Cruise 101: Your Guide To Safe, Simple Disembarking

Whether it’s express departure or complimentary porter service, here’s how to make disembarking simpler.
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All good things must come to an end and that includes your Royal Caribbean adventure. The good news is that by the last day of your cruise, you’ll be feeling rested and headed home with stories from your adventures abroad (as well as on board). But what is that last day like?

Whether you’re headed home or on to the next destination, here’s everything you need to know to prepare for getting off the ship.

The Night Before

There are a few important steps you need to take care of on the last day of your cruise to ensure you have a successful departure. Don’t worry—your last night on board will still have the amenities and experiences you’ve enjoyed on your cruise, like an array of dining options and free, top-quality entertainment.

First, your stateroom attendant will drop off important information in your stateroom. These include luggage tags for your bags – each tag will have a number that will correspond to your departure time the next day. Also, you will receive an “As You Depart” guide that will provide detailed information on timing, where to grab breakfast and other important instructions.

After enjoying your final evening, you’ll need to pack up most of your items, so you can leave your larger luggage pieces in front of your stateroom for pick-up. In general, bags must be out by 11 p.m., but the dedicated team on board your ship will inform you of the exact time. Crew members pick up your bags at night and ensure they are waiting for you on land, freeing you and your family up from the stress of keeping track of your luggage. Another hassle our crew can take care of for you is setting up your airport transfer for just a small fee. Since it’s recommended you book transfers two weeks before sailing, you should discuss this option while making your reservations, if needed.

As with packing for your first day, make sure you keep a small carry-on of essentials like travel documents—especially your passport and SeaPass card—handy so they’re easily accessible when getting off the ship.

Before you hit the hay, make sure you check your onboard account one last time (which will be possible throughout your trip). If you see something that doesn’t look right, visit the Guest Services Desk to resolve it.

Day Of Departure

First things first: breakfast will be available on the ship, so you can fuel up. Next, everyone will have an assigned departure lounge and time that corresponds with your tagged luggage, detailed in your “As You Depart” guide.

Refreshments will be available at the lounges, so this brief waiting period can be a chance to sip coffee, relax and reminisce. There also will be a family zone, so younger guests can enjoy toys and games while waiting.

Once your group is called, our crew will be on hand to show you the way, and will direct you to your luggage, your Royal Caribbean airport transfer, taxi or awaiting family.

Express Departure

Guests looking for the fastest way off the ship should consider Express Departure. If you’re willing to carry your luggage, this option will save you time, since you will be among the first off and on your way. This means that instead of putting your luggage outside your stateroom the night before, you’ll keep it with you—although we still advise packing the night before.

Extending Your Adventure

If you decide to extend your vacation, our cruisetours are an excellent way to further explore your destinations, since they add guided land excursions to the beginning or end of your cruise. You can explore landscapes and native treasures with the help of local Adventure Specialists.

On an Alaska cruisetour, you can add three to six nights onto your vacation to the Last Frontier. All experiences include at least one night in the must-see Denali National Park, where you can glimpse grizzly bears and caribou in low-elevation forests, which give way to alpine tundra and eventually North America’s tallest peak, the 20,310-foot Denali.

Canadian cruisetours can be added to Alaska cruises too, with six-night stays in Alberta and British Columbia, where you can relax in natural hot springs and ride through the Rockies in a vintage railcar. Feeling ambitious? Combine both for an epic 18-night vacation through two countries and several northern mountains.

Cruisetours also are available in many European ports like Madrid, Paris and Rome. If you’d simply like to enjoy a destination for another few days, our special hotel packages make it easy, whether you’re in Stockholm or The Bahamas.

Now that you know what to expect on the last day, get ready for your first day and book your next trip here.

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