Are you looking for cruise gift ideas for someone who loves cruising? Maybe a friend or family member is going on their very first cruise, and you’d like to choose a cruise present or maybe make a cruise gift basket for them.

My updated 2021 cruise gift ideas guide includes everything a cruiser might need to enjoy their vacation even more. Plus, I’m including gifts for every budget. From small stocking stuffers to splurge cruise gifts for someone you love, all the perfect cruise gift ideas are right here for you.

My cruise gift basket suggestions are at the bottom, so be sure to read all the way through!

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Cruise stocking stuffers under $20

Looking for inexpensive cruise gifts to add to a gift basket or stocking? All of these cruise gifts are small enough to fit, and can make a cruise even more enjoyable.

Nautical face mask

Cruisers are going to need face masks when social distancing isn’t possible. So why not pick them a fun one with a nautical motif?

This ship’s wheel face mask offers full nose and mouth coverage and has two 6-inch elastic ear loops. Plus, the manufacturer will donate $1 from every mask sold to help feed kids in need in the US.

Magnetic hooks

Did you know that cruise stateroom walls are made of metal? These strong magnetic hooks can hold everything from hats and jackets to bags. They’re a great way to keep a cruise cabin neat when there’s limited storage.

I like to use mine to hang damp swimsuits to dry when it’s inconvenient to use the clothesline in the shower. (Like when people need the shower for showering.)

Lounge chair towel clips

It can get windy up on the pool deck, so these lounge chair towel clips come in handy to keep towels in place. They also make it clear that your lounger is reserved when you take a dip in the pool or the hot tub.

The clips are also great to take along on any beach-bound shore excursions.

Power strip with USB

Cruise staterooms never have enough power outlets! With all of the electronic devices that we need to keep charged, it can be a struggle to find a spot for everyone to plug in.

A non-surge protecting power strip will give your cruiser enough outlets and USB ports to keep everything powered up. Plus, it’s cruise-friendly! Surge protecting power strips are usually prohibited on cruise ships.


Stateroom bathrooms have no ventilation, so odors tend to permeate the entire cabin. Yuck. Poo-Pourri traps the odors in the toilet bowl before they have a chance to hit the air.

The travel-size pump spray is TSA friendly, and the non-toxic formula is made with essential oils and natural compounds.

Battery-operated night light

Cruise staterooms can be pitch-black at night, especially the inside staterooms. A battery-operated nightlight gives off just enough light to safely get to the bathroom without tripping over someone’s shoes.

I like the motion-sensor feature on this model (which can be switched on or off). Plus, it doesn’t take up a valuable electrical outlet, and can be placed on a nightstand or carried around.

Wrinkle release spray

Cruise lines prohibit passengers from carrying on irons or clothes steamers, so it can be difficult to keep clothing looking neat and pressed.

Wrinkle release spray quickly removes wrinkles from most fabrics. Just hang the item, spray lightly, and tug out any wrinkles. Plus, it adds a light scent so it’s possible to re-wear things if there isn’t a laundry room for guests.

Read more: How to Prevent Wrinkled Clothes on a Cruise

Waterproof luggage tag holders

Cruise lines require each piece of checked luggage to have one of their printed labels on it. They instruct passengers to fold the paper label, and use a stapler to attach it to suitcases and bags.

A water-damaged tag (or one that falls off!) means that cruise line staff won’t know which room the bag belongs to. I use reusable waterproof luggage tag holders to protect my bag labels.

Make sure you pick the right style for the cruise line. The ones above will work for Princess, Carnival, Costa, Holland America, P&O, and Norwegian. Royal Caribbean and Celebrity have different size tags.

Money belt

Pickpockets and thieves love it when a cruise ship comes into port. They often prey on unsuspecting tourists whose money and valuables aren’t secured.

Help your cruiser avoid being a target by giving them a money belt. It’s not just useful for hiding cash! Their passport and smartphone can also fit inside.

Collapsible water bottle

Single-use water can be expensive on cruise ships and in port, not to mention the environmental impact of all those plastic bottles.

Tap water on cruise ships is perfectly safe to drink. A collapsible water bottle is the perfect size to pack in a suitcase, and will save your cruiser money while out on shore excursions.

Packable shopping bags

Many cruise ports are shopping meccas, and a lightweight packable shopping bag can hold all of those souvenirs – up to 50 pounds! They fold down into a little pouch, the perfect size for tossing in a purse or beach bag.

