Caribbean 10-Day Southern Medley Cruise w/Princess Cruises, Episode #1 – Wardrobe & Packing Tips and Tricks

It all started, the planning for this cruise that is, over a year before embarkation onto the Royal Princess was to transpire.  Yes, yes, it sure had. 🙂 I had met the 3 ladies with which we cruised on a Princess Cruising site that I help to admin. The ALASKA CRUISES ON PRINCESS Group. We had all become really great friends through all of our interactions in that group and eventually way beyond that group. To say that I adore these three ladies, well, that would be an understatement.  In conversation we came up with the idea to go on a bit of a group cruise; all of us ladies and our significant others. 🙂 The fellows agreed and we were off and running and planning our 10-Day Southern Caribbean cruise aboard the Royal Princess (one of Princess Cruises largest and newest cruise ships–and trust me, she is a beauty!!).  Before we go further, let me introduce y’all to Barbara, Barbara, & Pat (that Barbara on the second row of the picture and Pat are sisters). ❤ Here is a magnet that I created for us so that we could hang one on each of our Stateroom doors.


Before I get started telling you all about our adventure, let me first share with you a link to my Pre-Cruise “What’s In My Carry On & “My” Must Haves” video that I created before we left on our trip. :). Most of the things that I speak about in this video can be found by doing a quick search on Amazon. My Vera Bradley can either be found on the Vera website or on eBay. 🙂 I hesitate to give y’all links any longer because I have found that they become antiquated very quickly. 🙂 If you can’t find items on Amazon, Vera Bradley, or Ebay, a quick Google Search can do wonders. 🙂

And now, I will show you a part of the wardrobe that I compiled to take with me. Remember y’all, I am an expert at packing for our Alaska cruises, but, the Caribbean, well, that was a new one on me…haha. BUT, I didn’t have too much trouble. 😉 Here are some of the outfits that I put together to take with us. As most of you know, I am a plus sized girl and I am of the mindset that just because I’m a fluffy lady, I don’t have to compromise my taste in clothing or my desire to wear clothes that hopefully flatter my figure and that make me feel pretty. These outfits fit that bill pretty nicely. As you can see, I took mostly dark–navy and black–capris, of a non-wrinkling material (unfortunately, I got those capris from Avenue last summer and they are currently not available to purchase…yeah, ugh!), and an array of cold shoulder tops some of which are available at Dressbarn or Avenue:IMG_2600IMG_2595IMG_2596IMG_1062IMG_2597:


I also took these sweet floral pants available online only at Avenue, They are called “Joggers”…super cute and super comfy!!! I highly recommend them–I ordered a size up only because I didn’t want them hugging my chunky-bunky hips. 😉

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And of course I took a bathing suit from Swimsuits For All and a cover up that I found here on Amazon:

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One of the special things that my lady friends and I did was to order ourselves up some “Cruising With My Peeps” shirts. (Thank you so, so much Barbara for taking care of having my shirt created before we left… ❤ ). Here is a picture of my shirt and y’all will see a picture of all of us donning our shirts later in this Series:

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Here is some of the jewelry that I took, I do not take really any expensive jewelry with us on our cruises, but, I do enjoy a nice statement necklace and y’all know how I love my Brighton:


And of course, I needed to take some shoes, here are the pairs that I decided to take this time…those beauties in the front were my travel shoes…so comfy so cozy.  They are  Minnetonka Women’s Deerskin Gore Front Moccasins.


The week of our trip had arrived and so of course, I wanted my fingernails and toenails to look spiffy for our cruise, so I went and had myself a little spa day–hair, nails, and toes all done on the same day. 🙂 Here are my nails and toes:


Okie dokie, the day finally arrived for me to pack for our long-anticipated trip. Of course Chris got out our suitcases. We each took our 29″ spinners and we ended up taking a small carry-on suitcase as well because, well, we just couldn’t fit everything in the 2 spinners. Hey folks, I *never* professed to be a minimalist. 😉 Here is a shot of my suitcase, that’s my carry-on on the floor, a Vera Bradley Campus Backpack in Midnight Paisley . And on top of my suitcase sits my Vera Bradley Weekender bag (<~~~That link is not my pattern, I couldn’t find it available). I packed that Weekender in my spinner just in case we might need it for a second carry-on bag on the way home:


Of course I gathered my wonderful well-used packing aids that I will *not* cruise without. My Shacke Pak Packing Cubes & my Eagle Creek Pack-It Medium Garment Folder:


