vawterf - regarding your flight - you can pay for an air deviation and get a better flight or you or your TA can book your flight independantly. The air that you get thru the cruise line usually sucks(in plain English)
I've never used UPS for luggage, but have done some really contorted flights like you are talking about. I made sure that tags were correct and I taped my name, flight #'s, and cell phone # to the inside and outside of the luggage. Never had a problem. Oh, one piece came in late on a different flight and they brought to my house. Side item- I never put my home address on luggage. No sense in advertising that I am away from home and that therefore the house is empty. Don't want it even emptier when I get there.
Marty the cautious