Planning and packing for a cruise vacation can be a seriously stressful situation – even for veteran travelers. After 20-plus cruises myself, I still spend the weeks leading up to each trip going over my packing lists while looking for any edge I can find to make the trip more enjoyable. To that end, I’ve found that conveniences we take for granted on shore – a fan, power strips and clean water – are often the bigger challenges when at sea. Here are six accessories a cruise traveler should never leave port without.
OPOLAR USB Desk Fan
In case you’ve forgotten the tenets of basic geography, here’s an important note: The Caribbean is hot year-round. If you spent your day climbing Mayan ruins or dancing in the nightclub until dawn, you’ll want this USB fan from OPOLAR waiting in your cabin. Because many cruise lines restrict the use of electric fans these days, a USB or battery-powered fan is your best bet. This OPOLAR model is super compact, delivers a powerful punch of air and comes with a power cord that’s 4.9 feet long – that’s plenty of distance to reach the power outlets in a typical cabin. When you’re not cruising, take it to the office for days when the building manager can’t keep the floor cool enough.
Highwind Cruise Luggage Tags Etag Holders
If you’ve ever been on a cruise before, you know that feeling of anxiety that creeps over you as you await the arrival of your baggage. (After handing them off to porters on shore, the wait can last for hours.) These super-strong tags are designed to safely hold the paper tags that cruise ships hand out for your bags. The braided stainless steel loops ensure these tags will stay put.
Your “sea pass” is the plastic card that serves as your onboard credit card, personal identification and cabin door key. Because it goes everywhere you go, you’ll want to keep it safe. These cruise lanyards are considered an essential accessory by every serious cruiser. The sleeve is waterproof and has enough room inside to include some cash when you go ashore.
Multi Plug Outlet Extender
One challenge when it comes to packing for a cruise is your power options. Many cruise lines now prohibit surge protectors and any extension cord that includes a surge protector. This wall outlet extender was specifically designed without a surge protector, so it’s cruise-line safe. The night light is a nice bonus that will prevent you from stubbing your toe during those 3 a.m. trips to the bathroom.
Space is always at a premium during a cruise, and that’s why we love these daypacks. They’re perfect for bringing along your sunscreen, towel, sunglasses, drinks and more for a day at a beach or a tour of the port city. But they’re also able to fold up into the size of a sandwich bag. Keep them handy when you’re checking luggage at the airport in case you need to lighten your bags’ loads.
Collapsible Silicone Water Bottles
Trust us when we say you’re going to want a steady supply of water with you on any Caribbean cruise. The heat will zap you before you know it, so having a safe drink of water with you is critical. These collapsible bottles are made from a food-grade silicone, so they’re stain, odor and taste resistant. They’re perfect for steady refills of water at the ship’s buffet station. Plus, a portion of each sale goes to wildlife protection organizations.