Linda Coffman is a freelance travel writer who has
been dishing out cruise advice for more than a decade.
An avid cruise passenger who enjoys sailing on ships
of every size to any port worldwide, Linda also
devotes time to publishing CruiseDiva.com
and writing for Fodor's Travel Publications. She
is the author of Fodor's The Complete Guide to Caribbean
Cruises. She writes, 'With the help of some of my
friends, here are some of Cruise Diva's favorite
of all (at home), 'stage' your outfits for evening
wear-- if the shower rod in your bathroom is convenient,
hang them there. If
not, get one of those things you hang over the
closet door and hang up the outfits you'll be
wearing to dinner each night. (Get the shoes out
for each outfit, too.) Then -- and this is important
-- cover each outfit with a plastic dry cleaning
bag. Then fold each outfit over and place in your
suitcase, hanger and all. They generally will
not wrinkle. Unpacking onboard is a breeze --
just open your suitcase and start hanging things
in the closet.
caveat -- unfortunately, there are some garments
that defy the 'dry cleaning bag packing' method.
Clothing that is slightly creased or wrinkled
can often be freshened up by steaming. Just hang
those items in the bathroom while taking a hot,
steamy shower and often the wrinkles will fall
out. If all else fails, many ships have ironing
stations in their self-service passenger launderettes
or, for maximum convenience, send the offending
garments to the ship's laundry for pressing.
and bathroom necessities...
next idea is so great I wish I had thought of
it. I'm notorious for the vast number of shoes
I pack. As we were preparing for a cruise, another
veteran cruiser suggested, "Hey, Linda, let's
go get those shoe organizers that hang in the
closet, the kind with shelves, not pockets."
We got them and they were great for stashing shoes,
small evening purses, rolled up belts, and anything
small. (This photo illustrates the shoe organizer
at work.) I'm happy to report these can be found
at many Target stores. I've seen a slightly wider
version, labeled a Sweater Organizer at Wal-Mart
recently. By the way, emptied they fold like an
accordion and take up little room in a suitcase.
Try dollar stores as well.
cruiser friend offers the following solution for
a neatly organized bathroom. We all know those
ship's bathrooms are small. Becca Love's tip is
to hang an over-the-door pocket-style shoe organizer
on the bathroom door. Slip your bathroom necessities
in the pockets and they're handy and out of the
way. Your cabin steward will love you for that.
suggests, "After ironing items that are going
in my luggage, I fold them up with tissue. Kind
of like when items are 'new' from the store. This
cuts down on wrinkles, and also because your 'stacks'
are neater, allows you to put more in one suitcase.
Also, as you're unpacking, this keeps things much
neater, and kind of gives you an extra lift when
wearing that article. I'll also place several
layers of tissue in the luggage, as the stacks
get to about 6" or so. On the way home, the
tissue sure comes in handy when repacking for
all the extra goodies that we seem to 'acquire'
throughout the holiday/cruise."