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Any reason NOT to disembark with own luggage?


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Have been on 3 cruises, in a suite, and have always put our luggage out the night before our last night.  Of course, this means keeping night/morning supplies and clothes, carrying them through disembarkation, and getting all back into suitcases before the airport.

It seems easier to keep the luggage (one bag, on wheels) and roll it out with us when we disembark.  Is there a reason not to do this?  A rule? A customs thing?  Does it slow us down at the port exit?

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My wife and I started doing this on our last few cruises. It really is better than putting it out the night before. No pressure to be packed by a certain time. No trying to find your luggage and deal with the porters. Just walk off and go to the car. It won't slow you down at all and there is no reason not to do it. 

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thanks guys!  I hope one day to have enough experience cruising that I can help others the way you all have helped me (this and other questions).  We just kept thinking it must have something to do with going through screening or something and didn't want to break any "rules".   Guess they are just avoiding all the passengers bouncing into each other with luggage? 

(funny story: on our last cruise one lady was apparently complaining that it was taking too long to get her luggage off the ship.  She yelled "You've had it since 10:00 last night!!"  Ummmm.... does luggage get sent ahead by speed boat??)

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I think one thing to consider as things get back to normal is that you may not be waiting in your room before getting off the ship.  You would then need to drag your luggage to the dining room/windjammer for breakfast and depending on your cabin location, could mean waits for the elevator or going up/down steps.  Even with a single bag this could be daunting to navigate.  We pack in "carry on" size bags and even then it has been a pain for the few times when we had to get off early and did the self carry option.  

 

 

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We have done it 3 ways.

1.  We've carried/took in tow our own luggage without too much of a problem.  The only thing that sticks out in my mind is the elevators that get way too packed on debarkation day (you/some folks may have not experienced that, I know) and luggage just adds to that issue.

2.  Putting them out the night before.  Sometimes not to easy to find them again, especially if you don't have unique shaped and/or colored luggage.  My wife puts ribbings on the handle.  But, so to many other folks.

3.  Star Class crew porter takes the luggage to the customs area and then we transfer the luggage to a pier porter that takes all the luggage to the car, if parked in the piers garage. 

It's always different!

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If you're just doing one bag on wheels, definitely do it yourself. I think cruising seems to attract a lot of over-packers (I can't believe the stuff some people, or even a lot of people, seem to feel they need to pack for a cruise), but that's obviously not you, so just do it yourself. 

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6 minutes ago, Zacharius said:

If you're just doing one bag on wheels, definitely do it yourself. I think cruising seems to attract a lot of over-packers (I can't believe the stuff some people, or even a lot of people, seem to feel they need to pack for a cruise), but that's obviously not you, so just do it yourself. 

LOL.  You've seen my wife's and my luggage, eh!

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The only reason I say not to is just a matter of having less to deal with on such a busy day. We have 2 suitcases each plus a personal item and that's not fun to traverse far distances with. Having someone else take it away and to the port area just means we have to deal with it less before getting to the airport.

But no, you won't be slowed down - in fact I think most people do self-carry to go faster because they're usually off first - and there's no rule about it. If it's not out there at the pick up time they don't care.

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19 minutes ago, Reigert2008 said:

I think one thing to consider as things get back to normal is that you may not be waiting in your room before getting off the ship.  You would then need to drag your luggage to the dining room/windjammer for breakfast and depending on your cabin location, could mean waits for the elevator or going up/down steps.  Even with a single bag this could be daunting to navigate.  We pack in "carry on" size bags and even then it has been a pain for the few times when we had to get off early and did the self carry option.  

 

 

Good points!  With our suite benefits, our disembarkations so far have not been crowded or very long.  Now that I've said that tho.....🙊

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I've heard of cases where people lose their luggage from someone else mistakenly taking it.  This is not usually something you worry getting on the ship since everyone going to the same place but when leaving it can be pretty annoying if it happens.  I usually pack light so just carry off myself but just something else to think about.

The person that lost the luggage was more concerned about the luggage bags then the laundry inside since they were expensive but still annoying.

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9 minutes ago, Blur said:

I've heard of cases where people lose their luggage from someone else mistakenly taking it.  This is not usually something you worry getting on the ship since everyone going to the same place but when leaving it can be pretty annoying if it happens.  I usually pack light so just carry off myself but just something else to think about.

