Everything You Need to Know About Cruise Luggage Tags

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Going on a cruise is super exciting, but have you ever thought about how your suitcases find their way to your room on the ship? Cruise luggage tags are like magic tickets that help your bags go on their own little adventure to meet you at your cabin.

A diverse selection of luggage in a store, with suitcases in various colors and sizes on display, including prominent rose gold, blue, and black suitcases in the foreground among rows of others.

I get lots of questions about cruise luggage tags, so in this guide, I’ll show you everything from why these tags are important to what to do if they get lost. We’ll talk about what info you need on them, how to get them ready, and how to make sure they stay attached to your bags.

What is the Purpose of Cruise Luggage Tags?

A perplexed young woman with curly hair stands in front of a towering stack of colorful suitcases, with some bearing names like 'Sarah' and 'Thomas', symbolizing the challenge of choosing the right luggage.

Cruise luggage tags play a crucial role in ensuring your suitcases reach the right cabin on a cruise ship. When you entrust your bags to the porters and pass through security, the cruise line staff rely on these tags to distribute your belongings correctly. Essentially, if you neglect to attach these tags to your luggage, you risk them not being delivered to your cabin.

What Information Can Be Found on Cruise Luggage Tags?

Close-up of a black textured suitcase with a red leather luggage tag attached, featuring a blank white label for personal information against an orange background.

Cruise luggage tags contain crucial details like your name, the ship’s name, your stateroom number, sailing date, and booking reference. Additionally, they indicate your cabin’s location on the ship, such as AFT (rear), FWD (front), or MID (central).

Securing Your Cruise Luggage Tags

To ensure your luggage reaches your cabin on a cruise, acquiring luggage tags is vital. Here are the primary methods to obtain them:

  • Cruise line delivery: Some cruise lines might send tags directly to your address.
  • Print at home: Most commonly, it’s advisable to print luggage tags prior to your arrival at the port, expediting check-in. If you lack a printer, consider using a local printing service or ask someone you know.
  • Check-in tags: Lastly, if needed, curbside porters at the cruise terminal often carry luggage tags. Simply present your booking details, fill in the required information on the tags, and hand over your bags to the porters.

Choosing the best option for you guarantees a seamless boarding experience and ensures your luggage safely arrives at your cabin.

How to Print Luggage Tags for a Cruise

Whilst preparing for your cruise, you’ll obtain e-documents via email or your online account. Locate the section prompting to print cruise luggage tags and proceed to click. This action downloads a PDF, enabling you to print your luggage tags conveniently at home.

Do Cruise Luggage Tags Require Colour Printing?

Cruise luggage tags ideally benefit from colour printing due to colour-coding in some lines, facilitating easier luggage delivery to your cabin. However, cruise lines like NCL, Carnival, and Princess also accept black and white tags. Utilising bold text, tables, and bullet points can enhance readability.

  • Colour-coded tags recommended
  • Acceptable for NCL, Carnival, Princess: black and white

How to Properly Attach Cruise Luggage Tags

To ensure your luggage arrives safely at your destination, follow these steps to attach cruise luggage tags:

  1. Folding the tag: Each tag has folding guidelines marked as “Fold Here” at the top. Begin folding from here, resulting in a long, narrow strip displaying your cruise details on one side.
  2. Securing the ends: To make the tag more durable and water-resistant, consider covering the folded section with clear tape.
  3. Inserting your information: A designated area is usually available for your name. It’s also a good idea to add a mobile phone number in case issues arise.
  4. Attaching the tags to your luggage: Thread the tags through your suitcase handle, then either staple them along the edges or use a luggage tag holder. Luggage tag holders offer added security against accidental detachment during flight or in wet conditions.

Opting for a universal luggage tag holder proves beneficial in accommodating varying tag sizes and shapes across different cruise lines. This way, there’s no need to carry multiple holders or try to determine the best fit for each trip.

