Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
grillinchillin

What is your favorite cruise "hack"?

Recommended Posts

5 minutes ago, Organized Chaos said:

 

In my defense, I never said rolling was the best or most efficient way. I just said it takes up less space than normal folding. I wouldn't say I leave much dead space. Not enough to make a difference, anyway. I combine rolling most clothes with folding others that are difficult to roll, plus miscellaneous things to fill in the gaps. I can get a pretty tight fit. All those years of playing Tetris as a teenager have really paid off in life. 🤣 Packing a suitcase, loading a car trunk, etc. The method you showed is definitely...unique. She only packed a dress, 3 shirts, and 2 pairs of pants, but I'll take your word for it that it works. Looks like it'll be a bit difficult trying to lay down everything in just the right places on all sides so they fold over the next layer just right. I never was very good at wrapping presents. It's not that I want or need to leave stuff rolled in the closet, but they're already packed that way, and they come out wrinkle free, so what the heck. It's easy to unpack. I'll hang my nicer shirts that I wear to the MDR, many of those usually aren't rolled anyway.

 

I think everyone should pack in a way that works for them, but if packing a lot of stuff in a small space is what you are after, this is the way to go.   I am not a neat, organized person, but found this method to be really, really easy.  I also take waaaayyyy too many clothes but, I can't change my ways.  I was able pack both my and my husband's clothing in one suitcase (larger suitcase) then use the smaller suitcase for my son's clothes, swim toys, and have plenty of room to bring back souvenirs  that I DO NOT NEED (shouting at myself here :classic_blush:) , again, I can't change. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Now for my 2 cents. I thought about that folding method where everything is interlaced, nah not for me. I would have to unpack everything to get to the shirt I wanted in the middle. The rolling method I have done and liked, as well as the folding each piece neatly individually and stacking in the suitcase. That was ok too. Now, when I wanted to go on that last 10 day cruise with just a carry on...THAT took some packing skills. First, I made sure my clothing tops and bottoms were compatible, several tops could be worn with several  pants or shorts. Secondly, making sure clothes could stay rolled up for a week and NOT come out like a wrinkled mess. That meant making choices of clothes that stay pretty much wrinkle free. Yep, no pressing anything. Third, I took my wise son's advice and  tried rolling clothes in packing cubes. Now I could stuff some clothes in those things!! I found I preferred the medium size to the large size cubes. Large got too big and heavy. Medium cubes could hold all my slacks in one cube and a couple of shorts, all my tops in another and unmentionables, sleepwear, swimwear went in the other. Shoes were stuffed around the sides of the suitcase - one pair casual sandals and one pair a little nicer for dinner. Wore the tennis, jeans and my jacket to board. (we cruised in January) THEN I realized that the ship we were going on didn't have drawers, just shelves. I found some folding organizers at the dollar store so I could put those on the shelves for our change, and small things that might fall off. Actually really like having those. And I took along a folding hamper for dirty clothes to put in the closet. So glad I took that. Well, that's my advice. I'm really not a hack person either. Hope some of this might help when you cruise.

Edited by BigEasyCC

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, NauticalNeophyte said:

Amen to the packing cubes! I can fit my whole cruise wardrobe in a large weekender bag with them.  

Don't you just love them! Doing a 12 day in 2021 and may have to try a few sample packings to fit everything!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I, too, hate the term "hack" for this usage.  So, here's another tip for packing wrinkle-free (please excuse me if it has already been mentioned in this thread): tissue paper and/or dry cleaner bags between layers of clothes that are packed already hanging on their hangers.  I do this with groupings of several dresses, tops, and skirts at a time. Layers go between each article, then the whole bundle is folded (but because it is so thick, it is almost like a roll) over and laid in the suitcase.  When unpacking, I leave the dry cleaner bags on the individual items until the item is worn. 

 

I reuse the tissue paper (bought new from the dollar store for this purpose) as shelf liners for my folded clothing that goes into the drawers.

