Caucasian couple admiring view from boat deck

Elevate your cruise vacation by bringing along these essential products and space savers. (Getty Images)

There's a learning curve when it comes to planning a cruise vacation. From mastering how to score the best deal to strategically choosing which items to pack, there are a variety of practicalities to consider. Sure, there are hacks such as packing a power strip and bringing along a shoe organizer, but the products below can add some comfort and ingenuity your first cruise experience. Read on to discover top products to get the most out of your vacation.

[See: 10 Top Cruises for Health Nuts.]

A Non-Medicated Motion Sickness Remedy

First-time cruisers can set sail without worrying about seasickness. A stylish Psi Band, an acupressure wristband, offers relief from nausea due to motion sickness. Plus, the Psi Band is uniquely drug-free, meaning there's no common side effects such as drowsiness or dry mouth that's often associated with over-the-counter medications. Plus, the Psi Band is waterproof, easily adjustable, reusable, affordable and available in a variety of colors.

A Crossbody Caddy

If you're planning a cruise to a warm, tropical location, staying hydrated is critical. The Go Caddy Water Bottle Holder, a compact tote and bottle holder makes keeping hydrated while exploring ashore or relaxing on the pool deck a breeze. It conveniently holds a water bottle, along with your cruise pass, money, a camera, a cellphone and sunglasses, among other need-to-have items. Also, the caddy is great for walking, hiking and adventurous pursuits ashore.

Wireless Headphones

The new JBL Under Armour Headphones Wireless are perfect for active and relaxation-seeking cruisers. While lounging by the pool, you can zone out with these in-ear wireless headphones, which feature a powerful bass performance. Sit back and unwind, while listening to your favorite tunes via stellar sound, without a worry in the world – or an unwanted tan line – thanks to its wireless feature. And if you're planning to hit the gym or get your heart racing, the headphones are conveniently sweat-proof and designed for active use. What's more, they pack easily and serve as an essential in-flight staple, too.

[See: 10 Extraordinary European Cruise Ports You Shouldn't Skip.]

An Extra Cellphone Charger

When you're on your first cruise vacation, the last thing you'll want to worry about is a fast draining phone battery. Before heading out to sea, pack a Mophie Juice Pack Air battery case in your carry-on. This distinctly thin and lightweight case provides advanced power, reliability and protection to your phone in a sleek case. Raised corners and rubberized support pads inside of the case protect your phone against everyday mishaps, meaning your phone is safe from accidental drops on the ship deck. And with plenty of extra phone battery, think of all the memories you'll be able to capture on your camera and music you'll be able to play without needing to run back to your cabin to recharge your phone.

A Genius Pack Suitcase

This smooth-rolling, carry-on is an ideal go-to travel bag for cruise ship excursions. Standout features include an umbrella pop-out, enhanced jacket wrap and plenty of space-saving compartments. Genius Pack's clever laundry compression system also features a zip-out laundry bag that expels air through an integrated air valve, keeping dirty clothes isolated from clean clothes. The Genius Pack G3 model weighs only 7.8 pounds and is 22 feet high. What's more, with the pull of a zipper, the carry-on expands an additional 2 inches. The suitcase is available in black, platinum, red and cobalt blue, and costs $238.

[See: 10 Amazing Cruise Ship Amenities.]

Inexpensive Sunglasses

Nectar Sunglasses are trendy designer shades wrapped in lightweight frames. Many Nectar frames cost under $40, making them a great choice for a first-time cruisers planning to spend plenty of time on action-packed shore excursions. The modest price won't leave you heartbroken if they get misplaced. Even better, the shades reduce eyestrain, promote glare reduction, have scratch resistant film over lenses and offer 100 percent UV protection. Grab a pair of "Weekly Limited Edition Sunnies," which are custom-made.

Tags: travel, cruises, vacations


Erica Lamberg has contributed to U.S. News & World Report since 2015. In addition, she has worked as a correspondent for Gannett for over 15 years, writing business features, book profiles, special section features and travel articles. Under Gannett’s news umbrella, Erica was recently named a lifestyle and travel expert for USA Today's 10 Best platform. Erica’s writing credits also include Bankrate.com, where she writes about personal finance, real estate and travel topics, and she is a regular contributor to well-regarded travel sites including Fodor’s Travel and Cruise Critic. Erica is also a former education and travel correspondent for The Philadelphia Inquirer. Erica is also a sought-after author of health content and writes several monthly features for the digital platform of Reader’s Digest. She is also a writing consultant and is retained by corporations in the real estate, higher education and healthcare industries. Erica is based in suburban Philadelphia. Follow Erica on Twitter.

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