What Should a Prepper Pack in a Cruise Emergency Bag?

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What Should a Prepper Pack in a Cruise/Emergency Bag?

Earlier this year we decided to book a cruise for our 15th anniversary, taking the whole family (2 adults, 3 boys). Living in Texas, we're a short drive from the port of Galveston, which means we don't have to pay for airfare. This makes traveling to another country (even if it's just for a day or two) relatively cheap!

So I found a five day cruise to Mexico for a good price and booked it. Can you guess what ship I booked it on? Yup, the Carnival Triumph! In case you didn't see the news, the Triumph was the ship that lost power in the Gulf of Mexico recently and had to be towed back to port. After seeing some of the passenger reports it appears the news media seriously exaggerated the conditions on the ship (so what else is new?), but it still wasn't anyone's idea of an ideal vacation.

Fortunately we were able to switch to a different ship leaving from Galveston the same weekend, but that got me to thinking - everyone talks about Bug Out Bags and Get Home Bags, but how would you pack an emergency bag for a situation like this? What should we take for our upcoming trip?

To begin, let's set a few ground rules.

  1. Most people would be flying to board a cruise, and we're travelling in a small, tightly-packed car, so we want as minimal a bag as possible.
  2. We're only planning for the possibility of delays and inconvenience, not for a shipwreck! So no life vests, shark repellent, etc.
  3. We're onboard a ship, and have to go through security, so no need for firemaking/cooking items, no weapons, etc.
  4. This kit is just emergency items, not all those little items that frequent travelers would tell you to take on a cruise anyway.

So first we've got the items that we'd be taking anyway; we'll just carry a few extra items in the emergency bag:

Now, for the extra stuff that we hopefully won't need:

  • Food - no need to pack MREs, just throw in some protein bars that are 200-300 calories each. 4 total per person should be fine, we're assuming food service wouldn't be totally suspended for days.
  • First aid kit
  • Over the counter medicines - at the very least, something for headaches and tummy trouble.
  • Extra prescription medicines - I'd carry an extra 5 days worth.
  • USB charger, either hand-cranked or solar powered.
  • Duct tape and para-cord - don't leave home without them!
  • A knife or scissors - nothing massive that's going to alarm anyone who might see it on an x-ray.
  • Emergency poncho (1 per person).
  • Space blanket (1 per person) - you can use it for warmth on a cold weather cruise or for shade if you're stuck without power and AC in the tropics.
  • Trash bags.
  • No-rinse soap and  shampoo - in case the water goes out.

I figure all of this for five people should fit into a small school-size backpack that will just be one of our carry-ons. Can you think of anything I missed?


What Should a Prepper Pack in a Cruise/Emergency Bag?

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  1. Vanessa says

    I totally wished we brought our walkie talkies when we went in a cruise recently with 4 adults, one child. It would have made a big difference.

  2. Linda says

    Along with everything you have listed; a small container of bleach, I use one designed for liquid toiletry items with a flip top lid. I recently found some great mini spray tubes I will use next cruise. The bleach can sanitize water, surfaces, even you if needed. Zip lock bags and mini tissue packs, We take a few 5 hour energy drinks, fruit chew snacks (husband is a diabetic), some hard candies, trail mix, besides the high calorie protein bars and single drink mix packs. I always pack my personal emergency kit (think Altodis tin style) from my get home bag, out of the car once we get to the dock. Deck of cards for boredom. Almost all of our items will fit into two Fanny packs that we can wear on our person if we must vacate the cabin. And so we don't have to worry about thieft while sleeping in the open with others, Our passport, money etc go in wearable neck or belt items. Our water bottles, and other items are also wear able or can attach to the fanny belt.

  3. Nancy says

    I would include homemade ORS(oral rehydration solution) primarily because of the kids. Simple recipe: 6teaspoons sugar,1/2teaspoon salt, added to 1 liter safe water. If anyone gets diarrhea encourage 1/4-1/2 of bottle per loose stool episode.

  4. says

    My only thought would be a flint/fire starter. Sorry but starting a fire on a deserted island with just sticks wouldn't be fun. At least it would fit in an altoid size tin and you'd be assured a hot meal if necessary. Fish from the ocean, so a hook and some line.

  5. says

    You forgot flashlights! If Power is knocked out (as it has before on two cruise occasions) or in an emergency in the evening, you will need to see your way around. I always pack one small LED flashlight for each of us, and a small lantern light.

    We are "disaster prone" on all of our vacations, having gone through three hurricanes, one tornado and one flash flood while away! We know it's coming when we go on a vacation!

  6. Kris says

    I know you said knife or scissors (small) but I would substitute my Leatherman for that just because it has many of the small items that could come in handy. I'd add a small eyeglass repair kit too.

  7. says

    We went to Alaska for almost 2 weeks on a cruise last year, and took most of the thing you listed. I also found a small roll of scented plastic bags-for bathroom trash cans-that we included. Just in case of loss of water-they would make great potty bags!

  8. Seth says

    TP, never go anywhere without them. I know baby wipes are a substitute, but I would rather bathe with those than use them to wipe.

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