8 Reasons to Pack Duct Tape on Your Next Cruise

June 13, 2012 | By | 20 Comments

Duct tape. It’s the powerful, sticky, loyal best friend that should be part of any savvy cruiser’s packing list. Airline destroy your bag? Duct tape can help. Stubborn shower or window curtains won’t stay closed? Force them to adhere to your rules. Bring the whole roll or reduce the bulk by wrapping some tape around a sharpie, another handy tool to have on a cruise (for door notes).
Remember, though, that certain adhesives will leave a residue, especially over time, so be wary about applying tape to the cabin door or other surfaces. Cruise Critic readers have suggested that baby oil helps remove any gunk left behind, but we haven’t tested this. Some experienced travel-tapers also swear by the equally potent but cleaner gaffer’s tape, duct tape’s classier cousin.
Still skeptical? Here are just a few of many ways in which duct tape can save you on a cruise.

The Formal Night Lint Remover
With the sticky side up, wrap a few revolutions’ worth of tape around your hand. Remove hair, lint and other particles from your own gown or monkey suit, or de-lint your partner like a chimp grooming his mate. Take caution with especially delicate clothing.
The “Blackout” Curtains Sealer
On a June cruise in the Baltic — during which the midnight sun almost never disappeared — light came seeping in along the borders of the blackout curtains. The rectangle of sunshine that skirted my balcony door was mesmerizing, but not conducive for sleep. A few pieces of strategically placed duct tape spelled relief from the glow.
Broken Luggage Fixer
I didn’t realize US Airways had taken my $50 checked-bag fee then destroyed my suitcase until a gentleman in the airport told me I was leaving a trail of balled socks and rolled T-shirts. The airline agent denied me a refund (US Air and other operators don’t cover ripped zippers) but offered me some duct tape. Instead of leaving infuriated and with a broken bag, I left infuriated…with a broken bag sealed with duct tape.
The Sandal Repairer
After traversing mile after mile in multiple crag-covered Greek Isles ports, one of the straps on my Teva sandals threw in the towel. Duct tape entered the ring, securely re-attaching strap to shoe so I could keep trekking.
The Torn Hem Mender
If a hem unravels, duct tape works in a bind. Attach it on the underside of the garment for an attempt at discreetness. Again, note that you should take caution on less rugged fabrics.
The Luggage Identifier
The mob scene of dented bags and tired flyers can make for a stressful experience at the baggage carousel. Make your life easier by marking your luggage with “X’s” or just wrap the handle with colored tape for easy identification. A good bet is Duck brand duct tape, which comes in a kaleidoscope of hues.
The Creeping Shower Curtain De-Creeper
It’s one of cruising’s more unsettling forces: the relentless, creeping, clinging shower curtain that repeatedly attaches to your legs for a tingly embrace. Instead of making yourself crazy battling an inanimate object, showering with the curtain open or avoiding the bath altogether, use duct tape to keep the curtain at bay.
The Cabin Baby-Proofer
The littlest cruisers are often the most curious…but have the least sense of self preservation. Keep babies and toddlers away from seductive death traps by taping drawers shut, outlets closed and wires or curtain pulls to the wall. Bonus: the roll of duct tape makes a great rolling toy.
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    20 Responses to “8 Reasons to Pack Duct Tape on Your Next Cruise”

    1. Andrew Evans
      June 13th, 2012 @ 3:19 pm

      Another use for duct tape springs to mind… to duct tape Irritating table mates lol!

    2. Glnice Kilelly
      June 13th, 2012 @ 3:40 pm

      We always take a few of those “scotch” removable plastic hooks. I use one for hats, another for belts and my purse and the other for my umbrella. They remove easily and they don’t leve any marks. I sometimes take extra to stick in my closet to hang costume jewelry.

    3. Kimberly
      June 13th, 2012 @ 5:13 pm

      …and don’t forget connecting cabin door sealer. This one is really important!!!!

    4. Marcia
      June 13th, 2012 @ 9:32 pm

      Other travel tips:

      Clothespinns, in addition to hanging things on that tiny shower line,have multiple uses..ie….pinch those drapes/curtains shut, seal a box of munchie snacks, clip important notes, daily agenda, etc. Add a piece of stick-on magnet and put on those metal walls for reminders, tickets, confirmations, etc. Drape something over a hanger and secure with clothespins. The options are endless but the cannot repair damaged luggage like duct tape!

