I’ve got to lose weight after my cruise

Right, I know, usually you try to lose weight before the cruise. But my problem isn’t the all-you-can-eat buffet on the ship. (Well, maybe I’m a little worried about overindulging at the sushi buffet on board the Celebrity Galaxy.)My problem is RyanAir’s luggage allowance for our flight to France following the cruise. The checked baggage weight limit is 15kg per person. The excess baggage fee is €8.00 per kilo. What’s the math on that? That’s $10.35 for every kilo (2.2 pounds) over 33 pounds.

Everything we needed for 25 days in Europe on our firsttrip in 2001On my first trip to Europe in 2001, I carried everything in my Eagle Creek backpack which weighed in at about 25 pounds fully loaded. This was for a 25 day trip. So what’s the problem?

If you’ve never packed for a cruise you may not know about the bewildering array of dress codes on board. I need to pack for days at ‘port’ (I’ll save my rant about referring to COUNTRIES as simply ports for another post) and I need to pack for days at sea. Then I need to pack for three formal nights and eight nights with a combination of informal and casual – still not sure what the difference is. Not to mention the week in Provence *after* the cruise. We need to pack the digital SLR camera + charger, the Handycam video camera + charger (and extra tapes to fill with excruciatingly boring footage of Istanbul, Athens and Santorini that nobody will ever willingly watch). I pack beauty supplies (and to give you an idea I use three unique styling products on my hair – in addition to shampoo and conditioner) – I can’t help it, my natural curls are a challenge. I pack far more shoes than Brian is pleased about. I now travel with a Sharper Image travel fan, because I can’t sleep without white noise. Then there’s the maps, guidebooks and assorted paraphernalia associated with visiting four countries. Also medicines, travel journal, umbrella, ear plugs, day bag, sunglasses and hey, I think I’ll take a French press with me to make my own Illy coffee in my cabin because I hear the coffee on board is swill.

Lugging the suitcase through a train station on our way to a Baltic cruise in 2004!So friends, I just don’t think I can clock in at less than 33 pounds of luggage (including the luggage itself!) for this trip. I’ve been thinking about what I can leave behind or give away and buy new of in France rather than pay to take it on the flight. I’m thinking the deodorant, shampoo and conditioner is not worth its weight on RyanAir. And maybe I can plead with my friend and travel companion Holly to cram my party dresses in her suitcase to take back when she flies out a few days earlier than me after the cruise? Maybe? Holly, what do you think?

I guess I can’t complain too much about the weight limit and fees – RyanAir is so cheap (our Rome-Marseilles tickets were €19.99 each, plus taxes and fees for a total of €97 for both of us) that even if we pay for a few pounds over, it’s still less expensive than driving. According to ViaMichelin it would cost us €165 in petrol and tolls to make the drive. It would alsotake more than 9 hours of our priceless time over there. And you know, we’ve made the stretch of the drive between Genova and Monaco – at night, in the rain, speeding through tunnel after tunnel with semi trucks barreling along past us – and it is not something I’d willingly repeat without some heavy duty nerve medication.

Still though, Brian weighs about 80 pounds more than me. It seems I should be able to check a heavier bag than he does, after all, I’m not weighing the plane down as much as he is. Then again I might if I do decide to hit the midnight buffet.

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