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Old 06-02-2013, 07:44 AM   #31
Toria
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The last cruise we carried or luggage off and it was so much easier. From now that is what we will be doing. No long lines at customs, basically walked straight through.
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Old 06-02-2013, 08:00 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by Asnell View Post
This discussion has been very interesting to me. Never having cruised before, I don't have a real idea of the size of the hallways, gangways, etc. on board. I am probably making a lot of assumptions based on how people deal with luggage in airports, on trains, cars, hotels, etc., since I have no cruise experience to compare with. It seems like the ship may be smaller and more difficult to navigate than a lot of those other places.
In airports if you have large pieces of luggage you check them at the counter soon after you enter the building or even at the curb with the agent there. This allows you to move through the airport more easily. I'm guessing they can accommodate more people without them carting all of their own luggage around as well. You pick up your bags before you exit the terminal.

For the gangway, think of the walkway from the airport gate to the plane. That is probably close to the amount of room you will have to navigate. The hallways with the staterooms are a bit narrower. Two people can pass side by side, but not more than that. Also the last morning the hosts are out already working. Their cart is half the width of the hallway. The halls on deck 3 that go from the atrium [where you exit the ship in PC] to AP which is aft are not quite twice as wide as that airport walkway.

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The last cruise we carried or luggage off and it was so much easier. From now that is what we will be doing. No long lines at customs, basically walked straight through.
This had more to do with you using express checkout and disembarking so early than the fact that you carried your own luggage off the ship. If someone does this and chooses to leave the ship later, they will encounter the same lines/wait as those guests who put their luggage out the night before.
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Old 06-02-2013, 08:00 AM   #33
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Last cruise, we couldn't exit our stateroom because a family was having a luggage parade in the hallway. The kids struggled to pull the suitcases down one flight where they then decided to take the elevator. Same family had the alarm go off in the elevator because the took too long trying to "fit" into the elevator. I want my vacation to end nicely- not with the mom & dad fighting and kids crying!
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Old 06-02-2013, 08:02 AM   #34
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If my kids were older and could control their own luggage it would be one thing. But for now we have 4 of us and on our last cruise the girls were 6 and 2. I had a stroller, carseat bag with 2 carseats, and luggage for the 4 of us. We thought about it as we have mastered the art of the luggage train but with the small elevators and the # of people trying to disembark we decided against it.

In Alaska next year the girls will be older (4 & 8) and we are not planning on having carseats or strollers with us. If we have a late disembark time, we will probably do express walk off and carry our luggage. I'm hoping to have much less luggage and the girls can carry their own bags.
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Old 06-02-2013, 10:01 AM   #35
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if I was flying that would be a consideration, plus it is just nicer not to have to jockey the luggage around the ship yourself an run into folks, and the whole elevator issue.
honestly we go to breakfast early enough @ cabanas & don't take our suitecases then run to the room for them and go get off. This last trip we turned in one suitcase night before and rolled off another and 2 carryons.
Luckily our luggage was in orange section right when you got off escalator and it was even on the end! voila.
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Old 06-02-2013, 10:21 AM   #36
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We actually travel pretty light, even for cruises. We usually have one garment bag to share, one small roller case and one carry on per person. You can always choose how many bags to put out the night before, especially if you are scrambling to pack by the deadline. That said, we choose to let the cruise line handle our bags.

During embarkation, before the staterooms are ready, the ship is very crowded with bags. People have no place to put everything and are generally crowding to the buffet to get lunch, bags and all. This is before all passengers are on board. Imagine the chaos if EVERYONE choose to carry their own bags off, were all on board and were trying to get breakfast together.

Horrible image.

Unless you really need to for some reason, I recommend setting your bags out the night before. We have never had a problem finding our bags quickly after we left the ship. A little organization goes a long way.

Before you go to dinner, pick out all your clothes for the next day and put them aside. Pack everything else you have and leave your bags in your room then go to dinner. When you return from dinner and whatever else you planned to do, go back to your room and change out of your dinner clothes and pack them up. Then put your luggage out. There is a deadline, so be wary of that. However, if you have late dinner plans, tell your stateroom steward and they will generally accommodate you.

Others prefer to wear the same clothes to dinner they will wear the next day. That can work too. Then you just set your bags out before you go to eat. Super easy and much less hassle in the morning.
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Old 06-02-2013, 10:45 AM   #37
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This thread is weird-I always carry my bags off and have never been in the nightmare some of you are describing- it's always been a piece of cake
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Old 06-02-2013, 10:52 AM   #38
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This thread is weird-I always carry my bags off and have never been in the nightmare some of you are describing- it's always been a piece of cake
What time do you usually get off the ship? That can make a huge difference.
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Old 06-02-2013, 12:57 PM   #39
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This thread is weird-I always carry my bags off and have never been in the nightmare some of you are describing- it's always been a piece of cake
I agree, although i don't carry my bags off and i have never seen any problems
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Old 06-02-2013, 08:00 PM   #40
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I must admit i am still waiting to see this ' chaos' everyone talks about We have never had a problem
I agree. Just off the Dream today and there was none of the "chaos". Of course it could vary from ship to ship and cruise to cruise but we had no problems today.

We chose to do the express walk off because we needed to be off the ship shortly after 7:00. We were told as long as we were not a cash account that this was no problem. We had very little luggage as it was just DH and I on a 3 night. We took what little luggage we had to Cabanas for breakfast (we did not block any walkways) and then straight off the ship by 7:00. Next time when we sail with the kids we will put our bags out the night before since we will have a lot more luggage but the express worked well for us this time.
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Old 06-02-2013, 08:15 PM   #41
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TWEIS: I'm guessing "No Chaos" that early hr. Express as well. . .
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Old 06-02-2013, 08:15 PM   #42
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We did express on our last cruise, but it was just DH and I. It was the last one out of NYC. We got up early hit Topsiders, had to wait for them to open, ate, went back to our stateroom and left. We didn't have a lot of luggage. I wouldn't want to do it with the kids and more luggage though!
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Old 06-02-2013, 08:24 PM   #43
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TWEIS: I'm guessing "No Chaos" that early hr. Express as well. . .
No chaos at all and express can debark as soon as the ship is cleared which is generally around 7. We had a 9 hour drive and did not want to wait until our assigned breakfast time (8) and then debark. We also had no problems with debarkation last time when we put our bags out the night before but this worked better for us since we needed to get an earlier start.
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Old 06-02-2013, 08:27 PM   #44
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No chaos at all and express can debark as soon as the ship is cleared which is generally around 7. We had a 9 hour drive and did not want to wait until our assigned breakfast time (8) and then debark. We also had no problems with debarkation last time when we put our bags out the night before but this worked better for us since we needed to get an earlier start.
Exactly, there should not be any chaos that early.
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Old 06-02-2013, 08:37 PM   #45
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They said 2 customs agents didn't show up for work on our disembarkation day. There was such a back-up that we weren't allowed off the ship until after 10am. Then we were stuck in the gangway for another 30 minutes and then in the customs line for about 20 minutes. People were already being allowed in the terminal for the next cruise when we were getting to our car to leave. I was thankful that we didn't need to catch a flight after that mess.
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