cruise vacation tips,cruise vacationing,cruise vacation planning,cruise vactation,cruise cabin selection,cruise packing,cruise vacationOften it doesn’t hit you until you’re struggling with a stuffed suitcase at the airport: You overpacked for your cruise. Again. And while other travelers breezily zip through the airport, you’re the one lassoing your bulging bags at baggage claim and handing out hefty porter tips.

Wish your packing life could be easier?

We is here to tell you our tried-and-true secrets to avoiding overpacking. Read on for a few quick tips that can make your cruise packing process simpler, saner and less stressful.

1. Pick a Palette

It makes sense; if you have limited suitcase space, you can stretch your outfit choices by mixing and matching clothes that are similar shades. Restricting yourself to a handful of similar colors also means you can cut down on shoes.

cruise vacation tips,cruise vacationing,cruise vacation planning,cruise vactation,cruise cabin selection,cruise packing,cruise vacation2. Go Two if by Sea

The rule of “twos” can help you plan the perfect wardrobe. Pick two outfits – one for day, one for night – for each day you travel, as well as workout clothes, bathing suits, and PJs for every two days. Then cut the total amount in half — remember, no one is going to notice when you wear the same shirt twice.  Also, restrict shoes to two pairs if at all possible.

3. Get a Shoe Clue

Shoes take up the most space in your suitcase, so be smart with how many pairs you bring. Limit yourself to two, in neutral colors, and chose ones that can do double duty. Boots, for example, can pair with a nice dress AND jeans. Ditto ballet flats or Mary Janes. Above all, choose comfort over fashion; nothing is worse than limping around a port in poor footwear.

4. Stay Fresh

Bring travel-sized Febreeze spray to freshen up items to re-wear. A small sachet can make clothes in a drawer smell better. Clothes and underwear can be washed in the sink and hung on the clothesline to drip dry. (Or just spring for laundry.)

5. Accessorize

The same nice dress can look different with a new scarf or eye-catching jewelry so this is one area to bring multiples. Pashmina scarves can be particularly versatile, brightening up neutrals or serving as a shawl on chilly planes and in dining rooms.

6. Be Clever With Carry-Ons

Rather than pack a separate beach bag, look for a waterproof tote that’s big enough to serve as your airplane carry-on. Tablets are your best entertainment investment, as they can be used for e-books, downloaded movies and news sources.

cruise vacation tips,cruise vacationing,cruise vacation planning,cruise vactation,cruise cabin selection,cruise packing,cruise vacation7. Roll Up

Roll clothes when packing them. You can fit more in your luggage that way, and it also helps to minimize wrinkles. Rolling socks and stuffing them into shoes is another space saver.

8. Divide and Conquer

If you and your companion have both vowed to stick to carry-ons, don’t be afraid to co-mingle bags. The taller person might have larger things, so splitting the stuff is more efficient.

9. Tame Toiletries

If you can live without your brands, go with the toiletries provided onboard. If you need a larger size, stop at a drugstore near the port, and buy it there. If you don’t need the full 3 ounces, rebottle potions and lotions in a contact lens case. If you travel frequently, save time by keeping a bag of already measured liquids ready to go.

10. Single Out

It’s not cheap, but buying single use products can save space. Many products such as antibacterial lotion, nail polish remover, insect repellant and sunscreen come as wipes and cloths, not bottles. Simply toss when done.

11. Take Inventory

When you get home, look hard at your suitcase and take note of what you did and didn’t use. These can provide clues for the next cruise’s packing adventures. And then write yourself a reminder not to overpack next time!


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Spend my vacation in a tiny, windowless cabin? No, thank you!

But guess what? Modern cruise ships are full of inside cabins — the smallest, cheapest staterooms, generally lacking in windows and tight on space — and people book them. On some sailings, cruise lines will fill every one.

Why would booking this type of cruise room be a good idea? We list seven times when an inside cabin is the best choice.

1. You’re on a Tight Budget

Let’s start with the obvious: You can get an incredible vacation for a shockingly low amount of money if you book an inside cabin. We’ve seen inside cabins priced from $50 per person, per night; while deals that low are reserved for special sales, you can often find insides from $100 or less per person, per night. That fare includes not only your room but also food in select restaurants (including the main dining room and buffet), entertainment onboard and use of pools and water slides. If you’re short on cash, but need a getaway, an inside cabin gets you access to most of the awesome amenities found on mega-ships.

2. You Don’t Spend Much Time in Your Cabin

If you go on cruises to explore ports, hang out at the pool or party all night long, chances are you’re only spending time in your cabin to get dressed and sleep. Why waste your hard-earned dollars on a big balcony cabin if you’d rather lounge on a top deck than sit in an upright deck chair all by yourself on your veranda? If alfresco cabin amenities are wasted on you, pick the inside and let balcony-lovers book the bigger rooms.

3. You’re Light Sensitive and Want to Sleep in on Vacation

Inside cabins are dark. Turn off the lights and you have no idea if it’s the middle of the night or high noon. To some, this sense of timelessness is disconcerting. But to others, it’s the best sleep aid in the world. If you like it dark when you sleep and don’t want sunlight creeping in around blackout curtains to wake you up, an inside cabin is definitely for you.

4. You Want to Spend Your Money in Other Ways

Even with an expansive vacation budget, you might not want to prioritize a fancy cabin over other indulgences like spa treatments, shore excursions or shopping opportunities. Downsizing from a balcony cabin to an inside room can free up hundreds of dollars you can use to splurge on that couples massage or flightseeing helicopter tour. Perhaps, you’d prefer to use the money to fund your poker habit at the onboard casino or keep the wine flowing at dinner. Spend money on the most important parts of your vacation — and if you skimp on the cabin, that’s A-OK.

5. You Want an Unusual View

News flash: Not all inside cabins are windowless. Royal Caribbean is the leader in inside cabins with a view. Several of its ships have rooms that overlook the interior Royal Promenade shopping mall. Others have virtual balconies — floor-to-ceiling LED screens that display live footage from outside the ship, creating the sensation that you’re looking out a window. Disney Dream and Fantasy offer similar inside rooms with “magical portholes” — small, round video screens that show exterior views as would a real porthole window. And on Carnival, some cabins labeled as inside, actually have porthole windows.

6. You’re Cruising Solo

If you want to avoid the single supplement and book a cabin designed for one, you might need to settle for an inside. (Solo cabins with a view do exist, but there are only a handful in the industry; the majority are insides.) Norwegian’s popular Studio cabins — with their mod designs and mood lighting — are all interior (though they do have windows that look out into the corridor). Royal Caribbean has a handful of inside solo cabins, as well.

7. You Like Quirky Cabins

Carnival’s 1A cabins are a grab bag of quirky cabin designs. They may share a category and be considered “insides,” but that’s where the similarity ends. Some have two standard beds (that can combine into a queen), while others have one bed and either a sofa bed or a pulldown bunk bed. Some have no views, while others have portholes or even picture windows. If you want something out of the ordinary for a low price (these cabins are favored by solo travelers, too), these inside cabins might be a good choice for you.