It also does double-duty as a laundry bag (I hang mine in the stateroom closet) or to keep shoes separate from clothing in a suitcase.

Power Bank

My smartphone gets quite a workout when we’re in port. Pulling up maps and directions, looking up restaurant reviews, and checking in at home often leaves me with a dead battery! A small power bank will charge it right back up.

It works to charge tablets as well. I make sure to bring mine on those long coach drives when the port is far away from the city destination. No more worries that reading or playing a game will drain the battery.

Read more about must-have cruise accessories: The 19 Best Cruise Accessories You Need to Pack

Reef-safe sunscreen

Did you know that most commercial sunscreens contain ingredients that can be harmful to marine life? Some chemical sunscreen ingredients like oxybenzone and octinoxate can kill coral and damage coral reefs.

Going without sunscreen is a dangerous idea when swimming or snorkeling, so if your cruiser will be in the water, get them some reef-safe sunscreen.

Waterproof phone pouch

Your cruiser can enjoy the ship’s pool or a shore excursion to the beach while keeping their phone handy and safe. These waterproof phone pouches come with a detachable neck strap and fit phones up to 6.8″ diagonal.

And yes, the touchscreen works through the clear plastic window. They can even be used to take photos underwater!

Cruise gift ideas for a holiday swap ($20-$50)

Many people participate in a holiday gift swap. Whether it’s a Secret Santa or Kris Kringle, or your family (like mine!) draws names for a gift swap, sometimes it’s tough to find just the right gift and still stay within the swap budget.

All the cruise gift ideas in this section are right in the price range of most gift swap budgets.

Travel safe

On the pool deck or at the beach, it’s never a good idea to leave valuables out where they can be stolen. This mini travel safe is roomy enough to hold money, jewelry, and most phones while swimming.

It attaches easily to a lounge chair with a flexible metal strap. Your cruiser will love knowing that their valuables are secure while they’re enjoying the water.

Full-face snorkel mask

Does your cruiser enjoy snorkeling? Then they’ll love the 180° view they’ll experience with this full-face snorkel mask. The mask features adjustable straps, an easy drain valve, and anti-fog coating. It even has a GoPro mount to capture all of those underwater adventures!

I’ve saved far more than I spent on my set by not having to rent snorkel equipment in port. Plus I feel better about not putting a germy rental snorkel in my mouth.

Read more: Why You Need a Full Face Snorkel Mask for Your Next Cruise

Over-the-door organizer

Give your cruiser the gift of more storage space in their stateroom. An over-the-door organizer can corral toiletries and accessories on the back of the bathroom door.

This one is flame-retardant, as is required by some cruise lines. I keep the packaging with mine to prove to my stateroom steward that it meets the rules.

Note: Disney Cruise Line has banned over-the-door hooks because they might mar the finish of the doors.

Packing cubes

Organizing and packing a suitcase for a cruise is so much easier with packing cubes. I keep my items inside when I unpack, and just place them on the closet shelves or drawers. The see-through mesh makes it easy to see what’s inside each cube.

The gentle compression of the packing cubes also results in less-wrinkled clothing.

Travel Board Games

One of my favorite things to bring on a cruise is a travel-sized board game, like Tile Lock Scrabble. Its slightly smaller size makes it easy to pack, and the tiles won’t shift if the board is bumped – perfect for playing on the ship or on a plane.

A travel board game, or a fun card or dice game makes an inexpensive but appreciated gift for a friend, coworker, or family member that’s going on a cruise.

Check out my other 40+ recommended games to take on a cruise ship. There’s something for everyone from kids to adults.

Mid-range gifts for cruisers

Is your budget for your cruise gift a bit more generous, but you don’t want to completely splurge? I have plenty of ideas for cruise gifts in the $40-$130 range.

Anti-theft travel bag

Pickpockets love it when tourists are carrying bags that are easy to get into. An anti-theft travel bag will keep money and valuables safe from thieves. With locking clips on the zippers and slash-proof straps, this bag will prevent pickpockets from accessing its contents.

I use mine as my cruise carry on bag for embarkation day, as well as for shore excursions.

Read more: What to Pack in Your Cruise Carry On Bag

Packable rain jacket

I used to take an ugly plastic poncho with me when I cruised, in case I was caught in the rain in port. I didn’t feel like taking a bulky raincoat. But plastic ponchos are ridiculously ugly.

