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What happens when you dock for the final time?


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Hi,

 

We have just booked our first cruise so are unsure of what to expect. Apparently, on the last morning, we arrive at the port at 6am. What time are you expected to disembark? We intend to stay on for an extra few nights before flying home. Thank you in advance. 

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Of course, nobody knows for sure how disembarkation will work after cruising resumes....but before the pause in cruising, disembarkation would begin, usually around 7AM (or whenever the ship is cleared by the shore authorities).  You will have 2 choices for getting off the ship.  #1 you can carry your own luggage off the ship (self-disembarkation).  You can do this at any time after they make the announcement. You just get your stuff together and walk off.  #2 you can leave your luggage outside of your cabin on the last night of the cruise; it will be picked up by the crew and delivered to a space in the shore terminal the next morning.  You are assigned a disembarkation number and you will leave as your number is called.  You depart, pick up your luggage in the terminal and go through CBP.

 

Generally, if you are in a hurry to get off the ship, you do #1.  If you don't care how long it takes to get off the ship, you do #2.  It will be your choice.

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You will be expected to be out of your cabin early (8am?).  If you do not choose the carry your own luggage option, you will be assigned an area to wait for your "number" to be called. 

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On the final morning not much is open on the ship other than breakfast so there is little reason to stick around unless killing time waiting to check in at your hotel.  Even so many hotels don't start official check in until mid-afternoon but they will often hold your luggage while you go out and do something.  

 

Depending which port you are sailing from, pack your bags appropriately while keeping valuables, medication or anything you may need separated in a backpack you can take with you as you explore the area before being allowed to check in and get into a hotel room. 

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There are post-cruise shore excursions and I believe luggage holds if you needed to kill time before your hotel lets you check you in. The hotel itself may let you store your luggage, too

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41 minutes ago, Sunshine7777 said:

Hi,

 

We have just booked our first cruise so are unsure of what to expect. Apparently, on the last morning, we arrive at the port at 6am. What time are you expected to disembark? We intend to stay on for an extra few nights before flying home. Thank you in advance. 

 

When I first read this I thought you intended to stay on the ship for a few extra nights! 😀 Wouldn't that be nice? Unfortunately, you have to get off the ship on the last day. You will need to be out of your cabin by 8:00 or 8:30 and everyone will be off the ship by 10:00 or 10:30. As soon as they get everyone off the ship, they can start preparing for the next group of passengers to board.

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A day or two before the end of the cruise, you will be given a form to check off re your plans for departure.  (In your case, private arrangements; no flight times, etc., unless you choose to do a ship departure tour.)  You will then be given color-coded luggage tags to use if you put your luggage out on the last night, so you can find it in the terminal, and a departure time.  (If you do this, as well as keeping your documents and things, be sure to keep clothing to wear as you depart!  Walking off the ship in your pj's and bare feet is not fun!)

 

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RCL did offer options to stay on board longer for a fee, but you had to clear your cabin at the same time than others, but were able to make use of the open facilities, have lunch etc and be of the ship by 2-3pm. This option was only offered in Europe on some ships as far as I know, however likely will not be offered for the time being due to COVID.

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Expect it to take longer than it should.  Long lines, impatient people.  Searching for your checked bags in the terminal.  Customs.  And the crew will be directing its attention to the people boarding next.

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For us we leave luggage outside room night before then xan have a tasty breakfast in the morning before we leave the ship. We genuinely have to fly being uk and most flights are evening or late afternoon so stay on board as long as we can

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6 hours ago, Sunshine7777 said:

Hi,

 

We have just booked our first cruise so are unsure of what to expect. Apparently, on the last morning, we arrive at the port at 6am. What time are you expected to disembark? We intend to stay on for an extra few nights before flying home. Thank you in advance. 

Most people who decide to carry their own luggage off by themselves, are usually looking to get off as early as possible, most times, to catch an early flight home. If you are in no rush, just enjoy your last few hours onboard. You can go to breakfast at either the buffet or the Main Dining room. The night before you are to disembark, you have to leave your luggage out in the hallway. Just keep what you will need for that night and the next day with you, everything else you can let them take off. You will get tags to put on your luggage, usually by colors. You attach them to whatever you want to leave out and overnight they collect all the luggage. (It's the same way you get your luggage on boarding. You give it to them and they deliver it to your room sometime that afternoon, usually leaving it in the hallway, next to your door).  in the morning, they call colors as to when you can disembark and your luggage will be off, waiting for you in a large area. You can get a porter to help you with it, if needed. 