And so, my packing commenced, and yep, you guessed it, I did create a video of me literally packing for this trip utilizing both the packing cubes and the garment folder. I entitled it “Caribbean Cruise Wardrobe For A Plus Size Lady & Packing Tips”–You don’t see many of those floating around YouTube. 😉 BUT, I’m comfortable in my skin, no matter the size. Yes, yes, I am always working on my weight and have actually had a bit of success at shedding a few pounds (no I don’t need help in that area. 😉 ) since our return home. Regardless of all of that, I’ll quit yammering and give you a link:

So, there we go, I was ready to debark on our next adventure. Christin came over to our house the evening before we were to leave, bless that girl for always coming to house and pup sit. ❤  Of course we had to leave in the wee hours of the morning in order to get to the airport, through security, and well, y’all know that routine. 🙂 Here I am standing in our kitchen at around 3am on the morning we left to head to Richmond International to catch our Jet Blue flight that would take us to Fort Lauderdale, Florida. A-N-D our adventure begins!!!


Next up, I’ll tell you all about our first day of our adventure…let’s say that meeting my lady friends in person on that first day was one of the very best days of my life…yes, yes it was!!! For now though, I will close this my first post in my new Caribbean Cruise Series. 🙂

A little scripture for you:

***If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there Your hand will guide me…Psalm 139***

~Until next time, y’all take good care! ❤

~Arlynn ❤

Alaska: Back to Back Voyage of the Glaciers Cruises, Episode #1 – Packing

Hi Everyone!! Over a year ago, Chris and I decided that we wanted to go back to our most favorite place to visit, Alaska! And we decided that we wanted to do it via Princess Cruise Lines, because, let’s face it, they really do Alaska in grand fashion and we love cruising with them.  First, let me show you our Itinerary, which was simply a Northbound Voyage of the Glaciers Cruise which began in Vancouver, B.C. and ended in Whittier/Anchorage Alaska. It was then immediately followed by a Southbound Voyage of the Glaciers cruise which begin in Whittier/Anchorage, Alaska and ended in Vancouver, B.C. Here are the specific itineraries.

Here is the Northbound Itinerary:

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And here is the Southbound Itinerary:

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Chris and I traveled the day before our cruise was to set sail because we wanted to visit very special friends of ours Liz and Mike over on Vancouver Island (Victoria), B.C., more about that very special visit in the next episode.

I digress, I am starting this new Blog Series at the very beginning of our trip with a packing blog and videos.  The first thing that I want to do is to share with you my secret weapons that I utilize when it comes to packing for any trip and especially when packing for a cruise.  These awesome weapons are packing cubes and garment packing folders.  Our daughter Christin gave these tools to us for Christmas a couple of years ago and I was completely skeptical as to how they would help me “Ms Organized” be any more organized.  Well let me tell y’all, they HAVE made me even more organized than I ever thought possible. 🙂

Here are the Packing Cubes that I use, they are from Shacke Pak and here is a LINK for you:


And here is the Medium Garment Folder that I use, it is from Eagle Creek and here is a LINK.IMG_4648.jpg

Before I share with you a video that I created the day before our trip began of me literally packing up my cubes and folder and then my suitcases, I want to go ahead and share with you two other videos that I created not long ago where I show you “What’s in my Carry-On” and “My Must-Haves” <~~~Things that I take on every cruise~~~.  First, here is a picture of the backpack I use for my Carry-On bag…It is a Vera Bradley Campus Backpack (unfortunately, the Vera website does not sell this particular version of backpack any longer, but, here is a LINK for it on eBay.

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Here is a picture of my backpack pretty much ready to go:

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Here is a link to my YouTube video from my Arlynn’s Travels YouTube Channel entitled “Alaska Pre-Cruise Report: What’s In My Carry-On & My Must Haves” where I show and tell you about everything that I was planning to take along with me on this trip.  You can find links to everything that I mention that are linkable in the description of the video.

See, I told you, I am crazy organized..haha..ridiculously so sometimes. 😉

All right, while I’m at it here, let me go ahead and give y’all a link to my Alaska Cruise Wardrobe video that I created to show y’all what I was planning to take on this trip. There are links in the description of that video as well. 🙂

And now, I will share with you the video that I made up the day before we left for our trip–You’ll see the organizing power of those cubes and garment folder in action. 🙂

All right, that does it for Episode #1 in my new Alaska B2B Voyage of the Glaciers Cruise Series.  Here I was at 2am the morning that we were fixin’ to head out go to to the airport…and nope, I had not gone to bed…in fact, I stayed up straight though and until the next night…excited much?  Yep, I’d say so…haha. 😉FullSizeRender.jpg

Next up, I’ll be telling you all about our flights across the Country and about our time with our dear friends Liz and Mike.  BTW, Liz is the lady who encouraged me to start blogging almost 2 years ago now; I’ll be forever grateful to her for that nudge. 🙂 <3.


