At the end of a wonderful holiday cruise, many travelers find they have an entire day to enjoy before boarding their flight home. Having a significant number of hours between the end of a cruise and a flight is an exciting opportunity to explore the city where you have disembarked your ship. In most instances, you won’t be allowed to check your bags with the airline more than four hours before your flight. So, what to do with luggage between cruise and flight.
Regardless of where you disembark at the end of your cruise, you can find somewhere safe to leave your luggage while exploring the city. Keep reading to learn more.
Basic Options For What To Do With Luggage Between Cruise And Flight
While it is an essential component of travel, luggage can also be a somewhat significant irritation when you find yourself in a new city, ready to explore. The presence of luggage can be a major hindrance to your adventures. People often find themselves in this predicament when disembarking from a cruise ship, and don’t know what to do with luggage between cruise and flight.
Many cruise ships disembark in the morning, and passengers not staying overnight in the city often find that they have an entire day free to explore the city before catching their flight home. In this case, finding somewhere to put your luggage during this time will be necessary unless you plan to carry your luggage throughout the entire day of adventures.
Most airlines limit how early you can check in luggage, and the airports are often inconveniently located when considering the location of the port and the rest of the city. There are also no longer any self-service locker facilities in most US airports. So what should you do with your luggage between your cruise and boarding your flight? We have outlined five basic options below.
Storage With the Cruise Line
Many cruise lines will offer excursions on disembarkation day that are designed to consume several hours. As part of signing up for the excursion, you will be able to store your luggage with folks running the excursion (typically the storage are of a large bus.)
Storage at the Airport
Some airports in major cities have commercial storage operators either located on-site or adjacent to the airport terminals.
For instance, in Fort Lauderdale, Bags to Go offers storage services in several terminals. See below for more details. Similarly, at the Seattle Airport, Smarte Carte offers short-term and long-term storage options.
Storage Through a Hotel
Most hotels allow guests to store luggage before and/or after their stays. Depending on your budget and the amount of time you have available, you could plan to rent a room at a hotel at or near the airport. Since you don’t actually need to spend the night, you could book the cheapest, smallest room. You can go straight from the cruise terminal to the hotel and leave your bag with the bellman.
Renting a Car/Car Service
You can rent a car for the day to visit your preferred sites and store your luggage in the trunk.
Another effective option is to rent a car for the day. By renting a car, you will have a place to keep your luggage safe throughout your day of exploring. In addition, you can travel easily to whichever destinations around the city you desire. You will also be able to drive to the airport and drop off your rental car there.
Other Commercial App-Based Services
You can also find app-based or internet-based services that will match you with luggage storage options in different cities. Two established options are Stasher and Bounce.
Stasher bills itself as the world’s first luggage storage network. Their service connects you with hotels and retail establishments that have designated extra space for short term luggage storage. Although the service started in the UK, it has spread to many major cities across the globe including many major cruise port cities such as Barcelona, Dubai, Galveston, Fort Lauderdale, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, Orlando, Rome, San Juan, Seattle, Singapore, Sydney, Tampa, Tokyo, Vancouver, and Venice.
You can make bookings on the Stasher website, and Stasher has an app available in the App Store and Google Play.
Bounce works in a similar fashion. They partner with a wide range of retail establishments such as dry cleaners, restaurants, cafes, delis, and hotels. Bounce has partners in more than 1,000 cities around the world.
Specific Luggage Storage Options For Florida Cruise Passengers
There are various options in the Florida area for storing your cruise luggage between the end of your cruise and catching your flight home.
In addition, to the storage networks referenced above, you can also check out the following services if your cruise ends in Miami:
- BagsAway – describes itself as “your Airbnb-style bag storage companion on the go!”
- Luggage Hero – App-based service.
- Nannybag – book through App or website.
- Radical Storage
The going rate for these types of services is about $6/bag per day.
If you also want options for a lounge experience outside the airport, in addition to storing your luggage, check out the Luggage Lounge. It offers luggage storage in a lounge setting near the beach. This facility also provides dressing rooms, wifi, and snacks.
Interested in doing a “hop on, hop off” tour of Miami after your cruise? Big Bus Miami has a ship-to-shore service, open to passengers of specific cruise lines, where they will pick you up from the cruise terminal, store your luggage, provide access to all of their available bus routes, and take you to the airport when you’re done.
Fort Lauderdale offers many of the app-based and web-based services identified above.
You can also store your luggage at the airport at one of the Bags to Go facilities located in each terminal.
One of the options in Orlando is the Star Trans-VIP luxury transportation company. They provide a variety of transportation services including airport transfers and to a variety of popular destinations around Florida. As an add on, they will provide luggage storage. The Startransvip luggage service will collect your luggage, keep it safe, and then return to collect you from any destination in the city before taking you and your luggage to the airport.
As described above, you have a wide range of options for managing your luggage once your cruise is over. Whichever you choose, we recommend making arrangements before you leave home as to what to do with your luggage between cruise and flight prior to your trip.