August 25th, 2016

Photo Diary: Cruising to the Dominican Republic

Photo Diary: Cruising to the Dominican Republic

During a recent cruise from Miami to Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic, I had opportunities to lounge by the pool on the ship, go sightseeing in city environments, and participate in a hike deep into the Dominican rainforest. Three particular Eagle Creek products were super helpful when hiking to beautiful waterfalls, heading to the pool, and more.


The range of these travel environments meant that I needed bags that were versatile enough to handle different conditions. With that in mind, I took along three Eagle Creek products: The Gear Hauler backpack, the No Matter What Duffel, and the Pack-It Clean Dirty Cube. Here's how these items helped me make the most of the cruise experience.

Hiking to Waterfalls

I took the Gear Hauler on a hiking excursion to the waterfalls of the Dominican rainforest and on a 2,620-foot (800-meter) Teleférico cable car ride to the top of Mount Isabel de Torres. The bag was comfortable, lightweight, and kept my belongings dry.

A versatile pack, the Gear Hauler also served as my airplane carry-on bag. The interior padded sleeve comfortably fit my laptop and kept it protected. I also wore the Gear Hauler while walking through the streets of Miami and Puerto Plata and never had to worry about potential pickpockets, since the unique design of the bag meant that all of the zippered compartments were against my back instead of facing outward.

Lounging by the Pool

The Dominican beaches were gorgeous and not too crowded. The sand was soft and there was plenty of sun to soak up. The lido deck on the cruise ship was just as welcoming, featuring a sizable pool and two attached hot tubs.

Anytime I decided to hang out at the pool, I loaded up the No Matter What Duffel with towels, sunscreen, books, snacks, and water bottles, and it still wasn't even half full. The outer pocket kept my passport and wallet dry and clean, away from the items inside. When the duffel was empty, it folded up nicely, so it was easy to pack it inside the Gear Hauler.

Staying Organized

Finding items easily and making sure that dry items don't get wet while traveling can certainly be a challenge. The Pack-It Clean Dirty Cube serves exactly the purpose that its name implies. The cube comes with two compartments that can be used to store just about any type of clothing.

After wearing a pair of socks or a t-shirt, I moved it over to the “dirty” side of the cube to keep it away from the clean clothes. This simple but hugely practical item saved plenty of room in my suitcase for souvenirs and other purchases.

Obtaining Peace of Mind While Traveling

Cruising to the Dominican Republic was a great experience that was full of adventure, culture, and memorable moments getting to know the local residents. Not having to spend time worrying about the durability and security of my bags was a welcome relief.

Are you thinking of taking a Caribbean cruise? The peak seasons are July to August (when kids are on summer vacation and families can travel more easily) and December to February (when the weather is dry and not crazy hot), so try to avoid those times of year, if possible—otherwise you'll encounter crowds and high prices. If you go between March and May, you'll avoid hurricane season (June to November).

When you're packing for a cruise, or any vacation for that matter, you need bags that are sturdy, lightweight, and spacious. The Gear Hauler, No Matter What Duffel, and Pack-It Clean Dirty Cube served me well on this cruise vacation.

Craving even more packing tips? Don't miss this ultimate packing guide.

Related Links (from Eagle Creek blog)

6 Smart Packing Tips for a Caribbean Cruise

Ultimate Cruise Packing List: 5 Travel Bag Must-Haves

How to Stay Active on a Cruise

by Scott Shetler

Scott Shetler is a freelance journalist and frequent traveler who enjoys national parks, offbeat destinations, urban adventures, and everything in between. He blogs about his travels at

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