First, and foremost, I only travel with a carry-on suitcase. I am always tempted to bring 15 pairs of shoes, as I am sure many women are tempted to do when traveling, but I resist. I know that I will live in one pair of sturdy shoes for hiking around the cities, and, I will live in one pair of cute sandals on the cruise ship. In lieu of my comfy pink fuzzy slippers, I will bring cashmere slipper socks for lounging in the room. Although the trip is 14 days, I will bring half that number of tops. I will plan to wear each shirt two different days during that time period. I find that dividing your travel days by half will give you a good idea of the number of shirts to bring. This is generally adequate, unless you are a clothes horse. The cruise ship has self-service washers and dryers, as well as, laundry service. I also limit pants to all-purpose blue or black ones, along with some capris, and a skirt. I plan to skip the formal nights in the dining room and eat elsewhere on those evenings, and, I can always dress up a skirt and top a bit for semi-formal nights in the dining room.
If you really want to attend the formal dining evenings, you can often rent dresses through the cruise line and have them delivered to your cabin. To help things out further, I only pack items that will mix and match with everything else and are in basic colors and no-wrinkle fabrics. If you really feel the need to dress up those basic items further, then you are probably a shopper who will enjoy looking for fabulous jewelry, scarves, and other accessories to wear during the cruise. Don’t bother bringing your accessories from home and enjoy the excuse to shop—you were probably going to anyway. As a bonus, those souvenirs generally take up very little room in your suitcase at the end of the cruise. Are you a minimalist when it comes to packing?