If you are a first-time cruiser with Royal Caribbean, there is a lot of information to take in. One of the first things people ask is how do they get their Royal Caribbean Luggage Tags.
As I am sure you know, cruising has changed a lot since Royal Caribbean Cruise Line first started. Back in the day, we used to get handed a nice Royal Caribbean travel pouch with our boarding pass and luggage tags all pre-printed and lots of other documents.
Those days are gone. Now Royal Caribbean (and almost every other cruise line), expect us to print the luggage tags at home as it is much more efficient and ultimately saves the cruise line money.
In this article, which is really directed at first-time cruisers with Royal Caribbean, we will look at the whole luggage tag process.
We’ll explain exactly what they are used for and the ins and outs of how to get them, print them, and ultimately use them. At this point, you are probably thinking. It’s a luggage tag. How hard can it be? Well, you would be surprised LOL
Cruise Ship 101 : Royal Caribbean LuggaGe Tags
This is My First Cruise – What Are Royal Caribbean Luggage Tags and What Are They For?
Cruise lines have a very efficient way of dealing with luggage on embarkation day. You drop off your luggage with a porter at the cruise terminal and then a few hours later it magically appears either at your stateroom door or inside your cabin.
How does that process work? Well, it’s really very simple. Your luggage will be tagged with a paper label which will tell the cruise porters, firstly general area of the ship your cabin is in, then the deck, and finally the room number. It also signifies if you have any special priority based on your stateroom type or loyalty program membership.
Here’s an example luggage tag for my Wonder of the Seas cruise. For privacy reasons I have blurred out the sailing date and cabin number.
As you can see it has the ship’s name, (WONDER), date and day of sail (SUN = Sunday), and the Departure port (PCN = Port Canaveral).
The tag is also color-coded. This is simply to confirm the ship. Each ship will have a different color code. This is purely to assist the porters if there is more than one ship leaving port that day.
Next, the tag shows a representation of the ship with a section blocked off with a letter. In this case B. This will be the primary cargo holding area where the luggage will be held before transportation to the cabins.
Below this, it will show your Crown and Anchor Loyalty membership status. Once you cruise with Royal Caribbean, you are automatically enrolled in their “Crown and Anchor” loyalty program which provides certain benefits once you have cruised a number of times with them.
As you can see we are Diamond members. Does that mean my luggage gets to my stateroom any quicker? Well, let’s just say if it does, I’ve never noticed LOL. It does get me 4 free drinks a day at the bar though, so I’m not complaining.
The largest detail on the tag is the deck number. We are on deck 7. Lastly, it then shows your stateroom number.
Now here is a very important point. The tags should only be attached to your luggage when you are at the final stage of your journey to the cruise terminal. If you are flying, do not attach them at that point. They will likely just get damaged,
When will my luggage tags be ready for my Royal Caribbean cruise?
Once you check in for your cruise, your luggage tags are available in your online account. Login to RoyalCaribbean.com and select “Manage My Cruise”. You can check in for your cruise within 90 days of your sailing date. As soon as you complete your online check-in process your luggage tags will be available.
Where do you get your cruise luggage tags?
Your luggage tags are provided in electronic document form and should be printed at home. You can download them from the “Manage My Cruise” part of the website.
Login to your account, and you should see your cruise listed. Assuming you have already checked in, they will be available. However, they are not the easiest to find. See the screenshot below.
You need to click on the “View More Details” item to expand the screen and show the cruise documents or “edocs”. You should then see an option to view your Cruise Documents and your Luggage Tags.
How do I print the luggage tags?
Click on the luggage tags option. You can then print the tags at home. They do suggest printing these in color, to help the porters sort the luggage on embarkation day and avoid any mishaps. Remember to print as many tags as you might need.
I Don’t Have a Printer. What Do I Do?
If you don’t have a printer don’t worry. When you arrive at the port, speak to a Royal Caribbean representative and they will print luggage tags for you at the pier on the day.
What Size Are Royal Caribbean Luggage Tags?
When printed, they should be printed on US letter-sized paper. If you are from the UK you can print them on A4 paper.
The labels include instructions for folding. Once properly folded the tags are 5 1/2″ inches (140mm) x 1 5/8″ inches (42mm). If you print on A4 paper, they will be slightly longer.
When and How Do I Attach Them To My Luggage?
To avoid any damage, you should attach the ship luggage tags on the day of your cruise just prior to departure. If you are flying, please don’t attach them until you land.
The instructions for the luggage tags will ask you to fold the tag in half around a handle and then staple or tape the end (where it says staple or tape here). You should be able to clearly see all the information when it is attached to your luggage. If using staples, staple it twice.
