For the most part the cruise lines get it right. Passengers drop off their luggage at the check-in point at the pier and the luggage is delivered without a hitch right to the passenger’s door. However, sometimes people make mistakes and passenger luggage never makes it onboard the ship.
I just read a sad post on one of the popular cruise forums from a man who’s girlfriend’s cruise was ruined because the cruise line or dockworkers lost her luggage. It was a a 5 day cruise and her suitcase was left behind on the docks. The cruise line didn’t find it until their cruise was almost over. The worst part for the women was that, not only did she not have a real change of clothes, but no make-up, no evening wear, and no swimsuit. She didn’t even want to dine in the dining room because of her lack of proper attire and her lack of make-up. The cruise line did give her free laundry and little bit of spending money to compensate for the lost luggage, but that hardly made up for disappointment.
We cruisers spend so much time planning and anticipating our cruise vacations, it is such a shame to have a cruise ruined by lost luggage.
My packing tip is to always pack a carry-on size bag with enough supplies to get you through your cruise should the rest of your luggage not be joining you for the voyage. In that bag passengers should include a supply of make-up and toiletries, (travel size in the zip lock bag is you are flying), a swim suit, change of underwear, one extra day wear outfit and something simple but elegant to wear in the evenings. Pack lightweight versatile items for this bag. Include a few items for everyone in your party, and bring two of these bags if you need them. These bags get carried on the plane and carried on the ship. You should also include any prescriptions or regular medicines. This way, if the worst happens and the airline, dock-workers, or cruise line lose your luggage, you have enough to get by and not ruin your cruise. You can also use this bag as your “carry-off” bag for you departure day.
Always have a back-up and you’ll be able to enjoy your cruise no matter what curves get thrown your way.