I cringe when I read cruise forums where baby boomer travelers report that their luggage was delayed or did not arrive at all. Why not ship your luggage, instead?
When Alan and I sailed on Regent Seven Seas Mariner from Vancouver to Singapore, Tim Macht, President of The Luggage Club (now Luggage Forward), offered us the opportunity to try his luggage shipping service. With 52 days of cruise clothes to pack, we were happy to lighten our load on the way to Vancouver.
Are you a baby boomer cruiser who dreads dragging luggage through the airport? Do you cross your fingers once it’s on the conveyor belt, hoping that you and your clothes will make it to the cruise ship at the same time?
How to use Luggage Forward
Here’s how it worked for us:
The Luggage Forward website is easy to use. The “Instant Quote” section allows travelers to estimate how much they will be spending on luggage shipping, depending on level of service and bag size. Once you’re ready to ship, it’s necessary to join the club via a free membership.
After that, the “Schedule Delivery” button, near the top, walks you through the process. I simply needed to supply the shipping address for the ship provided by my travel agent.
Shipping luggage internationally
Since I was shipping to an international address, The Luggage Forward also needed a copy of my passport and trip itinerary for preparing customs forms. Later, I supplied a packing list of all items in the luggage to complete the process.
I called a toll free number when I had any questions. Wesley Austin-Nash, International Sales Rep, was especially helpful in assisting me through the process.
A couple of days before luggage pickup, I received packing labels with detailed instructions on where to place the documentation. A delivery service picked up our luggage on the correct date for 6-day economy shipping to Vancouver.
Our bags have arrived
Within two days, the shipping agent called. Our bags had arrived but he needed to know which ship to put them on. Somewhere during the process, that information wasn’t recorded on the papers. It turned out not to be a problem. Next time, I’ll do my part by double checking to make sure the ship’s name is listed.
Besides the convenience and security of shipping our luggage, I enjoyed the added bonus of being prepared almost a week ahead of our departure. Alan and I left home relaxed and ready for a fun trip.
Shipping luggage also takes the wear and tear off aging boomer bodies. Why hurt yourself lifting a heavy bag on and off the luggage carousel? That sounds like a pre-trip injury to me.
Easing our way through the airport
We breezed through the airport without schlepping large bags. In Vancouver we didn’t have to worry about our luggage appearing on the carousel. When we stepped inside our Mariner suite, our luggage was waiting for us on the bed.
This is a great service but I’ll admit it isn’t cheap. However, you’re receiving shipping, insurance, assistance with customs plus peace of mind.
Also, with airlines charging for checked luggage these days, you’re really not paying that much more by shipping luggage. One way to save money is to ship to your destination but bring the bags home yourself. That’s what we did.
Since this cruise, we’ve used Luggage Forward on our own dime to ship our luggage on many other cruises. The bags always arrived on time and were in our suite when we boarded the ship. It was especially appreciated when we traveled 64 days on a Silversea South Pacific Cruise.
Disclosure: This travel experience was provided by The Luggage Forward.