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Packing, Unpacking, and Organizing your cruise cabin.

Updated: Jan 24

Cruise ship
Cruise ship

If you are here, you are taking a cruise. I want to give you some travel tips with packing, unpacking, and organizing in your cruise cabin.

As you know the cruise cabins are small, and if you are taking a longer cruise, or you have several people in the room (that pack too much), you will need to make use of that limited space. Also, if you have kids, these little tips can be beneficial too. These tips and tricks are so helpful; but the most helpful thing is do not over pack. Over the years I have started packing lighter but still these things are a must.


First tip, you can do laundry on the cruise. On longer cruises you can send off your laundry to be done, they offer deals on certain days. This is helpful to prevent you from overpacking. Norwegian and Carnival offer $15.00 to $20.00 laundry bag days, where they wash and fold your bag of clothes and return it back to your room either later that day, or the next day. Sometimes it is pay by the piece. Also, if you are in the Norwegian Latitudes loyalty program, members at upper levels get discounts or free laundry service. Royal Caribbean is a little more expensive, at somewhere near $35.00 a bag. If you are on a luxury cruise line like Cunard it is free. Best advice is to check out your cruise line before you leave so you know what to expect when it comes to laundry.


If you want to do your own laundry, Carnival and Disney have self-service laundry rooms. On Disney you swipe your key card, and it charges your room to do a load of laundry. Carnival charges $3.50 per load and you can buy detergent in the laundry room for $2.00. Norwegian and Royal Caribbean do not have self-service laundry rooms. Honestly this is nice, but my preference is to hand off a bag of laundry to the room steward. You are on vacation, so you should have a vacation from laundry too.

Now if neither of those options work for you, you can always wash a small garment in your cabin. Most cruise ship cabin bathrooms have a retractable line (usually in the shower), to hang washed or wet garment on.

If you need to iron your clothes, you cannot bring your own iron onto any cruise ship. You will either have to send off the piece through the laundry service to be ironed, or on Disney and Carnival they have irons and ironing boards in the self-service laundry rooms.


Travel cubes for packing, they help keep things organized in your luggage. If you are anything like me, every time I open my luggage after being on a plane, it is a mess. These bags prevent that. It helps with organization, and making sure you don't over pack. Here are the cubes I bought for my last cruise, and they did wonderfully. Click the picture, the link will take you to Amazon. It's on sale!!!!!!


I tend to buy a piece of luggage and use it for a very long time, so durability plus cheap are my things to look for on a piece of luggage. Also, I hate having just plain black luggage, so this grey is nice, but you can choose other colors. It makes it so much harder to spot at the airport when picking up your luggage. After my research this is the one, I would pick if I needed luggage right now. This is a hard luggage which makes it more durable, especially if flying. Click the picture to get the link to take you to amazon, check it out.

Makeup Bag

Here is the link to a makeup bag that is on sale.... It has a detachable pouch and place for makeup brushes. It can hold a lot of your goodies. But still follow my advice and not pack a lot. The best thing about this is the price at $6.99 over 40% off right now and it's cute.


These over the door storage are so helpful with storage in your cabin. I have used these on past cruises. On an 8 day and a transatlantic 16-day cruise. And it was so handy to store stuff in. After the cruise I brought it home and used it on the backside of my walk-in closet door. Click the picture to take you to the link on Amazon.

Hang on the bathroom door or closet, whichever works the best. I always bring a couple pairs of sandals (one for everyday wear, and one for formal nights). They fit perfectly in

here. I also store my toiletries here because there isn't enough room in the bathroom. Sunscreen, lotion, medications, hair stuff, and my little makeup bag. With other people in the room, they can use some pockets too for storage because you have so many. You can stick some of your kid's items in these pouches too, use the lower pouches for them, so they can easily get to the items.

Magnetic Hooks

Have you ever noticed from past cruises that there is a lot of blank wall space in your cabin? I did and decided to buy some of these and have used them on the last 4 cruises, and they were extremely helpful. The walls of your cabin are metal, and magnets can be used to stick on them. Bring a few magnet hooks to hang up your swimsuit to help it dry out. Magnet hooks are great for storing important paperwork for the cruise. Shore excursion tickets, the daily pamphlet they lay on your bed the night before and any other important paperwork you want to keep handy. It can all be kept on these magnet clips to keep clutter off your desk, table or bed. Here is a link to some that would be great for you.

USB/extra outlet

Every cabin I have ever been in needs more outlets or USB. With several people trying to charge phones, tablets and whatever else they brought on the ship. There are rules on bringing power strips on cruises, so make sure you are aware which ones you can bring. But here is one similar to the one I used a couple cruises ago and have been using it since. Click on the link below.

ask for extra hangers
ask for extra hangers.

Another thing you can do when you are unpacking in your cruise cabin. Decide if you have enough hangers in your closet. If not, you can always ask the room steward for more. They are usually around when you are first getting settled in your room and introduce themselves. I love my room stewards and take care of them. Sometimes I give them little gifts. Just a couple random items from my hometown or state, keychain, picture or a snack that I stowed away in my luggage. But I also tend to give them a tip too. The room steward will take care of you. One time because of that little tip I received a couple chocolate covered strawberries delivered to my room during the cruise.

Use the hangers wisely though. Little strappy dresses, (even formal dresses), you can hang 2 on the hanger.


Make the room your own, if a piece of furniture is in your way or takes up too much space, ask the steward to remove it, I have done this before, and it is helpful. There was a large chair in my room that was not needed, especially since 3 people were staying in there. It freed up some space and we still had a small little ottoman chair at the desk if needed. You can also ask the room steward to remove things from your desk area. For example, I never use the ice bucket or the items in the mini fridge. Move them out of there, that way you can use the fridge for drinks or snacks you buy and won't get charged an arm and a leg for opening up the drinks that are in there.

Last tip to make the room look nice and tidy after unpacking. Place your luggage under the bed. Usually on long cruises I bring a full suitcase and a backpack, but both will fit nicely under the bed when I am finished unpacking.

Hope you enjoy your next cruise, and that these tips are helpful for you. More cruise tips and tricks to come in future blogs.

If you need help with research, advice and help you book, just make an appointment. If you are interested in doing your own, click the link below. They have been great for me lately on booking flights. Crystal Travel.

This post contains affiliate links which means if you click and buy that I may receive a commission, at no cost to you.


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