Cruise Fashions & Beauty

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
Colorado
144 Posts
Joined May 2010
Can anyone give me a recommendation for a good starter set of packing cubes? I am a chronic over-packer and would like to give a set a trial on a trip to Las Vegas for a convention the end of this month. We are cruising again at Christmas so this is a good time to try them out before purchasing a set for each family member. There are soooo many to choose from. What basic sizes are best and which ones are hardly used.... Thanks for the help!
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#2
184 Posts
Joined Jan 2012
I have the ultralight ones from Ebags and love them.You get five pieces in the set and I use all five.
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#3
North Carolina
6,071 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
I don't tend to pack with cubes or compression bags or other packing aids (I have a few but don't use them systematically.) I *do* have a lot of Eagle Creek luggage (it just works well for me) and most of their bags come with a graphic that tells you which packing aids in which configuration work best for that bag. Might be worthwhile for you to look at their site and see if you can find a bag similar to what you intend to use and see what they have recommended for that configuration. For instance, I have a 22" carry-on bag from EC (similar but older) and this is the "how to pack" graphic for one of theirs https://shop.eaglecreek.com/luggage-..._pack_this_bag

They have lots of other general packing info on their site https://www.eaglecreek.com/blog/buyi...mpression-bags

(most of my EC bags have come from ebags, Sierra Trading Post, Amazon - not from the EC site itself)
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#4
13 Posts
Joined May 2018
I have various cubes from the Eagle Creek Specter line, the plain (not compression) kind. I like them because they are sturdy yet thin and light, so they don't add any bulk or weight to my packing. I have become a convert to carry-on travel, so I find that the medium and small sizes are most useful for me--I have accumulated a lot of random little bags over the years to the point where the extra-small size isn't really needed, but my first set came with that size so I still have it and do use it on occasion. I just noticed that Eagle Creek is selling a set that has a small, medium, and medium "structured" cube--the structured one has a folding board. If I was buying my first set that is probably what I would go for, since it allows for one cube of rolled and one of folded items, and the small bag for undies.

I should add that when I first tried packing cubes I used the original EC Pack-It line, but found them too bulky, stiff and heavy and never used them after the first time or too. I stopped using packing cubes altogether until last year when my DH and I took a month-long trip to Europe in May that included a conference in Barcelona, leisure travel in Croatia, and a 5 day stay in Stockholm, meaning I needed to pack like I would for an Alaskan cruise, with hot, cold, and business-casual wardrobes, and because I was determined to travel carry-on only I had to keep my bag under 10 kilos, including the weight of the suitcase. I was so happy to find the Specter cubes and they have become part of every trip I have taken since. I am currently planning our 10-night Alaska trip in September, and they are definitely coming with me. My husband, OTOH, does not use the cubes. But then, he is a minimalist who always packs the night before we go anywhere, whereas I already have my packing list set for Alaska and the trip is still almost two months away. :-) Of course, when on the trip and he asks "Do we have any (sunscreen, lip balm, bug spray, ibuprofen, etc)?" I always answer, "Why yes, yes WE do!" LOL.
#5
8,176 Posts
Joined Sep 2001
I use Eagle Creek cubes. I use The Small Cubes for underclothes. Then I also use the Slim Cube XS and Cube XS for sock and small things. I also use a medium folder for shirts. My DH and I each use one.
The sizes that I use allow me to unzip the cube (fold under the top) and place the whole cube onto the closet shelve. I don't take any of the clothing out of the cube until use. This makes unpacking so much faster. Lately we have been doing seven night cruises. I can pack all my clothing in one 21 inch carry on. And I pack lots of stuff including formal night clothing. I would not travel with out them.
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#6
Shawnee, KS
637 Posts
Joined Aug 2011
I would suggest going to TJ Maxx or a similar store and see what you can find. They will have good name brand cubes and I got a set of 3 for less than $10. Then you can try out the different sizes and see what works for you before you order more expensive ones online. Or maybe you won’t even need to. I really like the ebags slim because they are small but hold a lot. But the set I got at TJ Maxx is just as good, just different sizes. I also
Watched a great video on how to pack them. I’ll post a link below.
https://youtu.be/Tk7JH470yAo
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#8
North Carolina
4,174 Posts
Joined Feb 2010
What will be the most useful for you will depend on the size of your clothing and what types of clothing you tend to pack.

I use the eBags packing cubes. I've caught them on sale...or purchased with a code. I liked that they had the see through mesh to be able to see what was in the cube. I also liked that I could purchase them in many different colors and patterns, which is helpful when the three of us in my family all travel together.

I would also say that HOW you fold your clothing will also be a factor for which cubes are the best. Several years ago, following author Marie Kondo's book, I did a major overhaul on my wardrobe. DH also. And I began folding the majority of our clothes following her methodology. That is commonly called the KonMari Method. This methodology is very useful for using the packing cubes.

