Putting luggage out on the last night...ughhh!

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13,925 Posts
Joined Apr 2013
Originally posted by caribill
Most people taking all of their luggage off of the ship will be moving slower than people with only carry-on luggage.


Princess designed the disembarkation schedule with the ideas that (a) those wanting to carry off their own luggage were doing so so they could leave the ship before the ship could have luggage unloaded into the terminal and (b) that those carrying off their own luggage would be moving slower and thus wanted these passengers to all disembark and be off of the passageways before the rest of the passengers started disembakation.

So although you could disembark later along with those not taking all of their luggage with them, that was not the intent of the program.
Maybe...or perhaps the idea was that those taking off their own luggage didn't have to wait while the crew unloaded the luggage for the first groups who had put luggage out the night before. It provided a way for those who needed or wanted to be off early to do it.

I'm not a bit sure that those rolling their own luggage are moving slower. True, they are likely to be rolling a bigger case than others, but I don't see myself being slower when rolling my 25 inch case than when rolling my carry on. Hopefully people who are not physically able to roll their own luggage would not choose this option. I've seen plenty of people on Princess who can barely walk or can't move quickly without any luggage...whether they put luggage out or not, they won't be moving at any significant speed.

Point--I don't see the self disembarkation option early as a way Princess designed to allow these individuals to be slower than others, and in most cases I don't think they are. I see it as a way to get those who need to be off early an option to do so, while crew is still unloading luggage for the early "groups." If someone rolling their own bags stays on board till 9am, that will take up elevator space and make life a bit crowded in the breakfast venues.
5,162 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
We always self disembark as we are not comfortable leaving our luggage out the night before. We are never in a hurry as we usually have a flight that isn't leaving until afternoon. Princess has never said anything to us when we show up well past the self-disembark time. What can they say? "You missed your time slot so now you have to wait until everyone else gets off?" We just fall in line behind whatever group is getting off when we are ready to leave, show them our "color" and keep on going. I appreciate the fact that they do check your tags to make sure you are not "jumping the line" If you try, they will politely tell you that your "color" is in lounge such and such and they will let you know when it is your turn if you do have a designated time and are time challenged and show up prior to that time.. I think their disembarkation process is about the best out there. They put you in a lounge, no public announcements calling your "color," and when it is your time, they come get you and escort you. The line moves efficiently as there are not the crowds of people on the stairs, passageways, etc. that you have to work around.
League City, TX
42,004 Posts
Joined Sep 2005
Originally posted by Tucker in Texas
We just fall in line behind whatever group is getting off when we are ready to leave, show them our "color" and keep on going. I appreciate the fact that they do check your tags to make sure you are not "jumping the line" If you try, they will politely tell you that your "color" is in lounge such and such and they will let you know when it is your turn if you do have a designated time and are time challenged and show up prior to that time.
I have never been asked to show my "color" tag when disembarking.
sw, Fl - Fort Myers Area
8,011 Posts
Joined Nov 2015
Originally posted by Tucker in Texas
We always self disembark as we are not comfortable leaving our luggage out the night before. We are never in a hurry as we usually have a flight that isn't leaving until afternoon. Princess has never said anything to us when we show up well past the self-disembark time. What can they say? "You missed your time slot so now you have to wait until everyone else gets off?" We just fall in line behind whatever group is getting off when we are ready to leave, show them our "color" and keep on going. I appreciate the fact that they do check your tags to make sure you are not "jumping the line" If you try, they will politely tell you that your "color" is in lounge such and such and they will let you know when it is your turn if you do have a designated time and are time challenged and show up prior to that time.. I think their disembarkation process is about the best out there. They put you in a lounge, no public announcements calling your "color," and when it is your time, they come get you and escort you. The line moves efficiently as there are not the crowds of people on the stairs, passageways, etc. that you have to work around.
The tag colors are only issued to guide people to the correct group of luggage in the terminal.

No one will tell you to go back & get off later. If you do get off to early, your luggage just might not be unloaded yet.
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S 645/72/826/90
14,859 Posts
Joined May 2005
Originally posted by caribill
I have never been asked to show my "color" tag when disembarking.
I have more than once......if they are behind on disembarkation...it can become pretty crazy...probably another reason they pulled out of Houston
sw, Fl - Fort Myers Area
8,011 Posts
Joined Nov 2015
Originally posted by land lover
I have more than once......if they are behind on disembarkation...it can become pretty crazy...probably another reason they pulled out of Houston
That's no problem.
Just request an earlier color tag ahead of time to show them on the way out, whenever you leave.
The only problem is that your luggage might not be unloaded when you arrive at the terminal.
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S 645/72/826/90
14 Miles From LA Port
2,720 Posts
Joined Feb 2002
What most don't realize, the luggage is presorted for off loading. Luggage is divided by the same grouping of disembarkation order. Pax can go through customs faster than the bags are loaded out. General disembarkation is not allowed until several sections of bags are in the center. No need to have hundreds standing around an empty warehouse waiting for bags. The reasoning to have all the self disembarking folks together is customs. Inspection equipment and/or dogs in place. As far as ship personnel, their only concern is the OK to start the process
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5,162 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
Originally posted by floridalover5623
The tag colors are only issued to guide people to the correct group of luggage in the terminal.

