Need to know how to pack for a 7 day cruise — even if you’re only bringing a carry-on? This ultimate 7 day cruise packing list shows you exactly what to pack as well as how to pack everything as efficiently as possible.
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How do you pack a suitcase for a 7 day cruise?
To pack a suitcase for a 7 day cruise, use packing cubes, roll your clothes instead of folding and bring minimal toiletries.
Even though it seems impossible to pack for a 7 day cruise in one suitcase, trust me, it is doable. I was able to pack for a 7 day cruise in just a carry-on.
You can learn how to pack for a cruise in a carry-on here.
How many outfits should I pack for a 7 day cruise?
For a 7 day cruise, you should bring 10-14 outfits in case you get wet or need a nicer outfit for evening dinners.
Below, you’ll learn about what types of outfits you need (casual, formal, etc.) and how many of each type you need.
How many pairs of shoes should you take on a 7 day cruise?
For a 7 day cruise, you’ll need a pair of shoes for the pool, formal dinners, walking, close-toed shoe activities and the fitness center. Although you could easily bring 4+ pairs of shoes, I recommend finding one pair of shoes that serves multiple purposes, like these.
That way, your shoes won’t take up your precious suitcase space.
7 Day Cruise Packing List
1. 7-8 Daytime Outfits
On your 7 day cruise, you’ll need a casual daytime outfit for each day, plus at least one backup outfit in case you get wet.
Depending on your 7 day cruise itinerary, you’ll want to pack shorts and lightweight tops for your daytime outfits.
Also, to maximize suitcase and stateroom space, don’t be afraid to rewear your daytime outfits, especially shorts. If packing shorts to rewear, you can easily get away with packing only 3-4 pairs shorts and 7-8 different tops.
2. 4-5 Evening Outfits
In addition, between the on-ship entertainment and classy bars, you’ll find that your T-shirts and shorts will feel too casual for cruise evenings. In fact, many cruise restaurants don’t allow shorts.
So, you’ll need to pack 4-5 evening outfits for your 7 day cruise as well. These outfits don’t have to be formalwear (we’ll discuss formalwear next), so packing sundresses, blouses, dress pants, khakis, polos, etc. will suffice.
Moreover, if you’re short on suitcase space, perhaps packing for your cruise in a carry-on, wear your evening outfits throughout the day as your daytime outfits as well. There’s absolutely no problem walking to the pool in a sundress or polo if needed.
3. 2 Formal Night Outfits
Speaking of formalwear, many 7 day cruise itineraries have at least one formal night where everyone dresses in formal attire. Women often where full-length evening gowns, and men wear suits or tuxedos.
Because some cruise sailings do not have official formal nights, check your itinerary for formal nights before packing. Your itinerary tells you if you have any formal nights and how many formal nights you need to pack for.
4. 4 Swimsuits
Obviously, you’ll also need to pack multiple swimsuits for your 7 day cruise.
I naively packed three swimsuits for our 7 day Caribbean cruise, and I often found myself putting on a damp swimsuit. In hindsight, I should have brought at least four swimsuits to always have a dry swimsuit on hand.
If you’re going on a 7 day Mediterranean cruise, I also recommend packing at least 4 swimsuits. If you’re going on a 7 day Alaskan cruise or another colder climate cruise, 2 swimsuits should suffice.
5. Pool, Formal, Walking And Tennis Shoes
As for shoes, you will need shoes for the pool deck, shoes for formal dinners, walking shoes and tennis shoes in order to take part in all of the activities you’re 7 day cruise has to offer.
However, you do not need to pack 4+ pairs of shoes. This will take up way too much suitcase space and weight. Instead, find one pair of shoes that can serve as your pool, formal dinner and walking shoes. Then wear your tennis shoes onto the ship. That way, you only have to bring 2 pairs of shoes total.
Find the best waterproof, cute and comfortable cruise shoes in my guide to the best cruise shoes for ladies.
Next, you do not want to forget sunglasses on your 7 day cruise.
Cruise pool decks are completely exposed to the sunshine from above, and the ocean water reflects the sunshine from below. Basically, if you’re outside, you will be blinded from all directions without sunglasses.
If you need prescription sunglasses like me, I highly recommend buying sunglasses from Zenni Optical for your cruise. Zenni offers cheap (and trendy) prescription sunglasses for as low as $10. This means, you won’t be upset if they get lost, bumped overboard or broken on your trip.
