I used to be a carry-on only person. No more. I finally got tired of dragging it around with me at airports, on and off the planes, as well as around the ship before you can get to your cabin. Or maybe it's just that I turned 51 last week and I like to make things as easy as possible for myself as I get older.
When I cruise Imagination with my mom 2 weeks from Monday I'm taking my largest suitcase, and checking it at the airport, and then just bringing a small backpack containing a small purse, travel/cruise docs, my netbook pc, chargers and other electronic essentials, and my trip journal and pens, snacks, etc... I will have this backpack on me while on the ship while my suitcase gets to me later on. We will likely just lounge on deck chairs away from the pool area after we board and eat lunch, until we can get to our cabin, so we'll just wear bermuda shorts and a tank top - no need to put swimsuit and flipflops in the backpack. My small backpack is now my "carry-on."
While my mom lives in Florida, for me, especially with two flights each way, it's nice to just have something on my back instead of something on my shoulder AND something I have to drag around into each store, the bathroom, restaurants at the airports... and I am so tired of having to shove a carry on up in the plane bins, and dragging them down again..... it's so annoying!
I made the switch emotionally over my Thanksgiving '09 trip to Florida to my mom's with my teenage son. We dragged our carryons with us down there -stop over in Atlanta - but checked them on the way home and just kept our little backpacks with us and wow, what a pleasure! I will never switch back. It was worth the cost to check them. I know the suitcase will cost more, but it's an expense I'm willing to pay.
For me, carry-ons are for weekend car trips perhaps, but I'll never schlep one around when I fly again.
Now, when I retire to Florida and flying is no longer in the picture, I may reconsider the carry-on for 2-3 day cruises. but it's really the whole airport/flight thing that makes carry-ons more of a hassle than a convenience.,