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Has anybody ever cruised on a 7 day with nothing but backpacks?


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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, lyannea said:


Do pack a lightweight bag ( great one from IKEA) so you have something in case of purchases. 
Be organized-

 

 

We do that too.  And, more than once we've purchased cheapo zip up nylon type bags to carry the "extra" stuff home.  

Edited by ldubs
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24 minutes ago, ldubs said:

 

We do that too.  And, more than once we've purchased cheapo zip up nylon type bags to carry the "extra" stuff home.  

I also use the bag when in port- easy to throw in a few purchases and not heavy, similar to this one. I think the one that I have folds up so you can put in in your pocket

 

RÄCKLA Bag, foldable, black, 19x14 ¼"/5 gallon - IKEA

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Posted (edited)

Compromise by taking one suitcase between you plus the two bags. You don't need to fill the suitcase, just pack what you want to take which doesn't fit the backpacks.

 

We have tried packing only one weekend size bag for each of us on 7 day city (not cruise) trips but it wasn't terribly successful so when cutting back now, we take one suitcase to share and a small weekend size bag each and that does.  A typical 14 night or longer cruise would have us with one suitcase and one carry on each.  We have done 3 cruises up to 30 days and didn't need more than that then either.

 

We did a 7 night city break to Madrid with only the two small bags (and they are small)  the following month we did a 7 night Berlin trip and added the suitcase so we could take the things we missed having with us  on the previous trip.

 

We found that the small weekend siz bags were just too small, although your backpacks sound as if they are larger.

 

We can put in the suitcase things like liquids including toiletries  (banned from carry ons) and spare shoes, folding mini  umbrellas, 2 or 3 books, lightweight dressing gowns /robes (we had definitely missed these and they are not always supplied). and a spare lightweight  jacket each as weather can change.

 

Really it depends on where we are going and the kind of typical weather in that location. if hot, can add  sandals, sun lotion, after sun lotion etc and need access to a washer as clothing needs more frequent changing.

 

The no liquids rule means with only carry ons, one of the first things you would need to do is go out shopping.-and who wants to do that? We have our own preferred brands and prefer having them with us rather than having to buy whatever is available locally, assuming we can read the labels that is.

Edited by edinburgher
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Posted (edited)

We've done only carry-ons and now you can actually buy backpacks that are basically a carry-on suitcase without wheels. If you don't have one and are interested you can go to Amazon and just surch for travel backpacks. I got one for $30 but the Amazon Basics one is closer to $50. But yes, I always prefer to do carry on only if I can. I hate lugging around big suitcases. However, the next few I will probably be doing larger luggage because we have a toddler and she's currently in diapers. Our oldest can carry his own, though!

 

EDIT: I see you say you bought weekender backpacks designed for travel so I am assuming they are like the one I have.

Edited by oyme
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A few thought from a too heavy packer.  We have been traveling since late March (still moving around Europe) and have had to deal with formal nights ona cruise, warm weather in Europe, chilly weather in Europe ( Into the 40s f), rain, sun,etc.  We managed to pack for this 7 week trip with two cases (about 49 pounds each) and two stuffed carry ons.  We though that getting everything into just two checked bags was an accomplishment.

 

As to using laundry on ships (we do this):keep,in mind that some lines take up to three days to return laundry.  Many cruisers have issues with the fact that cruise lines launder everything in hot water.

 

i do think a back pack or carry on can easily work on a 7 day cruise that involves one type of climate.  But please tell me how to do this on a cruise that involves a hot South America coupled with a week in Antarctica eith multiple daily Zodiac excursions?  My message is that this is not a one solution fits all.

 

Hank

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Posted (edited)

One of our issues now is our physical ability to handle our bags without assistance.   Many of our travels involve places where there is no assistance available.  Whether it is stairs, in and out of rentals, on and off ferries or long tail boats.

 

IF we were going from home to airport to cruise ship and back we would be less inclined to go with carry on only.  This is not our routine.  We tend to pick up cruises last minute whilst on extended land trips.  Once in a while we have a cruise booked prior to leaving home but this is really the exception for us post retirement.

 

It was a challenge to switch.  But now, ten years later we believe taking less has enhanced our travel enjoyment.  Lots less to bother about.

 

I think the bottom line is to just do what is best for you, what you are comfortable with, and above all enjoy your travel experiences to the fullest.

Edited by iancal
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5 hours ago, iancal said:

One of our issues now is our physical ability to handle our bags without assistance.   Many of our travels involve places where there is no assistance available.  Whether it is stairs, in and out of rentals, on and off ferries or long tail boats.

