What are some tips for packing only a carry on and a personal item for a 7 day cruise if you’re flying to port?

Tags: Tips

10 Answers

Step One is to check the carry on requirements for the airline you are flying on ... rules can vary from airline to airline. I have a wheeled bag that fits in overhead and a large tote bag type "purse" that I use for my personal items and can easily pack enough for a 7 day cruise using just those two items.

Maxi and sundresses, as on most cruise lines at least for the ladies this will satisfy the evening dress codes.

Mix and match clothing, tops that can easily go with 3 sets of bottoms, and bottoms that can easily go with 3 tops for a fresh look, be prepared to do or pay for laundering items.

Keep the shoes to an absolute minimum, 1 set of sandals, 1 pair of close toe shoes for excursions (try to wear for boarding the plane), and 1 pair of water or beach footwear.

Packing cubes for essential undergarments, also pick garments that can be washed in the cabin sink if the cruise line does not have a DIY launderette.

Leave toiletries at home and plan on a quick side trip before going to port for a shopping stop to buy the ones not provided by the cruise line, at end of cruise leave these on board, take a bare minimum of make-up.

Consider easy hair styles that you can leave most hair styling equipment at home.

JUST NOTE: If these tips would cause you to have to purchase items or pay for cleaning of the clothing that exceeds the checked bag fee of the airline, it might just be better to pay for that.

Another one that sounds overly simple but it works. Roll your clothes when you pack them versus just laying things flat. You can get more into your carry on. sponsored CruiseTips TV on YouTube has a lot of good tips about packing including just taking carryon. Later on I’ll look for a link or two. Her videos were very helpful for me.

I’m not qualified to answer this one. Too many cleaning products and snacks. Then of course there are my wife’s creams and oils and whatever. Throw in a power strip, chargers, a book or two and a bottle of wine, and all I have left is room for two pairs of socks and a belt.

Compared to me, Bak packs lightBig Smile

Between my wife and me, we pack two large suitcases and two carry-ons. Although I do envy the light packers, I am not one of them.

K here are two of CruiseTipsTV's videos. One is rolling vs. stacking packing and the other is packing light. Sheri is the woman and she has a lot of good cruise videos about packing, shopping, preparing, etc, etc. Also a lot of reviews. The videos were very helpful for me. She and her husband are cruise veterans and love doing cruise video blogs that actually are very helpful. Hope you have a great time on your cruise!

Agreed! I always plan to pack light. Then we end up with more bags than I care to admit.🙂

Check the carry on requirement first, they will probably tell you what you can and can't put in the bag. Some items that they should not have a problem with would be books, tablets, phones, laptops, cameras, wallets/IDs/Passports, sunglasses, etc.

You can pack extra light if you don't do any formal nights and eat in the buffet instead. We did that for 2 of the 3 formal nights we had.


* is not a booking agent or travel agency, and does not charge any service fees to users of our site. Our partners (travel agencies and cruise lines) provide prices, which we list for our users' convenience. does not guarantee any specific rates or prices. While prices are updated daily, please check with the booking site for the exact amount. is not responsible for content on external web sites.

Back to Top