When sailing on a Princess cruise, you'll want to pack all the typical vacation items: comfortable clothes for exploring in port, hats and sunscreen, good reading material, etc. But there are a few items you'll want to bring specifically because you're sailing with Princess. Here's our Princess cruise packing list to be used in conjunction with our general cruise packing list.
If you're sailing on one of Princess' ships outfitted with OceanMedallion technology, be sure to order and pack your OceanMedallion, since it replaces the traditional cabin keycard and serves as your ship ID and onboard credit card.
Since the quarter-sized medallions could be easy to lose, Princess pairs them all with lanyards for safekeeping and easy wearing, but you can also buy more fashionable accessories (athletic wristbands, necklaces, clips, etc.) to hold them. If you've purchased your accessory in advance or have one from a previous sailing, don't forget to throw it in your carry-on, along with your OceanMedallion.
A cell phone is always a travel must, but it's especially useful on Princess Cruises' Medallion-class ships. Download the various Princess apps, and you can use your phone for faster check-in at the terminal or to order drinks to be delivered anywhere onboard, play online games, look up the day's activities and even find where your travel companions are currently hanging out onboard. (You can even dress your phone for the part with a nautical phone case.)
Princess ships have a lot of pools, including adults-only pools, pools with adjacent movie screens, kid pools, therapy pools and swim-against-the-current pools. Add hot tubs, saunas/steam rooms and splash pads, and you could be spending a lot of vacation time in your swimsuit. Make sure you bring a few so you don't have to struggle into yesterday's still-damp suit.
Princess still offers formal nights, and we did see men rocking tuxes and ladies in stylish dresses. Even if you're a buffet-goer, consider packing a nice outfit for photos at the Captain's Welcome Aboard Party and Champagne Waterfall, which usually take place on the first formal night of the cruise. Also, if you plan to audition for the Voice of the Ocean, Princess' version of a reality TV singing competition, bring a special outfit to wear for the finale, should you make it that far. The judges reward good stage presence as much as good singing.
In our cabin, there were two 110V outlets by the desk, but they were so narrow and close together that one cord effectively blocked the use of the other outlet. If you've got a lot of electronics to charge, consider bringing some sort of plug extender so you can charge multiple devices at once. Just make sure your adaptor does not have a surge protector, which is banned by the cruise line.
Princess' in-cabin bathrooms offer dispensers of generic shampoo and body wash; you won't find individual bottles of conditioner and shower gel. If the generic stuff tends to dry out your skin or depress your curls, you'll want to pack your own toiletries (in TSA-approved bottles if you're flying).
In our experience, public rooms onboard -- such as the dining room and theater -- are strongly air-conditioned in the Caribbean. We might have been sweating on the beach all day, but we were still shivering over our Baked Alaska at dinner. If you're sensitive to A/C, we recommend bringing a sweater, pashmina or jacket to keep you warm through dinner and a show onboard.
Unlike some cruise lines, Princess doesn't prohibit passengers from bringing soda and bottled water onboard. If you want to save money or you have a favorite soft drink that the ships don't carry onboard, add a 12-pack or two onto your packing checklist, and carry a small soft-sided cooler onboard.