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Carry On vs Checked Baggage


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We are brand new cruisers and have chosen next year’s Onward cruise in November to the Med as our first trip. My husband is hoping that we can carry all of our gear in two carry on suitcases as he hates to check baggage. 
 

My question is, what happens when you only have carry-ons when you embark the ship?  I’ve read that they take your bags and deliver them to your cabin. But because it can sometimes take a long time to have those bags delivered, that you should take some essentials with you in a carry-on bag. Well if everything is in a carry-on….then what happens?  I don’t think we would be able to have a back pack on the plane and another carry-on each. Just trying to figure out how we could make all of that work. I apologize if it seems like a dumb question, but we’ve never been on a cruise (well not one outside of being in the Navy 😂), and we haven’t even flown for over a decade now. 

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Welcome to the Azamara board.

Azamara does not take long to deliver your case to your room.  Your carry on can be handed over when you arrive onboard (not at the pier it is onboard a table is set up) and they take it to your room so it is there when you get access to the room - BUT caveat this was the process before Covid, and also was based on how Royal expected Azamara to work - next November, who knows how it will work.  Being Azamara they will aim to make it as easy as possible for you.  You could alternatively keep the carryons with you but mis people do not as it makes having lunch and exploring the ship a little easier.  We always hand our carryons over when we get on the ship and they have always been at our room when the rooms were announced as ready to use them (around 1330 in the past)

 

If you take all your cruise items in two carry ons only you will be able to keep this luggage with you all the time if you wanted, they will not force you to check it in at the pier.  

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It's a workable option to get by with carry-on.  Most times you can have a carry-on bag which fits in the overhead compartment and also a "personal item" such as a purse or small backpack which would go at your feet.

 

Be aware that some airlines have stricter limits (and enforcement) for carry-on bags than others.  This applies to both size and weight.   

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We've used backpack (under the airline seat) and small roll-aboard for the past several years, with absolutely no regrets.  I don't quite know how, but we still managed to overpack ; )

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As curmudgeon98 as stated above, some airlines will weigh your carryon bags, so check with the airline web page to see what limitations, if any, they have.  I seem to remember one airline had 8lb limit on each carryon.

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Major US airlines have no weight limitations for carry ons. Here's a list of the weight limitations on other airlines. None of those listed go lower than 15 pounds).

https://www.tripsavvy.com/carrry-on-bags-size-weight-limits-1861874

 

We go on cruises with a carry on bags that roll and a backpack. We follow the size rules for the bag that goes into the bin, but DH's backpack is probably larger than the personal item should be. Still, no problem on the plane. At the port we drop off our the bags and the larger backpack for delivery to our rooms. I usually carry my smaller backpack with me when boarding. We take our own bags off at the end of the cruise, so we don't have to put them out the night before and aren't delayed by having to locate our bags in a sea of luggage after we leave the ship.

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Thanks @uktog for the tip about handing over carry-ons once onboard – I didn't realize this possibility existed and it would certainly help us.  We keep medicines and computers in our carry-ons so we wouldn't trust them to the onshore porters.

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I admire anybody who can go on a cruise with only a carry on.

I pride myself on business trips where a carry on is more than enough, cruising isn't so easy.

 

I will always remember the inaugral season of Celebrity Eclipse ex Southampton. We disembarked to get a coach to Heathrow, and two fellow CC members from Kansas where waiting to board the coach with us.

Whilst chatting to them I discovered that they had spent two weeks in the UK before the cruise, then 16 nights onboard, and they only had a rucksack each that wouldn't hold what we send to the boarding kennels with the dog. Total respect.

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I agree, the thought of even sticking to one checked in case each leads to massive logistical debates when going on holiday, going on a business trip, I can do the absolute "capsule wardrobe" thing no problem.  Its great to be thinking about those logistics again!

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I agree, it's great to be thinking about the challenges of travel.

I'm looking to book flights to Birmingham for July and I discovered on Sunday that Stobart Air went into administration on Saturday. Guess what happened the subsequent prices, they quadrupled.

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6 hours ago, Qwltngcruiser said:

We are brand new cruisers and have chosen next year’s Onward cruise in November to the Med as our first trip. My husband is hoping that we can carry all of our gear in two carry on suitcases as he hates to check baggage. 
 

My question is, what happens when you only have carry-ons when you embark the ship?  I’ve read that they take your bags and deliver them to your cabin. But because it can sometimes take a long time to have those bags delivered, that you should take some essentials with you in a carry-on bag. Well if everything is in a carry-on….then what happens?  I don’t think we would be able to have a back pack on the plane and another carry-on each. Just trying to figure out how we could make all of that work. I apologize if it seems like a dumb question, but we’ve never been on a cruise (well not one outside of being in the Navy 😂), and we haven’t even flown for over a decade now. 

What we do, if we go carry-on, is both take our "roll-aboard" cases, with a small bag on top that can fit under the seat if required.  That way stuff like medications, jewellery, electronics is never far away from us.  Then we can just surrender those larger bags when we get to a hotel early, or are checking into a ship.  We've done it this way for several cruises, with pre-cruise land stays included.

