Female Packing Guide for a 3 Night Cruise on the Carnival Spirit

female packing guide carnival spirit cruise

A couple of weeks ago, I was a guest on the Carnival Spirit cruise from Sydney to Melbourne — a journey taking 3 nights. I combined that trip with an extra 3 days/2 nights in Melbourne (since my boyfriend, although Australian, has never been!). As a total stickler for packing light, here is the list I came up with.

Oh, and I should probably mention this was my first ever cruise. Take a look at this initial list and then read my feedback post-trip at the end!

packing for cruise
Packing for a cruise: what’s in my bag.

Packing for Carnival Cruise: 3 nights + 3 days/2 nights in Melbourne

Please note: All cruises are different and have different requirements when on board. The itinerary I was given mentioned 1 formal night on the ship, but the Carnival Spirit is a more casual experience overall than some expensive long-haul ships (like the Queen Mary — you’ll be reading more about this ship next week).

Outfit 1: Jeans, cute tank top

Outfit 2: Capri pants, black top

Outfit 3: Capri leggings, brown tunic

Formal: Black Exofficio wrap dress, black cami, black clutch purse, black shawl/scarf

Relaxing: 1 swimsuit, 1 infinity (100 ways) dress

Sleeping: PJ pants & tank (can work as gym gear *if* wanted)

Layers: 1 summer cardigan, 1 nicer wool cardigan

Statements: Big jewelry, extra blue scarf

Shoes: Black Tieks (everyday & formal), fold-up flip flops, super lightweight CMUK barefoot shoes

Undergarments: Enough undies for trip, 2 bras, 2 pairs of socks (plan to wear Tieks mostly)

Toiletries: My case includes tinted moisturizer, eye make-up, hair ties and SUN SCREEN! Everything transferred to small nalgene bottles and GoToobs.

Purse: collapsible, holds passport, wallet, chapsticks, sunglasses, etc.

Electronics: Macbook (I’m working, too) & iPad Mini (my iPhone is broken so I need to use the iPad to Instagram and such), camera, chargers

Extras: 1 belt, 1 tank, 1 stuffable bag, 1 small dirty clothes bag, 1 packing cube

light packing for the carnival spirit cruise
This picture shows two things: 1) How small my backpack is before getting on the cruise! 2) I need to workout! This is the eBags Mother Lode TLS Weekender Convertible bag by the way.

Input from the Facebook Community

When I originally posted my packing list on the Facebook page, most people thought I had my bases covered, but I did get two key pieces of advice: a hat and a surge protector with multiple outlets.

Initially, I thought that the idea of a surge protector with multiple outlets would be useless, but I was wrong, people… I was so wrong! In the cabin, we only had one outlet between my boyfriend and I… and several devices (unfortunately, it wasn’t a complete holiday for us). We could have used an extra power point — although I have heard that bringing those items is frowned upon.

A hat was imperative! I had to purchase one on the boat. Bring a hat!

>>Read our tips for getting the most out of your cruise vacation.

Further Thoughts After the Trip

I was actually quite happy with my packing list. I was able to easily mix and match my outfit to accommodate my further adventures in Melbourne (although it would have been nicer if it had not been so crazy hot there!). Overall, a successful light packing experience!

>> See our packing list for a cruise and all packing list posts here.

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Written by Brooke

I run the show at Her Packing List and love packing ultralight. In fact, I once traveled for 3 entire weeks with just the contents of a well-packed 12L handbag. When I'm not obsessing over luggage weight, I'm producing episodes of The UnPacking List or just snuggling with my pet rabbit, Sherlock Bunz.

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Gear We Use


Packing Cubes – Organize your luggage with the lightweight, durable and compressible Eagle Creek Pack-It Specter Compression Cubes.

Backpacks + Daypacks

Pacsafe – Since they come with extra theft-resisting features, Pacsafe bags make you a more confident traveler. We especially love this bag.

Sea to Summit – Of all the Sea to Summit products, our most recommended is the fits-in-your-palm, super packable Ultra-Sil Daypack.

Personal Care

Nalgene Toiletry Bottles – These leak-free toiletry bottles and tubs come in all sizes – even super tiny, helping minimalists pack it all without bulk.

Turkish Towels – They’re thinner than most travel towels, and they actually cover your body! We can’t get enough of Turkish towels for travel.


Speakeasy Supply Co. – They make the awesome hidden pocket infinity scarves that are perfect for stashing secret cash, lip balms, and passports.

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Travel Resources

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Reader Interactions


  1. Bernie says

    It all sounds (and looks) good. We normally take 2 travel adaptors (I have a two in one) which works out a bit lighter and less bulky than a plug bar, although we’ve maybe been lucky on the surge protector.

  2. Jessica says

    I went on a three dad cruise to Freeport, Bahamas & I had packed way to much clothing, a pair of shoes that I didn’t even wear & I packed like 3 pants & 6 shorts but I only wore 1 pair of pants and 4 shorts.

    This time I plan to bring some of the rainbow loom bracelets that I make, another set of earrings & a small bottle of hand sanitizer because everything that I touched was so dirty.

  3. Darcy says

    I brought a small (3 outlet) surge protector when we went on our Princess cruise, and the only thing I noticed was that the cleaning crew unplugged it in the morning (when it had no devices left on it).

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