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Flying to cruise with only personal bag


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We spent 3 nights in New Orleans then did a 5 night cruise.  Our carry on bags were more than enough.  Our small suitcases are a good size and we each took a backpack.  Certainly doable.  It was the only time we didn't overpack.

 

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Posted (edited)

I have done it too, though sure cant remember number of days as I have done it all the time. The only time I checked my one carry on, it was cheaper to check than to carry ot on. ..and they squashed my carry on. Never again. I'll carry it on. 

 

Laundry is a carnival perk if you need it.

Edited by firefly333
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"Free personal bag" - do you mean the one free carry-on-sized suitcase, 24" max or similar?  I could exist on that for a week (and have done so on other types of travel) if I wasn't carrying all my other gear (cameras, snorkel stuff).  For a couple, two of them would suffice.

 

However, we pack one full size suitcase plus have two backpacks because of all our gear.  But we drive to the port, so flying restrictions do not apply for us.

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Folks, the OP isn't talking 'carry-on', he talking the tiny 'personal carry-on' one puts under a seat.  United, for one, now charges for overhead bin space.  My answer..... fly SWA.

 

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Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, jsglow said:

Folks, the OP isn't talking 'carry-on', he talking the tiny 'personal carry-on' one puts under a seat.  United, for one, now charges for overhead bin space.  My answer..... fly SWA.

 

That's why I asked.  The two terms are supposed to be:

 

Carry on bag

Personal Item (purse, small backpack, briefcase / laptop bag)

 

The OP used a blend of terms, so clarification is indeed requested.

 

EDIT: maybe the OP is thinking of flying Frontier/Allegiant/Spirit.  IMHO you couldn't pay me to fly with any of those airlines...

Edited by ProgRockCruiser
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Posted (edited)
3 minutes ago, ProgRockCruiser said:

 

 

EDIT: maybe the OP is thinking of flying Frontier/Allegiant/Spirit.  IMHO you couldn't pay me to fly with any of those airlines...

I hear dat!

Edited by jsglow
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46 minutes ago, ProgRockCruiser said:

That's why I asked.  The two terms are supposed to be:

 

Carry on bag

Personal Item (purse, small backpack, briefcase / laptop bag)

 

The OP used a blend of terms, so clarification is indeed requested.

 

EDIT: maybe the OP is thinking of flying Frontier/Allegiant/Spirit.  IMHO you couldn't pay me to fly with any of those airlines...

WestJet and Air Canada allow one Personal Item (handbag, backpack, etc) for under seat and one Carry on for Overhead storage Bin.  All other Checked Bags typically cost around 50 CAD going to US and 50 US coming Back.  Since I have a WestJet CC I am allowed one free Checked bag for myself and up to 8 travelling companions per flight.  That all being said im not sure i could travel with just a backpack and a Carry on for a Cruise since i bring back lots of liquor uhmm i mean souveniers that cant be carried through Security.😏

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We only travel this way with recent back to back 2 week cruise on 2 different lines.  Funny we come home with items that we have never worn.  It is so liberating for us while many simply enjoy dressing up.  

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We made the decision 8 years ago to travel carryon only.  Just got back from 7 days on Crystal plus Nassau 3 days, and I do have one shirt I didn’t wear.  It helps that they have free self service laundry so we came home with mainly clean clothes.  Going, I fill my backpack with the minimum needed for the cruise if the occasionally checked bag doesn’t make it.  EM

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To clarify again: I believe that the OP is asking about a personal item,* which is not as large as a carry-on bag. I've never used such a bag by itself for a cruise, but I often do for weekends. If you are willing to do laundry (sink, self-service laundry if there is one, or the ship's laundry service), you're not taking bulky camera or sports gear, and you don't need extra pairs of shoes, it's possible. It's easier on a cruise line that doesn't have formal (chic or whatever, too) nights, although a man could carry a blazer over his arm on the flight.

 

*A personal item on the legacy airlines typical measures not more than 36 inches, all three dimensions added together. On low-cost airlines it has to be smaller and sometimes a specific shape. I have a special bag just for flying on Allegiant because of that.

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3 hours ago, jsglow said:

Folks, the OP isn't talking 'carry-on', he talking the tiny 'personal carry-on' one puts under a seat.  United, for one, now charges for overhead bin space.  My answer..... fly SWA.

 

Overhead bin space is only charged for the Basic Economy fare class...highly restricted, cheapest fares.

 

I will remember to fly Southwest when I go to Europe next year.

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15 minutes ago, CruiserBruce said:

Overhead bin space is only charged for the Basic Economy fare class...highly restricted, cheapest fares.

