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Deck yourself out for your next cruise! What clothes should you bring, and what should stay at home. Offer up packing tips, and savvy shopping info, too

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  #1  
Old April 22nd, 2012, 05:45 PM
mauiedin87 mauiedin87 is offline
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Default Above all, don't overpack!

Just a few words from a multiple-time cruiser. We just returned from a 2-week Hawaii cruise. DH and I packed into ONE 25" suitcase. Guess what? There were 8 items of clothing we could have easily done without! When you start packing, take half of it out again and you'll still have plenty enough!
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  #2  
Old April 22nd, 2012, 06:33 PM
Izzygirl1985 Izzygirl1985 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mauiedin87 View Post
Just a few words from a multiple-time cruiser. We just returned from a 2-week Hawaii cruise. DH and I packed into ONE 25" suitcase. Guess what? There were 8 items of clothing we could have easily done without! When you start packing, take half of it out again and you'll still have plenty enough!
lol...funny you say this. I have never been on a cruise. My first one is set for May 27th and I am about to explode...I am that excited I already have my list on outfits (about 12 total) for a 6 night cruise. I know...I know...its definitely overkill but I ALWAYS change my mind and I need to have tons of options. I am taking 3 dress shoes and ~3 sandals. lol. I think the clothes and packing is part of the excitement....At least for me. I am sure when I get to the "multiple cruiser" status, I might not feel the same way.
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  #3  
Old April 22nd, 2012, 06:55 PM
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Alrana Eris Alrana Eris is offline
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I mix and match keep to one neutral (for me its black) and one or two colors and set my wardrobe accordingly. My largest suitcase I use is my 14 year old 22" Tumi- which has room for a weeks worth of clothes.
MY DH thinks Iover pack I don't i just know how to pack and fit a whole lot of crap in my luggage
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  #4  
Old April 22nd, 2012, 07:29 PM
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laurspag laurspag is offline
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I think it is important that you need to bring extra clothing. On my first cruise, I brought along two outfits for each day. One I wore during the day, and then I had my dinner dress. Added to that was a lightweight sweater and a pair of linen pants, in case it was cool in the evening.

It was so hot during the day, that my clothes were sweaty by the time we were getting ready for our late seating dinner. I could not re-wear the outfits. During the two days we were docked in Bermuda (in August) I had to change after we got back to the ship.

I literally ran out of clothes. Mix and match your wardrobe, and bring along extra shirts, at least.
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Old April 22nd, 2012, 08:29 PM
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Originally Posted by laurspag View Post
I think it is important that you need to bring extra clothing. On my first cruise, I brought along two outfits for each day. One I wore during the day, and then I had my dinner dress. Added to that was a lightweight sweater and a pair of linen pants, in case it was cool in the evening.

It was so hot during the day, that my clothes were sweaty by the time we were getting ready for our late seating dinner. I could not re-wear the outfits. During the two days we were docked in Bermuda (in August) I had to change after we got back to the ship.

I literally ran out of clothes. Mix and match your wardrobe, and bring along extra shirts, at least.
This sounds exactly like my first med cruise. After the first day in Sicily I thought I would melt, and started to really question my clothing selections for excursions.

I have to take a few extra light weight items for excursions. Evening dinner wear I can mix and match.
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Old April 22nd, 2012, 08:36 PM
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I always over pack and I love it ! Sorry but I live by "I'd rather take it and not need it, then need it and not have it!" I am always the one that has that thing that some one else forgot ...so it usually turns out for the best . Heck on one cruise I took a small suite case just for my shoes ...and I wore them all .
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  #7  
Old April 22nd, 2012, 08:41 PM
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I don't glisten. I sweat. Hot caribbean weather means that the only thing I can wear more than once is jewelry and hats! I believe in indulging my clothing whims while on vacation
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  #8  
Old April 22nd, 2012, 08:57 PM
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Not everyone can fully enjoy their vacation out of a 25" suitcase for a week. I can't. I've gotten better through the years but I don't wear the same clothes at home over and over for a week and don't want to on a cruise. Maybe it's just me, but as much as I admire you could make do with 12 1/2" of suitcase space, I know we cannot.

