Cruises can be the perfect family vacation–you don’t have to worry about food (it’s all included!), there are a million things to do on the ship (for real), there are designated kid areas, there are scheduled kid events so that mom and dad can have some time alone. And, if that’s not enough, you can book some great excursions off the ship at different location stops.

However, if you’ve never been on a cruise, there are some things that you definitely need to pack and take with you on the trip.

6 Tips for a Family Cruise Vacation

Cruise Vacation Tip #1. Take a small first aid kit.

First Aid Kit (AFFILIATE)You’re on a ship in the middle of the ocean, so supplies are limited. That means the medical area will be very stingy with their supplies.

If you get a blister while hiking on one of the excursions, they’ll give you one bandaid (maybe two, if you’re really lucky). So, be sure to pack your own first aid kit including:

  • Bandaids
  • Acetaminophen (kid and adult)
  • Anti-Fungal Cream (Warm, wet places can breed ringworm, which is a fungus. Having anti-fungal cream with you will come in handy. Trust me.)

You can also buy a small, pre-packaged first aid kit that will fit nicely in your suitcase.

Cruise Vacation Tip #2. Flashlight and Extra Batteries

A travel flashlight can come in handy for several reasons–if an emergency happens on the ship and the lights are out (which is rare, by the way) and it will help the kids navigate the room or the outside portions of the ship at night. If they are getting cabin fever after dinner, they can even use them to play flashlight tag on the outside portions of the ship.

Cruise Vacation Tip #3. Travel Games

There will be some down time–waiting at the airport, waiting to board the ship, rain. No matter what it is, there will be some time where you have to occupy the kids, so pack a few light travel games to help ease that down-time pain.

Here are some of our favorites:

Hangman Take ‘N’ Play Anywhere Game

Tic-Tac-Toe – Take ‘N’ Play Anywhere Game

Dr. Seuss Cat in the Hat Card Game

Crayola Dry-Erase Fold and Go Travel Pack

SKIP BO Card Game

Tenzi Party Pack

Cruise Vacation Tip #4. Antibacterial Wipes

Take a package of antibacterial wipes–take two, actually, and use them. All the time. Everywhere. You will see the staff scrubbing down railings and public areas quite often, but it never hurts to add another protective layer against germs.

Cruise Vacation Tip #5. ID Tags

You are all very safe on a cruise ship and there’s really no worry about “losing” your kids. However, chances are that you will be getting off the ship and doing some excursions on land when the ship docks. Protect yourself and the the kids by getting some ID tags. Try these super cool (and waterproof) Vital ID Wristbands. They come in different colors and look more like cool bracelets instead of ID tags.

Cruise Vacation Tip #6. Portable External Phone Battery Charger

Sure you’re going to take your regular phone charger cord with you on the cruise. However, you should also take along an external portable charger. That way, if there is an emergency with no electricity or if you’re off of the ship on an excursion, you don’t have to worry about having your phone battery die. Find a small one, like the one pictured here (lipstick size), so you can easily carry it in your pocket or backpack.

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