17 Top Mediterranean Cruise Packing List Items in 2020 + What to Wear & NOT to bring

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Updated on June 5, 2020 by Asher Fergusson

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.

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

An international power adapter is a must-bring on any trip overseas. Particularly on a cruise where you plan to disembark in 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 all over the Mediterranean and comes with a lifetime replacement guarantee!

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HERO International power adapter

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 you 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.

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lipstick-sized portable charger

3. 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 breeze. 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.

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aqua packing cubes

4. 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.

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waterproof phone case

5. Neck Wallet

Don’t forget to bring your neck wallet on your Mediterranean cruise! When you disembark to explore each new city, you’ll want to be sure your valuables are safe. Avoid becoming a target for pickpockets and petty theft, especially in the crowded, touristy areas you will likely be frequenting. This one’s great because it’s large enough to hold your phone, passport, credit card, and cash while also keeping you organized with separate pockets.

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neck wallet

6. Travel Insurance for Cruising

We definitely recommend purchasing travel insurance for your Mediterranean cruise. Any time you travel overseas, it’s important to make sure you’re covered in case of emergency. We love to use World Nomads because they’ll take care of the costs for lost luggage, stolen items, flight cancellations, and medical costs.

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World Nomads Logo

7. Umbrella

Consider bringing an umbrella on your Mediterranean cruise, particularly if you plan to travel during the winter, when the region’s temperatures are mild but 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 winter months.

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travel umbrella

8. Swimsuits

Pack your most stylish swimsuits and get ready to let loose on the dreamy beaches of Portugal and the sunny coves of coastal Spain. 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.

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9. 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 organized, safe and contained. A hardshell suitcase will protect your belongings during your journey. This suitcase is perfect to stowaway in your cabin and is spacious enough to fit the variety of clothing you’ll want during your cruise.

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10. Sun Hat

Most days on your cruise will be spent sightseeing in picture perfect port cities 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.

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11. Sandals

Sandals or flip flops are a must-have for a Mediterranean 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.

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12. Light Jacket

It can get chilly and windy on the boat at nighttime, 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.

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13. 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 must! These are great for navigating the cobblestoned streets and uneven terrain of many European cities and spending the day on your feet.

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14. Sunscreen

The Mediterranean sun can be surprisingly harsh. With many of your vacation days inevitably spent out in the sun, 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.

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15. Seasickness Bracelet

In the unlucky event that you or someone in your group is prone to motion sickness, having a seasickness remedy with you is invaluable. Although cruises usually sell medicine on board, it’s much more effective to try to prevent illness before it happens. Slip on one of these tried and tested seasickness bracelets ahead of time to avoid an unpleasant experience.

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16. 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.

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VPN

17. 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 visiting. This jumpsuit is perfect because it looks great on many different body types, doesn’t wrinkle easily, and is relatively inexpensive.

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Gorgeous outfit black jumpsuit for women
 

Don’t forget these other items for a Mediterranean vacation:


 

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).











men's white t-shirt

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.

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?

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!