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Hey everyone! What exactly do the porters do? If we choose not to use them, what does that mean? I don't remember if we used them on our last cruise, which was many years ago. We are kind of cruising on a budget and would like to not have to worry about tipping anyone or having someone "conveniently misplacing" our luggage as we are traveling with kids.

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Just now, Mrs. Thomas said:

Hey everyone! What exactly do the porters do? If we choose not to use them, what does that mean? I don't remember if we used them on our last cruise, which was many years ago. We are kind of cruising on a budget and would like to not have to worry about tipping anyone or having someone "conveniently misplacing" our luggage as we are traveling with kids.

The porters are the ones who get your luggage onto the ship.  Unless all of your bags are carry on size, you'll have to give them to the porters so that they can be put on the ship and delivered to the room.  Anything larger than carry on (about the same as airline carry on) will not fit through the  security scanners if you try to walk them on.  Plus you'd be stuck with all of your luggage until your rooms open up.  Just plan $2 per bag.  I had a porter in Seattle who took our bags so quickly and moved off with them that I never even had a chance to tip him, even though I had the money in my hand (and then I couldn't find him again).  They are not Royal Caribbean employees, they work for the port.

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Just now, SpeedNoodles said:

The porters are the ones who get your luggage onto the ship.  Unless all of your bags are carry on size, you'll have to give them to the porters so that they can be put on the ship and delivered to the room.  Anything larger than carry on (about the same as airline carry on) will not fit through the  security scanners if you try to walk them on.  Plus you'd be stuck with all of your luggage until your rooms open up.  Just plan $2 per bag.  I had a porter in Seattle who took our bags so quickly and moved off with them that I never even had a chance to tip him, even though I had the money in my hand (and then I couldn't find him again).  They are not Royal Caribbean employees, they work for the port.

Ok, thanks. I'll have to make sure that we don't pack too much. There are 5 of us total going and with 2 of them being kids, well...the bags could pile up.

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9 minutes ago, SpeedNoodles said:

The porters are the ones who get your luggage onto the ship.  Unless all of your bags are carry on size, you'll have to give them to the porters so that they can be put on the ship and delivered to the room.  Anything larger than carry on (about the same as airline carry on) will not fit through the  security scanners if you try to walk them on.  Plus you'd be stuck with all of your luggage until your rooms open up.  Just plan $2 per bag.  I had a porter in Seattle who took our bags so quickly and moved off with them that I never even had a chance to tip him, even though I had the money in my hand (and then I couldn't find him again).  They are not Royal Caribbean employees, they work for the port.

That happened to me last time too.. they were so quick, I never got the chance to tip them. I was like... geez, that was quick LOL

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Porter at debark in Orlando was a life saver!  He helped us find lost luggage then steered us to a less used elevator.  He took luggage to car and then loaded it.  My hubby had recently had surgery and could not lift any baggage.  While my 17 yr old son and I could have handled it, it was much easier with his help.

At Tampa, using a porter got us out of terminal so much faster.  They had own line so we were through customs and on our way so much faster than if we’d done this ourselves.  

Definitely worth every penny imo!

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14 hours ago, Floski said:

Do yourself a favor and save $15 or so for the porters at your debarkation.  

They can get you through customs much faster and you don't have to drag your bags all over.

You have to use them getting on, but it's optional when leaving.

I think porters are great for folks who have issues lugging their bags around. For example, my dad's using a cane now and his mobility is rather compromised. Perfect time to use a porter if there's more than 2 pieces of luggage - somewhat of a rarity for my parents, but it happens.

With that said, I'm fine with lugging my own stuff, and the ports I typically sail out of have Global Entry, and my NEXUS (best $50 I've ever spent wrt travel) grants me access there. But if I was sailing out of, say, Tampa, it might be worth the money.

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21 hours ago, SpeedNoodles said:

Anything larger than carry on (about the same as airline carry on) will not fit through the  security scanners if you try to walk them on.

That may not be true at every port.  I can share that because of communication and organizational issues in Vancouver we ended up taking our bags all the way to the room. We each had a carry on (back pack) and a regular suit case (not a small airline overhead but a full sized).  Our bags were with us the whole time and I thought it would be an issue once we reached security.  The screeners didn’t bat an eye, they just put the bags on the belt like any other bag.  They went through without any problem.  
 

Anyone who knows the boarding/customs process in Vancouver can understand that it was a little bit of a chore to make it from the entrance all the way to the stateroom, with the multiple levels at that port, but it was do-able.

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In both Bayonne and Miami we kept our bags with us through security.  Granted, we were Star Class, but I don't think that made any difference.  I believe the security scanners are all the same.  It was tight for our biggest suitcase but they all made it through - both times.

Having said that, I do not recommend that you keep your big luggage with you through security unless you are going to be going straight to your room.  Even if you are going straight to your room it could be a real PITA b/c trying to wheel big luggage through the ship and up and down elevators is a real nuisance. I don't recommend it but I do think it could be done.

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Porter at the end worth every penny.  Through Customs in no time.

Had a female porter in Ft. Lauderdale years ago.  She was "6 foot four and full of muscles."  Some guy tried to jump the line in front of us at the Customs line.  She asked him nicely to move to the back of the line.  He refused.  She said "I will knock you out."  He moved.  My money was on her for the KO.

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You know, it's depressing enough just putting your luggage outside on the last night. But then having to find them and then drag them through customs is REALLY depressing. Thank God for the porters! I wish I had one at home to unload my car, unpack the luggage and get the laundry going. I asked my wife if she would be willing to do this on our next cruise (74 days).....I won't repeat what she said nor what she told me to do with my dirty laundry. :3_grin: 

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20 hours ago, rjac said:

You know, it's depressing enough just putting your luggage outside on the last night. But then having to find them and then drag them through customs is REALLY depressing. Thank God for the porters! I wish I had one at home to unload my car, unpack the luggage and get the laundry going. I asked my wife if she would be willing to do this on our next cruise (74 days).....I won't repeat what she said nor what she told me to do with my dirty laundry. :3_grin: 

You must be on the week before us.  Too bad; I would have liked to have met you.

We're on Harmony 4/26

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We once had a luggage tag get ripped off one of our bags after we put our luggage in the hallway the night before.  We sadly learned that luggage without tags are placed into a section of the luggage claim area that passengers can not go to on their own...But our porter could.  When we couldn't find one suitcase our porter recognized the problem right away and asked us what the bag looked like.  He bought back several wrong bags...Lots of bags look alike but he finally located our missing bag.  The only help we got from the Royal people in the luggage area was we would have to wait till all luggage was claimed before they could help us.  We tipped him extra for his excellent service.

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