Here is a link to Episode #2

A little scripture for y’all:

***If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there Your hand will guide me…Psalm 139***

Until next time, y’all take good care! ❤

~Arlynn ❤



Packing – 8 Day 7 Night Cruise Series: “Suitcase Packing Tips & Tricks”

Our Canada and New England cruise is getting closer and closer every day and it won’t be long before it is upon us which means it won’t be long before I try my very best to pack just *one* suitcase…albeit a large 29″ spinner suitcase, but just one none-the-less. 🙂  I do plan to have a Vera Bradley Weekender bag handy just in case I have any overage and if I don’t end up using it going, I know I’ll be able to fit it into my or Chris’s suitcase and will utilize it for souvenirs for our trip home.

Here are the bags I have set aside and am anxiously waiting to fill!! 🙂  (I’m excited, can you tell?) 😉


I know those of you who follow me know that I’m now a HUGE fan of packing cubes and packing folders. Here are links to the items that I use:  Shacke Pak  (packing cubes) & the Medium Eagle Creek Packing Folder.  I know that I will definitely, ***easily*** be able to fit every item of clothing into these spiffy packing mechanisms because I am taking literally half of the clothes that I took on our 15-Night Hawaiian cruise…Here is the packing folder filled up nicely with over 20 tops that I took to Hawaii; I will take less than half of that amount on the 8-Day Canada and New England cruise.


And here is what my suitcase looked like filled to the brim with my packing folder and cubes:


–I needed that ^^ entire suitcase just for clothes–I used another smaller suitcase (below) for all of my “Must Haves” for that trip.


I am bound and determined to fit all of my clothes and must haves into my one large suitcase…..a-n-d yes ***IF*** I absolutely cannot fit everything into that one suitcase, my Weekender bag will be there ready and waiting for me–As y’all saw, it has a lovely sheath that fits over the suitcase’s handle which will make it easy to maneuver (I only have to get it from the car to the Princess folks on the dock–We are driving to NY and parking in a close, secure parking lot).


I will be packing 5 other small bags to go into that large suitcase as well, one for my cosmetics, this Thirty-One bag:


One very small Thirty-One bag for my jewelry:


And the other three bags will hold my hair products and perfume, my Must Haves, and my hair brushes and accessories:


Fingers crossed that I will be able to fit everything into that one suitcase. 🙂  I’m ready to roll now, and as I said in my other post…I’m trying NOT to wish my life away…BUT, I just need for the time to pass so that we can once again be off on an amazing adventure.  One that will collect memories for us to cherish and relive for the rest of our lives. 🙂

Until next time, y’all take good care! ❤

~Arlynn ❤

Canada & New England Cruise Wardrobe Choices

Before I even get started here, I must say one more time that I’m no fashionista, but, I do like to try to look put together which helps me, a plus-sized girl, feel pretty–I think a nicely put together outfit can help those of us who might struggle a bit with our weight to feel a bit better. 🙂  So soldier on girls…of ALL shapes, sizes, and loveliness!! ❤

So let’s get started, our next cruise is fast approaching, we will be heading to New York–actually driving to the port this time– and will be climbing aboard the Regal (what?!!!) Princess that will then carry us to Canada & New England for our 7 night cruise.

Here is what our Itinerary will include:

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I’ve been keeping an eye on our countdown and it is clicking along nicely.  My Mama always told me to never wish my life away, and I try really hard not to do that, but, I will admit that when I’m looking forward to a cruise, I might do a little wishing that the time would move just a wee bit quicker. 😉  I’ve been trying to gather some clothes together for this trip and of course the challenge of not over-packing looms ahead of me…I will admit fully that I’ve overpacked greatly in the past. But, on our last cruise to Hawaii which was 15 days through all sorts of different weather, I managed to not over-pack too, too much.  SO, I can certainly manage to pack for a 7 night cruise without overpacking…right? Fingers crossed folks, fingers crossed!! 😉   I’m approaching this packing challenge much like I do my Alaska Cruise wardrobe challenges only I’m going to try to go with more Fall-like colors.  Also, as I mentioned above, we are driving to the Port, and we will need to get our luggage to the ship by ourselves and then we will be self-disembarking so I really need to try to  fit everything clothes/must haves/shoes/everything in one large spinner suitcase — and if I need a bit more space, I’m planning on taking a “Weekender” bag to fit the little bit of overflow going if necessary and also provide a little extra room to add some souvenirs into on the way back.  One great thing about the Weekender bag is that it has a sheath on the back of it that will allow me to slide it down over the handle of my suitcase which will consolidate both pieces and allow me to pull both with ease.

