What Do You Need to Bring for a Cruise in New Zealand? (checklist inside)

Imagine this. You’ve already booked your cruise tickets to New Zealand and with work, errands, and everything in between, it’s suddenly time to start the packing. So, what do you add to your checklist? What Do You Need to Bring for Cruise in New Zealand?

While there are plenty of things that might make it to your list, the most vital ones would be the visa and travel documents, formal clothes (for the dress code), layers, insect repellent, chargers, toiletries, and carryon luggage. Here, I would especially emphasize the visa and travel documents as you cannot enter the cruise ship without producing a printed copy of your NZeTA confirmation email and eVisa letter. Since you would need printed copies, make sure you carry a couple of extra seats for safety.

But what other things would you need for the trip? What kind of insect repellent should you pack? Would you need pills or patches for seasickness? Let’s find out!


Passport and travel documents are a must-have

Since you’ll stop at many ports during your trip on the cruise ship, it is vital to have your identification details and travel documents handy. In addition to the passport, you also need a physical copy of the NZeTA confirmation email and the eVisa letter that was sent to you.

To be on the safer side, you can also carry a copy of your birth certificate. While this not a ‘must-have’, you never know what you end up needing in the middle of the trip. I recommend travelers to check the official immigration website of New Zealand for more information on this. Since they too have a brief checklist, it’ll be easier for you to pack exactly the documents you would need.


Follow the dress code

While packing your clothes and layers, it is worth checking the dress code of your respective cruise. You can always check the FAQ section of your selected NZ cruise line for more details about their formal night attire.

Typically, most cruises have a mix of formal, semi-formal, and casual nights during the trip. So, when it comes to packing, you also need to carry a suit (preferably dark), a semi-formal men’s jacket, and a casual men’s jacket. If you are looking to go even fancier, you may also want to slip in a tie or two.

Women can carry an evening dress, a cocktail dress, and a trouser suit along with their casual clothes and layers. But then again, since this entirely depends on the cruise line, it is better to check with them about their policies (if any) for formal, smart casual, and cocktail dresses. After all, nobody wants to be excluded from an evening party just because they are carrying a few t-shirts and a couple of swimwear.


Pack your layers

I once planned a summer trip on an NZ cruise and carried light clothes, assuming it would be hot. Unfortunately, the weather got unpredictable really quick, and thanks to the chilly winds, I had to purchase overpriced winterwear on a ship.

If you do not wish for a similar predicament, I suggest carrying a pack of clothes that you can easily layer up. A few pashminas should do the job as they can double up as an evening wrap and an in-ship blanket. Other items will include light jackets, sweatshirts, and socks.

Once you have these items ready, you are absolutely prepared for any kind of weather.

Once you are back at your camper, you’d might need to dry some wet clothes in your camper. I have some ideas for you here. Take a look…


Carry waterproof phone covers for extra safety

Regardless of the kind or type of cruise, you are embarking on, most of your adventures will have water and sand as the main two components. Even when you’re just relaxing on the beach with your friends, you would want to carry the phone safely. And this is exactly why you would need a waterproof phone cover. Make sure the cover is also sand/scratch proof. This way, you can comfortably use the phone to take pictures while it is comfortably tucked inside the cover.


Get a wallet pouch for the essentials

I cannot stop emphasizing the benefits of wallet pouches as they are a true godsend during your NZ cruise trip. Every time you will leave the boat, you would be requested to carry your SeaPass. This includes the room key, your photo ID, passport, and visa. Since it is not always convenient to carry a big bag for housing these items, a small wallet pouch is a better option. Compact and slick, you can carry the pouch everywhere. The best part: it can also easily accommodate cash.


A drybag can save your trip!

There’s always a significant hustle every time you decide to head into the water. At this stage, the biggest question is, what to do with the valuables and where to keep them. This is exactly where a drybag can save you. All you need to do is stack the items in the bag, roll them up, and you’re all set with a water-proof container that can now be carried to the beaches.

Not only does it save you the hassle of constantly having to check the items onshore, but it also gives you the flexibility to move around whenever and wherever.


Don’t miss out on insect repellents

With the ongoing fear of mosquito-borne viruses, it is worth carrying a small insect repellent in your carry-on luggage. New Zealand may be an excellent destination for cruising, but the country is notorious for insects.

That is why it is even more important you carry a quality insect repellent at all times. Although you wouldn’t need it while cruising (you won’t find insects in the middle of the sea), the repellent may be quite useful as you step on to the port. After reaching the port, apply it just the same way you apply sunscreen to keep mosquitos and other insects at bay.


Patches vs pills for seasickness

Whether or not you have previously traveled on a cruise, it is always worth carrying some medication for seasickness. Although almost all leading cruise lines have the required medication, it doesn’t hurt to carry your own.

Both pills and patches are equally effective, and they will prevent you from feeling giddy and nauseous when the waves start hitting. While I personally swear by pills as they have always worked for me, you can also try patches if you are reluctant to consume medication orally or are prone to developing side effects.


Swimsuits are your best friend!

Guess what’s the most important part of a cruise? Well, it’s the sea. And since you will be traveling along the sea for a while, it is worth packing a couple of casual swimsuits. I prefer lightweight swimsuits along with a coverup for some modesty. You can get one too. The right coverup and swimsuit duo will double the fun of your trip as you ride on boats, go for excursions, or simply relax by the sea.


Pack shoes, but not too many

Of course, you can never have your cruise trip without the right pair of shoes. But it’s absolutely not worth carrying too many of them since you will spend a large part of your time on the ports and beaches.

I recommend carrying a formal shoe to go with your formal wear, a casual sneaker for excursions, and one flip flop for walking on the beach. Once you have these three pairs, you are up and ready for your trip!


Outlet adapters can be pretty useful

Whether you are carrying an iPhone, laptop, kindle, nightlight, straighteners, or fans- there’s one thing you will absolutely need and that is a quality outlet adapter. Cruise cabins, regardless of how luxurious they are, may not always have proper outlets.

Carrying an outlet adapter therefore will help maximize the total plugs. However, as you do this, make sure the product doesn’t come with a surge protector since it is not always allowed in boats and cruise ships.


Don’t forget the luggage bag

Last but not least is a luggage bag that will house all your essentials. Depending on the duration of your trip, we will recommend a lightweight backpack that carries all your vital stuff like light clothes, layers, first aid kit, sunscreen, charges, and travel documents.

You can pack other items like formal/semi-formal attires, shoes, toiletries, and cosmetics in the bigger bag. Either way, both these bags should have you covered since you wouldn’t be carrying too many things in the first place.


Other essentials you might need

In addition to the listed items, you can also carry the following essentials:

  • Charger
  • First-aid kit
  • Binoculars
  • Wrinkle release spray
  • Packing cubes
  • Umbrella
  • Beach blanket


Bottom line

Now that you have a clear idea of what do you need to bring for a cruise in New Zealand, start your packing already and follow my checklist for all the essentials. For any extra guidelines, you can also contact the cruise line. That way, you will get to find out if you are missing out on any essentials.

While on the cruise, enjoy the free experiences at the ports. From witnessing the breathtakingly beautiful views of Mt. Eden, strolling along with the Botanic Gardens of Wellington, to grabbing a chance to see the unique Walk’ of Akaroa-you’ll find plenty of activities to keep you occupied. Until then, travel safe and pack well!