Luggage - Tauck coach suitcase storage

My husband and I are headed off on our first river cruise in a couple of weeks to see the tulips ???? and windmills in Amsterdam & Belgium. We can't wait. Any helpful hints about river cruises. I plan for us each to take a larger suitcase. I am curious about our smaller suitcases that can be considered a carry on according to Luftahnsa. Will the bus be able to fit both in their compartment on the way to the ship? I know our daily use bags will need to be smaller. Due to weather variations & 10 days with no washer/dryer we may need the bags. Never mind any shopping we may do. Any helpful hints will be appreciated. Or do people just pay for laundry service? We are traveling with Tauck. Thanks for your help.

Comments

  • On river cruises the luggage storage issue isn't really a problem. It's more a concern for the land tours where there is much more handling of luggage than on the cruises.

    You may in fact be the only couple picked up at the airport by a driver with a 4-door sedan. That has happened to us on both our river cruises. On departures we have been with bigger groups but never one so big the coach or van couldn't handle the luggage.

    During the cruise, you will leave most of your belongings on the ship in your room. Valuables like your passport, cash, un-needed credit cards, jewelry, etc should be in the room safe. All you'll need with you is what you want for that days touring - money, credit cards, copy of your passport, smart phone, camera, tissues, rain jacket, hat, etc. The tour coaches have a shallow shelf above for small items - small totes, jackets, hats. Can't really use the space under the seat in front of you as there is frequently a foot rest in the way. Also the daily tours don't usually completely fill the coach so there is a bit of room to spread out if needed.

    On one cruise I used a small cross body bag made by Pacsaf and a rain jacket if it was damp out. On our fall Rhine cruise, I had a hooded jacket with loads of inner & outer pockets and no bag.

    As for general cruise guidance, in addition to your green book (I assume you already have that) read thru lots of old forum threads in all the river cruise forums. Except for itinerary details, there is a lot of similarity between the various river cruises. The biggest advice to save packing space is not to over pack on clothing and shoes and don't duplicate what the ship provides (robe, slippers, blow dryer, irons). Its not a fashion show and nobody will be paying any attention to whether your wear the same thing multiple times. After your cruise you will be hard pressed to remember what anyone else was wearing - you're be too busy having a great time. Also, pick daily apparel that is nice enough to go from day touring to evening with little or no changes - I usually change shoes and grab a wrap. The touring is fairly gentle. I compare it to a day out with the girls for lunch and shopping. Nice, but casual, with shoes that don't hurt. If you have to you can do some laundry in the sink (there's a pull out hanging line in the shower) or bite the bullet and have some items laundered on the ship (ex slacks cost 6 euros and come back in a day).

    Have a great cruise.
  • Sometimes Tauck hires an extra transport truck to move all the baggage. They are very adept at getting folks around so don't worry. All the advice from sage Claudia Sails is spot on!
    We are going April 8th (will we meet you?) and I assure you, I'm packing light!
  • Mazalea,
    Are you on the 4/15 northbound cruise? If so i think we will meet.
    I really appreciate all the advice.
    Thank you. Karen
  • Spot on, Claudia, about packing and clothes - sensible and practical as usual. The key advice must be to have what YOU are comfortable wearing and just be yourself.............others will not notice.
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