 

Also, this next one is a bit "extra", kinda the cruise version of "glamping" and specific to Balcony cabins and Suites:  I bought a wireless doorbell set consisting of one transmitter (doorbell "button"), and two receivers (doorbell "chimes") a few years ago when we had a Vista Suite (Aft Wrap) on Pride.  I super glued 2 neodymium magnets to the back of the doorbell button unit and mounted it on our Suite's door frame.  I then stuck a Post-It note that looked something like this:

 

DOORBELL :classic_smile:

            I

            I

            I

           V

 

 

above it.  I placed one receiver out on our balcony, and kept one receiver in a central location in the Suite.  The purpose of this was for Room Service / our Room Steward / our friends to be able to get our attention when we were out on our balcony.  It worked perfectly!  It was especially helpful when we ordered Room Service while we were hosting a gathering of our CC friends out on the balcony.  I would not recommend this for a cabin in a heavy-traffic area, though.  Random people will undoubtedly ring (or even steal) your doorbell for a prank (although it is easily removable for bedtime).

 

 

Edited by ShakyBeef
typo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, pyropoodle said:

 

I think everyone should pack in a way that works for them, but if packing a lot of stuff in a small space is what you are after, this is the way to go.   I am not a neat, organized person, but found this method to be really, really easy.  I also take waaaayyyy too many clothes but, I can't change my ways.  I was able pack both my and my husband's clothing in one suitcase (larger suitcase) then use the smaller suitcase for my son's clothes, swim toys, and have plenty of room to bring back souvenirs  that I DO NOT NEED (shouting at myself here :classic_blush:) , again, I can't change. 

 

I take too many clothes as well. I am definitely not a light packer. But that's ok, I actually prefer it. I get hot & sweat easy, so I like to have some  extra T-shirts if needed. Those are what I take the most of. And I always take a few extra pairs of undies & socks, but those extras don't take up much more space, so what the heck. What else was I going to put in that little hole? I tell myself not to pack extra T-shirts and just do a load of laundry, but it's just habit. I don't wear the same shirt twice in one week at home, so I don't feel like doing it on the cruise. Most of all, I'd rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it. I take the same suitcase regardless, so since I have the space, I might as well use it.

 

1 hour ago, BigEasyCC said:

Third, I took my wise son's advice and  tried rolling clothes in packing cubes. Now I could stuff some clothes in those things!! I found I preferred the medium size to the large size cubes. Large got too big and heavy. Medium cubes could hold all my slacks in one cube and a couple of shorts, all my tops in another and unmentionables, sleepwear, swimwear went in the other.

 

OK, someone please sell me on packing cubes. I've seen so many people who swear by those things, but I don't see how they'd help me. Other than maybe one reason...some people have said they can take the cubes out of their suitcase and put them right in the closet, done. But how do they save space? For example, if I roll up 5 T-shirts, put them in a packing cube, and put that packing cube in the suitcase...how is that different than just rolling up those 5 shirts and putting them directly in the suitcase? I get that they can separate different items, like undies and socks, but how does that save space? I like to put all of my undies and socks in the inside lid pocket, so they're already out of the way. I feel like I'm missing something here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Organized Chaos said:

 

 Most of all, I'd rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it.

 

 

 

 

YESSSSS, please explain this to my husband, he does not understand it. 

 

however, when he says something like "ouch, I have a sunburn", he turns to me for aloe vera because I bring lots of it

and when he says "ouch, I have a splinter in my finger", guess who has the tweezers.  so, I bring everything I can think of. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Organized Chaos said:

 

I take too many clothes as well. I am definitely not a light packer. But that's ok, I actually prefer it. I get hot & sweat easy, so I like to have some  extra T-shirts if needed. Those are what I take the most of. And I always take a few extra pairs of undies & socks, but those extras don't take up much more space, so what the heck. What else was I going to put in that little hole? I tell myself not to pack extra T-shirts and just do a load of laundry, but it's just habit. I don't wear the same shirt twice in one week at home, so I don't feel like doing it on the cruise. Most of all, I'd rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it. I take the same suitcase regardless, so since I have the space, I might as well use it.

