A Bahamas cruise offers a classic Caribbean cruise experience. From snorkeling in crystal clear waters to spending the day at Perfect Day at CocoCay, there is always something to enjoy in the Bahamas.
Packing for a cruise efficiently means you can enjoy your vacation as much as possible without having to worry about forgetting essentials or lugging around extra weight.
From packing light clothing to sunscreen and comfortable footwear, here’s our list of the best items to pack on a Bahamas cruise.
Breathable and casual clothing
Lightweight fabrics are essential on a Bahamas cruise, where you’ll encounter warm temperatures most of the year. Heavy fabrics and non-breathable clothing are not recommended unless you plan to overheat!
Lightweight shorts, t-shirts, tank tops, sundresses, and rompers are all acceptable clothing options in the Bahamas. It is recommended that you bring loose clothing rather than tight, restrictive outfits to ensure you stay comfortable.
It can also be fun to pack colorful clothes with tropical patterns to fully immerse yourself in vacation mode. Leave boring black clothes at home and opt for a floral sundress or Hawaiian print shirt instead.
If you choose to wear just a bathing suit and cover-up, be sure to pack a change of clothes or a light robe to throw over your bathing suit. It’s common to wear real clothes if you spend time strolling around the harbor and entering local businesses after the beach.
Packing shoes for a Bahamas cruise can be a bit tricky, as you want to make sure your shoes are comfortable for walking around town and also for the beach.
Flip flops can be worn both on the beach and in ports in the Bahamas, but reconsider wearing flip flops if you plan to walk a lot. Sturdier sandals with an ankle strap, like the Chacos, will be more comfortable during a day in port with various activities.
If your only goal is to get from the cruise ship to the beach with little walking in between, flip flops will be fine.
Sneakers can be a solid shoe option for comfort, but they’re not the best choice for a day at the beach. If you want to wear sneakers, remember to pack sandals in your backpack so you can change shoes once at the beach.
Evening and formal wear
Between colorful shirts, shorts, and a bathing suit, don’t forget to pack the evening attire you’ll need once you return to the ship.
Although you can choose to eat in casual restaurants like the buffet every night on the cruise, if you wish to eat in the main dining room or in specialty restaurants, you must dress in formal clothing bit nicer than what you wore to the beach.
Slacks, collared shirts, polo shirts, coveralls, dresses, skirts and blouses are all acceptable attire for dining and dining on board. Also, your cruise may have at least one formal night, so packing your best formal wear might be a good idea.
Although dress codes aren’t strictly enforced, it’s common to pack a few nice outfits for the evenings aboard a Royal Caribbean cruise.
Read more: What to wear on a formal party on a cruise ship
Water resistant backpack
Our most recommended accessory for a Bahamas cruise is a water-resistant backpack. A good backpack is extremely valuable, as it provides a safe place to store your phone, camera, wallet, ID, and SeaPass on shore.
Since it’s common to experience rain in the Bahamas, even if it’s only for a few minutes at a time, having a water-resistant backpack will cause less concern about your electronics being damaged and Valuable objects.
Some backpacks even have “hidden” pockets that rest against your back, which can provide extra security when walking through busy port areas.
Once you have your water resistant backpack, be sure to fill it with accessories that will come in handy while cruising, whether on board or ashore.
Sunscreen is of the utmost importance on a Bahamas cruise, so remember to apply it regularly throughout the day. If you run out of sunscreen or forget it completely, you can buy some on board, but it will cost more than at home.
Sunglasses and a sun hat are also important to ensure you stay covered, cool and comfortable. If you plan to read at the beach, don’t forget to put your e-reader or book in your backpack as well.
If you’ve booked a Bahamas excursion that requires traveling on a small boat (i.e. a catamaran excursion), be sure to pack medication like Dramamine if you’re prone to motion sickness. Although your cruise ship has stabilizers to reduce movement, it is common to feel the sea much more on a smaller boat.
Bahamas cruise in winter
If you are traveling to the Bahamas during the winter months, we recommend packing a few outfits to keep you warm in case of cold weather. Although you will likely encounter sunny skies and pleasant temperatures, short “cold” spells may appear during the winter months.
Having a light cardigan or a pair of jeans handy will come in handy in case of unexpected cold weather.
Bahamas Cruise Packing List
Now that you know the basics of what to pack for a Bahamas cruise, use this list as a point of reference when it comes time to pack:
- 1-2 swimsuits
- 2-3 pairs of lightweight shorts, preferably a “nicer” pair of shorts like denim shorts and a casual, lightweight pair
- Casual, lightweight t-shirts or tank tops (1-2 shirts per day of your cruise)
- 1-2 sundresses or rompers (for ladies)
- Evening wear (trousers, blouses, etc.)
- Lightweight cardigan or jacket for the winter months
- Water resistant backpack
- Sun glasses
- Solar cream
- Sun hat (straw hat, baseball cap, etc.)
- Beach toys if traveling with children
- 1 pair of flip flops
- 1 pair of sneakers
- 1 pair of ankle strap sandals (Chacos or similar)
- 1 pair of dress shoes for dinner
- Toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, body wash)
- Hairbrush, razors and other personal hygiene products
- Book or reader
- Underwear and pajamas
- Lightweight socks
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