Updated on June 5, 2020 by Asher Fergusson
On a cruise with several different points of disembarkation, it can be hard to know what to pack. Take a look at our comprehensive Mediterranean Cruise Packing List, which will also touch on what to wear on a Mediterranean cruise, what NOT to bring, and other FAQs.
What to Pack for a Mediterranean Cruise
1. International Power Adapter
2. Lipstick-Sized Portable Charger
3. Packing Cubes
4. Waterproof Phone Case
5. Neck Wallet
6. Travel Insurance for Cruising
10. Sun Hat
12. Light Jacket
13. Walking or Hiking Shoes
15. Seasickness Bracelet
16. Virtual Private Network (VPN)
17. Gorgeous Outfit
Don’t forget these other items for a Mediterranean vacation:
Hard Copies of Vital Documents
Aloe Vera Gel
Swimsuit Cover Up
Hanging Toiletry Case
Travel Sewing Kit
Steripod Toothbrush Cover
Makeup Remover Wipes
SPF lip balm
Over the Counter Medications
Quick Dry Towel
ATM or Credit Card with No International Fees
Travel Neck Pillow
Watch or Alarm Clock
What to wear on a Mediterranean cruise
Be sure to bring sunglasses, sun hats, and sandals which are cruise staples. When deciding what to wear, check the weather of your destination, and go from there. Pack clothing that can be layered and repurposed to save space in your suitcase!
From the sun soaked beaches of the Amalfi Coast to the lively nightclubs in Palma Majorca, a few different outfits are in order for your Mediterranean cruise. European fashion is wide and varying, but in general you should try to look put-together. Minimal makeup, simple dresses, smart slacks and sensible sandals are great. It’s safe to say that thong bikinis and coverups are generally okay for this area of the world. Bring a few flashy tops or skirts for nights out on the town in some of the port cities, and a scarf or two to cover up if you’re visiting religious sites.
For men, smart, versatile clothing like t-shirts, shorts, polos and swimwear are perfect to pack for a Mediterranean cruise. Bring some collared polo shirts, perhaps in light, fun colors, which can be worn during the day or to a nice dinner when you dock in a new city. Bring walking shoes and clothes that are comfortable to hike in, and don’t forget to pack some nice clothing for nights out on the ship and on land.
The Mediterranean climate is typical of the northern hemisphere with four distinct seasons, and temperatures range from hot in the summer to mild in the winter. The most popular time to cruise the Mediterranean is during the summer when the weather is warm, though with that comes a heavy influx of tourists. Consider traveling during spring or fall to avoid the crowds, and be sure to pack plenty of clothing for layering to easily adapt to the weather.
SUMMER – June, July, August:
Summer is by far the most popular time to take a Mediterranean cruise as the weather is hot and sunny and the sea is warm. However, as summertime is peak tourist season, prepare for more crowds than usual. Temperatures will range from warm to hot and you shouldn’t expect too much rain. If you’re cruising during the summer, bring your swimsuits, sunscreen, loose shorts, tanktops, and coverups.
FALL – September, October, November:
Fall is an ideal season for a Mediterranean cruise, as the weather is mild and not too cold, which is perfect for doing plenty of walking around and sightseeing in each European port destination. You are likely to encounter less groups of tourists which will result in a more authentic experience and cruise prices may even be a bit lower, too. Be prepared with light jackets, scarves, jeans, and a raincoat.
WINTER – December, January, February, part of March:
Luckily, winters on the Mediterranean remain generally mild and never get too cold. You will likely experience a bit of rain, so be prepared with a windproof umbrella and warm raincoat. Winter could be a nice time for a Mediterranean cruise as you won’t encounter as many tourists and you may even have the chance to visit some festive European Christmas markets!
SPRING – March, April, May:
Spring is one of the best times to take a Mediterranean cruise. The weather will be pleasantly warm but not hot with plenty of bright, sunny days. If you visit during the spring, you will just miss the crowds of tourists swarming to the region, which is always a plus. Be prepared with plenty of lightweight clothing for layering so you can easily adapt to changing temperatures.
Pools and Beaches – You are sure to find several pools and hot tubs on your cruise ship, and you’ll definitely encounter lots of gorgeous beaches, too. Bring a couple of trendy swimsuits and coverups. Sun hats, sunglasses, and sunscreen are must haves as well.
Ship Restaurants – Going to dinner on the ship is a great excuse to dress glamorously. Keep it classy with a little black dress, sundress, or nice jeans and a tank top. For men, chic slacks and button-downs are great options. These outfits will also come in handy for evenings out in the port cities.
Outdoor Activities – If you have any outdoor activities or tours planned during any of your cruise stops, make sure you pack accordingly. Bring comfortable walking or hiking shoes, and athletic attire.
Sightseeing – There will be so much to see on your Mediterranean cruise, from the winding streets of Naples to the view from the top of Il Duomo in Florence. Bring comfortable clothing, walking shoes, sunglasses, a daypack, and always check the weather before you leave the ship!
What NOT to bring on a Mediterranean cruise:
2) DON’T PACK homemade, pre-cooked or other perishable food items: Cruise companies want you to spend your money on the cruise ship. You can bring packaged snack food, but no homemade meals. You can usually make special requests ahead of time if you have dietary restrictions.
4) DON’T BRING alcohol or hard liquor: Depending on the cruise line, you may be able to bring sealed beer and wine, but oftentimes bringing any of your own alcohol on board is prohibited. That said, you will be able to buy alcohol on the ship.
FAQs about traveling on a Mediterranean cruise
1. What are the best cruise lines to take with kids?
Royal Caribbean International, Costa Cruises, and MSC Cruises are well known cruise lines, and have excellent reviews from families traveling with kids. Do some research ahead of time if you have a particular cruise line in mind and read reviews from other cruisers regarding kid-friendliness. Be sure to check that your cruise isn’t “adults only” before you book!
2) What kind of adapter do I need to bring on my cruise?
Most cruise ships operate on 220 volt systems. That said, your cruise will be disembarking in various cities throughout Europe, so you’ll want to make sure you have a good international power adapter so you’re prepared in every location.
3) Do I need to get any vaccines before my trip?
Regardless of your destinations, you should be up-to-date on routine vaccines like measles, mumps, rubella, varicella, and seasonal flu. Crew members on the ship and fellow travelers often come from countries where these diseases are more common than in the United States, so get your shots just in case! Don’t forget to ask your healthcare provider whether any additional vaccines are required for your particular destination as well.
4) What are some good cruise ship reads?
Depending on what you like, we’ve found that juicy but light-hearted vacation reads are great options for a relaxing cruise, consider checking out this list for some ideas. We recommend bringing a Kindle on your cruise, as you will have endless reading material at your fingertips. Sometimes it’s nice to grab a guide book and read up on your destination before you get there, too!