The question all new cruisers ask

I find, the most frequently asked question by new cruisers, goes something like this :

How do I measure my luggage ? Do I measure it standing up, or laying down ?

Let me put forth a couple of analogies.... A 25' flagpole, is 25' feet, regardless whether it is laying on the ground, or standing erect. If you, are, say, 6' tall, you don't suddenly become 6' long when you go to bed. You are still, 6' tall.

So, when measuring your luggage, L( length ) is always the longest side. W (width) is the measurement across the top, parallel to the handle. H ( height ), is usually the shortest side. Across the top, perpendicular to the handle. It is also the total depth of your suitcase.

So, unless you purchased some sort of magical luggage that changes dimensions depending on its special relationship, allow me to restate :

Length ( L ) = the longest side of your luggage

Width. ( W ) = the side across the top, usually the second longest side, parallel to the handle.

Height. ( H )= usually the shortes side, measured across the top, perpendicular to the handle.. think of it also as the depth of your luggage.

there it is in a nutshell.

16 Answers

Thanks for that!!

I may be missing a point here but why would anyone, never mind new cruisers want to know how to measure luggage? Why on earth would this be the most frequently asked question? What does it matter what your luggage measures for sailing on a ship?

The only time you need to measure your luggage is for an airplane. I have never had a cruise line limit luggage size, nor has Amtrak when I took the train down to San Diego to get on a ship.

Really ?????

When you go through security at the cruise terminal, doesn't your carry on go through a scanner ? Every cruise line has the same maximum dimensions regarding carry on as the airlines. If it doesn't fit through the X-Ray, you must check the bag.

from Carnival website FAQs :

Luggage Information

Guests are encouraged to limit their luggage to two suitcases per guest. Each suitcase should not weigh more than 50 pounds (22.68 Kilograms) and should not exceed 16"H x 24"W (40.64cm x 60.96cm)-the length of the bag is not a factor. This is printed on the eDoc bag tags as well. If traveling by air, each airline has its own restrictions on the maximum size, weight and the number of suitcases allowed per person. In order to offset high fuel costs, some airlines are charging fees for the 2nd suitcase checked; some airlines are charging for the 1st suitcase checked as well. The guest is responsible for contacting the airline to learn about the restrictions and policies for that airline. We suggest that all checked luggage be unlocked and have a Carnival luggage tag attached listing the guest's name and stateroom number. For those guests who wish to carry on their luggage, it cannot exceed 16"H x 24"W (40.64cm x 60.96cm)-the length of the bag is not a factor; anything larger must be checked-in with a curbside porter.

Royal Caribbean :

Luggage & Luggage Tags

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Q: How much luggage may I bring onboard?

A: Each guest is permitted to carry a reasonable amount of personal property (including luggage) aboard the vessel; however, for your comfort and convenience, it is recommended that you limit the number of pieces you take. Keep in mind that airlines may charge for excess or oversize luggage. Charges incurred for excess or oversize baggage are the sole responsibility of the passenger. Each airline has a different limit on the amount of luggage they allow. Check with your air carrier for specific restrictions, such as allowance of pounds and any additional charges.

Hey, you wanna bring a big a$$ steamer trunk, by all means do so. But remember, it ain't gonna fit under da bed. Wink

I pack was never an issue. I did 6 weeks of land sea trip in Europe with just one checked bag and my carry on.

I can't tell you how many times someone will ask, " Do I measure my luggage standing up on its wheels, or lying down on the bed ? ".

The first time I saw it, I scratched my head wondering if the poster had ever taken a geometry class. But then it kept popping up. Either they didn't understand the diagram, or they never went on a cruise.

If you are checking the piece of luggage, just worry about the 50 lb weight limit ( +/- ). This only applies to carry on. And even then, you don't have to worry about length. It does have to fit in the scanners at the terminals. Hint: if it was small enough for an airplane, you're good to go. If you didn't fly in to the cruise terminal, then work off the above info.

enjoy your cruises

Some questions will only get the "HUH?" answer....Wink

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