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30 Top Mediterranean Cruise Packing List Items in 2023 + What to Wear & NOT to Bring

30 Top Mediterranean Cruise Packing List Items in 2023 + What to Wear & NOT to Bring
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The Mediterranean is filled with endless treasures to explore. From the fascinating history of Greece to the rich culture of Turkey, your Mediterranean cruise is sure to take you on the adventure of a lifetime.

Our Mediterranean cruise took us through Greece, Italy, Spain, and more, but this route has several different points of disembarkation, which means it can stop anywhere from Montenegro to Morocco!

Since it can be daunting to pack for such a varietal itinerary, 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 useful FAQs.

Asher and Lyric in Italy
Us at our stop in Sardinia, Italy.
See our product selection criteria and guidelines here.

What to Pack for a Mediterranean Cruise - 30 Essentials

  • 1. Neck Wallet

    Avoid becoming a target for pickpockets and petty theft, especially in the crowded, touristy areas like cruise ports and busy streets. Europe is the land of professional sticky fingers and they are sly! When you disembark to explore each new city, you’ll want to be sure your valuables are safe so don’t forget to bring your neck wallet. This one is large enough to hold your phone, passport, credit card, and cash while also keeping you organized with separate pockets. Wear it under your shirt through airports and busy attractions to ensure no one can even spot your valuables.

    Neck Wallet

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 2. Lipstick-Sized Portable Charger

    With so many things to explore and so many new people to meet, you won’t want to waste time waiting for your phone to charge. Bring a handy lipstick-sized portable charger so you can charge your smartphone on the fly. This will free you up to use your phone for pictures and navigation without having to worry about it running out of battery.

    Lipstick-Sized Charger

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 3. Virtual Private Network (VPN)

    A VPN will be invaluable to have on a Mediterranean cruise. Protect your personal information and passwords from potential hackers when you connect to public WiFi both on the ship and in cafes and restaurants in the cities you dock in. A VPN will also allow you to connect to websites from your home country that you may not be able to access in the destinations you’re visiting.

    Virtual Private Network (VPN)

    View NordVPN.com Options ➜

  • 4. International Power Adapter

    An international power adapter is a must-have on any trip overseas. Particularly on a cruise where you plan to visit various countries, you’ll want to be prepared to plug in your necessary electronics wherever you are. This one is great because it will work in 100+ popular countries and comes with a lifetime replacement guarantee!

    International Power Adapter

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 5. Waterproof Phone Case

    Everybody knows that electronic gadgets and water simply don’t mix. Packing a reliable waterproof phone case will keep your selfie game strong, even when you’re in the pool or at the beach during your Mediterranean cruise. This waterproof phone case will work wonders for keeping your smartphone secure and putting your mind at ease. It’s made with love by a woman-owned company based in Hawaii, and for a small price, could save your lifeline!

    waterproof phone pouch

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 6. Travel Insurance for Cruising

    Any time you travel overseas, it’s important to make sure you’re covered in case of an emergency. Your at-home provider typically only provides domestic coverage (and international medical bills would cost a fortune!) If they have to medivac you off the ship, that alone could cost tens of thousands, and that’s before receiving treatment!

    Faye is our go-to provider because they will take care of the costs for lost luggage, stolen items, flight delays, medical costs, and even an entire trip cancelation. They also make claims a breeze through their easy-to-use mobile app and we’ve been reimbursed the same day. In some countries, it is actually required to have insurance when traveling abroad, so don’t gamble with your coverage.

    Travel Insurance for Cruising

    Get a quote in less than 60 seconds with Faye ➜

  • 7. Luggage Straps

    Your bag will be out-of-sight on numerous occasions for a Mediterranean cruise. Because in all likelihood, you will fly to your departure port, which involves checking your luggage and entrusting your things to baggage handlers under strict deadlines who will throw your bags like caution to the wind. When cruising, you’ll have your bags scanned to board the ship, where cases may be delivered to your cabin in an effort to reduce hall crowding. In the warehouse full of bags near the port, suitcases are sorted by colors, so it can be difficult to find yours if you opt for a basic black bag.

