How To Pack For A Cruise

The good news: you’re going on a cruise. The bad news: you have to decide what to pack.
Admittedly, there are far worse problems to have. That said, what should a seafaring adventurer pack?
Mimi Franklin tackles this question on her delightful blog “Mimi Packs Light” at . Mimi — for whom packing light has become a life philosophy — writes about her “Cruise Challenge,” in which she takes a transatlantic cruise with only one small bag.
Her goal is to pack 35 outfits into a carry-on which meets both Spirit Airlines’ and Icelandair’s (the air carriers that will get her to and from the cruise ship) size restrictions. Mimi had used a Solo carry-on bag on a previous trip which exceeded Spirit’s size limits (incurring her a bag fee), and was determined not to repeat that mistake.
Mimi opted for a 13″ x 16″ x 8″ Travelpro Crew 8 Rolling Business Tote which met the size requirements, and impressed her with its lightweight construction and ease of maneuverability. She writes, “I finally decided on a Travelpro bag because it moves beautifully. I’m not kidding — it’s like the BMW of rolling bags.”
Mimi then set about packing her “lightweight, compact and versatile wardrobe, containing no less than 35 outfit changes” into the Crew 8 Tote. When one is embarking on a 12 day excursion from Ft. Lauderdale to Harwich, England aboard Royal Caribbean cruise lines, wardrobe versatility is a must.
So, how did Mimi manage to pack everything into her carry-on?
This bag, like most handle bags, has three crevices due to the handle poles. I fill the crevices first with slips socks and underwear. With the next layer I try to smooth out with dresses or skirts or any materials not requiring ironing. After that I alternate with folded slacks and bundled shirts. Shoes go in separate plastic bags, and I use the outside pockets for most of my cosmetics.
Mimi arrived at Harvich safely, only to discover that she hadn’t worn four of tops that she took. Yes, despite using only one rolling tote for her 12 day voyage, she had over-packed.
Another good problem to have.
If you’d like to read more about Mimi Franklin’s one bag-transatlantic adventures, visit her blog Mimi Packs Light.
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