1. Extension Cord or Power Strip. On the newer vessels they often have more than one power outlet in the cabin but many ships have only one. Even one extra socket can make a huge difference — hardware stores carry 3-way socket adapters which take up very little space.
2. Antihistamines. It’s always good to have them for insect bites or stings but they work well if you should suffer heat rash. The one a day pills are sufficient or use a nasal spray.
3. Travel Adapter or converter (on European ships). This might seem like an obvious thing to bring for European voyages, but check with the cruise line about the specific ship as some newer ships have both the 110 and 220 sockets.
4. Bottle Opener. For those cruise lines that will allow you to buy alcohol ashore for private consumption in your cabin or to open when ashore while taking a break. Nothing worse than buying local beer and not being able to open the bottle once back to your cabin. Check before buying bottles ashore as not all lines allow it.
5. Corkscrew. Most cruise lines still allow you to bring one or two bottles of wine or champagne — to avoid the corkage fee or to open the bottle in your stateroom, bring a corkscrew.
6. Walkie Talkies. If you are travelling in a large group or you are just the type of couple that will lose each other at every possible moment then pack some walkie talkies. They are perfect for communication on board and ultimately finding each other should you become separated.
7. Memory Cards. I know your camera and smart phone will have them and you probably think there will be enough space, but trust me there won’t. I never travel without spares for my phone and my camera, there are so many things to see while cruising that you will want to capture every moment and if it is your first cruise the last thing you want to experience is “memory full”.
8. Flashlight and/or nightlight. Bring a mini-sized light to carry with you to the bathroom to avoid waking everyone else in the cabin and/or a 4-watt nightlight to use in the cabin. This is very helpful especially if you are in an inside cabin. Your cruising partner will appreciate it! Also, in the unlikely event that power goes out, you can use your flashlight in the dark. OR —
9. Mini battery-operated tea lights. For romance or a night-light in the bathroom to avoid carrying a flashlight with you.
9. Swimwear. This one is a good one to remember especially if cruising with kids. Although you will of course pack swimwear, it’s always worth packing it in your carry-on luggage. If you arrive at the ship and the weather is good then the kids can jump straight in the pool and you can enjoy some down time until your cabin is ready. Or you could join them in the water!
10. One Dollar bills – use for tipping the luggage handlers for the airlines or cruise embarkation port, tipping excursion guides (include a couple of $5 bills if traveling as a couple also) and even paying for souvenirs at any port.