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Sadly, your cruise has come to an end, and it's time to disembark the ship. As the process is comparable to everyone in a sold-out hotel checking out on the very same morning, it can be a busy and complicated one. However, we've gathered seven tips to make it all that much easier.
Don't Book a Flight Too Early
When arranging your flights to and from a cruise long before first boarding, it's important to not book your return airfare too early on the day of disembarkation. Just because your ship may be scheduled to arrive in its final port at say 7 a.m. doesn't necessarily mean you'll be able to get off right away and transfer to the airport in time for an early morning departure. In fact, the ship still needs to clear customs, and the crew needs to begin offloading passenger luggage. Usually, it's not advised to book a flight before 11 a.m., and unexpected delays can make an afternoon one a safer bet.
Verify Your Account Statement Ahead of Time
Final account statements are delivered to guest cabins late on the final night of the cruise or early morning on the day of departure. To avoid any surprise charges and a need to resolve them at an overrun reception desk at the last minute, it's best to get a printout beforehand to confirm that everything looks as it should, particularly if you need to settle your account should a credit card not already be on file.
First Take the Elevator Up to Go Down
Whether you are taking off all of your own luggage or just your carry-on bags, elevators heading down to the gangway are frequently full with other passengers and their belongings. Especially if you have a lot of suitcases with you, a trick that works well is to call an emptier elevator up before descending back down.
Consider Cruise Lines with Simpler Disembarkation
For decades, most cruise lines have followed the system of group assignments to schedule guest departures spread out during the morning, the result of which can sometimes become complicated if delays change the priority dynamic. Disney Cruise Line instead simplifies it all by dropping a specific schedule besides a first self-help group. And you know what? It works seamlessly. Guests know when they need to be off by at the latest, they will organically depart evenly as travel dictates. It would sure be nice if other cruise lines adopted this model accordingly.
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