Don't know if anyone has cruised MSC in Europe, but people are always getting off and on at basically every port, so there is always luggage in the hallways most nights.

 

Cheers

Len

 

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4 hours ago, billslowsky said:

Expect it to take longer than it should.  Long lines, impatient people.  Searching for your checked bags in the terminal.  Customs.  And the crew will be directing its attention to the people boarding next.

 

Let's say it this way, the disembarkation day is by far the worst and unpleasant experience of the cruise. This is the one day where it would be nice that a solution could be found to make this experience more pleasant / relaxing to end the vacation, something on cruise industry level.

 

Therefore it's almost more relaxing to be one of the first people disembarking the ship with your luggage at your own pace and no lines than waiting around and being stuck in lines before being able to leave the ship at 9 or 10:00am

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Five years ago (that's 4 BC - Before Covid), we stayed in Fort Lauderdale a couple nights after a cruise.  We booked an excursion / tour through Royal.  It was set up to drop you and your luggage at the airport at the conclusion.  We just figured we'd take a taxi from the airport to the hotel.  The tour guide advised us to return to the port, as the van would return her there, as that was where her car was parked.  She said it would be easy to get a taxi from there (which it was), and would cost less, as it was closer to the hotel.  We did that and it worked great.  I think it would have also been fine if we'd taken a taxi from the airport.  The net of this:  it filled in our time (with a great tour), and got us to the hotel in the afternoon.  When we cruise again, if we are staying a few days post-cruise, we'd consider doing this again.  

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, Sunshine7777 said:

Hi,

 

We have just booked our first cruise so are unsure of what to expect. Apparently, on the last morning, we arrive at the port at 6am. What time are you expected to disembark? We intend to stay on for an extra few nights before flying home. Thank you in advance. 

If you have a flight to return home same day you disembark your cruise, you can sign up for airport transfer at the customer service desk several days before your cruise ends.  You would provide them with your flight details and they will gave you luggage tags for your flights and take you and your luggage to the airport.  

Sometimes we have them take our luggage to airport while we go do something in port if we have an afternoon or evening flight.

 

Sorry I just realized you plan on staying a couple extra days.

 

Brings me to next point,  if your flight arrives day of cruise you can arrange transport from airport to cruise ship with Rcl.

Edited by Sunshine3601
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On 4/4/2021 at 9:48 AM, Sunshine7777 said:

Hi,

 

We have just booked our first cruise so are unsure of what to expect. Apparently, on the last morning, we arrive at the port at 6am. What time are you expected to disembark? We intend to stay on for an extra few nights before flying home. Thank you in advance. 

The ship shuts down in the morning, it is turn around day.....everyone must get off asap....between 9 and 10 last people are off.  By 8:00 you must be out of the room.  Rooms are stripped, people in hazmat suits walk around killing any left over covid bugs.....the happy ship is no longer the happy ship but a work zone, and frenzied activity......They have 4 hours to get ready for the next bunch of happy guests. 

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On 4/4/2021 at 9:50 AM, shipgeeks said:

A day or two before the end of the cruise, you will be given a form to check off re your plans for departure.  (In your case, private arrangements; no flight times, etc., unless you choose to do a ship departure tour.)  You will then be given color-coded luggage tags to use if you put your luggage out on the last night, so you can find it in the terminal, and a departure time.  (If you do this, as well as keeping your documents and things, be sure to keep clothing to wear as you depart!  Walking off the ship in your pj's and bare feet is not fun!)

 

 

 

If you're female, don't forget a bra. You might have to borrow your daughters!!!

Just a suggestion

😉

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Since you’re staying longer in the area know that often a hotel won’t let you check in until 3 p.m.  Some are better and others are firm on it. ( We don’t return to those again.).   Be prepared so you don’t waste a day of your extended vacation.  We try to get off as late as possible and then taxi to the hotel.  The desk/ concierge at the hotel should be willing to store your luggage until you can get a room key.  If you are prepared you can still tour or use the pool area without your bags or keep your smallest bag with you with swimwear and valuables.

 

Its always a sad day to leave the ship but the sting is lessened when you can continue your vacation for a while.

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