 

 

OK, someone please sell me on packing cubes. I've seen so many people who swear by those things, but I don't see how they'd help me. Other than maybe one reason...some people have said they can take the cubes out of their suitcase and put them right in the closet, done. But how do they save space? For example, if I roll up 5 T-shirts, put them in a packing cube, and put that packing cube in the suitcase...how is that different than just rolling up those 5 shirts and putting them directly in the suitcase? I get that they can separate different items, like undies and socks, but how does that save space? I like to put all of my undies and socks in the inside lid pocket, so they're already out of the way. I feel like I'm missing something here.

Ahhh Grasshopper, you can stuff 9-10 t-shirts in that packing cube if you really try. Hahaha. and YES, I did try and did it! For me, it ended up taking less space to use the cubes. DH on the other hand, I could have put another 5- 6 items in each of his packing cubes. Guess I'll do his packing too next cruise.Anyway, this is what helped me. You do you. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, ShakyBeef said:

I, too, hate the term "hack" for this usage.  So, here's another tip for packing wrinkle-free (please excuse me if it has already been mentioned in this thread): tissue paper and/or dry cleaner bags between layers of clothes that are packed already hanging on their hangers.  I do this with groupings of several dresses, tops, and skirts at a time. Layers go between each article, then the whole bundle is folded (but because it is so thick, it is almost like a roll) over and laid in the suitcase.  When unpacking, I leave the dry cleaner bags on the individual items until the item is worn. 

 

I reuse the tissue paper (bought new from the dollar store for this purpose) as shelf liners for my folded clothing that goes into the drawers.

 

Also, this next one is a bit "extra", kinda the cruise version of "glamping" and specific to Balcony cabins and Suites:  I bought a wireless doorbell set consisting of one transmitter (doorbell "button"), and two receivers (doorbell "chimes") a few years ago when we had a Vista Suite (Aft Wrap) on Pride.  I super glued 2 neodymium magnets to the back of the doorbell button unit and mounted it on our Suite's door frame.  I then stuck a Post-It note that looked something like this:

 

DOORBELL :classic_smile:

            I

            I

            I

           V

above it.  I placed one receiver out on our balcony, and kept one receiver in a central location in the Suite.  The purpose of this was for Room Service / our Room Steward / our friends to be able to get our attention when we were out on our balcony.  It worked perfectly!  It was especially helpful when we ordered Room Service while we were hosting a gathering of our CC friends out on the balcony.  I would not recommend this for a cabin in a heavy-traffic area, though.  Random people will undoubtedly ring (or even steal) your doorbell for a prank (although it is easily removable for bedtime).

 

Funny you mention the tissue paper. I think it was last year before our cruise, I happened to come across a YouTube video of a professional butler (England, I believe) who was showing how they pack suitcases for their bosses when it's really nice, expensive clothes (dress shirts, suit vests, jackets, etc.). He used tissue paper between each item. Except I don't think he folded the whole thing and put it in the suitcase. I think he laid them in the suitcase first, folding the arms a certain way, then put the tissue paper between each layer. So hey, if professional butlers do it for fancy rich people's clothes, or maybe even nobility, then it must work.

 

And it's an excellent idea to use the tissue paper are drawer/shelf lining.

 

I was going to ask you about unwanted doorbell rings. "Ding dong ditching," is what they called it on an episode of Last Man Standing. But that's a great idea, too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
13 minutes ago, BigEasyCC said:

Ahhh Grasshopper, you can stuff 9-10 t-shirts in that packing cube if you really try. Hahaha. and YES, I did try and did it! For me, it ended up taking less space to use the cubes. DH on the other hand, I could have put another 5- 6 items in each of his packing cubes. Guess I'll do his packing too next cruise.Anyway, this is what helped me. You do you. 

 

I want to like them, but I'd hate to buy them if they don't work for me the way they work for so many others. So are you saying 9-10 T-shirts in a packing cube will take up less space than 9-10 T-shirts in the suitcase on their own?

 

13 minutes ago, pyropoodle said:

YESSSSS, please explain this to my husband, he does not understand it. 

 

however, when he says something like "ouch, I have a sunburn", he turns to me for aloe vera because I bring lots of it

and when he says "ouch, I have a splinter in my finger", guess who has the tweezers.  so, I bring everything I can think of. 