Here are the bags I’m planning to take:


The suitcase is a 29″ spinner from Samsonite.  And the floral bag is from Vera Bradley and is called a Weekender…Here is a link .  <~~ That link will take you to a Weekender bag, but not to the one I have pictured, as I couldn’t find one like it on the Vera site…what? (I bet you could find it on Ebay though–the pattern is called “Parisian Paisley”).  As I mentioned above the Weekender has a sheath on the back that will allow me to place it onto the handle of the suitcase.



I will also be taking a “Campus Backpack” from Vera (again, that link that I provided there is not the pattern I have, but Ebay is my friend when I can’t find what I’m looking for on the Vera website–This black and white pattern is called “Midnight Paisley”).  I will use this to pack up my laptop, travel papers, wallet, a little bag of necessities, crossword puzzle book, my kindle, etc…


Of course, being the geek that I am, I have placed all of my Princess Captain’s Circle pins on the front of the bag:


Now, let me show you some of the clothes that I’ve chosen and put together as possible outfits for this cruise.  I figure, since it is going to be Fall on the East Coast, it is likely going to be somewhat chilly especially the further North we travel.  So let’s start with the jacket that I will be taking for this trip, it is a Columbia Arcadia Casual Jacket.  I purchased it in a 2x which fits me fine (it is a little large on me–I usually wear a 2x/18w/tall–But, I like it that way, I can layer much more easily if I have a little wiggle room. 😉 🙂


Okie dokie–Here are some of the outfits that I’ve put together, these may be subject to change and if I do change anything out, I’ll update this blog accordingly. 🙂

Let me preface this by saying that I’m only going to be taking black slacks–no jeans, no skirts, no other colored ‘bottoms’, and no dresses. <~~~ My attempt at keeping my packing to a minimum. 🙂 Here are a couple of links to the black stretchy slacks that I wear all of the time and that pack up beautifully.  They never wrinkle and they wash up perfectly every time.

Plus Size:  Roz and Ali Slim Legged Pants

Misses Size:  Roz and Ali Slim Legged Pants





As you can see, one of my very favorite accents is a pretty scarf–Adding one really brightens up an outfit and they pack so easily and take up practically no room.

I thought I might like to take a pair of boots to wear with a couple of pairs of leggings that I have…Here are a two more outfits that I’m considering.



Of course, I need a nighttime knock-around outfit (I’ve been known to skip on off to the laundry room in such an outfit… 😉


A friend of mine (thanks Pat!!) has introduced me to “Compression Socks”, but, these are not the “ugly-white-hard-to-put-on” compression socks of old.  These socks are so pretty and will really help to prevent my feet from swelling (I never, ever have swollen feet when off of a cruise ship, but, on our Hawaiian cruise, my feet got terribly swollen for a time–They did go back to normal but, for awhile there they were not lovely and they were hard to fit into some shoes..haha).  Here is a link to “Plus Sized Support Like Crazy Compression Knee-Highs“.  They do come in regular sizes as well.  Here is a picture of the ones that I purchased and that I will be taking along with me on all of our cruises moving forward:


Shoe wise, I will be taking my dress-type boots as I know I’ll have room for them:


And also, I’ll take these two pairs of shoes–I’ll wear the Skechers Performance Womens Go Walk 3 Unfold Walking Shoe on our Excursions off of the ship.  And I’ll be wearing the Sam & Libby shoes while on the ship to dress up the outfits a bit.  And that’s it for shoes…Honestly! 🙂


***UPDATE: I am writing this on the day that I’m fixin’ to pack everything up for our cruise, and I have to tell y’all about a pair of shoes that I found.  I had worn these shoes years and years ago and for a time there, I couldn’t find a replacement pair as I wore them till they had holes in them.  Imagine my delight, when I finally came across them here.  These are the *most* comfortable shoes I’ve ever worn, and they will replace the Sam & Libby shoes that I have pictured above.  They run true to size and literally mold to your feet when you put them on…I love them!


