There are loads of articles out there about what you should pack for your cruise holiday yet there are very few about what you shouldn’t pack. There are some things you just don’t need on a cruise, but if you’ve never been on one before then you might not know for sure what you will and won’t need.

Here’s the things NOT to pack for a cruise holiday…

An Iron

Clothes irons are prohibited on pretty much all cruise lines, thanks to the potential for fire. Leave your clothes iron at home and either invest in some anti-wrinkle spray (yes such a thing does exist!) or stump up for the ironing services offered on board.

There are a few cruise lines have areas on board with washers, dryers, irons and ironing boards for use (for a small fee) by guests, so it’s worth checking if your ship is one of these too.


I’m not for a minute suggesting you go off on holiday without a book to read however, if you’re the type of person who hasn’t yet succumbed to the convenience of the e-book, then ordinary paper books take up waaay too much space in your luggage. Every cruise ship I’ve ever sailed upon has had a library on board where you can browse and borrow from their extensive range for free.

Guide Books

This one is the exact same as the one above. There’s no need to buy and lug around expensive guide books when you’ll be able to borrow them from the on board library (or access the information online).

Alarm Clock

Lots of cruise packing lists include an alarm clock as often your mobile phone won’t have service in your stateroom so won’t be able to change if the ship sails into a new time zone, but you don’t need to bother. The telephones in your stateroom can usually be set as an alarm or you can arrange to have a wake up call in the morning.


Clothes hangers are another item that make it onto many cruise packing lists, but instead of trying to fit clunky hangers into your suitcase just ask your stateroom attendant for more if you require them. They’re always happy to provide extra hangers so you can hang all your clothes up wrinkle free.

Clothes you don’t need

This is my most important piece of advice – check your cruise lines dress code before you go to ensure you’re not packing clothes that you won’t need.

If your cruise line has a ‘no jeans at dinner’ rule then there’s no point in packing 3 pairs of them. Or if your chosen line doesn’t do formal dress then you’re not going to need that ballgown.

Read the dress code carefully and plan out exactly what outfits you’ll need for dinner, for the weather conditions in the places you’ll be visiting and so on.

What other items do you recommend people not to pack for a cruise holiday?