Sometimes it isn't even clothes that take up suitcase space.... it's the 'things' I want with us. I bring the just in case OTC meds, books, electric toothbrushes, hair products, beachbags and all that 'stuff'.

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  #9  
Old April 22nd, 2012, 09:18 PM
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I LOVE overpacking! If you can wear stuff 3 or more times, or plan out every second of your trip, fine....pack in a grocery bag, if you can! I won't. I don't mind wearing a pair of shorts a couple of times, but that's about it....

Overpacking is not that bad! Bring what you want...and you'll be happier! If you're on a ship with a self-laundry, you can get by with less. I don't mind doing a load or two of laundry anytime....the machine does the work!

If you have no laundry, then I like to bring all the clothing I'll need so I don't HAVE to "repeat"!

And the toiletries....I need that stuff....so I bring it! ALL of it!
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  #10  
Old April 22nd, 2012, 09:28 PM
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Not only do I overpack, I always bring an extra big flat bag in my suitcase to use as a dirty clothes bag and the I put all the new clothes and things I buy in my original suitcase. Yes, I pay for the extra bag on flight, but I am on vacation and that is what I like to do...lol(:

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  #11  
Old April 22nd, 2012, 10:51 PM
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I attempted to pack light on our last Caribbean cruise and I won't do it again. I read all the tips and tricks from the 'one baggers' etc. I don't trust ships laundry to not shrink my clothing, RCCL doesn't have self serve laundry and handwashing is a pita. I didn't like the feeling of already worn clothing and I got very agitated when I didn't have 'options' or variety.
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  #12  
Old April 22nd, 2012, 10:52 PM
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I'm actually pretty good at packing, but my problem is my husband. Any of you have that problem? I can roll, tuck, and fit two outfits a day, a dress or two for dressier nights, plus bathing suits into a standard suitcase for a 7 day cruise. Of course, I have a carryon with other essentials, but still!
He has to have a full size suitcase, an overstuffed garment bag, a carryon, maybe a rolling duffle. He never wears every "outfit", but he takes it just in case.
I just laugh and go with the flow! It's his cruise too, and if it makes him happy...well then, it makes me happy! That's what porters are for.
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Old April 22nd, 2012, 11:06 PM
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If I'm going on a cruise, why would I want to skimp on clothes? This is my time to dress up, have fun, and enjoy myself. I take my scuba suitcase (which in addition to my scuba equipment also gets the bathing suits, t-shirts, shorts, and flip flops I wear when going diving) and my large suitcase for all my other clothes. I also take a rollaboard for my underwater camera equipment, scuba mask and regulator, and jewelry, which will never be left in the hands of TSA and luggage handlers. I also have a backpack for my laptop, Kindle, small purse, and Ikelite underwater camera case (won't fit in rollaboard). Lots of stuff, sure, but I need it, want it, and can handle it by myself.
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Old April 22nd, 2012, 11:36 PM
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I'm with the "overpackers" -- not sure why it was a problem to have packed four items that you didn't end up needing.
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Old April 23rd, 2012, 01:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mystkl1 View Post
I'm actually pretty good at packing, but my problem is my husband. Any of you have that problem? I can roll, tuck, and fit two outfits a day, a dress or two for dressier nights, plus bathing suits into a standard suitcase for a 7 day cruise. Of course, I have a carryon with other essentials, but still!
He has to have a full size suitcase, an overstuffed garment bag, a carryon, maybe a rolling duffle. He never wears every "outfit", but he takes it just in case.
I just laugh and go with the flow! It's his cruise too, and if it makes him happy...well then, it makes me happy! That's what porters are for.
After a trip when I had to give up stuff to accommodate his excess "choices" I put my foot down and started editing what he packs.

We don't mind sending a few things out for cleaning while onboard a ship. I don't mind doing a bit of hand washing delicates, I refuse to have the laundry do those anyway. Since I don't own 16 pair of underpants and 8 bras I have to wash some at some point of the trip.

