Sail In Style: A Guide To The Best Luggage For Cruises

The wave breaks against the hull. The salty sea air fills your nostrils. Your heart swells with the anticipation of unexplored destinations and unforgettable experiences.

Cruising is a thrilling journey, not just another trip.

The Best Luggage For Cruises

But to truly make it an adventure of a lifetime, there’s something pivotal you need – the right luggage.

That’s right. Your luggage can make or break your cruising experience.

But fear not, we are cruise connoisseurs, and we’ve created this comprehensive guide to navigate you through the sea of options, helping you find the perfect suitcase for your cruise vacation.

So, let’s get to it!

Why The Right Luggage Matters On Cruises

Cruise travel differs significantly from other forms of travel.

The confined cabins, frequent port-of-calls, and specific cruise line restrictions demand a unique set of considerations when selecting luggage.

Whether you’re a seasoned sailor or planning your maiden voyage, choosing the right luggage can be the difference between smooth sailing and your stress levels going overboard.

Key Features to Look For In Cruise Luggage

Before we make some recommendations on luggage options, let’s get you clued up on what to look for.

When selecting the perfect luggage for your cruise, consider these features:

1. Size

While the allure of bringing your entire closet may be strong, cabin space on a cruise ship is typically quite limited.

Hence, it’s crucial to prioritize size and opt for luggage that can be easily stored. Be sure to check your cruise line’s luggage size restrictions.

2. Portability

The logistics of a cruise mean that you’ll be moving your luggage more often than on a traditional trip.

Therefore, luggage with wheels and telescopic handles can be a lifesaver. Four-wheeled spinner luggage allows 360-degree movement, offering the best portability.

3. Durability

Cruise ship staff are often handling hundreds, if not thousands, of pieces of luggage.

Opt for luggage with hard-shelled exteriors made of materials like polycarbonate or ABS, which are known for their resistance to impacts.

4. Compartments & Organization

Look for luggage with compartments and pockets to efficiently store and organize your belongings. This can be particularly beneficial on a cruise, where you’ll want to keep your clothes, toiletries, and other necessities easily accessible.

Our Hand-picked Luggage Options For Cruises

Based on the key features we outlined above, here are some top picks for the best luggage for cruises:

1. Samsonite Omni PC Hardside Spinner

The Samsonite Omni PC is a versatile, hard-shelled suitcase that ticks all the boxes for cruise travel.

It offers a lightweight yet durable polycarbonate build, a telescopic handle, and smooth-rolling spinner wheels. Its micro-diamond texture is scratch-resistant, keeping your suitcase looking as good as new, voyage after voyage.

The suitcase’s interior features cross straps and a divider panel to help keep your belongings organized.

We love that this case comes in a variety of colors (blue is our favorite), and, more importantly, the TSA locks on the side are great for security.

The maneuverability on this case is great, and we found it so easy to roll on deck too.

Ours has taken a few knocks, but it’s still in great condition. This has to be our favorite option when choosing luggage for a cruise.

Also available from the Samsonite store here.

2. Travelpro Maxlite 5 Softside Spinner

If you prefer a soft-sided suitcase, the Travelpro Maxlite 5 is an excellent choice. This suitcase is surprisingly lightweight and features four spinner wheels and a strong, adjustable handle.

The suitcase has a generous main compartment and several front pockets, perfect for organizing your belongings.

We were actually amazed by how much we managed to get into this suitcase. And, although we generally prefer the look of a hard case, this one is pretty stylish.

Also available from the Travelpro site here.

3. Delsey Paris Chatelet Hard+ Hardside Luggage

For those who prioritize style without compromising on functionality, the Delsey Paris Chatelet Hard+ is the perfect choice.

This suitcase is not just a feast for the eyes but also features a durable polycarbonate shell, four silent-running double spinner wheels, and a unique brake system that prevents the bag from drifting away on the ship deck.

The interior boasts two packing compartments with tie-down straps and a zippered divider.

We adore the vintage, chic vibes of this case. We felt oh-so-stylish when we cruised with this luggage.

