Editor's note: This story is from the Cruise Critic Archives. Content was up to date at time of publication.
News: Major Terrorist Attack Thwarted
Cruise Lines: What Are Contingency Plans?
New Carry-On Restrictions
Cruise Critic's members are abuzz on the Cruise Critic boards about a variety of issues relating to today's news. Following is a sampling of posts -- and check back often because we will be adding new ones on a regular basis.
Dispatches from Onboard and In Air
(Updated August 11, 3:25 p.m.)
Interesting report from Kathy 32259 about her travel adventures yesterday.
"I just flew home today from a business trip. Nothing like waking up at 5am this morning - turning on Fox and hearing the news. I checked my carry-on with my suitcase. No problems getting through security with just my purse and a book. I checked my purse for any kind of lotion - hand lotion, lip gloss, etc. and threw it in my checked bag. I was able to carry my cell phone, camera and blackberry with no problem. A woman in Cincinnati told me that they took five tubes of her Mary Kay lipstick.
As far as the shops in the airport that sell items that are banned - this could change but here is what happened today:
We all went through security - when we got to the gate there were at least 10 TSA agents at the gate and they checked EVERYONE again as we boarded the plane, even some pat downs. So you couldn't take banned items through security, and you couldn't take banned items on the plane if you bought them at the airport after you went through security. Period.
It was a fun day. So glad to be home. Now about that business trip I have scheduled next week....
If I was flying to a cruise port - I would:
*definitely fly in the day before - wouldn't even have to think twice about it. plan ahead and take an extra day vacation - whatever it takes!
*I would pack my makeup, suntan lotion, etc in a plastic bag and put it in my checked baggage.
* would pack my carryon with clothes - when I arrive at the port city I would switch out for what I need to carry on when I board the ship. That way I am not checking and possibly paying for extra luggage.
*Be totally prepared for extra security screening. it is worth it - as I want to arrive safe. late is just an inconvenience.
Cruise Critic publisher Kathleen Tucker, currently sailing in the Adriatic Sea aboard Royal Caribbean's Brilliance of the Seas, reports that "from watching CNN International, it mostly seems to be an issue at Heathrow and is really not affecting us in Dubrovnik or on the ship." The Brilliance cruise, a Barcelona roundtrip, isn't scheduled to end until Tuesday, August 15.
(Updated August 10, 9:15 p.m.)
"I'll take the security measures in stride and bring lots of patience with me," writes CharlieLinda. "I won't let 'them' win by me changing my plans or how I live -- I will live my life and enjoy. We were on a cruise on 9/11 and flew home from Miami when our ship docked five days later (I was happy the airports were open at that point).
"This will be a hassle for many traveling today and in the coming weeks but in the interest of safety I hope everyone complies and has lots of patience."
"It will not affect my cruise plans at all!" writes Kbrown455. "I think it will needlessly worry a lot of people. You can not control everything, why worry? I feel sorry for people who take things to seriously when reading negative posts and the news. I would like to thank all the people who get freaked out and cancel or change cruise plans, they give the rest of us more room at the buffet line!"
And from Alphakitty: "I have decided that I don't need a ton of jewelry, will wear what I need. I can wear neutral and just use that all week. As for the camera, I will leave the expensive one at home and buy a disposable when I arrive. Like you said, just pack it in luggage to come home.
"I'll pack the week pill container in my checked luggage, bring the meds in original bottles and just transfer when I get to my destination. We will just have to adjust. I am grateful for those who are trying to keep us safe, by whatever means they have to. I will miss my lipstick though."
A good tip from Greeneg: "I think that if you have a little time before your next flight, I would think it reasonable to wait and see what comes out of this. Obviously, no one in their right mind is going to put valuable items into a checked piece of luggage that cannot be securely locked, so that if no carry-ons are permitted then there is no rational alternative."
"My bet is that this will get clarified (can you spell 'changed') very quickly? As currently reported this is not reasonable or rational and almost surely will not last any length of time."
From the Princess board, Spongebob writes, "I can imagine this is going to be a test of a lot of peoples' patience, not the least of whom will be the group of passengers bound to and heading home from the Golden Princess today."
Says momofmeg, "This will not stop us from coming next year. Heck, we live in a dangerous world. We could just as easily be attacked right here at home."
