Thirty Days to Sail-Away!!!

2023 HAL World Cruise

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

OMG, we are so out of practice for a long ocean voyage!!!  There was a time we, as serial cruisers, could prepare for a sailing (long or short) on a moment’s notice.  Sigh, Covid seems to have sapped our energy.  As Kathy Lee Gifford would say in that vitamin commercial, “We’ve lost our va-va-voom!!!”  Or maybe we’re just 3 years older and naturally slowing down. 

Don’t know. 

But we do know it is taking us longer to get things done these days.  Of course, the world itself seems to be different.  We try to shop for those things we might need while away for months at a time and find that supplies are still missing from the stores—supply chain issues seem to be the problem.  It now takes several trips to many different stores to find what we need in the quantity required.  But hey, after Covid, we have become expert on-line consumers!!!  Gotta tell you, it’s a good thing we started early!!!

Here’s what we’re doing to prepare for a nearly 5-month cruise:

After our first world cruise in 2016, we generated spread sheets for all the mundane items we use constantly.  After a month monitoring our usage, we knew exactly how much toothpaste, shampoo, toiletries, etc. we use daily.  So, we fill 12”x 12” x 12” boxes with the necessities of life and present them, along with our luggage, at boarding.  The goal is to have enough but come home with few leftovers!!!

Here’s a photo journal of our preparations:

The first thing we do is collect the boxes.
Then we shop…
…and shop…
…..and shop some more!!!
And then we load up all those waiting boxes!!!
Shopping at Walmart in 2017 was more efficient when shelves were well-stocked and full.
Finding what you wanted seemed easier then than it does now. Selection and choices are more limited today.
But we never, ever, have trouble finding snacks and munchies…..
…..or magazines and books to entertain us on those sea days!!!
Once the boxes are done, our attention turns to luggage.
We use a portable clothes rack to plan a wardrobe.
We each carry 3 pieces of luggage. Once aboard, they will stack into the largest for storage under the bed.
In 2018, we wound up with 11 Boxes, 2 Large suitcases, 2 garment bags, and 2 rollaboards (not seen here.)
This photo was taken in 2017 but is typical of what our cabin will look like on boarding day.
However, the next morning all will be stowed and our shipboard life will be organized and efficient!!!

The 2023 Holland America World Cruise departs Ft. Lauderdale’s Port Everglades on January 3rd. 

However, we will be boarding the MS Zuiderdam early (on December 29th) for a New Year celebration. We will spend 133 days aboard; we’ll have 58 sea days; and 75 port days.

Come along and we’ll explore the world together.

It will be fun!!!

4 thoughts on “Thirty Days to Sail-Away!!!”

    1. Wishing you a beautiful journey!!! If you have not yet experienced Celebrity’s dining venue, Le Petit Chef, please give it a try and be sure to let us know what you think. (Mmm…that sounds like a solicitation for a rave review; don’t mean that; would really just like to hear your opinion!!!) We thought the technology behind it was fascinating!!!


  1. Wow! You excel at planning! All those boxes! Exactly where do you store everything from them on board? I know the Zuiderdam quite well and think it will be a good ship for the WC.
    Thanks for adding the map. Love some of these ports! NZ! Casablanca!Lisbon! Le Harve! Amsterdam! I’ll take them all.

    It is going to be a fun time for you and for your readers:) Happy packing!


    1. Thank you, Patricia! We do face a challenge stowing the “stuff” but there are always little nooks and crannies. And we use a lot of Command Strips, hooks, and this year—a multi-shelf canvas hanging cube suspended from the ceiling with magnetic hooks. We’ll see how well that works!!!


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