Can anyone who has sailed very recently tell me if we claim our luggage at the airport or if RCI takes it from the airport to the ship? I'm pretty sure that the last time I sailed with them (pre-9/11) that they took it from the airport, but my cruise documents indicate that we are to claim it "unless instructed otherwise" or something like that. Any feedback?
On our last cruise on Radiance we did claim it at the San Juan airport, then put the cruiseline tags on. We didn't to the transfers, so we grabbed a cab and turned over our luggage to a porter. At that airport they were checking the ticket stubs against the luggage and then taking off the airline tags before you could leave the terminal. On the return to O'hare they didn't do that.
Its always a good idea to pick-up your luggage anyway, that way you know it didn't get mis-directed with the airline. Plus you'll know it all made it to the cruise terminal in case it gets lost there. We had one piece of luggage that didn't turn up for hours and we knew they were there somewhere.
Due to new security measures you have to claim your luggage at the airport. This way the cruise lines know it has been with the ticketed passenger at all times. Porters at the pier will take it from you there for cabin delivery. Also, don't lock your luggage due to hand searches of bags.