Lost luggage nightmare

Waiting for your luggage to arrive whether on a cruise or waiting at the airports baggage carousel is something that everybody dreads. There is always a slight panic within everyone worrying that their bag will be damaged or worse still not arrive. This is something my sister dreads the most and can not rest easy until her bags have been delivered to her cabin door, and she is one of those people who will keep running down the corridor and checking in the crew area if her bag is sitting there waiting to be delivered.


On a cruise guests are advised their baggage (depending on the size of the ship) may not arrive until after dinner that evening, so we would always recommend that if you are wanting to change before dinner to pack the clothes in your hand luggage.

However recently I have heard of more stories where luggage is going missing. On my cruise on the Independence of the Seas, 3 days into our cruise we received a note at turn down service asking everyone to check their cabins that no extra bags had been delivered as someone was missing one – why it took them 3 days to start the search is very strange however in the end I think they did eventually locate the bag an return it to the missing owner.

Another story I read about was a couple parked up in Southampton and unloaded the car, they were advised to leave their bags where they were and they would be collected by the porters and then sent on to the ship. So the couple proceeded to check-in and embarked on the ship. That evening there was no sign of the bags so they reported this to reception. Reception had the ship thoroughly checked no sign of the bags, they also had the docks and check in area at Southampton checked – no bags, they even arranged for the car park to be checked and again advised there was no bags.  The customers had to cruise for the 6 days with no cases and purchase clothes on board, in port and also any toiletries etc. When the couple disembarked they went back to pick up their car – and there sitting in the car park where they had been told to leave them were their bags !!! They had been left out in the rain to get ruined, but the scary part of the story is that car park was supposed to have been checked so quite clearly it hadn’t been, and also what about the safety and security of the car park – what if there had been a bomb inside the cases? Nobody would have noticed. Again this happened on a Royal Caribbean Cruise.

So when you get to Southampton, whether you have arrived by taxi, coach or driven – make sure firstly your case is clearly labelled with your cabin number – if you have been lucky to receive a late upgrade make sure you have changed the cabin number/reprinted off the tags, and secondly for a bit of peace of mind make sure you have passed your bag to a member of the porter staff and watched it either be loaded on to the baggage carts or on to the conveyor belt on to the ship. It won’t get your bag any quicker to be delivered to your cabin door but might ease your mind slightly.


Have you ever had a bag go missing on a cruise, do you panic and worry about your luggage until its been delivered to your door?

14 Comments on “Lost luggage nightmare

  1. My case went missing on the arrival at Singapore where we spent 3 days before boarding the Mariner of the Seas. The airline decided to send my case on another holiday. I had to buy some back up clothes.

  2. We sailed on RCI Brilliance of the Seas from Amsterdam to the Fjords and when we returned to Amsterdam we paid extra to have our cases taken to the Airport, and when we arrived at the Airport only one of our cases had arrived! We were unable to find it and had to board the plane with only one case. Our second case arrived by courier about one week later minus our name tags which had been torn off so we have no idea what happened to our case between the ship and the Airport but at least it turned up!

  3. Our luggage was removed from our car by porters at harwich docks last year. We then boarded the shuttle bus to the cruise terminal and onto celebrity infinity. It was 8 days before we saw our cases again, somehow they were left on a baggage trolley! Ruined the cruise.

  4. We cruised on the Vision of the Seas to the Baltic capitals. Our luggage was lost at Amsterdam on the way from Newcastle. We were told it would arrive the next day but in fact it was 6 days before it caught up with us! All the passengers from Newcastle had this problem and although it was a good cruise, having to wear the same clothes every day was a nightmare! The men were given complimentary tuxedo hire but the women had only the clothes they travelled in. No makeup, hair tongs, toiletries etc. We were able to buy some basics at a cost but were only allowed to claim on the insurance for items as long as we had a receipt. So this year travelling via Amsterdam again we are slightly apprehensive!

  5. Hi, really interesting article. We recently returned from the Celebrity Reflection via Rome airport.

    On our return only one of our two cases arrived, the other had been left off the plane in Rome – apparently this is a common occurrence from Rome.

    We were so thankful that this did not happen on our outbound flight but it really made us think about splitting mine and my husbands clothes and toiletries between the two cases as if would have really struggled without my case – especially as it’s currently 5 days after my flight and I’m still waiting for my case to be delivered.

    I would recommend splitting family items between cases in case one goes missing and ideally to carry a swimsuit, set of evening clothes and any valuables like jewellery all in your hand luggage just in case.

    Strangely the doorbell just rang and my case arrived – so it’s taken from Monday lunchtime to Saturday morning to get my case to me!

  6. Well I beat all you lot, on a 12 days Caribbean cruise my husbands suitcase never arrive, we were told it was still on the Tarmac at Gatwich, we were promise that it would be at our first port of call, Nassau. It wasn’t , my husband spent the whole cruise without his case. We got a call 2 months after we had return home saying that they had found his case, you will never guess where, NASSU, my husband said it had a better hoilday then he did.

  7. We always try to split our clothes between our cases, with regards to the comment about valuables you are always advised to pack these plus medical requirements in your hand baggage. I would never consider packing valuables in hold baggage and even using a taxi never leave my hold baggage out of my sight except when it is going through security scanners and I like to watch it go in one end and out of the other there if I can.

