Packing Post-Mortem

Squeeze into This

Perhaps you recall that we had decided to pare down our packing list for this cruise. The eight day cruise was our longest yet, plus we arrived in San Juan a day early. We took half our regular luggage. This allowed us to carry on everything outbound.  (Coming back we did check our bags.)

I tried to follow Rick Steves’ guideline but was over the 20 pound limit by 3 pounds.  You already saw my packing list in a previous post.  So, I’m focusing here on what my mistakes were.

  • Umbrella – never used it.  Take cheapo poncho, next time?
    Toilet paper (no roll) and soapy water squirt bottle – on the bubble for the next trip, convenient once only
    Binoculars – jettisoned before we left. Never missed them. Amazing what one can do with the zoom on one’s camera
    Shirts – six shirts for nine days was maybe one too many
    Underwear – six is too many, cut back to three easy-wash ex-officios
    Dress shoes – not worth either the bulk or the weight
    Pants – four pair was one too many, next time three
    Dress shorts – I wish I’d left these home, my swim shorts were all I used (Patagonia Baggies, one pair, and Nautica, one pair)
    Flip flops – trade these for more versatile reef shoes, besides reefs, they’re handy when walking on broken coral in the surf like at Brandons Beach in Barbados.
  • Believe it or not, there are some things I would add. One is a necktie. I’ll just make sure one of my casual shirts can sport a tie as well (with the short sleeves beneath my jacket). It would have been nice on formal dining nights, which we enjoy.

    Despite the truth in Rick Steves’ dictum to leave it behind (buy or rent upon arrival), I would also take my mask and snorkel.

    I did enjoy having a convertible bag, though I never used the pack straps. However, I cheated. When we found the cruise line had dropped our bags at the wrong airline terminal, I put my bag on Joy’s roller for the hike to the next terminal. I could have used the pack straps at that point. Overall, I found the non-roller to be very convenient and will continue with that option until I’m a bit older.

    Dad, you would be proud that I often tendered the gentlemanly offer to help Joy carry her beach bag, which frequently became laden with booty. Mom, you would be proud that Joy strictly adhered to your dictum: “You pack it. You carry it” (waived only for sickness or injury).

    I can’t wait to start packing for our next adventure. I thought we were jumping the gun in starting our plans on the flight home. When we Skyped our friends in California, they said they were leaving on their river cruise to Budapest in three weeks. We then proceeded to prelimary plans for next year’s vacation – before they have even left for this one. Now, I don’t feel so over eager.

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