The Dollar Tree strikes again! Here are over 30 Dollar Tree Cruise prep ideas that you won’t want to miss out on before your next cruise!
Best Dollar Tree Cruise Items
All vacations require different items to be packed and brought with you.
A cruise is no different. Although they are typically “all-inclusive” that doesn’t mean they are going to give you everything you need!
Although cruises are really an affordable way to travel, they are an investment. So I think it’s good to save money for some of the things you will be bringing with you by shopping at the Dollar Tree.
Now, if you’ve read many of our posts, you know I have a soft spot for the Dollar Tree. I really think it’s one of the greatest stores on the planet – especially when it comes to cruising.
I think that when you go on a cruise, you shouldn’t bring your top of the line products – you don’t want to bring things that if you leave them on the ship or at one of your destinations, you won’t be devastated.
And that’s where the Dollar Tree comes in. You can get a lot of helpful things for your cruise to make it a simpler and more enjoyable trip. So you may already have a lot of these things at home, but I think it’s good to bring their cheaper counterparts with you.
Many of the items below I have mentioned in this post – 22 Things I Wish I’d Packed for My Cruise (and 11 Things I’m Glad I Did). However, there should be a few new ideas that you might appreciate!
Keep in mind that many of these are seasonal products that won’t be in stock until spring/summer.
Now, The Dollar Tree isn’t known for having the highest quality toys – but they are definitely cheap. If you are taking your children on your cruise, make sure you pick up some of their sand toys. It’s not a big deal if you lose them while you are gone, but they are WAY cheaper than buying sand toys at the beach on your cruise. Trust me.
I strongly recommend getting some water bottles to bring with you on the cruise ship. On our cruise, in the main deck with the buffet, they had water and lemonade dispensers you could use at any time (for free!). I filled up my water bottle at the beginning of the day with ice and water here. I just thought it was nice to have a water bottle with me, rather than having to run back to that deck to get water anytime I was thirsty.
Bring a couple of pairs of sunglasses! I wish I’d brought sunglasses on our cruise with us. The Dollar Tree has a surprisingly good selection for both adults and children. I would leave your favorite part of $30 sunglasses at home 🙂
Your room should have a closet where you can hang up your clothes, and I recommend doing this so you can store away your suitcases. Remember – most staterooms aren’t super large, so space is important. You can get eight hangers for $1 – can’t be beat!
Clothespins can be used for various things – drying out swimming suits, hanging up things in your stateroom, or for clipping your towel to a beach chair. A lot of people will bring fancy towel clips, but these can work, too. Color them with a marker or paint before you leave so they stand out!
The staterooms can get DARK, especially if you are in an interior cabin like we were. A nightlight is a great way to make it easier for the middle of the night bathroom trips without waking up the whole cabin. Plus, if you have your children, they may feel a little more at ease if they have a light at night. They have all sorts of plugin ones at The Dollar Tree – including some fun ones for children with popular characters.
Ideally, it would be nice to have one that doesn’t require an outlet. On the Dollar Tree website, they have LED Push Lights that would work great, as well as some luminescent tea lights. I think either would be a good option for a little bit more light.
I love these little speakers at the Dollar Tree! Great for amplifying the sound on a movie on your iPad or just for a stateroom dance party!
I know a lot of people could care less about exercising on a cruise, but if you are looking to avoid cruise weight gain, you might want to bring along some of the Dollar Tree’s exercise videos. I personally preferred using the exercise facilities, but if you have a laptop that has a DVD player, these would be great for stateroom exercise. You probably won’t be able to access online exercise videos unless you have top tier Internet (and even though, they typically will limit streaming).
Did you bring a nice outfit for the formal dining nights? Protect it with one of these garment bags. I actually have been quite pleased with the quality of their garment bags.
learn more about cruise clothing in this post!
Less is more on a cruise – you really should try and pack as light as possible (ironic for me to say that when I’m giving you a big list of things to bring). But these vacuum storage bags can give you a lot more space in your suitcase.
So I’m not 100% sure if I can endorse this anymore because I’ve heard that some cruise ships will confiscate them…but if they don’t, a surge protector can be helpful because there are almost no outlets in most staterooms. You should be able to get a 3 outlet or 6 outlet wall tap that you can buy at The Dollar Tree that would be a better option!
I have seen USB wall taps at The Dollar Tree, which can give you an extra spot for charging at least.