    These luggage belts elegantly solve all of these issues – they adjust to fit nearly any case and secure your items shut, reinforce the zippers, keep the handle from popping open, allow for TSA-friendly searches, AND make your bags easily identifiable in a crowd. It’s a lightweight but heavy-duty addition to your packing artillery that will make a big difference in time and stress.

    luggage straps

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 8. Motion Sickness Patches

    Motion sickness prevention is wise if you suffer from any kind of seasickness or nausea from windy European roads. While the cruise ship has large stabilizers, you’ll probably still feel some movement on the first couple of days, as well as on smaller vessels that take you to ports or around the coastline for excursions. You’ll be thankful for bringing these effective patches!

    Motion Sickness Patches

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 9. Hanging Toiletry Bag

    If you’ve been on a cruise – you already know… the bathrooms average about 25 square feet, and you can barely do a spin in the shower! Let alone have countertop space for all of your toiletries. This hanging toiletry bag elegantly resolves that issue by vertically optimizing your liquids with 4 giant unfolding pockets for all haircare, skincare, and makeup, plus 3 external pockets for smaller items.

    It creates a shelf that you can access at eye-level by hanging on any door, shower pole, hook, or wall. It’s a WAY better system than carelessly throwing products around your cabin, or waiting for bottles to fall off the counter when waves really start to rock the boat! Once you’re ready to pack it away, all you do is fold it back up and go. It’s an absolute gem and we’d never cruise without it!

    hanging toiletry bag

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 10. Quick-Dry Travel Towel

    The cruise ship will provide big fluffy towels, but you don’t want to hike around the Greek Islands or explore slick waterfalls with something bulky. This lightweight travel towel is light as a feather yet super absorbent, it actually dries 10x faster than typical cotton towels. We’ve found it has infinite uses like drying off or serving as a seat cover, packing cushion, shawl, changing curtain, and more.

    Quick-Dry Travel Towel

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 11. Swimsuits

    Pack your most stylish swimsuits and get ready to let loose on the dreamy beaches of Portugal and the sunny coves of coastal Croatia. Thong-style bottoms are totally acceptable, and no sweat if you forget your bikini top as many beaches are topless. For men, less is more. Speedos or shorter swim trunks are good options to help you fit in with the locals.

    Swimsuits

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 12. Packing Cubes

    Packing cubes are an essential item to bring on all sorts of trips, and your Mediterranean cruise is no exception! They keep you organized, and make packing and unpacking a piece of cake. These come in a set of three different sizes, several vibrant colors, and also include a laundry pouch and a shoe bag. They also have a place on the outside to label what’s inside each cube so you’ll never have to spend time digging through your luggage to find that one specific item.

    packing cubes

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 13. Jet Lag Relief

    You’re likely flying to the Mediterranean from a faraway starting point. This jet lag relief is the best one that I’ve found for fighting exhaustion and I can feel a distinct difference when traveling with this product versus without it. Between the layovers, long flights, and timezone changes – this product will make the journey way easier, especially since it uses chamomile and other botanicals rather than harsh stimulants like caffeine.

    jet lag relief

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 14. Windproof Travel Umbrella

    You should always bring an umbrella to this region, particularly if you plan to travel during the winter when the local temperatures are mild but the climate is rainy. You’ll want a windproof travel umbrella like this one to keep you dry and comfortable while you explore each new city. If you’re cruising in the summer, you may still experience the occasional rain shower but it is less likely than in the colder months.

    Windproof Travel Umbrella

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 15. Discounted Tickets on Mediterranean Tours

    Whether you’re biking around the shores of Marseille or cruising around the coast of Valencia, there are endless possibilities for your daily port excursions. Get Your Guide is our favorite booking service for the best local tours with flexible cancellations.

    Walk through Old Town Dubrovnik, visit the Acropolis in Athens, and dine on pizza (where it was invented!) in Naples before exploring the breathtaking cliffs of the Amalfi Coast.