JulieJoe offers a cynical insight: "Another negative thought (since we can no longer lock our bags): hopefully there will not be a rash of cameras, jewelry, etc. stolen from checked bags." Let's hope her comment is more cynical than realistic.
Keeping Things in Perspective
(Updated August 10, 3:25 p.m.)
98 Charlie -- a.k.a. Dianne -- offers a fascinatingly retro-look at days of yore, and what security was like then.
"I'm old enough to remember the carry-on limits from the 60's and 70's when almost everything you packed was in checked luggage and carry-ons were limited to sizes way below today's standards. I'm talking about the days when planes were being hijacked to Cuba or other destinations and we had no TSA in place," she writes.
"As a military wife in those days I traveled by plane a lot during those years. I had issues with the security systems in place then, but have to say now that I respect all the security issues that were done that prevented my flights from being hijacked.
"Airline passengers often went through body screenings behind curtains where they were literally patted down for any possible weapons, etc. Carry on luggage was limited to one small bag. Women were allowed to carry a purse as well but all carry ons and purses were hand searched, there were no electronic screeners at that time.
"In today's world everyone seems to be so consumed by timing restrictions that the slightest delay in plane arrival or screening prior to boarding a plane can set their 'schedules' in a tizzy.
"Perhaps going back to the older days of air travel when carry-on luggage was more limited and people weren't so paranoid about having their favorite hair spray, mouthwash or Bath & Body works product close at hand is more in tune to the life we should be living in today's world, always vigilant.
"Amazing how history can repeat itself. Thirty years ago it was hijacking planes, today it's blowing up planes up in the air.
"I, for one, don't have a problem packing all the liquid personal items in my checked baggage. If I can afford to fly, I can afford to replace those items at my destination point if need be. I just want to fly safe and arrive at my destination safely.
"If all I can carry on to the plane is my ID and the clothes on my back, then so be it."
What's Happening Now
(Updated August 10, 3:25 p.m.)
Host Walt offers some sage words: "The best advice for now is to relax and see what develops (unless you are traveling in the next few days).
"The rules being announced today are preventive because the actual event is still unwinding and the concern is the possibility that one or more of the threats can still be carried out.
"Once the issue is contained, rules will be established for future travel that will not be responsive to the immediate threats but will be appropriately precautionary.
"Example. Today no books or papers are permitted from England to the US, but they are fine on domestic U.S. flights. Tomorrow, I suspect, the rules will be refined down to a more desirable level."
"I can tell you all that LHR and LGW in common with ALL UK airports are severely disrupted with today's news," writes White Heather, who lives in Great Britain. "They are issuing clear plastic bags for essentials ... no carry on bags of any description here. Some flights from the continent are cancelled entirely today, and until the aircraft and personnel out of position because of this can catch up with where they ought to be, things will be very difficult. No mobile phones no keys, no liquid drinks, no laptops, no anything in cabins except travel documents, money, essential medications. Baby stuff isn't entirely exempt either.
"Queuing," she adds, "is inevitable for any airline/destination and persons accompanying travelers are not being allowed access to the airport to minimize crush inside terminals."
In the Near Future
(Updated August 10, 3:25 p.m.)
"Maybe it is time for the cruise lines to suspend their attempts to enforce formal and informal dress codes," notes reader Al Goodgame in an email message to Cruise Critic's editorial team. "Nice casual would be fine for the duration. Given the reduced weight allowances and inability to carry valuables in hand luggage, leaving the tux, suit and gowns at home would be helpful. What do you think?"
Says Grannynurse, "In another vein, I suggest that those of us who are cruising within the next 60 - 90 days seriously reconsider our packing plans. Even to the extent of buying necessary items in our embarkation port cities.
"I know they are saying that you can pack liquids, gels, toothpaste, etc. in locked (checked) luggage, but that's going to necessitate more frequent luggage searches and late arriving luggage. Another reason to fly in a day early for a cruise."
"Hopefully HAL will stock more necessities in their onboard shops which frequently run out of things like deodorant and mouthwash. Perhaps Cruise Critic can address these issues in some articles for cruisers on the home page."
Absolutely! Stay tuned to Cruise Critic...
--by Carolyn Spencer Brown, Editor
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