Mediterranean cruise packing list – a quick and easy guide

Are you looking forward to a Mediterranean cruise in the summer and wondering what to pack? Perhaps by now, you have read how changeable the European weather can be regardless of the season you cruise. Here is our guide to the ultimate Mediterranean cruise packing list, including essentials for onboard the cruise ship that should be going into your suitcase.

Comfortable, lightweight clothing

Be sure to pack plenty of lightweight, breathable clothing that you can layer as needed. This includes a light sweater for chilly evenings. Remember to include a scarf or top that covers your shoulders and a longer skirt or pants for entering places of religious worship with a dress code, such as The Vatican.

Layers will help you stay relaxed and comfortable during the hot summer months and give you an extra cover-up for any cooler evenings on the deck.

Emergency telephone numbers

We recommend that you have emergency telephone numbers with you when you travel. This includes the number to the cruise ship (in case of an emergency when you are on land), your country’s foreign embassy telephone number in the countries you are visiting, your airline’s help desk number in case of problems related to your flights, and contact information to suppliers you may have used to book shore excursions, transportation, or transfers.

If you have booked your cruise vacation through a travel agent, check to see if they offer support at any time of day, in case you have a problem with your journey. Remember time differences, so any good travel agent should have a 24/7 emergency contact number.


Don’t forget to include at least one swimsuit in your Mediterranean cruise packing list. Or two if you plan to visit a beach as a shore excursion or do a water sport. You don’t want to pack a wet and soggy swimsuit from your morning swim in your backpack for your shore excursion swimming with the dolphins.

Hats and sunglasses

A stylish hat and sunglasses protect your face and eyes from the intense Mediterranean sunshine. Opt for a wide-brimmed hat that covers your face and neck, and choose sunglasses with good UV protection.


Protect your skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays by packing plenty of sunscreen. It costs a lot more on the ship to buy compared to bringing it from your local supermarket. Remember that it is classed as a liquid at the airport, and you will need to pack large tubes into your suitcase. Seal it in a plastic bag among your clothing.

Comfortable shoes

Sandals, sneakers, or canvas deck shoes are a good option for onboard the ship. There are usually lots of activities to join, so comfort is key!

Related pages:
12 essential luggage items for your cruise vacation
Finding your perfect cruise ship luggage piece

Formal attire

Most cruises include some more formal nights. Sometimes called “casual chic,” and while you do not have to go all out with a ballgown or tux, some guests do and think it’s great fun. Others prefer more low-key smart casual attire, and either, of course, is acceptable.

Travel documents

Pack your travel documents in your hand baggage, such as your passport, cruise ticket, and visa. You will need at least some of these when you check in at the port. By then, the cruise line baggage handler may have already whisked away your suitcase for delivery to your assigned cabin.

We usually recommend paper copies in addition to having documents downloaded onto your mobile phone.

Cabin accessories

Extra wall hooks, handling storage bags, and wrinkle-release sprays are all popular to take on board. Each cabin has storage, but by bringing a few clever gadgets from home, your cabin will be free of clutter, and you’ll find everything you need quickly. This is especially true if you are a family sharing a cabin. It’s easy to get into a muddle sometimes, and extra wall hooks, in particular, have become essential in a Mediterranean cruise packing list for many travelers.

Consider using packing cubes, a popular must-have on the packing list of many seasoned cruise guests, and remember a cruise-compliant power strip with multiple USB hubs.

Smart packing for on-shore excursions

In addition to all of the above, give some thought to packing the following items that can make all the difference when on shore and exploring your destination cruise port and the surrounding area:


Bringing a backpack from home is a good idea. This way, you can keep your belongings together on shore and still be hands-free. You’ll have room for your cruise card, wallet, extra clothing layers or swimwear, camera, or smartphone.

Waterproof bag

A waterproof bag that clips around your waist or wrist is ideal if you plan to participate in water sports. It would be best to have a safe place to keep your valuables.

Water bottle

Bring a water bottle from home and fill it up on board before your shore excursion. It will be less expensive to buy bottled water for the whole family on a hot day. In addition, many cities such as Rome, have drinking fountains throughout the city where you can refill your water bottle for free.

Child’s stroller

If you are traveling with a young child, we recommend bringing a lightweight stroller from home as part of your Mediterranean cruise packing list. It will easily slide under your cabin bed when not in use. And it could prove to be a godsend for a tired toddler on a long day out. These are not provided on board by the cruise line.

Comfortable walking shoes

It’s impossible to have a great day out if your feet hurt. Depending on what you plan to do on shore will determine the type of shoes you need to pack. Sketchers “Walkers” sneakers are a great choice, especially when walking in destinations such as Santorini, Rome, Venice, and Florence, where cobbled streets and hundreds of steps are not unusual.

For beach visits, slide a pair of flip-flops into your backpack. For hiking, you’ll need something more robust. And with any planning water sports, we recommend soft-soled water shoes to protect your feet in the ocean.

Local currency

Traveling to the Mediterranean means, most likely, all your destinations will be in Europe. Most countries in Europe have the Euro as their local currency. Exceptions include ports in Denmark (Danish Krona) and Sweden (Swedish Krona). Dollars and pounds are not accepted in retail shops. We recommend you bring some Euros and international credit cards that are widely accepted everywhere.

Remember, if you visit the U.K. any time at the end or beginning of your cruise, you’ll need Pounds Sterling.

Travel insurance: When leaving home for any trip, make sure you have a valid passport and travel insurance. Always check with your provider what protection you are offered when traveling in Europe regarding everything from medical care and travel delays to lost suitcases and loss of personal belongings. 

Never leave home without adequate travel insurance for the whole family. Remember adult children no longer living at home may also not be included on your policy any longer and will need their own insurance.

Meet the author: Sarah has created and booked hundreds of travel itineraries for thousands of customers during a career in the travel industry that spans 20 years. Having worked hand in hand with cruise lines, hotels, airlines and tour operators worldwide, she offers inspiring & detailed insights in the world of travel and tourism.

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