Expert's Cruise Packing Advice...
Linda Coffman is a freelance travel writer who has been dishing
out cruise advice for more than a decade. An avid cruise passenger
who enjoys sailing on ships of every size to any port worldwide,
Linda also devotes time to publishing CruiseDiva.com
and writing for Fodor's Travel Publications. She is the author
of Fodor's The Complete Guide to Caribbean Cruises. She writes,
'With the help of some of my friends, here are some of Cruise
Diva's favorite tips'...
of all (at home), 'stage' your outfits for evening wear--
if the shower rod in your bathroom is convenient, hang them
not, get one of those things you hang over the closet door
and hang up the outfits you'll be wearing to dinner each night.
(Get the shoes out for each outfit, too.) Then -- and this
is important -- cover each outfit with a plastic dry cleaning
bag. Then fold each outfit over and place in your suitcase,
hanger and all. They generally will not wrinkle. Unpacking
onboard is a breeze -- just open your suitcase and start hanging
things in the closet.
caveat -- unfortunately, there are some garments that defy
the 'dry cleaning bag packing' method. Clothing that is slightly
creased or wrinkled can often be freshened up by steaming.
Just hang those items in the bathroom while taking a hot,
steamy shower and often the wrinkles will fall out. If all
else fails, many ships have ironing stations in their self-service
passenger launderettes or, for maximum convenience, send the
offending garments to the ship's laundry for pressing.
Shoes and bathroom
next idea is so great I wish I had thought of it. I'm notorious
for the vast number of shoes I pack. As we were preparing
for a cruise, another veteran cruiser suggested, "Hey,
Linda, let's go get those shoe organizers that hang in the
closet, the kind with shelves, not pockets." We got them
and they were great for stashing shoes, small evening purses,
rolled up belts, and anything small. (This photo illustrates
the shoe organizer at work.) I'm happy to report these can
be found at many Target stores. I've seen a slightly wider
version, labeled a Sweater Organizer at Wal-Mart recently.
By the way, emptied they fold like an accordion and take up
little room in a suitcase. Editor's
note: Try dollar stores as well.
cruiser friend offers the following solution for a neatly
organized bathroom. We all know those ship's bathrooms are
small. Becca Love's tip is to hang an over-the-door pocket-style
shoe organizer on the bathroom door. Slip your bathroom necessities
in the pockets and they're handy and out of the way. Your
cabin steward will love you for that.
suggests, "After ironing items that are going in my luggage,
I fold them up with tissue. Kind of like when items are 'new'
from the store. This cuts down on wrinkles, and also because
your 'stacks' are neater, allows you to put more in one suitcase.
Also, as you're unpacking, this keeps things much neater,
and kind of gives you an extra lift when wearing that article.
I'll also place several layers of tissue in the luggage, as
the stacks get to about 6" or so. On the way home, the
tissue sure comes in handy when repacking for all the extra
goodies that we seem to 'acquire' throughout the holiday/cruise."