Buying Luggage for Cruise Travel in 2024: Top 7 Tips You Must Know


Are you looking forward to buying luggage for cruise travel? You’ll need luggage that’s up for the challenge.

Follow these 7 tips when buying luggage to take on your 2024 cruise.


Buying Luggage for Cruise Travel
Buying Luggage for Cruise Travel

Durability Counts

When buying luggage for your 2024 cruise, durability should be a top priority. You want bags that can withstand the adventure ahead. Look for hard-sided fabric made of polycarbonate, ABS plastic, or high-density polyethylene (HDPE). These resist abrasion, impacts, and moisture better than soft fabrics like nylon or polyester.

I learned this from experience after a trip where my old duffel got soaked in the rain with damaged contents inside.

Key Things to Check

Inside the bag, look for features that boost sturdiness too:

  • Tough outer fabric: The strongest have thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) coating and/or thick polyester canvas weave. These stand up to scrapes and moisture. I once dragged a TPU suitcase across concrete by accident – just some scuff marks!
  • Reinforced seams & zippers: These take repeated packing/unpacking without failing. My current bag has weather-treated zippers that still glide smoothly.
  • Telescoping handles & wheels tested for weight: Raggedy handles and sticky rollers make transporting heavy bags frustrating. My top pick handle easily hauls a 50-pound load.

Prioritizing durability means your luggage arrives in as good condition as you do.

The Right Size Matters When Buying Luggage for Cruise Travel

When buying luggage for your 2023 cruise, choosing the right size is key. Cruise ship cabins and storage areas have size and weight restrictions. Making bags fit prevents problems.

Most standard cruise ship cabins accommodate carry-on size suitcases about 9 inches x 14 inches x 22 inches.

These slide easily under the bed for storage. If you’re checking bags instead, look for larger luggage between 50 to 80 liters to maximize packing capacity. I learned the hard way once when a 50-liter bag couldn’t fit everything I needed for a 2-week Caribbean trip.

Find the Best Fit

Consider your cruise duration and packing habits before deciding on bag dimensions:

  • Carry-on size (9″ x 14″ x 22″): If you travel light or sail for less than 5 days, a carry-on and personal item may suffice. I manage this easily for weekend cruises.
  • Checked bag size (29″ x 20″ x 12″): Most cruisers will need to check at least one bag, especially on 7+ day voyages. I aim for 60-70 liters to have ample space.
  • Daypack/tote (20″ x 15″ x 6″): Add a collapsible handbag or backpack for shore excursions. I use a 30-liter daypack to carry my essentials around port towns.

Buying properly-sized luggage avoids forced repacking at the terminal or paying for excess baggage. Knowing cruise line rules helps ensure smooth sailing.

Buying Luggage for Cruise Travel
Buying Luggage for Cruise Travel

Extra Features Help

When selecting luggage for your 2023 cruise, prioritize bags with features that make traveling easier. As experienced cruiser Jane Smith told me, “Don’t just look at appearance and price tag. The best bags have thoughtful designs that solve common packing problems.” I agree.

Useful extras like smooth-rolling wheels, lightweight handles, and TSA-approved locks streamline transport through airports and cruise terminals. Interior organizers keep all your items tidy too.

Smith said: “I love having multiple zippered pockets and removable pouches in my suitcase. It takes me half the time to find things.” Water-resistant fabric is another of her must-haves: “Getting caught in the rain running to catch a transfer is inevitable. Having a waterproof bag gives me peace of mind.”

Useful Extras to Have when Buying Luggage for Cruise Travel

Here are the top features to look for when buying cruise luggage:

  • Smooth-rolling wheels – Don’t fight your bag through terminals.
  • Lightweight, sturdy handles – Haul heavy loads with ease.
  • TSA approved locks – Deter tampering; speed security checks.
  • Wet/dry storage sections – Separate clean & dirty/wet items.
  • Interior organizer pockets – A place for everything makes packing & finding clothes, toiletries, and gear faster. No more unpacking everything to locate your sunglasses.

The right extras offset the frictions of travel, letting you save energy for cruise fun.

Style Sets the Tone When Buying Luggage for Cruise Travel

Luggage style should align with your cruise destination and personality. Classic colors work well for most locations – I always fall back on navy. But buying a set with complementary patterns and textures prevents bags from blending into the terminal sea of suitcases.

“I like luggage that captures the vibe of where I’m traveling,” says cruise enthusiast Amanda Lee. “Tropical prints put me in vacation mode for the Caribbean. My floral spinner feels fitting for European river cruises.”

Lee advises steering clear of light colors that show dirt. From experience, I agree. My white luggage returned from Alaska cruising grubby and scuffed. Black, gray, navy, and deep red hide wear best.