  8. Many years ago we flew from Newcastle to Philadelphia via Amsterdam but our luggage got left behind in Amsterdam and did not reach us for a further 36 hours. After a few days in Philly we flew to Aruba for a Caribbean cruise. We were most surprised to find that on arrival in Aruba we were not even required to claim our luggage at the airport but were immediately whisked away to the ship. In view of our very recent experience alarm bells should have rung at this point! On this occasion one of our cases never made it on board. Was it in Philly, was it at Aruba airport, was it on the quayside? Nobody knew. Luckily ever since a previous incident of delayed luggage I made it a rule to spread all clothes and essentials between cases so we were able to cope reasonably well and this cloud also had a silver lining. There was a rep from the US company who had arranged the cruise on board and he did his utmost to make things up to us. We were given free laundry, fruit, flowers, wine and on board credit each day of our cruise and priority boarding and seating for our return flight. He also managed to reunite us with our missing case on the final day of the cruise but never did tell us where it had been!

    What are the chances of lightening striking twice on one trip?

  9. I haven’t (yet?) had luggage go missing on a cruise, but have had problems while. We have used Amsterdam as a hub to fly to the US three times (twice to Boston and once to Washington) and on ALL three occasions at least one piece of baggage has been delayed in transit at Schiphol. On the trip to Amsterdam our flight into Schiphol from LBA was delayed, we missed the connection, we were diverted via Detroit and God knows where all of our luggage went, but it took several days to arrive (in two batches) in Maryland. On the Boston trips there was no problem with the flights but at least one bag took a further couple of days to arrive (in the middle of the night) in Connecticut. We are now VERY wary of using Amsterdam as a transit point.

  10. In 2006 we arrived at our departure port in San Juan after an eventful cruise on Celebrity Summit. We had 4 cases that time (but won’t be doing that again). We went up and down the terminal looking for the 4th case, no sign and we were the last ones there, panicking and not knowing what to do involving staff on the terminal, we suddenly saw other staff bring out a our case, phew what a relief, but anxiety and panic is not what you want when you are going home, but at least we had our clothes for the cruise and eventually to go home with.
    We are due to go on a cruise in November from Southampton, but unlike before when we went by car, we are taking the train as we fly back to Heathrow from the cruise. We will be staying at the Holiday Inn just outside the port gates, and are wondering what the procedure will be as we will be walking into the port, whether we take our cases to a porter, jumping a queue of cars or what? Any ideas.

  11. We usually fly from LHR, and have probably been fortunate that our bags have never gone astray. The fact remains that the risk of lost or misdirected luggage is greater with indirect flights. Very many years ago, when we travelled from Jersey to Geneva via LHR, British Airways staff at Jersey advised us not to check our bags through to Geneva. They recommended that as we had sufficient time between the connecting flights, we should request the staff to label our luggage to the first transfer airport only. We collected our bags from the carousel in Terminal 1 and checked them in with Swissair for our connecting flight from Terminal 2. I am sure this was good advice, particularly because the transfer involved a change of airlines and terminals. Over the years, we have met passengers from Manchester, Edinburgh, Belfast and other regional airports, whose bags have missed a connection at LHR, AMS or CDG. It took many days for their bags to catch up with the ship – and they had to endure complete cruises without any luggage. Another possibility is to book an overnight stay en route, which minimises the risk of missed connections. We have booked flights from LHR to Peru in September, and will have to change of planes in Amsterdam. Although we will be travelling on a through ticket, we will stay in Amsterdam overnight, to avoid a very early morning departure from LHR and the risk of a missed connection in Amsterdam.

  12. My friend and I travelled with Brilliance of the Seas on a Baltic cruise May/June. All went well until we arrived back at Harwich. Both our cases were missing from the hall at 7.30am – we were booked on a return coach at 8am, we now realise we had been given the wrong luggage labels the night before, despite us querying this with Guest Services desk. At 07.45 we were told they had been sent to the car park and it would take 15 minutes to get them back to the hall, at 08.50 still nothing, we were just completing the ‘lost luggage’ forms when my friends case arrived, we dashed to the coach, feeling really embarrassed as we had kept everyone waiting. My case arrived 4 days later by courier. Disappointing end to a good cruise.

  13. In March 2014 we checked in our luggage to a member of ship staff on a Hurtigruten ship in Bergen for the full 12 day voyage. We watched our 2 large suitcases stuffed full of expensive ski / winter thermal clothes disappear on the conveyer belt and excitedly boarded the ship. That was the last we saw of our cases, as they were stolen at the port off the ship. It was witnessed by staff, who did not challenge the thief, if fact they remembered wishing him a good night. It was captured on harbour CCTV. This was allowed to happen, because there is no security on Hurtigruten ships and anyone can board the ships at any ports without any ID or security checks. Therefore they can freely roam the ships and walk off with anyones’ possessions or leave anything on the ships as it sails away to open seas. Hurtigruten have refused to reimburse us for all our possessions, which due to the nature / quality of the clothing and accessories suitable for the arctic conditions and Northern Lights watching on open decks, were of immense expense. We are at least £3000 out of pocket, not to mention we had the most ghastly 12 day voyage, which by the way was our honeymoon and I have a brain tumour.
    We will never forget that horrendous, stomach churning feeling, when after searching the corridors and the ship trying to locate our luggage, because the ship insisted it must be somewhere, the shoreside informed the ship and us it had all been stolen. I would not wish that experience on anyone.

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About Me

Hello there Thank you for taking the time to read my blog and in getting to know more about me My name is Kerry James and I have worked within Travel for the last 19 years. I have worked in different areas within the industry - selling package holidays, around…

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