Please help!...packing question!!

Long Island, NY
2,940 Posts
Joined Mar 2003
We leave early Thursday morning for an 11 night cruise to Hawaii with a 1 night pre-cruise stay at the HHV. We started putting all of our stuff into our suitcases and ran out of room! We ran out to Kohls and got a nice 26" samsonite suitcase for 50% off, but how do I know if we are underpacked or overpacked? We have never gone away fro this long and I am so afraid that we have forgottten something, but at the same time I think we have too much. I have even condensed a lot of stuff, like my formal dresses, I folded up and put into 2 gal ziploc bags so they don't take up any room. But I just think we have too much stuff bc it is such a long cruise.

Anyone have any suggestions?

RCL~Navigator 8/2003, Majesty 7/2003, Radiance 4/2003, Monarch 8/2002, Nordic Empress 8/2001
Celebrity~Century 7/2001 & 7/1998, Horizon 7/1991

Future Cruises:
Legend of the Seas 5/7/2004
Enchantment of the Seas 8/30/2004
Brilliance of the Seas 1/14/2005

Till Hawaii on the Legend of the Seas!

Till Belize on the Enchantment of the Seas!

Till the Panama Canal on Brilliance of the Seas!
Ashley, IN
8,686 Posts
Joined Dec 2001
All ships have laundry services, so that is something to keep in mind.

When we go on a 7 day cruise, I only take 3-4 pair of shorts and tops. You can re-wear them and switch them around. Can you cut down there?

Just remember your clothes don't get dirty like at home. You are doing NOTHING (hooray!) to get them that way.

Remember the 2 bags / person, 50 lbs/bag + carryon limit on the airlines.

You can also rinse things out in your sink and hang them in the shower to dry if you need to.

Some people can go on a cruise w/ enough clothing packed into a carry-on. (I personally think these people are not normal!)

Have a great cruise.

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
Mark Twain

Till we sail Splendour of the Seas 3/26/05!

Century 3/20/04
Horizon 4/03
Golden Princess 3/30/02
Grandeur 4/01
Holiday 3/92
Parts Unknown
4,497 Posts
Joined Jun 2001
Our rule is one suitcase per person regardless of the length of the trip. Most people that go on a cruise bring too many outfits thinking they will change clothes a few times each day. In all likelyhood you will spend all your time wearing shorts and t-shirts. As for dinner, wear the same outfit more than once. You don't know the people on the ship and you will never see them again so who cares if they see you in the same outfit twice.

Donuts, is there anything they can't do....
Land O Lakes, FL
1,269 Posts
Joined May 2003
Although I've never done an 11 night cruise...I've gone away for 2 weeks at a time...just remember that you can cut down on kakhis...just bring a few pairs...and just add a different polo one will ever know...and they are probably doing the same. If you have 2 suit...2 shirts/ties...nobody is going to know!!!

Only 1 pair sandles, 1 pair sneakers, 1 pair dress shoes needed...I brought WAY too many on my last cruise!!!

I always overpack...for my last cruise...I'd say I didn't even wear half the clothes I brought.

Worse comes to worse...just use the ship's laudry facilites...they really aren't as expensive as you'd think.

Have a great cruise!!!

My first balcony on the Serenade - 4/16/05!!!

RCCL Majesty of the Seas - April 2004
Carnival Inspiration - June 2003
RCCL Monarch of the Seas - July 2002

295 Posts
Joined Sep 2000
We too overpack. But I like choices. I don't want to go to breakfast and spill coffee or something on myself and have to worry about whether I have another clean shirt! When out for the day in the sun you and your clothes get hot and sweaty. I personally would rather have the extra suitcase and everything I might need without worrying about laundry. The suitcases all hook together and really how much carrying of luggage do you really do? I do however take a bottle of woolite for bathing suits etc.
Just my opinion.
1,463 Posts
Joined Nov 2002
We are going on a 15 day cruise starting May 10th, 3 and 12 day back-to-backs in the Mediterranean and I am taking 2 suitcases. British Airways allows 70 lbs. so that is it. You never know what the weather is like, whether you will spill stuff, etc.

As for shoes, one pair on my feet, one pair of sandals and one pair of heels and an extra pair of walking shoes. They are kind of heavy and bulky but I need them.

Packing is a pain but necessary. Clothing in Europe is not cheap and you don't go into Rome with a T-shirt and shorts either, no matter how warm it is.

