Carnival Issues Another Reminder About Loyalty Luggage Drop-Off

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In response to guest comments, Carnival Cruise Line Brand Ambassador John Heald has once more reminded guests about the luggage drop-off policy for the cruise line’s most loyal VIFP cruisers. This comes after comments about “rude” cabin attendants during the time when staterooms remain closed to guests.

Carnival Cruise Line’s official policy for the luggage drop-off is that guests who have reached the Platinum or Diamond level of the line’s “Very Important Fun Person” (VIFP) program are permitted to go to their staterooms as soon as they board their ship on embarkation day. This is only to drop off luggage, however, not to remain in the cabin to unpack, nap, shower, or otherwise use the space.

Cruise Packing and Luggage
Passengers Heading for Cruise (Photo Copyright: Cruise Hive)

Heald has dealt with a number of guest comments in the past about how cabin attendants – also known as stateroom stewards – react when travelers arrive at their staterooms.

“I have to say that when a housekeeping crewmember says to you ‘D’ to please leave the cabin, he is not being rude. He is saying ‘I still need time to clean your cabin,'” Heald clarified recently. “Yes you can put your carry-on bags in the closet, but please leave straight away.”

Carnival guests are asked to vacate their staterooms no later than 8-8:30 a.m. on debarkation morning (exact timing can vary on different ship and at different homeports). Those same rooms must be turned over and ready for embarking guests by 1:30-2:30 p.m. that afternoon (again, timing varies by ship and homeport).

During those few hours, cabin attendants must thoroughly clean each room. This includes removing trash, changing all bedding, replenishing and exchanging towels, scrubbing the bathroom, vacuuming the floor, restocking any soaps, and ensuring all personal items have been removed from drawers, closets, and the stateroom safe.

Read Also: What a Cruise Ship Cabin Steward Really Does

There may also be other issues that must be attended to, such as treating any severe stains, replacing damaged items like a broken mirror or table, or fixing a door lock.

Added together, this makes for a very busy day for all cabin attendants. If guests remain in the staterooms, those very hard-working crew members would not be able to accomplish everything necessary to ensure fully prepared rooms for everyone until much later in the day.

It should be noted that Carnival’s VIFP Club Benefits list only specifies “Priority check-in and boarding on embarkation day” and does not explicitly state that travelers can go immediately to their staterooms. While this has been an unwritten benefit for years, the cruise line clarified during the post-pandemic restart that staterooms might not be ready for full use immediately.

“Due to enhanced cleaning and sanitation, staterooms may not be ready at the time of boarding for the early Arrival Appointments. If you have not checked your bags, feel free to quickly drop off your luggage while our crew puts the finishing touches on your stateroom,” email notifications sent to guests in 2021 and 2022 read.

Ever since, it has been standard procedure that guests with this benefit can drop off luggage but not remain in their staterooms until after all cabins are opened for all guests.

Who Gets the Luggage Drop-Off Benefit?

Several types of Carnival Cruise Line guests receive this highly coveted benefit that lets travelers get their vacation started earlier, with more time for fun.

The benefit is automatically granted to Platinum and Diamond VIFP guests. These are returning Carnival cruisers who have earned 75 and 200 points in the cruise line’s loyalty program, respectively.

Early stateroom access for luggage drop-off is also a perk of the Faster to the Fun (FTTF) add-on package, which lists “Stateroom Access” as a benefit.

“Once on board, you will be able to drop off your bags in your stateroom until your room is ready,” the FTTF description reads.

Clearly, this does not indicate that guests who purchase Faster to the Fun are able to remain in their staterooms immediately, but only that luggage can be left in the cabin. The limited-availability package is offered on select sailings, depending on how many upper-tier VIFP guests are booked on individual voyages. Pricing varies based on homeport, cruise ship, and sailing length.

Carnival Cruise Ship Embarkation
Carnival Cruise Ship Docked in Miami (Photo Credit: Marcio.Duarte)

Finally, guests who book suites also receive priority check-in and embarkation as part of their exclusive benefits for that greater tier (and greater price) of luxury.

Regardless of what type of guest a traveler may be, it’s important to ensure cabin attendants have plenty of time and space to do their work.

“Thank you to everyone who has the priority boarding and is able to do this to please remember to kindly leave the cabin so [attendants] can clean. They just want to do the best for you,” Heald said.

Guests who are leaving luggage in their cabin before heading for lunch, to complete their e-muster drill, or just to get the party started, try to leave bags in the closet, under the bed, or otherwise tucked well out of the attendant’s way. This will help ensure that everyone onboard can access their cabins as soon as possible.

It should also go without saying (but everyone occasionally needs reminders) that only guests who have this benefit should be in their staterooms before the opening announcement is officially made. Other guests will need to keep their carry-on luggage with them until they are permitted in their rooms.

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