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AwwChuckIt

How soon out do you...

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Pack?  My cruise isn't for another two weeks but starting a month ago I started looking at what I'd bring.  Being on a TA in November, the wardrobe choices can be varied...rain, cold, sunny, warm...and for two weeks.  Last weekend, my OCD kicked in, the scales came out, and I'm now ready to fly out to Barcelona for embarkation.  So, how far out do you pack?

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I usually just unzip a suitcase and leave it out starting around a week before my cruise.  I immediately plop into it the things I want to have on the cruise but don't need in the week leading up to it.  Stuff like sun hat, extra pair of glasses, USB power hub, day pack, extra copy of cruise / insurance docs, etc.  As the week progresses, I'm lining up stuff right next to the suitcase; mostly clothing as it comes out of my weekly wash.  By the end of the week, I've got a good inventory and mercilessly stuff it into the suitcase the night before departing along with my toiletry kit. 

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I have a standard packing list for the different duration cruises I've done so far (8-night and 5-ngiht). Usually I don't pack until the night before, but this time around I started packing about 5 days ahead of time; wanted to make sure I didn't need to get anything washed last-minute, and it just helped build up the excitement. 🙂 

Next year I'm going to be in a similar situation to you, as I'll be figuring out a packing list for a 14-night sailing with stops in Canada, Greenland, Iceland, and Dublin.

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For our Alaska cruise, I did a mock packing 1 month out, just to be sure I had covered all my bases for Alaska weather. Then 1 week before leaving (notice, I didn't say embarkation), I pack everything but toiletries.

For a "normal" Caribbean type cruise, we pack 3 to 5 days before leaving.

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Have a Caribbean  cruise in February and and Alaska cruise for June and I have been making packing list needed for months, not actually selecting clothing but style/type.  After a land trip to Florida next month I'll most likely pack shorts, swimsuits and summer wear in packing cubes for the February trip since there will be no need for those things in the Mid-Atlantic till summer.

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3 hours ago, AwwChuckIt said:

Pack?  My cruise isn't for another two weeks but starting a month ago I started looking at what I'd bring.  Being on a TA in November, the wardrobe choices can be varied...rain, cold, sunny, warm...and for two weeks.  Last weekend, my OCD kicked in, the scales came out, and I'm now ready to fly out to Barcelona for embarkation.  So, how far out do you pack?

I recommend making up your packing list (for checked and carry-on bags) at least 1 month in advance so that you have time to go shopping at the appropriate "sale".  We find there is always something we need to buy.  We pack about 2-3 days before hand but 'escrow" our desired clothing a week in advance to avoid last-minute laundry.  Have a great cruise!

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I hate having to ask myself all the time, "Did I put it in? Is it in there?"  So what I do is lay everything on an extra bed in the house, categorized, neatly folded, rolled, vacuum-sealed, etc. This goes on for a week or two before sailing.

Then a few hours before I leave for the port or the airport, I pack everything in by bags.

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For any trips, I usually start staging stuff 3-4 days out.  For our last cruise, I packed the night before (then went to work at 3 am the next morning with a 330 flight that afternoon, but that's another story).   

Suffice to say, I misjudged some things.  🙂 

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My husband takes forever to pack so the dining table is set up 3 weeks ahead and then I put out notes for each day and he decides and adds his clothes to it when he decides.  We finally put everything in bags about 3 days before we leave-except toiletries. We also have lists of to dos for home-pre cruise-cruise and post- cruise.   If it were just me I pack the night before.  In my mind I have been packing for a week. 

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I make a list a week in advance, but I pack the day/night before. In fact, I'm packing now for tomorrow morning's flight to Miami. Taking a break because I'm waiting for my underwear to dry and  having a last-minute debate of whether to take the medium bag or the larger bag because SHOES. Ugh. Shoes. Crummy flipflops for beach/pool, fancier flipflops for sundresses and heels for formal night are taking up too much space and I'm even wearing my sneakers on the plane. Ugh.  I mean, I'm paying American's checked bag fee whether I take the medium or large one but it's all the shoes' fault.

 

 

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I start packing my packing cubes with stuff that isnt folded about 1 month out.  So toiletries, electronics, cables, all that stuff.

2 weeks out the packing cubes with clothes that dont wrinkle or wrinkles come out easily (jeans, tshirts, undies, socks, shoes) get packed

1 week out, Formal attire and clothes that wrinkle but the wrinkles come out easily go in.   Packing cubes also go into the suitcases at this point

2 days out.  Final check against spreadsheet of clothing, toiletries, electronics.  Medication is packed.  Purse is checked.  Cruise binder triple checked and I self email cruise documents just in case.  I have two email accounts that I hold the cruise documents in.  Copies are on my phone.  Documents checked into the cruise binder and double checked that there are copies of the copies.  

1 day out.  One more check just in case.  Likely last minute trip to the dollar store because I know despite all of this checking and spreadsheets, I forgot something.

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I create the spreadsheet month ahead.  My cruise isn’t till April but going south so I pull out the warm clothes that I need before packing them away for the winter. Then a few weeks before make purchases if needed. Then 1 month ahead hang all the clothes on the portable rack so I can see everything. Things like undergarments and socks can be packed first.  I hate overpacking, carryon only.  This worked really well this July going to Alaska. I pack for the family so they wear what I pack, sometimes matching outfits.

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I pack the day before or the day of depending on what time we are leaving.  I do start thinking about what I am bringing several days ahead so I don't forget anything.  If I make a list I do it the day before also.

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We're leaving for a cruise tomorrow.  Suitcases came out for airing Wednesday night.  Yesterday I started picking out clothes. Suitcases packed an hour ago.  😄 

I do have a rather complicated spreadsheet I used to use, but now I'm lazy.  I'm not one to need options, happy wearing what I chose, and never overpack. This trip I am bringing a larger suitcase than I need since we're flying SW back so I can check bags for free.  My bag weighs 34 pounds right now.  It will be close to 50 when we get to San Juan, filled with alcohol. 😄 

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Last year my wife started packing for our January 27th Southern Caribbean cruise in October. (90+ days in advance)

She decided that instead of putting away her summer clothes for the winter, (like she usually does) why not put them in the suitcase she's taking on our cruise.:6_smile:

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We have a spare bedroom that becomes "mission control".  About a month prior I start placing items as I think about them on the bed like extra chargers, camera, lenses, beach bag, bathing suits, etc. The week before,  I will pack my suitcase except for the items that have to go in last minute. 

I also have a Royal Caribbean bag in that bedroom closet too that holds all cruise items that we don't use for anything else, like luggage tag holders, water proof playing cards, etc.  Easier to keep up with those items that way, and I don't ever have to "unpack" it. 

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