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michellet1959 May 21st, 2007 02:29 PM

For us ladies: purses vs fanny packs?
I'm torn between bringing my purse and a really large fanny pack. I guess I'm paranoid that someone might unclasp the fanny pack - as the clasp is always in the back, and run off with it. If I use a small purse that has a really long narrow strap, and I can wear it across my body, then someone can't easily run off with it. I'd love to have my hands free and not have a purse over my shoulders the whole time. I want to always have my digital camera, small note book for taking trip journal notes, chapstick, sunblock, etc on me and the fanny pack is huge, so no problem.

What has your experience been - are you more a purse or fanny pack cruiser?

rosetattoo May 21st, 2007 03:19 PM

I just went to the store yesterday and purchased a soft bag (Kipling) with lots of compartments and a long strap that fits very nicely over my head and across my body. I'm so tired of using a fanny pack and don't like to carry a bag on one shoulder. You need both hands sometimes when using the gangway, getting on and off bus and boat transportation, etc. Also, with the fanny pack, it is bothersome to use in the restroom and a nuisance leaving around your waist when you're eating and my back starts killing me if I wear it long enough because I too always throw my camera in, extra film, etc. My new bag is very comfortable, I think I'm going to love it and I can shift it very easily from one hip to another.

thecruisequeen May 21st, 2007 03:50 PM

I take my Coach over the body purse. It is small enough to fit money, credit card, sea pass card, etc. My second option would be a fanny pack rather then hand purse. I want to have my hands free.

:D :) LOL 8) :-? :-P :wink:

Donna May 21st, 2007 04:19 PM

I use a smaller fanny pack for port/excursion days and just take what I need. May-be look for a smaller one that clasps more in front and that leaves your hands free to take pics, etc.

michellet1959 May 21st, 2007 05:00 PM

I agree, it's a pain to take off a fanny pack for the restroom. But I want to have my hands free to take photos, I have a tiny slim digital camera and what I will carry will not be heavy so I'm not worried about my back.
I think I am leaning more towards the fanny pack.

lhp May 21st, 2007 05:38 PM

I have carried a Samsonite Travel Purse for years. I absolutely love it. The strap is long enough to wear across my body and thick enough that I don't worry about someone being able to "cut and run" with it.

LowPurr May 21st, 2007 05:51 PM

I'm a purse kind of person....I really don't want anything tight or drawing more attention to my "stomach area."...Besides I carry a purse around with me while at home and would be constantly looking for it if I tried a fanny pack.

Just my $.02.

Luanne Russo May 21st, 2007 06:58 PM

I use a tote bag, with a towel hanging out. People just assume that all I have is beach stuff. On the first day of the cruise, I empty out my purse, and put it in my suitcase. I don't use it again until we leave the ship for good.


GroovyDeeDee May 21st, 2007 11:47 PM

ON our first excursion in Puerto Vallerta, I bought one of those small over the body purses. I'm usually a big Dooney Bag person, but it was too cumbersome, and I didn't want to get sand in it. I loved the freedom of "wearing" purse rather than carrying. It held my digital camera, credit card and ID wallet, lipstick, nail file, gum, extra batteries, tissues and everything else I needed with no trouble. And once we got home, it took me a while to give it up and go back to my regular Dooney. I wanted to stay in cruise mode.

wakedreams May 22nd, 2007 01:46 AM


Originally Posted by Luanne Russo
I use a tote bag, with a towel hanging out. People just assume that all I have is beach stuff. On the first day of the cruise, I empty out my purse, and put it in my suitcase. I don't use it again until we leave the ship for good.


I do the very same thing, I use the tote bag for port days and sea's nice to keep your sunscreen , camera, and a book handy at all times while at sea never know when relaxation is going to sneak up on you.

Pamulla May 22nd, 2007 06:59 AM

First, I shoved my stuff in my husband's backpack: too inconvenient. I left my own backpack at home to lighten the load so I used my Coach tote emptied of all but the essentials and it worked great. Over the shoulder straps, large capacity, and easy to find stuff in: holds a boatload of stuff LOL in a pinch. My daughter would disown me if I carried a fanny pack :wink:

gitgraphic May 22nd, 2007 06:59 AM

Oh, never a fanny pack! Do you girls realize what you look like with a fanny pack on? I am an over the body purse girl! I have a Prada (fake - from e-bay) that holes everything I need for those short shore days. If we plan on a beach stay while at port, then I bring a tote.

Matlily May 22nd, 2007 10:41 AM

Who the heck wears Fanny packs still??? so not cool anymore. Find the alternatives there are loads out there. Personally I will take a nike square bag as they fold up small for shopping and stuff and a small clutch like bag with a wrist strap for the important little credit cards and stuff.

meanjean80 May 22nd, 2007 01:45 PM

I strongly advise against fanny packs. I admit I personally find them unattractive, but they also are not keeping your money safe, which is what people think they do. I have lived in NYC for over 15 years, which has its share of pick pockets (although not as bad as many European cities) and believe wearing a fanny pack is like carrying a neon sign saying "I am a tourist please rob me". Also, although I have never had my pocket picked, my friend, in Paris, had her fanny pack deftly unzipped and her wallet lifted in the span of about 3 seconds. Never felt a thing. Professional pick pockets are just too good.

Personally I have a very small Coach bag that I wear slung across my body (over left shoulder, bag hanging on front right hip), that has a fold-over flap and a metal toggle closure. As it is small enough that I can barely get my hand in there, it makes it alot harder for pick pockets. In tight places I place my hand firmly on top of it.

It's also a good idea to keep some cash in a separate pocket.

My two cents, for what it's worth!