Jewelry wise–I’m not going to take a ton, I’ve picked out these pieces so far–I love Brighton jewelry and my daughter Christin usually gets me a set for Christmas; I pictured 2 of the sets she has gotten me first.



***UPDATE:  Day of packing post here again..haha….I’ve added a couple of things to my jewelry choices.  Christin (my oldest) had gotten me this Brighton necklace for Christmas last year, I’m definitely adding it to my choices:


***UPDATE:  And then, how could I forget my old standby—I love this little choker necklace and earring set from 1928 jewelry, I’ve had this set for over a decade and they are one of my major goto pieces…classic and simple:


***UPDATE:  And my bracelets–The large bangle is actually from Vera, the two Alex & Ani bracelets are from my daughter and my cousin Stacey, the Brighton (hearts) goes with the heart set above, and the twisted bracelet is one that Chris got me literally 20 years ago and I’ve worn it every day since:


Wow, I can’t believe that that is *all* I’m going to take, but, truly, that is it! I do want to add a couple of packing tips and tricks of mine here though in case some of you are new readers and haven’t heard me lament about how much I LOVE this Eagle Creek Pack-It Folder


Here is my Medium sized folder stuffed full with over 20+ tops (this is what I took for our Hawaii cruise):


And my Shacke Pak packing cubes–I cannot stress enough how much I was able to fit into these cubes. I highly recommend them!


So, there we go, I’ll continue to tweak my wardrobe, probably until the moment it is all packed up in that folder and those cubes, and, admittedly, I might change out an outfit or two, but, this is the ‘look’ I’m going for–Outfits that are casual but, ones that I can dress up with a change in jewelry/shoes/scarves/etc…

I *think* I’m getting closer to being ready to pack my suitcase…OH, but, wait…I still have to work on my “don’t wish your life away” skills for a little while longer until it is truly time to go! 😉 I will be blogging that entire cruise, so stay tuned for my “Canada and New England Blog Series”.

Until next time, y’all take good care! ❤

~Arlynn ❤

***Final Update:  Two other things that I did to prepare for this trip this week were, one, I got my hair colored as my grays were waving back at me when I looked in the mirror…and two, I got my nails done—I have “Pink & White” acrylic nails and my little technician did a lovely little design on my ring finger nails for me…:) I am ready to pack the rest of my stuff now!!

*****And we’ve sailed!  Here are links all of my Blogs in this Series:

Canada & New England: Pre-Cruise Report

Canada & New England: Packing, Traveling, & Embarkation onto the Regal Princess

Canada & New England Cruise: Mini Suite Tour, Muster Drill, Sail Away, Princess Patter & More

Canada & New England: Newport, Rhode Island

Canada & New England: Boston, Massachusetts

Canada & New England: Bar Harbor, Maine–Lighthouse Boat Tour, Lunch at a Local Restaurant, The Crab Shack, & My Birthday Song

Canada & New England: St. John, New Brunswick (Canada)–Exploring, Shopping, Bday Tartan Cape, & More

Canada & New England: Halifax, Nova Scotia–Arrival, Lunch With Dear Friend, & Peggy’s Cove

Canada & New England: Last Day On Board, Shopping, TV Tutorial, Disembarkation Morning, and Welcome Home

Canada & New England: Collage Picture Tour of the Regal Princess


Cruising: What’s In My Carry-On, My Must Haves, and Packing Tips & Tricks

I am writing this post to try and help those of you out there who might be new to cruising, or even those of you who might have cruised before, but, like to make a little list of things to start gathering before your cruise.  I will include what I usually put in my Carry-On bag, my Must Haves for on the cruise ship, and I’ll even include a section with some packing tips & tricks. 🙂  I’ve implemented these little helpful hints on our cruises that up to this point have  been to Alaska (4 times w/3 more in the queue), Hawaii, and Canada & New England. 😉 So enough chattering from me, let’s jump right in and get started…

I’ll begin with showing you my carry-on bag and what I normally will keep with me on our journey on the jet, or even in the car.  Then, once at our destination, I’ll have the bag with me if I want to take it on excursions and so forth.

