Category Archives: Articles

Problem Solved… MagSafe Wallet for Your Ship Card!

One thing you always need when you’re on a cruise ship is your… ship card. It functions are your room key, allows you to pay for things, lets you access drink packages, lets you access reservations, acts as an ID of sorts, gets you back on the ship and more.

Beyond your ship card, while you’re walking around onboard, you may not need a whole lot more. Maybe a cell phone.  So, how do you keep track of your card and the few things you may want to carry?

A Lanyard is one option and works for some people. Personally I don’t want anything extra around my neck and I’d like the ability to carry a couple more things (maybe some cash) without having to dig in the lanyard.

Another option is a Phone Card Holder. That allows you to keep your ship card right with your phone. This is a big improvement, in my book, everything in one place, compact and easy to keep track of. But, these are adhesive based and need to be semi-permanently installed on a phone or phone case. My solution up until now was to keep an extra phone case with a phone holder installed for use while cruising.

How about… a MagSafe wallet?  These work with compatible iOS devices and compatible Android devices (with the help of a case). They can be easily affixed (and removed) as needed. Whammo!

Here’s a look at these MagSafe wallets for using on a cruise.


This article may contain affiliate links. We may make a small percentage if you use our links to make a purchase. You won’t pay more and you’ll be supporting Cruise Packing List and more content like this. Thank you for your support!


Check Current Price and Availability:

[2 Pack] Magnetic Card Holder Wallet for iPhone 15/14/13/12 Series with Magsafe, Leather Wallet for iPhone 15 14 Pro Max Plus Model, Mag-Safe Wallet for iPhone 13 12 Pro Max Mini Model  – affiliate link, note that multiple variations of this product may be available, as such a different version may appear at this link

Shop around – search Amazon for “MagSafe Wallet”

Android user? An add on case or ring is generally required to make MagSafe Accessories work.  See section on Android toward the end of this article for more information.

If you don’t have a MagSafe capable phone, consider… COCASES Phone Card Holder


A look in the package. I bought a two pack.

For size reference next to a bottle of Sun Bum sunscreen (my standard size reference item on Cruise Packing List)

Onboard Royal Caribbean’s Odyssey of the Seas

Onboard Royal Caribbean’s Adventure of the Seas

This stays on securely but comes off when you’re done using it or want easier access to contents

Conclusions

This is a cheap fix to the question.. where should I put my cruise card? It provides a secure location to keep your card and a little bit of cash so that it’s not floating around who knows where.

Credit for the original idea (the stick on card holder) goes to Emma of Emma cruises. She came up with the original “put your card with your phone” idea. Thanks Emma!  If you have a MagSafe capable phone or phone case, I think this is a great upgrade to the stick on holder.

I’ve used this on multiple cruises and it’s worked well. It’s now a must pack item for me!

Check Current Price and Availability:

[2 Pack] Magnetic Card Holder Wallet for iPhone 15/14/13/12 Series with Magsafe, Leather Wallet for iPhone 15 14 Pro Max Plus Model, Mag-Safe Wallet for iPhone 13 12 Pro Max Mini Model  – affiliate link, note that multiple variations of this product may be available, as such a different version may appear at this link

If you don’t have a MagSafe capable phone, consider… COCASES Phone Card Holder

Does MagSafe work with Android phones?

The technology the allows magnetic accessories to work is Qi wireless charging. Newer iPhone and Android phones often times have this technology built in. MagSafe is a registered Apple trademark. As such you’re probably not going to see an Android marketed as having MagSafe.

The Android implementation of Qi wireless charging is a little bit different than iPhone. The result is that the magnet can be weaker. A solution to this is to get a MagSafe compatible ring sticker or case. This helps to increase magnetic strength.

See: How to Add MagSafe to Android for some more information

MagSafe capable iPhones do not need these add ons.

Related: Using Your Cell Phone Onboard with WiFi Calling!

wifi calling and cruise shipsMy iPhone with Royal Caribbean Adventure of the Seas Royal Promenade int eh Background. See “VZW Wi-Fi”

Related: FREE… Royal Caribbean Perfect Day at CocoCay Phone Wallpaper

Related: Setting up a WiFi Hotspot on your Next Cruise!

Setting Up Your Own Wireless WiFi Hotspot on Your Next Cruise!

Related: Hands on Review: Airalo e-SIM – use your phone internationally!

Hands on Review: Airalo e-SIM – use your phone internationally!

All information provided is deemed accurate at time of publishing, but is not guaranteed and should be independently verified. top:magsafe tag:tpr

All About Night Lights for Your Next Cruise!

A lot of cruise packing lists, blogs and videos recommend packing a night light for your next cruise vacation and for good reason cabins can get dark at night, especially interior cabins. A night light can help prevent you from bumping into things.

What about the lack of outlets?

One problem to consider is… Traditional night lights take up an outlet. Outlets can be a precious commodity in your cruise ship cabin with some cabins having as little as… 1 outlet. This has generally gotten better with newer ships, but can still be an issue. Even newer ships that have more cabin outlets, the outlets can be placed in such a way as to limit their usability. If two outlets are too close together… you can only use one.

Some options…

Omeet EU 2-pin Plug - Portable Plug-in 0.7W Travel LED Night Light with USB Wall Charger - 2 Pack of White Pictured: Omeet EU 2-pin Plug – Portable Plug-in 0.7W Travel LED Night Light with USB Wall Charger – 2 Pack of White

  • 220v night light. These utilize an often ignored and unused 220v outlet that is present in many cabins.
  • USB night lights – These plug into a USB port. That means no outlet taken up. They could go on a laptop, USB wall charger or power bank.
  • Rechargeable night light. Since they’re rechargeable they don’t take up an outlet after they’ve been charged.

Rechargeable night lights are particularly helpful when it comes to cabin bathrooms. Very often these have 0 usable outlets…

The problem with cruise ship bathrooms at night

A rechargeable night light is also great for one particular trouble spot in your cabin… your cabin bathroom. Some cabin bathrooms are completely dark. Like… completely dark. Also a lot of times the light switch is on on the outside of the bathroom. To avoid being trapped in a small dark box you need to turn on the light before entering and potentially disturb your cabin mate. Also that much light can have a tendency to wake a person up. Okay, so… plug in a night light? Think again, most cabin bathrooms don’t have an outlet. 

An illustration of the dark cruise ship cabin bathroom

This is a video of me going from my bed into the bathroom with no lights on. There’s not much to the video, except for sound as it’s completely black because the room is so dark. The video was taken on Royal Caribbean’s Adventure of the Seas in a Jr Suite.

A picture to illustrate. This is the bathroom on Royal Caribbean’s Adventure of the Seas with no lights on.

This is the door to the bathroom. As you can see, the light switch is on the outside of the door. That’s the case with most/all cruise ship cabins we’ve been in. So, let’s say you get up in the middle of the night and stumble your way over to this bathroom door. In order to have any amount of light in the bathroom you need to turn on the switch before entering. That means you’ve flooded your cabin with light and potentially woken someone up. Beyond that, when you get in the bathroom you’ll be in a completely lit room and that can make it more difficult to fall back asleep.

This is a video of me going from my bed into the bathroom with this rechargeable night light on. As you can see… this is a MUCH better experience. The video was taken on Royal Caribbean’s Adventure of the Seas in a Jr Suite.


This article may contain affiliate links. We may make a small percentage if you use our links to make a purchase. You won’t pay more and you’ll be supporting Cruise Packing List and more content like this. Thank you for your support!


A photo with the night light on. This is a much better experience all around. No fumbling for the switch, no flooding the cabin with light. Just a small amount of always on light .

Related: Hands on Review: Auvon Rechargeable Night Lights

For lots more about cruise packing including some solutions for the outlet problem check out our complete packing list.

This post may contain affiliate links. We may make a commission when you use our links. This will never cost you extra. Thank you for supporting Cruise Packing List!

Cruise Ship Power Solutions – Making Use of the 220 Volt Cabin Outlet On Your Next Cruise

Price, promotions and availability can change quickly. Check the product page for current price, description and availability. 7.24.23 top:nightlights tag:tpr

Hands on Review: GL.iNet GL-MT3000 Beryl AX Travel Router!

Travel routers are generally small devices that allow you to create a small Wi-Fi network.

The problem with traditional Wi-Fi routers is that they don’t know how to handle “captive networks”. Captive networks are networks that require you to log in before you can access the internet. Many publicly available WiFi networks are considered captive networks. That includes most hotels and cruise ships.

Travel routers are (or at least should be) designed to handle captive networks. You basically log in to the router through a web browser and then log into the captive network using the router’s settings.

This in an in depth look at the GL.iNet GL-MT3000 (Beryl AX) including setup, speed trials and real world use during travel

Unboxing GL.iNet GL-MT3000 (Beryl AX)

Front of the boxBack of the box


Check Current Pricing:

GL.iNet GL-MT3000 (Beryl AX) Pocket-Sized Wi-Fi 6 Wireless Travel Gigabit Router | WiFi Router | OpenVPN, Wireguard, Connect to Public & Hotel Wi-Fi login Page – affiliate link, note that multiple variations of this product may be available, as such a different version may appear at this link


This article may contain affiliate links. We may make a small percentage if you use our links to make a purchase. You won’t pay more and you’ll be supporting Cruise Packing List and more content like this. Thank you for your support!


Related: Setting Up Your Own Wireless WiFi Hotspot on Your Next Cruise!


Side of the box

A look inside the box. You get the router, a getting started guide, network cable, power cord and international adapters

Quick start guide removed

A look at the included cables and accessories. Network cable, power cord and international converters

Unboxed

Network cable. Since I’ll mostly be using mine with WiFi this isn’t something I’ll generally need.

Power supply. This has a USB-C Connector and then a power block with that accepts international power adapters. You can also power it with any compatible USB charger or, power it directly from a laptop or pc via a USB cable. If you take a look at the power supply specs you’ll see this is a dual voltage device. It accepts 100 to 240v power. That means it can work with 110 volt North American power and 220v to 240v power supplied worldwide.

This is a travel router, so it makes sense that they include multiple international adapter options. So far I’ve used the type c adapter on a cruise ship and the two prong 110 v style. Related: Cruise Ship Power Solutions – Making Use of the 220 Volt Cabin Outlet On Your Next Cruise

Hands on Review GL.iNet GL-MT3000 (Beryl AX)

Top down view of the router

Back of the router. It features a USB C port (for power), a WAN jack, a LAN jack and USB 3.0 (type A). As mentioned previously, most of the time I’ll be using the repeater function of this router. As such, the only port I’ll use back here is the USB C to plug in power.

Bottom of the router. Most of the identifying information has been redacted. My SSID and key are visible. If we happen to run into each other and you find my network… go for it. 🙂

With both antennas extended

Front of the router, powered on. Notice there’s a small light in the front.

Size comparison next to GL.iNet GL-MT300N-V2(Mango)

For size reference next to a bottle of Sun Bum sunscreen (my standard size reference item on Cruise Packing List)

Setting Up The GL.iNet GL-MT3000 (Beryl AX)

After powering on the device I connected to it via WiFi and then used a web browser to navigate to the admin page. Mine was at 192.168.8.1.

Setting an Admin password

The Internet Screen after logging in the first time. As you can see the device is not connected to the Internet.

I clicked “Repeater” and was presented with this screen. In repeater mode the access point gets internet from another WiFi network. It then shares that connection to other clients.

As you can see I’m connected to the internet now. I have my own little network. The name of my host Wi-Fi network has been redacted in this screenshot.

IMPORTANT: UPDATE FIRMWAREAfter setting up the router one of the most important steps you should complete is to update the firmware. This is an easy process and important. Updated firmware contains security and bug fixes.

As an added layer of security this router can with VPN services like NordVPN and others

The scheduled tasks tab allows you to schedule the front LED light, schedule a regular rebook and schedule availability of your WiFi network.

The overview page gives some good information about usage and uptime

Speedtest #1

I think speed tests are to be taken with a grain of salt. Point in time measurements are dependent on a lot of things. Overall trends are however important. This is a speed test from a PC connected directly to my everyday wireless network

Here’s a speed test taken conducted on the same pc this time connected to the GL-MT3000 (Beryl AX).

Using the GL-MT3000 (Beryl AX) onboard Royal Caribbean’s Odyssey of the Seas

Here’s the box on the desk in our stateroom

This is a travel router, so it makes sense that they include multiple international adapter options. This is the type c adapter. Using this adapter means I don’t use a precious 110/3 prong adapter. Related: Cruise Ship Power Solutions – Making Use of the 220 Volt Cabin Outlet On Your Next Cruise. Power for this router is really flexible. If you take a look at the power supply specs you’ll see this is a dual voltage device. It accepts 100 to 240v power. That means it can work with 110 volt North American power and 220v to 240v power supplied worldwide (and on many cruise ships). You can also power it with any compatible USB charger or, power it directly from a laptop or pc via a USB cable.

