Flying to departure ports for Mexico cruises can involve tight flight connections. In addition, heavy air traffic and weather issues can result in canceled flights or significant air traffic delays. As a result, many cruise passengers are interested in taking only carry-on luggage on their Mexico cruise to avoid potential baggage complications. It’s often easier to pack lighter rather than dealing with the possibility of lost baggage or luggage that may never catch up over the course of the cruise.
It’s possible to pack everything needed for a 7-night Mexico cruise into a 21-inch carry-on suitcase and a tote bag. Check with all of your airlines to confirm their carry-on baggage size and weight requirements. Make 2-3 copies of your passport and important travel documents before leaving home. Keep one or two of them with you separate from the originals in case your documents are stolen. Leave another set of copies at home with someone who could get them to you if necessary.
Packing light for a Mexico cruise can require careful planning, however. Cruise guests often must bring along cocktail party-type wear for formal nights plus casual and touring clothes. Remember that many ships now have self-serve washer/dryers onboard, though, and daily laundry service is readily available for a fee.
Most of the requests for a carry-on luggage packing list have come from women, so this article will focus on female cruise passengers. First, let me make some suggestions. Pack a tote bag or large backpack containing your cruise and travel documents, passport, credit cards, cash, medications and toiletries, extra glasses, tablet and/or reading material, sunscreen, and anything else you need to reach easily while flying. If you’re bringing along heavier items like jeans, running shoes, jackets or blazers – simply wear them on your flights.
Think about what you’ll need for the shore excursions you’re planning to take and don't pack at the last minute. Choose two or three basic colors so you can mix and match your clothes. In addition, make sure to bring one or two pairs of comfortable shoes. Finally, try to arrive at your departure port at least one night prior to your cruise. That way, you'll have an extra day to make it to the ship in case of flight cancellations or delays.
Here’s a suggested carry-on only “pack light” list for a 7-night Mexico cruise. Feel free to modify it as necessary and let me know about anything I might have forgotten so I can add it to the list.
PACK LIGHT MEXICO CRUISE PACKING LIST FOR WOMEN – CARRY ON LUGGAGE ONLY
_ Bathing suit
_ Cover up
_ 2 pairs of shorts
_ 1 pair of jeans or slacks
_ 4-5 t-shirts or blouses
_ Exercise clothes
_ 5-6 Dresses (3-4 casual, 2 fancy)
_ Light shawl or cardigan sweater
_ Small wristlet purse for onboard ship
_ Cross-body bag or tote for touring
_ Chargers and/or batteries
_ Memory cards
_ Waterproof bag for camera in case of rain
_ Rain jacket
_ Sandals (casual and dress)
_ Flip flops
_ Running shoes
_ Cell phone
_ Cell phone charger
_ Suntan lotion
_ Reading glasses (if needed)
_ Toiletries and medications
_ Cruise and travel documents
_ Cash and credit cards
_ Tablet and/or reading material