A few months ago we were invited to become a Carnival Cruise Line Partner. We chose to take a family cruise to the Caribbean on the Carnival Magic, which has just been recently updated with a Camp Ocean for kids, Guy’s Burger Joint and Dr. Seuss themed Green Eggs and Ham Breakfast with The Cat in the Hat and Friends.

Don't Forget to Pack These 5 Useful Cruise Essentials

Here are 5 things you might want to pack on your cruise:


A waterproof lanyard around your neck makes it much easier to keep up with your important items while you’re walking around the ship and swimming in the pool. My cell phone slides easily down in my lanyard, and the phone case actually has a spot to keep your ID, bank card, or cruise card in the back slot of your case, easily accessible by flipping up the bottom flap. A waterproof bag to bring along on excursions is also a great idea! Towels are provided, but I would bring your own if you want something smaller to travel around with at the stops.


During embarkation day, Carnival allows one 750 ml bottle of sealed/unopened wine or champagne per (21+) adult passenger in their hand luggage. A $15 corkage fee (a charge exacted at a restaurant for every bottle of wine served that was not bought on the premises), per 750 ml bottle, will be charged should guests wish to consume their wine or champagne in a main dining room, steakhouse or bar. A small quantity (maximum of 12 sealed, unopened cans/cartons of 12 ounces each or less) of non-alcoholic beverages (i.e., sparkling water, sodas, juice, milk) packaged in cans or cartons may be brought on board on embarkation day, only if carried on in guests’ hand luggage (not in checked luggage). Water, sodas and other non-alcoholic beverages that are packaged in bottles are not allowed.


The staterooms often have limited plug-ins. You are allowed to bring power strips as long as they are like-new, or aren’t considered to be a safety risk. They must NOT have a surge protector on them, and it’s recommend that you place them in your carry-on bag. You may need your portable charger if you plan on purchasing wi-fi on the cruise.


Some guests like to decorate their stateroom doors. You can use magnets and pictures to announce a special occasion, like your birthday, plus it makes your room a little easier to find. I didn’t even know it was a thing until we were on our first cruise. Only use fire-retardant materials; items sprayed with fire-retardant spray are not acceptable. Decorations may only be placed on the stateroom door and not the surrounding frame, walls or railings. To affix materials to your stateroom door, you may use magnets and Command Strips. Do not use adhesives such as tape or glue that will leave residue. No balcony decorations or string lights are allowed.


And obviously your swimwear, sunscreen, and hat! There are gorgeous beaches at the ports. Why pay extra to snorkel when you can bring your own (clean) pair? And you know me, I don’t travel anywhere without my camera. An underwater camera is worth every penny.

Carnival Cruise BLOG

Be prepared when you get on the ship. Wear your swimsuit under your clothes and be ready for the welcome party. I also recommend getting a room with a balcony (it’s worth it) and researching your shore excursions ahead of time. I also like to bring a nightlight for the girls, an over the door organizer to help save bathroom space, and liquid band-aid for my accident-prone child.

You can find a lot of cruise packing checklists online, however this Packing Checklist from Hello Cuteness is one of my favorites and it works for any trip. We leave from Florida on July 9th, three days after my 29th birthday! We have been on a cruise before, but this will be the first time for our little girls. Happy cruising, here’s where we are headed:

Carnival Cruise

Disclosure: My family and I were provided complimentary accommodations, along with activities, entertainment and dining options in exchange for this post. All views and opinions are my own.