The person that lost the luggage was more concerned about the luggage bags then the laundry inside since they were expensive but still annoying.

That's one of a few reasons why I/we prefer to do 1 or 3 from my post above.

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6 minutes ago, 1st Mate said:

That's one of a few reasons why I/we prefer to do 1 or 3 from my post above.

Even putting the luggage out I would def put something on or in the luggage so whoever took it by accident can return it... But would still be annoying lol

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11 minutes ago, CrimsonCruiser said:

The only reason I say not to is just a matter of having less to deal with on such a busy day. We have 2 suitcases each plus a personal item and that's not fun to traverse far distances with. Having someone else take it away and to the port area just means we have to deal with it less before getting to the airport.

But no, you won't be slowed down - in fact I think most people do self-carry to go faster because they're usually off first - and there's no rule about it. If it's not out there at the pick up time they don't care.

I think if we had two suitcases each, we wouldn't be considering it.  Our trips so far have been short ones and we just have the one bag each.  We have a longer trip coming up in the fall, so we will probably do KristiZ's divide and conquer method if we end up with more bags.  It's just inconvenient, trying to time getting the bags out vs. the last night activities we want to be up and about for.  We were cramming things into our one carry-on bag for our needed supplies but then would have to make sure non-carryon items got into a suitcase before getting to the airport check-in.  Guess it's a matter of weighing which inconveniences/conveniences come into play each trip!

Good to know it's not a rule we'd be breaking!

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Who shouldn't do self-assist?

Parties with children and folks who can't manage their own luggage are candidates not to self-assist debark.

Older couple where one of them can't manage the luggage and personal belongings for example.  I see this every time.  Man zooming along while wife struggles with beach bag wrapped around luggage with purse and bag of shopping acquisitions that keeps falling off requiring that she stops every 20 feet while husband now 30 feet away glares back in annoyance.  Younger version of couple adds a coffee in one hand while talking on cell phone with the other.  Oddly they get offended when you try to overtake them despite them stopping every few feet to reset everything.  It's a race dammit, and they are not going to lose to you.  

 

 

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10 minutes ago, WAAAYTOOO said:

I am one of those that lost a bag disembarking from Liberty in Galveston a few years ago.  That was the last time I ever let my bags go off the ship without me.

That's a fear of mine too, WAAAYTOO!  Maybe we'll just hold onto our luggage...

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13 minutes ago, twangster said:

Who shouldn't do self-assist?

Parties with children and folks who can't manage their own luggage are candidates not to self-assist debark.

Older couple where one of them can't manage the luggage and personal belongings for example.  I see this every time.  Man zooming along while wife struggles with beach bag wrapped around luggage with purse and bag of shopping acquisitions that keeps falling off requiring that she stops every 20 feet while husband now 30 feet away glares back in annoyance.  Younger version of couple adds a coffee in one hand while talking on cell phone with the other.  Oddly they get offended when you try to overtake them despite them stopping every few feet to reset everything.  It's a race dammit, and they are not going to lose to you.  

 

 

I promise if my attempt at self-assist goes awry, I will not only let you pass me I will wave you along! 🤣

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2 hours ago, WAAAYTOOO said:

I am one of those that lost a bag disembarking from Liberty in Galveston a few years ago.  That was the last time I ever let my bags go off the ship without me.

I have had out bags taken by someone else twice now.  We got them back but a real hassle and one bag took over a month to get back.  We always carry our own bags off, for last few years.  Not really an issue.  No problem with elevators, no stairs to deal with.  You can also get off whenever you want.  Self carry has a time slot to debark, as all the other people have times.  But if you carry off your luggage you really can go anytime.  We have a nice breakfast and get off when is convenient for us.  Highly recommend carrying off your own bags.

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17 hours ago, WesKinetic said:

Given how packed the elevators can be on disembarkation day, depending on what floor you're on the only potential downside is if you have anyone with mobility issues who might have trouble navigating stairs with a bag. But otherwise, it is definitely a much easier option in my opinion. 

I agree. Navigating the elevators on disembarkation day with luggage is no simple feat

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I always carry my luggage off. I've found that if I leave during the end of the self-assist time, the halls are empty.

On our last cruise in March 2022, self-assist started at 7:30 a.m. We left our room at 7:50 and walked all the way to immigration with no one ahead of us. Immigration agents were talking and just waved us through.