Here it is plugged in and ready to go

As you can see my laptop is currently connected to the ship’s WiFi. Named WiFi-Guest-Odyssey. I’m going to disconnect from that and connect to the GL-MT3000 (Beryl AX) network.

Flipping the router over to get the password

Connected to the GL-MT3000 (Beryl AX) network

Logging in to the admin page so I can connect to the ship’s “captive” Wi-Fi network.

Of course it doesn’t have an internet connection because my home WiFi is a little too far away at the moment 🙂

Clicking on the “switch network” button in the “repeater” section of the page allows me to select a new network.

I chose WiFi-Guest-Odyssey to connect the GL-MT3000 (Beryl AX) to the ship’s Wi-Fi.

Connecting to the network

Here’s the magic… this page popped up right away after connecting the GL-MT3000 (Beryl AX) to ship’s WiFi.

The problem with traditional Wi-Fi routers is that they don’t know how to handle “captive networks”. Captive networks are networks that require you to log in before you can access the internet. Many publicly available WiFi networks are considered captive networks. That includes most hotels and cruise ships.

Travel routers are (or at least should be) designed to handle captive networks. You basically log in to the router through a web browser and then log into the captive network using the router’s settings.

This is that mechanism in action

Logging in to my (previously purchased) Wi-Fi package

Whammo!  I’m connected to the internet via my GL-MT3000 (Beryl AX) that is using ships Wi-Fi.

Speedtest #2

This test is using my iPhone connected directly to ship’s WiFi

Connected to ship’s WiFi I got 9.27 megabits down and 3.80 megabits up. As you can see this ship uses SpaceX Starlink

This test is connected to the GL-MT3000 (Beryl AX) network (which is in turn connected to ship’s WiFi).

Connected to the GL-MT3000 (Beryl AX) network I got 9.82 megabits down and 3.79 megabits up.

Conclusions

This is a great travel router. It’s easy to use, compact and I’m happy with it’s performance and features. I’ve found this size on the Beryl AX router to be very manageable. If you want something more compact, consider the GL.iNet GL-MT300N-V2(Mango). That model is about the size of a deck of cards. I’ll be trying this with NordVPN soon, so keep an eye out for that update.

What are Other’s Saying?   Search this product’s Amazon reviews for “cruise” – may include reviews for other sizes or variations

GL.iNet GL-MT3000 (Beryl AX) Pocket-Sized Wi-Fi 6 Wireless Travel Gigabit Router | WiFi Router | OpenVPN, Wireguard, Connect to Public & Hotel Wi-Fi login Page – affiliate link, note that multiple variations of this product may be available, as such a different version may appear at this link

For lots more about what you should pack for your next cruise check out our complete packing list.

Related: Setting Up Your Own Wireless WiFi Hotspot on Your Next Cruise!

Setting Up Your Own Wireless WiFi Hotspot on Your Next Cruise!

Related: Using Your Cell Phone Onboard with WiFi Calling!

wifi calling and cruise shipsMy iPhone with Royal Caribbean Adventure of the Seas Royal Promenade int eh Background. See “VZW Wi-Fi”

Related: Use the 220 Outlet on Your Next Cruise

Will My Phone Work on a Cruise Ship?

All About Night Lights for Your Next Cruise!

 

This post may contain affiliate links. We may make a commission when you use our links. This will never cost you extra. Thank you for supporting Cruise Packing List!

All information provided is deemed accurate at time of publishing, but is not guaranteed and should be independently verified. tag:berylreview tag:tpr

Hands on Review: Auvon Rechargeable Night Lights + The Problem with Cruise Ship Bathrooms at Night

A lot of cruise packing lists, blogs and videos recommend packing a night light for your next cruise vacation and for good reason cabins can get dark at night, especially interior cabins. A night light can help prevent you from bumping into things.

What about the lack of outlets?

One problem to consider is… Traditional night lights take up an outlet. Outlets can be a precious commodity in your cruise ship cabin with some cabins having as little as… 1 outlet. This has generally gotten better with newer ships, but can still be an issue. Even newer ships that have more cabin outlets, the outlets can be placed in such a way as to limit their usability. If two outlets are too close together… you can only use one.

Some options…

Omeet EU 2-pin Plug - Portable Plug-in 0.7W Travel LED Night Light with USB Wall Charger - 2 Pack of White Pictured: Omeet EU 2-pin Plug – Portable Plug-in 0.7W Travel LED Night Light with USB Wall Charger – 2 Pack of White

  • 220v night light. These utilize an often ignored and unused 220v outlet that is present in many cabins.
  • USB night lights – These plug into a USB port. That means no outlet taken up. They could go on a laptop, USB wall charger or power bank.
  • Rechargeable night light. Since they’re rechargeable they don’t take up an outlet after they’ve been charged.

Rechargeable night lights are particularly helpful when it comes to cabin bathrooms. Very often these have 0 usable outlets…

The problem with cruise ship bathrooms at night

A rechargeable night light is also great for one particular trouble spot in your cabin… your cabin bathroom. Some cabin bathrooms are completely dark. Like… completely dark. Also a lot of times the light switch is on on the outside of the bathroom. To avoid being trapped in a small dark box you need to turn on the light before entering and potentially disturb your cabin mate. Also that much light can have a tendency to wake a person up. Okay, so… plug in a night light? Think again, most cabin bathrooms don’t have an outlet. 

An illustration of the dark cruise ship cabin bathroom

This is a video of me going from my bed into the bathroom with no lights on. There’s not much to the video, except for sound as it’s completely black because the room is so dark. The video was taken on Royal Caribbean’s Adventure of the Seas in a Jr Suite.

A picture to illustrate. This is the bathroom on Royal Caribbean’s Adventure of the Seas with no lights on.

This is the door to the bathroom. As you can see, the light switch is on the outside of the door. That’s the case with most/all cruise ship cabins we’ve been in. So, let’s say you get up in the middle of the night and stumble your way over to this bathroom door. In order to have any amount of light in the bathroom you need to turn on the switch before entering. That means you’ve flooded your cabin with light and potentially woken someone up. Beyond that, when you get in the bathroom you’ll be in a completely lit room and that can make it more difficult to fall back asleep.

This is a video of me going from my bed into the bathroom with this rechargeable night light on. As you can see… this is a MUCH better experience. The video was taken on Royal Caribbean’s Adventure of the Seas in a Jr Suite.

A photo with the night light on. This is a much better experience all around. No fumbling for the switch, no flooding the cabin with light. Just a small amount of always on light .

Hands on Review Auvon Rechargeable Night Lights

Front of the box


Check Current Price, Availability and Specs:

AUVON Rechargeable Battery Night Light, Mini Motion Sensor Night Light, Warm White LED Stick-On Closet Light with Dusk to Dawn Sensor, Adjustable Brightness for Wall, Stairs, Hallway, Cabinet (2 Pack) – affiliate link, note that multiple variations of this product may be available, as such a different version may appear at this link


Back of the box

It came with a manual and charging cable. I did not receiving a charging box. This can be used with any standard USB charging box.

Auvon USB rechargeable night light

A look at the back. These are magnetic. They also come with an installable base so they can be mounted on non magnetic surfaces. For cruise ship cabins, walls are generally made of metal, so no base is needed.

A look at the controls. The switch on the left let’s you choose between auto, on and off. The button on the right changes the light’s brightness. For the bathroom I set it to on and low light level. Mine easily lasted a week on one charge, leaving it on every night.

Charging the night light


This article may contain affiliate links. We may make a small percentage if you use our links to make a purchase. You won’t pay more and you’ll be supporting Cruise Packing List and more content like this. Thank you for your support!


Turned on

All cruise ship cabin walls are generally made of metal. Here’s the Auvon rechargeable night light above the bathroom light switch on Royal Caribbean’s Adventure of the Seas

Installed on the bathroom door frame on Royal Caribbean’s Adventure of the Seas

Sitting below the sink on Royal Caribbean’s Adventure of the Seas

Conclusions

These are a must-pack item when we travel, especially when we cruise. They are small, have a long battery life and are easy to charge. For cruises in particular these are an easy solution to two problems. First, outlets are generally in short supply. These don’t need an outlet. Second, some cruise ship cabins can be a little hazardous at night. Having these to add a little bit of light to dark spots is a huge help. Especially when it comes to the bathroom.

Check Current Price, Availability and Specs:

AUVON Rechargeable Battery Night Light, Mini Motion Sensor Night Light, Warm White LED Stick-On Closet Light with Dusk to Dawn Sensor, Adjustable Brightness for Wall, Stairs, Hallway, Cabinet (2 Pack) – affiliate link, note that multiple variations of this product may be available, as such a different version may appear at this link

For lots more about what you should pack for your next cruise check out our complete packing list.

What Are Other’s Saying?

Search this product’s Amazon reviews for “cruise” – may include reviews for other sizes or variations

Related:

All About Night Lights for Your Next Cruise!

Cruise Ship Power Solutions – Making Use of the 220 Volt Cabin Outlet On Your Next Cruise

This post may contain affiliate links. We may make a commission when you use our links. This will never cost you extra. Thank you for supporting Cruise Packing List!

Make sure the components you use are compatible and rated for your intended application.  Contact manufacturer with questions about suitability or a specific application.  Always read and follow manufacturer directions. review:auvonnightlight tag:tpr

Recommendation: Get Luggage Tags for Your Next Cruise (smoother embarkation, less chance of delayed luggage!)

Generally speaking when you receive your cruise documents you’ll get printable luggage tags that need to be affixed when you drop your luggage off at the cruise terminal. These tell the cruise line staff where to deliver your luggage on the ship and are different from standard bag tags that you would use for flying.

What you’re supposed to do is fold the paper in a certain way and then staple or fold them.

That means you have to pack… tape or a stapler. AND… mess around with taping or stapling when you just want to get to your cruise.

Beyond that, I don’t think this is a very stable way of securing these tags and I’m guessing they fall off on a regular basis. Ever met someone who got their luggage delivered three days into the cruise?

A more secure option that makes embarkation day easier

I highly recommend cruise luggage tag holders. These are sturdier and more secure than tape or staples. They also keep your tags dry (and readable) in the event of rain.

Because your tags are much more likely to stay on, you’re less likely to have delayed luggage on the ship.

Size of these varies based on cruise line. Look for one that’s compatible with your cruise line.


This article may contain affiliate links. We may make a small percentage if you use our links to make a purchase. You won’t pay more and you’ll be supporting Cruise Packing List and more content like this. Thank you for your support!


For lots more about what you should pack for your next cruise check out our complete packing list.


How I use cruise luggage tags

Before printing the tags (on a color printer if available) I edit the PDF file I receive from the cruise line using a PDF editor and add my name in the guest name area. Of course, you can just write this on the tag, but it makes the end result a lot neater, because of my poor handwriting 🙂

I quickly ignore any directions that say “fold do not cut” 🙂 and trim the paper so that just the tag portion is left. You could certainly fold like the directions suggest, but it’s not really necessary since the tag holder protects the tag. Trimming also makes it easier to slip the paper into the tag holder.

I print and assemble several bag tags before leaving on the cruise

Cruise luggage tags on my Travelpro Maxlite 5 on embarkation day before a cruise!

If you’re flying to your embarkation port I don’t recommend putting cruise tags on your luggage until after your flight. That’s especially true if you’re taping and stapling vs using luggage tags. Luggage tag holders would probably make the flight okay, but, to me, there’s no sense subjecting these to the wear and tear of airline luggage handling.

Day of embarkation or the night before I pull the tags out and place on all bags that we’ll check with porters at the cruise line terminal.

What happens if I don’t have luggage tags when I check bags in at the cruise terminal?

Typically you can ask a porter for help. They have tags that they can manually write out. This is a nice backup, but… pre-printed luggage tags in tag holders are the way to go.

When will I receive luggage tags for Guarantee Cabins

Because guarantee cabins aren’t assigned at the time of booking you may not receive tags with your cruise documents.

My recommendation is to check for cabin assignment a day or two before leaving on your cruise. If your cabin has been assigned, contact your cruise line and ask them to re-issue your cruise documents so you can print out your actual tags.

It seems like most guarantee cabins are assigned within a few days of the cruise, so most of the time you should be able to get updated luggage tags. But, sometimes these are assigned at the very last minute. In that case your only option is to get tags from porters at check in.

Related: Customized Luggage Tags (different from cruise luggage tags)!

