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Help, Ladies! Packing light for Med cruise and more

Help, Ladies! Packing light for Med cruise and more

Old Mar 29th, 2008, 04:06 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 661
Help, Ladies! Packing light for Med cruise and more

Hi Ladies,

We leave in a month for a 3-week trip to Europe. I am already obsessing about packing. We will be on a Mediterranean cruise for 12 days, with 3 days in Venice before, and 5 days in Rome afterward. The cruise includes the Greek Isles.

Can anyone give me a packing list to cover all of this, including cruise clothes, that will fit in one bag that we can take on the train?!!

I have a lot of black Chico's Traveler's clothes already, and two pairs of really comfy shoes---one being a sandal.

I need clothes ranging from climbing around ruins in Greece to "formal nights" on the ship, and everything in between.

I long for the days of porters and steamer trunks so that I don't go through this agony of trying to pare down to just a few PERFECT things!

Thanks for your help, which I know I can count on!

chicgeek is offline  
Old Mar 29th, 2008, 04:36 PM
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 35,509
A skirt or pants with dressy top will be fine for the cruise. You don't have to wear heels. Some jewelry, and you should be good to go. The pants should be able to be dressed down and worn for other occasions when you are finished cruising. Knits always work for me. They are usually comfortable if not too much percentage polyester, and are easy to rinse out if needed.
crefloors is offline  
Old Mar 29th, 2008, 05:53 PM
Join Date: Dec 2004
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Most cruis ships have laundry rooms with washers, dryers, & irons you only pay for the soap.
jean253 is offline  
Old Mar 29th, 2008, 06:38 PM
Join Date: Feb 2008
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Missing important information.
Which cruise line are you going on, they all cater to slightly different types of crusiers and some are very formal, others super casual, and price does not decide this, some very expenisive lines have gone casual.
For cruise I think you have three formal nights, check on this. Try an outfit that can do all three, like a longer black skirt and two or three different dressy blouses, silky or sequiny,, .
Don't forget a wrap or nice sweater, cruise ship dining rooms are always so cold because of airconditioning, so us ladies with bare neck and shoulders tend to freeze .
For land, you definately need great walking shoes for Greece , or walking sandals,, a really good pair of walking sandals can be worn with capris, pants , skirts etc.
Cruising and land based holidays are tough. You can take as much as you want for the cruise, no unpacking and repacking for 12 days, but the land portion means getting in and out of airports, trains and taxis, so too much luggage is a real drag.

One tip that always helps me is never bring any one item that can't be worn with at least two other items. So that perfect blouse that only goes with one bottom , is a no no.. LOL

Good luck and I know you will have fun.
bozama is offline  
Old Mar 29th, 2008, 06:40 PM
Join Date: Feb 2008
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Ps there is a website called cruisediva.com its quite helpful. Also cruisecritics.com and cruisemates.com . They will be most helpful with your specific cruise.
bozama is offline  
Old Mar 29th, 2008, 06:41 PM
Join Date: Feb 2008
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PPS, cruise diva says for Caribbean cruises, but she does have a packing list , that should help.
bozama is offline  
Old Mar 29th, 2008, 08:01 PM
Join Date: Aug 2007
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Travel knits can take you every place you mention in your post. I suggest Acetate slinky knit when possible as polyester is just to hot. (Chicos, Cold Water Creek, JC Penny, Etc.) Two pair of slinky pants in black, a long slinky skirt in black, a slinky jacket in black, 3 slinky tank tops in different colors (perhaps one sparkly for the cruise), a few pieces of jewelry and a scarf or two (I never use them myself but mention it for completeness) and a nice, light outer jacket that will go with the knits. Oh yes! A bathing suit. Unless you plan to work on a "dig," I see no reason why you can not wear slinky knit any of the places you mention. Just remember slinky knits tend to weigh alot, so the smaller the wardrobe the less weight to carry. Do laundry before getting of the ship, and you will be good to go. Your trip sounds fantastic! Have a great t ime.
grapes is offline  
Old Mar 29th, 2008, 09:16 PM
Join Date: Jan 2007
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Not sure about your age group, but Tilly Endurables has some pretty terrific stuff for travell that is designed for mix and matching. I just spent 2 weeks in Australia without checking any luggage, and was fine!