 

IF we were going from home to airport to cruise ship and back we would be less inclined to go with carry on only.  This is not our routine.  We tend to pick up cruises last minute whilst on extended land trips.  Once in a while we have a cruise booked prior to leaving home but this is really the exception for us post retirement.

 

It was a challenge to switch.  But now, ten years later we believe taking less has enhanced our travel enjoyment.  Lots less to bother about.

 

I think the bottom line is to just do what is best for you, what you are comfortable with, and above all enjoy your travel experiences to the fullest.

The logistics of handling luggage should never be under estimated.  This is especially true for we seniors and others with various mobility/strength challenges.  We now spend significant pre trip time 

and thought on how to deal with this issue.  Bottom line is that in many circumstances folks are on their own in terms of luggage handling (especially with train transportation).

 

Hank

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Of course you should travel as lightly as possible - but you should think about the reason why. Do you travel to enjoy your experience, or do you just want to prove how little you need to survive?  There is always a trade-off -- when you minimize the stuff you bring you also minimize your options. 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, navybankerteacher said:

Of course you should travel as lightly as possible - but you should think about the reason why. Do you travel to enjoy your experience, or do you just want to prove how little you need to survive?  There is always a trade-off -- when you minimize the stuff you bring you also minimize your options. 

We love travel…all modes and many places.  Pre covid usually four plus  months a year.  Two 2 month trips per year plus some last minutes in between.

 

We do what we have to.   We have seen many seniors struggling with luggage on trains in Italy, trying to drag cases that are too large and too heavy on and off ferries in Greece, Turkey, Croatia, Italy, etc.  Even more challenging in SE Asia.  We decided that this would not be us.  
 

We figured out how to make it work for us without giving up how and where we like to travel.  Since retirement the vast majority of our travel time is independent land travel.  Cruises and resorts have become an add on instead of the main event they were in our working years.  No doubt this will eventually change.  
 

 Moving down to 20 inch carry ones has not minimized our travel options.  It has maximized them.  Ferries, trains, vans and small boats in SE Asia, small rentals..you name it.
 

 The one drawback is that by about week seven my spouse gets tired of wearing the same clothes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by iancal
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52 minutes ago, iancal said:

...
 

 Moving down to 20 inch carry ones has not minimized our travel options.  It has maximized them.  Ferries, trains, vans and small boats in SE Asia, small rentals..you name it.

 

...
 

 

Of course 20 inch carry-ons are quite different from backpacks - which is what this thread is supposed to be about,

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On 5/13/2022 at 9:11 AM, Saint Greg said:

Sure.

 

giant-jansport-backpack-thumb.jpg

Oh wow!  I forgot all about this post, I wasn't receiving any notifications and thought nobody either cared or it got buried by other posts.  I will read through and respond to everybody. 

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You all brought up great points, I'm honestly not sure it's going to work.  Do we really want to break our backs?  I will still use one for our carryon stuff, but I don't know about as our only form of luggage.  I'm going to do a test run tomorrow.  

 

The challenge for us is finding a porter at the terminal so we are not struggling with the wheelchair or walker and our rolling luggage.  We are not always successful, in Seattle the porters like to venture way out to where the buses are coming in to drop off masses of people, they never seem to be right by the main entrance.  

4 hours ago, Hlitner said:

The logistics of handling luggage should never be under estimated.  This is especially true for we seniors and others with various mobility/strength challenges.  We now spend significant pre trip time 

and thought on how to deal with this issue.  Bottom line is that in many circumstances folks are on their own in terms of luggage handling (especially with train transportation).

 

Hank

This exactly!  Especially disabled seniors or a near senior in my case.  I guess if cruise terminals didn't turn into 3 ring circuses while everybody boards as if their lives depend on it; we'd probably wait until the stampede is in the buffet having lunch if it wasn't for the fact Princess changed the departure time, now everybody has to be on the ship by 2:30.  

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10 hours ago, Hlitner said:

A few thought from a too heavy packer.  We have been traveling since late March (still moving around Europe) and have had to deal with formal nights ona cruise, warm weather in Europe, chilly weather in Europe ( Into the 40s f), rain, sun,etc.  We managed to pack for this 7 week trip with two cases (about 49 pounds each) and two stuffed carry ons.  We though that getting everything into just two checked bags was an accomplishment.

 

As to using laundry on ships (we do this):keep,in mind that some lines take up to three days to return laundry.  Many cruisers have issues with the fact that cruise lines launder everything in hot water.