Personalized Metal Luggage Tags with Stainless Steel Wire Loops Pack of 4

Personalized Metal Luggage Tags with Stainless Steel Wire Loops

More Info

From the product description, check product page for current description, price and availability:

  • Personalized Luggage Tags by PlinChiako: Let us customize your luggage tag with your details and worry no more that your luggage will get lost. Our luggage tags are LASER-ENGRAVED that never fades.
  • Customized Luggage Tags for Suitcases: These luggage tags are made of high-end Anodized Aluminum (3.5 x 2 inches), thick, durable, rust-proof, and reusable multiple times.
  • Luggage Tag Engraved: We utilize laser engraving to ensure that our luggage tags are non-fade and offer them with Stainless Steel loops that keep them firmly attached to your luggage.
  • Cute Luggage Tag: Our luggage tags are available in different designs, in 6 modern colors, and come with stainless steel wire loop. Choose the style you prefer, enter your information, and let us personalize your luggage tag.
  • We are proud to be a Canadian family-owned and operated business.

 

personalized luggage tags

When it came time to replace luggage tags I decided to look for personalized options and landed on these. I’m very happy with them. Since they’re metal they’re heavy duty compared to all the other luggage tags I’ve used. They also come with beefy stainless steel loops to affix them on your luggage. Beyond choosing the color of the tags themselves you can choose the color of the wire loops and you can have them print your name on both sides of the tag.

I went with a 4 pack of blue for easy visibility and had them print my info on both sides. I did not put my address, because… I may move before I have to replace these. Instead I opted for last name, email and phone number.

Personalized Metal Luggage Tags with Stainless Steel Wire Loops Pack of 4 – affiliate link, note that multiple variations of this product may be available, as such a different version may appear at this link

This post may contain affiliate links. We may make a commission when you use our links. This will never cost you extra. Thank you for supporting Cruise Packing List!

What size luggage should I take on my cruise?

Price, promotions and availability can change quickly. Check the product page for current price, description and availability. top:lts tag:tpr

FREE… Royal Caribbean Perfect Day at CocoCay Phone Wallpaper

My iPhone 15 in Pelican’s IP68 Waterproof Phone Case

On one of my recent Royal Caribbean Cruises we visited CocoCay which is one of our favorite spots. It’s a beautiful island and such an easy beach day. I snapped some pictures from our balcony and one of them ended up making a great phone wallpaper. You can see it on my iPhone 15 above.

I’m making a high resolution version of the photo available to Cruise Packing List readers.

Royal Caribbean Perfect Day at CocoCay Phone Wallpaper

perfect day cococay phone wallpaper

Related: Royal Caribbean Luggage Tags

Cruise Luggage Tags for Royal Caribbean & Celebrity Cruise Essentials in 2023-2024

I highly recommend cruise luggage tag holders. These are sturdier and more secure than tape or staples. Having these also means you don’t need to carry along… tape or staples. These also keep your tags dry (and readable) in the event of rain. Because your tags are more likely to stay on, you’re less likely to have delayed luggage on the ship. Size of these varies based on cruise line. Look for one that’s compatible with your cruise line tags.

Cruise Luggage Tags for Royal Caribbean & Celebrity Cruise Essentials in 2023-2024 – affiliate link, note that multiple variations of this product may be available, as such a different version may appear at this link

For lots more about what you should pack for your next cruise check out our complete packing list.

This post may contain affiliate links. We may make a commission when you use our links. This will never cost you extra. Thank you for supporting Cruise Packing List!

Hands on Review: TESSAN International Power Plug with USB… Use the 220 Outlet on Your Next Cruise!

Cruise Ship Power Solutions – Making Use of the 220 Volt Cabin Outlet On Your Next Cruise

All About Night Lights for Your Next Cruise!

Make sure the components you use are compatible and rated for your intended application.  Contact manufacturer with questions about suitability or a specific application.  Always read and follow manufacturer directions. tag:pdwallpaper tag:tpr

Hands on Review: TESSAN International Power Plug with USB… Use the 220 Outlet on Your Next Cruise!

Many cruise cabins have a common problem… lack of outlets. This has generally gotten better with newer ships, but can still be an issue. Even newer ships that have more cabin outlets, the outlets can be placed in such a way as to limit their usability. If two outlets are too close together… you can only use one.

To accommodate European travelers cruise lines will often include one or more 220 volt outlets. If you’re used to using three prong 120 volt electronics this outlet will most likely go unused.

One way to stretch out the outlets on your next cruise is to… use the 220 volt outlet.

This is a hands on look at the Tessan Type C Outlet Adapter with USB Ports

This adapter will allow you to make use of a European Type C outlet on your next cruise! Note that this is not a voltage converter. Many electronics are designed to operate in the 220 volt range.


Check Current Price & Availability:


A look at the box. As the box indicates this is a Type C Adapter. This is the outlet style that is in most cruise ship cabins.

Out of the box

Mine came with a sticker over the outlet with some important information…. “This adapter does not convert voltage. AC devices must support dual voltage 100-250V. Check from your device surface or label, especially hair dryer, curling iron, CPAP machine.”

Voltage adapters are generally compact and reasonably priced. Adapters only adapt the plug. They do not convert 220v to 120v. Voltage converters actually step down voltage from 220v to 120v. Those are generally bulkier and more expensive.

A 120v device (only) device will not work on a 220v outlet with an adapter, but… many of your devices may actually be rated for both 120v and 220v.


Related:

Cruise Ship Power Solutions – Making Use of the 220 Volt Cabin Outlet On Your Next Cruise


This article may contain affiliate links. We may make a small percentage if you use our links to make a purchase. You won’t pay more and you’ll be supporting Cruise Packing List and more content like this. Thank you for your support!


A look at the front of the adapter. It sports a three prong North American style outlet and two USB ports. When it comes to USB devices this adapter steps down and converts power and should work with most USB devices.

This is the adapter on Royal Caribbean’s Adventure of the Seas. Adventure only offers two x 120 volt outlets and 0 USB ports. The 220 outlet is to the right right side of the desk in our Jr Suite Stateroom.

The type C Adapter fits perfectly in the outlet

Close up

This is my 4 in 1 cable plugged into the adapter. This cable has been very helpful since I upgraded to iPhone 15 with USB C charging port. Since some of my devices still use Lightning style ports, this cable allows me to change all of my iOS devices (and more) with a single cable. It goes from USB A or USB C to Lightning or USB C. Whammo!  This is my smaller cable that I essentially keep as a backup. I also have a 3 foot cable and a 5 foot cable.

With my laptop charger, iPhone and iPad plugged in

How can you tell if your device will work with an adapter? Many devices are actually setup to use either voltage. As an example take a look at this laptop power charger. It’s designed to accept 100 volts up to 240 volts.

Side view

The Tessan Adapter installed on Royal Caribbean’s Adventure of the Seas

The Tessan Adapter installed on Royal Caribbean’s Odyssey of the Seas

Tessan also makes a double outlet adapter. Here’s that installed on Royal Caribbean’s Odyssey of the Seas

Conclusions

This is a relatively cheap upgrade that makes cabin life easier. It has become a must-pack item for all our cruises. Utilizing the European style outlet seems like magic. Just make sure that your devices support dual voltage which is an easy thing to do.

Check Current Price & Availability:

What Are Other’s Saying?

Search this product’s Amazon reviews for “cruise” – may include reviews for other sizes or variations

More Photos

For lots more about what you should pack for your next cruise check out our complete packing list.

This post may contain affiliate links. We may make a commission when you use our links. This will never cost you extra. Thank you for supporting Cruise Packing List!

Cruise Ship Power Solutions – Making Use of the 220 Volt Cabin Outlet On Your Next Cruise

All About Night Lights for Your Next Cruise!

Make sure the components you use are compatible and rated for your intended application.  Contact manufacturer with questions about suitability or a specific application.  Always read and follow manufacturer directions. review:tessan220 tag:tpr

Cruise Ship Power Solutions – Making Use of the 220 Volt Cabin Outlet On Your Next Cruise

Pictured: European Travel Plug Adapter, TESSAN International Power Plug with 2 USB, Type C Outlet Adaptor Charger for US to Most of Europe EU Iceland Spain Italy France Germany – See: Hands on Review: TESSAN International Power Plug with USB

Lack of power solutions in cruise ship cabins

Many cruise cabins have a common problem… lack of outlets. This has generally gotten better with newer ships, but can still be an issue. Even newer ships that have more cabin outlets, the outlets can be placed in such a way as to limit their usability. If two outlets are too close together… you can only use one.

To accommodate European travelers cruise lines will often include one or more 220 volt outlets. If you’re used to using three prong 120 volt electronics this outlet will most likely go unused.

One way to stretch out the outlets on your next cruise is to… use the 220 volt outlet.

What style is the 220 volt outlet on cruise ships?

European Type C seems to be the standard style on cruise ships. This may vary, but it seems to be fairly standard.

Voltage Adapters vs Voltage Converters

Voltage adapters are generally compact and reasonably priced. Adapters only adapt the plug. They do not convert 220v to 120v. Voltage converters actually step down voltage from 220v to 120v. Those are generally bulkier and more expensive.


This article may contain affiliate links. We may make a small percentage if you use our links to make a purchase. You won’t pay more and you’ll be supporting Cruise Packing List and more content like this. Thank you for your support!


Will my 120v devices work with an adapter?

A 120v device (only) device will not work on a 220v outlet with an adapter, but… many of your devices may actually be rated for both 120v and 220v…

Dual Voltage and World Wide Voltage

Many devices are actually setup to use either voltage. As an example take a look at this laptop power charger. It’s designed to accept 100 volts up to 240 volts.

Another example, as of this writing… “Apple USB power adapters are designed for use with power sources rated to provide 100V AC to 240V AC at 50Hz to 60Hz.” via About Apple USB Power Adapters

Another example Anker’s model A9123 which I own and use on cruises. It is designed to accept 100 volts up to 240 volts.

Many three prong devices are designed to work at a range of voltages including 220v. Those devices will work with an outlet adapter. As three prong cord users we just don’t think about it much. To see if your device is compatible with 220v check the label, product specifications or ask the manufacturer.

What about USB?

220v adapters that have USB ports should step down power to provide USB range DC power.

Example – This USB charger accepts 100-240V AC input and outputs DC 5V

Some Adapters and Devices to Consider:

Related… Hands on Review: TESSAN International Power Plug with USB

Product specifications can change. Double check your product before use.

For lots more about cruise packing including some solutions for the outlet problem check out our complete packing list.

This post may contain affiliate links. We may make a commission when you use our links. This will never cost you extra. Thank you for supporting Cruise Packing List!

All About Night Lights for Your Next Cruise!

Make sure the components you use are compatible and rated for your intended application.  Contact manufacturer with questions about suitability or a specific application.  Always read and follow manufacturer directions. top:220 tag:tpr

What Power Outlets Are Available on Royal Caribbean Odyssey of the Seas?

Wondering what power outlets are available on Royal Caribbean’s Odyssey of the Seas? This post has you covered. These are the outlets and USB ports that were in our Ocean View Balcony stateroom. I’m assuming setup is similar for all balcony and interior cabins and also assuming that suites will have a different setup.

The desk area has a 220 outlet, two USB ports and two three prong North American style outlets. Here you can see the 220 outlet with a dual outlet power adapter with USB

Related: Cruise Ship Power Solutions – Making Use of the 220 Volt Cabin Outlet On Your Next Cruise

Continue reading

Hands on Review: Nalgene Bottle Compact Sharps Container

If you use hypodermic needles to dispense needed medicines I’m sure you’re aware that it’s important that you dispose of used sharps properly and safely even when you’re traveling.

There are purpose made travel size sharps containers on the market. Some examples…

I’m a big fan of lab style containers. I use them for a bunch of stuff around the house and when traveling including for toiletries and such

I’ve found the four ounce wide mouth size to be perfect as a compact travel sharps container. Here’s a look at that container when used for that purpose.


This article may contain affiliate links. We may make a small percentage if you use our links to make a purchase. You won’t pay more and you’ll be supporting Cruise Packing List and more content like this. Thank you for your support!


Top down look

A look inside

A look at the cap

The label of one of these I’ve purchased. Model 562104, UPC 661165562027

I’ve actually purchased these a couple of times. Both times were from Amazon and although they were different offerings they appeared to be identical. The important part to me, if I’m shopping around again is to look for a 4 ounce wide mouth bottle

A look at the bottom. This one reads… Nalgene, 125ml, 4oz, HDPE – Nalgene Wide Mouth Round Bottle 4 oz./Each

A look at the bottom of another offering I’ve purchased. The markings are almost identical and it appears and functions the same – Nalgene HDPE Wide Mouth Round Container

United Scientific™ 33307 | Laboratory Grade Polypropylene Wide Mouth Reagent Bottle | Designed for Laboratories, Classrooms, or Storage at Home | 125mL (4oz) Capacity | Pack of 12, Clear

This model is from another manufacturer, but looks similar to the bottles I have… United Scientific™ 33307 | Laboratory Grade Polypropylene Wide Mouth Reagent Bottle | Designed for Laboratories, Classrooms, or Storage at Home | 125mL (4oz) Capacity | Pack of 12, Clear


This post may contain affiliate links. We may make a commission when you use our links. This will never cost you extra. Thank you for supporting Cruise Packing List!


