Cruise

Ensure that you are not accidentally bringing anything on board that is not allowed by reading the list of prohibited cruise items. Each cruise line has a list that you will want to check prior to boarding.

A few items you do not need to bring are:

  • A pack-n-play/ crib for baby (They are available onboard)
  •  A hairdryer (Available onboard)
  •  Electric irons and steamers (all ships offer self-service laundry facilities equipped with irons and ironing boards)
  •  Bottle sterilizers and warmers (A limited number of approved bottle warmers and bottle sterilizers are available upon request through Guest Services)
  • Firearms
    •  Firearm replicas, including non-firing, imitations, toys, and their components(Toy Exceptions)Store-bought Light sabers
    •  Plastic toy ‘pirate’ swords
    •  Plastic store-bought toy “Mjolnir” hammers (Thor’s hammer)
  •  Homemade food or snacks
  •  Balloons and candles
  •  Extension cords, power strips, and surge protectors 
  •  Inflatable Mattresses
  •  Metal Detectors
  •  Over-the-door hanging organizers
  •  Drones

Note: The following electrical appliances will be collected for inspection by the Chief Electrician and, if approved, will be returned for use onboard the ship.

  • Baby Monitors
  •  Humidifiers
  •  Portable fans
  •  White Noise/Sleep Machine

We had our sound machine taken apart and given back to us. I recommend downloading a sound machine app on your phone to avoid this situation altogether.

Get Your Free Printable 7-Day Caribbean Cruise Packing List

Grab your free printable cruise packing list below:

We hope you enjoyed our complete cruise packing list for your next cruise to the Caribbean. Be sure to check out our related articles below:

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Ultimate Packing List For 7 Day Cruise In The Caribbean

Ultimate packing list for a 7 day caribbean cruise
Ultimate packing list for a 7 day caribbean cruise