A cruise vacation has so much to offer at any given time. The fun and excitement is from sunrise to sunset. Every day, there is a game of Bingo. Every evening, there are various brands of alcohol being sampled. The “drink of the day” is advertised at every bar on board. Bartending lessons are offered. The on board shopping deals are non-stop. There are more than enough on board activities to go around. There is even plenty of action at the ports-of-call. When it comes to duty-free shopping, cruise passengers never stop spending money. On any cruise, duty-free shopping is the most never-ending activity. Cruise passengers all share one thing in common. They all travel to their cruise via some form of transportation. Towards the end of any cruise vacation, fellow passengers are always asking the famous question. They all ask, “How are you going to take all of that home?”.
Cruise passengers are forever spending tons upon tons of money on duty-free merchandise. The biggest money maker on any cruise is duty-free alcohol. From deals on whiskey, to deals on dry gin, and deals on various brands of rum, cruise passengers will take a “boat-load” of it home. Since cruise passengers cannot take duty-free liquor to their cabins, the courteous on board staff carefully packages the bottles in handy-dandy liquor carrier boxes. Inside, the bottles are cushioned to avoid being damaged. They are held until the night before disembarkation. In addition, duty-free liquor purchased on shore is delivered to the cabins.
At the ports-of-call, passengers may visit a high-end department store. There, they might purchase a porcelain nativity set or even a porcelain statue of a mermaid as a cruise memory. Later, cruise passengers may visit another department store and purchase a set of high-end glassware. It could be wine glasses, an elegant dining set, a pitcher, or a large glass vase. These items will look great in their family rooms, dining rooms, and kitchens. There is no doubt about that. However, cruise passengers are often faced with the challenge of transporting such fragile duty-free items home without a scratch. Whether they are bottles of liquor or fragile items, getting those items home without being damaged is a challenge all its own. Wait…it doesn’t have to be a challenge. Whether on board or on shore, cruise passengers need to plan ahead when doing duty-free shopping. It could be the deciding factor in preventing any fragile items from being damaged in transit. Here are some helpful tips to successfully transporting fragile duty-free items worry-free.
When planning any cruise vacation, passengers should always know whether or not they will be shopping for duty-free liquor or high-end merchandise. That way, it would be easier to figure out which port to sail from and which forms of transportation are best to get to and from their port of choice. It is more than important. It is highly crucial. Proper planning leads to smart cruising.
5) Be sane on the plane. Everyone knows about airline luggage handlers. They are notorious for heaving bags on the conveyor belt when loading them onto airplanes. They even do so when off-loading bags onto the luggage claim belt. One summer, two young men from New Jersey returned home from a Royal Caribbean cruise. When one of their liquor carrier boxes came around on the luggage claim belt, it was sitting in a puddle of rum. One of the bottles had been shattered. If a cruise passenger wishes to transport alcoholic items by air, he/she should consider buying a container of chocolate liqueur candies. They make the perfect unbreakable gift for anyone at home. NOTE: PASSENGERS MUST NOT PURCHASE LIQUOR CONTAINING MORE THAN 70% ALCOHOL (140 PROOF OR HIGHER). It is highly flammable will not be permitted on board.
4) Can’t grip it? Ship it! When purchasing any duty-free items at ports-of-call, cruise passengers should never be ashamed to ask whether they can ship merchandise. Cruise passengers should also inquire on whether/if a shipping fee is included. If the department store can ship the items home, it is a huge burden lifted from the passengers’ shoulders. Not only are they no longer worried whether/if the items will make it off the plane safely, but they are no longer burdened with the stress of having to drag the items back to the ship. More importantly…the less excess baggage, the better.
3) No pain with the train. There are a handful of cruise ports served by Amtrak. Amtrak serves port cities such as New York City, Boston, Baltimore, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, and Miami. Cruise passengers traveling to and from their port city by train are more than in luck. They are on “track” for the ride of their life. Unlike the airlines with their baggage check-in fees, Amtrak is significantly lenient with their baggage policies. Cruise passengers can take those infamous liquor carrier boxes and fragile duty-free purchases on board the train as carry-on, as long as they concur with Amtrak’s baggage dimensions. Amtrak allows up to two (2) carry-on bags per passenger. As long as they meet the dimensions of 28 x 22 x 14 and don’t exceed a weight of fifty (50) lbs, they’re allowed. Boxes taken on as luggage must have handles for safe lifting and handling. Amtrak allows up to four (4) checked bags per passenger. The first two (2) checked bags are free, while the additional bags cost a fee of twenty dollars ($20.00) each. All checked bags on Amtrak must be within the measurement of seventy-five (75) linear inches; height, length, and width. Further, they all must have identification tags attached. They are provided at all major stations. NOTE: AMTRAK ACCEPTS NO LIABILITY FOR THEFT OR DAMAGE TO ANY FRAGILE OR VALUABLE ITEMS BROUGHT ON BOARD.
2) No fuss! Take the bus! Some cruise passengers travel as groups. When they do, they often travel in chartered motor coaches. Whether in a AAA group or on some other group occasion, motor coaches are as safe as the train. With fragile items such as liquor bottles and breakable items riding securely in the luggage bay underneath, there is simply nothing to worry about.
1) Raise the bar! Take the car! Cruise passengers who are planning on sailing out of a local port are in great shape. Taking the car or a limousine to and from a local cruise terminal can’t be more convenient. It is that much easier to squeeze whatever amount of luggage taken on or off the ship. When traveling with fragile items in tow including duty-free liquor, the burden of worrying about items getting damaged or broken is lifted. Who needs that burden on their conscience during or after a cruise? No cruise should end with something having been broken or damaged. Arriving at home with those duty-free items in one piece puts families at ease. Without a doubt, it cannot make them feel happier having successfully transported that one hundred and fifty-one (151) proof rum for their piña coladas.
Duty-free shopping can’t be a more exciting activity on a cruise vacation. It is truly an activity which millions of cruise passengers look forward to time and again. The array of deals on high-end merchandise are endless. Whether shopping on board or on shore, cruise passengers look forward to doing both. Despite the fun and excitement that goes along with duty-free shopping, cruise passengers do have to put into reality how they would safely transport those four boxes of rum and whiskey they purchased in St. Thomas. It’s imperative that they figure out how they will transport a two-hundred dollar ($200.00) glass sea turtle on their trip home. Again, planning ahead is the name of the game.
Cruise passengers should follow the five (5) simple hints on properly and safely transporting duty-free merchandise. Cruise passengers should ask if items can be shipped home. It will save them plenty of energy for the remainder of their vacation. If passengers choose to take the train to their cruise, Amtrak makes it easy. As long as cruise passengers stay within the dimensions specified, they’re on “track” for an enjoyable journey home. If taking a bus or car, they’re in just as good a shape as traveling by train. Transporting fragile duty-free merchandise by train, car, or bus has one huge plus attached to it. The liquor carrier boxes and fragile packages are in the passengers’ control. Wondering whether a porcelain statue made it on or off the plane intact should never be on a cruise passenger’s conscience. Cruise passengers shouldn’t even have to worry about their rum bottles being broken. Again, proper planning leads to smart cruising. Ultimately, it leads to unbreakable cruising memories.