Packing Tips for Your Ocean or River Cruise

Cruise Ship Illustration

Packing for a cruise? What’s one of the best things about cruising?  You only have to unpack once!  However, you have to get to and from the ship and that’s where packing smart AND your choice of luggage comes in.

While most cruise lines don’t have specific baggage allowances, be sure to consider how you’re getting to the ship.  If you’re driving – luggage size and weight is no problem.  If you’re flying, check in advance with your airline to know what you are permitted without incurring additional costs.

Here are some packing tips to make this cruise your best one yet!

ARRIVE A DAY IN ADVANCE

Flight/travel delays happen, so it’s always a good idea to fly a day prior to your actual sail date.  This not only allows you time to adjust in case of a time change but – in the unlikely event your checked luggage is delayed – an extra day for it to catch up with you.

THE CARRY-ON CRUISER

For shorter 3-5 day cruises most travelers find a 21” carry-on bag – like the Ricardo Rodeo Drive hard-sided is a great choice.  With features like a built-in TSA lock and 2” expandability – it also includes tech charging capability – so you’re always powered up.  Most importantly, it’s small size makes it easy to navigate long cruise ship docks and handle getting on and off most gangways without assistance.

For boarding ease, add a personal bag – like Baggallini’s Overnight Tote – to keep valuables like medications and electronics close at hand.  The pass through sleeve secures this tote to your carry-on and and zipped top pocket allows easy access to travel documents needed to be shown during the boarding process.

THE CHECKED THROUGH CRUISER

For longer cruises most travelers prefer a larger bag – a 25” rolling checked-through bag is a good size for a 2 week cruise and fully packed is usually under 50 lbs.  Let’s be honest – it’s nice to have a few more things than just what a carry-on bag can fit and you know you’re going to do at least a little shopping.

The 25” Ricardo Rodeo Drive hard-sided spinner bag is the perfect solution – it has a nearly unbreakable polycarbonate exterior to help protect items inside and a TSA approved lock in case security needs to open your bag and you’re not with it.  Plus it opens in half, so it can easily slide under most cruise ship beds providing a little more organizational space.  Bonus: The iridescent red color makes it easy to spot on a dock full of luggage when leaving the ship (also available in black).

Since this bag will be taken curbside and delivered to your stateroom later, an additional rolling tote bag to keep with you is ideal, like Travelpro’s Platinum Elite spinner.  It’s always a good idea to pack everything you’d need for the first one to two days of your cruise in this bag – including medications and valuables – and a change of clothes – just in case your checked bag gets delayed with the airlines prior to arrival.

Tip:  Pack your swimsuit in this bag – Then you can be relaxing poolside instead of waiting for your bag to be delivered to your cabin.

PACKING FOR A CRUISE AT YOUR AAA TRAVEL STORE

 

NEW!  Ricardo Rodeo Drive 21” Spinner
AAA Member Price $179.99
Available in Crimson and Black

 

 

NEW!  Ricardo Rodeo Drive 25” Spinner
AAA Member Price $197.99
Available in Crimson and Black

 

   

Travelpro Platinum Elite Rolling Tote
AAA Member Price $269.99
Available in Black, Navy and Grey and Wine

         

Baggallini Overnight Expandable Laptop Tote w/RFID Phone Wristlet
AAA Member Price $129.99
Available in Black, Silver Shimmer, Navy

RICARDO SALE 

UPCOMING EVENTS

Travel Smart, Pack Right

Wednesday October 27 at 10:00am | 2:00pm
Thursday October 28 at 10:00am | 2:00pm
AAA Clackamas Service Center
10365 SE Sunnyside Road, Clackamas OR 97015

Join AAA and Travel Expert Anne McAlpin to learn how to prepare and pack right for any trip, including:

  • New TSA regulations and Plane Tips
  • How to pack the perfect carry-on bag
  • Tips to maximizing space with packing organizers
  • The benefits of four wheeled luggage

Register Today

Travel Smart, Pack Right

Wednesday November 3 at 10:00am | 2:00pm
Thursday November 4 at 10:00am | 2:00pm
AAA Beaverton Service Center
8555 SW Apple Way, Beaverton OR 97225

Join AAA and Travel Expert Anne McAlpin to learn how to prepare and pack right for any trip, including:

  • New TSA regulations and Plane Tips
  • How to pack the perfect carry-on bag
  • Tips to maximizing space with packing organizers
  • The benefits of four wheeled luggage

Register Today

AAA TRAVEL STORE

Get these items, along with more cruising essentials at your local AAA Travel Store.

For more tips from AAA and Anne McAlpin check out one of our Travel Smart, Pack Right events at your local AAA travel store. For a full list of locations and times visit aaa.com/events.