The level of excitement that you are experiencing for your cruise vacation will be reflected by how early you pack your suitcase. Some folks are so pumped up for the trip that they pack the bag a month early. There is nothing wrong with that provided you are packing the right items. We’ll assume you’ll have plenty of swimsuits, casual wear and a few fancy outfits for dining fun. There are also come practical items you’ll want to include. Here’s what should go in the suitcase:

Alarm Clock

Believe it or not, most cabins on a cruise won’t have an alarm clock. You can leave a wakeup call, but suppose you sleep through that? A portable alarm clock can solve all those problems. You could also use your cell phone just be sure to set it on airplane mode to avoid roaming charges and set it to the same time as the ship. You might be in a totally different time zone.

Sunscreen

You won’t have a problem finding sunscreen in one of the many shops on board the ship. What if it is not your brand or it is super expensive (count on that one!)? You’re better off packing your own sunscreen. Just be sure to keep it in a Ziploc baggie. And don’t forget other sun protection items like hats, sunglasses and aloe cream just in case you get a burn.

First-Aid Kit

Nobody wants to think about getting sick on their cruise vacation. That is why you should pack a first-aid kick for fast relief. Make sure your kit has the simple things like Band-Aids, cough drops, aspirin, Alka Seltzer, pain relief for sore muscles and Vitamin C. Every ship has an infirmary where you’ll be able to get these things, too but that means leaving your cabin and going to retrieve the help. Better to have it with you.

Beverages

Drinks can be a costly item on a cruise ship. The basics are covered with the main meals but that can still leave you thirsty. Before you board, you can snag some water and sodas and pack them in your luggage or carry on. It is also a good idea to bring a reusable water bottle. That will be easy to keep filled at all the soda fountains on board.

Chargers

You will most certainly be packing your phone and camera chargers. Double-check that before you board because it is another item that can be very expensive on board. One additional thing you might want to pack is a power strip or multi-prong plug-in. Cruise cabins are notorious for not having enough outlets.