How early can you drop luggage off with porter

We are sailing on Independence of the Seas on Oct. 25, 2021 from Galveston. We have to check out of our hotel early and would like to get to the cruise port, leave our bags with the porter, and then walk around the Strand area. Does anyone know how early we could check our bags at the port or somewhere else? Thank you.

6 Answers

Based on our experience with Carnival and taking mostly all our cruises out out of Galveston, as soon as the ship arrives around 7 or 8 am the v i f p people get off and there are porters waiting to take luggage to transportation. then if people have early boarding the porters take the check in luggage to an area of the terminal for shiploading, when ship is ready. See a porter, give them luggage, a tip, luggage will be on board. We do this all the time, no problem.

Normally you can drop off your luggage fairly early, as per @coasterking, as long as the porters are around and the port is open. Right now, the ports are being more stingy with people arriving at the port, so there is a chance that if you arrive much earlier than your embarkation time, you could be sent away. That is probably more for going inside the terminal though, so, if you're just dropping off luggage and then leaving the port, I'd say somewhere between 8-10am should be alright. You can always call the port directly, not the cruise line, and see when they anticipate porters to be available.

I'd be tempted to call ahead and see what they say in regards to dropping off your bags and the expected time it would take for porters to be available.

Most departure ports have a website about their operational procedures, and many cruise lines list a link to those buried somewhere in their FAQs. These port authority websites will be your best source of the most current info regarding your homeport.

I can speak from extensive experience for 3 specific ports, NYC Manhattan, Cape Liberty Bayonne, and Falcon Point Baltimore. At 2 of these ports, Maryland & New Jersey, generally the wait in traffic to get to the port area and the lack of walkable to attractions, dissuades most passengers from dropping off their luggage early to go sightseeing prior to their arrival appointment time. Meanwhile in NYC a few will do so only because they can walk to the Intrepid Museum from the Terminal area, even though traffic is 2-3 times worst there than at the other 2.

I don't have any experience with Galveston, but from what I've heard the set up there is not unlike the port in New Orleans, where there are multiple areas to walk to near the cruise terminals. Even if true given that you never know what weather you will have on embarkation day don't forget to explore alternatives, like what amenities you hotel still offers after check-out like some will hold your luggage behind the desk or in a luggage check area, while you go to use their pool or fitness center, or visit somewhere close by while waiting for time appropriate transport for the next part of your vacation.

Thanks for that good info, as usual...cruised alot thru NOLA and Galveston....The idea you're going to "drop off" your luggage someplace and "wander around" somebody's city taking in the sights is a delusion. You're usually there when everyone else is working, or its "downtown""....and the idea you're going to WALK someplace to kill a few hours is, well...go ahead and try it...Ports are BIIIIG places. The only one I've seen where it might be possible is the shopping mall and restaurant across the street from the pier in NOLA, and it doesn't look like its worth the effort.

If you REALLY insist on doing the tourist thing on embarcation day, I'd say you're going to have a problem. Want to wander...get there a day or two early, and leave your stuff at the motel.

As far as "calling" the port...just let me say this...we've set up an account to park at Galveston, long ago. You think it was rediculous what I went thru arranging the covid quick test recently? Getting the right person to even ask a question ran a close second. Yes we wound up doing it online finally, which is all I planned to do when I started, I remember I wound up with a whole bunch of pho nos that didn't answer, or went to voicemail, or had NOTHING to do with what I was trying to do which was just ask a few questions about parking.

Bottom line, MARYRED has it have time to kill?, stay in your room until later,swim, watch tv, don't be in such a rush to get to the pier...if they assigned you a time, play along...the old days are over methinks.....

HAH...listen to me say that...I'm the guy who used to get to the terminal b4 the arriving ship had even started to debark...used to enjoy watching folks get off...and believe me when I tell you NOLA is an old crowded zoo. Anything you can do to avoid the lines and actually try to board more efficiently is to your advantage....don't worry, you won't miss any meals hehehehe

I found Galveston to be the exception to the rule. We met friends there and could drop off luggage and got to walk to lunch near the pier. Like others mentioned, you may wish to call just to see how early you may be able to drop off your luggage.


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