1. Home
  2. Planning
  3. Cruise Tips and Advice
  4. 9 Reasons to Pack Duct Tape on Your Next Cruise

9 Reasons to Pack Duct Tape on Your Next Cruise

By Gina Kramer
Cruise Critic Editor
  • It's been said that duct tape fixes everything but a broken heart. So it's no surprise the multi-purpose adhesive is at the top of many cruisers' packing lists. Packing duct tape can help you combat wardrobe and luggage malfunctions, fix minor cabin quirks and act as a First Aid remedy. Bring an entire roll, or save room in your suitcase by wrapping only the amount you think you'll need around a sharpie or expired credit card.

    Bear in mind: If packing duct tape to use in your cabin, make sure it's okay with your cruise line. Some ban adhesives on doors and other surfaces, as they tend to leave behind a sticky residue. Cruise lines usually list these guidelines on their websites, but you can always call if you're unsure.

    If you're a sucker for vacation hacks that help you stay organized, here are nine reasons to pack duct tape on your next cruise.

    Photo: Madlen/Shutterstock

  • 1

    Remove Lint

    Want a lint roller that serves more than just one purpose? Duct tape is your answer. With the sticky side up, wrap one round of tape around your hand. Remove hair, lint and other particles from your clothes by gently dabbing your clothing. Remember to take caution with especially delicate items.

    Photo: Miyuki Satake/Shutterstock

  • 2

    Seal Curtains

    If you're easily awoken by light, don't want to know when the sun rises or happen to be cruising in Alaska or the Baltic when the midnight sun never sets, duct tape can be your best friend. Carefully place a few pieces around the drapes where light might peek through and prepare to sleep in. Don't forget to set your travel alarm clock.

    Photo: Vladimir Wrangel/Shutterstock

  • 3

    Fix Broken Luggage

    Whether the airline roughed up your suitcase or your bags were lovingly worn to begin with, your baggage is bound to get nicks and holes if you cruise enough times with it. Prevent any belongings from falling out by bandaging the holes up with some duct tape. You can even add some flair by using fun colors and prints. For other bags and backpacks, we recommend taping rips and tears from the inside.

    Photo: topnatthapon/Shutterstock

  • 4

    Repair Sandals

    Okay, so it's not the most stylish look. But if you're in port and one of your sandal straps pops off, the last thing you want to do is walk around barefoot. (You can only last so long clenching your toes around the loose strap in hopes the sandal will stay on your foot.) Duct tape can fix broken sandals in a pinch so your feet are safe until you can obtain new shoes.

    Photo: Merydolla/Shutterstock

  • 5

    Mend Torn Hems

    Torn hems are easier to fix than you might think. If the hem unravels on your jeans or blazer, simply attach a small piece of tape underneath the fold. No one will ever notice. Again, remember to use a soft touch with delicate fabrics.

    Photo: Lorraine Kourafas/Shutterstock

  • 6

    Make Your Luggage Standout

    We've all been there: waiting for your luggage at the carousel while antsy flyers hover around the conveyor belt like Black Friday shoppers ready to bust through a department store door. To make your bag stand out among the mob scene, use duct tape to mark an "X" or create a tag around the handle. Again, you can get creative by using a variety of colors and prints.

    Photo: Merydolla/Shutterstock

  • 7

    Keep Your Shower Curtain at Bay

    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.

    Photo: Cruise Critic

  • 8

    Hold Towels in Place

    Beach towel clips are cute and all, but they're a waste of money if you have duct tape on hand. When you're heading to the pool deck for some vitamin D, toss some duct tape in your tote bag. Use a couple of small pieces to attach your towel to the deck chair, and you'll never have to worry about your towel sliding down or falling off again.