I carry enough stuff with all the hair, makeupJ, shoes, entertainment(iPod, DVD player, camera, phone, etc...). It just makes sense to me to cut back on the larger items, such as clothes. I highly doubt anyone notices I wore the black slacks or white shorts 3 times. If they do then they have a problem with being a bit nosy and need another activity to fill their time.

The nice part is packing to go home, no sorting clean from dirty, it's all dirty. Plus when you get home there is less laundry to do and less to put away. We generally have all the laundry done within 3 hours of arriving home. My type A husband has everything else sorted and put away by evening. It used to drive me crazy, but I find it's nice not to have any chores left for the next day.
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Old April 23rd, 2012, 05:33 AM
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I'm a firm believer in the slogan American Express uses:
Don't Leave Home Without It......and I don't mean their card.

Like someone else mentioned, it's no big deal if I have a few things I didn't wear, I had them if I wanted them. Which in turn means I follow the Boy Scout motto as well.....Be Prepared.

Last edited by iheartbda; April 23rd, 2012 at 05:36 AM.
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  #17  
Old April 23rd, 2012, 08:55 AM
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Unless, of course, the big deal is that your luggage is overweight, or you need a second bag checked. Then you can plan on another $70 - $100 in extra fees (including both ways), which makes our $25 for the week in cleaning fees a real bargain

I took exactly what I thought I needed for our last 7 night cruise (back a week now ) and I still had too many clothes. It was only 3 tops, so not too bad, we didn't change for dinner twice like I thought we would. I mis-counted the day wear tops and had an extra. My toiletries and "extras", everything was needed with the exception of OTC meds we take in case one of us gets sick. I didn't use the DVD player this time and that was odd, it usually gets turned on every day. So, I'll start leaving that at home and save 2 - 3 lbs. off my carry on.

Reading through threads over the years, I think the smart way to pack is a bit under what you think you need and put one complete outfit into your carry on. Just in case your suitcase takes a different vacation, at least you will have a change of clothes. Cross pack with your travel partner (if you have one) as well, just in case only one suitcase makes it...don't forget to cross pack a couple pair of shoes
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  #18  
Old April 23rd, 2012, 11:51 AM
LindaM LindaM is offline
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This is what I did for our 2 week Greek Isles cruise in Sept. (Yes, I am already planning 4 months ahead of time!!)

I wrote out our schedule for each day. There are days where we have late shore excursions, so we probably will end up in the alternative restaurant. Those days can be more casual for dinner. The sea days will probably be formal. I penciled in outfits, allowing for mixing and matching, and not repeating dresses too close together. I found that I could delete one pair of pants, and one dress. I know that doesn't sound like much, but that was after already trying to take as little as possible. I would rather take less for dinner, and save space/weight for clothes worn during the day. Those are hard to wear more than 2X each without looking funky.

I LOVE clothes and dressing up. But, I'm trying to save $100 of the extra luggage fees and shlepping around an extra bag.
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Old April 23rd, 2012, 12:03 PM
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No matter how hard I try - overpacking is one of my biggest faults.

Our last trip this past January was to Hawaii. One week on land followed by a one week cruise. I thougt I had a handle on not overpacking until I tried to repack at the hotel before we got on the ship. We had one full size suitcase and 2 carry-ons and no matter how I tried I could not get everything back in! I ended up giving 2 travel pillows and a few other things to our housekeeper to give away of toss just to get the suitcases to zip.

Although I will say I am improving on this area as on our first cruise I took enough clothing for 2 changes a day and still came home with 13 shirts I never wore
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Old April 23rd, 2012, 12:23 PM
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I'm gonna overpack for as long as I can. One day I'm sure I will have a husband and some kids and I'll wonder why I ever worried about how much I packed, lol.

My standard for a cruise is:

28 inch checked bag at about 40lbs
19 inch carry on
12x12 duffle "personal item"

I can pack half a weeks clothes in the 19 inch and all my important items in my duffle. So, if the 28 inch gets lost..........I have a few things to wear. Knock on wood that it never happens.
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