 

We've had a good system going long before we started cruising, so figure we might as well go with what works for us. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

 

We have a little fingernail kit that we always take. Fingernail & toenail clippers, tweezers, some other kind of clippy/cutty thing (I don't know what it's for), cuticle something or other?, nail file. It's not even an inch thick, so takes up very little space and we use it all the time...at home and on vacation.

Edited by Organized Chaos

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know if the packing cubes really save space or not, but I love how all of my stuff can be organized in them.  I even use one for shoes.  🙂

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, Organized Chaos said:

 

I want to like them, but I'd hate to buy them if they don't work for me the way they work for so many others. So are you saying 9-10 T-shirts in a packing cube will take up less space than 9-10 T-shirts in the suitcase on their own?

Here’s the video that convinced me to try them.

 I never found this exact toiletry bag, but I did get a good one on Amazon.  The combo of the two has made all the difference. I like how no matter how much my luggage gets tossed, everything stays folded. I can leave my undies in the cube in the drawer, organize my suitcase better and group things together.  I’m sure some people won’t find them useful, but I think they’re great.  I even got my sister hooked on them.  

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 hours ago, Organized Chaos said:

I roll all of my T-shirts when packing. Believe it or not, rolling them takes up less space than folding. I actually took the time to test it. I needed to know...FOR SCIENCE! I'll even roll jean shorts and khaki shorts, but those are a little harder to do. Other things, like button up/collared shirts, jeans & khaki pants, can be difficult to roll, so I'll usually just fold those. I'm very careful when rolling my T-shirts, making sure to smooth out any wrinkles as I roll them. It's a bit tedious, but in doing this, I've been able to leave the shirts rolled up for an entire week and not have any wrinkles when they're unrolled.

 

There's a reason the military rolls their clothing. You can pack a lot more into a ruck by rolling it than you can any other way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, NauticalNeophyte said:

Here’s the video that convinced me to try them.

 I never found this exact toiletry bag, but I did get a good one on Amazon.  The combo of the two has made all the difference. I like how no matter how much my luggage gets tossed, everything stays folded. I can leave my undies in the cube in the drawer, organize my suitcase better and group things together.  I’m sure some people won’t find them useful, but I think they’re great.  I even got my sister hooked on them.  

 

 

The biggest difference I saw between how I pack and how she packed for her boys & husband is, it appears they're going to wear the same T-shirts they wore during the day into the MDR. Her husband did have a Polo and a Hawaiian shirt, but it looks like the three males had mostly T-shirts, one per day. Technically, T-shirts aren't allowed in the MDR, even on casual nights. Ok, we all see it, but I do like to wear a nicer shirt to casual night dinners. So that doubles my shirt inventory, unless I wear some twice or wear a shirt during the day that works for the MDR (but I mostly wear T-shirts during the day).

 

I could be wrong, but I don't think the cubes will do me any good after seeing her cram them in there. I think I'll stick with my own pacing style, but thanks for sharing the video. I won't buy them for myself, but who knows, maybe my wife will decide to buy a set some day. We have looked at them on more than one occasion. Seeing them in person could change my mind.

 

Side note: Even though she said her power strip is allowed and fine to use on the ship, that one IS NOT allowed. It clearly said "surge protector" right on the top. Anything with surge protection is a no no because they can damage ship's electrical systems.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love packing cubes, too. I love that I can just throw the cubes into drawers or onto shelves and everything is instantly organized and easy to find. It's also great that as they empty out, I can put dirty clothes into empty cubes and consolidate clean clothes into other cubes so they never come into contact with each other when I'm packing everything back into my suitcase to go home. And I don't just use them for clothes, either. For my cruise in Feb/March, I had a packing cube for beach bag stuff, one for excursion gear, one for toiletries and bathroom items, one for cabin stuff like alarm clock and power strip, etc. Everything was so organized and so easy to find. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, BigEasyCC said:

Don't you just love them! Doing a 12 day in 2021 and may have to try a few sample packings to fit everything!

 

 

We did a 14 day B2B with only a carry on backpack, with packing cubes and rolling. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎5‎/‎3‎/‎2019 at 4:22 PM, christyran1228 said:

I don't know if the packing cubes really save space or not, but I love how all of my stuff can be organized in them.  I even use one for shoes.  🙂

 

Yes, this!  I don't think that they really save space, but they don't make things more bulky either.  So easy to unpack and access to keep thinks organized throughout the trip.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, daniellejz said:

Pardon my ignorance, what are cubes?


