In their Winter 2012 Captains Club Newsletter, Celebrity Cruises announced: “In addition to our “Ship to Airport” luggage valet program, we are now offering “Door to Door” delivery of your luggage – from home to ship, and from ship to home.”
The new service partners with LuggageForward.com, and price quotes can be found on Luggageforward.com/celebritycruises. Pricing is based on the size and weight of your luggage. The luggage is picked up from the passenger’s home about 2 weeks prior to departure and delivered to passengers’ staterooms. Upon return, the luggage is delivered to the passengers home 1-2 weeks after return.
I decided to check it out and see how much it would cost to ship 2 50 lb bags for our upcoming cruise out of Ft. Lauderdale in March. We are flying on mileage awards, so we actually get two checked 50 lb bags each for free, but if we were just traveling as regular passengers, we would pay $25 for the first bag and $35 for the second for a total of $60 each way, $120 round trip. There also might be some tipping involved, maybe another $1 a bag for the shuttle driver, curb side check-in and dock side check in, so we’ll add another round $10 each way, bringing the round trip total to $140.
For “Door to Door” valet service for two 50 lb bags RT, I would pay, according to the LuggageForward website, $376, a difference of $230 for two bags. For some passengers this will seem a great convenience and they will jump at the chance to have their luggage picked up and delivered before and after the cruise, for others, probably budget conscious families and couples, the airline fees are still a better choice. The advantages would be that passengers who use the Door to Door service could skip the wait at baggage claim, and according to the Celebrity newsletter “Travel In Luxury.” Passengers would still probably need to pack a carry-on with all the essentials for their trip to and from their port city including medicines, personal grooming items, cosmetics and a few changes of clothes.