Purple_2005 May 22nd, 2007 05:04 PM

I use a back pack for all my stuff.

michellet1959 May 22nd, 2007 05:32 PM

thanks, everyone, I think I may stay with my original idea of my small purse that had a really long strap, thick enough to thwart anyone cutting it off of me, and again I'd be wearing it, not carrying it or having to hold it against my body. It will hold all my cruise docs that I need, passport copy, tiny digital camera, pda, chapstick, walkie talkie, cell phone, tiny sunblock, and other small essentials.

CarleneCruises May 23rd, 2007 07:06 AM

Yeah Fanny packs are so 5 seconds ago. I think my head would get chopped off if my friends seen me with one. A beach bag for the days you go to the beach, and then when Iam just sight seeing I simply wear a jean skirt with pockets, stick my money,cards and camera all in the back pocket or make a guy carry it 8)

michellet1959 May 23rd, 2007 07:22 AM

my purse is zipper enclosured, I recommend that as pickpockets can easily open clasp enclosures, a zipper is going to be heard. I'vebeen hit by a pickpocket on the train home from work many years ago, what I had at the time was a small YSL shioulderbac with a belt-buckle sort of enclosure and they got my wallet out of it without me even noticing. nothing without a zipper since then.

I wouldn't care about how outof fashion a fanny nack is, but I am concerned about how easy it is to unsnap then someone can run away with it before I even turn around.

IBCRUZIN' May 23rd, 2007 11:24 AM

I no longer do fanny packs. They just look so unflattering and so "middle-aged, middle america, touristy". Part of the white socks with sandals look.

I have several small pouches that can be worn across the body or over the shoulder. I have picked most of them up at $.99 stores. I have one that is actually large enough to hold my wallet. I don't bring that with me on cruises. On a cruise I bring two. One is actually a nylon camera bag I got from the $.99 store. It is large enough to hold a camera, your sail & sign, credit card, gum, lipstick, misc. It is what I tend to walk around the ship with.

I also have one just a bit larger that is also nylon from the $.99 store. It can hold all of the above plus a bit more, like hand sanitizers, lotion, tissues, etc.

For beach and water activities, I have a gigantic canvas mesh bag with a "Macys' logo on it. Macys sell (sold) these in their stores. They are actually similar to the shopping bags that many stores have now for your convenience. It is the best $7.99 I have ever spent. It holds everything and you just sling it over your shoulder. Since it is mesh and black, sand, water, dirt, etc. are not a problem. I use this for beach days to hold my sunblock, novel, towel, swim shoes.

I also do not take anything off the ship that I can't live without. I use my sail and sign as ID and take one credit card and just enough money to last that day.

I am from NYC and I just do not let people get close enough to me to be able to pick my purse. I am not willing to get in that close proximity to anybody. However, most of my purses come with zipper enclosures.

Cruise Cat May 28th, 2007 07:30 PM

My wife does a fanny pack. She wears it so it is on one side and the clasp on the other. That way, both the pack and clasp are under her arms and hands. I walk on the side that has the pack.

mteague May 28th, 2007 10:58 PM

Small one shoulder back pack saved me from certain robbery in Jamaica last week!

michellet1959 May 30th, 2007 11:42 AM


Originally Posted by mstill
Small one shoulder back pack saved me from certain robbery in Jamaica last week!

wow, did someone grab and try to pull it off you?

jessm May 30th, 2007 02:17 PM

Okay, y'all are totally freaking me out, especially because I am going to be travelling solo. I haven't done a lot of travelling, but I have been a few places, (London, Kenya, CA) and have never had a problem with being robbed. Is it much worse in the Carribean? Have lots of people been pick-pocketed? I'm completely paranoid now!!! :shock: :shock:

Luanne Russo May 30th, 2007 02:22 PM

Please don't be. It is not something that happens very often. Just follow common sense, and you will be fine. LOL

makeda May 31st, 2007 10:22 AM

:) for sea days i have a 12-pack cooler that holds all my on-deck stuff...for port days i have a very lightweight clear backpack, i put in a towel and in the middle of the folded towel my purse stuff and camera gear so it cannot be seen :wink:

MsShel330 May 31st, 2007 10:38 PM

I carry a backpack purse which keeps my hands free. I have also wore it in front on occasion.

Libragirl June 1st, 2007 10:45 AM


Originally Posted by jessm
Okay, y'all are totally freaking me out, especially because I am going to be travelling solo. I haven't done a lot of travelling, but I have been a few places, (London, Kenya, CA) and have never had a problem with being robbed. Is it much worse in the Carribean? Have lots of people been pick-pocketed? I'm completely paranoid now!!! :shock: :shock:

I just returned from a 28 day cruise to Europe. We were warned at every port about pick- pockets. Luckily, we had no problem, but we were very cautious. I always had a bag of some sort on me. I usually kept my money in my pants pocket with a safety pin pinning it closed.

We have never had a problem in the Caribbean. The only place I would be concerned about would be in Jamaica.


cherylyoungklein June 4th, 2007 10:56 AM

For the ladies purses vs fanny packs
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.

debrn June 4th, 2007 10:53 PM

My small experience with a fanny pack is as follows: In Prague, on the crowded subway, I wore a fanny pack in front (under a large backpack which I was carrying for a friend). Within a minute I heard/felt the zipper open, and I felt my fanny pack. To my surprise, it was open and my camera was gone! I stepped back from the man right in front of me, opened up the folded coat he had over his hands, grabbed BACK my camera from him, and said, "Excuse me, this is MINE!". He hemmed and hawed in Czech and quickly exited the subway car at the next stop. Afterwards my heart was beating so fast and the other ladies just tsked and shook their heads. I have never worn a fanny pack while touring again. I am definitely an over-the-shoulder with my hand over the top gal now.

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