Cruise guests share packing tip for ‘lengthy’ 26-day trips

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Cruise attire can be vast with everything from walking shoes and daytime outfits to formal evening wear required to suit the occasion. While there are no baggage fees or extra charges for luggage on cruises, sticking to airline requirements is a must if you’re catching a flight to the first port.

Doing laundry while on holiday isn’t for everyone but according to one experienced cruise-goer, it is the best way to avoid overpacking for a longer trip on the water.

Sharing their advice on a cruise advice board, they revealed that they often pack half as much clothing as they would need for the full length of their sail – and fit it in just one carry-on bag.

According to the avid traveller, the packing hack is best used on Princess Cruises.

A member of the CruiseCritic forum wrote: “I’m flying in the day before my 14-day cruise to the Caribbean. I have never cruised this long before. I have always packed carry-only, but this doesn’t seem possible for this trip. I will be on Princess. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.”

“Princess has passenger laundromats where you can wash a load or two of clothes. We will get snacks from the buffet, take clothes to the washer, come back and start one of the free movies to watch until it’s time to move the clothes to the dryer.”

The cruiser explained they always bring detergent pods and dryer sheets though there are vending machines for such supplies in each laundromat.

They added: “There is a cost to wash and dry but you just use your medallion to make the purchase of supplies and/or the tokens needed to use the machines.

“We don’t mind doing a bit of laundry as it gives us time to catch up on a movie we haven’t seen or to just spend time on the balcony together.”

If, however, you don’t want to spend time washing your clothes properly, another option is to hand wash smaller garments.

Swimwear, socks, shirts and other lightweight items of clothing can all be easily cleaned in a sink with some warm water and laundry detergent.

Alternatively, the forum user named Dock B suggested using the ship’s free laundry service. They said: “It’s up to you on how you want to spend your time, of course!”

When it comes to choosing the best time to do your washing without missing out on precious holiday time, the cruiser explained that they found port days are the “easiest day to use the laundromat” as few other passengers use it then.

They added: “Late at night is also an option, while folks are at dinner and the shows but we want to be at dinner and the shows too!”

A quick “tip” shared by the experienced cruiser was to stock up on laundry tokens at the start of your trip.  They wrote: “If you decide to do your own laundry, stop by one of the laundromats early in your cruise before folks start using it.

“Buy the number of washer and dryer tokens you’ll need; sometimes the vending machines run out of tokens resulting in you having to try other floors or going down to guest services.”

Another CruiseCritic member revealed you can even pack enough for a 26-day trip with just two carry-on bags. The user named crystalspin explained: “I did a 26-day TransAtlantic and Mediterranean (plus travel days) with two carry-ons and two knapsacks (for two people). I did all of the necessary “laundry” with hand-wash in the sink, including one-time-only a pair of my husband’s nylon trousers. 

“If you are going to use the ship’s laundry, pack for seven days, but send out your first load or bag on the 5th night or 6th morning. Then again on the 10th. This will give you “slack” to get home.”

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