Veteran cruisers usually bring a few things that encourage great sleep on a cruise ship. You never know what will happen at bed time to derail your rest.
First, I never travel anywhere without an eye mask and ear plugs. I prefer a silk over cotton eye mask since it is softer and less likely to irritate your skin. It also helps block light from coming under the mask. Some masks have padded pillows for the cheek bones.
Second, you will find ear plugs are also necessary if you have a roommate who snores or stays up late, or have the misfortune of a room located near a source of noise.
I recommend bringing several pairs, since mine always fall out half way through the night. They are easily lost, so a single pair may not be enough.
If you have allergies, bring some nose strips. They can also help you sleep if you have any trouble breathing.
Lip balm is one of my favorite self-care items. It keeps your lips comfortable and moisturized in the dry air of the cruise ship’s HVAC. Equally important, some have SPF to keep your lips from burning in the sun.
Also on every cruise, I bring night lights.
Some newer ships like Symphony of the Seas have built-in bathroom night lights, but it’s best to bring your own, just in case. Place one in the bathroom and it will keep you from tripping over everything on the way to pee at 3 am.
I bought these Maxxima nightlights for a cruise and use them year round. You can switch it to red mode to save your eyes at night.
Keep Water Nearby
Important to note, cruise ship forced air systems can dry you out. Keep some water nearby in case you wake up thirsty.
It’s safe to drink the bathroom tap water, but it’s not filtered, so the taste might be unpleasant.
I love Nalgene bottles. They’re virtually indestructable and not expensive. I have 4 of them and dragged them on many cruises. It’s a great way to bring filtered ice water back to the room from the buffet.
Tip: Put your name on the bottle with a Sharpie or label maker.
Bring Sea Sick Remedies
Next, if you’re prone to sea sickness, come prepared to treat it. Everyone has a different method they prefer. I am partial to the patch.
- Scopolamine transdermal patch (doctor prescription) – each patch lasts for 3 days – looks like a small round sticker placed on the neck
- Dramamine/Bonine (over the counter drug)
- Ginger pills (herbal)
- Sea bands
Fortunately, I’m not prone to sea sickness, but I’d rather not take my chances, so I start the patch as soon as I board the ship. The only downside is that the adhesive may irritate the skin.
Finally, a way to deal with unusual or unwanted noises on the ship is to have a source of white noise.
You can use a white noise app or white noise machine. Some cruisers always bring a battery operated fan to help cool themselves and provide constant noise.
Battery operated devices are best since cruise ship cabins have a limited number of plugs (2 or 3).