Disembarkation on the last day of your cruise can be smooth if you are well prepared. Here’s what to expect and how to get ready for a smooth Disembarkation day.
What type of disembarkation is best for you?
Express disembarkation is available at some ports. To enjoy it, you must carry all your luggage yourself when disembarking, from your cabin to the outside of the ship. You will be the first to leave the ship or will be able to leave whenever you want during disembarkation. You will be the first to cross the border controls. However, you will have no assistance with your luggage. Elevators can be very busy on the morning of disembarkation.
For the regular disembarkation, you will choose an hour at which you want to get off the ship or an hour will be determined based on the deck your stateroom is located.
Excursion on the day of the disembarkation
If your flight is in the late afternoon or evening, you can take an excursion that will end at the airport or in the center of the city for a transfer to the hotel. This is an interesting option that saves you from waiting at the airport and also offers you transportation to the airport. Your suitcases will follow you on the bus to the airport.
Transfer of cruise line to airport or hotel
The majority of cruise lines offer transfers to the airport or hotel to passengers who have booked flights or a hotel with them. These transfers are also offered to all passengers by the excursions team. However, the cost of these transfers can be very high. Often the cost per person is the same as the cost of a taxi. If you are travelling alone, this can be a reassuring and safe option. If you are travelling with other people, the taxi will most likely be more economical. For ports far from the city centre or airport (as in London), the cruise line transfer can be an attractive option to avoid the hassle of looking for another means of transport.
Some companies offer you to benefit from the services of the ship for longer for a certain fee. You can dine on the ship and enjoy the pool. However, you will no longer have access to your cabin. This can be an interesting option if your flight is late in the evening.
Cruise disembarkation, step by step
Choose the disembarkation option for the last day of the cruise
A few days before disembarkation, you may receive a questionnaire about your intentions and needs for disembarkation. You will be asked if you have booked an excursion or transfer with the cruise line, if you are flying and what time your flight is, if you want to take advantage of the Express disembarkation or at what time you wish to leave the ship. This information will help the crew plan the disembarkation and provide you with the appropriate disembarkation tags.
The day before the disembarkation
The day or two before disembarking, you will receive an information sheet and tags for your luggage. The baggage tags are of a different colour or have a number for each group corresponding to the chosen disembarkation option (time). If you don’t get the right labels or have changed your mind and want to get off the ship at a different time, there’s still time to change the labels to the color that matches your desired departure time. Labels are available near the tour counter and customer service. You will also receive the customs form that you can complete before disembarking to facilitate the process.
Purchases of duty-free bottles of alcohol
If you have purchased bottles of alcohol on the ship or in a port, they will be delivered to you the day before disembarking in your cabin where you can pick them up at the place and time indicated in your disembarkation documentation. Make sure you have your purchases back before you disembark.
Check your account status
To avoid the hustle and bustle of the day of disembarkation, it is best to check your account status by using the interactive TV, mobile app or requesting a statement from customer service. This will allow you to correct any errors before disembarking. A final statement of your account will be left at your cabin on the night of disembarkation. If you pay cash or by traveller’s cheque, you will need to go to the customer service counter on the last morning to pay your bill.
Pack your bags
The day before disembarkation, it’s time to pack your bags. First, be sure to remove any old labels that may still be on your suitcase to avoid confusion. Only put the labels received for disembarkation. Don’t forget to keep your passport, clothes for the next day and your beauty kit with your toothbrush and medication. It would be embarrassing to get off the ship in a bathrobe… It is also advisable to keep your valuables or fragile items with you in your carry-on baggage. Once your luggage has been packed and you have put the tags on the handle, you must place your suitcases outside the cabin in the evening before the deadline indicated in the documentation received. The suitcases will be picked up during the night and you will find them outside the ship the next morning.
Reward the work of the crew
If the tips have not been automatically deducted from your account, or if you want to reward the outstanding work of some crew members, it’s time to tip them. Check out the article Tipping on a cruise, for more information.
On the morning of the disembarkation
There you go. This is the last day of your cruise. You will need to get up early to leave your cabin before the time indicated in the documentation in order to let your cabin stewart prepare the room for the next guests. You will be asked to wait in public spaces. Transactions on board the ship are usually made in cash on the last morning.
Can I have breakfast on the last day of the cruise?
The buffet and other breakfast options are available on the last day of the cruise. Refer to the disembarkation documentation for options and hours of service. Room service is not offered by all cruise lines on the last morning. If you go out for breakfast, but want to come back to the room to brush your teeth and pick up your hand luggage, it is advisable to place the “do not disturb” sign before leaving the cabin. You can remove it when you leave your cabin for good.
It’s time to go
Before you leave the cabin for good, go around to check that you haven’t forgotten anything in the drawers, wardrobes, bathroom, under the beds and in the safe. Then go to one of the designated locations to wait for the color of your labels to be announced so that you can disembark. Do not clutter the corridors or clump together near the exit in order not to disturb the smooth running of the disembarkation. If you are a VIP member or have booked a suite, an exclusive lounge will probably be open for you. When the colour of your tags is announced, head to the exit with your ship card in hand. Also keep your passport and customs form handy. Your ship card will be scanned one last time to confirm that you have exited the ship.
Collect luggage during cruise disembarkation
At the exit of the boat, you will be directed to a large room where there will be a sea of suitcases. These suitcases will be grouped by color corresponding to your labels. You will need to locate the banner the color of your labels to then find your suitcase. Once all your luggage is collected, you will pass through border control. Afterwards, you can join the bus for your transfer or excursion or take the taxi. You can now think of all the wonderful memories you will have left and even dream about your next cruise!