The only real downside with this luggage is the price tag, as it is a little steep.

You can also find this Delsey Paris case at Target.

4. Victorinox Spectra 2.0 Large Hardside Spinner

The Victorinox Spectra 2.0 Large Hardside Spinner is a testament to Swiss precision and craftsmanship.

Its polycarbonate shell ensures durability, while the dual-caster spinner wheels offer superior maneuverability. Its interior organization, featuring a zippered divider wall and Y-shaped compression straps, ensures your belongings stay neat and secure.

This is an excellent choice for travelers seeking reliability, strength, and ease of use.

The wheels on this case are great, which means for really smooth traveling. It’s a strong and durable case that has stood the test of time on our cruises.

Again, the only real downside with this piece of luggage is the cost – it is a little high compared to others.

As well as Amazon, you can also find this case here.

5. American Tourister Moonlight Hardside Spinner

American Tourister’s Moonlight Hardside Spinner offers functionality and flair.

We love that it’s available in a variety of fun prints and colors, it’s perfect for travelers wanting to add a personal touch to their luggage.

Despite its lightweight design, the suitcase is made from sturdy ABS/PC construction, and it features four multi-directional spinner wheels for smooth, effortless mobility.

Also available at Walmart.

Our Selection Of The Best Luggage Sets For Families

If you’re cruising as a family, one or two pieces of luggage just won’t cut it. We often travel with our families, so we understand the importance of finding a good set that works for everyone.

Keep reading for our top picks when it comes to luggage sets for families who cruise.

1. Samsonite Winfield 2 Hardside Luggage Set

This three-piece set is ideal for families. It comes with 20″, 24″, and 28″ suitcases, covering needs from short trips to long vacations.

The cases are made from polycarbonate, providing durability and impact resistance. With multi-directional spinner wheels, you can move your luggage easily, and the multiple interior pockets are perfect for organizing your belongings.

Also available at Samsonite.

2. American Tourister Pop Max Softside Luggage Set

The American Tourister Pop Max offers a three-piece set with 21″, 25″, and 29″ cases.

The soft-sided suitcases offer flexibility when squeezing in that last extra item, and the four multi-directional spinner wheels provide easy maneuverability.

This set also comes in various colors, perfect for a family wanting to coordinate yet easily distinguish their bags.

Specialized Luggage Options

Beyond the typical choices, there’s a vast ocean of specialized luggage options tailored to cater to unique preferences, requirements, and values. Whether you’re an eco-conscious traveler, a tech-savvy cruiser, or a luxury enthusiast, there’s something just for you.

Eco-Friendly Luggage Options

As more people become environmentally conscious, several luggage brands have taken up the mantle to offer sustainable and eco-friendly options.

1. Samsonite Eco-Nu Expandable Spinner

Crafted entirely from recycled fabric, the Samsonite Eco-Nu Expandable Spinner is an excellent option for eco-friendly travelers.

Not only is it earth-friendly, but it also provides ample space, expandability, and smooth-rolling spinner wheels for comfortable portability.

2. Patagonia Black Hole Wheeled Duffel

Made from recycled polyester ripstop, the Patagonia Black Hole Wheeled Duffel is both eco-friendly and exceptionally durable. The large main compartment, zippered side pocket, and mesh pockets make organizing easy, while the sturdy wheels ensure easy maneuverability.

Tech-Friendly Luggage Options

For the tech-savvy traveler, having luggage with tech-friendly features can make the cruise experience even smoother.

1. Away The Carry-On

Away’s Carry-On suitcase is known for its built-in removable battery that can charge any USB device, ensuring your gadgets remain charged during your journey. This hard-shell suitcase is also durable, with an interior compression system that makes packing more efficient.

2. Travelpro Crew 11 Spinner Suitcase

Travelpro’s Crew 11 Spinner Suitcase features a dedicated power bank pocket and an external USB port to keep your devices powered on the go. Its sturdy design, magnetic spinner wheels, and ample storage make it an ideal choice for tech-oriented travelers.

