What size luggage do you bring?

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10,841 Posts
Joined Dec 2004
We both travel with 21 inch carry on roller boards. Two high end wheels, good zippers. Take the same bag for a week or three months. Travelling with it now. Plus I have a small backpack for my iPad, eyewear, and a book.

MY experience after years of business and pleasure travel is don't make a buy decision based on brand and most especially not on those phoney sales that offer 50-70 percent discounts. Most manufacturers have lower end lines that look like their premium products but are made for the retailers who sell on discount off list. We find that the wheels are a dead give away to product quality. Some look like they would snap off or break at just the sight of a cobbled sidewalk or a careless baggage handler.
southern NM desert
10,555 Posts
Joined Aug 2009
Originally posted by Krazy Kruizers
We always have pre cruise hotels and post cruise hotels and the shortest cruise we will do is 14 days.

We take four 28 inch soft sided, spinner wheel suitcases. Each weighs about 45 pounds when packed. Even our carry-ons have the spinner wheels.
Are you always able to do curbside check-in with that much luggage? If not, how do you do it since IIRC you use a rollator. I doubt you can put all of it on the rollator to push.

My husband walks slowly with a cane and cannot pull a wheeled suitcase. He even has difficulty pushing a spinner. This has severely limited what we bring on our cruise since like you we also must do pre and post flight hotels and don't cruise for less than 14 days. Since he can't help with suitcases just his carryon backpack and I am carrying his CPAP and my purse as well as my backpack, one suitcase is all I can handle since, unless we are flying Southwest, there is no curbside check in. I must bring it to the counter. Using a spinner helps but I tried pushing two spinners and it was extremely difficult, even with fastening the CPAP to one of them. So on the next cruise we limited our packing to one spinner and the backpack carryons. I'd love to bring a second suitcase. How do you do it?
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16 Posts
Joined Nov 2015
I travel everywhere with a 22" rolling bag, plus a tote/knapsack (depending on the level of dressiness of the trip).

Do yourself a favor and learn how to pack efficiently (Solo Traveler blog is a good one); also composing a "travel capsule wardrobe" is very valuable (www.theviviennefiles.com is fantastic). Also look up poster Cruise Kitty on this site -- she has some great suggestions for packing for different types of weather.

Don't go crazy on buying the most expensive luggage out there (a previous poster mentioned TravelPro -- great suggestion), especially if you check your bags. Tumi and other high-end luggage is to baggage handlers as a red cape is to a bull.

Have a great trip!
South Florida
1,395 Posts
Joined Jun 2008
Originally posted by Sequim88
All depends on where we are going and where we are leaving from. For 14+ nt Transatlantics we each check a 30" (generally fly Alaska and get one free) and take as large a carry-on as we can get away with - and check the carry-on free at the gate if they offer. All the critical stuff (meds, valuable, electronics) are in our "personal" item backpacks.

For tropical type cruise from Miami (or FLL) we would downsize the big bag and pack lighter. One time we had the brilliant idea to pick up toiletries in Miami and paid a fortune - way more than an extra bag fee. Not so brilliant. But for 7nt warm weather cruise we can mix/match and re-wear and travel with minimal luggage.

For upcoming cruise from Seattle we will probably take everything since no air is involved. Pack for every weather contingency as well as some formal items.
Funny. We live in South Florida only 35 min. from Port Everglades, so we do just the opposite.

I should also mention that we get free laundry and dry cleaning on board - so that allows for fewer clothes..

Nonetheless, we take bigger suitcases with more "stuff" for Caribbean cruises since all we have to do is roll it from front door to car, and from parking shuttle to terminal (and vice-versa post-cruise). For example, we're sailing for 7 nights later this month with our adult sons and one of their girlfriends. My husband, one son and I are sharing two 24''/25" bags - and we're actually taking clothes for formal nights which we don't always do. We also have a tiny rollaboard with our toiletries, snorkels, etc. and a tote bag with the 5 bottles of wine (1 per person allowed).

But for our long Transatlantics, Mediterranean and Southeast Asia cruises - usually 16-20 nights - we each only take a 22" rollaboard and a backpack as our personal item. If we're sailing over from here, we'll also have a tote bag with wine.
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206 Posts
Joined Jan 2011
Clearly my husband and I pack on the heavy side. I didn't realize this until now. Between the two of us, we've filled a nesting set of three hardside spinner luggage, plus we have a smaller bag each, for a 1 week cruise. We drive to the port. I bought cute orange luggage to match my orange car. Probably not the best criteria.
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Toronto, Canada
3,783 Posts
Joined Mar 2012
Originally posted by sockmonkeygirl
Clearly my husband and I pack on the heavy side. I didn't realize this until now. Between the two of us, we've filled a nesting set of three hardside spinner luggage, plus we have a smaller bag each, for a 1 week cruise. We drive to the port. I bought cute orange luggage to match my orange car. Probably not the best criteria.
There's nothing wrong with that, if you're OK with it (i.e. either you're willing to carry it yourself or hire someone to do so). Some people think there's virtue in traveling light, but it's not better (or worse) -- just a different choice. When I drive to jobs out of town I take far more (and am more comfortable) than when I fly out of town for work.
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Vancouver, BC Canada
996 Posts
Joined Feb 2012
We've had every size of luggage and duffels and for us a Heys 24" hard side spinner is the best of the lot. It's expandable and when fully packed and expanded it weighs very close to 50lbs. My DW always tend to overpack the 28" spinner on the return trips and we have to do the shuffle at the airport.
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10,841 Posts
Joined Dec 2004
Take the size of luggage that you can physically handle. We just disembarked from a 14 day cruise. We noticed a number of people with multiple cases that simply could not handle their own luggage. They had too many cases and were herding them like cattle. Or their case was so large and so heavy (for them) that it was a physical challenge.

