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.
Here’s more choices, we always suggest the spinner wheels for cruising, as we find it makes it much easier to handle your luggage while boarding and disembarking.
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.
Invest in a small luggage scale.
Use it at home when your bag is packed to check your weight for your flight and then bring it with you!
That way as you purchase goodies on your trip you can check your luggage weight before your flight home. So much easier to have the proper weight than attempting to take things out in line at the airport! Trust us, we know and we won’t do it again.
And 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 use these cable TSA locks as they are preferable for your flights and the cable makes it so much easier to put on and take off!
These are the only ones we use now because of that.
Somehow, we tend to “misplace” one or two of them on each cruise, so we carry 4 of them with us now. Saves time and assures that we can lock our luggage.
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.
Read more about why you should use locks on our TSA locks for your Cruise Luggage page.
Straps, tags, and packing cubes for your cruise luggage
PACKING CUBES AND COMPRESSION BAGS
Shacke Pak – 4 Set Packing Cubes – Travel Organizers with Laundry Bag (Aqua Teal)
We are addicted to the packing cubes. Sounds crazy, but the last thing you want to do on the first day of your cruise is spend time unpacking. Yet, it is also the most important thing to do to make your cabin your home away from home. With the packing cubes, it is as simple as unzip and move all of the neat piles you packed onto a shelf or a drawer. Now go up on the deck for the sail away!
Hanging things take more time. But if you have used your packing cubes properly everything should be in some kind of order: shirts together, undergarments together, shorts together, etc. Compression bags are a whole ‘nother specialty.
RoomierLife Travel Space Saver Bags (Medium to Large). Pack of 8 Bags. Roll-Up Compression Storage (No Vacuum Needed) & Packing Organizers. Perfect for Travel and Home Storage
Compression bags allow you to really pack an enormous amount into your suitcase by pressing out all of the extra air.
We like these no vacuum needed bags.
Just beware of wrinkling and of the weight of your suitcases as you pile in all of your compressed bags as you may go overweight.
And if you are one of the lucky cruisers with a Butler unpacking for you, these make it so easy for them to unpack and put them away.
We like to use these small TSA approved travel bottles when we cruise. We can bring our own lotions, shampoos, and conditioners and save weight and space at the same time.
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, or the ones below. They save weight and space and allow us to bring our own products.
Portable Travel Bottles Set, Leak Proof Travel Accessories,TSA Carry-On Approved Refillable and Squeezable Silicon Travel Size toiletries Containers,Easy-to-Fill Travel Lotion Bottles.Portable Travel Bottles Set, AMMAX Leak Proof Squeezable Silicon Tubes Travel Size Toiletries Containers, TSA Carry On Approved Refillable Travel Accessories for Shampoo Liquids 4 Pack (3 fl. oz)YMWILL Portable Soft Silicone Travel Bottles- 100% Guaranteed Leak Proof, Set of 3 Oz TSA Approved Refillable Squeezable Silicone Bottles With Zippered Clear Toiletry Bag (White+White+Blue)
We were on the fence about whether we liked luggage straps 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 when disembarking our cruise and it sure worked!
And that extra security of having the straps surrounding our bags is worth every penny.
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. Let’s 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 flair 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.
Cruise Luggage Tag Holder Zip Seal & Steel – Royal Caribbean & Celebrity Cruise (Clear – 4 Pack)Cruise Tags Wide Luggage Tags Princess, Carnival, Norwegian, Holland America (12 tags)GreatShield Luggage Tags, ID Batch Holder Weatherproof Zip Seal & Steel Loops for Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruise (8 Tags + 4 ID Holders)
HINT – The different ships have different size tags. So make sure you search for your cruise line if buying a luggage tag holder.