I always say.. Pack what you think you will need. Then leave half of it at home.
We long ago realized that you only need a couple of changes of clothes since we always seem to buy t shirts and maybe shorts in the ports. Then we end up wearing those things instead of the clothes we brought with us.
We take about half of what we think we should. Worst case we have them wash our clothes if we need to. Its not cheap (but you can catch the "laundry specials" on Carnival) but it beats lugging multiple suitcases around.
Thanks Jim, I think that is a really good idea. I am a stereotypical woman and packed everything but the kitchen sink on that first cruise! I definately didn't wear a lot of what I brought, as we spent a lot of time on deck in swimsuits. I want to try to reduce my luggage down to the point where I can disembark with my luggage.
I always over pack too. I try to learn from year to year, and have made some improvements. Even with cutting back I don't wear half the shirts I take. Last minute packing use to be my downfall with "what if" scenarios being the culprit. Plan out what you'll need versus "what if" has been helping me.
Rhonda- I travel with my wife and two mid-teen daughters... You have no new information on women and packing...
Try to boil your packing down to a garment type bag with all the things you "want to wear" and a single suitcase with all the other stuff divided in half.... It can be done. But if you drive to your cruise port, then don't bother in trying to pack lite.. the cruise ships don't care how much luggage you bring...
My wife use to pack 4 suitcases for a 7 day cruise. Since we couldn't afford to that that much luggage on our 15 night transatlantic cruise in April, we found out two suitcases is enough. We stuff the heavier stuff in our carry-ons and weigh our check-in luggage to the limit.
If and when I have to fly to a port it will be crazy. I've just been trying to whittle my driving luggage down. I haven't flown to a port since they started charging all the extra. Sonny, that is a great idea about putting the heavy things in the carry-on.
I learned how to travel light once I started flying for business. (Business travelers hate checking luggage, as it slows down the process from getting from the airport to the meeting.) I can do a 3-night business trip with just a 19-inch rollaboard and a small briefcase. So, I've applied some of those same principles to packing for vacations.
Some tips I've learned along the way: Mix and match outfits, including shoes. I bring one pair of evening shoes on a cruise, and it will work with every one of my evening outfits. Pants or shorts for daytime can be worn with different shirts. And, perhaps more importantly, wear your bulkiest stuff while in transit so that it doesn't take up packing space. I'll never forget going to Norway in July and wearing my hiking boots on the plane.