Packing cubes. https://www.amazon.ca/Gonex-Packing-Luggage-Organizer-Included/dp/B01NAU5ZF7/ref=sr_1_16?keywords=packing+cubes&qid=1557048383&s=gateway&sr=8-16

 

Some people like them because it allows them to pull a cube out of their suitcase and know what's in it, so they can "stay organized" when they unpack. Personally, I think they're a waste of money and space. I just roll everything, which packs tighter, still allows me to unpack quickly and I don't have to try and fit things into cubes before fitting them into the suitcase.

Edited by Sean_B

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Sean_B said:


Packing cubes. https://www.amazon.ca/Gonex-Packing-Luggage-Organizer-Included/dp/B01NAU5ZF7/ref=sr_1_16?keywords=packing+cubes&qid=1557048383&s=gateway&sr=8-16

 

Some people like them because it allows them to pull a cube out of their suitcase and know what's in it, so they can "stay organized" when they unpack. Personally, I think they're a waste of money and space. I just roll everything, which packs tighter, still allows me to unpack quickly and I don't have to try and fit things into cubes before fitting them into the suitcase.

Would you roll and then put them in space-saver bags like Ziploc or airtight bags? Best of both worlds?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, jbethel11 said:

Would you roll and then put them in space-saver bags like Ziploc or airtight bags? Best of both worlds?


No. I'm packing for a week, not four months.

I've been able to pack for six-month deployments to Afghanistan without using packing cubes, so I don't think I need them for a week-long cruise. The amount of money and time people waste on ancillary stuff like this just baffles me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Sean_B said:


No. I'm packing for a week, not four months.

I've been able to pack for six-month deployments to Afghanistan without using packing cubes, so I don't think I need them for a week-long cruise. The amount of money and time people waste on ancillary stuff like this just baffles me.

Well, I don't like wearing the same clothes twice. So, I guess for me Carry-on only with Ziploc bags make sense. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I showed my wife the above video last night and she felt the same way I did. It had just the opposite affect on us that had on user NauticalNeophyte. It didn't convince us to try them, it convinced us they aren't for us. To each their own.

 

The one thing I might find useful with them is being able to simply transfer the cube from the suitcase to the drawer/closet. But even though I'm comfortable leaving my shirts rolled up all week, I'd never leave them stuffed in a cube.

 

3 hours ago, jbethel11 said:

Well, I don't like wearing the same clothes twice. So, I guess for me Carry-on only with Ziploc bags make sense. 

 

The woman in that video kept stressing the fact that she can pack her family for a 7-day cruise with just a carry-on bag for each. I know many people do just that, but as I pointed out earlier, I noticed a bit of a flaw in her method. She took exactly 7 shirts for her husband and two boys, but most of those T-shirts go against the MDR dress code, even on casual nights. Yeah, Carnival would probably let it slide, but that's definitely not my style. I'm not going to wear my daytime T-shirts in the MDR. For one, I'm going to follow the dress code, but also, I would just prefer to wear something a little nicer. So I'm always going to have my daytime shirts plus MDR shirts. However, some of them are nice enough that they can perform double duty if I want. The problem is, it's the tropics and I sweat, so more often than not, I'm going to change for dinner.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Sean_B said:

I've been able to pack for six-month deployments to Afghanistan

 

 

I think your wardrobe will be a little more varied on a cruise. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
54 minutes ago, coevan said:

 

 

I think your wardrobe will be a little more varied on a cruise. 


Not really.

 

5-6 t-shirts, 2-3 polo shirts, 3-4 pairs of shorts, 1 pair of Dockers with 1-2 dress shirts, running shoes, dress shoes, socks, underwear and a swimsuit. Any other clothes are probably not going to be worn and are a waste of space IMO. If someone wants to get all fancied up and wear a suit at supper, then knock yourself out, but it's not for me. I'm on vacation, not in the office.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Q&A: Cruise Insurance with Steve Dasseos of TripInsuranceStore.com
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...