In 22 Days you will be unpacking your suitcase in your spectacular stateroom on your beautful ship! Day 22 is all about making sure you have the proper suitcases and travel accessories for your cruise. The beauty of a cruise is that you can bring as much as you want! There are no two suitcase limits. Remember the old Travel Trunks? Ah, if only the days of old time cruising were here and we could bring Travel Trunks aboard and have someone to carry them for us! Alas… they are not. We actually live in a time of the lighter the suitcase the better off you are. So, today we will look at your suitcase options.
HINT – Although there is no limit as to how much you can bring, remember that the closet space and drawers are not like home. Not to mention, most of your luggage gets stored under your bed. The savvy cruise ship travelers know to put one suitcase inside another under the bed. And if it is too wide to slide under the bed, you can lift the bed (they are very light), slide it under and it will usually fit. When an issue, the next best thing is to just open your suitcase and slide it under the bed with the two sides open. Or even better? Ask your Cabin Steward or Butler for help!
Take a good look at the luggage for your cruise
First thing to do today is to pull out your current suitcases and ask yourself these questions:
- Are they in good shape? Handles? Sides? Material?
- Do all of the zippers work?
- Do they have locks on them and do you have the keys, or combinations?
- Does the interior of the suitcase still smell fresh?
- Do you think the size will fit what you want to pack?
- Do the rollers work and are they 360 Degree spinner wheels?
- Are they lightweight?
- Do you have good carryon luggage? Do they match the latest overhead compartment or under the seat size requirements?
- Do you have TSA locks?
- Do you have strong luggage tags? Can you spot them in a crowd of luggage?
- Do you need luggage straps?
We like to think of luggage as a personal accessory. The same as your clothes represent you, your luggage represents you. One thing that we have found is that with the prices dropping on good luggage nowadays it is in your best interest to buy new luggage! Why? With airline fees for overweight luggage or second bags so high, the price of a nice new piece of lightweight luggage can virtually pay for itself! We have been using these Kenneth Cole Uprights with 4 wheel spinners. Very lightweight, durable, easy to roll and they come in a bunch of different colors.
EXAMPLE – This is easy! Google it! If you are merely 1 pound overweight on let’s say American Airlines or United you will be charged $100! Yet, a second suitcase is only $25- $35 respectively! So squeezing in that extra pair of shoes in your old suitcase could cost you a fortune.
TRAVEL HINT! Invest in a small luggage scale. Use it at home and then bring it with you! That way as you purchase goodies on your trip you can check your luggage weight before your flights home. Bring an extra collapsible carry on bag for all those purchases that put you overweight.
LOCKS – CRUISE SHIP HINT – We always suggest locks for your suitcases.
We like these cable TSA locks as they are preferable for your flights. We always tend to “misplace” one or two of them so we get carry extras now. But for the cruise line, any lock is important. On most cruise lines either on boarding or disembarking your suitcase could be left out in the hallways for hours.
And as much as we would like to think that Ship staff and passengers are all honest, nothing is guaranteed. Although there are safes aboard most ships, we also like to lock our computers, iPads and other valuables too large for the safes in our suitcase when we leave the hotel room or cabins on long port days.
Straps, tags, and packing cubes for your cruise luggage
PACKING CUBES AND COMPRESSION BAGS – We love them! Here is our biggest reason why. Unpacking on your first day on the ship! The last thing you want to do on your first day aboard is to spend time in your cabin unpacking. Yet, it is the most important thing to do quickly in order to make your cabin your home away from home. When you use Packing Cubes, everything is so neatly put together in your suitcase that you can just crack open the cube and transfer it onto a shelf, drawer.
Hanging things take more time. But if you have used your packing cubes properly everything should be in some kind of order: shirts together, under garments together, shorts together, etc. Compression bags are a whole ‘nother specialty. They allow you to really pack an enormous amount into your suitcase by pressing out all of the extra air. Just beware of wrinkling and of the weight of your suitcases as you pile in all of your compressed bags. And if you are one of the lucky cruisers with a Butler unpacking for you, packing cubes make it so easy for them to unpack and put them away.
LIQUID TRAVEL BOTTLES – We like to bring our own shampoos, conditioners and lotions but because of the weight of the full size bottles, we put them in smaller containers like this Set of 4 Silicone TSA Approved Containers.
LUGGAGE STRAPS – We were on the fence about whether we liked them or not for the longest time. But after our last Europe trip we were sold. Why? We wanted to be able to see our bags on the luggage carousels and disembarking our cruise.
And we wanted to know the suitcases would not pop open by accident. Now we never travel without Luggage Straps. We went for the bright blue ones! No mistaking they were ours!
LUGGAGE TAGS – There are two kinds when you cruise. One that is a normal luggage tag you have chosen that identifies your bags as yours! And one that the cruise line gives you in order to have your luggage properly delivered to your stateroom. Lets talk about the first one. Nowadays there are endless amounts of luggage tags you can get. Some are very classy or beautiful, some are fun. Our favorite said “Don’t touch! This one’s mine!” You can really have fun dressing ups your suitcase to add a little flare to your trip AND make your life easier every time you are looking for it in the crowds.
The second tags are the Cruise Luggage tags. These have gone through a transformation over the years. They also differ by every cruise line. Some of the cruise lines still provide tags that stick together and you slide them onto the handle of your suitcase. But many cruise lines have gone to e-docs which has made the mail delivery of luggage tags obsolete. Now, you have to print out their luggage tags and then fold and staple them onto your suitcase. Actually they work really well. We have never heard of any of them falling off if properly folded and stapled on. But, if you want to be more confident in your tag, you can get a cruise luggage tag holder. You just print out your tag and slide them into these holders. Then attach them to our luggage just like any other luggage tag.
HINT – The different ships have different size tags. So make sure you search for your cruise line if buying a luggage tag holder.