 

i do think a back pack or carry on can easily work on a 7 day cruise that involves one type of climate.  But please tell me how to do this on a cruise that involves a hot South America coupled with a week in Antarctica eith multiple daily Zodiac excursions?  My message is that this is not a one solution fits all.

 

Hank

First of all, it's Alaska in the spring, so in other words: expect anything.  But we'll have to pack heavier clothes for sure.  On formal nights, we're tired of them, we've done so many they don't really impress anymore and we're not nightlife people.  As to laundry, I don't mind doing laundry a couple times during a 7 day at all.  Thankfully Princess ships still have laundry rooms and it's not necessary to wait 2 to 3 days.  

 

11 hours ago, oyme said:

We've done only carry-ons and now you can actually buy backpacks that are basically a carry-on suitcase without wheels. If you don't have one and are interested you can go to Amazon and just surch for travel backpacks. I got one for $30 but the Amazon Basics one is closer to $50. But yes, I always prefer to do carry on only if I can. I hate lugging around big suitcases. However, the next few I will probably be doing larger luggage because we have a toddler and she's currently in diapers. Our oldest can carry his own, though!

 

EDIT: I see you say you bought weekender backpacks designed for travel so I am assuming they are like the one I have.

Not exactly like the packs your describing, but close.  I have the luggage cubes and I'm going to see if they will fit into these, if not there's still time to make another amazon purchase, assuming we don't scrap the idea altogether.

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1 minute ago, atexsix said:

You all brought up great points, I'm honestly not sure it's going to work.  Do we really want to break our backs?  I will still use one for our carryon stuff, but I don't know about as our only form of luggage.  I'm going to do a test run tomorrow.  

 

The challenge for us is finding a porter at the terminal so we are not struggling with the wheelchair or walker and our rolling luggage.  We are not always successful, in Seattle the porters like to venture way out to where the buses are coming in to drop off masses of people, they never seem to be right by the main entrance.  

This exactly!  Especially disabled seniors or a near senior in my case.  I guess if cruise terminals didn't turn into 3 ring circuses while everybody boards as if their lives depend on it; we'd probably wait until the stampede is in the buffet having lunch if it wasn't for the fact Princess changed the departure time, now everybody has to be on the ship by 2:30.  

 

We prefer to board after noon.  By then the crowds are pretty thin and we walk right on.   But that would be for the typical 5 or 6 pm departures.    I'm not sure what the equivalent would be for a 2:30 departure.   

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11 hours ago, edinburgher said:

Compromise by taking one suitcase between you plus the two bags. You don't need to fill the suitcase, just pack what you want to take which doesn't fit the backpacks.

 

We have tried packing only one weekend size bag for each of us on 7 day city (not cruise) trips but it wasn't terribly successful so when cutting back now, we take one suitcase to share and a small weekend size bag each and that does.  A typical 14 night or longer cruise would have us with one suitcase and one carry on each.  We have done 3 cruises up to 30 days and didn't need more than that then either.

 

We did a 7 night city break to Madrid with only the two small bags (and they are small)  the following month we did a 7 night Berlin trip and added the suitcase so we could take the things we missed having with us  on the previous trip.

 

We found that the small weekend siz bags were just too small, although your backpacks sound as if they are larger.

 

We can put in the suitcase things like liquids including toiletries  (banned from carry ons) and spare shoes, folding mini  umbrellas, 2 or 3 books, lightweight dressing gowns /robes (we had definitely missed these and they are not always supplied). and a spare lightweight  jacket each as weather can change.

 

Really it depends on where we are going and the kind of typical weather in that location. if hot, can add  sandals, sun lotion, after sun lotion etc and need access to a washer as clothing needs more frequent changing.

 

The no liquids rule means with only carry ons, one of the first things you would need to do is go out shopping.-and who wants to do that? We have our own preferred brands and prefer having them with us rather than having to buy whatever is available locally, assuming we can read the labels that is.

I think we may have to do this compromise....ever notice when you begin to lay out everything on the bed there's a million items you hadn't thought about?  

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On 5/13/2022 at 9:07 AM, sthrnbll said:

No, I need options. LOL. 

When my daughter graduated she went to Europe for 10 days. One of the girls that went with her packed all clothes for the 10 day trip in a carry on. I couldn't believe it.

I know.  I've watched a few videos and I'm floored as well. 

On 5/13/2022 at 9:06 AM, cruizergal70 said:

Are you concerned more about the physical backpack or the  amount of clothes? I only travel with a 19" carryon and one small backpack. I only pack clothes for half the days. So, for a 7 day, I would have the clothes I wore onto the ship and then three more days of clothes. Clothes wise, you should be okay with less. Most ships have self serve laundry rooms. A few have ship laundry services.