    Discounted Tickets on Mediterranean Tours

    See all Mediterranean Cruise attractions at GetYourGuide.com ➜

  • 16. Rolling Suitcase

    It’s a good idea to bring a reliable piece of luggage when you’re going on a cruise in order to keep your belongings safe and contained. A hardshell suitcase will protect your belongings during your journey. This suitcase is perfect for stowing away in your cabin and is spacious enough to fit the variety of clothing you’ll want during your cruise. The rolling mechanism will be a lifesaver against any uphill journeys you’re embarking on.

    Rolling Suitcase

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 17. TSA-Approved Luggage Locks

    Your bags will be out of sight for LONG durations – between checking them for an international flight, then handing them off to the cruise line upon your arrival (where they place your bags at your cabin to prevent hallway congestion) as well as leaving your bags in the hallway at the end of your cruise for drop-off. Secure your luggage with these TSA-approved locks for peace of mind when your bags are on their own. I use them on purses, lockers, suitcases, etc., and bring 2 sets per trip.

    luggage locks

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 18. Packable “Just in Case” Bag

    One of the best parts of any vacation is shopping for local goods. You know there’s always less room than when you departed, so bring a packable “just in case” bag for authentic treats like olive oil, spices, handmade art, leather goods, and perfect gifts for your loved ones. For any bottled products like perfumes, wine, liquor, and other glass things, use these Wine Wings packing cushions so they can endure being thrown around a little by airport and cruise staff.

    Packable “Just in Case” Bag

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 19. Swimsuit Cover-up

    A cover-up or sarong is the perfect wrap for moving between turquoise beaches, coastal cafes, grocery stores, and your cruise ship. Some restaurants (onboard and in-town) won’t allow you to eat in just your swimsuit, so a cover-up and shoes will be required. This one is very casual and beautiful, my wife gets tons of compliments on it every time she wears it!

    Swimsuit Cover-up

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 20. Sun Hat

    Most days on your cruise will be spent sightseeing in picture-perfect ports or sunning on the ship decks. Bring a sun hat to keep the sun out of your eyes, protect your skin, and take your Instagram selfies to the next level.

    Sun Hat

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 21. Cooling Towels

    When we were in Corsica on our Mediterranean Cruise, sliding down waterfalls all the way to the bottom of the mountain – I regretted not bringing this cooling towel with us for the rigorous hike! For any warm or tropical destinations, this towel will be your new best friend. Simply add water and wring it out. It will drop to 20 degrees colder than the outside temp for an hour! Then just add more water when you need more chilly relief, boom!

    Cooling Towels

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 22. Sandals

    Sandals or flip-flops are a must-have for a Middle Sea getaway. Bring some that are easy to slip on and off for a day at the pool on deck or at the beach. We like these Birkenstocks because they go with any outfit, and are comfortable to wear for a day of sightseeing. Also, consider a pair of mesh, breathable water shoes for when you’re going between land and sea.

    men's sandals

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 23. Filtered Water Bottle

    You will have filtered water onboard but the same can’t be said about your on-shore excursions. Have autonomy over your water with this filtered water bottle that will help you reduce plastic waste instead of spending a fortune on water in town. It noticeably makes your water taste better and will be perfect for areas in this part of the world where you can fill up at public spouts and water fountains.

    Filtered Water Bottle

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 24. Light Jacket

    It can get chilly and very windy on the boat at nighttime, especially on the top deck, so make sure to bring a light jacket with you. This jacket is perfect for layering, particularly if you’re cruising during the colder months. It’ll keep you warm and is great to tie around your waist to spice up your outfit.

    Light Jacket

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 25. Travel Clothesline

    You’ll end up with lots of soggy clothes, wet towels, and swimsuits from soaking in the hot tub every day of your cruise. This clothesline is a godsend since it can be used inside or outside. On cruises, we string this across our balcony to dry outdoor items or across the bathroom shower to create a convenient drying station. This set is fantastic because it comes with its own clothespins and is super lightweight for travel.