To illustrate, this was my cube full of underwear and socks for my recent Alaska trip:



I find that I really like the slim cube which is the one above. I can cram it full of things that aren't harmed by being stuffed, like underwear, socks, some fitness clothing. Sometimes, I even pack pants in them. Rolling them up and laying them longwise in this thin cube, especially for shorter trips.

I find the small cubes to be very good for shirts. Especially tee shirts or other knit shirts. I can fold my shirts such that they fit across the shorter side of the cube. Again, from my recent trip...the shirts are the 4 items to one side. The other 2 are knee length dresses that just didn't fold up into that width as well as what happened:



The medium sized cubes are good for packing things like bottoms. Pants, skirts, etc. Or stacking bulkier items like fleece pullovers and sweaters. OR packing items that you don't want to be quite as crammed, like nicer blouses or more wrinkle prone dresses.

I have one large sized packing cube (when I first bought them, I bought the set of small, medium and large) as well as a 3-pack of the thin. I RARELY, if ever, use the large sized one. After that first set, I purchased two more 3-packs of the thin ones, a 3-pack of the smalls, and a 3-pack of the mediums. I find it very helpful to have all those sizes.

Oh! I would recommend that you measure your suitcases or whatever bags you are thinking about using the cubes in. I find that it's very helpful to have in mind the way that the cubes will pack into the suitcase. That might actually guide you better than trying to think about what individual sizes you need. See what makes sense size-wise based on your luggage, then work with the sizes that give a good pack by folding your clothes to fit well in those cubes.

And lastly...sorry for the long post!...a PP mentioned how nice it is to just take the packing cubes out and put them on a shelf or in a drawer when you travel. SO TRUE. We have found that unpacking is a breeze. Generally, the go home packing methodology is to bring mesh laundry bags...we consolidate the unworn items in the packing cubes (if there are any) and repack any items that should be treated better (usually dress clothes) and just have as many laundry bags as we have luggage items. We repack the cubes and shove laundry bags in the suitcases for homebound travel.

ANOTHER bonus with using cubes is that it makes it much easier to add items that you had forgotten to pack (like swimsuits) and/or replace items at the last minute (in case the weather changes unexpectedly). With my previously used bundle method of packing, getting at any one item disturbed the whole bunch. With the cubes, I don't dread any last minute changes to the packed suitcase. It's really easy to remove the cubes to get at the what you need and put them all back in.
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#9
Colorado Springs, CO (originally Boston MA)
4,743 Posts
Joined Feb 2012
I use the slim, small & medium. I no longer use the large cubes as I can get them too heavy. The long slim cubes are superb for charging cables, camera chargers etc.


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#11
North Carolina
6,071 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
Originally posted by geocruiser
Anita Latte,
Great advice about measuring your suitcase. That will make the cubes fit together like a puzzle.
Hence my inclusion of the graphics that Eagle Creek provides on its website to help you figure out that puzzle. I'm a visual person - I might not be able to figure it out on my own but seeing a graphic sized to the right suitcase makes sense to me.

Even if I don't use packing cubes
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#12
7,886 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
I use some I got at TJ Maxx or Marshall's, not sure what brand they are. The biggest thing I learned with them is that I don't like trying to pack ALL of my clothes in them. If you do that, you end up with a bunch of different sized cubes that may or may not fit well in your bag, i.e. you end up with a space left in your suitcase that is, say, 8"x4"x2" but your remaining packing cubes are larger than that in one dimension or another, or smaller, or whatever. In other words, the odds are low of being able to put everything in packing cubes and have those cubes coincidentally all fit like a jigsaw and maximize your space. Maybe some can do it, but it never worked for me.

That said, I often do use a couple of cubes, I just don't try to put EVERYTHING in cubes. I'll use a small one to contain multiple small items like underwear/socks. I'll use another to hold all my workout clothes, if I'm taking them on a particular trip. I occasionally might use one for regular clothes if, for example, we are staying somewhere for a1 or 2 days then continuing on somewhere else for a week or more. Ex. spending 2 nights in Rome in October, then checking in to a Tuscan villa for a week. I will unpack in the villa but not in Rome, so might put a few things in a cube near the top of my bag that I can access in the Rome hotel without digging through the whole bag. This works for short pre-cruise stays as well. Otherwise, I leave my assorted tops and bottoms out of cubes to fold or roll and however I need to fit for the space in my suitcase. YMMV
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Meg

Remembering 38 past cruises:
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#13
8,176 Posts
Joined Sep 2001
Originally posted by waterbug123
I use some I got at TJ Maxx or Marshall's, not sure what brand they are. The biggest thing I learned with them is that I don't like trying to pack ALL of my clothes in them. If you do that, you end up with a bunch of different sized cubes that may or may not fit well in your bag, i.e. you end up with a space left in your suitcase that is, say, 8"x4"x2" but your remaining packing cubes are larger than that in one dimension or another, or smaller, or whatever. In other words, the odds are low of being able to put everything in packing cubes and have those cubes coincidentally all fit like a jigsaw and maximize your space. Maybe some can do it, but it never worked for me.

