When it comes to bags - keep in mind that you will not be living out of them during the cruise - just using them in the airport.
I really prefer a bag that has FOUR wheels and rolls upright on the floor. That way you do not have the weight of the bag to support, it is the difference between carrying the weight and pushing it.
I also like a suitcase with a LONG handle so I can slide my smaller carry-on over the handle. Make sure you buy a carry-on bag that is made to slide over the handle (most will, but you have to make sure).
Also - depending on how much you usually pack, keep in mind that most airlines now charge you to check a bag ($25 apiece). However, here is a trick - take a bag to the gate as if you plan to carry it on - but if they make an announcement offering to check it for free - let them do it ESPECIALLY if you have a changeover in your flight - because it is a lot easier than carrying and watching two bags while you change planes.
However - I tend to avoid checking bags if my reservation includes changing airlines - because that is the most common reason bags get lost (when they are supposed to be routed to a different airline) - they get low priority.
I agree with Paul and will add that it really depends on how much traveling you do or plan to do. If you only travel once in a while, go with what works best for you and what you can afford. If you travel more often, then don't go cheap - it can end up costing you alot more in the end. Cheap bags break and fall apart; something you don't want happening on your trip. If you're traveling alot, then spend the extra money and get something that will stand up to all the abuse.
We travel all the time and our Travelpro bags have been through alot of abuse, so the higher cost has been worth it.
What's interesting is that Europeans like the hardsided bags more than the Americans do.
__________________ Travel Agent/Cruise Specialist w/12 yrs exp and 47 Cruises on 11 cruise lines! Favorites: Paul Gauguin - Tahiti: Uniworld River Cruises - Europe; Celebrity Solstice-class ships; Holland America - 12-nights Baltics & Russia; RCCL - 14-nights Greek Isles, Turkey, & Croatia; Holland America - 14-day Alaskan cruisetour; 10-night Canada/New England cruise; 21 days Hawaii w/7-night NCL cruise; Oceania - 25 days in Asia; more than 3 months touring Europe by train. And many all-inclusive resorts!
I too, have had my travel pro for years and you wouldn't guess by looking at it...It has a section for clothes on hangers, so no need for a different garment bag, plus you would get charged for two check-ins bags. I know they can be pricey, but well worth the money, IMHO.