7. 2-3 Bottles Of Reef-Safe Sunscreen (7 Day Cruise Packing List)
Similarly, you need to pack a lot of sunscreen for your 7 day cruise.
Just like you need to protect your eyes from harmful UV rays, you need to protect your skin. No one enjoys being sunburnt on vacation.
But, you need to bring reef-safe sunscreen — not just to save ocean life, but also because many cruise destinations have banned dangerous sunscreens. My favorite reef-safe sunscreen, which is also completely non-toxic to humans is this Babo Botanicals Sheer Zinc Sunscreen spray from Amazon.
8. Pool Bag
Next, you’ll want a small pool bag or purse to bring your belongings, such as your towel, sunglasses, book, phone, camera, etc., around the ship during the day.
I personally brought this beach-y round woven purse, which was perfect for both daytime pool hours and formal evening dinners.
9. 1-2 Fitness Center Outfits (7 Day Cruise Packing List)
Cruise ship fitness centers offer a variety of free fitness classes and workout machines so you can stay in shape on your 7 day cruise.
If you plan to use your ship’s fitness center, pack just 1-2 workout outfits and rewear them throughout the week. I know this might sound gross, but everyone does it. It will save you loads of suitcase space. You’re secret is safe with me.
10. 4 Pairs Of Warm Pajamas
Although I am very thankful for stateroom air conditioning, staterooms can become surprisingly cold.
Yes, you should have a temperature control dial in your individual stateroom. But, I suggest bringing warm pajamas to sleep in anyway.
The combination of thin, limited bedding and frigid air conditioning makes for a cold night without long pajama pants and/or sweatshirts. I learned this the hard way.
11. Motion Sickness Remedies (7 Day Cruise Packing List)
Whether you’re a first-time or seasoned cruiser, unfortunately seasicknesses doesn’t discriminate. Luckily, most people do not experience severe seasickness, but it’s always best to sail prepared.
There are tons of classic seasickness remedies on Amazon, all of which you can find in my Amazon cruise essentials list here.
Additionally, there are numerous natural motion sickness remedies, such as the Migrastil Migraine Stick and inhaler, that I personally bring on every trip. You can find all the best natural motion sickness remedies here.
12. Travel-Size Hand Sanitizer
While we’re on the topic of health, don’t forget to bring a few travel-size hand sanitizer bottles on your 7 day cruise. You’ll need them.
Between the all-inclusive self-serve buffets, poolside snacks and on-the-go port meals, you’ll feel the need to sanitize several times throughout each day.
I always travel with these portable hand sanitizer bottles because I can hang them on the outside of my purse for easy access. That way, I don’t have to dig through my clean belongings with unsanitary hands.
13. Minimal Toiletries (7 Day Cruise Packing List)
Similarly, this 7 day cruise packing list wouldn’t be complete without toiletries.
I advise only bringing minimal toiletries, though. Toiletry cases and bottles are a sneaky way to quickly run out of suitcase space and stateroom storage.
In order to save as much toiletry space as possible, I love bringing my foldable hanging toiletry bag. I can hang my toiletries wherever is most convenient (shower curtain rod, mirror, closet, towel hook, etc.), and I can bend the bag in whatever shape necessary to fit inside my suitcase.
14. Portable Chargers And A Power Strip
Next, don’t forget your electronics. Notably, besides your phone and travel camera gear, don’t forget a portable charger and a retractable power strip.
Your ship’s daily activities are available on the ship app, which means you’ll need your phone to be charged at all times. My husband and I bought this two pack of affordable portable chargers on Amazon. We use them on every trip.
Furthermore, ship staterooms are notoriously small. Because of their small size, they inevitably have limited outlets. For example, our Royal Caribbean stateroom only had one outlet. To ensure all your devices, camera batteries and portable chargers stay charged, bring a retractable power strip like this one.
15. A Good Book (7 Day Cruise Packing List)
Finally, don’t forget to bring a good book for relaxing pool and beach days.
My favorite book that I have ever read on a trip is Atomic Habits by James Clear. Not only was the book super insightful in terms of habit building and breaking, but it also made me feel recharged and excited to get back to work after my trip.
Or, if you prefer not to carry physical books in your luggage, invest in an ebook reader for your trip. Although I prefer hardcover copies, my husband has this Kindle and loved using it on our cruise.
Have any more questions about how to pack for a 7 day cruise? Ask me in the reply section below or by sending me a direct message on Instagram. I’m happy to help!
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