This is the bag that I used for our Hawaii and Canada and New England trips and it worked like a charm, it is a Vera Bradley’s Campus Backpack in Midnight Paisley.  I’m sure I looked like a girlie-girl carrying this through the airport and beyond, but, I didn’t care…I’m pretty comfortable with myself and don’t really care what others think. 🙂  I love Vera for its versatility, structure, and usability–I have searched for something that better suits my needs to no avail; I have made my way back to my old stand by in my Vera.


I put all of my Captain’s Circle Pins on it too–I’m such a geek! lol


So let’s see what will be in my Carry-On. 🙂

My 13″ MacBook Pro–We loaded some movies onto this and it became the holder of 1000’s of pictures that we took.


My earphones to use on the plane or in the car…


My Kindle Paperwhite — Here is a link for the case:

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A wallet with cash, credit cards, and our passports…


It also has a little chain attached; pretty if I want to use it on the ship to carry a lipstick, tissues, etc… with me to dinner…


One of these pocket folders that will hold our cruise documents and travel insurance papers.  I’m taking the other two folders in my checked luggage as well, I will use them to store our Princess Patters and any other info I collect from the ports etc…to be used in future blogs or possibly any Scrapbooks I might get the urge to create…


Here is a little video I just made with the folders that I just ordered and will be using on our next cruise:

I always bring a little notebook to be utilized for journaling and taking notes about wherever we are at any given moment in time.  I am a stickler for facts being correct…


A little catch-all bag (Vera Bradley medium cosmetic bag) with possible necessities for the flight…


A crossword puzzle book and a few pens; I love doing crosswords, it gives my brain a work-out. 🙂


Okay, so that about does it for my Carry-On, I’m betting I throw a couple of other things in there as well, but, let’s move on to a few things that I always take with me on a cruise.

“My Must Haves”:

***These are, as the title suggests “MY” Must Haves–I realize that they might not be everyones***

First of all, I was just shown these wonderful luggage tags specifically designed to hold Princess (and other cruise lines) luggage tags.  I ordered these from here; they just arrived and they are so very thick and nice, I know they are going to work really well.


I take Clorox wipes, and the first thing I do when I get to our Stateroom is wipe down the door knobs, light switches, desk area, tv remote, sink, toilet, balcony railing/chair arms/table, etc…Can’t be too careful. 🙂


I take my own shampoo.  I LOVE Princess Cruises, but I do not love the shampoo/conditioner that they have on their ships.  Their’s is housed in a nifty pump dispenser hanging in the shower (they also have shower gel…it’s not bad), but, it makes my hair go FLAT–I’m a Southern girl, I do not like flat hair. 😉

Here is what I’m referring to…This is the pump duo that was in our Mini-Suite on the Star:


So I take this shampoo with me, this is my every day go-to brand…

IMG_4634Two bars of soap, yes, I take my own soap…I like it much better than the shower gel they provide.IMG_4654I also bring travel sized shower gel and lotion…IMG_0797A little hook <~~link~~ to hang around the towel rack in the shower.  It will hold my shower cap…lol…I know, sounds silly, but, I have color treated hair and I do not wash my hair every day, so a shower cap is a necessity for me. 🙂  (OH brother, I feel like I’m baring my soul here…LOL). 😉IMG_4639Disposable shower caps…Aren’t they purdy? 😉 😉IMG_4640While we’re talking about the bathroom, let me show you this cute little toothbrush holder that I found online…Love it!  You can find one here:IMG_4631I also bring hand soap, I do not like having a bar of soap sitting on the sink at all times–one of my little quirks (I have many obviously…lol)…IMG_4630This room spray is the BEST stuff!  Just to let you know, there are no exhaust fans in the bathrooms on the cruise ship, so I find that having this “odor eliminating” room spray makes it a bit more pleasant to exist in our times…ahem, you get my drift. 😉IMG_4667

*****Just to let you know I used to have a picture of a surge protector here, but have recently found out that you are not allowed to use one on Princess ships…Here is the blurb from Princess’ safety information that you can find in your Cruise Personalizer (Go to your “My Princess”, then to “Print Boarding Passes”, then scroll down to the “Safety PDF” link).  And I quote:

“The use of extension cords fitted with surge protection devices are prohibited in staterooms. The use of non-thermostatically controlled kettles and water heaters, together with the use of irons, is not permitted in your stateroom; please do not bring this type of equipment with you.”

