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I recently wrote this story: Going to the Beach or on a Tour? Be Sure to Pack This Essential Tech Accessory. The accessory in question is a waterproof phone pouch, which will not only prevent your phone and money from being stolen but as an added bonus, you can take photos from the water without worrying about damaging your phone. RELATED: Visiting St Lucia on a Cruise? Here’s a Perfect Family-Friendly Way to Spend the Day at the Beach

It got me thinking about other things we brought on our cruise. FYI: We recently took a 10-day Caribbean cruise aboard Enchanted Princess, which we also sailed this summer in the Mediterranean. Here’s our review of the ship from the summer.

After our summer cruise, we published a few stories about good things to pack. You can check those out here:

Going on a Cruise? Be Sure to Bring This
One Thing I Wish I’d Bought Before Going on a Cruise
A Reader Suggested This Little-Known Cruise Essential I Never Knew Existed and She Was Spot On

For our Caribbean cruise, I knew we’d need to pack a few things we don’t normally bring along. When I told my wife to pack some pool noodles, she thought I was joking. But I wasn’t. On our cruise in the summer, the pool noodles were popular with kids and you couldn’t buy them anywhere (at least not that I could find.) I showed my wife how much they cost to rent for a day via Princess ($4.95) versus how much they cost on Amazon ($4.99 if you buy a six pack) and probably even less if you grab them at Target.

Princess charges $4.95 just to borrow them on their private island, meanwhile you can purchase them for the same price. My wife caved and found room in our checked baggage. Listen, I know you’ve got to pick your battles with your spouse, but I wasn’t losing this one. If I had to carry those noodles on the plane like a ridiculous neck pillow, I would have. The pool noodles actually didn’t take up as much room as you’d think as they easily bent around the corner of the suitcase and it was easy to pack around them. Another option is to pack inflatable pool noodles, which we did when we went to Beaches Turks and Caicos; read our review of the resort here.

Another item I purchased before leaving for the Caribbean was foldable sand buckets and small plastic shovels ($21.99 for a three pack). My kids love digging in the sand and I wasn’t going to chance having to buy bulky, overpriced buckets in shops. These fold down flat, making them super easy to pack and we keep them in the trunk of our car for those impromptu beach days (we live in Southern California).

An item I bought the day before our departure was a snorkel mask ($29.99). This thing is state-of-the-art and not like the old school snorkel and mask you might be used to. Unfortunately, it was a bit bigger than I was expecting so I left it at home but if you’ve got the room, it’s a great thing to pack.

Of course, other items that you won’t want to forget are your sunglasses, sunscreen (this is hands-down my wife’s favorite sunscreen for the family), hats, flip flops, SPF lip balm (I always wear SPF lip balm after having squamous cell carcinoma on my lip and having to have Mohs surgery to remove it) and a bathing suit. In fact, whenever we travel somewhere warm, we pack a bathing suit for each of us in our carry-on bag just in case our checked luggage goes missing. That way, there’s no wasting time or money on bathing suits.

Other items to always pack? A portable phone charger and a non surge protected power strip. Did you know that surge protected power strips are banned by cruise lines?

What are your cruise packing essentials? Share them in the comments!

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2 Comments On "The Not-So-Common Things I Packed For Our Caribbean Cruise"
  1. Jack|

    Don’t forget to carry some “magnetic hooks” on the cruise, with limited closet space of each cabin it comes very handy when you can hang extra stuff on walls.
    You can purchase 10 sets of magnetic hooks for $6.99 on Amazon

  2. MCampbell|

    We packed some heavy duty magnetic hooks. I was pleasantly surprised at how useful there were for holding lanyards, hats, purse, water bottle, toiletry bag, etc.

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