With used sharps inside

I use Osprey’s UltraLight padded organizer for my supplies. This container fits nicely.

In action on a cruise. Can you guess where we just visited? It’s Aruba.

For size reference next to GL.iNet GL-MT3000 (Beryl AX) Travel RouterHands on Review

Conclusions

Although this isn’t a purpose built sharps container, it’s worked great for me. It’s the perfect size and sturdy enough to keep used sharps safe until they can be offloaded into a larger container after returning home.

If those are out of stock and you want to shop around for something similar, I suggest looking for a 4 oz wide mouth container.

This model is from another manufacturer, but looks similar to the bottles I have… United Scientific™ 33307 | Laboratory Grade Polypropylene Wide Mouth Reagent Bottle | Designed for Laboratories, Classrooms, or Storage at Home | 125mL (4oz) Capacity | Pack of 12, Clear

Some purpose built options

Related: United Scientific™ BNM090-PK6 Leakproof 3oz (90mL) Travel Bottle | HDPE bottle with lined Polypropylene lid | TSA Approved | Pack of 6 Bottles

For cruise passengers… Some cruise lines will provide these on request for free. Check with your cruise line. You may need one for travel before and after your cruise, also bringing your own means one less thing to do.

For lots more about what you should pack for your next cruise check out our complete packing list.

This post may contain affiliate links. We may make a commission when you use our links. This will never cost you extra. Thank you for supporting Cruise Packing List!

Make sure the components you use are compatible and rated for your intended application.  Contact manufacturer with questions about suitability or a specific application.  Always read and follow manufacturer directions.

All information provided is deemed accurate at time of publishing, but is not guaranteed and should be independently verified. tag:compactsharps tag:tpr

8 Tips to Make the Most Of Limited Outlets On Your Next Cruise

Pictured: European Travel Plug Adapter, TESSAN International Power Plug with 2 USB, Type C Outlet Adaptor Charger for US to Most of Europe EU Iceland Spain Italy France Germany – See: Hands on Review: TESSAN International Power Plug with USB

Lack of power solutions in cruise ship cabins

Many cruise cabins have a common problem… lack of outlets. This has generally gotten better with newer ships, but can still be an issue. Even newer ships that have more cabin outlets, the outlets can be placed in such a way as to limit their usability. If two outlets are too close together… you can only use one.

This article outlines some ways to stretch the power resources that are available in your next cruise ship cabin.

#1 Use the 220 Outlet(s)

To accommodate European travelers cruise lines will often include one or more 220 volt outlets. If you’re used to using three prong 120 volt electronics this outlet will most likely go unused.

One way to stretch out the outlets on your next cruise is to… use the 220 volt outlet.

What style is the 220 volt outlet on cruise ships?

European Type C seems to be the standard style on cruise ships. This may vary, but it seems to be fairly standard.

Some Adapters and Devices to Consider:

Cruise Ship Power Solutions – Making Use of the 220 Volt Cabin Outlet On Your Next Cruise

Hands on Review: TESSAN International Power Plug with USB… Use the 220 Outlet on Your Next Cruise!


This article may contain affiliate links. We may make a small percentage if you use our links to make a purchase. You won’t pay more and you’ll be supporting Cruise Packing List and more content like this. Thank you for your support!


#2 Use An Approved Power Strip

Cruise Essentials Power Strip USB - Flat Plug Power Strip with 3 Outlets 3 USB Ports(1 USB C PD20W), 5ft Braided Extension Cord, Compact for Cruise Ship, Travel, Home and DormPictured: Cruise Essentials Power Strip USB – Flat Plug Power Strip with 3 Outlets 3 USB Ports(1 USB C PD20W), 5ft Braided Extension Cord, Compact for Cruise Ship, Travel, Home and Dorm

Most cruise lines allow the use of certain power strips. Generally speaking one thing you want to look for is a power strip that DOES NOT offer surge protection. Double check with your cruise line for specifics on what’s allowed on your ship.

#3 Use an Outlet Extender

Multi Plug Outlet Extender with USB Outlets, Power Strip Non Surge Protector Electric Outlet Splitter with 3 USB Wall Charger (1 USB C), Multiple Outlet Expander for Cruise, Dorm, Travel, Home, Office

Pictured: Multi Plug Outlet Extender with USB Outlets, Power Strip Non Surge Protector Electric Outlet Splitter with 3 USB Wall Charger (1 USB C), Multiple Outlet Expander for Cruise, Dorm, Travel, Home, Office  – affiliate link, note that multiple variations of this product may be available, as such a different version may appear at this link

A similar solution as using a power strip, but more compact and outlet extender to split one power outlet into multiple outlets. Some include USB outlets.

#4 Use a Rechargeable Night Light

Using a rechargeable night light means no outlet is taken up most of the time. This is particularly helpful for bathrooms as those usually have 0 outlets.

Hands on Review: Auvon Rechargeable Night Lights + The Problem with Cruise Ship Bathrooms at Night

All About Night Lights for Your Next Cruise!

#5 Use a USB Night Light

USB night lights plug into a USB port. That means no outlet taken up. They could go on a laptop, USB wall charger or power bank.

#6 Check the Phone

Many newer or remodeled cruise ships offer a USB charging port on the phone. This is the phone that was in our cabin on Royal Caribbean’s Odyssey of the Seas.

#7 Use Rechargeable… Everything

Cruise Ship Approved Travel FanPictured: Cruise Ship Approved Travel Fan

When you’re making decisions on cruise gear considering opting for rechargeable items. These don’t constantly take up an outlet or USB port and when charged, they aren’t tethered to wherever an outlet happens to be.

#8 Use a Rechargeable Power Bank

Pictured: Anker Portable Charger

Using a rechargeable power bank gives you a de facto outlet (at least for USB devices) anywhere in your cabin. Beyond charging you can power loads of other USB compatible gear anywhere in your cabin.

Related… Hands on Review: TESSAN International Power Plug with USB

Product specifications can change. Double check your product before use.

For lots more about cruise packing including some solutions for the outlet problem check out our complete packing list.

This post may contain affiliate links. We may make a commission when you use our links. This will never cost you extra. Thank you for supporting Cruise Packing List!

Make sure the components you use are compatible and rated for your intended application.  Contact manufacturer with questions about suitability or a specific application.  Always read and follow manufacturer directions. top:outlets tag:tpr

Hands on Review: Sailpack Cruise Ship Approved Travel Fan

When looking for a compact travel fan, I can across Sailpak’s USB rechargeable model. It’s about 6″ x 6″, folds flat for easy storage, is USB chargeable (via USB-C and has 5 speeds. Here’s a hands on review of this fan. Includes pictures and videos taken onboard.

In the boxSide of the box. UPC 792671168089, Input 5v/1a, Fan Power 3.5W


Check Current Price and Availability:

Cruise Ship Approved Travel Fan


This article may contain affiliate links. We may make a small percentage if you use our links to make a purchase. You won’t pay more and you’ll be supporting Cruise Packing List and more content like this. Thank you for your support!


A look at the front of the fan. The bottom right button turns the fan on and also has an LED display that shows battery charge levels.Back of the fanClose up of the label on the back of the fanClose up of the bottom of the back of the fan. The left side is a USB-C port for charging. The right side has a label with specifications and such.Sailpack Cruise Ship Approved Travel Fan.  Sailpack says this is approved for cruise ship use as of a certain date. Based on the fact that it’s compact I don’t see any cruise line turning this away however you can double check with your line to make sure if you have any concerns.This fan has a stand that can be folded flat when not in useHere’s the fan running. Keep reading for some videos. You can see the bottom right shows charge %. You need to hold down the power button to turn the fan on and off. That’s a good feature because it means it’s less likely to get turned on by mistake when packed away in a bag. After it’s on a short press changes speed.For size reference next to a bottle of Sun Bum sunscreen

Onboard Trials

Here’s the fan onboard Royal Caribbean’s Odyssey of the SeasThis has a 6 to 10 hour stated battery life. You can also plug it in to extend that. Here is is plugged in to this European Travel Plug Adapter. See: Cruise Ship Power Solutions – Making Use of the 220 Volt Cabin Outlet On Your Next Cruise for more information on using this outlet Here it is running onboard

Here’s a video of the fan to give you an idea of how much sound it puts out

By our bedside on Odyssey of the Seas

Running on my night stand

Conclusions

This is a compact easy to use travel fan. It produces a nice breeze and some background noise. Considering the limited availability of outlets the fact that this is rechargeable is a huge plus. This isn’t a huge fan, but I wouldn’t want it to be as I don’t have that kind of room and many lines ban large fans. This purpose built travel fan solution is a great option for cruising and land based travel.

Cruise Ship Approved Travel Fan – affiliate link, note that multiple variations of this product may be available, as such a different version may appear at this link

For lots more about cruise packing including some solutions for the outlet problem check out our complete packing list.

This post may contain affiliate links. We may make a commission when you use our links. This will never cost you extra. Thank you for supporting Cruise Packing List!

Make sure the components you use are compatible and rated for your intended application.  Contact manufacturer with questions about suitability or a specific application.  Always read and follow manufacturer directions. top:fanreview tag:tpr

Setting Up Your Own Wireless WiFi Hotspot on Your Next Cruise!

Related: Hands on Review: GL.iNet GL-MT3000 Beryl AX Travel Router!

But First… Read Cruise Lines Terms and Conditions

This article will walk you through options for creating your own WiFI hot spot on your next cruise. That can save you some money and make things a little easier around the cabin. You should also ask… can I do this? When you sign up or sign into your cruise line’s WiFi you will be presented with terms and conditions. I suggest reading through those to see if this is allowed or prohibited. This is going to vary by cruise line.

Next… What Are We Doing Again?

Setting up your own WiFi hot spot allows you to have your own mini network. You purchase an internet plan, setup a WiFi hot spot and then share that connection with other devices. The technologies used to do this will result in a small network that will be available in or very near your cabin. These solutions will not give you access throughout the entire ship.

Option 1: Travel Router

Travel routers are generally small devices that allow you to create a small Wi-Fi network.

The problem with traditional Wi-Fi routers is that they don’t know how to handle “captive networks”. Captive networks are networks that require you to log in before you can access the internet. Many publicly available WiFi networks are considered captive networks. That includes most hotels and cruise ships.

Travel routers are (or at least should be) designed to handle captive networks. You basically log in to the router through a web browser and then log into the captive network using the router’s settings.


This post may contain affiliate links. We may make a commission when you use our links. This will never cost you extra. Thank you for supporting Cruise Packing List!


Some Travel Router Options:

GL.iNet GL-MT3000 (Beryl AX) Pocket-Sized Wi-Fi 6 Wireless Travel Gigabit Router | WiFi Router | OpenVPN, Wireguard, Connect to Public & Hotel Wi-Fi login Page, RV

TP-Link AC750 Wireless Portable Nano Travel Router(TL-WR902AC) - Support Multiple Modes, WiFi Router/Hotspot/Bridge/Range Extender/Access Point/Client Modes, Dual Band WiFi, 1 USB 2.0 Port

GL.iNet GL-SFT1200 (Opal) Secure Travel WiFi Router | AC1200 Dual Band Gigabit Ethernet Wireless Internet | IPv6 USB 2.0 MU-MIMO DDR3 | 128MB Ram Repeater Bridge Access Point Mode

GL.iNet GL-MT300N-V2(Mango) Portable Mini Travel Wireless Pocket VPN WiFi Router - Access Point/Extender/WDS | OpenWrt | 2 x Ethernet Ports | OpenVPN/Wireguard VPN | USB 2.0 | 128MB RAM

There are other options available  – search Amazon for “travel router” – look for something with good ratings and something that can handle captive networks. Specific mention of being compatible with hotel and cruise ship networks is also something I’d look for.


This article may contain affiliate links. We may make a small percentage if you use our links to make a purchase. You won’t pay more and you’ll be supporting Cruise Packing List and more content like this. Thank you for your support!


Option 2: Connectify Hot Spot

Connectify is a program that you install on your compatible Windows laptop. After it’s installed it runs in the background and shares the internet connection that your laptop is using. You handle the captive network business on your laptop browser, so Connectify doesn’t have to specifically handle that.

Set your laptop power plan to always on so the hot spot stays up and going.

Connectify Hot Spot

Other Options to Save on Internet on Your Next Cruise

  • Sometimes cruise lines offer free to discounted internet via their loyalty programs or in certain cabin categories.
  • Sharing a log in. Some cruise lines (I know this is the case for Royal Caribbean) allow you to log in and log out of devices. This allows you to use one account across multiple devices.
  • Get an international plan and access internet on port days.
  • You’re on vacation… don’t get on the internet. 🙂

What Else?