By carefully attaching your cruise luggage tags with the above steps, you can confidently embark on your cruise, knowing your luggage will reach its destination.

What to Do if Luggage Tags Are Misplaced or Damaged in Transit

A person holding a black suitcase with a bold red 'MISSING' stamp across it, conveying the distressing scenario of lost luggage tag.

In the event that your luggage tags become lost or damaged during transit, your belongings may not make it to your stateroom. If this occurs, promptly contact the guest services desk on the ship. Usually, unclaimed luggage is stored there, and you can retrieve it by identifying the items and confirming your details.

To expedite the luggage recovery process, here are a few suggestions:

  • Ensure your details are written on a piece of paper and placed in an easily accessible exterior pocket of your bag. Crew members often check these pockets to quickly identify and return lost luggage.
  • Personalise your bag for easy identification, using items such as ribbons or distinct luggage straps.
  • Prepare a carry-on bag containing essential items for your first day of the cruise, minimising any inconvenience caused by lost or delayed luggage.

By following these tips, you can mitigate the impact of misplaced or damaged baggage tags on your cruise experience.

Safeguarding Luggage Tags to Prevent Detachment

To ensure the security of your luggage tags, consider adopting the following measures:

  • Opt for a more robust paper or card for printing your tags, which will reduce the risk of tearing.
  • Keep a mini stapler handy for reinforcing tags, particularly when staying at a hotel prior to a cruise.
  • Apply clear adhesive tape on the ends of the tags, and carry a small roll with you for easy access.
  • Fasten an extra tag as a backup, possibly on a different handle or section of the luggage.
  • Invest in a sturdy luggage tag holder, which offers an affordable solution to protect your tags against damage.

Taking these steps will not only prevent your luggage tags from being ripped off but also provide peace of mind during your travels. Don’t forget to secure your luggage with a unique luggage strap that stands out, making it easier to identify at baggage claim.

Do All Cruise Luggage Tags Have the Same Dimensions?

Close-up view of a metallic suitcase with a blank white luggage tag attached by a green loop, set against a warm, blurred orange background, suggesting the beginning of a journey.

Cruise luggage tags do not come in a uniform size; their dimensions can differ among cruise lines. This is a vital point to bear in mind while purchasing label holders, as you must choose ones that can accommodate the specific tags of your cruise line.

For instance, wide tags are common with Carnival and Princess Cruises, whereas NCL typically opts for smaller ones. To avoid any confusion, consider these universal luggage label holders that are compatible with all cruise lines.

Locations to Purchase Cruise Ship Luggage Label Holders

You can find suitable plastic luggage label holders on Amazon for a variety of cruise line tags, regardless of the cruise company you’re travelling with. These holders are typically made from durable plastic material and come with a braided steel loop for securely attaching the label to your luggage. Such tag holders are not only sturdy but also reusable for future holidays.

Opting for luggage label holders makes the entire process more manageable by eliminating the need for stapling or taping tags to your luggage and reducing the chances of losing or damaging the tags on your journey.

These are the luggage tag holders I use…

Do Luggage Tags Matter for Cruise Carry-On Bags?

Generally, luggage tags are not required for carry-on bags on a cruise, as you’ll keep them with you or store them in your stateroom upon arrival. Nonetheless, tagging them can be beneficial:

  • Misplacement assistance: In case of accidental loss, tagged bags are more easily returned by cruise staff.

Should You Attach Cruise Luggage Tags before or after Your Flight?

In the case of a flight and cruise package, it’s better to attach cruise luggage tags after your flight unless instructed otherwise by your cruise line or tour company. This helps prevent any damage, loss, or confusion for baggage handlers.

Exceptions may occur if a tour company directs you to put the tags on before your flight. In some situations, you’ll hand over your bags to the airline and won’t see them until they’re delivered to your cruise stateroom.

Remember: follow your cruise line or tour company’s guidance and stay confident that your luggage will be handled appropriately.


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I'm Hannah and I've been cruising for as long as I can remember.

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