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Brittany C

Worst Cruise Packing Mistakes

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Hey there cruisers,

 

We are compiling the worst cruise packing mistakes we've made so others can learn from our unfortunate -- and sometimes hilarious -- mishaps. If you have any you would like to share, they very well might be published!

 

We look forward to reading (and grimacing) along with you :)

 

Best,

 

~Brittany Chrusciel, Associate Editor, Cruise Critic

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Sorry but I am the queen of packing light and I don't make mistakes!

I can't imagine taking all the things I read that people "must have"!!

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Seriously OVERPACKING!

 

Like bringing 6 pairs of shoes once!

 

 

Truth..

 

Rule of thumb... Lay it all out, remove half. Double the budget :)

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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My rule of thumb: If it doesn't fit in one carry on, it's not going.

 

Packing mistakes? If traveling with multiple family members, putting all clothes for one person in one bag. Instead, cross-pack. Make sure that there's a bit of clothing for every person in each bag. That way, if one bag is lost for any reason, one person is not left with nothing to wear.

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We left our garment bag hanging on our bedroom door many, many years ago. We could not dress for formal nights. It actually turned out to be a good thing because we realized that we don't really have to dress formally and they fed us anyway. :D

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We had a group going with us and a bunch of people over our house the night before the cruise. The adults were staying up as we had a 2:45 AM bus pulling up (I am always a hot with the neighbors....;)) but we sacked the kids out in our 4 bedrooms, one of which was ours. I pack the night before and had started packing and then go occupied on something....probably an elbow bending event. My wife moved my suit bag out of the bedroom. Time marched on, I forgot all about it and when it was time to leave. my bag was closed and zipped and we loaded up the bus and off to the airport.

 

Fast forward to getting on the ship, we get our bags delivered and am unpacking (we had a bunch of people in our cabin for sail away - we were staying in the Captain's Suite on the Liberty) and I discover I have no pants....zero.... I was def on the receiving end of a lot of humor from all in our group.:o

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The first cruise I packed a different outfit for each night. Big mistake. Now I pack things that are mix and match and have never brought more than a carry on. That same cruise we brought walkie-talkies. Another big mistake.

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We actually like to have options so we definitely over pack. However, I don't see the problem in doing that? We have 2 suitcases each that once they are dropped off with the porters aren't a problem at all. It's not like we have to lug them around or anything. We do dress up every night but that's what we like to do. We probably don't wear a third of what we bring but that's ok since we don't know which third that is going to be before we cruise! Unless you are flying I don't see the big deal about over packing. Just gives us more options while we are on the ship. That being said I know every one is different but if you are new to cruising don't worry about over packing is my take. Happy Cruising!!!

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Absolutely over packing!! 2 outfits a day plus a dinner outfit per day and all the shoes to match each outfit!! Not anymore!! No need for all that!! Almost every day (depending on ports) you're in a bathing suit all day! 2 shoes for dinner and a couple flip flops that match everything is good enough!

 

PS - cruising maniac - we had friends who forgot their garment bag one year with their formal clothes as well. However, they realized this at the airport - drove all the way home and back to the airport. Well, they missed their flight! Jumped on the next flight out so wasn't too bad. The kicker is - one of them got sick the night of formal night and they skipped it anyway. So never got to dress up in those formal clothes they missed a flight over!! It was - and still is - quite funny!

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My husband, who is a XXL, forgot swim trunks on his 2nd cruise. So...we did find him a pair in the 237843 shop we looked at in Nassau.

 

Fast forward to our 4th cruise. He also forgot his swim trunks. This time? Found him a pair, too tight pair, from a Jamaican street vendor...Pretty sure they were from 1996.

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I do over pack I confess :eek:

I am OCD when it comes to wearing the same outfit twice :rolleyes: esp. in hot weather

We do fly and am allowed one free check in bag each (50 lb ) ad one carry on free so never an issue for us

If not cruising I pack less because we stay in condos that have washer/dryers but am not going to waste my cruise time in the laundry room :)

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Once packed all of our shoes in one suitcase and then promptly forgot to bring it. Went on the trolley tour in Key West and just looked for shoe stores.

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My tip is just to make sure you have the toiletries you need.

Once in the middle of the ocean, your resources are limited, unless you want to pay a price.

 

On our first cruise (Dream) my husband got a bad sunburn in the first port.

ALOE! Why didn't I think of that?!

 

$25 for a bottle of aloe in the Carnival gift shops.

That was in April 2012..

We cruise again in December of this year and I am bringing that same bottle of aloe!

5 cruises later and I still have it, LOL.

Better believe I am going to get my $25 worth.

