I think we’ve all seen the news releases from the airlines that they are all changing their checked baggage limit to one free checked suitcase, with each additional checked bag costing $25 per bag. Almost all airlines have gone to this policy in order to save money and generate additional income during the current high fuel prices.
The cruise chat rooms on several other internet sites popular with cruisers are “a fire” with threads calling for all cruise lines to eliminate formal night or informal nights in light of these new baggage restrictions. This seemed a bit of drastic step, so since I love dressing up, I set out to see if I could pack a whole cruise worth of clothes and necessities, including formal wear and informal dresses, in one suitcase under 50lbs. I am proud to report that not only could I do it, but I also had room and pounds to spare. I could have probably slipped in one of my husbands jackets to take up the extra space in the suit case.
First, it weighed in at 43 lbs.
I was able to fit nearly three weeks worth of clothing into that suitcase by rolling each item tightly. I admit that I will have to mix and match and either wash a few things by hand or send them out to be laundered, but I am very comfortable with the number of items and the variety of choices that I will have on the trip.
Here’s a breakdown of the wardrobe:
First I have 7 mix and match casual evening outfits. On the 14 day cruise there will be 9 casual evenings, so over the course of two weeks I have to repeat, but in in normal life over the course of two weeks I would definitely repeat and outfit or two.
Next, I have plenty of day wear to mix, match, and re-wear. I included shorts, t-shirts, long sleeve shirts and yoga pants. With the cruise being a trans-Atlantic, it will be a mix of both cool and warm weather. I also packed a pull-over jacket and a pair of capris.
For informal evenings I included two cocktail dresses. There may be three informal nights or two, but if it ends up being three, I will just repeat a dress, or perhaps when I am doing my real packing I might decided to include one more cocktail dress.
Since formal evenings are my favorite part of a cruise I also packed three formal dresses. These dresses actually took up very little room in the suitcase due to their light light weight fabric and close fitting style.
I also was able to pack both my UV protective swim suit, my traditional suit, and sarong cover-up.
In terms of other necessities I was able to fit 21 pairs of underwear, two different tummmy and thigh controller garments, three extra bras, all my hairbrushes, curling irons, blow dryer, two bags with toiletries, a cosmetics bag, and 7 pairs of shoes.
The key to packing into one suitcase it to be willing to wear things more than once and practice of bit of discretion when determining what you must pack and can leave behind.