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Well, I fully expect my Nov cruise to be canceled. If so, that leaves us with options of having to fly over Easter. Flights are not cheap, but manageable at the moment. However, $30 each way per checked bag is not going to happen as if we drove. This will be a deciding factor if we have to fly. I have purchased packing cubes and it does take up far less space. Here is how we would do it:

 

1x (each) Carryon suitcase for all of our clothes, shoes, etc.

1x (each) Backpack/Personal item for electronics, documents, camera stuff and other stuff

1x (only 1) Checked suitcase for snorkel gear, all liquid medicine, sunscreen, and anything else that does not fit in the carryon. Also a collapsible bag for souvenirs if we have to check one of the carryons on the way home.  

 

I am so glad I looked for snorkel gear before going on a cruise. I spent hours at our local dive shop and their pool getting fitted properly. There is no way any excursion we would book would have had something that worked like what we bought. I am sure they would have stuff to get by, but after 30 minutes, my feet would be destroyed for a good several hours.

 

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All medically necessary medications should go in your carry-on. That includes liquid medications. TSA rules allow that. I've taken prescription cough medicine in my carry-on. If larger than 100 ml, you are supposed to take it out of your carry-on and show it to the TSA agent.

https://www.tsa.gov/travel/security-screening/whatcanibring/items/medications-liquid

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bigrednole, I totally get what you are saying about wanting to dress up; we are like that, too, and always will be.

I do agree with some of the above who say one suit, one dress shirt, one tie (or a second tie for variety).  Ships are so clean; we've never had to ditch a clothing item for dirty cuffs, etc.  Two dresses each for the ladies, of course!

Re compression bags, we use the kind that are like giant ziploc bags, but with channels.  Fill, seal partway, then sit on it to force the air out. We got them at the dollar store.  They not only compress, but help keep items where I can find them: all my jerseys, all my undies, etc., and can just go into a drawer when we get there.

Finally, we frequently wear some of our bulkier items when boarding, whether it be a jacket, chunky shoes, hat.

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I see you also asked about packing to avoid wrinkles.  Here's what we do:

Take first large garment, such as pair of slacks.  Put into suitcase without folding, so half hangs out.  Place another, such as jacket or shirt, with half hanging out a different side.  Stack a few this way, then start folding in so you complete the stack without any sharp folds.  If dress shirt or other item still has its metal hanger and plastic bag, pack it as is; then it will be ready to hang when you arrive.  Small items can then go into the remaining nooks and crannies.

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22 hours ago, shipgeeks said:

Ships are so clean; we've never had to ditch a clothing item for dirty cuffs, etc.  

 

This has been my experience as well.  I rarely get the clothes that I wear on a ship dirty.  I somehow get them dirtier when I am at home! 😮

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On 8/23/2020 at 5:10 PM, shipgeeks said:

Ships are so clean; we've never had to ditch a clothing item for dirty cuffs, etc. 

I had to laugh at this one. I am the only person that could get their clothes dirty in a clean room.

 

With that all said, we did move our Thanksgiving cruise to Easter. With a little working the system, I was able to get 3 round trip, direct flights to Miami over Easter for a grand total of ~$300. With the help of signing up for a airline card, $250 statement credit, 40,000 signup miles that ~$450 statement credit, it worked out. The added benefit with the card, no baggage fees for the cardholder and up to 3 passengers. 

 

Now, I have bought 1 28" 360 rolling suitcase (came today). I wish I had a scale so I could have weighed it. We will probably take 1x 20" Carryon for extra space for souvenirs. I don't want to contend with weight issues on our return flight.

 

Since I didn't want to dig "everything" out that I would pack for vacation, I just grabbed stuff I could get out easily. When I do finally pack, I think I would even be able to put my pillow in the suitcase.

 

Right Side: 75% full

Fins, mask, and snorkel

8x Hawaiian Shirts (that's how many fit in the packing cube)

4x Pairs of shorts (I could have put 2-3 more in no problem)

Socks and stuff.

 

Left Side: 50% full

Suit jacket

2x Flannel shirts (for size and weight instead of getting suit pants and shirts out)

2 pairs of jeans

4 pairs of my heaviest shoes (to add weight and chew up space)

Edited by bigrednole

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I am an underpacker, I have spent 2 weeks in Tahitian Islands with just one small 22" carry on each, and 7 weeks in Australia/New Zealand with a 25" and a 22" bag.  We used shoulder bags for the can't lose stuff as well.

 

So my advice won't go over well until you do a few cruises and ascertain how many items you brought that you never got to use.  But this is a personal experiential step that you have to go through yourself.

 

In any case, here's a list made by a pro traveler specific to todays virus situation:  https://thepointsguy.com/guide/cruise-packing-list/

 

Have fun doing your research!

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On 9/4/2020 at 2:04 PM, bigrednole said:

I have bought 1 28" 360 rolling suitcase (came today). I wish I had a scale so I could have weighed it

I would suggest that you pop down to Walmart (or any other store with a luggage dept) and pick up a luggage scale. They're inexpensive, and worth their weight. Depending on the airline, and your seat class, it's not difficult to exceed the max weight allowance with a fully packed 28". Especially with men's shoes.

