Whether it’s a summer vacation with the family or a self-discovery journey across the world, a cruise trip guarantees a good time! Cruises are amusing, but space is unfortunately at a premium. Unless you’re planning to book the Captain’s Chamber or a luxury penthouse suite, cruise cabins are usually small. This means you will have to choose your luggage and pack your things wisely.
To help you with this, here are some helpful tips on how to prepare your stuff for your much-awaited cruise. We rounded up our favorite cruise luggage, so all you have to do is get on board and hit the deck!
Types of Luggage
On top of our list is the classic suitcase. It’s a must for packing clothes, shoes, and other essentials. A soft-case one like the Travelpro Maxlite 5 21″ Expandable Spinner is lighter and more expandable than hard-case bags. It is easier to squish under the cabin bed or in the closet. If you prefer longer-lasting inline wheels to spinner wheels, Travelpro also offers expandable roller suitcases. They come in different colors that are easier to spot on a luggage carousel.
2. Duffel Bags
For those who want to pack more efficiently, duffel bags are a great option. They have several compartments that make packing and unpacking easier, and more organized. The Gothamite 42-inch Rolling Duffle Bag With Wheels is made of heavy-duty 1200D polyester fabric designed to ride out external weather. Do not let its size fool you, though. This duffel bag flattens down and won’t take too much room in your cabin space. Its three inline wheels make this bag easy to transport. It can roll for long-distance even on uneven terrain.
3. Garment Bags
Does your cruise have formal nights? Are you planning on dining at a fancy restaurant during one of the port stops? Fancy sipping wine by the deck on a romantic evening? Then you must dress to impress. But, sadly, most cruise cabins don’t come with irons and ironing boards. This is when a garment bag can save the day.
Most garment bags have anti-wrinkle properties to secure your fancy clothes when traveling. Luggage like the waterproof ACSTEP 2-in-1 Suit Bag is the way to go for when you need to dress to the nines but don’t have the luxury of space. Its compact design can fit your formalwear, shoes, and jewelry. Its high-quality 1800D polyester fabric and high-density nylon lining ensure that your dresses and suits are neat and smooth.
Another bag you should consider bringing is a backpack with easy-to-access compartments. You’ll be needing a handy bag when getting off the cruise ship for shore excursions. Choose a spacious backpack that can carry necessities like food, water, and camera during land tours. An excellent option is the ZOMAKE Ultra Lightweight Backpack. Made with water resistant material, this daypack is durable as it is lightweight. It can also fold up into a tiny pouch that you can put inside your suitcase. It looks nice and comes in 10 different colors.
5. Toiletry Bags
Although some cruise lines offer a small bottle of lotion or shampoo, most of them don’t provide toiletry items. This means you have to bring your own health and beauty products. A good toiletry bag – like the eBags Classic Pack-it-Flat Toiletry Kit – packs your hygiene essentials while keeping leakages at bay.
Lined with clear material for liquid-filled items, this bag protects your suitcase from unwanted spills. Its slim silhouette is also a space saver when zipped. When unzipped, you can hook this hanging toiletry bag on a towel rack or a door handle for easy access without the need for extra shelf space.
Whether it’s your first or your tenth time on a cruise, packing smart is key to enjoying your voyage. All the planning and organizing can feel overwhelming. That is why we summed up all our recommendations to further guide you on your next maritime adventure.
The type of luggage you need will depend on the length and the season of your cruise. But the best luggage for your cruise is something sturdy. Some swear by hard-sided suitcases since they better protect the contents inside. Others prefer soft-sided luggage for lighter weight and expandability. For us, luggage made from fabric instead of hard plastic is a better option. Since it’s flexible, you’ll be able to fit more items into it and tuck it under your cabin bed.
Another suggestion would be roller luggage that has extendable handles. Such baggage would be easier to transport in airports and on and off the boat. Avoid suitcase sets if you can. Since space is crucial, it’s wiser to bring a larger one instead. Not only will you have more space but you’ll also save yourself from the hassle of checking in more than one bag.
Rules on luggage dimensions vary depending on the cruise line. Most of them rarely set out luggage requirements, but recommend less than 2 bags per person. A rule of thumb is to keep your baggage weight under 50 pounds. Anything beyond that is already a sign of overpacking.
For your checked bags, stick to less than 16 x 24 inches. Major airlines specify 9 inches x 14 inches x 22 inches as their carry-on dimensions for flights. Keep in mind, though, that low-cost carriers may specify smaller dimensions. Check in with your airline in advance to avoid inconvenience at the airport. You may ask your cruise line as well about their measurement specifications if you think your bags may be too big.
As for accessories, a luggage tag can be helpful in situations where you need to find your bag in a sea of other bags. Cruise ships typically provide tags, but are quite flimsy and easy to be detached. Experienced travellers invest in a quality luggage tag. You definitely should, too.
For the ladies, you may also bring a clutch or an evening bag you can carry around on board. Choose something that will go well with your fancy dress in your garment suit. Make sure that it’s compact but roomy enough to house your phone, camera, or makeup for touch-ups. Opt for metallic or neutral hues so they match with a variety of colors.
If you want to up your packing game, why not invest in anti-theft purses? Cruises seldom visit unsafe locations, but it’s still better to be safe than sorry. You need a bag to keep your belongings safe when you get too excited haggling or taking the perfect Instagram photo during excursions. An anti-theft bag will surely do the job. You can rely on its cut-resistant fabric and lockable zippers to keep snatchers away.
Cruises are a great way to explore places, other cultures, and foreign cuisines. They can even help us discover ourselves more. Memorable stories, cherished moments, and dreams are made on cruise trips. There’s a reason why people work hard and save up for it. Choosing luggage for such a trip should be the least of your worries, but picking from a plethora of bags available in the market can be mind-boggling.
Considering our advice could save you time, effort, and money in the long run. We hope this list helped you decide on what to bring on your next cruise vacation. Our suggestions are only to share tips that we deemed helpful, but please do whatever floats your boat. Please remember that you’re still the master of your own ship! 😉