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Billboard 1560x520 RiverJordan PoolDeck

What to Pack on Your Cruise from Australia

Top packing hacks for Brisbane and Sydney cruises onboard Ovation of the Seas® and Quantum of the Seas®

By Evelyn Uslar-Pietri | Published on May 25, 2023

The moment you’ve been dreaming about is fast approaching and soon you’ll be boarding your cruise, ready to dive into top-deck adventure! But going full-throttle on fun means first getting down to the business of squaring away your suitcase. We’ve compiled the top packing hacks for a perfect escape, including everything you absolutely need to bring…and some cool extras as well!

The Clothes: Laid Back Day Time

Cruises are all about soaking up that easy carefree vibe: feeling the sun on your skin, the breeze in your hair, kicking up your heels and doing what you love best. Whether that means curling up with a good book poolside, hanging ten on FlowRider® or testing your mettle on RipCord® by iFly®, the common denominator is having the right laid back clothes and accessories!

Think shorts and jeans, t-shirts and polos, thongs and swimwear, shady hats and biodegradable sunscreen. You’ll find that on your cruise from Sydney or Brisbane, shorts are welcome during breakfast and lunch, but in the evenings, stylishness gets bumped up several notches (more on that later!).

For onshore excursions, a pair of closed walking shoes as well as a lightweight backpack and water bottles may be important. With many amazing places to explore, some involving rugged terrain, being properly equipped is the key to having a great time.

Say, for instance, that as part of your cruise to the South Pacific, you are visiting beautiful Noumea, New Caledonia, with its famed Ouen Toro Hill. And you’d like to trek up that mount – the island’s green lung – all the way to where intrepid paragliders lift off. Well, since you brought the right shoes and gear, nothing is holding you back! Go ahead, climb Ouen Toro Hill to your heart’s content!

Speaking of destinations, while the islands of the South Pacific are always warm and balmy, on a cruise to New Zealand you may be greeted by an invigorating nip in the air. At the very least, be sure to take a warm jacket – but a jumper and scarf, may also come in handy, depending on where you plan to go exploring.

The Clothes: Snazzy and Stylish at Night

When the sun goes down, it's time to dial up the swag! Swap swimwear for dinner-wear. Board shorts and cover ups for blazer and smart dresses. And if you have an affinity for altitude, maybe even trade in flats for stilettos! After all, on your sailing you’ll find some of the most exclusive restaurants at sea, like Chef’s Table with its exquisite five-course epicurean extravaganza, as well as chart-topping Broadway shows, elegant lounges and other next-level experiences – all of which beg dressing up for the occasion.

On most cruises from Australia, including those to the islands of the South Pacific, at least one formal night is scheduled, which means black-tie attire and cocktail gowns. Before packing, check out your cruise planner for details regarding your voyage’s formal events.

Of course, if ever you’re not in the mood to dress up, there are cool and casual options for onboard chillaxing, such as dinner at the Windjammer’s followed by movie night poolside. For your evening under the stars you may need a light wrap to ward off the night chill.

The Non-Optional: Must-Pack Essentials

Most items, if forgotten, can be purchased at the onboard shops, where the extensive offering ranges from humble toothbrushes to chic designer clothes! There are, however, some things that you can’t just pick up on your cruise, beginning with your passport and any other documentation requested on your cruise confirmation email. Keep these in your carry-on bag for handy access when boarding.

Another essential involves packing any prescription medication you or your family require. On holiday, routines are often disrupted and keeping track of whether you’ve taken your meds can be a challenge. To avoid getting derailed, consider a pill organiser, labelled with the days of the week.

Make a must-pack list of any other important personal care products, such as an inhaler, dental guard, hypoallergenic creams/cosmetics and anything else you may not be able to readily replace on your cruise.  Of course, you should pack an universal travel converter for your upcoming trip so you can keep your electronics charged.

The Cool Stuff: Tech and Gadgets

On the adventure of a lifetime, where capturing the moments is as important as experiencing them, it’s a big oops to forget to pack your electronics and chargers. Your mobile phone is especially critical if you plan on taking lots of impressive pics for posterity – or simply for your own misty-eyed reminiscing! (As an aside, some of our guests feel that an upcoming cruise is great motivation to upgrade their phone for one with a better camera and other enhancements. If that’s you, give yourself a couple of days to become familiar with its workings so that by the time you sail, you’re a certified pro!)

Most cruises from Brisbane and Sydney head to sun-soaked destinations brimming with thrilling water-based activities. Not to mention that onboard both Quantum of the Seas® and Ovation of the Seas®, the swimming pools are Insta-worthy oases of aquatic delight. With water everywhere, you may wish to consider protecting your (possibly brand new!) mobile phone with a quality waterproof case or pouch.

Now for a hack which once discovered is the go-to solution for just about every packing problem: the incredible packing cube! This marvel of human ingenuity allows you to compress your clothes, saving space in your suitcase or backpack; helps you stay organised by separating out your clothes and sundries; and can even minimise wrinkling! They’re simply…wow! And you’re very welcome.

Last, but not least – particularly if you are travelling with your children – magnetic hooks are small items that score big on utility. Use them to hang up wet swimmies, damp coverups and just about anything you need out of the way.

Well, the time to pack may now be upon you! Here’s our best wishes for an epic cruise with everything you need right at hand, and three final insider tips!

Download your First Time Cruisers Guide



Since you won’t be able to access your checked luggage until later on the day of embarkation, pack a bathing suit and other essentials in your carry-on bag, so you can immediately dive into the action!


Our cruises from Sydney and Brisbane sail to some of the world’s most exceptional snorkelling destinations, including the Great Barrier Reef. Snap images of this splendid ecosystem, with an underwater camera, which can range from a waterproof smart watch to a full-frame camera.


When refilling prescription medications, allow a couple of days prior to your cruise in case of any unforeseen delays. Also be sure to pack sufficient quantities to last the entire length of your trip.

Written By

Evelyn's passion for exploring the world, combined with her unforgettable travels onboard Royal Caribbean, shine through in her pieces for the cruise line. She also writes for Roar Media--a full-stack marketing agency based in Miami, Florida--as well as other travel and lifestyle-related brands.

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