Got another great solution or tip for accessing Internet on cruises?  Leave a comment and let us know.

Related: Using Your Cell Phone Onboard with WiFi Calling!

wifi calling and cruise shipsMy iPhone with Royal Caribbean Adventure of the Seas Royal Promenade int eh Background. See “VZW Wi-Fi”

Related: Use the 220 Outlet on Your Next Cruise

Will My Phone Work on a Cruise Ship?

All About Night Lights for Your Next Cruise!

All information provided is deemed accurate at time of publishing, but is not guaranteed and should be independently verified. top:wifiap tag:tpr

Hands on Review: HOXIS Mesh Beach Bag

Prior to a recent cruise we decided to up our beach game bag. We really didn’t have a travel beach bag per se. We we would use whatever we happened to have with us and… sometimes that wasn’t pretty.

When I started looking for a beach tote I had a couple of things in mind.  First, I wanted something compact enough that it didn’t take too much room when it came time to pack. Second, I wanted a mesh bag so sand could easily be removed.

After some searching I landed on the HOXIS Mesh Tote. It fit my two main criteria, looked good and was well priced. We went with gray but it’s available in a number of colors.

In the packaging


This article may contain affiliate links. We may make a small percentage if you use our links to make a purchase. You won’t pay more and you’ll be supporting Cruise Packing List and more content like this. Thank you for your support!


Close up of the tag. The tag reads Material:100% Polyester+Nylon. Washing Instructions: Wash by hand. Do not bleach. Do not tumble dry. Do not iron.Out of the packagingFor size reference next to a bottle of Sun Bum sunscreen (my standard size reference item on Cruise Packing List)A look inside the bag


This post may contain affiliate links. We may make a commission when you use our links. This will never cost you extra. Thank you for supporting Cruise Packing List!


Close up of the meshA closer look at the carrying strapPacked with some stuff in our cabin on Royal Caribbean’s Odyssey of the SeasThe bag in action at Cas Abao Beach in Curaçao. Related (more beach pictures):  Hands on Review: Airalo e-SIM – use your phone internationally!Beautiful day at the beachSpotted: This beach tote kept showing up towards the top of search results when I was shopping around. It’s a popular bag. Here’s someone else’s bag sitting in the Solarium on Royal Caribbean’s Odyssey of the Seas.On Eagle Beach in Aruba!I really like the fact that the carrying straps on this tote are flexible enough to tie together to secure the bag.Here we are just off the ship, walking to the beach on CococayHolding three beach towels with room to spare!

Conclusions

This is a great bag that fit out needs exactly. It’s light and compact for easy packing all the while being large enough for and sturdy enough for a beach outing. We’re happy with this purchase and looking forward to taking this on our next beach vacation.

Check Current Pricing, Color Options and Availability:

HOXIS Mesh Beach Tote Shoulder Handbag – affiliate link, note that multiple variations of this product may be available, as such a different version may appear at this link

For lots more about what you should pack for your next cruise check out our complete packing list.

This post may contain affiliate links. We may make a commission when you use our links. This will never cost you extra. Thank you for supporting Cruise Packing List!

All information provided is deemed accurate at time of publishing, but is not guaranteed and should be independently verified. tag:hoxisbagreview tag:tpr

Hands on Review: Airalo e-SIM – use your phone internationally!

Airalo is app for iOS/iPhone and Android smart phones that makes it easy and inexpensive to use your compatible phone internationally. They partner with local and regional providers to provide short term coverage in many parts of the world.

What’s a SIM Card?

SIM is an acronym stands for Subscriber Identity Module. It’s small card that fits in select phones that’s basically the digital identification for the phone. You can theoretically quickly change phones by swapping out your physical SIM card.

What’s an eSIM Card?

Fast forward to eSIM cards. eSIM stands for Embedded Subscriber Identity Module.  Instead of a physical SIM card an eSIM is a logical identity for select phones. No need for a physical SIM card.

The part where the magic comes in… Some phones also allow you to have multiple eSIM cards. So you can actually have multiple phone numbers on a single phone.

What devices support Airalo eSIM?

To use an eSIM, your device must be carrier-unlocked and eSIM-compatible.

Airalo provides a regularly updated list of supported devices.

An eSIM example…

Here is a screenshot from my iPhone. On the top left you’ll see my primary carrier Verizon. Below that is my secondary carrier Tello. I use two carriers, one for business the other for personal. If you want to give Tello a try use referral code P3XR5K8D and earn Tello dollars.

Using Airalo for international coverage!…

We recently went on a cruise to Aruba, Curaçao and the Bahamas. I decided to give Airalo a try and purchased e-SIM cards for Aruba and Curaçao.

Purchasing an e-SIM card for Curaçao. I went with 1 GB of data. We were in Curaçao for about a day. The e-SIM I purchased was valid for up to 7 days. This was a data only e-SIM meaning I didn’t have a local phone number. I didn’t need to use the phone if I had to I could have used Google Voice, WhatsApp, Skype or FaceTime. Of course there are other apps that can utilize a data connection for phone calls and video chat.

Purchasing an e-SIM card for Aruba. Also 1 GB data and 7 days.

Here’s my phone after purchasing and installing both e-SIM. As of this update iPhone 15 can handle up to eight e-SIM with a maximum of two active e-SIM cards at any one time. Note that my Verizon and Tello numbers have been redacted.

Using Airalo in Curaçao

I enabled my Curaçao e-SIM card and disabled all other e-SIMs installed on my phone

Whammo I’m connected

I fired up Google Maps for directions to the beach we wanted to go to.

We made it to Cas Abao beach!  It was beautiful!

I tried Blue Curaçao.  It was pretty good.

I tweeted from the beach to test the connection. It worked great. Connect with me on X!

Let’s be friends! Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Pinterest | RSS

When I bought the e-SIM card the carrier was named Dushi wireless. I had no idea what that meant, but learned when visiting. visitaruba.com says… “Dushi – This is such a dynamic Papiamento word. In Aruba, ‘dushi‘ is used to describe food as ‘sweet‘ or ‘yummy‘ tasting, or to indicate that a sensation is good (think of pleasant smells or nice music), but it is also used as a term of endearment for your lover, translated as ‘sweetheart‘ or ‘sweety‘.”

Speedtest. The connection was quite zippy. This test shows 58.4 megabits down and 46.6 megabits up.


This article may contain affiliate links. We may make a small percentage if you use our links to make a purchase. You won’t pay more and you’ll be supporting Cruise Packing List and more content like this. Thank you for your support!


At the end of the day I still had 700 MB left. It’s worth noting that you can also buy longer eSIMs with more data AND you can purchase eSIMs for entire regions instead of a single country.

We had a wonderful time in Curaçao!

Using Airalo in Aruba

I tweeted from Eagle Beach to test the connection. It worked great. Connect with me on X!

Airalo’s partner in Aruba was blazing fast. Here’s a speed test.  This test shows 114 megabits down and 26.9 megabits up.

We had an amazing time in Aruba!  This was our first time doing a Southern Itinerary cruise and it was one of our favorites!

Conclusions

Airalo worked flawlessly! I paid $9.50 per eSIM card. Each card had 7 days of validity. That’s much cheaper than my carrier’s international coverage. Going forward Airalo will be a regular part of our international travel!

Pelican Marine - IP68 Waterproof Phone Pouch / Case (Regular Size) - Floating Waterproof Phone Case For iPhone 15 Pro Max/ 14 Pro Max/13 Pro Max/12/S24 Ultra - Detachable Lanyard - Black/Hi-Vis Yellow Related: Pelican’s IP68 Waterproof Phone Case – affiliate link, note that multiple variations of this product may be available, as such a different version may appear at this link

Related: Using Your Cell Phone Onboard with WiFi Calling!

wifi calling and cruise shipsMy iPhone with Royal Caribbean Adventure of the Seas Royal Promenade int eh Background. See “VZW Wi-Fi”

Related: FREE… Royal Caribbean Perfect Day at CocoCay Phone Wallpaper

Setting Up Your Own Wireless WiFi Hotspot on Your Next Cruise!

All information provided is deemed accurate at time of publishing, but is not guaranteed and should be independently verified. top:airaloreview tag:tpr

Will My Phone Work on a Cruise Ship?

will my phone work on a cruise ship?

The short answer is… yes it will work. But that answer has some caveats.

Onboard Cellular

Most larger cruise ships have cellular capabilities. Ships have the equivalent of their own cell phone towers that provide service to people onboard and nearby. This is separate and different from Wi-Fi.

These towers are international no matter where the ship is. If you look on your cell phone carriers website for international coverage, many times cruise ships will be listed by names and show up alongside foreign countries.


This post may contain affiliate links. We may make a commission when you use our links. This will never cost you extra. Thank you for supporting Cruise Packing List!


Using Cruise Line Cellular

Using cruise line cellular for voice and data can be VERY expensive. Check with your carrier to be sure, but generally, it’s super expensive to use your cell phone (via cellular) on a cruise ship.

I know of no carrier that includes cruise ships in their international plans or international day plans. Example, Verizon’s TravelPass gets you unlimited international coverage in select countries for as little as $10 per day. That’s not available for cruise ships.


This article may contain affiliate links. We may make a small percentage if you use our links to make a purchase. You won’t pay more and you’ll be supporting Cruise Packing List and more content like this. Thank you for your support!


Voice and Data

Because of cost, I recommend against using cruise line for voice and data. It’s just too expensive. An internet package with Wi-Fi calling is much more cost effective. SMS messages are a potential exception to this recommendation. Keep reading for more on that.

Using Texts To Communicate While Onboard

While data and voice rates on cruise ships is generally very expensive, SMS messages are generally much more economical. If you’re looking for a way to communicate while onboard, this is an option. Check with your cellular provider to see how much text messages will cost.

Use Airplane Mode

If you choose to use cruise line cellular for voice and SMS. My recommendation is to ALWAYS turn data roaming off while onboard. Or better yet, use airplane mode.

I use airplane mode while on board and turn WiFI on. This allows me to access the Internet (with a package) and not worry about getting data roaming charges.

Full Phone Functionality with Wireless Internet… WiFi Calling!

If you purchase an Internet plan you can use many of the features of your phone like web browsing, social media, video and audio calling (Facetime, Skype, Snapchat, Facebook Messenger, etc).

There are some activities that don’t work with an Internet only connection – standard voice calls and SMS messages (iMessages do work because they rely on Internet).

You can make standard voice calls and SMS work without a cellular connection by enabling WiFi Calling

With a compatible phone and an internet connection WiFi calling makes your phone think that it has a cell tower. This allows you to place voice calls and send text messages as if you had a regular tower,

I use this and it works REALLY well. I turn airplane mode on and connect to WiFi. Quality is at the mercy of the ship’s internet but in general it has worked great for me.

Again, it’s important to have data roaming turned off. I turn my phone to airplane mode, turn on and connect to WiFi and the phone activates WiFi calling.

See: Using Your Cell Phone Onboard with WiFi Calling! for lots more on WiFi calling

wifi calling and cruise shipsMy iPhone with Royal Caribbean Adventure of the Seas Royal Promenade int eh Background. See “VZW Wi-Fi”

This post may contain affiliate links. We may make a commission when you use our links. This will never cost you extra. Thank you for supporting Cruise Packing List!

Setting Up Your Own Wireless WiFi Hotspot on Your Next Cruise!

All information provided is deemed accurate at time of publishing, but is not guaranteed and should be independently verified. top:willmyphonework tag:tpr

Cruise Port Days… Should You Take Your Passport Off The Ship?

WHALEZON 5 Pack Clear Passport Cover, Transparent Plastic Passport ProtectorPictured: WHALEZON 5 Pack Clear Passport Cover

Cruising with a Passport vs Birth Certificate?

Most cruise lines will allow you to sail with an official copy of your birth certificate and government issued photo ID if you’re a US citizen and you’re starting and ending your cruise from a US port. Add on a marriage license if your name has changed because of marriage. Double check with your cruise line for your specific itinerary and their policies.

Here’s the problem… If your trip doesn’t go as planned and you’re stuck in a foreign port, you cannot fly internationally with a birth certificate. You’ll be forced to find an embassy or consulate to resolve the issue.

A passport is superior to a birth certificate. Having a passport gives you lots more flexibility if you run into problems.

Should You Take Your Passport Off The Ship on Port Days?

I think the quick official answer is yes. You should keep your passport on your person when traveling in a foreign country. However, I did practice this for years.

I used to think… What are the odds that I’m not going to make it back on the ship vs the odds that I’m going to lose my passport?  Which is the bigger risk?  I normally decided that losing the passport was the bigger risk and left it in the room safe. This wasn’t a great situation.

