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flygirl2

Bringing folding bikes onboard

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Has anyone had experience bringing folding bikes (in a carryon bag) on the ships to carry off at port to ride around to explore? They would fit under our bed in our cabin and we would just carry them off in the carryon bag at port.

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thats a brilliant idea actually!  have never seen anyone do it but i love the idea.  looking forward to read the responses to see if anyone has experienced doing this

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Some of the crew have bikes on board and bike around in the ports, so yes, you can do that too..

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Posted (edited)
14 minutes ago, flygirl2 said:

Has anyone had experience bringing folding bikes (in a carryon bag) on the ships to carry off at port to ride around to explore? They would fit under our bed in our cabin and we would just carry them off in the carryon bag at port.

Yes.  Not I -- but a couple of my friends do it all the time.  They cruise a lot. They're not always on HAL but also on other lines and I don't believe that they've encountered a problem so far.  At least they've never mentioned it to me.

 

And one of the captains used to bring his Harley.  Yeah, seriously.  Can't remember which one.

Edited by Av8rix

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Last time I looked, bikes were on the prohibited list.  I checked and they still are.

 

Here is the link - https://www.hollandamerica.com/en_US/faq.safety-and-security.prohibited-items.html

The carry on sounds like a good idea though and would prevent any worry about you riding on or off the ship (or on the ship) assuming HAL is in agreement.  I would definitely contact them and get a reply in writing if this would be allowed.  

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1 hour ago, flygirl2 said:

Has anyone had experience bringing folding bikes (in a carryon bag) on the ships to carry off at port to ride around to explore? They would fit under our bed in our cabin and we would just carry them off in the carryon bag at port.

Most of the main stream cruise lines have bicycles on their banned items list. This happened pretty much at the same time a few years ago, after a number of fatalities related to bicycles in various ports.

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Seems to be no definitive answer on here, so I'd go back to basics and call HAL.  If the HAL rep says it's okay to bring a fold-up bike onboard, you might want to request written confirmation, just in case the ship's gate crew isn't aware of HAL's current policy.

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1 hour ago, avian777 said:

If the HAL rep says it's okay to bring a fold-up bike onboard, you might want to request written confirmation, just in case the ship's gate crew isn't aware of HAL's current policy.

Or the HAL rep isn't.

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OK,  @flygirl2, I'm going to amend my previous message.  The friends (a couple) who always took their folding bikes without a problem have not cruised in the past year or two because of some other issues.  And here's this thread:

So, apparently, this is a relatively recent change and may (or may not) be a policy unique to the CCL subsidiaries.

Hope this helps.

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Some friends took the QM2 to England and brought folding bikes.  No problem embarking in the states but at the end of the summer when they tried to board they had trouble with the return trip.  (this was last summer)  Took some strong arguing before finally being allowed to bring the bikes on board.

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3 hours ago, Av8rix said:

Yes.  Not I -- but a couple of my friends do it all the time.  They cruise a lot. They're not always on HAL but also on other lines and I don't believe that they've encountered a problem so far.  At least they've never mentioned it to me.

 

And one of the captains used to bring his Harley.  Yeah, seriously.  Can't remember which one.

 

Captain Johnny on Royal Caribbean.  Sailed with him a few times.

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A couple of years ago, we transported two folding bikes to our apartment in Spain.  Actually, the bikes were placed in two suitcases and never removed during the transatlantic transit.  I know this is different to your situation and the safety issue probably didn't apply.

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2 hours ago, Av8rix said:

OK,  @flygirl2, I'm going to amend my previous message.  The friends (a couple) who always took their folding bikes without a problem have not cruised in the past year or two because of some other issues.  And here's this thread:

So, apparently, this is a relatively recent change and may (or may not) be a policy unique to the CCL subsidiaries.

Hope this helps.

My understanding is that Royal Caribbean and Celebrity have also restricted bicycles.  NCL might still allow them.

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There was a couple onboard the Maasdam this last spring 2019–they utilized their folding bikes in many different ports. Don’t know if legal or not, but they sure seemed to enjoy their rides as they buzzed past me many times as I was hoofing it! 

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If you contact HAL, please get the permission (considering they would allow it) in writing.  It could save a lot of headaches for you at embarkation.  As all of us know, one representative at HAL says one thing, which can be contradicted by a second HAL representative.  This occurs all the time unfortunately.

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Another possible reason for the bike ban, is that the 2 people who are riding their bikes around a port will not be buying a ship's tour in that port.   Maybe it's all that simple.

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On our World Cruise on the ms Amsterdam in 2018, we saw a couple that took regular 'mountain bikes' (not folding bikes) off the ship at several ports.  So maybe they'll allow it on grand and world voyages but maybe not on the shorter cruises.

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Posted (edited)
17 hours ago, sevenseasnomad said:

...  As all of us know, one representative at HAL says one thing, which can be contradicted by a second HAL representative.  This occurs all the time unfortunately.

 

In the interest of fairness and accuracy, not ALL of us know that HAL reps contradict each other, but ALL of us do know that it does not occur ALL THE TIME.  I, for one, have never had this happen to me, nor have I ever gotten bad info from the HAL reps I've consulted.  I know it can happen, but I also know that not everyone asks questions perfectly and definitely not everyone understands answers/remembers correctly or the same way.

I do, however, agree that, on an issue such as this one, people should get written confirmation of a permission to avoid problems with ship personnel who may be unaware of HAL's current policy.  BTW this is exactly what I advised in my Post # 7 above.

Edited by avian777

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23 hours ago, flygirl2 said:

Has anyone had experience bringing folding bikes (in a carryon bag) on the ships to carry off at port to ride around to explore? They would fit under our bed in our cabin and we would just carry them off in the carryon bag at port.

 

A couple I met on another cruise did this, both taking a Brompton on-board and then using them in most of the ports. It wasn't a HAL cruise so the issue of them not being permitted wasn't an issue, and as the cruise was around Ireland, Iceland, the Faroes, and Scotland, all the ports were small and not the large industrial ones where they don't want you walking let alone being on a bike.

 

They were doing reasonable distances on the bikes - 20 to 30 miles - and were able to easily get to places that normally wouldn't be easy to get to unless you took a taxi.

 

I can understand why bikes themselves are prohibited because they take up so much space. Cheap folding bikes when folded are just a horrible lose collection of oily bits. However a Brompton will fold up into a self-locking small and neat package with all the oily bits in the middle, which you can put into a bag and nobody would even know was a bike. I own one and have taken it into many restaurants, museums, cinemas, etc without an issue.

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As with other things in life, a few inconsiderate people result in problems for many. I would suspect that the ban was a reaction to something that happened on board a ship and it is much easier to ban all bicycles (or anything else) than try to ban specific models or allow certain brands.

 

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We were given permission by NCL to take our folding bikes on a cruise from Boston to Bermuda a few years ago. The Bike Friday bikes were in large suitcases that fit under the bed. As I recall, we were allowed to wheel them on and off the ship, and were careful not to scrape the walls in the hallways or in our cabin. Because we were in port for two nights we were able to tour the entire island; many of our fellow passengers would wave to us from the tour bus as they drove by.

 

We decided take the bikes mainly because we were able to drive to the port; had there been an issue, we could have left them in the car. Although they fit in suitcases, the extra baggage charge, coupled with the new uncertainty surrounding bikes on cruise ships would weigh heavily in our decision to repeat the experience.

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