I think it is a personal comfort choice. But for me since I have to tote needs for my family(meds Epi-pen etc), a backpack is the way to go for everywhere I travel, land and sea. This time. I brought my hydration pack which eliminated the need to carry both purse and water. When the kids ran out of water there was still plenty of my 2 liters left! The minimum important items and cash are slipped into an interior pocket or into the water area closest to my body. Hands free, handy for hikes among the ruins, and comforting on a hot day.
On board it's a small casual purse to hold camera and sign and sail card and other min. essentials. Looks good when that camera or video catches you off guard!
Didn't pack the tote bag and missed it.