I realized, we also bring our birth certificates and… as US citizens passports aren’t usually even checked upon re-entry. If you’re not a US citizen, you’re normally going to get back to your embarkation country to work it out from there. I also realized one of the fears that was keeping me from taking my passport to the beach wasn’t that it would get lost it was that it would get damaged. So I got a high quality waterproof pouch and now take our passports when we get off the ship. The only time I don’t take my passport off the ship with me is on private islands.

What About Passport Cards?

I hear some cruise podcasts and from cruise Youtubers talking about passport cards as if they are the same as a passport book. They are not.

As of this writing US passport cards are not valid for international air travel, so leaving your passport book in your cabin safe and taking your passport card with you isn’t a great solution either. It’s not useless but it’s not a 1:1 replacement. Let’s say you got left in Cozumel. Your path to the US with a passport card would probably require you to fly to a city on the US border and then walk across.

From the US State Department: “We began issuing U.S. passport cards in 2008 to meet the needs of U.S. citizens who travel from Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, and Caribbean countries by land or sea. The passport card cannot be used for international air travel”

See: What is a Passport Card?

For lots more about what you should pack for your next cruise check out our complete packing list.


This article may contain affiliate links. We may make a small percentage if you use our links to make a purchase. You won’t pay more and you’ll be supporting Cruise Packing List and more content like this. Thank you for your support!


This post may contain affiliate links. We may make a commission when you use our links. This will never cost you extra. Thank you for supporting Cruise Packing List!

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Morning Cruise Coffee Runs?? Pack a Drink Carrier!

I realize the way that people take their morning coffee can vary significantly. Some people don’t drink coffee, some people need/want coffee first thing, some people don’t. Some people like drip coffee, some people like espresso. It’s all great.

The way we do coffee on cruises is… first thing. We like to have our coffee in the cabin before having breakfast. The other thing is that we prefer lattes and the such, not drip coffee. Since we don’t stay in Star Class Suites 🙂 that means one of us has to make a coffee run.

A coffee run equates to grabbing two (preferably three) cups of scalding hot coffee. The is followed by navigating multiple elevators. Capped by the final feat of strength and endurance… opening the cabin door.

I’ve never been seriously burned but it is a perilous journey that can be uncomfortably hot and has resulted in spilled coffees.

The obvious solution to this is a drink carrier. Drinks go in the drink carrier, I’m not getting scalded, the coffee is much less likely to spill and it’s easy to carry. Whammo!

Some ships do offer drink carriers and that’s great. In my experience (mostly Royal Caribbean recently) most ships do not offer drink carriers. That’s especially true of the Crown Lounge where it takes an act of Congress to get half and half. What I have been offered is a… plate. I’ve given that a try and it works out about as well as you’d think it would. Needless to say… carrying coffees on a plate should be added as an Olympic sport.

Anyway on one of our recent cruises someone had a reusable, collapsible drink carrier. My thought?… Genius!  This has become a must pack item for us that makes a regular part of our day a lot easier.

Hoku Global Portable Reusable Drink Carrier with Coffee Cup Sleeve – Insulated 4 Cup Holder Caddy – Sturdy Handle for Delivery Take Outs – Organizer Tote Bag for Hot Cold Drinks  – affiliate link, note that multiple variations of this product may be available, as such a different version may appear at this link

Search Amazon for collapsible drink carrier to shop around for options

For lots more about what you should pack for your next cruise check out our complete packing list.

This post may contain affiliate links. We may make a commission when you use our links. This will never cost you extra. Thank you for supporting Cruise Packing List!

All information provided is deemed accurate at time of publishing, but is not guaranteed and should be independently verified. tag:drinkcarrier tag:tpr

A Great Travel Wine Bottle Opener!

Mini Wine Opener | Travel Portable Pocket Air Pressure Pump Wine Bottle Opener | Assemblable Design Corkscrew 7S Quick Bottle Opening | for Home, Restaurant, Party,Wine Lovers

Most cruise lines allow you to bring a couple bottles of wine onboard. Usually its one per adult, maximum of two per cabin brought with you on embarkation day. Check with your cruise line for specifics.

You can also generally purchase unopened bottles of wine onboard to drink later in the cruise.  This might makes sense if you’re getting a discount. For example, Royal Caribbean offers a hefty discount on bottles of wine with qualifying dining packages. So, getting an extra bottle of wine for later may make sense.

When it comes to opening wine that you brought on board, some cruise lines charge a corkage fee to open a bottle at a restaurant or bar. Enforcement of this policy can be lax, but we have had it happen.

All that to say, it’s great to have a corkscrew or other way to open a bottle of wine one your own.

We’ve used a few different kinds including something like this…

Chef Craft Select Travel Corkscrew

Although that style is compact, I’ve found it very difficult to use. It offers no leverage in terms of getting the cork out.

I ended up picking up this opener and love it. I’m really happy with it. It’s compact and works great. It’s basically a small pump that dissembles and pack

The opener features a needle that threads into a pump handle. Insert that needle into a wine bottle cork and give it several pumps. The causes the cork to push out of the bottle or at the very least makes it come out easily when you pull on the opener. For storage and transportation you unscrew the needle from the pump and insert back into the pump. Whammo!

Mini Wine Opener | Travel Portable Pocket Air Pressure Pump Wine Bottle Opener | Assemblable Design Corkscrew 7S Quick Bottle Opening | for Home, Restaurant, Party,Wine Lovers – affiliate link, note that multiple variations of this product may be available, as such a different version may appear at this link

Based on the look and function of this opener, I would say it’s a checked bag only type of gadget.

What about wine glasses?  There’s no need to take your own wine glasses on board. Just swing by a bar and ask for some.

For lots more about what you should pack for your next cruise check out our complete packing list.


This article may contain affiliate links. We may make a small percentage if you use our links to make a purchase. You won’t pay more and you’ll be supporting Cruise Packing List and more content like this. Thank you for your support!


This post may contain affiliate links. We may make a commission when you use our links. This will never cost you extra. Thank you for supporting Cruise Packing List!

Price, promotions and availability can change quickly. Check the product page for current price, description and availability. top:wineopener tag:tpr

Do AirTags Work on Cruise Ships?

What is an Apple AirTag?

An Apple AirTag is a small tracking device developed for the Apple “Find My” Ecosystem. It uses a replaceable button cell type battery along with Internet connected iOS devices to update locations. If you’re within close range of an AirTag you can also find the device using the “Find My App” or trigger the AirTag make a sound.

Battery life is about one year. Apple achieves all of this by using a crowd-sourced network of iOS devices. AirTags themselves do not connect to Internet and update location. They use ultra-wideband to connect with iPhones that in turn update locations. This relationship keeps AirTags small, gives them a great batter life and makes them reasonably priced.

It’s worth noting that any nearby iPhone can update your AirTag location. It doesn’t have to be your iPhone. This is all done automatically and anonymously.


Check Current Price and Availability:

  • Apple AirTag  – affiliate link, note that multiple variations of this product may be available, as such a different version may appear at this link
  • Apple AirTag 4 Pack  – affiliate link, note that multiple variations of this product may be available, as such a different version may appear at this link

Apple AirTag for cruise ships


What Can You Track with AirTags?

Well… lots of things. As far as travel goes we use AirTags on our travel backpacks, carry-ons, purses/handbags and checked bags. I also use them on my keys and vehicles.

Do AirTags Work on Cruise Ships?

Hey, here’s an AirTag on a towel animal from one of our cruises!

Yes, they work, well… kind of. With some caveats.

Since AirTag location is updated periodically when AirTags are in range of connected iOS devices there can be a disconnect of sorts when you’re not right by your AirTags.  You normally do not see this on land because items are either stationary or physically with you.  Since the ship is moving lack of location updates can make it seem like AirTags have been left behind.

Here’s an example of what I’m talking about. At the point this screenshot was taken the blue dot is where the ship is located. As you can see my bags and keys appear to be 21 miles back somewhere in open ocean. If this happens to you you can relax… your bags are probably still in your cabin.

You can also see your bags “catch up” with your ship if someone with a connected iOS device gets close enough to your cabin. That lets the AirTags update their locations and may make it seem like they’ve caught back up with the ship.

The other caveat is the AirTags have no awareness (at least presented to the user) of elevation. So, an AirTag that has recently updated location on a stationary ship would should the position of the AirTag on the ship with no indication of what deck it’s on.

Notification that items are left behind.My Apple Watch letting me know my bags have been left behind in the middle of the ocean 🙂

Conclusions

In spite of the quirkiness of their operation while at sea AirTags work great. They offer little benefit while moving at sea, but after you get on board with your stuff, you really don’t need location updates. Your stuff is… probably in your cabin. They are extremely helpful while traveling to the ship. You can know that your bags have made it on the plane or on the ship, or if something was left behind while in transit. Beyond that, these have given us peace of mind when bags have gotten lost. We’ve been able to provide the carrier with information about their location.

After using AirTags for quite a while, I like them very much and wouldn’t go back to traveling without them.

Check Current Price and Availability:

  • Apple AirTag  – affiliate link, note that multiple variations of this product may be available, as such a different version may appear at this link
  • Apple AirTag 4 Pack  – affiliate link, note that multiple variations of this product may be available, as such a different version may appear at this link

What About Android Users?

If you’re not an Apple user, consider Tile Trackers

For lots more about what you should pack for your next cruise check out our complete packing list.

Apple AirTag for cruise ships

Apple AirTag

What size luggage should I take on my cruise?


This article may contain affiliate links. We may make a small percentage if you use our links to make a purchase. You won’t pay more and you’ll be supporting Cruise Packing List and more content like this. Thank you for your support!


This post may contain affiliate links. We may make a commission when you use our links. This will never cost you extra. Thank you for supporting Cruise Packing List!

Price, promotions and availability can change quickly. Check the product page for current price, description and availability. top:AirTags tag:tpr

My Cruise Reservation Tracking Spreadsheet!

My Cruise Reservation Tracking Spreadsheet

When you start racking up future cruise reservations juggling emails starts getting complicated. I’ve kept a spreadsheet to track these for a long time. It makes it easy to see what’s up, works as a to do list and makes it easy to check prices.

Here’s an explanation of how the spreadsheet works

The first section has basic information about each cruise… departure date, embark port, scheduled ports, cabin type, seating times, reservation number and cost.

The next section is for reservation requests and acts as a to do list when setting up your reservation. I actually have some more items here, but those are particular to me. Add items you regularly want to double check to this section.

The next section has final payment date along with three key dates… Check in, cruise planner entertainment available (or check to see if it’s available) and notify cruise line of shareholder benefit. Each has a box below it to note if you’ve added a reminder to your calendar.

Below that is a link to easily check prices. I like to Cruise Plum for this. That tool makes it super easy to check prices and you can link directly to a specific sailing. For the Cruise Plum price I enter the current price for my cabin category as it shows up on the Cruise Plum page at the time of booking (or re-pricing). That way I have an easy at a glance way to see if the price has changed.

The next section has spots to track prices of other related purchases for easy comparison and as a note to yourself that you’ve completed that task. Again, you can tweak this for your particular needs

After that I have a section for things that we commonly purchase onboard. When tracking a price here, I put down the price before taxes and fees at the time I purchased it. By excluding taxes and fees I can an easy at a glance reference to see if prices have gone down.

After that there is a section for notes and a section to track previous cruise prices. I’ve saved a lot over the years by tracking and re-pricing cruises and this section allows you to see what’s happened with a particular sailing.

At the very end of each column there is a variables section that allows you to change the number of days used to calculate dates in the reminders section. Since cruise lines vary, this allows you to easily tweak these calculations.

Other Notes and Download

There is a sample data tab that illustrates how the spreadsheet works. Track your cruises on the My Cruises tab. Easily check for the current version by clicking the link on the version tab. The current spreadsheet is in Microsoft Excel format. I also plan to do a Google Sheets version.

My Cruises Tracking Spreadsheet

What Else?

If you have a question or suggestion for this spreadsheet, let me know or leave a comment on this post.

For lots more about what you should pack for your next cruise check out our complete packing list.


This article may contain affiliate links. We may make a small percentage if you use our links to make a purchase. You won’t pay more and you’ll be supporting Cruise Packing List and more content like this. Thank you for your support!


This post may contain affiliate links. We may make a commission when you use our links. This will never cost you extra. Thank you for supporting Cruise Packing List!

Price, promotions and availability can change quickly. Check the product page for current price, description and availability. top:spreadsheet tag:tpr

Eating Gluten Free on a Royal Caribbean Cruise

This review and guide is written by Will. Will is a Cruise Packing List Contributor and has Celiac Disease.


About This Review:

This original review was written after sailing on Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas in 2017. Allure sailed from Ft Lauderdale to Labadee Haiti, Falmouth, Jamaica and Cozumel, Mexico.

