• Rita M. Perez

It's Time to go Home--now what??

So, today is definitely the last installment of the "now what?" series. And it's a sad one lol. I never like disembarkation because I just never want to leave. This series has certainly made me think of all the amazing cruising times I've had. But today, today is about the last 2 days where you have to prep and then actually get off the ship. Waaaaaaahhhh! 1. TV Talk- Cruise ships used to have a disembarkation presentation on the last day of the cruise. That has now been reduced to a recording on your cabin television with all the important instructions you will need to know about the process. If this is your first time cruising, I highly recommend you watch this presentation at least once on your final day. 2. Luggage Tags (or not)- Now depending how you select to depart the ship: super early and walk off bags, or a little later and "check" bags. If you choose to walk off with your bags, do not worry about getting these special luggage tags. If you choose to check your bags, then you will need your cabin's designated luggage tags. Each cruise line does it a bit differently. Sometimes it goes by color and other times it goes by number. Remember your tag's number or color for disembarkation morning because you will need it for 1-when they alert you that you can depart the ship and 2- to find your luggage in the baggage area at the port. 3. Packing (or not)- If you select the "walk off" option, then you can completely ignore this section :) If you decide to check your bags, I would do so because I have a lot or a heavy bag to lug around, or I want to take it a little slower in the morning. I would also use this option if I wanted to sleep in just a little extra bit. BUT it does have one downside and that is you have to make sure your heavy bags are packed and ready to go anywhere between 10pm to midnight the night before going home. AND-probably the MOST important part- make sure you keep a day bag with you for the morning. You'll need a change of clothes for the morning with proper undergarments, toiletries, any medications, and keep your valuables close too. 4. Final Meal- In the morning, after waking up at the crack of dawn, you may have your final "you don't have to cook" meal. Savor it--so MUCH! And also, pack it all in lol! Not sick stuff, but stuff enough to make it to linner lol. 5. Customs- Customs (at least from American ports), has been made much easier, as they don't make you complete the form anymore. Once you walk off the ship, pick up your bags (if you didn't walk off with them), and proceed to the customs line. The customs agent will ask you some questions, be honest with them, and they will send you on your merry, or not so merry, way home.

And there you have it--our cruise adventure is complete. Oh and a bonus tip--make sure you settle your account as early as you can on your final cruise day. The later in the day it gets, the longer that customer service line becomes. And you definitely don't want to wait until the morning of to clear everything, either. Happy Travels, Rita

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