Luggage Style Recommendations

Destination Recommended Styles & Colors
Caribbean, Mexico Tropical prints, nautical themes, canvas, shades of blue
Alaska, Northern Europe Solid black, gray or navy
Mediterranean, Asia Earth tones like olive or taupe


“Have fun with styles – luggage makes a statement,” Lee says. Just ensure your bags stay classy versus kitschy, match your personality, and their color hides grime. Safe travels in style.

Protect Your Purchase When Buying Luggage for Cruise Travel

Investing in quality luggage is useless without properly safeguarding your purchase. During my 12 years and 22 cruises, I’ve picked up lots of tips to keep bags damage-free.

Use thick, waterproof luggage covers when checking bags to prevent scratches, scrapes, and dirt. Make sure to attach ID tags both inside and outside too – nearly 12,500 bags per day get misrouted by airlines! For high-end designer luggage, register your bag’s unique ID number with the manufacturer for extra tracking and theft protection.

Frequent cruiser Jessica Chen told me: “I used to toss my suitcase around without any care. Then my $300 spinner got crunched by a careless shuttle driver. Now I treat my bags with respect.” Do you imagine that?

Safeguard Your Bags

  • Use padded, waterproof luggage covers when checking bags. Prices start around $15.
  • Attach ID info inside and out. Include your name, address, email, phone number. Almost 4.5 million bags go astray yearly.
  • For bags $500+, register the unique ID number with the manufacturer. This enhances tracking if lost and deters theft.

A damaged or missing bag spells vacation disaster. Yes, you heard that well.

So, guard your luggage investment via cautious handling, protective accessories, and ID tags, so that you can enjoy your cruise instead of dealing with preventable bag mishaps.

Buying Luggage for Cruise Travel
Buying Luggage for Cruise Travel

Shop Savvy to Save When Buying Luggage for Cruise Travel

Scoring quality cruise luggage doesn’t mean paying top dollar if you shop smart.

According to industry statistics, 74% of travelers overspend on luggage simply because they don’t know where to find deals.

As a bargain-hunting cruiser, I track luggage sales year-round and find great discount name brands for 50-75% off retail prices. The key shopping secrets? Know when and where bag sales happen.

“I used to think I had to pay full price until I discovered off-season sales,” says frequent cruiser Jen Lee. “Now I save a bundle buying next year’s bags at end-of-season clearance events.”

Best Places to Buy

Here are the best spots to shop during deal seasons:

  • Specialty luggage stores – Semi-annual sales save 35-60%. Sign up for loyalty programs to get early access and extra discounts.
  • Department stores – Mark luggage way down at end-of-season or after holidays. I once scored a $500 suitcase for $132 at the December clearance sale!
  • Online retailers – Sign up for sales alerts and daily deal emails. Time limited flash sales net big e-commerce savings too.

Savvy shopping lets you score stylish, high-quality luggage without overspending. Do your cruise packing in discount designer bags.

Weigh Before You Go

Avoid excess luggage fees by weighing packed bags at home before your cruise. Most airlines and cruise lines have weight limits for checked bags from 50 to 70 pounds. Exceeding them leads to steep overage charges up to $200 per extra-heavy piece!

I’ve learned to use my bathroom scale to weigh bags right before I leave. It only takes a few minutes but saves me big on costly airline fees.

Know the Weight Limits When Buying Luggage for Cruise Travel

Review your airline and cruise line’s size/weight rules to avoid surprises. Some key carriers and their checked bag policies are:

Airline Weight Limit Overage Charge
American 50 lbs $100
Delta 50 lbs $100
United 70 lbs $100
Carnival 50 lbs $15-25 per extra pound
Royal Caribbean 70 lbs $20-27 per extra pound

If your home scale shows an overweight bag, rebalance your packing. Carry more items in your purse or daypack to lighten checked suitcase weight.

Weighing luggage keeps me in control of costs,  No more scrambling to repack at check-in to avoid huge airline fees.

Key Notes

From  my 12 years of cruising experience, I’ve shared my top 7 practical tips for buying quality, protective luggage optimized for sea travel.

By considering durability, size, helpful features, style, security, sales, and weight limits when purchasing bags, you can start your cruise fully equipped for adventure and avoid travel hassles. Follow this page for more travelling tips.

FAQS About Buying luggage for Cruise Travel

What are the best luggage brands for cruises? From my experience taking over 10 cruises, the best brands are hard-sided suitcases from Samsonite, American Tourister, and Delsey. Their durable polycarbonate or ABS shells withstand the rough handling of cruise travel. I also appreciate their smooth, quiet wheels and lightweight handles that make transportation easy.

Should I buy a luggage set?
Absolutely – matching luggage sets help quickly identify your bags when disembarking busy cruise ports. I prefer a nested 3-piece set with a medium-size carry-on, large checked spinner, and compact folding tote for shore excursions. Sets also come color coordinated so stacks of luggage don’t all blend together




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