You Can’t Take It With You — Can You??

Monday Mantra

What’s in Your Suitcase? … What’s in Your Suitcase? … What’s in Your Suitcase? …

You Can’t Take It With You — Can You??

Wait till you see what some folks are packing …

My cruise luggage typically includes clothes, underwear, shoes, cosmetics, deodorant, hair care products, sun lotion, a book, and a camera. Everything else, I trust my ship to provide and it does so admirably.

But it seems as if I may be in the minority. I’ve seen people whip out stuff that dazzles me, shocks me, and, quite often, baffles me. Among the eye-openers:


  • A Store Display of Bottled Water. Hey, I’m all about saving money, but my luggage is cumbersome enough without toting along 24 bottles of Deer Park.
  • Most ships offer enough of a pillow selection to satisfy anyone, but look around during embarkation and chances are you’ll see some of your shipmates looking as if they’re en route to a slumber party.
  • A Candle. Sure, they make the room smell lovely and set a romantic ambiance, but fire on board is a no-no and that baby will be confiscated quicker than the box of wine you’re hiding in your luggage.
  • Wish-Bone French Salad Dressing. I watched each night as a woman arrived with a big — like 32 ounces big — bottle of this neon orange glop. If you’re taking up valuable luggage space with a big, unwieldy bottle, it should at least be filled with some kind of booze.
  • Bedside Digital Alarm Clock/Radio. This was something my husband used to take along. While “WTF???” was my initial reaction, I must admit, the thing often saved me from getting up and dressed at 3 a.m. when the cabin was in total darkness.
  • A Child’s Wading Pool. A woman actually blew up a child’s inflatable wading pool on deck for her grandchildren and then proceeded to fill it by immersing the ship’s beach towels — a lot of the ship’s beach towels — in the main swimming pool, wringing the water out into the kiddie pool, and then just flinging the wet towels all over. If only people would use their minds for good.
  • Food. I understand the appeal of in-cabin snacking but, seriously, Ritz crackers and Pringles?
  • Coffee.As one who orders her coffee from Vienna, I totally get this when you’re on a ship with an in-room coffee maker. It’s just wrong to offer someone a fabulous vacation, but start them off each day with lousy coffee.
  • Old Clothes. Part of me loved the idea — and another part of me was repulsed — when a shipmate explained that she packed all old, worn-out clothes for her cruise, intending to discard each shabby outfit after she wore it so she’d have ample space in her luggage for purchases.
  • Children’s … Everything. If, like me, you seek validation of your decision to remain childless, just seek out parents of young children. Toys. A car seat. A stroller. Diaper stuff. I think Lady Gaga’s last concert tour had less gear than what some of these poor parents have to tote along.

— Judi Cuervo


What’s the craziest thing you’ve seen a cruiser bring on board? Tell us in the comments below!



Judi Cuervo is a New York City native who fell in love with cruising in 1976 during her first sailing aboard Carnival Cruises’ Mardi Gras. Twenty years later, she began her freelance cruise writing gig and, since that time, has covered mass market, ultra-premium, riverboat and expedition ships for regional, national and international publications as well as cruise websites.