    Photo: FloridaStock/Shutterstock

  • 9

    Heal Blisters

    Cruises require a lot of walking. You can easily spend an entire day walking around in port or finding your way around a ship. But all this walking can take a toll on your feet (even more if you wear heels on formal night). If you start to notice blisters and aren't able to get your hands on antibiotic cream and bandages right away, we have another solution: duct tape. Duct tape works best when applied before blisters form, but if you're too late, place a small piece of paper or tissue over the wound and then cover with duct tape. This will protect the area until you can get the First Aid products you need from the onboard shop.

    Photo: Boyblackcat/Shutterstock

Find a Cruise

Popular on Cruise Critic

Onboard Credit: How to Get It, Where to Spend It
Free. Money. Are there two more beautiful words in the English language? While money doesn't grow on trees, increasingly it can be found somewhere else -- on the high seas. Call it an incentive, call it a bonus; whatever you want to call it, onboard credit lets you spend more freely with less guilt. You've paid your cruise fare, and now you can splurge on those enticing extras -- Swedish massage, specialty restaurant, an excursion to snorkel among shipwrecks -- without busting your budget. Not many need convincing as to why onboard credit -- money automatically deposited into your onboard account-- rocks, but finding out exactly how to get it and where you can spend it is a bit trickier. We found eight ways to hit the OBC jackpot and offer even more suggestions on how to burn through it, although you probably have your own ideas already.
Best Time to Cruise
It's one of the most common cruising questions: When is the best time to cruise Alaska, Australia, the Caribbean, Canada/New England, Hawaii, Europe or the South Pacific? The answer depends on many variables. Fall foliage enthusiasts, for instance, will find September and October the best time to take that Canada/New England cruise, whereas water sports-lovers (and families) much prefer to sail the region in the summer when school is out and temperatures are warmer for swimming. The best time to cruise to Alaska will vary depending on your preferences for viewing wildlife, fishing, bargain-shopping, sunshine, warm weather and catching the northern lights. For most cruise regions, there are periods of peak demand (high season), moderate demand (shoulder season) and low demand (low season), which is usually the cheapest time to cruise. High season is typically a mix of when the weather is best and popular travel periods (such as summer and school holidays). However, the best time to cruise weather-wise is usually not the cheapest time to cruise. The cheapest time to cruise is when most travelers don't want to go because of chillier temperatures or inopportune timing (too close to holidays, the start of school, etc.). But the lure of cheap fares and uncrowded ports might make you change your mind about what you consider the best time to cruise. As you plan your next cruise, you'll want to take into consideration the best and cheapest times to cruise and see what jibes with your vacation schedule. Here's a when-to-cruise guide for popular destinations.
How To Choose a Cruise Ship Cabin: What You Need to Know
Your room on a cruise ship is called a cabin (or stateroom) and is akin to a hotel room, but typically much smaller. Choosing a cruise ship cabin can be fun and challenging at the same time, and not just a little bit frustrating on occasion. Cabins fall into different types or "categories," and some cruise lines will present as many as 20 or more categories per ship. Before you get overwhelmed, it's helpful to remember that there are essentially only four types of cabins on any cruise vessel: Inside: the smallest-sized room, with no window to the outside Outside: a room with a window or porthole (a round window) with a view to the outside, often similarly sized to an inside cabin or a bit larger; also known as oceanview Balcony: a room featuring a verandah that allows you to step outside without going up to a public deck Suite: a larger cabin, often with separate living and sleeping areas, and a wide variety of extra amenities and perks It's the permutations (size, view, location, amenities and price, for example) of the four basic cabin types that can make choosing difficult. In addition to knowing your cabin options, you need to know yourself: Do you tend to get seasick? Do you prefer to nest peaceably on your balcony rather than hanging with the crowd around the pool area? Conversely, is your idea of a stateroom simply a place to flop into bed at 1 a.m. -- no fancy notions necessary? Are there certain amenities you are willing to splurge on, or can you simply not justify paying for unnecessary perks? The answers will help guide you toward selecting the best stateroom for your money. If you're feeling overwhelmed by choice, we'll help you get started with this guide to choosing the best cruise cabins for you and your travel party.