When I find a viable option, I will post something in here…For now, I’m planning to take a regular extension cord, or power strip with no surge protection–I definitely suggest taking *something* because there aren’t many outlets available in the Staterooms.*****

I hardly ever need to take Tums…BUT…I always need to take them on our cruises.  The food is so different, richer, and there is so much of it that I invariably over-eat and need a little relief…

IMG_4607A flashlight is nice to have, even in a balcony cabin–I just feel more secure knowing that we have one in one of the bedside tables just in case the lights go out for any reason…IMG_4672We carry a travel 1875 hairdryer with us…It would take me 20 minutes to dry my hair with the hair dryer that they provide (hung on the wall at the desk area beside the bed).IMG_0783Now, I know that a lot of people baulk at the thought of doing laundry while on vacation, but, I find that doing just a little bit makes me feel better–I hate to see piles of dirty clothes just laying on the floor (of the closet of course), and I like to save myself a little time when I get home.  So yes, I do do laundry while on board…don’t judge…;)  That said, it isn’t cheap to do laundry on board, it costs $3 to wash and $3 to dry—in tokens.  Then, if you don’t take your own detergent and dryer sheets, you have to spend more $$ to purchase them out of a vending machine type thing that also requires tokens.  OH you retrieve the tokens from the token vending machine that is in the laundry room using your cruise card as payment.

(Here is the laundry room on the Star Princess):

Image 3 (3)It is free to use the irons and ironing boards:Image 2 (5)

Can anyone say “cha-ching cha-ching” though?  I take tide pods, and Downy dryer sheets:

Did you know that the walls in your Stateroom are metal? Yep, they sure are, so I take a couple of clip magnets to be used to hold…oh, I don’t know, that day’s Princess Patter for instance…



I purchased a package of large clips, they can be used to hold your beach towel on your chair, or possibly to hold your curtains shut (especially in Alaska when it hardly ever gets dark) If you’d like some for yourself, here is a link:


Binoculars…is a thought…We don’t usually take them because we tend to use the zoom lens’ on our cameras:IMG_0786A pair of scissors…One never knows when one might need to cut a tag off of something, or a string…IMG_1018A sweet little sewing kit…

IMG_1052A pop-up laundry basket…This will easily fit into the closet in the stateroom…I’ll put a Downy sheet down into it to help with any ‘interesting’ smells..;)

A first-aid kit…IMG_1051A portable suitcase scale…Handy to have so that you can switch things from one bag to the other to try and distribute the weight sufficiently. IMG_1019Zip-lock bags of varying sizes…A tip another traveler gave me just recently. I can see me using these for a variety of things. 🙂  IMG_1142.JPG

Dramamine and Bonine just in case of really rough seas–we’ve never gotten sea sick, but, I always take them just in case.   I’ve also heard folks speak about “Queasy Beads”, but, I am not in the know about them, I’m sure you can Google them though. 🙂




I love this little (3.25″ x 0.5″ x 2.75″) travel clock, it works like a charm!  I am one of those people who, if I wake up in the middle of the night, I want to be able to see what time it is.  I found this on Amazon here, it is a Marathon Atomic travel alarm clock with an auto night light feature.


I purchased a lanyard when I was on board this last time, and I found that I loved using it! The gentleman at the counter in the Sundries shop punched a hole in my cruise card for me:


Cameras and Tech’y’ Stuff

Here are our cameras, and these are definitely my very most important “must haves”:

IMG_0785We just purchased that sweet little Sony video camera for this trip.  In addition, we’ve got a couple of zoom lens’ that usually go along with us..Also, don’t forget your download cord.

My hubby just purchased a 256 gb SSD (solid-state drive) and he has been loading movies onto it for us to watch on the laptop on the plane.

IMG_1062He said that he *might* take an external hard drive as well (1T) just in case we really do go crazy with our picture taking and need another place to store them…IMG_5333We will also be taking this device charger–It will charge anything with a USB cord attached, great to have on the plane especially if there is no place to plug in…You can find one here:IMG_1057I love to have this little camera around my neck as I walk around the ship–I probably look a site, but I love to have this with me to catch anything that might meet my fancy to photograph.


AND, I take my Selfie-Stick…LOL…I can hear you chuckling now! BUT, I love to take pictures of us as a couple and it is easier to accomplish that task with a selfie stick…IMG_4610Here we are on our last Alaskan cruise…Can I just say that I am married to my soulmate…We’ll be married for 34 years come May…I love him more now, than the day we said “I Do”…so blessed and lucky to have him…:DSCN0107

Packing Tips & Tricks

Now, let’s move on to some new packing tips and tricks that our daughter Christin provided for me…in the form of MANY Christmas presents.  My goodness, she spoiled me ROTTEN; she did her research on YouTube and came up with some great options for me to use when I go to pack!