I think it's more the type of luggage than amount of clothes, even though I always way overpack. 

 

On 5/13/2022 at 10:37 AM, Joebucks said:

I'm not really sure where you are going with this. Between any toiletries, sunscreen, beach wear, elegant wear, casual wear, foot wear, etc there is nothing liberating about not being able to have it. I find it more liberating to have my bottle of wine, snorkel, and anything else that I will need to not pay exorbitant prices for inferior products. We unpack and everything we have is there for the week. It really isn't a problem in the slightest.

 

If you want to move down to a carry-on, or share one or a larger suitcase with someone else, I have done that plenty of times. Some people absolutely overpack, and that I understand as a burden. 

 

Just be honest with us and tell us you want to save on luggage fees.

I don't know where I was going either.  But I think we can combine suitcases so that's a plus.  But carryon only will be harder to pull off for two people less than spry.

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Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, ldubs said:

 

We prefer to board after noon.  By then the crowds are pretty thin and we walk right on.   But that would be for the typical 5 or 6 pm departures.    I'm not sure what the equivalent would be for a 2:30 departure.   

I know.  Especially since embarkation is still scheduled for 11, I don't think they could make it much earlier without overlapping with people disembarking.  Not sure how long it takes to clear a ship, but on my last cruise our limo was late and I can see people were still coming off the ship at 9:30.

 

Edited by atexsix
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9 minutes ago, atexsix said:

I think we may have to do this compromise....ever notice when you begin to lay out everything on the bed there's a million items you hadn't thought about?  

 

Haha, the "bare essentials" grow into 50 pounds "let's take this too".  

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On 5/13/2022 at 10:54 AM, mom says said:

I see no practicality in a backpack vs a suitcase unless you are hiking and camping. Or are perhaps walking to and from the cruise port vs driving or flying. Plus they're a royal PITA trying to find anything - its invariably at the bottom of the pack, and by the time you find it, you've messed up everything else.

And I don't find anything enjoyable or relaxing about having to spend part of my short vacation having to do laundry because my luggage would only hold a few days worth of clothes. That's just annoying.

 

For something as short as 7 days I might use a carryon suitcase if I was cruising one of the very casual mass market lines.  In which case it would take all of 5 minutes to unpack. But I dont cruise on those lines. So I would check my 25 inch suitcase, and take 10 minutes to unpack and not have to concern myself with laundry.

Yes I thought of that.  You'd have to be incredibly organized for it to work, but I envision having to remove everything 50 times because of something that sank to the bottom.  

On 5/13/2022 at 12:02 PM, txcruiser1234 said:

Yes! ...incredibly liberating. Traveling light is definitely not for everyone, but, for us, it just feels good.

 

We were luggage toters up until my wife was inspired to backpack 17-days across the Greek islands in a land-based adventure last September. Since then, we've cruised twice (6 and 7-day) and done Vegas 3 times with just personal-sized backpacks that fit under a plane seat.

 

The key for us was to find clothes made of thin fabric. Linen suites me best in this regard. It's amazing how little space tightly packed linen actually requires. In addition to the essentials, I am able to pack 2 pair of linen shorts, linen pants, two long sleeve linen shirts, a short sleeve linen shirt, a couple thin cotton t-shirts, 2 swim trunks, flip-flops and still have room for a Nikon and two lenses in the backpack. I steam the linen out next to a hot shower as needed.

 

The only real drawback, for me, is the lack of additional footwear other than what I wear on the plane.  I honestly don't know how my wife does it, but she ends up with everything she needs including make-up and 4 or 5 dresses.

 

Give it a shot and see if the pros outweigh the cons for the two of you.

 

I'm still going to do a test run and see how it goes, I have another week before we leave.  

 

21 hours ago, MarySueSays said:

I haven't checked a bag on an airline since 1999. I'm about to do a 8 day trip (1 before cruising+7 days cruising Alaska) with this bag as my only luggage. It fits under the airline seat. The photo here is from when I took it to Europe for a 22 day trip, through four countries. There are five outfits in that bag, plus all travel accessories, I'm planning on 8 outfits for my cruise packing. I did also carry a purse that was about the size of a hardback book.

 

I did 5 weeks in Canada in 2015 with just a 21L backpack, chose to swap away from backpacks to give me less of a "OH HEY IT'S A TOURIST" vibe as I've gotten older. 

 

My secrets are compression packing cubes, rolling clothes tightly, lightweight clothing that can be scrubbed in the sink if no laundry facilities are around and dries quickly, and a *lot* of practice at this sort of travel.

