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Cruise Packing Tips

Have you seen those cruisers who are rolling a suitcase in each hand, have bags tucked under each arm, a backpack on their back, and a pouch around their waist?  Are you one of those cruisers struggling with too much luggage? Let's simplify and minimize your packing to one rolling suitcase and one carry-on bag for a long cruise of 7 or more nights.  But first, let's look at the most important reasons why you should minimize packing.

It's heavy and burdensome to lift and carry multiple pieces of luggage- not an ideal situation when on vacation. Multiple suitcases take up a lot of room in a small cabin where space is a valuable commodity. And once your cruise vacation is over, repacking suitcase after suitcase of items you didn't even use will be frustrating and exhausting. Try the tips listed below. You have nothing to lose but extra baggage!

Cruise Packing Tips

#1. Since shoes often take up the most space in your suitcase, try coordinating your outfits to one color family so that all your clothes match one pair of sandals or tennis shoes.  

#2. Wear your bulkiest items on embarkation and debarkation days to save the most room in your suitcase, such as tennis shoes and your beach hat.

#3. Pack half as many clothes as you would normally need and take advantage of the laundry or dry cleaning services onboard halfway through your cruise. There are fees for these services, but it's worth it when you can effortlessly lift your one and only suitcase. You may not even need a Porter!

#4. For cruise dining and the nightly shows, bring sundresses instead of multiple pants and tops so that you are packing fewer items. Instead of bulky sports coats, opt for thin polo shirts.

#5. Instead of many swimsuits, only bring two or three. These can be hand washed and hung to dry in your stateroom. The showers in your stateroom will have a clothesline, so bring a few clothespins for hanging items.

Cruise Packing Tips

#6. Use every square inch of your suitcase, and be sure to utilize the outside pockets on your luggage, which are often unused. Pack small, unbreakable items in them, such as socks and undergarments.

#7. Use travel-sized everything, and for non-prescription medication, use pill cases to eliminate bigger bottles. Instead of taking a separate bag just for toiletries, use plastic zip bags to store any items that could leak out so that you can pack them in the main compartment of your one suitcase.

#8. Norwegian Cruise Line provides certain items in your stateroom, so you can leave the following at home: Shampoo and conditioner, soap, hairdryer, clothes hangers, bathroom cups, and beach towels.

#9. Take advantage of unused space in your carry-on bag.  In addition to your normal carry-on items such as medicine and travel documents, you can also utilize any remaining space for things such as a change of clothes and a swimsuit for your first day on the ship.

#10. For every item that meets the above criteria, still ask yourself this important question: Is this a necessity for this cruise? If the answer is yes, pack it.  If the answer is no, consider leaving it behind.

Cruise Packing Tips

One last important thing to consider: If you plan to buy a lot of souvenirs and you feel like you won’t have room in your fully efficient suitcase to bring them back, then pack a small bag that is easily folded in your luggage to use for the return trip home.

Reducing the number of items you pack and utilizing every inch of your suitcase will help you to limit your cruising luggage to one rolling suitcase and one carry-on bag per person.  Sticking strictly to the necessities is key and will keep you from being that frustrated, overpacked cruiser stumbling over all the extra baggage.

Are you an efficient traveler? What are some of your favorite cruise packing tips? Share them in the comments below!