 

We tend to still over pack.

I am OCD about not running out of things, so maybe that is why?

Better safe than sorry.

It's getting less and less though. :)

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Packing rule #1, do not do laundry and pack the morning you are going to leave. Because you (oh, yes you will) wash, dry and fold your son's underwear and socks, put them on top of the dryer to grab on your way out of the laundry room and forget them. And your 10 year old son will be going commando and sockless for an entire cruise. Pack ahead, people, pack ahead!

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My DA acidently only packed one shoe of each pair 😉 shoes. I once had a bottle of sun lotion split in my case and ruined half my clothes. I always double bag any liquids now 😢

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I also tend to overpack. I am the type that will take stuff "just in case" solarcaine, Pepto-Bismol, cold medicine, zantac ( you get the drift) I also take dble the supply of prescription meds ( ie if a 5 night cruise I will take a 10 day supply AND a copy from the pharmacy listing all our meds). I overpack, clothes, shoes, you name it. But we drive to the port. I figure this is the only time I can "dress" for dinner. :)

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packing rule #1, do not do laundry and pack the morning you are going to leave. Because you (oh, yes you will) wash, dry and fold your son's underwear and socks, put them on top of the dryer to grab on your way out of the laundry room and forget them. And your 10 year old son will be going commando and sockless for an entire cruise. Pack ahead, people, pack ahead!

 

rotflol!!!

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Worst mistake---Transatlantic, leaving Rome I realized all the carefully bagged medications for this 15 day cruise were still residing on the bathroom vanity at home! Thoughts of $100-1,000 of dollars passed through my mind. How to get meds in our first stop, Barcelona? Call my Dr. back home? Luckily, I stopped at the ship's medical center and a sympathetic nurse found all 5 (generic) meds, gave me a 15 day supply for $35! Now my wife asks, "Do you have your meds?" at least 10 times before a cruise.

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I always lay everything out on the bed before packing, just to make sure that I haven't forgotten anything. Then I tidily roll everything up and position it in the suitcase to minimize the amount of wrinkling.

 

Well one cruise, I was running late and hurriedly shoved everything into the suitcase that I had laid out, unrolled and all willy-nilly. When I got to my cabin and started unpacking, all my nice shirts were wrinkled and unwearable. The worst part though - no undies :eek: All I had were the pair I was wearing.

 

Lesson: Pack ahead, even if you have to stay up to do it.

Caveat: the soap in the shower (used in small amounts) is really good for hand-washing in a pinch ;-)

 

When I got home, I found my missing undies under the bed. I must have dropped them and kicked them under in my rush. Sigh.

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We just went on Breeze in September. This is the first time I hadn't completely overpacked. Well, our connecting flight was cancelled and we were stranded in DC for the night. I had 1 clean pair of underwear and a t-shirt I'd bought in the gift shop on the ship. That's it. Everything else was dirty or a tank top that said "where my beaches at". I also had no toothbrush or toiletries as I take sample sizes and toss them so I don't have to pack them to go home.

 

Note to self, always have an extra travel outfit just in case.

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On our 1st cruise in 2000 we had the vision of the love boat. Changes of clothes all day long. Took 4 suitcases for 7 days.

We went into Miami a day early. Was getting ready to go to dinner and told hubby to take out a pair of casual slacks. After searching 4 suitcases and sweating the whole time looking for theses slacks. No slacks. I told my husband how could it be, I had all the clothes to pack hanging on a rack on the front of the bedroom door. Then he asked, " you did get those clothes hanging behind the door didn't you"? NOPE, never knew they were there. Good thing we were in the day before the cruise so we could shop. Other than that all these years later we pack lighter.

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We just went on Breeze in September. This is the first time I hadn't completely overpacked. Well, our connecting flight was cancelled and we were stranded in DC for the night. I had 1 clean pair of underwear and a t-shirt I'd bought in the gift shop on the ship. That's it. Everything else was dirty or a tank top that said "where my beaches at". I also had no toothbrush or toiletries as I take sample sizes and toss them so I don't have to pack them to go home.

 

Note to self, always have an extra travel outfit just in case.

 

 

Laughed so hard at that tank top quote!! Love it!!

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It will be 5 years ago in December that I took my daughter and her best friend on a 7 night cruise. We were driving to the port but I still limited them to one suitcase and a carry on bag each. When it came time to unpack they had 21 pairs of shoes and 18 bathing suits between them. I was amazed that they could get that much stuff in the bag with everything else they bought.

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Laughed so hard at that tank top quote!! Love it!!