Good Luck with your packing. Take what you need.
Long Island, NY
2,940 Posts
Joined Mar 2003
Thanks for all the tips. I agree with the wanting to have a choice in what to wear and not wanting to rewesr sweaty clothes.

Does anyone know that if we bring 4 suitcases (2 each) to check in, can we bring another small 21 inch onto the plane as a carryon?

RCL~Navigator 8/2003, Majesty 7/2003, Radiance 4/2003, Monarch 8/2002, Nordic Empress 8/2001
Celebrity~Century 7/2001 & 7/1998, Horizon 7/1991

Future Cruises:
Legend of the Seas 5/7/2004
Enchantment of the Seas 8/30/2004
Brilliance of the Seas 1/14/2005

Till Hawaii on the Legend of the Seas!

Till Belize on the Enchantment of the Seas!

Till the Panama Canal on Brilliance of the Seas!
CA or MI
11,528 Posts
Joined Jul 2002
Yes, you can take 2 each and a carry-on. Watch the weight of the checked bags!!! We used our bathroom scale.

I've been working on my over-packing compulsion for decades, and now I'm down to one very heavy suitcase, and working on getting the weight down.

I agree about not wanting to wear clothes I've "glowed" in before ( ), so I take a lot of lighweight summer tops and multiple shorts. Where I conserve are on the night time clothes, since you only wear those inside the ship and it's air conditioned. I take two black pants with several mix 'n match dressy tops/jackets. Then I have my dressy clothes which are also lightweight. Two outfits and an extra dressy top with the black pants.

We put undies in PackMates (air compressed plastic bags), so there's plenty of them.

I agree about shoes: day sandals, walking shoes and one pair of black evening shoes. If I take any others for dressy outfits, they are very lightweight sandals.

We have done back-to-back cruises and gone 23 days total with the one heavy suitcase each.

Good luck!

Peggy - RCI since 1973
17,991 Posts
Joined Jun 2002
My 1st cruise is in Oct, but we have always taken trips of at least a week. We will have 1 day pre and 2 post in SJU so I can quick do wash in the hotel when we get back.

From what I have heard from family traveling recently some airlines are really enforcing the limits, and EMPTY suitcases can be heavy.

So..i would agree with the others, take stuf that you can mix and match. If you are on the ship, you'll probably wear a swimsuit and coverup. They are light. Take basic color shorts and slacks and extra tops. Those packing bags look good..think I will get some.

Remember you wil most likely come home with more stuff. Taget has a really nice fold up tote in their luggage dept for like 9 bucks. I bought one for our train trip to canada. We got a LOT of stuff init...meds, camera, snacks, travel docs. It folds all up into a self pocket (if you are good at folding!!!) It's about 5 x 7 x 1 when all folded.

And, even though 99% of luggage has wheels and you can piggyback is my experience that you ALWAYS have to lug it more than you think.

Ok so that is wordier than I thought.....sorry.


"I gotta fly to St. Somewhere....I'm close to bodily harm!" jimmy b

Time left til Boat Drinks on my 1st cruise on AOS!

My Cruise History:
Cape May-Lewes Ferry
BC Ferry (Seattle to Vancouver)
And a bunch of "cruises" on my uncle's sailboat when I was little!
CA or MI
11,528 Posts
Joined Jul 2002
I forgot about the extra bag. I have one of those self-zipping tote bags. I just throw it in just in case we need an extra. I've had it for years, and it's very handy.

Peggy - RCI since 1973
Surprise, Az.
400 Posts
Joined Aug 2003
I found that sea days I was at the pool. I really didn't need to pack an outfit for each of the sea days. 2 or 3 bathing suits are a good idea, and at least 2 cover ups.
I always over pack no matter how hard I try not rule of thumb is take away half the clothes and double the money!

Soveriegn 92 E. Caribbean
Majesty 95 W. Caribbean
Granduer 97 E. Caribbean
Rhapsody 00 Mexico
Vision 02 Alaska
Radiance 03 Panama Canal
Brilliance 3/29/04

Radiance of the Seas/Panama Canal 10/18/2003
Are we there yet?

My bags are always packed!
Brilliance 3/29/2004
Central Texas
6,651 Posts
Joined Oct 2003
If you are planning on buying any type of clothing on the cruise or at any ports take out a shirt or two. I bought things while at the different ports and had to bring those back as well as my over packed suitcase.

