Saturday, November 23, 2013

How do you fit everything into one suitcase!!

We will be leaving soon for a 7 day cruise on the Freedom of the seas.....
For me, One of the great pleasures of traveling is packing.....I have a closet ( we do not have kids at home anymore, so I have a free closet!) that is dedicated to cruise clothes.....and cruise necessities....
I'm quite a pack rat when it comes to cruise necessities......from my essential pharmacy kit to duck tape....So a week before the cruise I start making some decisions....

note that everything will go with black...

Do we have to fly?  That helps me decide on how many and what size suitcases I need.
Hot weather cruise?  easy peasey....lots of shorts, light tops, and a bathing suit... One suitcase will do the trick!
Cold weather cruises are harder.....Everything is bigger and bulkier and weighs more.. I will need 2 suitcases for this trip!.
Mixed weather is a challenge....I have to choose very carefully and everything must mix and match...
OMG .... the suitcases will not be big enough!

Purple suitcases are easy to find when there are thousands of suitcases at disembarkation!

One thing I've learned is that people don't remember or care, what you wear......So I feel comfortable wearing the same outfit many times......I just update it with a scarf or jewelry, and I'm good to go!
Black dressy pants, black dress, and a few mix and match colors for evening wear.  Black and dark jeans with tops and a sweater if needed, white and beige shorts, with casual tops...and my packing is done!
no wild colors for me....and everything goes with everything else....

Add one red jacket with black pants and black top
for dinner in a specialty restaurant
With white dress for cocktails

and with jeans for a tour

I have a list, and I'm checking it twice! Actually I'm checking it a lot more than that! I've forgotten some essential things over the years.....I actually forgot my perfect round brush for blow drying my hair on a 2 week Alaskan cruise.....I had to buy one on the ship at a huge markup and it was not so perfect....Now that brush has made it to the list!  Perfect round brush...check!

Shhhhh, don't tell anyone, but one thing I have to remember when I'm packing a range of sizes.....sad to say, but on a 6 week cruise, what I wore to board the ship, may not zip well, when I exit the ship!  Just saying...
Beginning of trip picture...note, jeans, dark sweater, white top...
(you didn't really expect an end of cruise picture, did you....:)

Weight is a big thing when flying. ( and I'm not talking about mine.. grin)  If your lucky and fly southwest, you get to have 2 suitcases that can be checked. However, most airlines make you carry one on board.  I'm good to go with that..still young enough to hoist my own luggage, plus carry a humongous purse that carries all my on board necessities....I won't even go into that all women know there is no purse large enough to carry everything you need!!!
I have to limit myself to 3 purses in my luggage

one for formal nights, a small purse that will hang diagonally for hands free shopping ( a must in some ports!) and a cute purse for evenings...( Connie, I found "our bag" in Tarpon springs!)
Checked baggage is limited to 50 pounds...who decided that ridiculous number!  Obviously a man, who doesn't need 6 pair of shoes for a 7 day cruise!  That being said...sigh.....I usually limit myself to 1 pair of dressy black heels, walking shoes or sandals, flip flops, and flats.  That's my bare minimum and they must go with everything...( this is the most painful part of packing! and the last thing I decide) One trick, when flying, wear your heaviest clothes and shoes...  So what if it's 99 degrees at Tampa airport, and I'm dressed in jeans, sweaters, hiking boots, and a felt hat...carrying my coat...( I'll never see those people again!)

you just never know when you are going to need those heavy clothes!