Cruise ship in the Caribbean, St. Maarten

What to Put in Your Daypack for Ports of Call During a Cruise

One of the best parts of cruising is being able to explore a number of new destinations without having to continually pack and unpack your belongings. With a cruise, you just leave them in your stateroom, step off the ship to go explore, and then board the ship later that day to set sail for a new city, country, or island. Still, you’ll want some things with you during your day in port. Here are some essentials to put in your daypack.

What Type of Bag to Use

First, let’s discuss the actual daypack. What type should you bring? That depends a bit on where you’re going. If exploring a big city or bustling market or town center, a saddle bag style with a sturdy strap that you can sling over one shoulder and wear across your body with the main compartment in front of you will help you to make sure you keep your possessions in view.

However, if you’re doing a rural shore excursion, then a small backpack might be a better fit so it fits more snugly against you while you’re hiking, riding a 4-wheeler, or other adventure.

If you’re just using a purse, make sure it’s a sturdy strap so it’s secure and comfortable and make sure the strap is long enough to wear across your body. Depending where you’re traveling, you also may want to bring a water-resistant purse.

What to Put in Your Bag While in Port

Now for what to put in your daypack while exploring ports. Here is a list of some essentials you’ll likely want with you while in port no matter the destination:

Water: You should be able to easily find water to purchase in most ports you visit, but it’s wise to bring a water bottle with you so you have some right away in case it takes you longer than planned to find water.

Sunscreen: Even if the forecast looks overcast, slather on some sunscreen before leaving your stateroom and pack extra (a sunscreen stick takes up minimal space and won’t accidentally leak in your bag) in your daypack. A bad sunburn is a fast way to a miserable vacation, and even if your skin doesn’t typically burn at home, it may not be used to the level of the sun rays beaming down on you in other destinations, particularly ones closer to the equator.

Adhesive Bandages: Adhesive bandages like Band-Aids are smart to put in your daypack to cover any blisters on your feet in case your travel shoes aren’t as well worn in as you thought. They’re also good to have on hand in case you get any minor cuts while you’re out and about.

Sunglasses or Sun Hat: You don’t want to be squinting at all the gorgeous sites you’ll be seeing. Pack some sunglasses or a sun hat with a visor that won’t easily blow off your head.

Rain Poncho: Bring an easy-to-fold travel rain poncho with you and if it looks like it might rain, stick it in your daypack.

Your SeaPass Card: Don’t forget your SeaPass Card (which you’ll be issued upon boarding your Celebrity cruise). You’ll need it to get off and on the ship.

Extra Camera Battery: If you have an extra camera battery for your digital camera, don’t leave it in the stateroom. You may be surprised how much you turn your camera on and off throughout the day in port and you’ll run through your battery faster than planned.

Things to Put in Your Bag for Island Fun

Here are a few more essentials you’ll probably want to bring in your daypack if visiting an island during your cruise’s port of call.

Swimsuit: Be sure to bring one in your daypack even if you’re not planning on going swimming. You never know – your plans might change once you see that gorgeous Caribbean sea or other body of water where you’re traveling.

Towel: If heading to a beach or water-based shore excursion, bring a towel or be prepared to buy one from a local vendor stand.

Water Shoes: Depending on the type of beaches you’ll be visiting, you also may want to stick in some water shoes so you aren’t hurting your feet if the shoreline is made up of small rocks instead of sand.

Plastic Bag: Having a sealable plastic bag handy is good when hanging out by water to put cell phones or cameras in. Big waves can surprise you coming up the beach, and things can accidentally go overboard while on boats and kayaks.

City Exploring Daypack Essential

There’s not much more you need if doing a city tour than what’s on the general list, but here is one more thing you may want to throw into your daypack.

Scarf: If you’re planning to tour any churches, you typically need to have your shoulders and sometimes elbows covered. Have a lightweight scarf in your bag that you can pull out and wear over a tank top or t-shirt if needed. Churches with super strict dress codes will also require knees to be covered so it’s a good idea to do some research before your trip of any church you want to visit and see what the dress code is.

Are there any other items you think are essential to bring with you when exploring a destination during a day in port during a cruise? Share in the comments below! To find out more about what you can do during your time in port, visit the Celebrity Cruises shore excursions web page and start dreaming!