Oh, I did a cruise about 3 years ago and brought along a simple black dress made out of jersey that went to my ankles that I dressed up with a sequine scarf and jewlery and dressed down with wrapping a scarf/serong (sp?) around my waist with a pair of thongs...it was the MOST versitile piece of clothing I have ever worn and has travelled around the world with me.
anita63 is offline  
Old Mar 30th, 2008, 08:46 AM
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Thank you, ladies. I am more concerned about the day clothing on and off the ship than evening clothes. We will be on the Grand Princess, and my idea of "formal" will be my black Chico's Travelers. Also a pashmina shawl.

We will be off the ship everyday, touring. I was trying to decide between Dockers, jeans, capris, etc. (all black). What about a good-looking black track suit? I have a few linen tops and a pair of white linen pants. And was considering a cashmere twin sweater set.

What will I NOT be sorry I left home?
chicgeek is offline  
Old Mar 30th, 2008, 10:09 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
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You won't be sorry that you left the kids at home...oh, wrong thread,lol.

Seriously, I think you wont be sorry if you left your JEANS at home. If you're walking around and want to stop in at a nice looking cafe or something, I think you can get away with Dockers more than jeans. Capri's are always a good choice and are also nicely versatile. Your idea of black and white is terrific!
anita63 is offline  
Old Mar 30th, 2008, 10:11 AM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 351

We did almost the same trip in 2006. Silverseas Cruise line. Two days in Venice - 7day cruise - 3 days in Rome.

Three items that I took with me that I could not do without would be my Croc thong style sandles and two light gauzy/eyelet skirts. Mid calf. I wore them with cute tanks and a light sweater and strappy sandle for casual dining, as a bathing suite cover-up around the pool. One in black and one in white.

We did dress for dinner every night with 3 fairly dressy nights.

I was able to travel with my mid size roller bag.

A great trip!

loveyblue is offline  
Old Mar 30th, 2008, 11:26 AM
Join Date: Apr 2007
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hi there,

i did the same trip! in november.

arrived in venice, did the med cruise thru the greek isles, returned to venice before going to cinque terr, pisa, florence and rome. from rome we travelled by train back to venice again. like u i worried about the luggage. while we solved our problem by having a separate suitcase of cruise fancy wear which we stored in the venice hotel while we were in florence, rome etc. it sounds like you are doing a 1 way trip thru italy so you will have to take it with you.

1) in italy everyone wears black. also in croatia. think flat black boots with a black knit dress or slacks. take a warm fashionable scarf as it was very very chilly with the humidity in venice. any flat comfy shoe will work for you in the ruins. the only place my feet were sore was in venice where we would walk for 10 hours a day. flat black boots to wear in on all travel days work great and will be on your feet not in your luggage during travel days

2) laundry prices on the cruise was reasonable

3) take 2 smaller wheel type suitcases not 1 - easier to lift up onto trains, over bridges etc

4) do not take a fancy evening bag on the cruise. it will be hardly used. take a knapsack to act as a purse, it will be comfy to carry your heavier papers, books and toiletries. it works great to carry a camera, water, etc on shore excursions

5) from the cruise ship terminal you can walk (we did - ~45 min) to venice proper or que up for the free transport bus (likly a similair wait). getting your luggage to the hotel from the cruise is not as hard as some will make it out to be. lets you work off the extra pounds you gained over your last 12 days. try to get a hotel as close to the train station as possible without need for a vaporetto. the train station is at the entrance to venice, near where the transport bus will drop you off.

7) fancy dresses on the cruise can be layered for venice/rome. for ex your little black dress + sweater + scarf + boots. think sexy rayon clingy dresses bc pack tiny and can be layered. try to take only black/red/white items bc can be mixed well together and are always fashionable

8) underwear, think skimpy lite bras and panties as these can be washed by hand and hung to dry overnight. 1 bathing suit only!

9) pack all dresses, undies etc in separate ziploc freezer bags which have been squished down and all the air let out. an amazing trick.
seaswho is offline  
Old Mar 30th, 2008, 12:49 PM
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Thank you! This is exactly the kind of help I am looking for. Thank God I have a ton of black already, which I mix with white and red.