That said, I often do use a couple of cubes, I just don't try to put EVERYTHING in cubes. I'll use a small one to contain multiple small items like underwear/socks. I'll use another to hold all my workout clothes, if I'm taking them on a particular trip. I occasionally might use one for regular clothes if, for example, we are staying somewhere for a1 or 2 days then continuing on somewhere else for a week or more. Ex. spending 2 nights in Rome in October, then checking in to a Tuscan villa for a week. I will unpack in the villa but not in Rome, so might put a few things in a cube near the top of my bag that I can access in the Rome hotel without digging through the whole bag. This works for short pre-cruise stays as well. Otherwise, I leave my assorted tops and bottoms out of cubes to fold or roll and however I need to fit for the space in my suitcase. YMMV
Like you I don't put everything in a cube. I make a solid base in my suit case with the cubes and packing folders, laying the case flat. In those I put my under clothes, shawls, socks, costume jewelry. In the folder I put my tops. Then I lay my pants, skirts and dress flat on top of the cube/folder base.

The only thing that I need to make to pack better is shoe bags. The cost more than I want to spend. So, I will sew some up. Right now I but them in the plastic bags I get from the grocery store. I will not put my shoes into my suitcase with out them being covered.
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#14
North Carolina
6,071 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
Shoe bags - I have some I've saved from flights and I bought a couple sets on clearance at Walmart a few years back for maybe $2? So do keep your eyes open - never know when you'll find a bargain ;-)
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#15
8,176 Posts
Joined Sep 2001
Originally posted by Hoyaheel
Shoe bags - I have some I've saved from flights and I bought a couple sets on clearance at Walmart a few years back for maybe $2? So do keep your eyes open - never know when you'll find a bargain ;-)
Thank you. I will check Walmart. I can but cheap fabric in Walmart for about $2. per yard. But buy a set for tow dollars is much easier. Will be on the look out.
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#16
Los Angeles
4,650 Posts
Joined Dec 2007
I have quite a few packing cubes & my favorites are all from TJ Maxx. For me the most useful sizes are the 8 to 14 inch range, the larger ones for me are pretty much useless, they're just too heavy if you fill the up & pretty much defeat the purpose of everything being neat & tidy. For shoe bags, most of my shoes came with felt type shoe bags & that's what I use if I feel the need. I'm a little freaky about keeping my shoes clean, so I"m good with packing without a shoe bag though.

When I pack I bring out my label maker & label each bag with what's in it, because I use the roll method for most everything so it's sometimes difficult to tell exactly what's in the bag....are those 3 pairs of DH's black slacks or 3 pairs or black leggings for me, ? I also pack a little lavender sachet in each bag so everything smells nice. I pick those up at Trader Joes in the laundry section.
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#17
North Texas
1,038 Posts
Joined Feb 2013
We have all three cube sizes, S, M, and L in two colors; one color for each of us. The large size has never made a trip! Mediums are the most used for us; we have multiples of M and S. In our suitcases, the mediums are typically packed on one side, with shoes and miscellaneous items packed around them. The small cubes will fit side by side in the other side of the suitcase, with more items packed around them.
Additionally, we each pack one small cube with a complete set of clothing - underwear, socks, shirt(blouse) and pants(slacks). These two cubes are carried with us in carry-ons/backpacks. That is just in case the luggage doesn't arrive at our destination with us! (That has happened to us on a European trip - five nights/days without suitcases.)
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#18
Colorado Springs, CO (originally Boston MA)
4,743 Posts
Joined Feb 2012
I use hotel shower caps for my shoes


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#19
North Carolina
6,071 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
Originally posted by awhfy
I use hotel shower caps for my shoes
Shower caps not provided in a lot of hotels these days. I've used them to segregate wet items and liquids in the past too but don't have a stock anymore (I have empty ziplocs in most of my suitcases these days instead) Before I got my fabric shoe bags, I also used newspaper bags and bags clothing often ships in. A friend has used old pillowcases. Lots of options!
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#20
Ontario, CA (The one WITH the Palm Trees!)
24,314 Posts
Joined Jan 2011
Packing cubes will not prevent you from overpacking. They will help organize your stuff.

We use the medium, small and slim eBags cubes and a medium or large packing folder. The folders are used for DH’s shirts and pants. Minimally folded and tightly closed there’s hardly a wrinkle when unpacking.


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