Since that time I’ve taken many Royal Caribbean cruises. Some sections have updated to include new information and tips from more recent cruises.

Update: No Gluten Free Beer 🙁

Soon after our first sailings Royal Caribbean stopped carrying gluten free beer. I’ve contacted them many times about this and am regularly told that they do carry gluten free beer… Daura Damm.  Daura Damm is not gluten free. It’s gluten removed. In fact, it cannot be labeled as gluten free in the US.  With as many great truly gluten free beers that are available it’s mind boggling to me that they offer exactly zero options.

Update 5/8/2024:

Toward the beginning of 2023 Royal Caribbean introduced new themed menus. It’s my understanding that the goal of these new menus was to streamline service and reduce overall dining time.

Prior to this change the general process for a gluten free cruiser (and other dietary issues) was to…

  1. Speak with a head waiter and talk about dietary needs.
  2. Find out which venues on the ship could accommodate the need.
  3. Pre-order for the next day’s meals.

The pre-order could be a modification to an existing menu item OR a special request. I have had head waiters completely disregard the menu and ask me… what would you like to eat? This offered a lot of flexibility.

This was actually also true for guests without special dietary needs. You could request something and generally they would make it for you the following day.

With the 2023 menu change… Special requests are no longer allowed or accepted. This means that options are limited to what’s on the menu. Some items can’t be made gluten free so that is a further limitation. Even more frustrating, in my experience, the dishes that can be made gluten free aren’t prepared as well. I would generally characterize what comes out as kind of a half hearted effort. Beyond dietary needs it’s my opinion that the overall quality of included food has gone down. Also, selection is severely limited. Beyond all this, a less serious criticism is themed menus are just kind of odd.

Less training… I also have the impression that training is not as good as it once was. On one cruise I was served San Bernadino vanilla ice cream. Later in the cruise I spoke with a supervisor in the Windjammer with the hope of getting a scoop of ice cream from a new container. He looked at the ingredients and all options said “contains wheat”. He then called the pastry chef and had them look at the provisions list. There were 0 gluten free ice cream options on board. That’s two problems. First, I was served non-gluten free ice cream. Second, no gluten free ice cream options were available. When I brought this up with my head waiter, he insisted the ice cream was gluten free and they continued to serve it to me throughout the cruise. Two notes… I didn’t eat it and the soft serve on board was gluten free. I sailed on the same ship a couple months later and they no longer offered me ice cream. They apparently changed course.

After years of cruising gluten free and many gluten free sailings on Royal ships I do think Royal Caribbean has taken some solid steps backwards. No menu markings, less choices, less flexibility and in my opinion lower food quality and less training. This while other lines are upping their games.

In fairness, I think the overall experience on Royal Caribbean is still good and better than many land based options. For the time being, I will continue to sail with Royal Caribbean with the hope that the trend downward reverses.


Related: Gluten Free Translation Card

Gluten Free Translation Card


About me: I have Celiac Disease and as such I must eat a strictly gluten free diet. Not by choice but by medical necessity.

This write up will focus primarily on the food and service we experienced not so much the ship itself or the ports we visited.  However, I would like to briefly say that The Allure of the Seas is beautiful.  It’s a massive ship (one of the largest in the world), modern, very well maintained and offers diverse dining and entertainment options.  Even though the ship accommodates 5,000 or 6,000, we very rarely felt cramped.  There is ample room to move around and it was always easy to find a lounging chair.  We’ve taken a good number of cruises, although this was our first Royal Caribbean cruise.  We were very, very impressed.  Overall, this was our best cruise experience ever.  On to the food…

But First… Fresh First

For the reviewed cruise (any many cruises since) we embarked from Fort Lauderdale. Fresh First is a dedicated gluten free restaurant that puts a healthy spin on comfort foods. If you eat gluten free (or even if you do not) Fresh First is worth a visit! The food is delicious and the staff is amazing. I cannot emphasize how great Fresh First is. We’ve eaten here many times. This is a great place, run by great people… go to this place!

Omelet, Waffle, Griddled Red and Sweet Potatoes and… a Chocolate Chip Pancake.  Just outstanding.  I would nearly hop on a plane to go get another one of these pancakes.  Get the pancake!


This post may contain affiliate links. We may make a commission when you use our links. This will never cost you extra. Thank you for supporting Cruise Packing List!


Eggs Benedict with perfectly, I mean perfectly done eggs.  Delicious.Chicken Salad sandwich – pulled chicken breast, Granny Smith apples, celery, dill and vegan mayo served on a delicious GF bun with potato leek soup.

Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas…

Note: I purchased this cruise with my own money.  Beyond that I did not identify myself as a travel writer or contributor to Cruise Packing List.  I was an anonymous full fare paying passenger on this cruise.

Before the cruise

Contact customer service and let them know you need a gluten free meal. This is supposed to be done 90 days before embarkation. My guess is that this factors in to food orders. You can also email [email protected] but I’ve found phone to be best as email typically takes a long to to be answered.

On the cruise

As someone with special dietary requirements your main point of contact on the ship is generally your head waiter.  They take orders for the next day, answer questions about food on board and can help with special arrangements.  It seems people are generally directed to get with their head waiter after boarding.  I was unable to do that until our first dinner at which time I identified myself as having Celiac Disease.  I asked several questions and got the answers.  Notable things I found out…

  • I would pre-order main dining room meals after dinner each night.
  • All specialty dining venues had gluten free options and were considered safe by my head waiter.
  • When dining at a specialty restaurant, you should ask to speak with a supervisor for assistance.

We had chosen My Time Dining.  Even with MTD, I always had the same head waiter each evening.  Our head waiter, Adina, was one of only a couple female head waiters on that particular sailing.  She was… amazing.  Really, actually, literally amazing.  Keep reading for an illustration of that, but she was amazing.


Update: After many cruises I now always choose a set time seating instead of My Time Dining. Getting the same wait staff is important to me. Sometimes getting the same staff with MTD can be a hassle.


I don’t have a lot of pictures of food, because I have a tendency to want to just eat the food when it arrives, but I did take a few…

Burger in the main dining room.  Do you ever have those questioning moments, where something looks so good, you’re worried that it isn’t gluten free.  That was my reaction for the first time I saw this bun.  It was very tasty and, the lab I keep built in to my body 🙂 also confirmed that it was gluten free.

A note about Johnny Rockets: I tried to eat at Johnny Rockets for lunch one day.  Can you, as a Celiac or otherwise gluten intolerant, eat there?  Probably yes.  After speaking with the supervisor I learned that the fries were fried in a shared fryer and that my burger would take 30 minutes because they would bake it.  They also weren’t sure if they had a GF bun or not.  So, 30 minutes for a baked burger in a lettuce wrap and no fries?  I appreciate the safety and all of the clear information, but I got up and went to the main dining room.  The Royal Burger is delicious and the fries are safe.

Fries from the main dining room.  Delicious steak-fry cut, fried in a dedicated fryer.  Umm… yes please.


Update: I’ve gotten lots of different types of fries, Sometimes fried and sometimes baked if a dedicated gluten free fryer was not available.


Gluten free bread from our dinner at Chop’s Steakhouse.  I had the filet and couple sides and our meal was outstanding.


Update: Royal has since gone to pre-made bread… for the most part. What your ship will have exactly… will vary. Sometimes they’ll still bake something fresh, but what I’ve gotten mostly on recent sailings is pre-package bread.


Head Waiter Heroics… While we were profusely enjoying our dinner at Chop’s I wondered how I would pre-order my meals for the next day.  Towards the end of the meal, our head waiter Adina showed up with the next day’s menus.  She had noticed we hadn’t shown up in the main dining, looked in the reservation system to find where we were…. dressed up in a Chops uniform and showed up at our table to take my pre-order.  Umm… wow.  That level of care and service is amazing to me.

A carnitas taco (with table-side guacamole) at Sabor.  Sabor was our first eating experience on the ship.  Several reviews I read indicated that Windjammer Buffet (Did someone say buffet!?) was the only venue open for lunch on embarkation day.  That’s just not correct.  At least on the Allure of the Seas, several venues were open, including Sabor.  The fryers at Sabor are not dedicated, however, they will heat up a kettle of oil when you order and fry you up some fresh chips.  It takes a little while to get the first order, but it’s pretty amazing that they do that.  Our food at Sabor was delicious.  Both times we went (one lunch and one dinner) we got table side guacamole.  Great venue with great food!


Update: Unfortunately Sabor seems to be on it’s way out. On the handful of ships that still have it, table side guac is gone and I’ve been regularly served hard shell corn tacos instead of soft corn tortillas.  On the plus side, I have had good experiences with what appears to be Sabor’s replacement El Loco Fresh. I’ll speak with a supervisor to talk about options and ask for food from the back to avoid cross contamination.


I read great things about the (gluten containing) roast beef sandwich at Park Cafe and I also read it was possible to get a gluten free variation and indeed it is.  After talking to the supervisor… Adel (not that one, but a superstar nonetheless… Thank you Adel) he made me a sandwich himself.  When he started warming up a toaster, I objected asking if that had been used to toast gluten containing items.  He pointed out the sign on the top of the toaster.  You can’t see it very well in this photo (click to zoom) but it’s clearly marked gluten free.  Nice!  They pulled a fresh pan of roast beef from the kitchen and assembled the whole thing right in front of my eyes.

Park Cafe Roast Beef Sandwich on Udi’s Bagel.  Pay no attention to the extra roast beef on the side.  I asked for extra roast beef and they obliged.  Delicious GF roast beef sandwich!


Update: This has mostly continued to be my experience although on some ships they don’t have gluten free bagels and on some ships I have been told the roast beef is not gluten free. Again, always talk to a supervisor


Another plate of gluten free bread I received.  In all, I had three types of bread (not counting buns) on the cruise.  The topmost one was the most common and my favorite, it has some sort of nut in it.  The bottom-most one was good too, it had a combo bread/cornbread feel to it.  The third variety I received (only once), was extremely white and had very little flavor and the texture of styrofoam.  That was only on one occasion and even then, I had two other good choices on the same plate.

The Royal Shrimp Cocktail was a nightly appetizer for me.  Remember you can order as many appetizers, entrees and desserts as you’d like.  Portions tend to be smaller, so this isn’t as bad for you as it sounds.

Here is the breakfast menu from the main dining room.  I think it’s the same menu daily, at least for the most part.  Do you see gluten free pancakes as an option… no, they are not an option.  Keep reading.


Update: The menu has changed multiple times this this first review. Most recently Royal has gone to theme nights for dinners. I have been on multiple sailings when these were in use including the very first cruise that Wonder of the Seas had with the new themed menus. From my perspective these are a step backwards. They’re fine, but fewer options are available. Breakfast and lunch menus haven’t changed much at least that I’ve seen. Keep in mind you can also special order items not on the menu.


Gluten free pancakes.  Whammo.  Pretty delicious too.  My amazing head waiter special ordered these for me every day.  You could also do gluten free waffles or french toast.  Here’s a secret… your headwaiter can make just about anything (food-wise) happen for you.

Here’s my standard breakfast.  Gluten free pancakes and the “Classic” with eggs over medium, bacon and hashbrowns.

Although I’ve never seen them on any menu you can also order gluten free french toast and gluten free eggs benedict. The eggs benedict is particularly good if they have gluten free bagels. Otherwise it’s usually served on toast, which is okay too.

A visit from Chef Brad… One morning during breakfast one of the Chef’s visited my table.  Remember… I did not identify myself as a gluten free blogger or as a writer, at all.  Chef Brad stopped by my table and introduced himself and said that he was one of the Chef’s responsible for gluten free cuisine.  He told me how important it was to him and Royal Caribbean.  Gluten free peoples of the world… Where does this happen at??  That’s amazing service and it also shows that Royal Caribbean and… Brad really care about gluten free and the health of gluten intolerant people.  Bravo!

This is an aerial shot of the Boardwalk.  Sabor is toward the end of the Boardwalk on the right side.  “Cups and Scoops” is also on the right side.  It serves cupcakes and Ben and Jerry’s ice cream.  I stopped in to Cups and Scoops one day to ask about gluten free options.  The worker quickly listed off gluten free flavors… Yay!  I asked about getting a serving from an unopened and uncontaminated container in the back and the person was unable or unwilling to do that.  I didn’t really push it and if I were, I would have asked for a supervisor, like I was supposed to do anyway, and I’m assuming they would have made it happen.

Odds and Ends…

Does Royal Caribbean have Gluten Free Beer?

The answer is unfortunately… No Royal Caribbean does not have gluten free beer. As you can see from the picture from the menu above at one time they served Dogfish Head Tweason’ale which IS gluten free. That is long gone. I haven’t seen it since my first gluten free sailing on Royal Caribbean.

What all Royal ships I’ve been on since service and try to pass off as gluten free is Daura Damm. In spite of what they say… this is not a gluten free beer. Daura Damm is a gluten removed beer.

