Cruise Embarkation Day Must-Haves

Cruising is a world of its own. Even seasoned travelers can struggle with what to take for their first cruise. One of the popular questions is: What do you need with you on day of embarkation?

Read on to learn more about what I found useful to have with me on embarkation day for my 9-night Greek Isles Cruise onboard Royal Caribbean’s Jewel of the Seas.

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Before You Leave Home

There’s a few items you’ll want to make sure you have with you before you leave home to ensure that your trip is less stressful.

  • Boarding Documents & Passports – be sure to have these available and easily accessible to you when you arrive to check-in. It’s worth having a copy of receipts for anything you have pre-paid such as internet, drinks package, specialty-dinner, or excursions.
  • Luggage Tags – Don’t forget to print one copy for every bag that you will take with you! To protect your luggage tag from getting damaged, I recommend buying some of these cruise tag holders.
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Embarkation Day

Your sail-away date has arrived! Here’s my list of must-haves to make the most of your first day onboard. I found it really helpful to have these within easy reach in my duffel bag or backpack while waiting for our luggage to be delivered and our room to become available.

  • Backpack / Duffle Bag – You’ll want a backpack or small duffle bag with you after you turn in your suitcase. This should hold anything you might need until you get your bags delivered to your room.
  • Lanyard – When you check-in at the cruise terminal, you’ll be handed your Sea Pass. This card will be used for everything while on your cruise, so keep it safe and handy with a retractable lanyard and cardholder.
  • Swimsuit & Coverup – If you want to make use of the pool while you wait for your bags to be delivered to your room, keep a swimsuit and coverup in your personal bag.
  • Sunscreen & Sun Hat – This goes hand in hand with your swimsuit, protect your skin and don’t forget to re-apply sunscreen after you go for a swim. Have one of these packable sun hats to protect your face.
  • Reusable Water Bottle – Remember to keep hydrated, especially if traveling in warmer months. I have one like this that has a strap for convenient carrying and a wider mouth to make refills easy.
  • Chargers & Adapters – Be sure to have chargers for all your devices. Most cruise ships have both US and European outlets, take one of these adapters with USB ports to make use of the European outlets. You’ll also need it if you plan to stay pre or post-cruise outside of the US/Caribbean.
  • Medications / First-Aid – It’s no fun to catch a cold while on a cruise, trust me. Cruise ships have a nurse’s station, but their hours can be inconvenient. Be prepared with some of your go-to over-the-counter meds to help you feel better faster, as well as any must-have prescriptions. Check out what I keep in my first-aid kit in this post.

Recommended Must-Have Cruise Items

Here are some great items that I found to be super helpful to have during my cruise.

Stylish Backpack

Boarding/Passport Holder

Lanyard with ID Holder

Packable Sun Hat

Magnetic Hooks

Shower Organizer

Travel Adapter w/ USB Ports
Weekender Bag

Luggage Tag Holders*

Reusable Water Bottle


Repellent Towelettes

Over Door Organizer

Beach Towel Clips

*Each cruise line has different sized luggage tags, so keep in mind that you’ll need different luggage tag holders if you’re going on Royal Caribbean & Celebrity, Norweigan, Princess, Carnival, Costa & Holland.

If you’re embarking on your first cruise, I hope you found this post helpful as you prepare for your trip. Are you an experienced cruiser? Share your favorite must-have cruise items in the comments below.

Happy travels!

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