Assume that the wheel(s) are broken or that you have yo physically carry your bag. Then decide what size is best for you and how much you should pack.
Near Tampa, Florida
3,072 Posts
Joined Nov 2008
We usually take 2 large suitcases and 2 personal items on our usual 9 - 11 day cruises when not flying to a port. (Need for our own snorkel equipment, etc)

Recently did a Windsurf cruise out of St. Martin which required connecting flights and customs so we only took two carry-on suitcases that met airline regulations and 2 personal items and took ship's laundry package. That worked out okay as far as clothing needs, but we missed having our own snorkeling stuff and disliked pushing the carryon's around with us. We also didn't have room for inexpensive souvenirs.

Would not do carry-on's again except for short weekend trips and definitely will try to avoid connecting flights.
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Westerville, OH USA
1,589 Posts
Joined Jan 2002
What each one of us does is sort of irrelevant and each cruise can be very different. Here are some factors:

How many climate/temp changes will you have to deal with? For ex, if you are going from Miami to a Baltic cruise, you have to have two seasons of clothing.

Where are you going? Cool weather cruises to Canada, Alaska, Northern Europe require heavier and more items for layering.

What are your physical limitations? Smaller luggage for those who can't tote their own. You can always pay someone to help, but there are often times that you need to carry things yourself or you have to wait a long time for help.

When are you going to do laundry? If you can afford to cruise, you can afford the laundry fee onboard.

Learn to select some clothing just for cruising. This makes planning so much easier and packing lighter.

How many connections do you have to make while flying? In 2014, we had a few connections in Europe and each time we had to retrieve our luggage, go to a different terminal and check in our luggage again. This taught us to do research as it was the first time we experienced this as we thought that booking the whole flight together wouldn't require us to do this.

Like the others said, learn to pack light and be discerning.
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601 Posts
Joined Aug 2011
I am NOT a frequent traveller and being a nurse, tend to pack for every contingency.

For nearly all trips, I use my 30" American Tourister spinner. About 8 years old and no breaks. I bought a scale and always have to remove something to get it down to allowed weight. (I've never used packing cubes and can't imagine how they help, but they must be some good to someone or so many people wouldn't use them.)

Upcoming trips:

DEN-IAH for nephew's wedding. It's just for 2 days so DH and I are going to try to share my suitcase. Should be interesting. Don't plan to bring a carryon, just a personal item for each of us.

DEN-SEA for an Alaska cruise. Can't wait! I'll take my big spinner and my carryon-sized laptop bag, which I can also cram meds and a change of clothes into. DH will take his Texas-sized duffle (which he is never overweight on, I hate him) and of course we will both have personal items.

That works for us. YMMV.
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Denver, CO
1,399 Posts
Joined Oct 2006
We take two 26" expandable soft-siders, and each of us has a backpack that stays with us during travel so we know we'll have our meds (plus a change of undies if delays occur). Princess has self-service laundry facilities on each cabin-deck so it's easy to fling in a load when needed - particularly on day-1 if we've spent a few days traveling/playing tourist before the cruise. On our Celebrity Cruise we used the laundry service which was more expensive than self-service, but we didn't need to watch the clock to move a load from the washer to dryer so not a big deal. I realized I usually packed too much and often came home with something I never wore or only wore once. Now we lay our clothing out a few days before travel to get a better visual on how much we want to pack and start removing "impulse" or non-essentials from the pile. We also bought a digital luggage travel scale so we can weigh each suitcase, which is also helpful before you head out the door.
10 Posts
Joined Dec 2016
So, my boyfriend and I just got back from my first cruise! He ended up needing a lot more space than I did. The majority of what I brought was in my 22" carry-on that I purchased, though there were some "overflow" items that I absolutely could not fit such as my snorkel mask and an extra pair of jeans, which I packed into his luggage. (After the cruise, I would say pair #2 was unnecessary because I only ever wore jeans on cooler nights.) His clothes just took up a lot more space than mine did, as I'm a women's small and he's a men's large, and because he sweats a lot he wanted to bring more clothes than I did.

What we ended up with was my 22" carry-on, my large laptop-bag-sized-purse, his backpack, then he had a couple of pieces of checked luggage in addition to that, including one ginormous 30" or so suitcase. I may just plan to do laundry next time so that we don't have to lug that thing around.

I'd say that with snorkel equipment, and not doing laundry, AND needing to allot more space for formal wear (heels take up more space), it was inevitable that I wouldn't be able to fit everything into my carry-on. It wasn't so bad, though, since we had plenty of room for souvenirs to take back.