My favorite packable rain jacket folds into its own pocket, and doesn’t take up much room in a shore excursion bag. Much nicer looking than an ugly poncho! It also comes in men’s sizes here.


Is your gift recipient cruising to an area with lots of wildlife? On our recent cruise to Alaska, I was so thankful that we had binoculars. From the deck of a cruise ship, what were just tiny moving dots to the naked eye suddenly became a mama bear and her cub, or a pod of porpoises.

These full-size 10 x 50 binoculars feature low-light night vision for evening viewing, and have a shock-resistant, non-slip rubber coating.

A backpack for active shore excursions

Is hiking or a bike tour on your cruiser’s agenda? A quality backpack would be a much-appreciated gift. This 26-liter pack is the perfect size to fit all the essentials for an active shore excursion.

A comfortable, functional backpack makes all the difference when taking an active shore excursion. Padded shoulder straps as well as a hip belt and sternum strap ensure that weight is distributed evenly.

Splurge gifts for cruisers

Do you want to get something really great for a loved one who’s going on a cruise? These cruise gift ideas are a little more pricey, but your cruiser will love them!

Suitcase with USB charger

Is your cruiser still using that beat-up suitcase from a high school trip abroad? Bring them into the modern era of travel with a new expandable rollaboard.

This one is slim enough to easily slip under a cruise ship bed, but roomy enough to fit all the essentials. Plus it has a USB port for charging on the go.

Noise-canceling Bluetooth headphones

Mr. SBC and I each have a pair of Beats Studio3 headphones, and we wouldn’t cruise (or fly on a plane!) without them. They pair easily with any smartphone or tablet, and the noise-canceling feature is amazing at blocking out crowd noise.

I love to use mine to listen to music on our balcony, or to listen to an audiobook while lounging on the pool deck. Throw in a subscription to Audible, and your cruiser will be all set to relax!

GoPro camera

The newest and best GoPro camera yet, the HERO9 Black is a fun gadget to take along on shore excursions! I love that it’s waterproof so I can use it to document my snorkeling adventures.

A fun feature of the GoPro is its time-lapse video function. I like to set it up to record the view from my window or balcony while I’m having fun around the ship.

Tablet or e-reader

I think there’s nothing more relaxing than sitting by the pool and reading a book. But traveling with bulky paperbacks gets annoying, especially if you’re trying to pack light. An e-reader or tablet is a great gift for a book-loving cruiser.

This Kindle Paperwhite model is waterproof and glare-free, perfect for poolside or beach reading.

Add a subscription to Kindle Unlimited to make your gift complete.

Give the gift of a cruise!

With all the amazing cruise deals you can find right now, why not surprise your family with a cruise vacation?

A cruise can be such an affordable vacation for the whole family, with activities for all ages, delicious (and unlimited!) food, and the chance to see multiple destinations in one trip.

Read more: Seven Reasons Why a Cruise Can be a Cheap Vacation

Wrapping it up

How can you make your cruise gift even more fun? Wrap it in a nautical theme! This gift wrap multi-pack includes a classic navy-and-white anchor wrapping paper, ship’s wheels, and a cute whale pattern.

Or maybe you despise wrapping gifts? I hear you. Gift bags are much faster and easier! Check out this cute anchor tissue paper that pairs well with blue and gold kraft paper gift bags.

Cruise gift basket ideas

Can’t decide on just one or two cruise gift ideas? Why not make a cruise gift basket? Instead of using a boring wicker basket, give your gifts in a packable pop-up laundry basket that they can use during their cruise.

Is your cruiser going to a tropical destination? Or do they have a summer cruise planned? A cute beach bag makes the perfect packaging for a warm-weather cruise gift.

Another fun basket alternative is a lightweight packable backpack. This would be a great way to pack some cruise essentials for a kid who’s going on a cruise.

Cruise gift basket filler ideas

Need some more ideas for filling that cruise gift basket?

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Which of these cruise gift ideas is your favorite? Let me know in the comments!

2021 Ultimate Cruise Gift Ideas Guide2021 Ultimate Cruise Gift Ideas Guide2021 Ultimate Cruise Gift Ideas Guide

About the Author

Carrie Ann is the founder of Should Be Cruising and a lifelong travel fanatic. A former flight attendant, she now prefers cruise ships over airplanes and spends several months each year cruising and exploring cruise ports. Facebook | Instagram

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