 

I will remember to fly Southwest when I go to Europe next year.

Enjoy your trip!  🙄

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Not a cruise, but we did a two week trip in Europe with only carry-on.  Reason is we were flying standby, so checking bags was not a good option.   

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Posted (edited)

I’m a light packer. I can travel just about anywhere for any length of time with just an overhead bag. If I have to travel with just a fit-under-the-seat personal bag, 3-4 days is no problem and a week is ok, just have to do laundry. Where laundry = rinse clothes in sink both travel detergent and hang dry. The killer with only a personal bag is shoes, I’m basically stuck with the one pair I wear all the time and a pair of flip flops. If those shoes get wet, dirty or need to air out I’m SOL. 
 

1) This works because I’m a guy who doesn’t need lots of outfits, shoes, hair curlers/straighteners or toiletries. It’s a lot harder if you need those things. 
 

2) The big cruise specific thing I need is a blazer if I want to do a dress up dinner. And that gets worn on the plane, not packed 

 

Note: Youcan hate on Spirit/Frontier etc. But when they are literally hundreds of dollars cheaper, I can slum it a bit on the flight. 

Edited by zekekelso
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1 hour ago, zekekelso said:

You can hate on Spirit/Frontier etc. But when they are literally hundreds of dollars cheaper, I can slum it a bit on the flight. 

No personal experience with Spirit or Frontier, but for a cruise from Port Canaveral I fly on Allegiant because it's nonstop (to SFB). Any other airline would require a hub connection. So would any other Florida or Gulf port. I could drive to New York, Cape Liberty, or Baltimore.

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I've flown all those airlines for various reasons...

We fly SWA most often as we have had companion pass for about 10 years...but with no college tuition to pay anymore that "ship has sailed"

One cruise we had to fly in day of. Got in about 1?2? Don't remember for sure.

 I figured if that flight was late & we had to wait for luggage & risk missing the ship, I would leave the luggage!

SO we did 7 day Caribbean cruise w/ a carry on & backpack each. It was quite freeing. We even had an item or 2 we didn't wear!

Now, w/ SWA it is quite easy to overpack...yet I still rarely check 2 bags. 

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Posted (edited)

We do this all the time. Warm weather cruises are the easiest. So much less hassle and stress having it all with you. On and off the plane, overnight hotel if you're doing that, roll on day one and roll off back to airport on final day is the way to go. I cannot stress enough the benefits of laundry on the ship, either sent out or di-it-yourself. Come home with clean clothes!

 

I think the longest has been 15 days. Once you can do a week like this, its easy to keep going. Believe me, no one has more interest in what you're wearing than you do.

Edited by Pudgesmom
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We never check a bag. 33 days straight of cruising is the most. Tux, wear sports coat, wife with six or more dresses. 
 
I’m a tall guy, wife is petite. One carryon per person. Wife brings a purse too.  
 

pack efficiency and effectively.

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I just have to express our contrarian view.  We pack "heavy" and take more clothes then we can possibly wear.  It has been over 25 years since we did any self-service laundry on a trip although we do send out some laundry/dry cleaning on cruises (we often get some free laundry because of our status).  We are now packing for a 3 week trip to Greece (including a 14 day cruise) and we will work hard at limiting our luggage to two large bags plus two packed carry-ons.  

 

My heroine was the lady who would book two cabins on Cunard's annual world cruise.  The 2nd cabin was for her clothes!

 

Hank

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We take advantage of being local to the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal [at least no bridges or tunnels to cross] so we usually massively over pack.

 

If we eventually plan a trip that requires flying, we'll probably ue a combination of carry on and forwarded luggage, avoiding bringing [for example] formal clothing for a land tour.

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We used to travel with just carry on AND personal item, but when things changed with how much liquid you could carry on we switched to checked luggage.

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Yeah, NO. We've traveled for up to 2 weeks with a carryon plus personal item, but that was due to the nature of the land trip; not due to any flight restrictions. No way would I cruise with only a personal item. 

 

We budget the flights into the price of the whole trip. And part of that is not cheaping out on the tickets, but buying the one that suits us best.  Which would ALWAYS include at least one checked bag. We definitely don't buy tickets that would charge for carryon. But everyone has to decide for themselves if the no frills price is one they can comfortably deal with.

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When you talk two or so weeks with just a carry-on you may feel some sense of accomplishment - but do you really want to keep putting on used clothes, spend a lot of time doing your laundry, and feeling like the schlub you look like? 

 

 A cruise is meant to be enjoyable -- not an exercise in penny pinching.

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