 

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  • 4 months later...

I like to be in control, so I carry my own luggage. I have the ones w wheels, but stack in my clothes on hangers, beach bag, purse, etc and have two rolling bags. Sooo, yeah, I struggle and may drop things, but I have the freedom to pack when I want and walk out as I want and not fear losing anything. It can be a pain (figuratively and literally), but, for me, worth it. 

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On our last cruise, my brother did self assist and he was off ship pretty quickly.  He had one large bag on wheels and off he went.  I was sort of jealous I had to wait.  Probably another 30 minutes or so.  We are going to try self assist next time.  We usually have one luggage each with a carry on.  I like having control over when I can get off instead of waiting for someone to tell me when I can LOL

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On 4/19/2022 at 8:16 AM, Matt said:

I agree. Navigating the elevators on disembarkation day with luggage is no simple feat

Agreed. 
 

The four of us self disembarked from Liberty yesterday so we would have plenty of time to catch our airport shuttle.  
 

We were on deck 7, and an elevator with enough room for anybody was a unicorn. 
 

We ended up tromping down the stairs.  We only had one suitcase and one carry on backpack a piece.  I wouldn’t have wanted to attempt it if we had any more to carry, or if we had to go further than three decks. 

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On 4/18/2022 at 3:07 PM, PRMLVM said:

Have been on 3 cruises, in a suite, and have always put our luggage out the night before our last night.  Of course, this means keeping night/morning supplies and clothes, carrying them through disembarkation, and getting all back into suitcases before the airport.

It seems easier to keep the luggage (one bag, on wheels) and roll it out with us when we disembark.  Is there a reason not to do this?  A rule? A customs thing?  Does it slow us down at the port exit?

The biggest (but maybe trivial) issue is finding a spot on an elevator with big heavy bags.  We found the best strategy was to ride an elevator up as they were fairly empty then take it back down.  Usually on the way down by deck 8 or 9 the car is full.  You'll stop at every floor en route to to the gangway floor and watch the disappointment in the faces of those who see the car is full.  

I watched others wrestling with the big bags on the stairs.

We also have committed to packing for a 7 day warm weather cruise in carry on and backpacks.  Warm weather clothes like shorts and tee's are not as bulky as cool weather clothes (Alaska).  No more schlepping big bags for us if we can help it.

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On 9/5/2022 at 11:31 AM, Coda_Sarah said:

On our last cruise, my brother did self assist and he was off ship pretty quickly.  He had one large bag on wheels and off he went.  I was sort of jealous I had to wait.  Probably another 30 minutes or so.  We are going to try self assist next time.  We usually have one luggage each with a carry on.  I like having control over when I can get off instead of waiting for someone to tell me when I can LOL

You are looking at it wrong. You got an extra 30 minutes on board more than he did.

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For us, it depends on what time our flight leaves, if we have a late flight and in no hurry, we send it the night before, hang on the boat as long as we can and not worry with carrying bags around except for carry on. If we have a early flight and want to get off ship early as possible, we keep our bags, usually one bag a peace with rollers, our next cruise, we have to get back to Orlando, so we will keep our bags. Good luck making your decision. Happy sailing.

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If you choose "self assist" I assume you are still assigned a time you have to disembark?  November on Mariner will be our second cruise, and on the first one (not RC) we didn't do self assist...We will have just one suitcase with wheels that we can easily manage, and will be taking a shuttle from an off-site cruise parking lot in Merritt Island as our home is not far from there---So no "time issues" as far as getting off the ship goes, I am just wondering if self assist would be a better option for us or not?  Thanks!

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Personally,  I prefer to carry off my luggage. I do it when I stay in a hotel and I do it on a ship.

However,  I do understand the appeal to putting it out the night before.  Elevators can be an issue. If you or someone in your party has mobility issues,  that also might affect your decision. 

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11 hours ago, Laray said:

If you choose "self assist" I assume you are still assigned a time you have to disembark?

If you don't opt-in, you'll be assigned a regular time to debark.  Debarkation time really only refers to when they expect your luggage tag number to be ready for pick up down in the luggage hall off the ship. As self assist, you're not waiting for any luggage to appear in the luggage hall and you're welcome to leave at any point once the ship is cleared for debarking. If you look at a list of departure times, it always has the self-assist in one of the top few time slots, but it doesn't mean you HAVE to leave at that time.

 

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