I had a really hard time not thinking about all the germs on our cruise ship, and fortunately, none of us got sick. However, I’m sure you’ve heard horror stories about whole cruise ships getting the stomach flu or something like that. So just bring some antibacterial wet wipes to quickly wipe your hands down before you eat, after you participate in an activity where other people are touching everything you are (such as in a casino), etc. This can also be helpful for cleaning up small messes in your stateroom. The Dollar Tree also has lots of hand sanitizer, so pick up some of that as well.
I love all the travel sized medications you can buy at The Dollar Tree. Just stock up on all the essentials – because I assure you, the medicine on your cruise ship will be far over price. Tylenol, ibuprofen, cough medicine, anti-diarrheals…grab it all.
These diaper disposal bags are super helpful if you have a diapered child with you. We realized pretty quickly that it got really stinky, really fast, with Oliver’s poopy diapers. We got a few bags from our room’s housekeeper, but it would have been good to have these ourselves.
I discovered these travel toothpaste and toothbrush packs at The Dollar Tree while I was perusing a while back, and I think they’d be perfect to bring on a cruise. Compact and inexpensive.
These Crest mini-brushes were really intriguing to me. They are a little toothbrushes/picks that require no water, so you could easily brush your teeth after your meals if you ate something that gave you bad breath (garlic, anyone?).
I’ve mentioned in some of our other posts how we were in a room that was SUPER close to the engine of the ship, and this made for some rather loud times whenever the cruise would leave and arrive anywhere. This was sometimes while we were sleeping, and it made it hard for me to get very restful sleep during the time. So bring earplugs from the Dollar Tree – there are quite a few in the package, and if you are a light sleeper, you will be grateful you had them.
First aid supplies – as I mentioned above, stock up on medication as well as other first aid supplies. You just never know what might happen on the ship! They have some nice little first aid kids that would be helpful to have.
Travel sized tissues! You always need tissues.
While the dining facilities were all very accommodating to our children, they didn’t really have children plates or cups, so I was constantly worried about my kids (mainly Oliver) knocking his glass cup over. You could bring some Dollar Tree cups and utensils for easier dining, as well as to store snacks and drinks during the day.
I think it’s usually pretty helpful to have a notebook of some kind with you so you can write down notes, keep track of your itinerary, etc.
Sticky notes are great for leaving notes or reminders for yourself or others in your stateroom.
I think it’s good to always buy glow sticks for vacations! On our cruise, I know they had an activity once where they had glow sticks, but you had to buy them. These are just an inexpensive buy to have on hand. You never know when you’ll need them.
If you need to save some space, bring along these magic towels. They actually turn into decent face towels (for children, at least!), and kids love them.
Cheap flip flops are helpful – whether just for walking around the beach or the cruise ship, or if you want to wear them in the shower.
This over-the-door hanger is awesome. The staterooms are small, and it’s helpful to organize things as well as you can. This can give you a little bit more space. They have a variety of styles available.
Similar to the sand toys, buy some cheap beach toys – like a blow up balloon – at the Dollar Tree!
These aren’t the highest quality, but again, if you don’t want to bring along your fanciest goggles for your kids in fear of losing them, grab a couple of these.
We just thought these sunglass cords seemed useful to help you not forget to bring them with you!
Here are a few other things I forgot to get pictures of:
Poncho – in case you aren’t blessed with good weather on the cruise, make sure you bring along a poncho. While there are plenty of indoor corridors, you will likely have to go outside at some point, and a poncho would be useful.
Pop up laundry basket or laundry bag – The Dollar Tree has a few different compact laundry options. These are great for having in your stateroom so you can keep your dirty clothes separate from your clean clothes.
Clothes Line – This would be great for hanging up wet swimming suits, especially since you aren’t really supposed to hang them over the edge of your balcony (if you happen to have one).
Air Fresheners – I’ve said it before, but the staterooms can quickly get stinky – and if you are on an interior room or a room with just a porthole, there really isn’t a lot of air flow. I always like the free-standing air fresheners that you can buy at the Dollar Tree.
Over the door shoe organizer – This is a popular item that people suggest to bring on your cruise to have better organization in your room. I don’t see these often at the Dollar Tree, but it would be a great find if you stumble on one.
