Along with the quandary of what to pack for a 108 day trip around the world comes the question of how will we get it all there? When we put all of it in suitcases to see how much we would have, we had two garment bags and two large suitcases plus a couple of smaller ones we planned to take with us since we will spend a little time in Florida with our kids before boarding the ship.
I can see now why traveling trunks were so popular in the past. Those days clothes were heavier and much larger but since I don't have any Scarlett O'Hara type gowns, we didn't bother to look into shipping large trunks down to Miami. Bob did spend a lot of time looking for the most economical way to get our clothes and toiletries there.
Crystal Cruises has included a rebate in our booking that allows for $500 each to ship our luggage on ahead. A service called Luggage Concierge works with them and that was the first one that Bob looked into. While the service is convenient because of the representative present at the cruise port, the quote received quite exceeded the allowance from Crystal.
Undaunted, my husband sought out other possibilities. This is where our connection to Cruise Critic is so helpful. Through others' experiences and recommendations he found two other luggage services that were less expensive, Luggage Free and Luggage Forward.
With our information on number of pieces of luggage, weight and contents, he made his calls and decided upon Luggage Free. Their quote is within the $500 allowance and therefore our budget. We will need to go through and remove aerosols like hair spray and shaving cream. For some reason, even though it is shipped by ground, they ask that aerosols not be in the luggage. They will pick up our luggage about two weeks before we sail and have it there waiting for us at the ship when we arrive.
If it doesn't go well, I get quite a shopping spree the day before we sail.