Here is what she gave me:

The first item is called an “Eagle Creek Pack-It Folder” organizer…Here is a link for a YouTube video demonstrating how it is used. 🙂IMG_4649


Here is how I put this envelope to use; I had upwards of 25 tops in that envelope:

Next, she gave me this “Shacke Pak” Packing Cube Set with laundry bag.  I have a YouTube Travel Channel and I have created a video where I show you how I utilized my packing folder and cubes on our last cruise. Here you go if you like to take a look:



And here is what my suitcase looked like after utilizing that envelope and packing cubes:


IF those wonderful gifts weren’t enough, she spoiled me even further and gave me a couple of awesome “Thirty-One” bags…With my initial embroidered on them…what?!!  SO nice. ***THANK you Christin for ALL of your gifts!!***  Here they are:

This one is for make-up:IMG_4659IMG_4660IMG_4661And this one is for jewelry:IMG_4662IMG_4664And…The gifts kept coming:

Pill boxes…I can use one for my carry-on and one for in the large suitcase…

IMG_4653I will actually not use this nice little carry-on kit <~~similar~~ for the things in my carry-on bag as I don’t have that many fluids to carry with me, but, this will come in really handy on the night before we disembark the ship.  As most of you who have cruised before know who don’t self-disembark (meaning some carry their own luggage off of the ship), your luggage is retrieved from outside of your door the evening before you leave.  I will use these bottles to put shampoo and my hair gel in, and whatever else I’ll need for my morning routine on the last morning on the ship.


OH I also will carry this extra bag a Vera Bradley Weekender Carry-On Bag in my smaller suitcase and will utilize it as a carry-on bag for the plane trip home.  It will hold our dirty clothes from the last day on board, our morning toiletries, and anything else I find that I need to stick in it for our trip home.IMG_0798A couple of last thoughts…

First, excuse my awful nail polishing job–lol–but I wanted to show you that I always take my nail polish in a separate plastic’type’ bag…JUST in case something breaks in the plane.  I take a larger bag for my perfume and any other full-size breakable items that I take with me…I will usually wrap them in paper towels or a bit of bubble wrap so that they are padded.IMG_1141And last but not least, I always bring a cross body purse to take on excursions…This time I’m bring a Vera Bradley Mailbag Crossbody. IMG_1089

I took this sweet little “Petite Double Zip Hipster” purse with me on our last cruise, it worked beautifully for our excursions.  I purchased mine in red, unfortunately, at this moment in time, they do not have the red available. But that link will take you to the colors that are available from Amazon (which I find to be less expensive than the Vera site…usually). 🙂  Here I am carrying this bag:


And here I am with Chris’ look-alike…bwahahaha…JUST kidding. 😉 🙂 We had a good laugh with this fella though:


All righty, that about does it for now…OH wait!!  I *JUST* remembered something!!  I also take a little kit of cold meds, pain reliever,  etc…It is much cheaper to have that stuff already with you than it is to buy it on board.  They do have a small “Sundries” shop on board all Princess ships though…Here it is on the Star Princess:


ANYway, I hope that this little post will help you when start to ready yourself for your upcoming trip.  I know that my must haves are not the same as your must haves, but I’m hoping that mine spark a thought of something that you might not have thought of or realized that you might need. 🙂

Until next time, y’all take good care! ❤

~Arlynn ❤

PS–Here are a few links to some of my cruise blog posts:

This is the first post in my Alaska series, there is a link at the end of each post that will take you to the next post/day of the cruise.  I include tons of pictures, information about and links to excursions (from our latest trip to Alaska and also from past trips):

Alaska: Voyage of the Glaciers – Southbound

Here is a link to my Hawaii blog series, again, there is a link at the end of each post that will take you to the next post/day of the cruise:

Hawaii Cruise: 15 Night Roundtrip Out Of Vancouver–Star Princess

Here is a link to my YouTube video of me narrating and giving a detailed tour around our Stateroom on the Star Princess:

Tour of Mini-Suite D620

And 3 more links…Some of you ladies like to see my wardrobe choices for our cruises, so here are a few links, one for Alaska, one for Hawaii , and one for Canada and New England showing you my choices:

Alaska Cruise Wardrobe Choices (1)

Alaska Cruise Wardrobe Choices (2 and most recent)

Hawaii Cruise Wardrobe Choices

Canada and New England Wardrobe Choices