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What to Pack for a Cuba Cruise

Not sure what to pack for your Cuba cruise? No worries, we’ve broken it down into the basic Cuba packing essentials. With summer temperatures into the 80s, you’ll want to be cool and comfortable while immersing yourself in the culture and exploring the picturesque Colonial architecture dating back to the 15th-century. Here’s a handy list of what to pack for your Cuba cruise!

Cuba Packing List: Clothing

Generally speaking, Cuba can be hot and humid, so lightweight, breathable fabrics like bamboo and cotton are excellent choices. Cuba is such a vibrant country, so don’t be afraid to show off your favorite colorful outfits!

Daytime Clothing Options

  • Sundresses are perfect for the Caribbean sunshine
  • Tank tops paired with breezy skirts
  • Tees and shorts
  • Tunics and capris
  • Linen pants are so versatile in warm weather
  • Swimwear (2 sets means 1 will always be dry)
  • Swimwear cover-up for when you’re in the elevator or grabbing lunch on board your ship
  • Accessories including sunglasses, a scarf, and a sun hat or a hip fedora
  • Crossbody purse or a day pack to carry your essentials
  • Wedges, sandals, comfortable walking shoes or flats
  • For guys: shorts, tees & lightweight khakis with flip-flops will do the trick
Visit Cabaret Tropicana on a Cuba Cruise with Norwegian

Evening Clothing Options

This is a chance to show off your style, especially if you're heading out to the famous Cabaret Tropicana. For formal dining rooms and specialty restaurants on board your ship, smart casual attire is preferred, meaning:

  • Dresses & maxi dresses
  • Tops & skirts
  • Pants or jeans
  • Dressier shoes
  • Stylish evening bag
  • Lightweight pashmina or sweater for those air-conditioned venues
  • For guys: collared shirts, dress pants/jeans with closed-toed shoes
  • Or for guys: lightweight linen slacks or suits, ties are optional
  • Formal nights: the choice is entirely yours if you’d like to dress up or not; if you do, suits and long gowns are popular choices, as are tuxedos and sparkly sequin dresses

And remember, there’s always laundry service on your cruise ship, so do your very best not to over pack!

Visit Havana on a Cuba Cruise with Norwegian

Cuba Travel Checklist: Unique Items

Even though Cuba has opened itself up to US tourism, it’s good to remember it’s still a developing country without a lot of foreign resources meaning basic, everyday items can be extremely limited in supply, and expensive.

  • Cash, cash, and cash, which you'll need to exchange into Cuban Convertible Pesos (CUC) after you arrive. Most US banks won't process credit card transactions from Cuba, and overall ATM access is extremely limited; however, European credit cards work with no problem
  • Extra batteries for your camera etc. as any batteries are very expensive
  • Feminine hygiene products, cosmetics, and contact lenses, as well as pain relief products, are also expensive to purchase in Cuba, so plan ahead.
  • Donations: if you’re so inclined, you can gift school or art supplies, toys, clothing and sports equipment to be given directly to organizations.

Packing for Cuba: The Essentials

  • Photocopies of your passport/insurance to keep on your person
  • Personal medications
  • Toiletries in TSA compliant sizes
  • Basic medical items: Band-Aids, first aid cream, anti-diarrheal and upset stomach over-the-counter medications, along with hand sanitizer
  • Sunblock
  • Mosquito repellant
  • Camera or cell phone for those amazing pics (although Wi-Fi isn’t always a given)
Cruise to Cuba with Norwegian

For more information on cruising to Cuba, read Why You Should Take a Cuba Cruise and how to Explore Havana Like a Local.