God bless you and yours.
Missouri, USA
41 Posts
Joined Aug 2003
I always take too much clothing also but am learning. The one area I am careful not to be short on is tops and t-shirts. With the hot bright sun and humidity, my shirts are a one time wear for sure. Shorts can be reworn several times, I always pack a couple of pairs that will look ok over a wet bathing suit. On excursions you sometimes just pop your shorts on as soon as you get out of the water and head out to finish your group excursion.

I am learning to take less clothes for nightwear. Since we always go to Chops one night and usually the Windjammer another night, I find that I can wear the same outfit on those nights that I have already worn once in the dining room. I do not feel comfortable wearing a outfit twice in the dining room but it is ok for Chops and the Jammer. OK - I know I'm shallow! lol
Wimauma, FL
11,927 Posts
Joined Jun 2003
You are one lucky person to go cruising around Hawaii! It was my most favorite cruise yet.

I will suggest that the laundry service onboard the ship is your friend. For the money, it is THE way to go! Hawaii will be hot at this time of year, and it will also be humid. You'll be changing clothes but mostly into shorts and t-shirts. Other than dinner meals, casual prevails on the ship. Just remember that the HHV has an ABC store right on the grounds and is very convenient for picking up shampoo and conditioner and all that stuff you may want to lug with you. The price difference is not great although a little higher since you are in Hawaii. Just remember, too, that you'll be buying t-shirts and Hawaiian stuff while you are there and some of the outfits you'll wear, will be the ones you buy over there.

My best suggestion, take three bathing suits since you'll use them a lot. Take a very good pair of walking shoes. You'll use those alot too!

If you have any questions at all, you can email me at [email protected]

Have a great cruise!


"Jewel OTS " 06/04 # 11 & 12
"Brilliance OTS" 04/05 # 13 & 14

Gettysburg, PA
2,210 Posts
Joined Dec 2000

We have a Packing List page on our personal website, which has links to the Cruise Critic Cruise Fashions Message Board (where there is considerable discussion regarding packing), & Cruise Critics Prudent Packing. It also has many links to different packing lists & previous Cruise Critic posts on packing. Especially notable is CruiseDiva's link, where she supplies some narrative (& seems to be a proponent of not packing too much). Here is the link:

Hope this helps & isn't too much info.

Happy Cruising, Buil,
Sitmar, RCCL, Costa, HAL, Princess, Royal Cruise Line, Celebrity, Renaissance, Disney, MSC Lirica
"We cannot change the direction of the wind... but we can adjust our sails"

[This message was edited by cruiseclues on 05-03-04 at 09:30 AM.]
129 Posts
Joined Mar 2002
True about the sea days - on those days you will probably be in swimsuit/coverup or t-shirt all day so no need for extra clothes for those days. Just remember extra swimsuits. Getting into a cold clammy swimsuit that's not quite dry is a horror!

Also true that if you plan on buying t-shirt/tank top souvenirs you can wear those while onboard too. Cuts down on the extra t-shirts needed.

The weight limits ARE being enforced so remember that those "space bag" plastic bags cut down on the space things need but not the weight. The danger is that you will pack a really HEAVY suitcase because you can get more in it. Be careful.

until sailaway on Legend of the Seas
Alberta Canada
78 Posts
Joined Mar 2004
As a TA I always give my cleints this advise before they leave on a vacation. Pack your suitcase and take out half. You will still have items of clothing you will find you never even wore. This works for me and my clients have raved about my packing suggestions. I also have a packing list of do not forget items that I give to clients. Ask your TA if they have one of these or if the have a link to one posted online. There are many out there. Just do a search!
Alberta Canada
78 Posts
Joined Mar 2004
Also check with the airline you are traveling with to check the max weight and size allowed for your luggage. The easiest way to weigh your luggage is to weigh yourself on your bathroom scale and then pick up your luggage and check the new weigh. A difference in the weights will be the weight of the luggage.

URL= 059817]Roll Call VOS Nov28/04Click Here/URL
Vancouver, British Columbia
2,061 Posts
Joined Sep 2003
I know in Cozumel there is a place where you can drop your laundry off in the AM and pick it up on route back to your ship. Has anyone seen anything like this in Hawaii?


Aloha Vision of the Seas!