Is it possible to mail your film to yourself the the hotel where you'll be before the cruise starts? All the posts about scanning film at the airports have me nervous of trying to take my film with me. My husband who travels a lot on business says that even hand scanning can be done over and over and very slowly. Has anyone tried mailing your film in advance? What do you all think of the idea?
How do you know it will not be xrayed if you mail it? Doesn't most mail go on airplanes these days? I would request that you take your film with you and ask that it be hand checked by the airlines. I have not done this but I have read that other people do it all of the time. Also, you will have the same problem every time you get on the ship because they have the same xray machines. If you are worried you will have to ask them to hand check your film then, too. On our last cruise we figured out that our film was xrayed at least 5 times and we could not see any damage to the pictures. Maybe we were just lucky. I have also read that the higher the film speed the more chance of it being effected by the xray machines. I hope this helps!
Last year on a Christmas cruise to Australia and New Zealand I carried MANY rolls of film in a professional lead film bag. We did a cruisetour throughout Australia so we had many flights. To make a long story short, the film was trashed - it's unreal what damage the security machines CAN do to film if the level of sensitivity is raised high enough, as it's been since 9/11. I was crushed when I saw my photos but learned a lesson - only digital for me from now on. I've had great success this way and the price of digital cameras has come way down. Another plus is that you don't have to lug around film at all - and once you print your pictures (Princess does this onboard for 40cents a photo) or download them to a computer for future printing you can use that same card over and over again.
If you have a pre-cruise stay stop at a Walmart or something and pick up the film there. You can get your film developed on most ships. It is a bit more expensive then doing it at Walmart but might be worth the cost for your peace of mind if you are using higher speed film.
If you do take the film with you on the airplane make sure you have it all out of the containers and in a little ziplock baggie so it is easy to hand check. If they see it still in the box, in the containers they are more likely to tell you that they will not hand check it. You do have a right to request a hand check and if you are denied by the first person ask for a supervisor. Some people have gone to the point of printing off the page from the TSA website saying that film must be hand-checked if requested, so they can quote the specific article of the law that allows it.
There's no problem with most photographic film if you carry it on the plane with you.
Do NOT pack film in your checked luggage, though. Tthe Transportation Security Agency (TSA) now states definitivley that the machines that they are using to scan checked luggage will ruin photographic film.
I was told to carry on the film in a plastic zip lock bag with the film out of the boxes. Ask for your plastic ziplock bag to be hand checked. If you buy an expensive lead film bag the machines can now powerfully go right through the lead bag and ruin your film. The lead bags are expensive and now are a waste of money.
By day PapaBill is in the photography business. Here is the real scoop.
Checked baggage scanners WILL RUIN YOUR FILM. Carry on scanners will generally not ruin your film (unless 800 speed or faster).
The best thing to do is to buy your film at your departing port (stop at a Wal Mart or other discount store). Get the film hand checked when getting on the ship. Or, buy the film on the ship (not cheap).The best thing(not the cheapest) is to get the film developed on board or in a one hour place in your debarkation port. Once developed xrays do nothing to prints or negatives.The next best thing is to put your film in a padded envelope and send it home to yourself via FEDEX or UPS. We are sent hundreds of rolls of film this way daily and none gets ruined. You can stop at a Fedex drop box on your way from the port to airport (they are actually at many post offices these days).
If you must carry exposed film, CARRY IT ON AND ASK FOR HAND INSPECTION.
DO NOT EVER EVER EVER PUT FILM( EXPOSED OR UNEXPOSED )IN CHECKED LUGGAGE.
The real answer to the problem is to go digital, this media is not impacted in any way shape or form by any intensity of xray.
PapaBill, why does the envelope need to be padded? Ordinary mailing envelopes won't do? Your Fedx suggestion sounds good. We are taking our 35 mm camera which is very good and one inexpensive digital camera which doesn't have many options. Really the digital camera is for backup since we'll get better pictures from the 35 mm camera. So I'd really like to preserve the 35 mm film.
Tahnk you for the good info!