 

I was thinking of doing a live for my cruise, I might just start that next week and show my packing method along with a lot of other stuff...

IMG_20190530_184339838.jpg

I did that on a trip to europe once and man did they grill me coming back through U.S. Customs, wanting to know why I traveled with so few belongings...I guess that raised suspicions....my answer though "because your own state department website recommended traveling lightly".

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Thanks for all the replies.  See this is why Cruise Critic is so wonderful, everybody is very helpful even in a Devil's Advocate kinda way without being rude and ridiculing at the same time.

 

I will let everybody know what we decided in the end.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, navybankerteacher said:

Of course 20 inch carry-ons are quite different from backpacks - which is what this thread is supposed to be about,

What is  different???   My packs are just like rollers, just with straps instead of wheels.  I do an Osprey Sojourn which has wheels and straps.  They open clamshell-style.  Even if you have a top-loader, it's easy if you use cubes inside if you know how to properly pack a to-loader.  

I don't pack this way to prove how small I can pack.  Packing this way has not deprived me of an activity or experience, either.  Being a single women over 65, I have to be responsible for what I bring and have to be able to handle it over cobbles, on trains, on dirt trails, up/down stairs (i've stayed in places without lifts - doing it again this summer).  I also owned an Audi TT roadster until 4 years ago - that alone will make you think how to pack - no much could fit in the trunk and on the front seat (no back seat)!!!  

 

Remember - just because it is carry-on compliant, you don't have to carry it on.  On many of my plane flights, I'll check the carryon (I have status that gives me a free bag on Delta).  It saves the hassle of the overhead space scrum on the plane.  Grab the bag off the belt and I'm off to use whatever other mode of transportation I've got, including those sub-compact econo-boxes I rent to drive - I doubt some of the checked bags people use would fit in those cars!!!

 

If you want to see me pack heavy, come watch me load up my Sportage when I go camping!!!  I'm a luxury camper and need my lounger, 2 mattresses, cocktail table, blender...

 

 

Edited by slidergirl
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Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, atexsix said:

You all brought up great points, I'm honestly not sure it's going to work.  Do we really want to break our backs?  I will still use one for our carryon stuff, but I don't know about as our only form of luggage.  I'm going to do a test run tomorrow.  

 

The challenge for us is finding a porter at the terminal so we are not struggling with the wheelchair or walker and our rolling luggage.  We are not always successful, in Seattle the porters like to venture way out to where the buses are coming in to drop off masses of people, they never seem to be right by the main entrance.  

This exactly!  Especially disabled seniors or a near senior in my case.  I guess if cruise terminals didn't turn into 3 ring circuses while everybody boards as if their lives depend on it; we'd probably wait until the stampede is in the buffet having lunch if it wasn't for the fact Princess changed the departure time, now everybody has to be on the ship by 2:30.  

We considered the backpack route, the rolling backpack route at the start of our post retirement travels.  We were both in out late 50's at that time.   We knew we had to cut down if extended land/sea trips were on our horizon.  Backpacks were not in the equation for us.

 

We spoke to a number of people and they all seemed to recommend a  quality roller carry on of any sort.  Two wheels, not four.

 

 A number of years prior my son and I met some early retirees from Seattle at a laundromat in Florence.  They had been on trains for two months and just signed up for another month.  T  Their strong recommendation remained with us...carry on soft side rollers with 2 skate quality wheels, a good zipper, and tough fabric.   

 

 Our carry ons are 12 years old now.  They have been around the world no stars, six stars, buses, cruise ships.  They still look as new and perform as well as the day we purchased them.

 

We heeded the advice of our betters and of more experienced travelers.   It has worked out well for us.  It is not for everyone.  Just do what is right for you and forget about what other people think.

Edited by iancal
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Posted (edited)

Next week we will be travelling for six weeks .  Westjet X 2, TAP X 2, Easyjet X 1, Transat  X1.    Plus train and bus .

 

We are doing carry on some, will check for others.  Depends on the connection, our follow on plans when we land.  They all have different carry on regs.  In most instances our fares include checked-whether of not we decide to do so.

 

Just because we happen to travel with carry on does not mean that we may not check from time to time. 

Edited by iancal
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Posted (edited)
18 hours ago, navybankerteacher said:

Of course 20 inch carry-ons are quite different from backpacks - which is what this thread is supposed to be about,

Actually....the cubic capacity of our carry-on rollers are the same,  size as many  backpacks.   Even less than some backpacks we have seen and shopped.   The only difference is the wheels and handle.

 

It is about capacity, dimensions.  Not whether it has straps  or wheels.

Edited by iancal
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