I packed for a Disney cruise with just a carry-on and purse. There were 3 things I was glad I brought and 5 I regretted not having.

The Disney Wish docked at Castaway Cay in September 2022.
A view of the Disney Wish ship at Castaway Cay in the Bahamas.Amanda Krause/Insider
  • I took a three-day trip on the Disney Wish cruise with stops in the Bahamas in September 2022.

  • Instead of checking luggage, I brought only a carry-on bag and a small purse with me.

  • I was happy to have limited makeup and an instant camera, but I wished I'd brought warmer clothes.

I took a three-day cruise on Disney's newest ship, the Wish, in September 2022. Instead of checking luggage, I brought only a carry-on bag and personal item with me.

The bags reporter Amanda Krause brought on her three-day Disney Wish cruise.
I brought this crossbody purse and average-size duffel bag with me.Amanda Krause/Insider

I chose to pack light for two reasons. First, I had to travel from New Jersey to Florida and didn't want to carry a ton with me or pay extra to check a bag.

But the main reason I brought only a purse and duffel bag was because of my lack of experience. This was my first cruise vacation, and I had no idea what to expect or pack.

I was so happy that I brought a variety of clothes, from tank tops to jeans.

Reporter Amanda Krause on the Disney Wish cruise ship at night.
In my duffel bag, I packed tank tops, shorts, and jeans.Amanda Krause/Insider

The weather was sunny and warm during days on the ship, so I found myself wearing tank tops and shorts. But when the wind picked up at night, I was eager to change into jeans.

But I wished I had brought more jackets with me.

The Walt Disney Theatre inside the Disney Wish cruise ship.
The Broadway-like Walt Disney Theatre was always cold when I visited.Amanda Krause/Insider

I expected a chill in the air during nights at sea, but I wasn't prepared for the cold air-conditioning that blasted indoors at all times. My sister and I found ourselves shivering at restaurants, in the Walt Disney Theatre, and at bars.

We each had a thin jacket with us but wished we would've brought thicker pullovers and long-sleeved shirts.

I also wish I'd packed some themed outfits or fancy dresses for dinner.

Reporter Amanda Krause on the Disney Wish cruise ship.
This satin sundress was the only one I'd brought with me.Amanda Krause/Insider

Disney Cruise Line doesn't have a very strict dress code, so my sister and I didn't think we'd need any formal clothes for our dinners. And technically, we didn't.

But at a Marvel-themed dinner on the first night of the trip, cruise travelers arrived dressed as superheroes. And for our dinner at 1923 — a restaurant inspired by the Walt Disney Company's history — we saw people in flapper dresses and suits.

We were fine wearing our everyday clothes, but it would've been fun to participate with more festive outfits.

I was really focused on packing light when it came to beauty products, and it was helpful each morning when getting ready.

Makeup in a Ziploc bag for traveling.
I only brought the essentials, like sunscreen, contact solution, and a little makeup.Amanda Krause/Insider

I planned to spend a lot of time outdoors and in the ocean, so I didn't want to worry about how my foundation looked in the process.

So by not having a ton of makeup with me, I was able to stay focused and not get carried away when getting ready each morning.

But because I wasn't prioritizing beauty products, I forgot to pack a makeup remover.

Inside Sephora at Disney Springs.
Wipes aren't expensive, but it was one more cost to add to my pricey vacation.Amanda Krause/Insider

I had to visit Sephora at Disney Springs the day before my trip and spend extra money on a pack of makeup wipes.

My sister had a great idea to bring an instant camera with her.

The instant camera Amanda Krause had on her Disney Cruise vacation.
We used this camera every day of our cruise to capture fun memories.Amanda Krause/Insider

My sister is always snapping photos, so I wasn't surprised when she pulled a Fujifilm Instax camera out of her suitcase. But I was surprised by how often we used it.

We took pictures of the beach, selfies on the ship's decks, and a few photos of our food. It also came in handy during a free scrapbook class we took. While everyone else was restricted to using stickers, we got to customize our pages with pictures we'd taken.

We wished we had brought a hat or two.

Reporter Amanda Krause and her sister on the Disney Wish cruise.
We had messy hair in just about every selfie we took on deck.Amanda Krause/Insider

Hats are such simple accessories, but I don't wear them very often and forgot to include one when packing.

It would've been nice to have a floppy hat to block the sun, and a baseball cap to wear when my sister and I spent time on the ship's decks where the wind was almost always intense.

It also would've been helpful for us to bring a magnet or two so we could spot our room easier.

Room doors on the Disney Wish cruise ship.
My door (left), and an example of other doors on the ship (right).Amanda Krause/Insider

Any time my sister and I visited our stateroom, we got distracted by other rooms on the way.  So many doors were decked out in Mickey Mouse magnets and other cruise decor. Our door, on the other hand, was stark white.

We later learned that some people decorate their doors to celebrate special occasions like birthdays or to help them find their rooms easier.

When we cruise again this year, we plan to bring some decorations with us.

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