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Q, as you can gather from these postings, it is not a problem. I salute you for the carry ons. We do almost the same, each of us has our carryon with our important stuff. We do check one medium sized bag with the stuff that we can afford to lose for a day or two. Shoes, extra underwear, shirts, larger liquid containers. Now you can board with the carryon luggage if you wish. It goes through the x-ray scanner, and you can schlepp it along with you if you chose. It is so much easier just checking everything you have at the port with the exception of passports, jewelry, laptops, wallets/cash, common sense items that you don't want floating around and easily lost. Usually we get to our rooms within an hour or two, right after lunch somewhere. Your main concern now should be about the quality of Azamara next year on both the new ship and the new owners. Time will tell, but currently, Azamara is a very high quality product, top to bottom. Best of luck.

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2 hours ago, Dr H said:

Your main concern now should be about the quality of Azamara next year on both the new ship and the new owners. Time will tell, .....

I would not cause unnecessary alarm in that connection.  From what I am hearing there will be many aspects of the ships service that will be even better as they will be free from the constraints (and drawbacks) of the large corporate systems that were geared to mega ships.  It will be the little things that used to niggle, say about restaurant reservations etc that will be solved, freeing up the staff to provide even better service

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UKTOG, fingers crossed that you are right. My concerns circle around the fact that the line has been out of service (like all the others) for about 18 months. No way that first cruise out of Greece is going to run smoothly, there have to be bumps. And secondly, on our last Transatlantic in 2019, I had a great chat with Heike Berdos, hotel director. Pursuit was coming on line, and she was worried. With only two ships, she was unable to promote a number of people, some of whom left for better opportunities.  But, even though she could put some of her top people in positions of leadership, she was dealing with an entirely new crew who would have to be brought up to Azamara standards, and quickly. I think she was rightly justified. Obviously Pursuit did launch, successfully until it all came to a screaming halt. Believe me, we are two of the last people who want to abandon Azamara, and only time will tell. If the new folks stand back and let Azamara be Azamara, we have nothing to be concerned about. Other than the fact it's really hard to make Azamara better than it has been. I'm cautiously optimistic.

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They are already working flat out on all that is needed to bring the ships out of service.  Then each one has a dry dock and then finally they plan two dry run shake down trips as I understand before paying guests appear in August.  But that is irrelevant to the OP who is not talking about then.

 

By November next year which will be six months after Onward has come into service any of the new crew bumps will be smoothed out so again no need to worry someone who has not yet experienced Azamara

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Posted (edited)

I've not had an issue with luggage delivery on the ship. Sometimes it's quicker than others, but the vast majority of the time I get it before muster drill and can get unpacked and then attend. I leave my carry on at the desk that uktog mentioned and that's back in my cabin often before the suitcase. 

 

I know everyone is different and have been on so many roll calls that discuss last minute how people pack and they'll get it all in a carry on/roll on. Sometimes it becomes like some competition. I can't be bothered with the stress to avoid checking luggage in. For me it's a non issue to check my suitcase in. More of an issue is the aforementioned stress of what I'm packing and will it be enough. 

 

I'm not a heavy packer, but the best tip I ever found was packing cubes. If you have a case and don't possess them, order some. They make packing life so much easier and more organised and done correctly, you can leave some items on the cube until you need it. Great for a precruise trip. 

 

Phil 

Edited by excitedofharpenden
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We have quit trying to avoid checking luggage.  And in many places where we arrive we can get a porter to get our luggage and carry it to our transfer or taxi.  

 

Since Azamara is a small ship, on small ships we usually will get our luggage delivered to our cabins before we arrive after lunch.

 

On the larger cruise ships we have been on, it seems we must be the last to get our luggage delivered and they leave it outside our cabin, so no comparison.

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On 6/17/2021 at 10:07 AM, mj_holiday said:

We have quit trying to avoid checking luggage.  And in many places where we arrive we can get a porter to get our luggage and carry it to our transfer or taxi.

 

5 hours ago, Mackdogmolly said:

We have too! I always overpack.

I'm with you guys!  Cheap enough to pay someone to do the heavy lifting, then we have everything we might want on the trip.

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Just an apropos regarding checked luggage, I was referring to luggage check for our flight to the port city. DW and I have had more than our fair share of (temporarily) lost luggage in the past. I will say, married to Delta Airlines, they have electronic tracking of each and every bag, and with their phone app, they will tell you step by step, minute by minute where your checked bag is, including when it is loaded onto the plane. Haven't lost a single case since their system went into affect. That said, we do carry our roll aboards, filled but not stuffed. The extra stuff goes into the med sized suitcase for checking. At the port check in, they get EVERYTHING, with the exception of the schlepp bags. Passports are in our pockets, money in our wallets, meds, etc are in the schlepped handbag. It makes life so much easier. We've always gotten the luggage delivered to our room either before we arrive there, or within half an hour after getting in. 

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