    5. Jeffrey C
      June 15th, 2012 @ 6:59 pm

      I use bright yellow duct tape on my checked bag (which is dark blue). It makes it a snap to see at airport baggage claims or baggage pick-up at cruise terminals.

      In fact, the yellow stripes let me notice my bags made a better connection than me on one. flight (and it was in the airline unclaimed area, locked). On another the display for which carousel of baggage matched my flight was incorrect (I noticed my bag on a different one entirely, picked up it, and told the employee about the problem).

    6. Jay Matheson
      June 16th, 2012 @ 11:06 am

      I take a small roll of tearable packing tape. Does all the things duct tape does but is lighter and gentler. Have repaired luggage, clothing, and even cameras with it. For those 24 hour daylight cruises I also pack a length of black cloth to tape or pin over the curtains which are rarely thick enough to keep the room dim.

    7. Best Cruise Deals
      June 20th, 2012 @ 9:35 am

      Duct tape! Wow, never thought of that one, i suspect you’d have to be careful of where you stick it as you don’t want to peel anything off the walls! Nice article though.

    8. Compass Cruise Holidays
      June 20th, 2012 @ 9:38 am

      I took duct tape to hold my curtains together in my cabin, life saver. i took the tip from my first cruise from a lovely woman who worked as one of the room cleaners. She said that the crew of the ship make a regular order for duct tape for this very reason.

    9. Tile Cleaning Tips
      October 9th, 2012 @ 12:00 pm

      We all know Americas-all-favourite duct tape and it has endless applications. It really can save lives.

    10. Lisa
      October 25th, 2013 @ 2:08 pm

      The creeping shower curtain decreeper is the best one!

    11. Elsie Ray
      November 21st, 2013 @ 5:21 pm

      Just back from Morocco. Shoulder seam ripped on my nylon jacket. A 2X5 piece of duct tape on the inside of the jacket and no one could see the rip. I always carry duct tape. Life saver with luggage years ago.

    12. 8 Reasons to Pack Duct Tape on Your Next Cruise : The Lido Deck | Cruise Case
      December 4th, 2013 @ 7:41 pm

      […] via 8 Reasons to Pack Duct Tape on Your Next Cruise : The Lido Deck […]

    13. L. Brander
      January 20th, 2014 @ 10:46 am

      Got a heel blister? Dab some antiseptic cream on the blister, cover it with a small piece of tissue or bandaid, then wrap a good size piece of duct tape over the patch and around the back of your heel. The smooth surface should minimize friction against the blister, and the tape is heavy enough to protect and sooth the sore spot. Carry on hiking.

    14. » Don’t forget to pack the … Cruise Critic UK
      January 23rd, 2014 @ 6:52 am

      […] some of the wise and crafty cruisers on our forum swear by duct tape, which can be used for everything from lint removal to sandal […]

    15. Juli
      September 8th, 2014 @ 1:47 pm

      a fellow cabin neighbor asked me for a sewing kit, I didn’t have that but I did have duct tape..he used it to make a belt for his slacks for formal night.

    16. Kathy
      September 25th, 2014 @ 2:45 pm

      I always take magnets-all the walls are magnetic and I hang all the important paperwork rather that piling up on the dresser!

    17. Maxine
      March 26th, 2015 @ 9:02 pm

      On one cruise, the peephole in our cabin door did not have a cover over it, so light always shone through it…day and night. A small piece of duct tape corrected that problem and ensured us that no one was looking into our cabin.

    18. Tiffany
      April 16th, 2015 @ 1:10 pm

      good ideas, never thought about it. but some cruise lines do prohibit anything “sticky” on the cruise cabin itself…. (no tape on shower curtain, wall, regular curtains, etc) so check before you go, you may have to pack something else (like clothes pins) for some of those sneaky problems)

    19. bengfer
      September 5th, 2015 @ 12:06 pm

      Rather than duct tape, look for the better quality Gaffers tape. Its cloth instead of vinyl, stick better, and doesn’t leave the sticky residue behind that duct tape does. An 8 yard roll of 1″ tape is $4 on amazon.com, and is a much better choice.

    20. gail
      November 29th, 2015 @ 2:20 pm

      I tore away most of the inside cardboard of the roll so the whole thing weighed less and collapsed together to pack easier. Before I even made it to the ship a fellow cruiser used some of the tape to fix his luggage that had been damaged by airline.

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