    Travel Clothesline

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 26. Walking or Hiking Shoes

    If you’re not wandering around the streets of Nice, getting lost in Barcelona, or piazza-hopping in Florence, you’re not doing your Mediterranean cruise right. Walking shoes are an absolute necessity! These are ideal for navigating the cobblestoned streets and uneven terrain of many European cities and spending the day on your feet.

    Walking or Hiking Shoes

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 27. Sunscreen

    The Mediterranean sun can be surprisingly harsh. With many of your vacation days inevitably spent in the outdoors, you’ll want to be sure to pack sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 30 to avoid a nasty sunburn. Apply it every few hours to keep from burning. Also consider bringing a small container of aloe vera for post-sun care. This brand is reef-safe which is mandatory in many areas with protected marine life.

    Sunscreen

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 28. Hangover Prevention

    The unlimited booze cruise package is available for a reason – people want to enjoy a mimosa at breakfast, a daiquiri at the pool, a glass of wine with dinner, and end the night at the dance club for a shot WITHOUT having to pay one-by-one for each drink. This hangover prevention will keep you from getting overly dehydrated on those hot Mediterranean days. Even if you only have one or two drinks a day, all of the activity and sun can be draining. This supplement detoxes alcohol from your body more quickly so you will feel energized and ready for adventure!

    Hangover Prevention

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 29. Gorgeous Outfit

    Be sure to bring at least one trendy outfit on your Mediterranean cruise. You’ll want to look nice for evenings out both on the ship and in the stylish European cities you’ll be perusing. This jumpsuit is stellar because it looks great on many different body types, doesn’t wrinkle easily, and is relatively inexpensive. It’s a power look!

    Gorgeous Outfit

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 30. Magnetic Hooks

    Did you know that most ship doors have steel inside, making them magnetic? We pack these for all of our cruises because storage is difficult to come by in most suites, especially the interiors – so these hooks are perfect for hanging hats, clothes, towels, or anything you want to get off the floor. Sometimes we also use the door as a vacation bulletin board for our itinerary, onboard events, classes, restaurant bookings, and special invites!

    Magnetic Hooks

    View on Amazon.com ➜

What to Wear on a Mediterranean Cruise

On your Mediterranean cruise, you’ll want to pack a variety of clothing. For days spent on the ship, think breezy sundresses, coverups, shorts and t-shirts. On days when you disembark in European port cities, you’ll want some casual but cute clothes to explore in, like a romper and comfortable sneakers, and maybe a few nicer outfits as well.

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!

What should WOMEN wear on a Mediterranean cruise? – (Click to expand)
Below is a sample women’s clothing list. (All items link to Amazon.com for your convenience).

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.

What should MEN wear on a Mediterranean cruise? – (Click to expand)
Below is a sample men’s clothing list. (All items link to Amazon.com for your convenience).

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.

Packing for the Seasons on a Mediterranean Cruise

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.

How to dress for different activities on a Mediterranean cruise – (Click to expand)

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

  • 1.DON’T BRING firearms and ammunition

    Guns, ammunition, any kind of knives, swords, daggers, bullwhips or any other types of weapons are definitely not allowed on cruise ships, so leave them at home!

  • 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.

  • 3.DON’T TAKE coolers

    Normally, coolers are not allowed to be brought onboard. The only exception is for coolers that are needed to carry medications, baby food, or items related to 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.

What clothing should I NOT wear on a Mediterranean cruise? – (Click to expand)
Don’t bring too much clothing or items that wrinkle easily. Keep your luggage light by bringing clothing items that can be worn more than once and repurposed, and try to limit your accessories. Stay away from overly flashy or expensive-looking items to avoid becoming a target for pickpockets and petty theft. It’s hard to go wrong with what you wear on a cruise, but try to keep it casual for the ship and trendier for days in port cities.

FAQs About Traveling on a Mediterranean Cruise

  • 1. What are the best cruise lines to take with kids?

    woman and child on cruise

    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?

    mediterranean cruise ship

    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!