A loved one had died last year and he had decided to cheer himself up by taking a self-indulgent luxury christmas cruise on one of the small Seabourn ships. (He is a well-established specialist cruise writer so he knew exactly what he was looking for - high luxury, high formal.) To cut a long story short, somewhere on the way out to the ship, he and his luggage parted company and he wound up without any formal wear (without much 'wear' at all!) eating christmas lunch alone in his cabin.
Since then I've been much more aware of the misery of losing your luggage on holiday. It's never - touch wood - happened to me so I confess I hadn't really given it much thought before.
The recent publicity given to British Airways appalling record on lost luggage seems to have triggered an outpouring of 'holiday without luggage' stories... and suggestions, like the one in my previous post.
And I've just come across another close-to-brilliant suggestion in John Heald's blog.
John Heald is the cruise director on board Carnival Freedom and in recent months his honest day-to-day blog has become firmly established among the blogosphere's most popular blogs, not least because he not only writes about his own thoughts and experiences, he also includes endless letters comments and photos from friends, passengers, and other contributors, turning it into a continuous conversation.
In today's post, there is a letter from a couple on board, Sandy & Gary Stigger, who say:
My husband & I were talking about the people who have no luggage on board. We had an idea for you. It would be funny to have tee shirts printed for them that look like tuxes and formal dresses for formal night. It could have printing such as "I made it but my luggage didn't!"
It could be a badge of honor for them, make them laugh a little, and it would be a great gift for them.
What a great idea! Simple, cheap and effective. I think it should be spread throughout the whole cruise industry. It would do so much to alleviate the misery of lost luggage victims on cruises.
I can hear cruise companies thinking 'yeah, but we don't really want to draw attention to how often this problem occurs' but it's not a reflection on them. Who's to know who lost that passenger's luggage? Most passengers seeing a 'lost luggager' would assume it was the airline.