No one will tell you to go back & get off later. If you do get off to early, your luggage just might not be unloaded yet.
I stand corrected. They don't call by colors but by a number on your disembarkation tag. They will call numbers in groups like 40-55. The color is to assist you in finding your luggage in the terminal.

However, if they call 40-55 and you are 65-80, they will send you back to wait for your number. That is why they ask you to retain a "stub" from your disembarkation tag to show when you are exiting the ship. At least that is the way I remember it.
13,925 Posts
Joined Apr 2013
Different cruise lines have different ways of doing things. At many ports, there is not sufficient room to place out all the luggage at one time. And to do so would result in VERY long lines at Customs.

Yes, the luggage is sorted while on the ship and the groups are unloaded into the terminal in the order that they are to be allowed off the ship. This provides a way to allow guests to remain seated on board rather than standing in endless lines in the terminal as well as a way to manage the luggage unloading process.

The luggage tags on our last cruise had both a color and a number. For instance, we were "silver 3." If you looked at the list of various disembarkation times, there were 3 groups that were "silver." Silver 1 and Silver 2 had much earlier disembarkation times than we had. I figured that the "save your stub" was so that people could remember their group number; we were asked for it once.

There were also groups like Red 1, Red 2, and Red 3, all with different times. Bottom line, if you do what you are asked to do, the system works well. The tags are distributed based on the information you supplied to Princess concerning your post-cruise plans. If you are assigned a time that doesn't work for you, simply go to Passenger Services and they will issue you a new tag/time. No worries. Each group is called in order at approximately the time indicated on the disembarkation schedule. It might be a little earlier or later depending on how the lines thru Customs are flowing. The few self disembarkers don't mess up the system. The one time we had a long Customs line was in Houston (where else?) I even asked the Princess rep why they didn't designate a few Customs desks for non-US citizens, which would have allowed the US citizens to clear much more quickly. She said that was supposed to be the system but something had been messed up and there were non-citizens at all the lines...and Customs was being very thorough....which is their job.
League City, TX
42,004 Posts
Joined Sep 2005
Originally posted by moki'smommy
The one time we had a long Customs line was in Houston (where else?) I even asked the Princess rep why they didn't designate a few Customs desks for non-US citizens, which would have allowed the US citizens to clear much more quickly. She said that was supposed to be the system but something had been messed up and there were non-citizens at all the lines...and Customs was being very thorough....which is their job.
I agree something had been messed up. Each time we disembarked in Houston there were two booths dedicated to non-citizens.

Unlike, for example, Fort Lauderdale, most of the time in Houston there was just one ship a week and some of the time two ships a week. So there was not a dedicated immigration/customs staff that showed up every day.
modesto ca
11 Posts
Joined Jan 2011
I also feel that the luggage pickup in the terminal can be improved, like show cruise ID before taking luggage. We recently returned from ocean to ocean panama canal cruise that ended in San Francisco. When we finally got off the ship and were collecting our luggage, most had already been taken, we discovered that one of them was missing. Informed staff and they completed paper worked and along with ported looked all over for this one piece of luggage. I even went outside to where people where either getting picked up or dropped off, for next cruise, and checked all the luggage I could but no luck. Not knowing my wife was doing the safe thing this time she found our luggage about to be loaded into a large van with a group of about 10 also ready to board. She stopped them from loading and told them that this was her luggage. It even had a large RED TAG that read "THIS IS MINE" the lady that was about to load it told her "I was wondering who this belonged too"!!!!! Needless to say BE VERY CAREFUL and make sure no valuables are placed into your luggage just dirty clothes....
13,925 Posts
Joined Apr 2013
Originally posted by caribill
I agree something had been messed up. Each time we disembarked in Houston there were two booths dedicated to non-citizens.

Unlike, for example, Fort Lauderdale, most of the time in Houston there was just one ship a week and some of the time two ships a week. So there was not a dedicated immigration/customs staff that showed up every day.
We also had a large group of non-US citizens on board...which might have contributed to the mess at Customs. Whatever...Houston is no longer a port for any cruise line as far as I know.

As to the woman who "didn't know who the luggage belonged to," they WHY are you loading it onto your transportation vehicle without looking at the name on the ID tag? Some people are just idiots.
League City, TX
42,004 Posts
Joined Sep 2005
Originally posted by cruise209
I also feel that the luggage pickup in the terminal can be improved, like show cruise ID before taking luggage.
Airports used to require passengers to show luggage tags when picking up luggage at the end of the flight. Only a handful of airports still do this.
Port St. Lucie, FL
3,057 Posts
Joined Mar 2002
Originally posted by JF - retired RRT
Me either.
Neither have I been asked to show my tag, but I always have one in my pocket just in case.
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Sunderland England
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Joined Dec 2016
Originally posted by Grego
Neither have I been asked to show my tag, but I always have one in my pocket just in case.
I have flown in Europe for 50 years and we have flown 28 times to Orlando,once to New York and once to San Juan in the last 25 years and never been asked for a bag tag.
Personally i think it is a very good idea.

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Riverside, CA
3,222 Posts
Joined Mar 2013
Originally posted by caribill
Airports used to require passengers to show luggage tags when picking up luggage at the end of the flight. Only a handful of airports still do this.
Even when they did this, I had my suitcase taken. Got it back the next day when the people who took it realise their mistake.
I saw theirs on the carowsal, but security swore that my bag could not have gotten through without them checking.
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