Is it safe or appropriate for people who eat gluten free as a dietary choice… yeah, probably.

Is it safe or appropriate for people with Celiac Disease or other serious gluten related condition? No, I don’t think you can say that See: The Celiac Patient Antibody Response to Conventional and Gluten-Removed Beer

In the US Daura Damm cannot be labeled or marketed as gluten free yet this is the only “Gluten Free” beer on many Royal Caribbean ships.

I’ve contacted Royal about this several times including speaking with the head of food and beverage for the entire line and haven’t gotten anywhere.

It’s a shame that with so many truly gluten free options out there that this is what Royal chooses. In my opinion, this is ridiculous.

Fortunately there are other options – wine, cider, seltzers and mixed drinks.

Here it is Dogfish Head Tweason’ale.  Really a pretty tasty beer and actually gluten free. Alas, I haven’t seen this served in years. Royal Caribbean please offer a truly gluten free beer.

Labadee Beach BBQ – Food on Labadee, Royal Caribbean’s private resort, comes from the ship.  My head waiter told me what was gluten free and directed me to talk with a supervisor at Labadee.  I did so, and the supervisor kindly got me an uncontaminated plate from fresh food.  I had ribs and beans and rice along with some fruit.  I also had the option of pre-ordering a specific meal from the ship.  You can also return to the ship to eat lunch.  Everything is pretty close, so you could do that without too much hassle.

Update: Cococay – I have since visited Cococay many times. The larger buffet options can do gluten free burgers, hot dogs and fries. Some sides are also gluten free. I ordered a gluten free pizza on one cruise and that was a mistake. It was a gluten free crust, sauce, topped with slices of American cheese. Disturbing. The fries and burgers are generally good. Again, talk with your head waiter and supervisor on duty. The Cocoa Beach Club (an admission required club) has had plenty of options. All of our meals at Cocoa Beach Club have been delicious.

Eating at other ports – I usually eat a large breakfast each day before leaving the ship and take along snacks and protein bars.

A note when traveling to foreign countries – This is an important tip.  The formula for products you know and are familiar with can be region specific.  For example, Ruffles and Doritos are (as of this writing) gluten free in the sense that they have no gluten containing ingredients.  That’s in the US.  All bets are off when you hit the border.  I almost purchased and consumed both Ruffles and Doritos while in port at Cozumel.  FORTUNATELY…. they both called out the fact that they have gluten in the ingredient list.  Why would Ruffles have gluten in them?  Why?  Ruffles and Doritos in Mexico are… unsafe.  Keep the fact that formulations can change by region in mind when you are traveling.

Udi’s Single Serve Cookies – Promenade Cafe usually has Udi’s cookies.  You just need to ask at the counter.  I received both chocolate chip and snicker doodle and both were nice snacks.

Sorrento’s Pizza – On this first cruise I did not try the pizza. Since I’ve eaten at Sorrento’s several times with great results. Again, talk to a supervisor to see what your options are and double check that they can prepare safely on your ship.

Chops Steakhouse – Chops is great! Plenty of protein options available. I will say that at times I struggle at Chops with sides and desserts. Options can be limited. I recommend visiting the day before your reservation to talk about options and pre-order items if appropriate.

Izumi – I have been able to eat at Izumi many times and love it. Again, always let them know what you’re dietary needs are and they will let you know what your options are.

Windjammer Buffet – When I eat at the Windjammer I ask for a Chef. The Chef will walk around with you and let you know what’s gluten free. After deciding what I want I typically ask the Chef to get it from the back so that it’s not cross contaminated.

Special Ordering Food

You generally are not limited to what is on the menu. You can special order something off menu. This is true for anyone, not just people with dietary needs or allergies.

You do need to do this at least a day in advance and… be flexible. Not everything will be available or possible. Again, your head waiter is the person to talk to about this.

  • Gluten free pancakes/blueberry pancakes
  • Gluten free french toast – I ask for a gluten free bagel
  • Hash browns – these are one of the trickiest things for whatever reason. Sometimes they say the standard hashbrowns are gluten free, sometimes they say the standard hash browns need to be special ordered and sometimes they so no hashbrowns are gluten free. If you have a problem with this you can pre-order hand made hash browns.
  • Chicken Cordon Bleu – mine appeared to be baked, it wasn’t great but it was Chicken Cordon Bleu
  • Fish and chips
  • Onion rings – I haven’t tried this one myself but I’ve been told by others this is possible
  • Cheesecake
  • Mushroom soup – this goes back and forth between being gluten free by default and not gluten free. If their current recipe is not gluten free I have been able to pre-order a gluten free version.
  • What else, leave a comment and I’ll add it to the list so your fellow gluten free cruisers know what options are available.
  • Jerk Seasoned Pork Chop – this is another tricky one. More often than not when I’ve pre-ordered this I’ve gotten a plain grilled pork chop with gravy on it. Zero things are jerk flavored about it and it’s generally not even the same cut of pork chop, thin vs a nice thick cut. If you try to pre-order this, bring up the cut of meat and the specific preparation to your head waiter. It is possible to get something a lot closer to what’s on the menu but you need to talk to them about specifics.

Royal Caribbean Quick Tips

  • Make sure and request a gluten free meal 90 days prior to your cruise. Also let reservations know of any other food allergies or requirements.
  • Email [email protected] with special requests or questions
  • Talk to your head waiter about options and to pre-order meals for the following day.
  • Always speak with a supervisor when ordering outside the main dining room/MDR
  • Visit specialty restaurants the day before your reservation to go over options and pre order if appropriate.
  • If you don’t see something you like on the MDR menu, you can special order off the menu.

Final Thoughts…

This was an amazing vacation that I would relive in a heartbeat.  I was encouraged that a company would take my eating limitations so seriously.  Royal Caribbean does gluten free right.  Thank you to RC and to your awesome staff!  You’ve won a lifelong customer.

Be kind, thankful and generous… Let’s face it folks, we are non-gluten eaters in a gluten filled world.  It takes extra care, effort and cost to safely serve us.  A main concern we have is eating safely.  Be kind and thankful to those that are going out of their way to serve you.  Spread the word about great companies like Royal Caribbean and be generous.  We left the automatic tips on our account and then tipped an extra cash amount directly to our entire dining room staff.  How much is it worth to you to feel well for an entire week of eating away from your home.  For me, that’s worth a lot.

Thank you Royal Caribbean and keep up the amazing work!  You went beyond my expectations and I look for to returning.

A Great Resource For Gluten Free Cruisers…

Cruising Gluten Free is a great resource for gluten free cruising. Lots of helpful members that can answer questions and help.

Related:


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Don’t Pack This If You’re Flying To Your Next Cruise…

don't pack this for your cruise

We strive to make the most up to date and comprehensive cruise packing list available on the Internet. Along those lines we’re continually researching, testing and reviewing.

We recommend a good number of rechargeable items in our list – night lights, battery banks on and more.

I stumbled across this being recommended for cruise travel. It looks like a great fan. It’s rechargeable so you don’t need to occupy a precious outlet and it has a beefy looking clip for easy placement.

But… if you’re flying to your embarkation port. There’s a problem. The fan is rechargeable and features lithium batteries. Since you cannot put lithium batteries in checked baggage, you’ll need to put this in your carry on bag. Looking at the fan it’s pretty chunky. I don’t know that I’d want to lug this around in my backpack.

Make sure and look at the battery types being used in your cruise gear. Good old alkaline are a great option for checked items. We picked out this trimmer for exactly that reason. It uses regular, easy to find alkaline batteries.

On the other side of the coin. I’m a big… water flosser user and my travel flosser does have Lithium batteries. For me, it’s worth it to carry that in my backpack.

Update…. Not so fast…

As of this update in October of 2023 the TSA says…

“Spare (uninstalled) lithium ion and lithium metal batteries, including power banks and cell phone battery charging cases, must be carried in carry-on baggage only. Lithium metal (non-rechargeable) batteries are limited to 2 grams of lithium per battery. Lithium ion (rechargeable) batteries are limited to a rating of 100 watt hours (Wh) per battery. These limits allow for nearly all types of lithium batteries used by the average person in their electronic devices.”

The way I read this is that this means many devices with installed lithium batteries can be checked.

Check the TSA for current information and clarification… What Can I Bring from the TSA


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Cruise Ship Power Solutions – Making Use of the 220 Volt Cabin Outlet On Your Next Cruise

All About Night Lights for Your Next Cruise!

The Most Powerful Tool for Finding Cruise Deals…

find cruise deals

Once upon a time we were looking for a suite on Royal Caribbean. We were close to moving up a level in Royal’s Crown and Anchor Society and we were considering a suite to, among other things, make the jump more quickly. The problem was that in order to get suite pricing I had to drill into every search result to get actual costs. I started looking for a tool to more easily find suites pricing.

I found that and so much more when I stumbled across cuiseplum!

cruiseplum allows you to search by almost every aspect of your cruise… cruise line, cabin type, length, ports visited, ports NOT visited, price per day, embarkation month, embarkation DAYdebarkation day, embark part, depark port and lots more.

cruiseplum also shows you an historical pricing chart for your sailing. We’re booked on Celebrity Ascent after it starts sailing. The chart above is from that sailing.

After entering your criteria you’re presented with a list of results. You can sort that list by total cabin price, and cabin price per day and more. When you find a sailing you’re interested in you can look at the historical pricing for that cruise.

The other thing you can do is create a bookmark to a specific cruise. Most cruise line websites don’t allow you to easily bookmark a specific sailing, You have to go through the search process to get back to it.  I have a field in my reservation tracking spreadsheet were I put the cruiseplum link so I can easily click on it to see current pricing.

Cruise plum also maintains a hot deals list, a last minute deals list, a list showing today’s price drops, suite search and a search to help solo cruisers find deals.

cruiseplum is a game changer that helps you more easily find the cruise you’re looking for and find deals.

cruiseplum.com

Also: Problem Solved… MagSafe Wallet for Your Ship Card!

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Price, promotions and availability can change quickly. Check the product page for current price, description and availability. top:cruiseplum tag:tpr

What size luggage should I take on my cruise?

Travelpro Maxlite 5 Softside Expandable Luggage with 4 Spinner Wheels, Lightweight Suitcase, Men and Women, Black, Checked-Medium 25-InchPictured: Travelpro Maxlite 5 Softside 25-Inch

Disclaimer: Bag size is largely a personal preference type of thing and if you have something that works for you… go ahead and check out our complete list for some more recommendations and tips.

Bag Sizes

The general bag sizes are 29″, 25″ and 21″. That measurement refers to the bag height and can range a little bit. For the medium size bag you’ll see bags from around 24″ to 26″.  Bags in the 29″ and 25″ ranges definitely need to be checked when flying. Bags in the 21″ range can usually be carried on depending on the airline, aircraft and the bag.

Luggage Features and Construction

Beyond size, bags are made from different materials and have different features.

  • Soft side bags – are made from fabric like woven nylon.
  • Hard side bags – are made from hard plastic.

Hard side have the general advantage of being more robust and they can be wiped down for cleaning. Soft wide bags are more expandable and can have zipped outside pockets.

Bag features can include rolling wheels (yes!), telescoping handles, extra pockets and compartments and more.

What size luggage should I take on my cruise?

My recommendation is… as small as possible. Figure out what you need – our complete packing list – along the items that will make things a lot easier and get a right-sized bag. Too big equals extra cost and weight and stuff sloshing around as you make your way to your cruise. Too small equal… too small.

Downsides of Bigger Bags

Sure the larger 29″ size checked bags are appealing because you can get so much stuff in them. But, when you get so much stuff in them… you have that much stuff to lug around.

Weight = work. If you use and need all of the stuff, that’s one thing, but what if you can have just as good of a time without the extra stuff?  Why spend part of your vacation lugging around extra stuff you don’t need?

The other thing about huge bags is that it’s tough to actually fill these up without surpassing airline weight limits. If they’re half empty your stuff gets to bounce it’s way around to the next cruise.

When 4″ = 2,481 sq inches

25″ to 29″ sounds like, uh.. 4″. That doesn’t sound like a lot, but it is. Using Travelpro’s Maxlite 5 as an example the 25″ bag has about 4,950 cubic inches of interior space while the 29″ bag has about… 7,431 cubic inches of interior space. That’s just over 50% usable space. That’s a lot.

For Us, Medium Works Best

Personally we prefer medium sized checked bags in the 25″ range. We both each have one of these or direct from Travelpro.

The fact is people are going on cruises everyday using carry on size bags in the 21″ range. We’re not willing to go that far, but for us, the medium size 25″ bag is a reasonable size for most cruise vacations.

For lots more about what you should pack for your next cruise check out our complete packing list.

Related: Amazon Best Sellers in Luggage


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