 

 

Yeah I also have "aloha beaches" and "beach don't kill my vibe" lol

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This story is actually what happened once to my parents:)

 

Back in the day when they still drank alcohol, (like about 10 or 12 years ago), they are well into their 80's now, and rarely drink, anyway......, back then, when it was also easier to smuggle a bottle on board ships, my Dad packed a bottle of scotch in his checked bag, which he had done before successfully on previous cruises.

 

They board the ship, and went around to explore the ship, have a bite to eat etc, came back down to the room later, and as they were walking down the hallway toward their room, they could smell it!!! Booze! The closer they got to their room, the stronger the smell! Yep, it was his bag! The bottle had broken, and leaked all through his clothes, including his suit for formal night!

 

My poor Mother, spent a full day getting his clothes laundered and dried and pressed again, her first day at of the cruise spent working!

 

They don't smuggle alcohol anymore, and don't drink alcohol anymore either, but I think that is about the time I quit smuggling too:D.

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Almost had to go Chip n Dale style once, as I packed my tux but forgot my shirt!

 

My husband has done this too! :) We just used one of his shirt sleeve golf polo shirts.

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Band aids. Yeah such a little item, but a nasty blister on my toes had me going to the nurses station for ONE bandaid. They wanted an enormous amount - like 5 dollars for a pack of 3. I said no thanks, and used some toilet paper. Lesson learned

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Seriously OVERPACKING!

Like bringing 6 pairs of shoes once!

 

That's a mistake?? Yikes! I always take at least 6 pairs. I cannot help myself.:)

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Biggest packing fail: Forgetting sunscreen and chapstick. Bringing those wristbands but not real dramamine (hadn't used it the previous cruise so didn't bring it - big mistake; the less you have, the more you need).

 

That's a mistake?? Yikes! I always take at least 6 pairs. I cannot help myself.:)

 

Yeah, if we're counting flip flops, I take 6 shoes easily: sneakers (at least 1, ideally 2 types - one bulky and one slim (Keds-esque, I guess?), but depends on if real sneakers are needed for an excursion - so depends on port/activities), watershoes, Toms (1-2), dress-up shoes (2, black and tan, at least, but maybe a fun pair too...), flip flops (at least 2, black and tan, but hopefully a fun pair too)...

 

I pack 1 very large bag, 1 carry on duffel bag, and my purse, and there's always room for 1-2 souvenirs if we buy, but I can fit tons of outfits and shoes in that. We usually drive to the port (not fly) but even if I flew, one checked bag easily fits 6 shoes if some are strappy sandals or flip flops, both of which are light and take up little room. It's usually mostly summery clothes too which take up no space and it's not like I have to bring a gown for Formal night (for women, formal clothes are not really that different to my normal outfits, but I usually bring a LBD and one other cute dress in a fun color). I could never take out half and truly do wear like 3-5 outfits daily and hate repeating outfits (don't mind repeating a pair of tights or a particular skirt or something, but prefer to have new outfits generally - the cute tropical outfits are 1/2 the fun!). We always do self-assist, as hauling one checked wheelie bag and a duffel bag is no issue.

 

Edit: spelling (duffel bag - it keeps trying to correct, but it's right)

Edited by berrieh

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I, also, easily take six pairs of shoes whether I'm flying or driving. I don't see that as overpacking.

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Best way to not overpack - make a list with each day on it and have a day outfit and evening outfit. Most sea days you will be in a bathing suit and coverup but use that day for your same pair of denim shorts and tank top. Have one pair of dressy shoes that coordinate with all dinner outfits, a formal pair, flip flops, and maybe tennis shoes if you are a sneaker person.

 

I do this every cruise and I never overpack, my husband, on the other hand, still packs like he has a vagina ;)

 

 

Also, bring sample size toiletries that will be empty or near empty and you can toss before you pack for departure. I buy shampoos and body washes that come with the free ones attached throughout the year so I always I stuff on hand. Bring plenty of sunscreen, do not be stuck buying it for $25 on shore or the gift shop.

Edited by TxChick

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I swear you wear an outfit for more or less three hours out of the day and then it is swimsuit to dinner wear to pj's. Even at an outfit a day I feel like we had too much.

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I swear you wear an outfit for more or less three hours out of the day and then it is swimsuit to dinner wear to pj's. Even at an outfit a day I feel like we had too much.

 

 

I don't wear a swimsuit very much when cruising, but agree most outfits can be used more than once.

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Seriously OVERPACKING!

 

Like bringing 6 pairs of shoes once!

 

 

I was thinking 6 pairs wasn't enough. I guess I have serious overpacking issues!!

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I tend to always over pack and this time went and got another suitcase so when we get to airport were not dividing clothes to make the weight! Hubby wasn't a big fan of that

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