As a Travel Advisor, I am always looking for new ways to help my clients have an incredible experience while traveling. Very few people know about the “Port Valet” program. Some cruise lines offer this excellent disembarkation program, often at no extra cost to you, except for the airline baggage fees that you would pay anyway. Currently, I’m aware that ports in Seattle and Fort Lauderdale offer it - but keep in mind it may also depend on the cruise line you are sailing with and the time of year. But let’s go over a little bit about what the “Port Valet” program entails. I use “Port Valet” in quotes because that is the name of the program in Seattle that is most famous, but some other ports and cruise lines have similar programs.
Generally, you leave your luggage outside your cabin on the night before the end of your cruise, and the cruise staff brings it to the baggage area at the port for you. But with “Port Valet,” you can arrange with the cruise line to have your luggage delivered straight to their airport and loaded onto the airplane for you. You’ll leave your luggage out the night before and then see it again at your home airport in baggage claim. Just like magic!
Don’t forget to take your embarkation day tags off your luggage before placing it outside your room. You will also be receiving “Port Valet” luggage tags so that the crew knows to send your luggage directly to the airport.
Ditch the Excess Fees
This has to be one of my favorite benefits of “Port Valet.” While you will get charged the checked baggage fees according to airline rules, you will not be charged any excess weight fees for all the souvenirs you’ve collected on your travels. So, feel free to grab a little something for your family members back home! Don’t be crazy over the weight limit, though, as they do “recommend” you stay within the 50lbs limit. Many mainstream airlines participate in this program. Typically, you will get complete details a few days before disembarkation to see if you can take advantage of the program.
And voila, that’s the “Port Valet” program in a nutshell! Do you think this is something you’d take advantage of on your next cruise? If so, let’s chat about planning your next getaway and see if this program is offered, so you don’t have to worry about lugging your heavy suitcases yourself.