Bags? What Bags?

The Shirt on tour!
Photo by Sandy Kllim

"Pack light,” I suggested to my husband and daughter. We were going on a 10-day cruise, but I didn’t want our cabin overflowing with clothes we’d probably never wear.

No worries there!

Upon arriving in Rome, we watched as the carousel, loaded with overseas bags, circled by excited passengers. One lone, red, ‚60s-looking cosmetic case eventually remained, slowly traveling round and round. “Hmm,” I pondered, waiting anxiously for our suitcases. “They’ll get here,” the weary agent at lost and found assured, “Go to your hotel and we’ll deliver them.”

Never happened.

When I tell folks that we toured Rome and sailed on a 10-day cruise through the Mediterranean with no luggage, there’s a look of disbelief—and pity.
But I have to say, it wasn’t so bad. First, there’s a certain freedom with no decisions to make on what to wear.

Once we boarded Holland America’s ms Noordam, the staff became our angels of clothing. They took over contact with the airline, assuring us that once our luggage was found, it would be delivered to our stateroom.

In the meantime, they lent us clothes left by former passengers. For Frank, a tall guy, pickings were slim. But there was this great sailboat and swordfish dress shirt that fit him perfectly. It became his daily wardrobe, along with the shirt he wore on the flight.

For our formal evenings, the ship loaned us evening wear. I didn’t know that ships not only rent all sizes of tuxedos and shoes, but also women’s formal wear. Our 14-year-old daughter Sarah made a friend on the ship who loaned her a great dress. Usually notoriously late due to outfit changes, Sarah was dressed in minutes.

Frank, Sarah and Sandy—
and the Shirt in Ephesus.
Photo by Sandy Kllim

I think I was onto something here…

In Messina, Sicily, our last stop on the cruise, we spent a wonderful day touring the sites, shopping and whiling away time sampling local fare at a café.

Arms filled with shopping bags, we opened our stateroom door. Sitting in the middle of our cabin was our luggage—all of it. We couldn’t help but laugh.
That evening, we didn’t know what to do. I browsed my suitcase, but felt loyal to the clothes I’d been wearing. I zipped up my suitcase and pulled on my neatly pressed black Capris and shirt—the one my dinner mates had seen so often. “I’m wearing this,” I announced to my family. My daughter rolled her eyes at my stance and dug into her crammed luggage. We ended up a half an hour late to dinner.

If only we could arrive home to find that our luggage was lost again. Now THAT would be a timesaver.

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