Could you fly to a cruise without checking bags?

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Poll: Would you fly to a weeklong cruise if you had to carry all of your bags to the gate?
Poll Results
Would you fly to a weeklong cruise if you had to carry all of your bags to the gate?

Sure -- for a cheap flight, I'll do anything.

Yes, I prefer to pack light anyway.

Why not? I have a spouse/partner to carry my bags!

I might, particularly on an airline that notoriously loses bags.

No way. Getting through the airport is enough of a hassle.

Something else, which I'll post.

Voters: 222.  You may not vote on this poll.

867 Posts
Joined May 2004
Irish low-cost airline Ryanair, which partnered with Costa earlier this year to promote and sell cruises as well as flights to ports of debarkation, is considering banning checked baggage. Our initial thought: How on earth do you pack for a weeklong cruise with just a carry-on?

Thankfully, we cleared up the ins and outs of the proposed program with a spokesman for the airline. Turns out, the abolition of checked bags doesn't mean you'd have to travel with only your carry-on. The program will actually allow passengers to bring as much luggage as they wish. Whatever they cannot carry into the cabin of the aircraft (there's still a limit of one carry-on item) will be taken at the gate by baggage handlers. (Click here for the full story in Cruise Critic News.)

Sure, the system could cut down on lost luggage. However, as a cruise passenger, I'd still consider it an inconvenience to have to haul all of my bags to the gate. Would you travel by air to a weeklong cruise if you had to carry all of your bags through the airport? Vote in our poll and post your opinion below!
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Director, Product Development
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Greenville, SC, USA
52,226 Posts
Joined Apr 2000
We have friends that we met on a trip. They went on a 12 day cruise with us from Papeete to Honolulu. They each had one of the rolling carryons and nothing else.
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110 Posts
Joined Dec 2005
However, as a cruise passenger, I'd still consider it an inconvenience to have to haul all of my bags to the gate. Could you travel by air to a weeklong cruise if you had to carry all of your bags through the airport? Vote in our poll and post your opinion below!
I think my reaction will depend on what happens to the price of the ticket: When comparing air lines, I factor in all relevant amenities (or nuisances, for that matter) that come with the ticket price. If me hauling luggage to the gate results in RyanAir reducing their prices, they just got an additional competitive advantage. If, on the other hand, RyanAir would leave ticket prices at the same level and just make me put in more work myself, they might've just lost a competitive advantage which would motivate me to choose a different airline.

What I'm saying is: Selling tickets at seemingly low prices and then punishing the customer by making them shlep suitcases, pay for seat reservations, baggage, drinks, meals, use of bathroom etc etc etc - just isn't a low cost airline anymore. It'd only be sort of a "DIY-airline", and I wouldn't fly that way.
Richmond, VA
1,520 Posts
Joined Mar 2008
Absolutely! I only own one suitcase so whatever I bring has to fit in that! It's a 21" roller which on most airlines is technically allowed as a carry-on, though I've checked it a few times. So far I've never had a problem fitting what I've needed. I tend to bring the same amount of things regardless of whether it's a long weekend getaway or, more recently, an 11-day European trip. I am looking forward to the challenge of fitting everything I need for 13 days in Alaska into that suitcase

Instead of paying $15+ to check a suitcase each way, I use that $30 for laundry/pressing services if needed. It's great not to have to get to the airport early to check a bag, wait for luggage on the carousel after a long flight, or worry about whether my bag will make the connection. Since it's small and light (and rolls), it's easy to use buses/trains to get from place to place if you are touring more than one area. I love that liberating feeling and that alone is worth it to me, even if there is no cost advantage to packing light!

I can't imagine bringing more than one suitcase, even
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Joined May 2002
We have done our last 3 cruises with just carry-ons. All it took to change our minds was British Airways losing our luggage for a cruise out of Barcelona.............
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Quebec City, Quebec, Canada
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Joined Jul 2003
No problem for me, I would pack my rolling carry-on size suitcase + another small bag or big purse and would be ready.
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I try to pack light, though I find it harder if I plan to dress up on formal nights. Regardless of dress code, DH and I can always handle our own luggage. Evidently may others cruisers can also. Self-debarkation has become very popular on several cruiselines.
Santa Clarita, CA
3,707 Posts
Joined Feb 2005
I always need to check bags unless it's a local 4-day type thing. I'm a diver so I take one bag for dive gear. It's a carry on but then my other clothes and such become the check in bag.
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We could easily pack for a week cruise using two carry on size bags. Took one 25 inch non expanded to HI for a week vacation last week for the two of us and that included mask snorkel and water shoes. United charges for each bag.

People over pack. We will be taking a week cruise in December and will use a 22 inch non expanded each for me and my wife.
East Texas/Arkansas border
673 Posts
Joined Apr 2004
How to pack for a week with just 2 carry-on pieces?

Well...let's just say, it COULD be done...if the DH wears his birthday suit. Your choice. LOL
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St. Paul, MN USA
105 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
On our first cruise a few years ago, my wife and I traveled only with carry-ons and we didn't even have roller bags at the size limit. We managed just fine, though our traveling companions saw us in the same clothing a lot of the time. We also took advantage of the laundry machines during the cruise on the NCL Dawn.

Our next trip was in a nice suite on the Queen Mary 2, for which we went completely the opposite directions, with two large checked bags each for the transatlantic crossing. The experience was no more or less convenient than when we just did carry-ons. We were even able to do a self-disembark in NYC with no problem. Of course, we had tuxedos and dresses with us on Cunard, which we didn't need on NCL.

20,462 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
Originally posted by RetireeWannabee
I never take more luggage than I can manage myself. This would not be a problem for me at all.
Ditto that!!
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1,289 Posts
Joined Apr 2001
Originally posted by Skywench
Yes, I can and I do. All I take is a 22" rollaboard and a tote bag.
Yes and all the tote bag has in it is laptop and camera.

We have been for 3 weeks with just this.

We use to wash out a few things by hand but now we send out wash twice a week. I love that free wash that comes with Platinum!!
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Libby and Jack from South Carolina
St. Marys, GA
293 Posts
Joined Dec 2004
Are you kidding?????? You couldn't get through security with your bags with normal liquids and razor blades, etc. It does have shaving for the week!!! Ryanair would probably sell all the necessities on the plane.
10,074 Posts
Joined May 2008
My suitcase is a 22" roll on board that weighs in around 40 matter where I'm traveling or how long I'll be gone.

I can carry aboard or check it. One thing is certain, I will never, ever pay to have a bag checked on an airline.......
san diego
3,163 Posts
Joined Nov 2005
as long as Costa has tied itself to Ryanair, as bad as it is and has been, I would not even consider flying anywhere for just a 7day cruise on Costa. We are handicapped and travel with wheelchair and scooter to begin with, and to add to that the restrictions of Ryan is not something we would subject ourselves to. There are too many better alternatives. I believe that prior to the 3year pact between Costa and Ryanair being finished, Costa will come to rue the day it entered such an agreement
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