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We do the same thing. We put our BCD and BP\W on and the rest of the gear goes into the mesh diving backpacks. We have done our best to minimize the weight of our other gear so it usually only weighs 15 pounds or so each. We usually use shorty's for diving. Depending upon how we get back to the port, we will often wear those back rather than take them off on the dive boat.
On the cruise ship we usually select cabins that have a balcony. We always clean our gear once we get back to the cabin and then put it out on the balcony to dry. Very seldom do we wake up the next morning to wet gear.
I do have to say there are times I envy those divers who show up to the dive boat with no gear at all and relying totally on rentals. Of course, that is until something goes wrong or I see them struggling with unfamiliar gear and then I am usually happy that I brought all of my own stuff.
As you know, some of the hikes from the ship to the dive shop/boat can sometimes be a bit of a stretch, especially when coming back with a wet kit. We gave up the mesh backpack in favor of the rolling duffels sold at Costco for $40. They are large enough to hold both sets of our gear, and since we sit side by side on the boat, there has not been any problem putting it under the seat if there is no other place to store it. I was surpised at how well they have held up on numerous dive trips and cruises, but they do not dry as fast as a mesh backpack (but we don't care about that.) We generally book a balcony if diving because it is just too tight in an interior cabin to put wet gear, and zero chance of getting the kit even semi-dry for the next day unless you want to take your gear up to the upper decks and let it lay out on a deck chair.
I just did the cruise ship/dive excursion routine on the Carnival Legend to Cozumel, Belize, Isla Roatan and Grand Cayman. I used the Aqualung Ocean Pack backpack. I have heard of people packing enough gear for two people into one of these. It worked fine except for one small problem which was entirely my fault. I didn't protect myself against the wonderful tropical sun, and got a bad sunburn the first day. Backpack straps on sunburn = OUCH !!!!! I didn't carry the pack correctly because of the sunburn, and ended up straining my back. Now I am enjoying muscle relaxers and steroids to get better. This was all my fault, nothing to do with the backpack. Before the sunburn, it was very comfortable and held the equipment properly with good weight distribution. It also has a side handle to carry as a duffle. If you will be in an anti-wheel situation (rough terrain and lots of sand) I would definitely recommend this pack.