Luxury Luggage Options

If you’re someone who believes in traveling in style and doesn’t mind splurging on high-end luggage, there are numerous luxury options on the market.

1. Rimowa Original Cabin

Rimowa’s Original Cabin suitcase, with its distinctive grooved design, is a symbol of luxury. Made from high-end aluminum, it’s exceptionally durable. Its flex divider system keeps your belongings organized, while the multi-wheel system ensures smooth maneuverability.

2. Tumi Alpha 3 Continental Dual Access 4 Wheeled Carry-On

The Tumi Alpha 3 is an embodiment of sophistication and functionality. It features a dual-access design that allows easy access to your items from the front lid or the split case.

Its durable ballistic nylon fabric, four dual-spinner wheels, and various compartments provide an unrivaled travel experience.

Choosing a specialized luggage option allows you to align your cruising experience with your personal preferences and values, enhancing not just your journey but also your satisfaction. Whether you’re eco-conscious, tech-savvy, or luxury-oriented, there’s a perfect suitcase waiting to join you on your cruise.

Tips For Selecting Carry-On Luggage For Cruises

At the beginning of this guide, we talked about key considerations for purchasing luggage for cruises, but this applies just as much to your carry-on luggage as it does to your suitcases.

Carry-on luggage should be thoughtfully chosen, as it will hold your essential items during your journey. Here are some key factors to consider:

1. Size Restrictions

Before purchasing your carry-on, ensure that its dimensions comply with both your airline’s and your cruise line’s restrictions.

2. Accessibility

Your carry-on will hold items that you may need to access easily. Thus, opt for a bag with multiple compartments and pockets.

3. Security

To keep your valuable items safe, consider carry-on luggage with lockable zippers.

4. Versatility

Carry-on luggage that can be carried in multiple ways (such as a backpack, shoulder bag, or wheeled luggage) can be particularly beneficial for cruising.

A great carry-on luggage option is the eBags TLS Mother Lode Mini 21-inch Wheeled Duffel. It’s highly durable, offers a variety of compartments for excellent organization, and complies with most airlines’ size restrictions.

By considering these tips and options, you’ll be well-equipped to make the right luggage choices for your cruising needs. Remember, the journey is as significant as the destination. Having the right luggage can make your cruise more comfortable, convenient, and enjoyable.

best luggage for cruises

Packing Tips For Your Cruise

Choosing the right luggage is just the start. Here are some expert packing tips to make your cruise even smoother:

1. Roll, Don’t Fold

Rolling your clothes not only saves space but also reduces wrinkles. This technique can be a game-changer when packing for a cruise.

2. Pack for Your Destination

Remember, a cruise isn’t just about life on the ship. Consider your ports of call when packing. Are you exploring a tropical rainforest or strolling through a bustling city? Your itinerary should guide your wardrobe.

3. Utilize Packing Cubes

Packing cubes are a lifesaver for staying organized, especially in the confined space of a cruise cabin. They also make it easy to pack and unpack at each destination.

In Summary

There’s a certain charm to cruising that goes beyond mere travel. It’s an exploration, an experience, a journey. And the right luggage can be your steadfast companion, making this journey smoother, more convenient, and even more enjoyable.

So, whether you choose the durable Samsonite Omni PC, the lightweight Travelpro Maxlite 5, or the stylish Delsey Paris Chatelet Hard+, remember to take into account your specific needs and preferences. Bon voyage!

Frequently Asked Questions

Do people take suitcases on cruises?

Yes, people do take suitcases on cruises. Although cruise ship cabins are generally smaller than hotel rooms, they are designed with storage in mind. There’s usually space to stow suitcases under the bed or in the closet.

What size luggage is good for a cruise?

The best size of luggage for a cruise can depend on several factors, including the length of your cruise, the destinations you’re visiting, and the dress code on the ship.

However, generally speaking, a medium-sized suitcase (24 to 27 inches) is a good starting point for a typical 7-day cruise. This size offers ample space for clothes, shoes, and accessories without being excessively large or heavy.

Alex Kallen

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