Do The Paper Cruise Luggage Tags Work? Will They Not Fall Off?
This is the million-dollar question. In most cases, the tags will be fine. However, in my thirty years plus of cruise travel, I have heard so many tales of luggage going missing due to tags falling off, that I simply do not trust them.
My advice is to invest in some plastic luggage tag holders. They are inexpensive and will ensure your tags cannot fall off or be torn off accidentally. They secure your tags in a waterproof clear pouch which is then attached to your case with a steel band. These will not fall off!
All Cruise line luggage tags fit in these, so you can use them for multiple cruises.
- Made from high quality flexible material
- Cable Tags are plastic coated
- Tags are very easy to lock/secure
- None - Just buy them!
Do I need to Tag All My Luggage?
You only need to tag the luggage that you will be checking in at the pier. Any carry-on luggage does not need to be tagged.
When organizing your luggage remember that it may be early in the evening before your luggage makes it to your stateroom. On a ship like Wonder of the Seas, the porters may have upwards of 6000 to 8000 pieces of luggage to move. That does take a while.
So when packing, ensure you have the clothing you will need for your first day. Also, make sure you keep any important items like medication in your carry-on.
What Happens With My Luggage When I Get To The Cruise Line Terminal?
When you arrive at the terminal you will be greeted by a Royal Caribbean representative or one of the porters who will offer assistance. They will ask you for your checked luggage and take it from you.
At this point it can feel rushed, so pause. Be fully aware of your surroundings and who you are handing your luggage off to. Make sure you are at the right ship and ensure you are dealing with the proper port staff.
Be ready to tip the porter a few dollars in cash for each item of luggage.
You will then be directed into the Departures hall where someone will check your documents and do a quick health check. Please ensure you have downloaded the Royal Caribbean app if you can before you get there. This makes the process much quicker.
Don’t worry if you don’t have a smartphone. Just make sure you print your Cruise Documents to bring with you if that is the case.
When Will My Luggage Get To My Stateroom?
This varies a LOT. On our last cruise, our luggage was inside our stateroom as soon as the room was ready. On the cruise before that, one of our items of luggage was there by 4 p.m. However, the other piece did not make it until after 6 p.m.
In some cases, I’ve also had to go look for it as my suitcase has mistakenly ended up on the wrong floor.
What Happens If My Luggage Gets Lost?
This can happen. In most cases, any issues of lost luggage usually happen at the airport on the way to the cruise port. Generally, if you tag your bags properly and hand them off to the porters it will have made it onto the ship.
At that point, it’s not lost – it’s simply been mislaid.
What can cause this? A late change of your Stateroom number. Always check the luggage tag matches the stateroom number you have been assigned.
If that has happened to you, track down that previous stateroom allocation and check if your luggage is there. It could also have been delivered to the wrong floor.
This is where luggage trackers like the Apple Airtags and Tile Pro trackers come in really handy. On Vision of the Seas in February 2023, my luggage ended up on the wrong floor and I was able to quickly track it down as I had an Apple Airtag inside the luggage.
These are probably one of the best investments I’ve ever made. You can even tell if your luggage has made it onto your flight or not.
One other quick tip. Take a photo of your luggage. It always helps if you ever need to do a baggage claim with your insurance company, or if your baggage gets damaged.
What Happens on Disembarkation – Do I Use The Same Royal Caribbean Luggage Tags?
No. On the lead-up to disembarkation day, you will be given new tags to go on your luggage. These are given to you onboard the ship in advance of the final day. Watch out for a disembarkation info document that will be left in your cabin. Make sure you read this as it is very detailed.
These new tags will have a number on them that matches your place in the queue for disembarkation. The queue number you get assigned will depend on the time you need to get off the ship. If you have an early flight, for example, you will get a lower number.
You can use the clear plastic luggage tag holder for these as well. Again, it avoids any mishaps if a tag falls off.
As you come off the ship, you will see that there are luggage collection areas that match the number you were assigned.
Sadly this is not fool-proof and luggage can end up in the wrong area. One of my items of luggage that was meant to be in Area 7 ended up in Area 14 on one cruise. Those Apple Airtags came in handy again!
Who Knew That Cruise Luggage Tags Could Be So Complicated LOL
So there you have it. There is a lot more to that Royal Caribbean Luggage tag than meets the eye! It’s amazing to think that something so simple can make or break your cruise if your luggage ends up going astray.
If you haven’t already booked that cruise yet, then now is the time to do it. If you have booked, then start looking at those shore excursions and have a wonderful trip.
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