Thats always been a huge scare of mine. I pack as much in my carry on luggage as possible.
One couple we met on our cruise lost their luggage. They got a ship credit but there's not a whole lot of clothes you can buy on the ship. T-shirts and things like that. I never did hear if the luggage caught up with them or not.
Life is too short to let the ship of your dreams sail without you.
Carnival Destiny Feb. 2006
Carnival Fascination Feb. 2007
Royal Caribbean Grandeur of the Seas Feb. 2008 The DTW & MsBJ tour
Carnival Valor MsBJ and Dina Feb. 2009
Carnival Glory MsBJ and Dina Feb. 2010
Carnival Dream MsBJ and Dina Feb. 2011
A co-worker had her luggage lost by the airlines. You're right about the shipboard credit not being very useful. And of course, her first full day was at sea, so it was 2 days before the luggage got to the ship!
Mariner of the Seas
Carnival Magic Bloggers Cruise 5
Mariner of the Seas
HAL Statendam Alaska Cruise Tour - 09/09/12; Disney Magic - 12/01/12; Allure of the Seas - 05/26/13
Last year, we finally got our luggage on the 10th day of our trip, the seventh onboard. My wife and I had packed three days of casual clothes in our carryons; my parents had packed no spare clothes in their carryons.
In Hong Kong, my folks took advantage of overnight laundry at the hotel. They put it out at midnight and it was returned by 7:00am. The next day we got on the ship. We went immediately to the Customer Relations Manager who took over locating our luggage for us. She arranged for us to have free laundry every night with it returned by early morning. She and the social hostess loaned my wife and my mother clothes, stocking, and shoes. The head tailor came to our cabin and brought tuxedos for myself and step father and also long waitress skirts for the women.
They located our luggage. Unfortunately, it was not going to make it to Hong Kong before we departed. We made a last dash into Hong Kong that last night to do a little shopping at Marks and Sparks.
No airline would trust ground crews in Hanoi to deliver it to Hanoi which was our next stop. Finally, Cathay Pacific, which we never flew, agreed to provide security for the bags in Saigon. Ten days after we left home there was no better sight than seeing our luggage waiting for us on the pier as we sailed into Saigon.
This was great service by the ship, Regent Seven Seas Mariner. We were not on their air nor their transfers. These were frequent flyer tickets that had been modified due to missing a connection due to weather. Instead of flying through Seoul on Korean Air, we flew via Tokyo on Delta and Dragon Air. At least we flew through Tokyo, never did find out where our bags went. But even though Regent had nothing to do with losing our bags, they did everything in their power to not only locate and arrange forward travel for our bags, they gave us free laundry every night for a week and provided us clothes to wear. They did charge us $25 for coralling our bags and arranging their forwarding to Saigon which was one of the many charges reimbursed by our travel insurance.
All in all, a bad situation that became manageable.
Marc: Although I've never experienced a situation like yours, I admire your attitude and acceptance for what you went through.
Your graciousness and calm must have shown through to the people you encountered who helped you - which proves that people world-wide are genuinely good and helpful - one simply needs to act rationally, calmly and kindly to get the best results in ANY situation.
Let this be a lesson to all of us "Ugly Americans" and remember that travel entails risks, challenges and huge rewards.
I have never had this situation, but there was a couple on my last cruise that had this happen to them. It was a short cruise, and they got the luggage about 16 hours before they had to depart the ship. They had packed all thier medication in their luggage - I believe he had heart problems and she had high blood pressure. Word got around the ship and several of the passengers sought them out to let them borrow things, they were given credit at the store on the ship. It was stressful, but they remained cheerful, and everytime I saw them they were having a good time.
Reminds me of a quote from one of my favorite travel essays, which I read in a National Geographic Traveler many moons ago. It was by Steve Chapple: "What starts out as a horrible experience can lead to a memorable adventure-to meeting new people, experiencing the kindness of strangers, muddling through with style."