Travel Size Detergent – If you are on a longer cruise, you’ll probably want to do some laundry. Save yourself some money and buy a package of this. Since it’s clearly packaged, you shouldn’t have issues with security thinking you are bringing something sketchy. And it’s surely less expensive than anything on the ship!
Travel Size Bottles – these are helpful for putting your favorite shampoos, lotions, and conditioners so you don’t have to haul along the bottles (Trust me, the shampoo and conditioner they have in the shower are no good).
Travel Size Shampoos – If you aren’t super particular about your shampoo, just pick up some travel size shampoos, conditioners and body wash at the Dollar Tree! I especially love these baby packs.
Watch – If you don’t plan to bring your phone around with you everywhere, grabbing a cheap Dollar Tree watch is a great idea to make sure you stay on cruise ship time!
Noodles – Now, I don’t think I’d bring this along, personally, because they take up a lot of room. But if you feel like you’d want one on a beach, you could fold one up in your suitcase to bring along. Noodles at the Dollar Tree are as inexpensive as they come!
Bubbles – I think that bubbles are always fun for kids and adults alike. I saw someone suggest blowing bubbles as you depart from your port, which seemed kind of fun. These are great for entertaining younger children as well. I LOVE the bubbles from the Dollar Tree – well, the ones that have characters on them. I find them to be very high quality.
Chapstick – The ocean air can dry out your lips quickly! Pick up a couple packages of chapstick for your family!
Tide to Go Pens – Always helpful for getting out stains quickly, especially if you don’t want to do a full load of laundry but don’t want the stain to sit for days on end.
Did I miss anything? Be sure to chime in below!
Other Dollar Tree Posts You May Enjoy:
- The Best Dollar Tree Travel Hacks, Products, and Tips
- Dollar Tree Coupons: Everything You Need to Know!
- The Best Dollar Tree Disney Souvenirs to Buy BEFORE your Trip
Katie is a Colorado-native, BYU graduated, and most importantly, wife to one and mother to three beautiful boys. She is passionate about sharing her experiences with others – especially about pregnancy, breastfeeding, cooking, and crafts. She is currently training to be a Certified Lactation Educator. She loves spending time with her family and helping others find joy in family life.
Susan K says
i found all of the things I mention on amazon, but I”m sure they can be found elsewherel!
We take strong magnetic hooks. We keep our hats, lanyards, covid mask hung up! My toiletry case unzips and has a hanger, I hang it on the inside of the bathroom door. I found a rechargeable, motion detecting night light AND IT IS MAGNETIC!! We put it right outside the bathroom door, so we don’t need the bright light. It charges with the same cord as our android phone. Pleasant surprise – Symphony has a auto night light in the bathroom. Hope all ships get them!! The kids had a ball with light bracelets and magnetic letters and animals on the walls. I always carry a highlighter to mark in the cruise compass what I want to do. Its in the app, but I like to have paper sometimes. We went with family in Sept 2021, in Aug 2022 it will be just the two of us!!. Your tips are wonderful. I’m always learning new ideas! Cruising since 1988, still learn something new eachntime.
Jenifer Hollett says
I’ve gotten those folding fabric boxes in various sizes. Some Cruise lines don’t have many drawers and these foldable boxes give you ability to organize things and act as drawers on the shelves.
You can get beads too, for sail away parties.
Teresa B says
Clear packing tape and scissors. I always take an over-the-door shoe organizer, but the bottom swings as the ship sways. Packing tape to the rescue! I’ve used it for lots of other things too!
Hangers are 10/$1 at Walmart but I was able to find clearance ones for adults and kids at $.10/10pk and bought a slew of them.
Great tips! Taking a Disney cruise with 150 friends and family so I’d love to get some things for the cruise on clearance this summer for next summer! Thanks so much!
Thanks for sharing as well. I hope you have so much fun!
Deena Lee says
Plastic shower curtain hooks for hanging items
Pick up one (or more) of the daily medicine dispenser. Keep your earrings or rings in them.
I find the expandable files they sell are wonderful for keeping all of the daily bits of paper one picks up while aboard ship or at ports of call.
Dry- erase markers for the mirror makes an extra large message board for the staff or a loved one inside the room (and is easily erasable)
Magnets – Most of the ship’s walls are magnetized.
Thanks for sharing. All great ideas!
You are a GENIUS! My husband almost always loses sunglasses on vacations, so we may have to get some from the dollar tree next time! And we are always forgetting night lights when we go places, too! It’s rough with kids 🙂