| Make Your Personal Packing List |
Your Packing Checklist
I am not going to give you a packing list that tells you everything you need for every day of your cruise like every other packing list in the world. I?m going to trust your good judgment and give you a checklist to use as a guideline so you won?t forget something important. I think you'll find that it's the best one and many thanks go out to those who have told me to add the things I forgot.
| Airline Luggage Allowences |
Here are links to the big three airlines that go right to the sometimes hard to find luggage allowence information. While they're all about the same, the rocky airline market makes keeping in the know on this stuff really important. On a recent Delta flight I had a choice of redistributing the weight in our luggage or paying fifty bucks extra for them to take it.
Packing checklist for traveling with a toddler
Remember all the stuff you carried around when your child was an infant? Double or triple that load. Now you're approaching the amount of toys, snacks, clothes, and gear you'll need to keep your toddler comfortable ? and entertained. Here's a checklist of things you'll need on the road, plus tips for easy, efficient packing.
You are sent luggage tags with your cruise documents that are to be attached to your luggage before you leave home.
Personally, I used to wait until the last leg of our pre-cruise trip, the one taking us from the hotel to the pier, to put them on, fearing they'd be easily lost. That was a valid concern but more importantly if our luggage were lost in the flight process from home to the port city it gives airline people one more piece of information as to where that luggage belongs, so I put them on at home now.
You should have your own, sturdy, luggage tags attached securely to the outside also, as well as identification inside your luggage too. I always print up a bunch of 81/2X11" sheets with our name, address, phone number and itinerary (along with contact numbers) for our vacation.
Different parts of the ship are "color coded" as far as luggage is concerned for a couple reasons. First, it tells the porters and room stewards who move the thousands of bags the general area of the ship in which your luggage is going on embarkation.
After the cruise it tells them an area to put your luggage in to be claimed when you leave the ship.
Also, passengers are allowed to leave the ship when their color group is called during debarkation
Finally, people sell complete sets on ebay as a collectors item (yes, really) from time to time and they'd be really bland if it wasn't for all those different colors. (The same people that are attracted to shiny objects enjoy viewing a complete set of the tags)
I make speical tags for our bags before leaving home that securely attach and include:
- phone numbers- home and the cell we will have while in transit
- name of ship we will be sailing
- port we will be sailing from
- cabin number
I got them online from Office Depot at:
These go on our luggage before we leave home.
In addition I print an 8.5x11 sheet of paper that has the same information plus flight information and precruise hotel information. If the outside tags are lost and airline/airport/TSA people look inside for information they hit a home run, find out where that luggage needs to go, and get it there with the least amount of effort on their part.
Right before going to the port we attach the cruise line tags.
Don't fold your clothes, roll them. You'll have far fewer wrinkles (on your clothes, not your face) by rolling!
| Your Carry-on/Survival bag |
Your carry-on bag should have the essential stuff you need to survive if all other luggage is lost. That probably won't happen but you'll feel better knowing you have this essential stuff with you. Here's my list of stuff that goes in my survival bag:
A change of clothes- if all is lost I have two outfits (this won't happen)
swimsuit- might want to swim before the luggage arrives
Half our cash and credit cards
Cruise Documents/ Passports
What's left of snacks I had packed for travel day munching
Are there any tips on packing that will help me save time at the airport?
There are some tips that will help you to speed your trip through the screening process:
1. Don't put film in your checked baggage as the screening equipment will damage it.
2. Consider putting personal belongings in clear plastic bags to reduce the chance that a TSA screener will have to handle them.
3. Pack shoes boots sneakers and other footwear on top of other contents in your luggage.
4. Avoid over-packing your bag so that the screener will be able to easily reseal your bag if it is opened for inspection. If possible spread your contents over several bags. Check with your airline or travel agent for maximum weight limitations.
5. Avoid packing food and drink items in checked baggage.
6. Don't stack piles of books or documents on top of each other; spread them out within your baggage.
| Will My Luggage Be Searched? |
The Note They Leave Behind
Your luggage can and WILL be searched if the TSA has any reason to do so OR it may be searched randomly.
Besides the obvious drug and explosives sniffing dog indicator, a TSA agent may see something unusual on an x-ray inspection and pull your luggage to be hand searched. Additionally if you booked your flight late, made last minute itinerary changes or had any unusual flight arrangements, that too might trigger a search.
Here's the note they leave behind inside your search luggage which they will seal with cable ties. The same kind of cable ties you should use to lock your luggage.
Here's what the people in charge of airport security have to say
- Customers are urged to leave their checked luggage unlocked, which will avoid the potential need for TSA personnel to forcibly open bags that require further physical inspection. Plastic zip ties or cable ties may be used if desired.
- Customers are asked to:
- Not pack food or beverages in checked bags
- Pack footwear on top of other contents
- Put personal belongings in clear plastic bags to reduce chances of a TSA screener having to handle them
- Spread out - not stack - books
- Leave gifts unwrapped should screening require them to be opened.
- Put scissors, pocket knives, and other sharp items in checked luggage.
- Put film in carryon bag because screening equipment will damage undeveloped film.
- Avoid over packing your bag so that the screener will be able to easily reseal your bag if it is opened for inspection.
It seems to me that there are as many different shapes, sizes and colors of luggage as there are cruisers. The issue of what kind of luggage to use is one that should be considered carefully. You need things big enough to carry all your stuff but not too big as oversize bags may equal an added charge by an airline or prove difficult to transport.
On one cruise we found ourselves trying to find transportation to the airport at the last minute. Our luggage would not fit in our car! I suggest doing some research and planning first before doing anything about your luggage situation. You may find that you have plenty or need a piece or two to supplement what you have. If you don't have luggage, knowing what you need in advance will narrow the search down alot. You can start your research right here by becoming familiar with airline luggage regulations. I have also attached a copy of our packing list for a family of four to give you some ideas.
| Cruise Essentials (stuff you really need to bring) |
The cruise line will send you a book about all the stuff THEY think you need to bring along. Here's a list of the stuff we bring in addition to that list that make our cruise even better;
- Bungee Cord- used to hold open the balcony door on cool nights- sleeping with the sound of the ocean surf is totally awesome. Also used to hold open the cabin door when you're just moving in or out so someone doesn't have to hold it open and miss out on the fun.
- Power Bar- one of those things you plug into an electrical outlet that let you have many plugins instead of one. Outlets are limited in the cabins, you'll need more.
- Laundry soap- we bring those tablets because they pack easy and work well.
- Quarters- when you first get on the ship you may want to use the soap listed above to run a load of laundry- this is the best time and there's no place to get quarters then- later you can go to the casino but good luck leaving with any of them
- Insulated mugs- we go for coffee in the morning on the lido deck then outside to watch the sunrise over the ocean (totally awesome) or I will bring back that first cup for Lisa to enjoy before we have breakfast
- Ziploc bags- bring quart and the giant 2 gallon size. Good for packing a picnic lunch to take ashore (secretly- they frown on that) or to put sea shells, wet bathing suits, etc in. This is an integral part of the "shore excursion bag" (see Ports Of Call page)
- Duct tape- always good to have for everything from a quick luggage repair to saving a run in stockings- get a small roll- you're not going to be doing air duct installation.
- Extra Batteries- you can get them on the ship but they'll be way more expensive (like everything else) than on land
- Beverages- bottled water,sodas, beer, wine, liquor...whatever your poisin, pack some in your checked luggage NOT your carry on. It's called booze smuggling and everybody does it.