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7 hours ago, mom says said:

I would suggest that you pop down to Walmart (or any other store with a luggage dept) and pick up a luggage scale. They're inexpensive, and worth their weight. Depending on the airline, and your seat class, it's not difficult to exceed the max weight allowance with a fully packed 28". Especially with men's shoes.

Thank you. Our cruise is more than 6 months away so I am Amazon's Prime Days. I bought this suitcase because it was on sale from $250 to $80. If it didn't work out or meet the needs, I could simply return it the next day. I was actually surprised at the quality. I always trusted American Tourister. I had one before and the zipper broke. They took it back, replaced it with a much heavier zipper, and sent it back. It took about 3 weeks, but no questions asked repair.

 

Once I got this one, I did a dry run to see how much could fit. My concern as well was weight which we are limited to 50lbs. I did toss several pairs of shoes in because I didn't have everything to see how it would all work. Yes they are heavy and they are bulky. As far as what I will take on a cruise, my dress and tennis shoes are extremely light. I will wear my walking Merrells because they are heavy. My other pair of shoes will be water shoes. Depending on the route I go, they may be the second heaviest thing in the suitcase. 

 

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12 hours ago, bigrednole said:

I always trusted American Tourister. 

 

For many, many years, I used a set of American Tourister hardside suitcases.  Durable, roomy, dress clothes went in the same way they came out.  Their small wheels began to prove to be a problem when they became rough due to use; the handles to pull them began to fail; and the bags themselves were heavy.  Still have them and they are still useable if I ever need them again.  

 

Replaced them with soft sided luggage from Swiss Army Brand.  I have used this set for at least 12 years.  Durable, easy to pull, but the pull tabs on some of the zippers have broken off and needed to be replaced.  A local shoe repair shop has been able to do that for me at minimal cost.  

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On 5/23/2020 at 1:47 PM, rkacruiser said:

Each of you can have a carry-on that could contain your pillow and snorkel gear and any toiletries/medicines needed.  

 

I had a knee length, down jacket that I put in a compression bag which was fantastic. Returning home we put our dirty laundry in one. They are a dream.

 

Also we've recently become BIG fans of "packing cubes." They hold an enormous amount and keep most things from wrinkling.

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On 9/7/2020 at 4:33 PM, mom says said:

I would suggest that you pop down to Walmart (or any other store with a luggage dept) and pick up a luggage scale. They're inexpensive, and worth their weight. Depending on the airline, and your seat class, it's not difficult to exceed the max weight allowance with a fully packed 28". Especially with men's shoes.

We only got one a couple of years ago and I totally agree with you.Not so bad on the way out as Bob weighs himself and then himself with the bag. But on the way home it's a HUGE benefit

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On 8/23/2020 at 2:10 PM, shipgeeks said:

Two dresses each for the ladies, of course!

When we did formal nights I carried an ankle length skirt and a matching tunic topic, black. One night I accessorized with my mother's vintage rhinestone earrings and brooch and another night with a large silk scarf.

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On 8/24/2020 at 12:30 PM, rkacruiser said:

 

This has been my experience as well.  I rarely get the clothes that I wear on a ship dirty.  I somehow get them dirtier when I am at home! 😮

We ALWAYS - road trips and everywhere else - what we jokingly call "lounge wear" that we wear in the cabin only. Stuff that we knock around in at home. Maybe even paint/bleach stained 🙂 So when we're in at the end of the day but before dinner we're not messing up our nicer things. They last forever that way.

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On 9/4/2020 at 11:04 AM, bigrednole said:

With a little working the system, I was able to get 3 round trip, direct flights to Miami over Easter for a grand total of ~$300. With the help of signing up for a airline card, $250 statement credit, 40,000 signup miles that ~$450 statement credit, it worked out. The added benefit with the card, no baggage fees for the cardholder and up to 3 passengers. 

We are HUGE advocates of this. We've been with the Chase Sapphire Reserve for over a year now and boy, are we racking up but not spending the points 🙂

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On 9/4/2020 at 2:04 PM, bigrednole said:

...

 

Left Side: 50% full

Suit jacket

2x Flannel shirts (for size and weight instead of getting suit pants and shirts out)

2 pairs of jeans

4 pairs of my heaviest shoes (to add weight and chew up space)

Recalling your original post re: dressing - I wonder why you would need 2 pairs of jeans - perhaps replace one of them with some pressed khakis for variety’s sake - also, I always travel wearing a blazer, as I like to have the pockets for documents, etc. and to have an option a bit less formal than the suit..

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18 minutes ago, navybankerteacher said:

Recalling your original post re: dressing - I wonder why you would need 2 pairs of jeans - perhaps replace one of them with some pressed khakis for variety’s sake - also, I always travel wearing a blazer, as I like to have the pockets for documents, etc. and to have an option a bit less formal than the suit..

It was just for a quick sizing and weight check when I go the suitcase, nothing more. I will only be taking one pair of long pants and that is with the suit. I where shorts here until it gets in the low 30s. Since I won't be 5,000 feet up in any mountains when I cruise, there will never be a time I need long pants except at dinners on formal night and the one night we go to the MDR. If the worst happens, I pay to have them dry cleaned onboard.

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