1) Is the area where you check your luggage for the cruise well marked? Is in "on the curb" or in the building?
Drive around till you get to the boarding area for your ship (there will be several, well marked). Checking area will be outside, but likely in a rain sheltered area (in part of the parking garage). You won't have any trouble finding it, remember, 2000+ people are trying to do the same thing as you.
2) Do I get a "check" to document that I have left my luggage with the porter?
You will have your bags marked with your cabin number. The dock worker will put your bag into a large metal bin that will be placed on the ship. I cannot remember receiving a 'check'....just trust that it will get to your room. (no one wants to steal your undies, even clean ones)
3) What is a appropriate tip (per bag) for the porter when I give him/her my bag to be taken onto the ship?
$1. per bag, or more!
4) Anyone had their luggage not show up until the next morning after the start of the cruise?
Rarely, but it could be dinner time or later. Lately they have shown up by 4pm or so.
That's terrible!! - we have watched as the luggage is loaded and it's
really something. The bags are loaded in huge baskets and then loaded
on the ship with little conveyor trucks (sorry, I am a woman and don't know the right term !). We always have our swimsuits/shorts in a carry-on
with us - so we can change and start enjoying the pool area and spa even on the first day of the cruise (before our luggage reaches our cabin).
I learned many things on that cruise! I had shorts & a t-shirt in the carry on- but not a swimsuit . . . lesson learned!
Still, it did not ruin our trip , like I said RCI was very good about it- they had a collection of formal dresses at the pursers office, things that had been left behind- and were unclaimed . . . I found one that fit and wore it for the first formal night- the gold & silver flip flops from the gift shop!
Carnival Triumph 8/10
Crown Princess, 10/08
Ocean Princess, 11/2000
Grandeur of the Seas, 8/99
In over 100 cruises, we've only had one of our bags misplaced once,,,and that was on our last cruise! Carnivals NEW IMPROVED luggage tags got ripped off my suit bag, so they didn't know where to send it. (I guess it was too tough to cross the name on the other tag on the bag to the passenger list) In any case, I went to the pursers office the first evening, when the bag didn't make it to the cabin by 8 P.M., and they had it behind the pursers desk. No problem, just a little bit inconvenient.