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What to pack for a World Cruise Tips and Tricks

What to pack for a World Cruise Tips and Tricks

I love cruising but one of the things that I have not been lucky enough to do – yet – is a world cruise. Today we have a guest post from my Mother in Law and serial cruiser – Tricia. In this guide we will tell you what to pack for a world cruise and what not to add to your world cruise packing list.

Important Note: This post may contain affiliate links which means if you click through and make a purchase I will make a small commission at no extra cost to you!

What to Wear on a World Cruise Packing List Tips & Checklist

The truth about a world cruise is that you need less clothes that you think you do.  Each world cruise will have a unique itinerary so it is hard to have a definitive list but there are definitely some things you may want to consider when packing for your world cruise: 

Note: for more information about world cruise embarkation day tips click here. 

Think about how often you will do laundry 

Although a world cruise seems like a long amount of time to be packing for the truth is most world cruise ships have a laundry room. As cruise cabins are notoriously small you do not want to be packing too much. 

Think about what the weather will be

No two world cruise itineraries are the same. Some will go to more cold country destinations, some more beaches, so be sure to tailor your list for the cruise itinerary you are doing. 

Think about the seasons

World cruises will often hit both Northern and Southern Hemisphere destinations so be sure to check the season and likely weather in each place you are going.

Think about how many religious sites you will visit

Lots of world cruise stops include seeing some of the most famous religious sites such as the Vatican or the Grand Mosque Abu Dhabi. If you are planning on visiting them be sure to pack modest clothing that have full length sleeves etc. 

Think about how many sea days you have

World cruises notoriously have busy itineraries and sea days are your chance to relax. On these days you want to be at your most comfortable so be sure to have a couple of days worth of loungewear with you.

Think about whether you will be doing any hiking excursions

Depending on how fit you and active you are feeling for your cruise will influence what type of shore excursions you will want to be doing. If you want to do some more adventurous and arduous excursions i.e. hiking at Machu Picchu be sure to pack the relevant clothes i.e. hiking shoes etc. 

Think about if you are going to use the on ship gym

World Cruise itineraries are long and cruises are notorious places for putting on weight. All ships will have gyms on so plan on packing some gym clothes if you are planning to utilise this facility.

Think about how you can double up clothes to create a complete capsule wardrobe

The number one tip for packing for a world cruise is to try and create a cruise capsule wardrobe with plenty of layers that go together and mean you can easily transition from hot to cold weather climates. A sun vest can be worn on any tropical island destinations you have, can be dressed up with a shirt for an evening meal and is an added layer for your cold weather cruise destinations.  

What Clothing to Pack for a World Cruise Checklist

So now you know some things to consider when packing lets get on with some top tips and a checklist you might find handy.

A Coat 

Be sure to remember your coat for any cold destinations and think about air conditioning on the ship. Although you may be a tropical paradise like Bora Bora there is strong air conditioning in the dining rooms so you will want a pashmina or cardigan with you.

What Shoes to Pack for a World Cruise

What to Wear on a World Cruise Packing List Tips 

If you are wondering what shoes to pack for a world cruise the number one tip is  COMFORTABLE! There is lots of walking involved on a world cruise so you need to make sure you treat your feet well. A world cruise is definitely not the time to be wearing a pair of shoes for the first time. 

Some of my favourite shoes to wear on a world cruise are sketchers go walks. If you decide to buy new shoes for your cruise be sure to bed them in before embarkation. 


Be sure to pack neutral coloured underwear. This is a big packing space saver as you will not have to be constantly washing your one white bra to go with your white shirts etc if you have picked neutral coloured underwear only.  You can wear this under everything from an all white outfit to black formal wear. 

Formal Wear 

All cruise and especially world cruises have plenty of formal nights. Be sure to pack some formal wear with you but don’t be tempted to take a fresh formal outfit with you for every night on the ship. 


It is always nice to have some home comforts on the ship. 

Rain Coat and Compact Umbrella

raincoat - what to pack for a world cruise tips 

On a world cruise you are pretty much guaranteed to have at least a few rainy days. Be sure to take a small compact umbrella with you and a rain coat that packs away! 

What Bag to take on a world cruise


Cross body handbags are safer than ruck sac style for sight seeing  and are harder for pick pockets to steal from. 

What not to Pack for a World Cruise Tips

Now you know what to pack for a world cruise we will provide you with some handy world cruise tips for what NOT to take. 

Our top world cruise tip is – unless you want to have clothes constantly draped around your stateroom do NOT take clothes that can not be tumbled dried. If you do you will either be paying for dry cleaning throughout your world cruise which will quickly add up or you will have clothes constantly drying on your balcony or in your room. In such a small space this can feel claustrophobic very quickly. 

Our top tip is to stick to clothes that are made of soft cottons and jersey. It is very easy to want to emulate Joanna Lumley on your travels but linen is not a practical option on your world cruise travel. It requires constant ironing so unless you want to be in the laundry room constantly waiting for one free iron avoid fabrics that need constant ironing. 

What to Pack for a World Cruise (Non Clothing)

As in cruise ships staterooms are of a premium you need to be packing plenty of space saving cruise hacks. As you will be regularly doing on laundry on the ship we recommend taking a compact pop up laundry basket. 


And on the laundry front, if you have sensitive skin be sure to pack your own wash gels with you. While there is powder available on the it isn’t really suited for those with sensitive skin so pack at least an initial supply and then pick up more whenever you are in a port with tips. 

On top of that we recommend having a fabric hanging shelf such as this one as it will provide you with much needed extra cabin storage. 


Toiletries for World Cruise 

Only take toiletries you can’t live without , the ships generally provide good shower gels and soap in your cabin so you don’t have to worry about taking these with you. If you need to these are also things that can be picked up in ports as you travel. 


If you are on any medication be sure you have a supply for the duration of your cruise and keep the prescription with the medication at all times. 

Also remember to take any vitamins or over the counter meds you need. 

Insurance and Documentation 

Be sure you have adequate insurance with you that covered you for the duration of the cruise and be sure you have packed the documentation for this insurance should you need to use it. 

Some tips for picking world cruise insurance: 

  • Check your cruise insurance covers you for airlift from the ship in case of a medical emergency 
  • Be sure the insurance covers you for the duration of the cruise. Lots of insurance will only cover you for 99 days and many world cruises are longer than this. You may need to pay for an extension to your insurance as we did for our 108 day wold cruise.

Other World Cruise Tips 

What to Pack for a World Cruise Tips

Do not Overpack 

Be sure not to fill your case on the way out. Leave space in your case to buy unusual pieces and plenty of souvenirs. If you pack to the max on embarkation day you will not be able to pick up those pieces you want on your travel. 

Use soft cased luggage

As space is of a premium be sure to pack luggage that can be tucked away under your bed easily. Our preference is for a soft sided case but for more information on best luggage for cruises click here! 

What are you top tips for packing for a world cruise?

World Cruise Packing Tips - World Cruise Tips