We will be going in May, so I am not too concerned about being cold.

So what about the exact type of pants? I was thinking black Dockers, black Chico's Travelers, black capris? How many of each?

Do you think a cashmere twin sweater set is a good idea? I was thinking it would be very versatile.

I think we will take advantage of having our laundry and cleaning done on the ship, which will help a lot.

And, yes, the ziplock bag idea is the best ever. I am the Queen Of Ziplocks!
chicgeek is offline  
Old Mar 30th, 2008, 01:03 PM
Join Date: Jul 2005
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Sounds like a good cruise. Like another poster, I don't think you'd regret leaving your jeans at home. If it's warm you won't want to wear them and they are heavy to pack. I wouldn't take the black track suit for a spring trip on the Med either. You mention Chicos travelers. I used them traveling only twice because of the weight but a travelers skirt or pants should work well for the cruise if you wear a lighter weight top. I was on a Med cruise last summer and used the black Chicos but saw a lot of women with lightweight long dresses in bright colors or prints.

I've have had good luck with Chico's lightweight cotton or cotton with spandex pants and capris; they wash easily and dry fast. I also like their sheer dressy tops to wear over tank tops -- they're virtually weightless and wrinkle free. For Venice and the Greek Islands you might consider a long, loose cotton skirt for a nice change from pants. Whatever you decide though, don't take anything you won't wear at least three times.

If you're going to Santorini there are a couple of shops that sell cotton capris and tops in a range of colors at reasonable prices.

The cashmere sweater set sounds good.

Finally, use the lightest weight suitcase you have or can find.
Luisah is offline  
Old Mar 30th, 2008, 01:14 PM
Join Date: May 2007
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If you don't mind a short "male intervention":

Before you switch all your wardrobe to black you may want to check the high/low temperatures of your destination. Climate in Greece differs significantly when you compare November with May. The Easter Mediterranean region can already be pretty warm.
Cowboy1968 is online now  
Old Mar 30th, 2008, 01:39 PM
Join Date: Jan 2007
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The only thing that I would be concerned about with cashemere is that it isn't exactly 'wash and wear' kinda material, and it doesn't dry quickly at all. A lightweight knit would be a better idea, I think?
anita63 is offline  
Old Mar 30th, 2008, 02:25 PM
Join Date: Aug 2007
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You mentioned that you are doing Venice first. Right near the train station (Piazzale Roma, I think) there is a place where you can leave luggage for a few days. When we were there, we left our rental car there and excess baggage at the left luggage place. We had planned ahead and packed our Venice stuff in a small easy to carry bag so that it would not be a difficult walk from the vaporetto stop to our B&B. We had three days in Venice and so were able to put the little we needed into a small backpack each.

Have fun!
irishface is offline  
Old Mar 30th, 2008, 03:26 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I'm big on twin sets and Chicos travelers. You can base your ship wardrobe around basic black skirt, dress and slack and wear twin sets and then wear them on land the next day. Bring 3 or 4 neutral colored capris, black, khaki, denim blue and white. Almost anything will go with all of them and you can wear them 2, 3 or 4 times before they have to be washed unless you spill stuff on them. Thsat way you can use your ship clothes on land. In May you should have nice weather still. People who see you wear thesame dress, skirt or slacks with different tops, scarfs or shawls or jewelry, will just think you are an experienced traveler and not a slave to your luggage. Or bring a light weight white cardigan that will go over anyrthing and wear different colored wife beater T's to go with your capris. Have fun.
zwho is offline  
Old Mar 30th, 2008, 03:42 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Chicgeek, your trip sounds wonderful! I use Ziploc bags also but don't overdo the roll, squeeze and zip thing because it just means you will be able to fit more in the suitcase and thus making it heavier and difficult to move around once you are off the cruise ship. It will no longer be packing light.

Have a great trip and tell us all about it when you return.
Marianna is offline  
Old Mar 30th, 2008, 08:45 PM
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Hi everyone! Thanks so much for your help. Loveyblue and seaswho-----what were the highlights of your trip? Do you have any tips for things to see and do that were especially noteworthy? Thanks!
chicgeek is offline  

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